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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

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 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.

 

apollo

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 6:25 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

The possibility of googlesoft changing the algo to force webmasters to use adwords and to compel searchers to click on them to find anything useful has been mentioned many, many times.

rfgdxm1

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



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 6:33 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

If the search is for "Monkey widgets" as opposed to "buy Monkey widgets", this will naturally tend to favor non-commercial sites. Google is heavily based on link popularity. Amateur sites tend to link to each other. Competitors don't. I'd argue that the Google algo is improving if searches that are ambiguous like this favor info sites. Most people on the WWW aren't looking to buy things.

BuoyBoy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 6:57 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1
There may or may not be more people looking for info but the commercial end is growing rapidly and it is what is financing pretty much everything. Possibly Google will come out with an Option to use allintext:site.com button on their search page so surfers could choose their poison. Then it would all make sense.

plasma

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 7:03 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Man I'm glad that all the spam is out of Google now :)

caveman

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



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 7:25 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, I'd say it's well established at this point that "info" is in.

We just finished a review of recent site traffic. Fully 51% of traffic came from G in the last two weeks. But this is low relative to their current share of market (at this point, still way above 50%).

A review of keywords reveals all. Many interesting combinations of kw's, most being 3+ words. But many are oddball combinations, way off of our real site topic - hence our G related conversions are *way* down...

The attempt to offer more info related results is instead returning a bunch of very odd SERP's, where the words match up to our pages but the meanings often don't. It's like someone waved a magnet over the computer.

To illustrate, people who search on "medium aqua wodgets" are finding our page on "large blue widgets". Unfortunately, people searching on "large blue widgets" are not finding our page. Presumably they are seeing SERP's about "medium aqua wodgets"...

Currently, every other major SE, and some of the minor ones, are giving us traffic with higher conversions than G. Just the opposite of what G has been saying they want.

Spica

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 7:26 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

As a user, I have never used the word "buy" when looking for a place to buy something on the internet. When I type in "blue widgets", I expect to find sites that sell blue widgets. Maybe it's just me, but I doubt it.
Note also that there are lots of site that do not have the word "buy" on their pages. So, how should I now tell Google that I want to buy rather than get information on a product? Should I type "blue widgets buy OR price OR $ OR purchase OR order"? Forget it! I'll use another search engine.

ronin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 7:35 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Has Google got new priorities...? Perhaps.

But maybe it has the same priorities it's always had and is now influential enough to push the public perception of the internet in the direction of its choice.

I read a book introduction the other day which contained the sentence:

"Despite the attempted hijack by dotcom companies, the internet will succeed."

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 7:45 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

As a user, I have never used the word "buy" when looking for a place to buy something on the internet. When I type in "blue widgets", I expect to find sites that sell blue widgets. Maybe it's just me, but I doubt it.
Note also that there are lots of site that do not have the word "buy" on their pages. So, how should I now tell Google that I want to buy rather than get information on a product? Should I type "blue widgets buy OR price OR $ OR purchase OR order"? Forget it!

It's easier for a shopper to type in "buy" or "dealers" than for an information seeker to figure out how to exclude catalog, ordering, and affiliate pages from the SERPs. And Google's mission statement doesn't leave much doubt about its role as an organizer and disseminator of "information" (Google's word, not mine).

The simplest solution would be for Google to split the index and give users two options on the search page: "I'm searching for information on.." and "I want to buy..." That would prevent commercial pages from cluttering information SERPs, and it would also keep information pages from cluttering commercial SERPs.

jchance

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 7:55 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think the new results are very nice. If I'm thinking of buying a widget, I type in blue widget.

In the serps I get informational sites about blue widgets, how they work, which ones consumers like the best, etc... This is great info for someone thinking about buying a blue widget.

When I'm ready to buy, to the right are several adword listings where I can find a dealer.

What more could you ask.

Its time people face the music and stop complaining. You run a business. Businesses have to advertise. The good old days of free advertising are gone and Adwords should be your new best friend.

Yes Google has adjusted its priorities and its about time.

BuoyBoy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 7:59 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ronin
No large medium that I am aware of ever succeeded without major commercial backing and content. So is google sticking to its roots and slamming the commercial world of the internet? I think that in months to come Google will be changing again when searches drop. I am hearing all over that they are starting to look at other search engines again as they dont have the time to weed thru the garbage at the top. Searchers want to compare relevant sites. Not get one or two out of ten. I am sure Google will be watching search numbers carefully.

site_muda

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 8:19 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with Ronin,

I am personally already using other search engines for commercial and non-commercial sites. Google is now comical at best in finding a topic.. for example, when you search for widgets you get informative sites & absolute junk off topic. well, when I search for No Doc, which is a financial term, I get subjects so far off base it's painfully sad to see it in a No. 1 engine like Google. It came back with several results with the word "no" and a website link that has ".doc" in it for a top 10 listing while the sponsored or adwords have the correct thing we're looking for...
Try Alltheweb.com, Hotbot, MSN, and Altavista from now on. I bet Yahoo switches to another search engine in a couple of months. With companies & people starting to shy away from google search results, I bet they never go IPO now.
And what's worse, you have in some searches "some" commercial sites still there who offer very little "content" or information for the searched term and the other 50% are just way off topic, just a word here and there. The fall of Google has started..like AOL...like Netscape... Yahoo coould be king again if it switches to Inktomi or Alltheweb or a combo of both.

squared

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 8:54 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think Google has pushed information sites higher.

