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What exactly is right or wrong with Google?
It looks just fine from this consumer and information seeker's view.
woop01




msg:185983
 2:30 am on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Whats the reason everybody claims that the current Google index is terrible, bad, full-of-crap, the spawn of Satan, an elaborate conspiracy to get us to spend more on Adwords, etc.? 90% of the reasons Ive seen listed were I fell from #2 to not even in the top 100 which I would never use as a measuring stick for the quality of SERPs. Ive even seen people claim that the Ink results are better than Google.

I can say that based on the searches I have done as a consumer, I like this index more than the old one. When I put in a city I get SERPs that have information about the city, not ten thousand affiliate sites waiting to send you to the exact same site. I just got done doing quite a bit of x-mas shopping and guess what, I found what I was looking for without having to go to page two of the SERPs.

I realize this place is full of the SEOs whos #1 (if not only) concern is their own sites ranking highly and in most people opinion on here their site is always the most relevant site for whatever keyword you are looking up. But, what reasons other than my site was optimized for Google and ranked #1 for a year but now its not ranked THIS IS GOING TO RUIN MY BUSINESS! are there for the condemnations of this new index?

Thanks,

 

europeforvisitors




msg:186043
 11:10 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

...please read the title of this thread "What exactly is wrong with Google?"

Well, if you're going to complain about search results, you're shooting at a moving target. The Googleguys and Googlegals appear to be fine-tuning the controls, because search results have continued to change every couple of days for the major keywords and keyphrases that I track.

I'm not big on conspiracy theories or hypotheses about a sudden widespread drop in IQs and the Googleplex, so I tend to think that the obvious glitches will get fixed via tweaking or another update. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the day after, and maybe not in time for Christmas, but certainly in time to prevent AltaVista, AllTheWeb, and Teoma from relegating Google to the graveyard of search engines.

However, that doesn't mean every Webmaster and SEO is going to get what he or she wants.

skipfactor




msg:186044
 11:13 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Anyone else notice that doing searches for REAL ESTATE in your local area do not return ANY individual realtor sites as they used to

Big time, zero agencies and zero agent sites...except: if I search for practically unheard of towns near me, 'smalltown real estate' instead of 'mypopularsmalltown real estate', I get the local agents & agency sites. However add the state, 'smalltown state real estate', and everybody disappears again.

Note: The average AdWords CPC is over $1 for 'mypopularsmalltown real estate'.

BigDave




msg:186045
 11:21 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Informational searches are a *lot* more common than shopping searches. It doesn't mean that those shopping searches are not important, it simply means that they happen a lot less often than informational searches.

If you need some proof check out [google.com...]

When referring to competitive areas, that does not automatically mean that it is one of the most searched for areas. There are far more people in this world who eat rice on a regular basis than there are people that eat cany bars. Yet the competition for your dollar is far higher between candy bar companies than it is between rice companies.

Even with commercial searches, including those in travel, the majority of searches return relevant results. Yeah, some of the searches are bad, there is no question about that, but the majority of them still return good information, and good places to buy.

Maybe instead of asking "what exactly is wrong with google?" you might want to ask "why did google need to take such drastic measures?" and "why did my site trigger the filter?". Because, in general, there is noting "wrong" with google. Google just changed how they were doing things, and you now need to adapt or die.

zafile




msg:186046
 11:24 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

These days, end users searching for "yourtown real estate" or "yourcountry real estate" are bombarded with SERP's full of outdated sites.

It's good to know the "Googleguys and Googlegals appear to be fine-tuning the controls" to fix the glitch.

In regard to "complain about search results," that's not the job of a "white hat" Webmaster.

Google has enough "Googleguys and Googlegals" to fix their own generated glitches.

steveb




msg:186047
 11:30 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I focus on several very unrelated areas, including one with more spam than most people here can possibly imagine.

The current Google results are so drastically superior to previously that it is difficult to put into words.

