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I would give Google a rating of 8/10.
Are Google overreacting to negative feedback?
kaled

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 5:03 pm on Jun 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Whilst pondering the subject of another thread (no prizes for guessing which one) it occured to me that a disproportionate amount of the feedback Google get is from whinging webmasters. Therefore, it would be very easy for the boys and girls there to form the opinion that Google is more badly broken than it is in reality.

From my own experiences AS A USER, I would give Google a rating of 8/10.

So AS USERS, how do other people rate Google? Forget dance issues, page-rank, etc. can you as a user find the information you want?

 

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 11:21 pm on Jun 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

>GoogleGuy stated that the addition of spam filters and backlinks would be a rather quick process after the datacenters stabilized.
We're still waiting.

From a later post he seemed to suggest that such wouldn't happen until whenever the next update was.

kpaul

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 11:24 pm on Jun 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Grade: 8.5/10

I really like ATW's clusters in the main SERP pages. I want Google to implement the same.

They're still my first stop when looking for something, though. I sometimes (as a searcher) have to manipulate the search query to get exactly what I'm looking for, which is why I think a 'related searches' or 'clusters' on the main SERP pages would be cool and help out people who don't know how to best optimize a search query.

subway

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 11:27 pm on Jun 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

GG has pretty much admitted in another thread that Google.co.il is "broken". I think they tried rolling out the new algo this month, encountered serious problemos, tried fixing them, first consignment of brown mess hits the fan ... panic stations in Google, and out pops the story that we can expect one more month of traditional crawl and update. In other words they'll go back to normal next month and then give it another go the month after. (IMHO)

Powdork

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 2:40 am on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

From a later post he seemed to suggest that such wouldn't happen until whenever the next update was.

Yes, it is the inconsistencies between the early posts and the later that have me a bit concerned as to the health of Google.
Another point, we don't necesarrily have to wait for an entire crawl cycle to have an update. April's crawl data is still out there somewhere.

10/10 Reasons:
Constant Changes in Alg.
Quick Inclusion.
Great Results.
Powerful server hardware.
Great Food @ Work.

Sounds more the ranking in the eyes of Joe Employee

Google would have to go 404 for Joe Surfer to think it was broken, and then he would probably blame it on his browser. However, if the Mercury Transit were on May 31 instead of May 7, a lot of astronomers would only have found g1smd's friend's site on ATW. If that were to keep happening....

Marcia

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:55 am on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

As a user, it is horrendously annoying when you go back to do a search and find that sites you liked the first time, that you are going back in order to find again, are completely gone and you cannot find them again. Except by looking at another search engine. There is a big difference between minor fluctuations and variety and instability.

This is the very first negative thing I have ever, ever said about Google. Ever. And I trust this will all settle down in a few weeks. I certainly hope so, because from a user viewpoint it's quite unsettling. I have always loved Google, from day one.

Oh, and please, please spare me the people who would say that commercial sites should use AdWords to stay consistently in the SERPs. If I found THAT guy in the regular search that I want to buy from, I want to go back and find THAT guy where I found him in the first place. Maybe THAT guy is the best and he just plain can't afford AdWords, but has what I want with the prices and service that I want. I want THAT guy, and I want to find him again when I search.

Please spare me lengthy pontifications about content being king and information being vital, and who's crowding who out of the SERPS in the name of turning a buck. Who isn't?

If I want to buy some STUFF and I want to buy it from THAT guy. I don't care about the history of his stuff, or technical specifications, or the culture of the country of origin, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, I just want to buy HIS stuff and I want to buy it from HIM. And I want to find HIM again.

So please spare me any moralizing and discourses on the socio-economic implications of search. Please. If I find stuff I want to be able to find it again, from the same guy who's selling the stuff as when I looked earlier. Simple as that. And it's not happening right now.

Yes, we hear that searchers look for information. So what? There was none better than Northern Light for researching and looking for information, and where are they now?

annej

WebmasterWorld Senior Member annej us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 5:21 am on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree Marcia. I can't bookmark everything. My bookmarks are such a crammed mess that I rarely use them. Normally I just go back and search again and expect to find the web page where it was before.

steveb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 5:46 am on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

"I certainly hope so, because from a user viewpoint it's quite unsettling. I have always loved Google, from day one."

I've always loved Google. It's like finding out a lover is cheating or something. It just feels a lot worse than if it was any old search engine.

And as for Adwords, I made a post in that forum that after 11 and a half months I've been permanently dropped from my single [keyword] because in a four hour span I fell one click short of the minimum, even though I'm double the minimum over the year.

