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This 184 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 184 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 > >     
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?

 

IITian

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 2:26 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

pixel_juice:
You forget kaled that the vast majority of sites are made by people who don't know (or care) about Googlebot and PR etc. and almost certainly haven't been to webmasterworld.

True, but the ones who really matter and pay indirectly and directly for Google's survival are the people who care about such things. They pay for adwords and Google's IPO depends on that. Google is not a tax-supported utility.

In most competitive searches, I would be surprised if most of the sites made by people unaware of Googlebot and PR make into the first few pages. Those pages count as being part of x million search results returned but I doubt anybody checks those sites out exept for a few friends and family members. (Some non-commerical informational sites were extremely popular to begin with and perhaps don't need SEO's but are few and between. )

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 2:30 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Spot on Kevinpate!

The worrying thing is there are alot of people (and I mean the voting public at large, not just webmasters) who could readily identify with the idea of a search engine having a "social contract".

Whip up enough support for this idea and bring it to the notice of politicians............

I think this is a scenario that may well happen.

Then the *real* problems will start.

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 2:37 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

"They pay for adwords and Google's IPO depends on that"

Precisely. And the harder it becomes to guarantee your position in the first page of Google the more businesses will turn to Adwords.

Except, of course, those websites that don't really have a businesses plan (or ROI) that goes beyond free traffic.

pixel_juice

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 2:45 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Except, of course, those websites that don't really have a businesses plan (or ROI) that goes beyond free traffic.

Just a quick point - there are plenty of sources of free traffic out there other than Google, many of them much more reliable. Google is just the easiest free traffic to get.

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 2:55 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good point pixel_juice.

I was referring to those sites who depend entirely on free traffic from SEs.

Becoming independant from SEs is an excellent strategy, but it does require a lot of time, dedication, skill and indeed some luck to develop the necessary services/products/information to acheive this. But then, what real business strategy doesn't?

You highlighted a service that you were offering free of charge to users. Could you have found a way to monetise this traffic, or direct it to another site which could have monetised it. That way you may have been able to keep it going. (Just interested - I'm not pretending I know how to run your business).

mrguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 2:57 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

--Whip up enough support for this idea and bring it to the notice of politicians............ --

Yup! get the government involved so they can fix every thing. After all they are doing such a wonderful job; right!, with our fantastic economy, crime levels are plummeting, ya and then I wake up and realized this America!

The quickest way to ruin something for sure is to get politicians involved.

Google is a business trying to better their methods of what they do. Whether the latest hiccup was planned or unplanned sure shows the true supporters of Google. At first sign of possible trouble, lets start a grassroots revolt. You know what, go right ahead. All of you ban Google from your sites today!

Especially my competitors!:)

kaled

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



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:00 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you eliminated every SEO'd site from Google, users might notice, but do you think they'd care all that much?

1: Typically, the most SEO'd sites will be where the most money is.
2: The most money is there because that's what users are interested in.
3: If all these sites suddenly vanished from the Google index, the users would care because most of what would be left behind would be dross.

If all the seo'd sites vanished from Google, users would care enough to switch to other search engines and forget about Google.

I was a late convert to Google (~2000/2001). I know that some people now use Google do so because I suggested it. And they probably suggested it to their friends, etc. If Google results continue to be erratic, there will be a movement away from Google to other search engines because they won't get personal recommendations. Sometimes a trickle can turn into a flood. We are some way from that yet, but it would be a mistake for Google to ignore this possibility.

Kaled.

PS
Before someone jumps down my throat and says that there are plenty of good sites out there that are not optimized, I agree with you. But, mostly, these are not sites of great interest to users, History, The Arts, Physics, etc. etc. etc.....

If I go looking for cheap air tickets, I'll bet a pound to a penny the sites I'll find most interesting will be optimised.

PPS
I don't want to hear about adwords. It's been said and said and said........ before. BOOOORING

IITian

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:00 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google is not exactly "free" even when no money changes hands. People who do well on searches, spend hundreds of hours reading about Google and its algorithms, designing and redesigning the web site to rank better on Google searches, visiting this site to gather more information, and so on. People have invested a lot in this relationship with Google.

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:13 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

mrguy,

I'm with you. I certainly don't want Google, or any other SE for that matter, to be in the control of the Government (US, UK, whoever).

But I do get the feeling, especially when reading the posts around here, that support for such a move could be garnered when couched in the language of "social contracts", "public duty", etc.

pixel_juice

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:25 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

merlin30, we're getting way off-topic ;0/ but suffice to say that the service I mentioned was something I set up a long time ago and never really touched afterwards. I have other interests that take priority, and this one just slipped off the todo list into oblivion ;)

merlin30

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:28 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

You're right pixel_juice.

