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This 73 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 73 ( 1 [2] 3 > >     
Business' have dropped, info sites are up...
Business sites vs. Information sites - Have Google got new priorities?
Pricey




msg:193080
 3:38 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Iíve been pulling my hair out since my site, like most other company sites, suddenly disappeared off the SERPS and Iíve been trying to find out how and why.

Iíve looked through so many posts with people saying their sites have gone down, many mixed theories and speculation. I was searching today on my key words, and noticed that the SERPS were completely un-relevant from a corporate point of view. Nearly every site in the top SERPs was not a company page, but a page with general info on that particular key word/phrase.

I search for Monkey widgets and I used to get a load of companies offering Monkey widgets for sale. Now, I get a whole load of informative web sites with news, articles and helpful information on Monkey widgets. This leads me to think that maybe Google have changed their priority to informative websites and have dropped corporate sites - maybe to encourage the use of AdWords? - I don't know but this is what it seems like to me.

Like I said, I have seen many theories as to why pages are being dropped, and so far this is the only constant I have found. Your comments on this would be greatly appreciated, as I have not seen anyone else mention this theory before.

 

Pricey




msg:193110
 9:31 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'd like to see what joe public thinks. During the day, the majority of people are looking to do business over the web and are actually looking to buy stuff. This means that if info sites are being favoured by G, then joe public is gonna be frustrated by the non relevant sites that are at the top of the SERPS. In the evenings is a different matter, I would think that more info based searches would occur then. But its no good making joe public happy only in the evenings.

Maybe there should be a better balance of info vs business sites, or as a suggestion, different algos for different times of the day depending on what surfers are after.

BallochBD




msg:193111
 10:44 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Pricey said
<In the evenings is a different matter, I would think that more info based searches would occur then. But its no good making joe public happy only in the evenings. >

In my experience (and speaking for myself) most people who use the Internet as a research tool do so during the day, while at work. Purchasing consumer goods is done in the evening in leisure time. But anyway, the Internet serves a Worldwide audience where it's always evening somewhere so this is just not on.

Can I also say that it seems to me that opinions are split on Google. Those who have NOT been severely damaged by the changes are happy with the results while obviously, we unfortunates who have been hurt are not. I must say that the results I am now seeing are mixed, some excellent, some cr@p, so what has really been achieved?

My own consultancy site, which is information based with a low degree of commercial content (I have to eat!), has been removed from the index. A search for my KW reveals a mix of totally off-topic sites (three in the top five), directories and vendors who were nowhere to be seen in the past.

Obviously I am really p*ssed off about this. I have written to Google three times and actually received a reply that my complaint has been pased to another department (at least recognition). Clearly any action I do get will take some time and I am afraid that it may be too late for me. I may be sunk!?!

Marval




msg:193112
 11:40 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1 has it nailed down - Google has gone to the trouble to add a link at the top of the SERPs do look for an item on a search to buy it in Froogle - and they are training the searching public to use that because they know that very few searchers type in "buy widgets". You dont invest the type of money they did in Froogle just to let it site there - that is the split mentioned earlier in this thread - Google is just forcing the split - on purpose and for very good reason.

Pricey




msg:193113
 12:06 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google has gone to the trouble to add a link at the top of the SERPs do look for an item on a search to buy it in Froogle

What link is this? I donít see it (using win 98). Froogle is still only beta, it may be the way to go but for the moment it only has US products on there. Being in the UK, I have no chance of putting anything on there especially the electrical stuff I sell.

I also think that training the public is a bad move Ė maybe have the option on the search for information and/or purchasing as a button. But getting them to type stuff in to narrow down a search has never taken off imo. Only regular surfers know what they are doing, adding words to a search term is just complicating things for some users thus deterring them from using G.

Phil

frances




msg:193114
 12:10 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Today, I will looking for a company - namexNamey who sell red widgets.

I typed in namex namey red widgets and got up up info sites linking to, but not the site itself.

I typed in namexNamey red widgets and got the same.

That is an irritating result.

Have more info sites, but dont chuck out the baby with the bathwater. The current algo is too crude.

Fearless




msg:193115
 12:15 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Whoever mentioned that this has become just another update thread is right...

What brought me to the discussion was that I create a number of purely non-commercial sites. Within the last few weeks (Florida? Austin? whatever...) the Pagerank as reported by the Toolbar has dropped either one point or two for all of the sites that I'm involved with. The number of sites linking to us are up but our Pagerank is down. And, of course, as some have dropped to a Pagerank of two or three, they can no longer "pass on" their Pagerank. (And also, obviously, the number of sites listed in the "link" search function has plummeted.)

So I wonder about all of this talk about the current algo favoring "information" sites. Doesn't look that way to me.

But then again, I had occasion to visit the home page of a major, very well known, discount domain name registrar and web host and their front page is only rated at a "two" so I felt better....