That IPO needs to be put back in the drawer. This baby ain't ready for a dance any time soon.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 5:48 am on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Yes, we hear that searchers look for information. So what? There was none better than Northern Light for researching and looking for information, and where are they now?

Commercial SERPs are still a low priority for Google, though. Small percent of the total number of searches. And, you are missing the point by characterizing this issue in term of the money changers (e-commerce sites) in the temple (the Internet.) These same fluctuations also affect info sites. I have one site that for one keyword search eratically jumps from #6 to between #70-80 depending on the day. Today I'm below #70 again. Weird. People searching for information trying to find the same site later will be equally confused by drastic changes in the SERPs from day to day.

gmoney

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 6:06 am on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

As a user, it is horrendously annoying when you go back to do a search and find that sites you liked the first time, that you are going back in order to find again, are completely gone and you cannot find them again.

I agree. Just a few days ago as a "Google user" I tried to re-find a site that I had found a few weeks ago in Google and I was unsuccessful. I often remember a site that I like by remembering a keyword that I typed in Google. I often refer people to a site or page by telling them to search for a certain keyword in Google (it sure beats trying to spell out URLs over the phone) and these people probably remember the page by that keyword as well.

Anyway, minor fluctuations and even major fluctuations in rankings will happen naturally and are to be expected. Perhaps I experienced a natural major fluctuation in ranking. Regardless, I do see some value in Google trying to keep artificial instability minimal, but I am under the impression that Google really only cares about relevance and freshness as the Googlebot has been known to pop a page into the index and take it out before you can even think about book marking it.

Don't get me wrong because there is nothing wrong with Google giving an instant #1 birth to a new page in the index nor is it wrong to completely terminate or demote a page for very bad behavior. It is also fine to continue to fine tune their algorithm and let the rankings naturally fluctuate. However, maybe they should try and avoid systematic and widespread "now you see it now you don't" Google Results Page Magic.

nutsandbolts

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 6:46 am on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Blimey Marcia, excellent post!

gstewart

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 6:58 am on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

What a pleasure to read Marcia's post (Msg #95)

A breath of fresh air...

Google's a brand and a service I like and trust, but the present situation is unsatisfactory, whether users notice yet or not.

All the nonsense from some members here about noise and whining oughtn't be allowed to mask that.

Bravo Marcia.

mfishy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 11:45 am on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Marcia, same topic I brought up before and I believe we would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't, sometimes, search the same query looking for what they found before. For the SERPS to be entirely different from one day to the next hurts the user and makes me wonder about how well Google is really working right now.

How can a page possibly be considered the most relevant one day and then #180 the next on an eccommerce search? Things may change a bit, but certainly not that much :)

mil2k

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 1:15 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Current rating - 8.5/10
Last month's rating - 9/10

Adult content rating :- 4/10

Lot has been said about Dominic but what I have found is that recent SEO work has suffered a bit but websites which were traditionally strong have remained that way.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 1:23 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

If I find stuff I want to be able to find it again, from the same guy who's selling the stuff as when I looked earlier.

1) As rfgdxm1 points out, commercial searches are low on Google's list of priorities. (See Google's mission statement.)

2) Google is a search engine, not a replacement for bookmarking.

3) For an index that's more fixed than fluid, use the Google directory (or, better yet, DMOZ or Yahoo).

mfishy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 1:28 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<commercial searches are low on Google's list of priorities>>

I highly doubt that Google's new boss thinks of commercial searches as low on their priorities since the majority of the revenue they generate is now through Adwords. Not too many info only sites advertising with them. If they do not get commercial searches, Adwords does not get clicks.

You can take Google's mission statement, along with most other companies with a grain of salt.

Microsofts says "To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential"

hehe, wonder what SUN thinks of this :)

[edited by: mfishy at 1:34 pm (utc) on June 3, 2003]

kaled

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 1:33 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

How can a page possibly be considered the most relevant one day and then #180 the next on an eccommerce search? Things may change a bit, but certainly not that much :)

This simply demonstrates that however much Google claim otherwise, some of their algos are extremely simplistic. If Google feel the need to keep inserting fresh pages into the index, they should operate on the principle that "If it's relevant today, it will be relevant tomorrow - put perhaps slightly less so." In other words, the bias that a page gets by virtue of being fresh should decrement gradually.

That said, other than a few sites such as CNN, etc, I cannot see any reason why a large bias should be given to fresh pages. Perhaps a small bias to get a page into the top 30, but Everflux has moved pages of mine from around from position 7 to 200 and back again. No matter how you cut it, that is just plain daft.

Kaled.

PS
The Site in question now ranks 1 and 3 for two common two-word searches but Page Rank is still showing zero. Remarkably, I'm seeing pages updated on 29th May in the index. One competitor is gray-barred with no ill-effects.