I can offer no new opinions on this thread. So I won't.

Net_Wizard



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:35 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's true that Google can do whatever they want, furthermore, it has no social contract nor any obligation to the public.

However, just like in any economics venture it's purely dictated by supply and demand. In this case, supply being the relevancy of search results and demands being the number of request for such results(users searches).

The rise of Google popularity has nothing to do with us(webmasters) albeit we we're responsible for 'introducing' Google to the rest of the internet community but at the same token we can introduce just about any search engine but its effectiveness relies purely on the capability of the search engine itself.

We all knew that Google is(was?)...
1. fast
2. less spammy
3. providing highly relevant results

and we like it, and the same thing goes with whoever encountered Google.

Reality is, Google is the leader of the search engine pack. The only way to dethrone G is for another SE to challenge G services. If the challenger can provide a better service then the demand for G services would naturally slow down and the demand for the challenger services would rise up.

Currently, Google index is messed up, frustrated searchers would search elsewhere. Maybe not in masse yet but definitely there's a grumble. Users have come to expect the kind of standard that Google have set itself, any less than that, disappointment would set in.

Having said all that, my Google rating as of current is 7/10

Just my 2 cents.

pixel_juice

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:35 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>If all the seo'd sites vanished from Google, users would care enough to switch to other search engines and forget about Google.

I think you're wrong Khaled and you've given me a good example why.

>>If I go looking for cheap air tickets, I'll bet a pound to a penny the sites I'll find most interesting will be optimised.

I ran your search, and of the top 10 results, and the sites that had clearly invested in specific SEO (rather than naturally building up link pop and relevant pages - I don't see a dmoz or Yahoo submission as SEO) are the results that I could really do without. Look at #2 for example - the title is 'one moment please' - how much SEO have they done? Compare with #5 & 6

I think you overestimate to an alarming degree how much SEO has been going on up to now. It's only in recent months that the bigger companies got over the idea that their brand alone doesn't cut it on the search engines.

>>Before someone jumps down my throat and says that there are plenty of good sites out there that are not optimized, I agree with you. But, mostly, these are not sites of great interest to users, History, The Arts, Physics, etc. etc. etc.....

LOL! I think there are a few more sites that aren't SEO'd that are of value to visitors ;)

Type in 'downloads' for example, and you will find pretty much the same sites you would have done 3 or more years ago. In fact, try any of the searches from the Google Zeitgeist (this is where you can see what the users who 'make' Google are searching for) and you will have to look for a very long time before you find a query where SEO provides results that genuine users will miss.

And one final point which I don't think anyone has mentioned.

There's more spam in Google now because there *is more spam everywhere*

dwilson

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:43 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

They pay for adwords and Google's IPO depends on that.

Google has signed multi-million dollar contracts w/ portals for their search results. Adwords is not their only iron in the fire.

If Google's free search deteriorates, their traffic will decline & Adwords will suffer.

The idea that it is somehow in Google's best interest to return poor results is bogus.

ogletree

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



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:44 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think for major stuff Google does not need SEO and could get along just fine for it. Where SEO makes Google a better place is more specific search terms. There are a lot of topics that need to have 3 or 4 words to bring up good results. 1 or 2 words brings up millions of results that might contain 100 different subjects that will not make sense unless you add 1 or 2 more words in your search.

Yes a lot of people type in one or two word phrases but how many donít find what they want and have to try again with more words. I bet it is rare for people to type in 1 or 2 word phrases and actually get what they are looking for unless it is a proper name like Google, Microsoft, or widget brand.

Actually it is sometimes hard to find something with a proper name.

pixel_juice

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 3:48 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

The idea that it is somehow in Google's best interest to return poor results is bogus.

Well said dwilson! How could it possible be in their interest to cultivate dissatisfaction amongst (any of) their user base?

chiyo

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



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 4:08 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>there are plenty of good sites out there that are not optimized, I agree with you. But, mostly, these are not sites of great interest to users, History, The Arts, Physics, etc. etc. etc.....<<

You ARE joking are you not? The Arts cover millions of sites and there are thousands of popular crafts, painting and music sites. People check the net for history facts all the time. It sounds like you have a very strange idea of what users are interested in! Where did you get your data, or is this statement more based on what you wish the facts were! There are lists of most pop queries published by search engines. Many are current affairs queries. -Saddam Hussein, Osama etc. many of these pages are not optimized. Im not sure whether they optimised the al quaeda site before it went missing!

kaled

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



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 4:18 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

The "Social Contract" idea is valid. I'm planning to initiate a thread on this myself but if someone wishes to jump in and beat me to it, I won't mind too much.