As a consumer, google is as spammy as ever of late- for example, in music.

I was asked to create a site for my little home town and it's not possible to get through to a page one result-

unless of course, we pay for it. Ho-hum, Google careens down the path of so many before it.

rfgdxm1




msg:193116
 2:25 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

>I'm sure you are correct that many people may be looking to purchase a "blue widget," but I don't think they are looking to purchase one online. I for one am never looking to purchase. I'm looking for information that will help me make a decision. Once the decision is make, I drive to my local store to make the purchase. The last study I saw indicated that this is pretty normal behavior. So, information is more important than finding a site that sells the product.

This for the most part describes me, and the people I know.

rfgdxm1




msg:193117
 2:31 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

>I also think that training the public is a bad move Ė maybe have the option on the search for information and/or purchasing as a button. But getting them to type stuff in to narrow down a search has never taken off imo. Only regular surfers know what they are doing, adding words to a search term is just complicating things for some users thus deterring them from using G.

Problems with this idea:

#1) It may be algorithmically more difficult than you think.
#2) What about sites that contain substantial information about products, with a link at the bottom of the page to where they can buy it? Not all sites can be pigeonholed as just one or the other.

Pricey




msg:193118
 2:48 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

We are not necessarily talking about Sites that actually sell stuff directly online or at their own shop, but just company sites in general. A company site can be informative and not sell products but offer a consultancy for example, BUT they are still a business and its business sites that, as far as I can see, have been dropped.

site_muda




msg:193119
 3:28 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wow..! some posts have said they never buy on the internet nor their friends, yet you're an SEO'er? amazing stuff people....please note that you're forking over more dough to the retailers & you keep the fat cats in business, so maybe you etal should continue to help the economy. what city are you in? I do concur that most people, myself included, come to the net for information primarily on a product, then after that research, buy it based on price.

But why would I or Joe public pay more for:
1.) a tennis racket at a store vs. online discounter?
2.)" " " " golf clubs, golf bags """
3.) electronic phones & equipment
4.) Dell Computer is a internet based -- Hellooooo!
5.) Ebay has exceptional deals _ ( I have priced 100's of their items with retail or discount shops & Ebay is tops
6.) Buy airline tickets cheaper
7.) Mortgage loans online are cheaper
8.) clothing (some), perfumes, colognes
9.) closeout specials , Ubid

Most small businesses have thrived since the net, without it, we'd be waiting on jobs from George W's upbeat "predictions".

Face it, it's generally easier to find items that may be out of stock at a local store on the net, order it at a good price and be a satisfied customer rather than deal with pesky salesman in a store.

Some of you SEO'ers, where this is your primary job, 1.) do you market on the net for business?
2.) do you get referrals from old clients?
a.) why do you get referrals from old clients..is it b/c your clients' site received a good ROI (return on investment) I know I wouldn't mention John made my site , use him if nada traffic came there.

If Google is sooooo worried about spam, doorway pages, mirrored sites, re-directs, 100's of affilaite pages then yes, I do agree that Google would be best served with a info only tab and a commercial tab but which would be the default? I do think if they had a better staff or better recognition software that they can weed out the spammers and keep us good folk there.

I now have a commercial page in the top 3 which was never there before and offers no content. It's just an application pagee with the keyword in the title...go figure.

GodLikeLotus




msg:193120
 4:43 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

site_muda <I do concur that most people, myself included, come to the net for information primarily on a product, then after that research, buy it based on price.>

If you look at what people are actually searching for you will see that most are not looking to buy at all.

[google.com...]

BuoyBoy




msg:193121
 4:59 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

One thing rings absolutely true thru this thread. There are 2 major camps on the internet. Info and Commerce. They both think they are the most important and in some cases think they should be exclusive. I wonder which search engine will do the best job of blending both. Maybe Mr. Gates will do it.

caveman




msg:193122
 5:42 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you look at what people are actually searching for you will see that most are not looking to buy at all.

One look at those terms and I'd wager quite a few of them were indeed begining searches that were e-commerce oriented.

Don't assume for example that someone looking to buy a Britt*ny poster doesn't start by typing in *only* her name. (These are the same people who often start their searches at Y!'s search box by typing in "www.G**gle.com".)

Also, surveying a handful of headline searches does not reveal what the bulk of searches are about, nor does looking at the keywords in many cases. Only following the clicks can tell you that for sure.

For the doggedly unaware:

b2c e-commerce annual sales
2000: ~$40 billion
2001: ~$50 billion
2002: ~$70 billion
2003: ~$90 billion

Naw...no one is using G is to find things to buy. ;-)

manzan




msg:193123
 5:48 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

"In my experience (and speaking for myself) most people who use the Internet as a research tool do so during the day, while at work. Purchasing consumer goods is done in the evening in leisure time"

I worked for a big e-commerce company and this is not true that most people buy in the evening. There is slightly more traffic in the evening as compared to the morning to e-commerce sites, but that does not mean that there is no significant buying that is done in the morning. And by looking at the statistics of how established e-commerce companies are doing, it is obvious that lot more people are buying over the internet.

tenerifejim




msg:193124
 5:57 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

So let me get this right- blue chip and blue collar are out, blue widget's are in?