TheRealTerry

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 1:43 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I find myself looking less for a different search engine when Google doesn't produce (which is rarely), but more in trying to improve the way I query. Sort of using what I know about Google's indexing to my advantage, such as looking for an exact keyword phrase to be likely to appear in a relevant page but not in something semi-relevant. It's made my searching far more efficient.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 2:18 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

mfishy wrote:

I highly doubt that Google's new boss thinks of commercial searches as low on their priorities since the majority of the revenue they generate is now through Adwords. Not too many info only sites advertising with them. If they do not get commercial searches, Adwords does not get clicks.

Okay, I'll change that to read "free results for commercial searches." :-)

It wouldn't surprise me a bit to see Google give less weight to commercial (meaning e-commerce) pages in the future than it does now. Let's say you're searching on "Widgetco WC-1 digital camera." Right now, the top 20 results are likely to include the Widgetco.com and Widgetco.co.jp pages for the WC-1, reviews at places like dpreview.com and imagingresource.com, and dealer or affiliate pages. If Google simply gave less weight to the the dealer and affiliate pages, users would be more likely to use the Google search results for learning about the Widgetco WC-1 and the Google AdWords when they were ready to buy. The quality of Google's search results would go up because the top 20 or 50 results wouldn't be cluttered with nearly identical catalog blurbs and photos for the Widgetco WC-1 camera. Plus, Google would be able to sell more AdWords and (in time) generate PFI or "trusted feed" revenues from Froogle.

Eric_Lander

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 2:31 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm in agreement with TheRealTerry...
I find myself looking less for a different search engine when Google doesn't produce (which is rarely), but more in trying to improve the way I query.

All in all, I like Google. I have the toolbar, and I have it because I know I can find anything with it when I need to. Quick and easy, like their SERPS. Thats a lot more than I can say for any other engine.

I'd give it a 8/10. Sometimes I'm searching for news-infested information, and it's a bit laggy. Beyond that, when I encounter results that don't appeal to me, I just alter my query and get the information I needed in the first place.

celerityfm

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 2:32 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm sure it has been said before, but Google serves as my extended mind-- it helps me with my job (it really, really, really helps), it helps me settle arguments, it helps me learn.

There really is nothing else out there that compares, it really is the best search engine-- Sure they don't return what you want as #1 or even in the top 10 all the time-- but thanks to their incredibly huge database, you'll find what you want if you work hard enough at it-- I'll spend hours combing Google SERPS, take a break and hit an Inktomi or Fast SERP to see if mabye they have what I need and I'll fail with them 99% of the time-- go back to Google with a refined query and BINGO, I get what I need.

I think 8/10 isn't a bad rating for them either-- they can't be 10/10 because its not yet possible to return the exact result of what you are looking for as #1 100% of the time and they can't be 9/10 because there is always room to improve on what they have now before getting to that perfect #1 result=your answer situation :).

But I gotta say, I owe alot to Google-- success at my job (researching hangups and errors in projects I'm working on and more), settling arguments, learning, entertainment, etc. I'm sure we all do.

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 5:27 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Marcia,

If you want to find THAT guy again bookmark him.

If THAT guy's products are so damned good he CAN use Adwords - he can put into his cost model; its called a business plan.

If you are so impressed by THAT guy's products tell everyone else about him. Perhaps run an affiliate program for him.

But if THAT guy reckons he's got a sound business plan based on free traffic then he has a problem.

In the real business world there are physical costs of entry, premises, insurance, utilities, etc. The Internet is no different. People are beginning to notice.

To all those who say Google is broken - it is PATENTLY not. It may be giving undesirable results to those trying to earn an income from a free traffic stream but I know of no-one outside these sort of forums that know any difference! You CANNOT define broken as it doesn't do what you want when you don't define the rules.

Who is THAT guy anyway ...........

1milehgh80210

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 6:08 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

For those that like to say "google isnt broke, if you got a problem, buy adwords"
I would say look at things from a searchers standpoint....

G made its reputation as a searcher of webpages, not just informational webpages, so people will be used to looking at the left side of the screen for commercial sites also.

The -old- google might offer 30 quality alternatives for a buyer of widgets, ranked very roughly by quality of website.Would a -new- google offer 30 quality adwords sites?

The free SERPS offer better site descriptions (I look at those before clicking)

I do think Google is moving towards an info-on the left, commercial-on the right SE.
That would be perfect from their point of view (more revenue from the right, less spam from the left)!

kaled

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 6:34 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

For those that say "just buy adwords", think about this. If users start coming to the conclusion that the results are less good, it is to be expected that they will come to the conclusion that the adverts too are unreliable.