People who continually post that they like -isystrsee results need to step back and compare those results to a regular allinanchor: search. They are very close to the same, just like the old algorithm... and the old algorithm sucked totally. There is virtually zero correleation between amount of anchor text and quality of content. In a perfect world there actually would be correlation, but not so in our world where people with crap try to outrank genuine sites.

In my area, the serps this month under the old algo would have at the top a site with a half dozen content pages and 39,000 pages of link directories and "add url" pages. This site is *not* a directory. Those are simply "link partner" pages. Since link text still matters a lot, that site ranks in the top ten but not #1.

Another family of sites duplicated two pages 10,000 times on a domain; bought several hundred domains like keyword1-keyword2-keyword3-a.com and keyword1-keyword2-keyword3-b.com (literally); which got them five or so million copies of those two pages in the Google index, and literally tens of millions of anchor text links. This got them 72 results in the top 100 for a term, 94 results in the top 500 for a very competitive term, etc. Some folks here simply have no grasp of how hideously bad the previous algo was in terms of ranking quality, and how virulent spam can be.

Some pure trash still exists, in terms of junk link familes and redirect sites, but the "bad" sites now tend to be link pages or generic authority sites that just mention a term in passing. Give me these problems any day compared to 72 duplicates in the top 100!

Google's problems are three:
-- clean up the spam that escaped this time: linksmanager anchor text crap; redirect sites; self-generated "mini-webs" (part of all these is to even further diminish the value of anchor text, despite the howling that will ensue on webmasterworld)
-- deal with the lost site phenomenon; get better again at that www.domain.com versus domain.com problem
-- take these very good results and make them outstanding by recognizing authority within local niches. That is the big one, and I've posted this before, if that is the intended next step, this is a very exciting time for webmasters who focus on quality content

Today if you want to find out something about something, Google will show you high quality sites on your query, much higher quality than previously. Some of those will be obsolete and actually off-topic, but for the most part they will be the best search results Google has ever offered, which makes them head and shoulders above the competition.

BigDave




msg:186048
 11:32 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anyone else notice that doing searches for REAL ESTATE in your local area do not return ANY individual realtor sites as they used to?

But if you search on "mycity [realtor¦real estate agent¦real estate broker]" then I get exactly what I was searching for. And in fact, "mycity real estate" did give me one agent out of the top 10, and 8 of the top 10 would get me to an agent within two clicks. The last of the top 10 was the state website for getting your real estate license. While not ideal results, they are all on topic.

Chazhound




msg:186049
 11:35 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think Europeforvisitors got it right.

Google is changing rapidly at times and
is everchanging the whole week. Wait until
the dust settles...

I notice in the sites I monitor that the
drops occur on old sites as well as the
newer web sites. The older more established
web sites that are content optimized, and
have high link pop are holding steady.
I think, the more agressive the web site
optimization the more the risk in dropping.
Especially in any commercial area.

But hey, losing 50 web sites in one whack
has got to show something. There has to
be something in common for all 50 sites.
If you can find out what it is, then we may
have something.

zafile




msg:186050
 11:49 pm on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Today if you want to find out something about something, Google will show you high quality sites on your query, much higher quality than previously. Some of those will be obsolete and actually off-topic, but for the most part they will be the best search results Google has ever offered, which makes them head and shoulders above the competition."

What a low-bandwidth comment!

Polarisman




msg:186051
 12:08 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

P.S. Anyone else notice that doing searches for REAL ESTATE in your local area do not return ANY individual realtor sites as they used to? Now the results are Wunderground and other directories. Hey if I am looking for a new home, Wunderground isnt going to help much!

That's not what I'm seeing in my market. YMMV.

zafile




msg:186052
 12:12 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sounds random to me...

troi21




msg:186053
 12:33 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

For a keyphrase I am monitoring (in english), one of the sites near the top ten has the keyphrase once in the title, once as a heading and the rest of the site is in chinese. literally. oh and the page is a messageboard.

Very relevant

rfgdxm1




msg:186054
 12:38 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Informational searches are a *lot* more common than shopping searches. It doesn't mean that those shopping searches are not important, it simply means that they happen a lot less often than informational searches.