Will it be long before we see a pink widget movement protesting over being left out?

On a more serious point. I have found in my sector that info sites are down and sales sites are on the up. Unfortunately I sell information.

webdude




msg:193125
 6:01 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have found that within my company, more people actually surf and buy during the day as opposed to night. Number one reason? The companies Internet access is usually a lot faster or browsers and platforms a lot newer.

I don't know how many times I have heard (even from my wife) "I'll wait 'til I get to work, it takes forever at home."

Just my 2 cents.

[edited by: webdude at 6:52 pm (utc) on Feb. 11, 2004]

europeforvisitors




msg:193126
 6:27 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't assume for example that someone looking to buy a Britt*ny poster doesn't start by typing in *only* her name.

And don't assume that anyone typing in "Britney" is trying to buy a poster. (I'd guess that most Britney-seekers are just looking for revealing photos.)

The real question in cases like this is what the default should be. Google's stated corporate mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible," so it would seem logical that--in Google's main index--information pages such as Britney fan clubs, bios, or album reviews should display ahead of pages that are selling Britney music or memorabilia. Until Google announces that its new mission is "to organize the world's catalog pages and make it easier to shop," we shouldn't expect e-commerce pages to rank ahead of information pages in cases where both kinds of pages have high relevancy scores.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:193127
 6:31 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Webdude wrote:
<I have found that within my company, more people actually surf and buy during the day as opposed to night. Number one reason? The companies Interent access is usually a lot faster or browsers and platforms a lot newer. >

You made a typo that could possibly be more than Freudian.

"Interent" - the way of the future!

caveman




msg:193128
 6:49 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

And don't assume that anyone typing in "Britney" is trying to buy a poster.

EFV, c'mon man ... I don't believe I said that.

You know as well as I that 'average Joes' often start *very* top down...not with the kinds of very specific searches WW members use. (Although, there's evidence that the number of 3+ word search terms is growing as a percent of the total.)

The response I gave was based on comments arguing essentially that no one is searching for good or services to buy, which to those of us who actually know the stats, is patently ridiculous. It miffs me when people make assertions that are clearly self serving, and not supported by (readily available) facts.

I'd guess that most Britney-seekers are just looking for revealing photos.

Hmmm, sounds like you know more about this than you're letting on, so I won't argue with that.
;-)

The real question in cases like this is what the default should be.

There needn't be one.

G's pre-Florida results represented a remarkably intuitive, usually very relevant collection of information pages, product pages, authority pages, hub pages, etc, depending upon the specific search terms entered.

Even on very broad, generic terms, their SERP's were, IMHO, remarkable. And they grew to great dominance during that time.

We'll see what their future holds with these new SERP's.

webdude




msg:193129
 6:51 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't get it. Granted it was a typo, but I am unsure of the meaning of Interent. Nothing in my dictionary...

GodLikeLotus




msg:193130
 7:11 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Caveman

I said: If you look at what people are actually searching for you will see that most are not looking to buy at all.

Nobody is suggesting that people don't buy online only that to assume that most are looking to buy is just plain wrong. I beleive that in the UK, the BBC website is the most visited site, I see very little for sale on their site.

Thanks also for pointing out that ecommerce has more than doubled from 2000-2003, that does not mean that most people are looking to buy.

Do you think the number of people using the internet has only doubled from 2000-2003.

401khelp




msg:193131
 7:21 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Today, I will looking for a company - namexNamey who sell red widgets.
I typed in namex namey red widgets and got up up info sites linking to, but not the site itself.

I typed in namexNamey red widgets and got the same.

That is an irritating result.

This may be the fault of Google, but more likely it is a poorly designed and optimized namesxNamey website.

401khelp




msg:193132
 7:51 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

b2c e-commerce annual sales
2000: ~$40 billion
2001: ~$50 billion
2002: ~$70 billion
2003: ~$90 billion

Naw...no one is using G is to find things to buy.

Very good point, but I'm not reading any of the posts in this thread to say that, and I quote you, "no one" <end quote> is using Google or the Internet to make purchases. "No one" mean just that -- zero, zilch, nada, not a penny spent. I completely agree with you that this is a bogus argument. People do regularily use the Internet to purchase goods and services.

But, it is pretty easy to prove that "most" people today don't use Google or the Internet to make purchases: Taking just the 2003 USA GDP at almost $11 trillion vs. the $90 billion you noted in e-commerce annual sales it is pretty easy to see how minor e-commerce sales are in the total scheme of things.