Google need free content just as much as webmasters need Google. However, there is one obvious difference in our needs. If Google vanished tomorrow, webmasters would cope easily enough (there are other search engines). On the other hand if the free content we provide were to vanish, Google's profits would fall like a stone.

GOOGLE NEED THE CONTENT THAT WE PROVIDE FREE. And so do the websites that advertise on Google. Without good content people would not use Google and the adverts would be worthless.

If Google fail to utilise the free content that we provide in the best possible way (from the users viewpoint) then the adwords will become less effective and therefore more expensive.

However, I suspect that, purchasers of adwords may feel that if the results get worse they will benefit. In the short term maybe, but not in the long term.

Kaled.

PS
One rule of business that is often forgotten is this:-
DON'T upset your existing customers. Many a business has failed in this regard and paid a heavy price.

ulounge

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 6:42 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

This month I'd give google a 6.5/10 and last month a 9/10.
ATW a 8/10.

javascripter

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 7:05 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am a webmaster for several websites in all different kinds of businesses. I'd give you my portfolio site to prove it but the link would likely be removed. But almost all the sites either lost their listing in Google completely or are reverted back to their old (PR) from months ago. I know Google is Broken. And if not broken, then what the hell is it?

Maybe they are just restructering the way they do their indexing. It might be a good thing in the end and this is just the process it takes to impliment whatever they're doing. Whatever it is, it sucks because many of my sites now are relying on MSN and DMOZ. I'm used to getting close to 300 hits a day on one site and today I'm edging 13 hits. Not good!

Javascripter

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 7:33 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Kaled,

You say

"If users come to the conclusion that results are less good"

And that is the crucial point. Most users simply are not coming to that conclusion. The people contributing to these threads represent an absolutley minute fraction of the users of Google.

I have tried searches for all sorts of stuff since Dominic began and I still find what I want, quickly - no problem.

Javascripter,

Google does not owe you any traffic at all.

Oh, and by the way, my sites have been affected (negatively) by Dominic, so I am in no way feeling smug that I am doing great while everyone else suffers; however, complaining that it is the fault of Google is not the answer.

Gizmare

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 8:18 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

As a long time user of Google I would say that Google rates a 9/10. This is strictly from a user perspective. When I need to find something on the web Google will usually bring it to me 99.9% of the time with the keywords I use. I also think choosing keywords is a science and once mastered using search engines tends to get easier.

John_Creed

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 8:32 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

To all those who say Google is broken - it is PATENTLY not. It may be giving undesirable results to those trying to earn an income from a free traffic stream but I know of no-one outside these sort of forums that know any difference! You CANNOT define broken as it doesn't do what you want when you don't define the rules.

How do YOU define broke?

They are giving us an index from Febuary/March with some freshbot listings added in.

For certain terms, the serps fluctuate almost daily for no reason whatsoever. Deepbot is nowhere to be seen and we have no reason to believe we'll get a "proper" index this month.

How do you define this?

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 8:56 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

"How do you define broke?"

OK, fair question.

In my job I use Google as a technical encyclopedia - "how do I write this", "how do I implement that" etc. I am still using Google, successfully, to do this. I have not had to revert to ATW, Teoma or AV. My colleagues use Google similarly and they also have had no need to revert to other engines. So from the point of view of a user I cannot say that Google is broken.

As webmasters we have learnt the behaviour of Google; Google has changed its behaviour and that's all we can say. The reason I think it is a mistake to consider it is broken is because it implies that at some point we will consider it fixed - i.e, the expected behaviour will return; sites dropped for now will reappear in former positions. There is no proof this will happen. We have to learn the new behaviour and I beleive we have to prepare for the worst case scenario which is that, when the new data is applied to the new algorithms the index does not revert back to what we expect but something radically different.

Psycologically, the notion that Google is broken, I beleive is a false friend.

kaled

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 9:41 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google does not owe you any traffic at all.

This is an often quoted theme, however, the fact is this. If a good site is not getting traffic because of technical problems at Google, that means USERS are being let down. They may be provided with alternatives but those users are being denied CHOICE.

Kaled.

bcolflesh

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 10:09 pm on Jun 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

My thoughts as I read this:

This is an often quoted theme,

Because it is true.

however, the fact is this.

however, my biased interpretation is this.

If a good site is not getting traffic because of technical problems at Google,

My site is not getting good traffic because of processes I am not privy to and do not understand at Google,

that means USERS are being let down.

that means my potential income sources are being diverted.

They may be provided with alternatives but those users are being denied CHOICE.

They may be provided with competitors but those users are being denied MY WIDGETS...

Fair/unfair?

Regards,
Brent

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