>If you need some proof check out [google.com...]

Yep. And, in this algo I am seeing some evidence informational SERPs are better. It may be that to improve the relevance of info searches in the algo, like they say to make an omlette you gotta break some eggs. Those broken eggs may be a portion of commercial searches. And, the relevance of most commercial SERPs I have tried as tests look pretty good. Someone had to lose, and maybe those someone's complaining are those who ended up being the broken eggs for the omlette.

hutcheson




msg:186055
 12:41 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Anyone else notice that doing searches for REAL ESTATE in your local area do not return ANY individual realtor sites as they used to?

Tried it in a local town: the top 5 listings were the state Real Estate directory, Yahoo (twice), ODP, and a commercial classified real estate ads site. Now that's spot on: four of five giving the user the absolute best results possible -- authoritative real estate directories.

zafile




msg:186056
 12:42 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

"... in this algo I am seeing some evidence informational SERPs are better..."

"... the relevance of most commercial SERPs I have tried as tests look pretty good."

"... four of five giving the user the absolute best results possible -- authoritative real estate directories."

Still sounds pretty random to me.

[edited by: zafile at 12:44 am (utc) on Nov. 29, 2003]

rfgdxm1




msg:186057
 12:44 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

>This is the next generation of search engines; this is the millenium!

Another satisfied Google user. ;) I've gotta agree that Google certainly is delivering great SERPs for me.

zafile




msg:186058
 12:46 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Another satisfied Google user. ;) I've gotta agree that Google certainly is delivering great SERPs for me."

Another low-bandwidth point of view.

skipfactor




msg:186059
 12:50 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Now that's spot on: four of five giving the user the absolute best results possible -- authoritative real estate directories.

Yep, Google has become an awesome SE for directories. I guess they figure the user doesn't know how to search the term 'city/state real estate directories'.

rfgdxm1




msg:186060
 12:53 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Yep, Google has become an awesome SE for directories. I guess they figure the user doesn't know how to search the term 'city/state real estate directories'.

Or they figure if that is what the searcher doesn't want, they can search:

city/state real estate -directories

zafile




msg:186061
 12:58 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Or they figure if that is what the searcher doesn't want, they can search: city/state real estate -directories"

OK, your comment is random to the max. Congratulations!

zafile




msg:186062
 1:01 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Back to the subject, "What exactly is wrong with Google?" or "Why is Google displaying random search results?"

1. To collect more income before Christmas via AdWords.

2. To obtain more AdWords clients before its IPO.

3. To send a warning message to Webmasters about using fraudulent means to obtain good rankings.

4. A glitch. [washingtonpost.com...]

skipfactor




msg:186063
 1:03 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Or they figure if that is what the searcher doesn't want, they can search:

city/state real estate -directories

Works like a charm rfgdxm1. More proof this is here to stay folks. Now how can I get retirees in Florida looking for a second home to search like you? ;)

rfgdxm1




msg:186064
 1:15 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Works like a charm rfgdxm1. More proof this is here to stay folks. Now how can I get retirees in Florida looking for a second home to search like you?

Get the message out to them about this:

[google.com...]

Anyone who uses search engines should understand the concept of using - in a search.

BigDave




msg:186065
 1:15 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Back to the subject, "What exactly is wrong with Google?"

Nothing. What is wrong with your website that it does not rank well in google?

or "Why is Google displaying random search results?"

You are the only person that has claimed that they are random. They are not. They are quite consistent on any given search.

In fact, on most searches, they are serving up better results. Ranting about how random google is doesn't help you improve your position at all.

1. To collect more income before Christmas via AdWords.

nope. A search has to turn up absolutely useless SERPs before it will increase adwords revenue. Since most searches are returning results that are at least as good, and in many cases better, it will not increase their revenues.

As these are highly competitive areas, they already have a full complement of adwords buyers, just because *you* now have to buy adwords does not mean that they will make more money. And if the searches are bad enough that they lose searchers, they will in fact make less money.