My experience is that most people that use the Internet do so to research and then make the purchase locally.

BigDave




msg:193133
 8:00 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Often times the bad result is the result of clueless marketing types.

I was trying to find the website of a company that we will be dealing with by searching on their company name. They were not in the first 1000 results.

I went and looked up the site address in a good old fashioned paper directory, and their site only has one html page that launches a flash page.

Neither their company name or their product names are in the html code. Their domain name doesn't even have their full company name, the "doctor" part of the name is shortened to "doc".

But I will say that the top results on a search for their company name brought up a very nice mix of review sites and e-commerce sites that sell their product. this is still the case with all they searching for merchandise that I have done in the last few months. The only time I have found the "terrible SERPs" is when I have gone and looked at the ares that people have complained about, it isn't a problem for the sorts of things that I would tend to buy online.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:193134
 8:01 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Webdude, InteRent could be a new buzzword for future methods of getting your site found on G :o)

caveman




msg:193135
 8:02 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

GodLikeLotus,

If you look back through my posts you will see that I never said or even implied that *most* are looking to buy.

But it is a fact tht quite a few *are* looking to buy. Just about 50% of all those with Internet access have bought online, and the number keeps growing. Plus, over 70% search for product related information online (not typically the kind of info that you find at .gov and .edu sites, btw).

I have no intention of trying to persuade folks that most searches are ecommerce oriented, because it's not true.
What bugs me is when people assert that most are "not looking to buy at all." That is also not true.

We run one main ecommerce site...plus a large number of info sites (nearly all of them unrelated to the ecommerce site). Where do you think most of our revenue comes from at the info sites? People looking to buy things. Trying to pretend that info and e-commerce are unrelated is missing a lot of what goes on out there. We love info searches. We love e-commerce searches...

When people search on 'real estate' that ain't just hoping to find .gov sites about homeownership, I can promise you. ;-)

caveman




msg:193136
 8:16 pm on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Internet to make purchases: Taking just the 2003 USA GDP at almost $11 trillion vs. the $90 billion you noted in e-commerce annual sales it is pretty easy to see how minor e-commerce sales are in the total scheme of things.

Apples and oranges, to an extent. Nobody's arguing about the percent of sales on and off the Web. People don't spend most of their time on the Web either...

The deeper issue is related to those oft mentioned areas of the Web where e-cmmerce does work...

Not long ago, searchers in those areas saw SERP's with a mix of many different types of sites/pages. Not now. Now they get .gov, .edu, and the like, which in some areas just doesn't help the searcher. And that hurts small businesses as well as the searchers looking in those areas.

I'm hoping that G did all this to try and stem the tide of spam, and that's good. But as has been said, in many areas, they threw the baby out with the bathwater.

Plus, there are now lots of SERP's where ecommerce isn't much of a factor, in which all I see now are the same .edu, .gov and major directory sites. These are, in some cases, poor results, where good results used to exist...

site_muda




msg:193137
 12:39 am on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Caveman typed:

"When people search on 'real estate' that ain't just hoping to find .gov sites about homeownership, I can promise you. ;-) "

My point exactly..and my line of business. Govt stats or dictionary definitions are not what "orange county real estate" searches are for nor home loans but as pointed out earlier, the SEO manipulators (spam,doorway,mirror & other tricks) have left us dry.

hehehe..often nowadays, listings come up from the 23,or 4 keyword search and shows the word "real" and "estate" , "orange" as in fruit season, "county" will gives us the county tax collector or something similar in separate parts of the cached page. Google has bamboozled us.

rfgdxm1




msg:193138
 2:09 am on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

>But it is a fact tht quite a few *are* looking to buy. Just about 50% of all those with Internet access have bought online, and the number keeps growing. Plus, over 70% search for product related information online (not typically the kind of info that you find at .gov and .edu sites, btw).

A relevant issue is that of the percent of people on the Internet that buy things online (which I concede is significant), what percentage of the total searches that they do are looking to buy something? If 99% of the time they are doing info searches, and 1% is to buy something, then in terms of user satisfaction Google needs to mostly worry about info searches.

caveman




msg:193139
 2:53 am on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hey I'm with you. I really do wish that the info searches were as good as they used to be! ;-)

landmark




msg:193140
 9:43 am on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

This info vs commerce split surely needs to take into account the type of search.

If I search for Britney Spears, I expect to find her official site, the most popular fan sites, maybe her record company, etc.

But if I search for something specific like Britney Spears posters, I expect (naively) to find sites that sell posters (what else could I expect?)

Now, when I do search for Britney Spears on Google, I get what I expected. But when I search for Britney Spears posters I get mostly content-free junk. Only 2 or 3 sites that actually sell Britney Spears posters.

So it seems to me that Google scores 5 out of 10 (could do better).

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