I've been considering this concept for maybe a week or so. It's very complex and contentious. I haven't sorted out the issues in my own mind yet which is why I haven't posted anything on this except to congratulate Napoleon. I'm sure, eventually, we will get there and maybe, people will look back and say "It all started with a few whinging geeks a Webmaster World."

This is a complex area where a balance must be found between freedom and responsibility. I don't think, on the whole, Google have done a bad job of regulating themselves up to now, but eventually things will have to change. However, I definitely think that a beaurocratic legislative/enforcement solution would be a huge step backwards. As for getting the politicians involved, please, please, please, NOT YET. Things have not got bad enough that politicians might be able to make things better.

Kaled.

pixel_juice

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 4:37 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Things have not got bad enough that politicians might be able to make things better.

The idea that politics should have any influence over free search engines at all is one of the worst ideas i've heard for some time.

I understand the appeal of a 'contract' with Google, but why would this be in anyone's interests? As soon as sites are seen to make a 'deal' with Google the user's faith in Google as an independent (and accurate) resource is lost, and with it the majority of the excellent relationship that Google has built up with it's user base.

kaled

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



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 5:01 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

We may disagree on a definition of "of great interest to users". We may disagree on the definition of SEO. But I tell people this, if users are interested in something en masse, commercial interests will move in. If big commercial organisations are not interested in websites that sell cleaning services for widgets, then it is because users are not sufficiently interested in having clean widgets, or because they already know how to clean their widgets.

When commercial organisations move in, so does SEO (by some definition or other). Of those sites, some may be just spam, but others may be really good. My guess is, the really good sites, more often than not, will be optimised.

It therefore follows that if all the SEO sites vanished from the index, users would notice and would not like it. For starters, mentioning no names, many big internet players would vanish.

Going back to the "Cheap air tickets" search, I tried it and the site that came top looked very interesting to me. With 1500 backlinks, I imagine that some considerable effort has gone into optimizing the site. If it were removed from the index, I might end up paying more for my tickets or have to travel from a different airport, etc. Of course, I would look further down the index too if I were really after a ticket, but I imagine that most of the first page of results (I see 30 results per page) would be optimized which means that most would, in this scenario, vanish. I fail to see how this might benefit me, or indeed, have no adverse effect on my chances of finding the ticket I want at the best price.

There are plenty of good sites out there that are optimised. It therefore follows that users would notice if they all vanished from the Google index because that would mean there would be fewer good sites in the index to choose from.

Kaled.

PS
I'm not sure politicians are going to be able to improve your rankings for you Khaled.

Let me misquote Thumper's mum from the film Bambi. If you don't have anything sensible to say, don't say anything at all.

The idea that politics should have any influence over free search engines at all is one of the worst ideas i've heard for some time.

If you think I want politicians involved in this, you need to work on your grasp of English. Forums such as this are for sensible debate. They are not for people who simply want to pick arguments. However, if the moderators were to allow it, I would be more than happy to tell you what I really think.

gstewart

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 5:19 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

A quotation from Bambi, Kaled, has made my day.

Well done, too, with keeping this enjoyable and informative thread going, sometimes against the odds!

pixel_juice

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 5:22 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Let me misquote Thumper's mum from the film Bambi. If you don't have anything sensible to say, don't say anything at all.

I removed that comment prior to your post, so my statement was retracted.

>>If you think I want politicians involved in this, you need to work on your grasp of English.

Luckily, my grasp of English is very good. You said "Things have not got bad enough that politicians might be able to make things better.". This clearly implies that if things get bad enough, then politicians are the answer. You said "not yet" which means at some point in the future.

>>Forums such as this are for sensible debate. They are not for people who simply want to pick arguments. However, if the moderators were to allow it, I would be more than happy to tell you what I really think.

I'm not picking a fight with you Khaled. I fundamentally disagree with many of the things you have said in this thread. And fortunately, I do not seek your approval to participate in this or any other forum. Your comments are rather inflammatory for someone looking for 'sensible debate' or do you apply different rules to your own posts? And spare me the threat of 'telling [me] what [you] really think.

Ordinarily I would probably just dump this thread as the lost cause that it is. But hey, I like sensible debate ;)

>>With 1500 backlinks, I imagine that some considerable effort has gone into optimizing the site

Did you check the backlinks to that site? I did, and it is clear that the majority of good links to them have not resulted from a link campaign. Look at the first page - "my personal web links", "bookmarks for...". They clearly built an excellent site, and so over time the 'SEO' was done for them. This is precisely my point, which is completely borne out by the search you used as an example. You don't need to pay a company or optimise pages in order to do well on Google, as any popular search will demonstrate.

>>There are plenty of good sites out there that are optimised

Undoubtedly. But there are far, far more sites that are NOT optimised. At this point SEO is a drop in the ocean.