2. To obtain more AdWords clients before its IPO.

more adwords clients does not add up to more money if it is only for the competitive searches. (See above)

It is Adwords revenues that are important for a public offering, not the number of nickle and dime clients. In fact, none of this will matter at all for a google IPO. This is not an IPO that will be selling on facts, it is one that will be hyped so much by the public and press that the facts won't matter.

3. To send a warning message to Webmasters about using fraudulent means to obtain good rankings.

Here you have a bit of the truth. But they never hid the fact that they will do this from time to time.

4. A glitch.

Nope.

MyWifeSays




msg:186066
 1:18 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1 & BigDave,

Thanks for the correction. I'll take your word for it, the Zeitgeist page doesn't really prove anything though as there are no figures. It's interesting to see that most searches are very current topical news items.

To simplify matters let's assume that non commercial searchers are equally as happy now as before Florida and lets just talk about commercial and non-commercial sites rather than the different types of each. If that's the case then the question about whether the serps are now better then hinges on whether users will be happy when searching with terms that could be commercial or non-commercial in nature.

1 or 2 relevant commercial results on the first page for a term is not an indication of improved results. For improvement you would have to see, on aggregate, the ratio of commercial to non-commercial representing the intentions of searchers better than before Florida.

I would imagine that pre-Florida the 1st pages for these phrases would have been pretty much 100% commercial but 100% relevant. Now as far as I can see non-commercial sites are over represented with the majority of them being either directories or news items with a significant number totally irrelevant.

I'd say that currently non-commercial serps are pretty much the same as pre-Florida, but with commercial serps there is less spam but relevance is worse. Overall I'd say the serps are now worse and users will be less happy.

Crisco




msg:186067
 1:34 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Since most searches are returning results that are at least as good, and in many cases better, it will not increase their revenues"

Well the test I have ran show the results are without a doubt worse than before. 2-3 amazon links, a couple dmoz directory links, a couple aol user pages, and a few others that are 404s and/or cant find servers ...

It is Adwords revenues that are important for a public offering

Yes you are correct - thats why only "competitive" keywords + phrases have been hit! IF your sites have improved maybe you should review the # of ads on your SERPs - if its 1,2, or NONE - thats why. I was hit with competitive terms that have 5,6,7+ ads a page ...

How can this be combated? BOYCOTT Adwords!

Pass it on to all your seo / webmaster friends - They want to hit us in the pockets? HIT THEM BACK - stop using adwords/adsense!

Jakpot




msg:186068
 1:39 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

The current Google results are so drastically superior to previously that it is difficult to put into words

And I concur with your statement.

zafile




msg:186069
 1:48 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey guys, thanks for your opinions.

I was trying to understand a bit more about random behaviour from tech savvy people.

I'll do more testing in the future.

nutsandbolts




msg:186070
 2:29 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anyone who uses search engines should understand the concept of using - in a search.

It would be nice if they did, but the "average joe" doesn't. Such as the majority of AOL users who like to spend online ;)

rfgdxm1




msg:186071
 2:42 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

>It would be nice if they did, but the "average joe" doesn't. Such as the majority of AOL users who like to spend online

Notice I did add "should" in there. Design a search engine for idiots, and only idiots will want to use it. Those with a clue will use search engines where it works well using thing like the - operator. Remember, Google got where it is today by having lots of "geek appeal." This goes a long way. The computer clueless tend to just do what those around them who actually know how to set up their e-mail client, and do so for them because that is just over their heads, say to do. I'm the sort of person in real life who does this for people. Thus, if I say the best search engine is Google, they'll assume that since I know about computers, this must be so, and will use Google. This sort of computer clueless person just wants those who do know to tell them what to do.

Chndru




msg:186072
 3:03 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

> This sort of computer clueless person just wants those who do know to tell them what to do.

ahh...ever wonder why windozz has 90%+ domination?..

after all the flaunting about geekness is said and done, what works with the mass is simplicity.

dazzlindonna




msg:186073
 3:09 am on Nov 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

it's called google - not geekle. if google intends to only serve the geeks and the well-informed searchers, then they will lose massive amounts of money.

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