Once again, I'm not disagreeing for the sake of arguing with you. If I get a little heated when I'm backing up my opinions then I apologise, as this was never my intention.

kaled

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



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 5:40 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Cheap Flights air tickets, air fares, discount flights, travel agents, air fares,
late deals, and air travel from the UKCheap Flights air tickets, air fares

That looks like a keyword/phrase list to me. If that doesn't count as search engine optimization, just exactly what does?

Of course this site is optimized and of course it deserves to be in the index.

Kaled.

pixel_juice

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 5:58 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Meta tags are the tip of the iceberg in terms of real SEO, and this is the only obvious example of any optimisation I could find on the site.

You could pick examples etc. forever, but my point still stands. The reson the site has top rankings on Google is because they have built themselves up over many years since they first went online (1996?). The effect of SEO on their rankings is extremely minimal. Being a longstanding, popular site is what has given them their success. (We should also try and get away from discussing individual search queries and sites as per the TOS.)

Perhaps we are disagreeing about what SEO means, which is an entirely different subject.

>>Of course this site is optimized and of course it deserves to be in the index.

This is twisting what I said. I never said anything about who 'deserves' to be indexed. I said if you removed SEO'd sites (whatever that means ;)) then most users would still be happy with Google, and the majority of good quality sites would remain. It was meant to illustrate the point that a few sites jumping around in the index (i.e. dominic) makes no difference whatsoever to the end user, who can still find what they want.

Yes, it would make the index smaller and some good sites would not be there. But as a user the impact it would have on my opinion of Google would be barely noticeable.

caine

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 6:03 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Kaled,

I think you are getting confused between SEO and spamming (bad seo), it sounds like your spam technique's don't work all that well.

Good SEO, does not get band, or filtered other than the mandatory filters that google places on commercial industries, and site size.

<edit> I think Google does quite well, but at the level i search at, i expect the term to draw up what i am looking for rather than spam, so in some cases thumbs up in others down </edit>

Greg_Molloy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 11:06 pm on Jun 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree with kaleed

I think right now google may be finished,it grew by word of mouth and will die by word of mouth. The webmasters are the most important market google had. Dell computers understood this before anyone else and google stumbled across it. Google have now lost confidence of the people that created them. No problem we will all move on, google won't, well done company execs now running google.

pixel_juice

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 12:11 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>I think right now google may be finished,it grew by word of mouth and will die by word of mouth. The webmasters are the most important market google had

It isn't as though every webmaster now thinks Google is useless. I think Google's critics are more vocal than it's supporters. Most webmasters aren't going to stop recommending, or stop using Google. Kaled gave them 8/10. That's hardly finished :)

caine

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 12:20 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

For all my ups and downs with G, which i had usually keeping them to myself.

Google is the best at the SE game - nothing even comes close.

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 12:27 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Juice Newton, Good point. It seems webmasters scream the end of the Google era every time there is a bad update. This update will be a distant memory before long and everyone will love Google again. I will say, that word-of-mouth is VERY powerful, and Google needs to start fixing this problem ASAP. I have already heard some coworkers complaining about the irrelevant results in some of their searches. Once the word spreads, it may spread quickly. It is very arrogant of Google to assume that no one, except webmasters, will notice the bad results. It's been a month now, they need to get on with adding backlinks and anchor text to get the problem resolved.

Incidentally, today, for the first time ever, MSN lead my search referrers with over 35%. Altavista is growing also.

caine

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 12:41 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Completely disagree with any comments that suggest that G is any worse than any other engine at dishing out spam on its results, and where are all these word-of-mouth followers going to go?

Altavista - spam city
Fast - spam heaven
Teoma - spam central
Ink - spam paradise

I'm afraid to say the best of the bunch, and the other major SE's are lagging behind big time on their overall efforts as a search engine. Whether its their crawl/index cycle, promotion, tools (except the adavanced search and url investigator of ATW), forum communication (have a look at GG's post count).

I don't normally commend Google, so this must be a first in a long time for me.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 13848 posted 4:34 am on Jun 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

1: Typically, the most SEO'd sites will be where the most money is.
2: The most money is there because that's what users are interested in.
3: If all these sites suddenly vanished from the Google index, the users would care because most of what would be left behind would be dross.

Nonsense. The "most SEO'd sites" are likely to be cookie-cutter affiliate sites that offer the same goods and services at the same prices as countless other sites. If all of the boilerplate affiliate pages for hotels, system utilities, digital cameras, computer accessories, etc. disappeared from Google tomorrow, users would still be able to find what they wanted to buy.

In any case, Google's objective is to rank sites according to their content, not according to their owners' skills at "aggressive SEO." If you're trying to build a business for the long term and you count on referrals from Google for much or most of your traffic, it's wise to think in terms of added value for the reader and not just for yourself.

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