I like the change.

Information sites on the left, commercial results on the right in the form of adwords.

I run a high quality directory that's doing great since "the change." This makes perfect sense in my view. Google is relying on the greater intelligence of the Web and serving up users smart bits of information about sites. It reminds me of what Pagerank was originally intended for.

-squared

plasma

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 9:24 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

When I type in "blue widgets", I expect to find sites that sell blue widgets. Maybe it's just me, but I doubt it.

Do you have an ecom site?
Honestly?

I don't believe what you say.
What you are saying implies, that you are using the internet more than 50% for shopping.
I doubt that many people share your habit :)

BuoyBoy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 9:42 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

50% are looking to buy something.

Yes I beleive that half the people on the internet are purchasing or researching a future purchase. You bet. And growing.

1milehgh80210

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 10:06 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Its not black and white - information vs. e-commerce, but a sliding scale.
I see a smaller & smaller % of pure info. sites on the web. A lot of supposed 'info' pages with adsense & affiliate links throughout though, these are commercial page$ in my book.
If Google continues down this track, webmasters will simply change their sites to reflect what G is looking for, i.e. give people information even if they're not searching for it.)

plasma

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 10:37 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

50% are looking to buy something.

Yes I beleive that half the people on the internet are purchasing or researching a future purchase. You bet. And growing.

That wasn't the question.
The question was if 50% of the time they are online only to buy something.
Obviously not.
And if not, then they mostly want info sites and not spam.
qed

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 10:51 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

No large medium that I am aware of ever succeeded without major commercial backing and content. So is google sticking to its roots and slamming the commercial world of the internet?

Let's take a look at large media like newspapers, magazines, TV networks, and radio stations. Do they mix editorial and commercial content? Do they give away ad space for free? Nope. They're what Google would be if it put only editorial (information) listings in the main SERP column and AdWords along the side. So, if you think Google should be like other large media, be ready to accept a lot more segregation of information and commercial content than Google has now. :-)

site_muda

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 11:15 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

whether or not 50% of web surfers are looking to buy or get info isn't the real issue..the real issue is what Google was preaching all along which was it's "the content" people..
Now, if a "kw" (keyword not kilowatt) searched site comes in the top 10, it has basically no content for that "kw". Although it's an informative site or commercial site, it should not be there if a better commercial site with 100 pages or 1000 pgs. has a page with excellent content on that "kw" and it happens to sell the product too. This is what Google is doing now. There are more informative commercial sites out there than your non-commercial sites and they have been punished or AKA deceptively asked to use adwords.
sidebar- I receive efaxes via yahoo who now will not scan each fax for viruses..they want to join yahoo-plus for that feature....capitalism folks.. adapt, agree or die denouncing it...keyword Iraq..(clearing my throat)

So, has Google actually categorized all the "kw" for business or commercial and put in only info, org. or govt. results sites? no! it's a mixed bag..and a bad unorganized one at that.

I do find "kw" searches adwords ads to be more relevant?
The pay per clicks ROI will not last forever, it has become too expensive for some people but not for corporate america.

I guess soon enough we'll see that Google's monopolistic search results on the other search engines decrease in the coming months....supply and demand people...less demand for Google searches b/c of relevance equals less demand for Yahoo searches etal. So, hopefully Yahoo will use someone else.......fingers crossed....thank goodness

PS - maybe if I put some keywords in here it'll come up now. Yup, our search terms come up in forums, web classified ads that have expired...ho hum..

BuoyBoy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 12:13 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Good point. Most commercial sites will have the most accurate scoop on a product. Many times as in our case when it is a contracted product line the dealers site is the only place for accurate info. The info sites are mostly linked to people hustling knockoffs. With inferior content as well. So if google is looking for "ACCURATE INFO" then that will require commercial sites. Maybe they should just enlarge their staff and start slamming the real spam and stop penalizing well themed authoritative sites. There are other Search Engines out there and Yahoo will be switching to INKTOMI soon and they still rank things normally. I am not going to change for Google. If they stay with this program then shopping people will just migrate away unless Google alows both commercial and non commercial searches in a recognizeable manor on their search page. The thing is are the results all that good even for well themed info sites. I dont think so. Just a bunch of spammy directories that will now be more than happy to fill up with adsense ads. 20 billion is a lot of money and it is money people driving things at this point. Sergie didnt buy all those datacenters and payroll with his lunch money.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 2:02 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Good point. Most commercial sites will have the most accurate scoop on a product. Many times as in our case when it is a contracted product line the dealers site is the only place for accurate info. The info sites are mostly linked to people hustling knockoffs. With inferior content as well. So if google is looking for "ACCURATE INFO" then that will require commercial sites.

That hasn't been my experience. If I'm looking for information on Widgetco digital cameras, I'll find the best information on Widgetco.com's own Web site and review sites like Steve's Digicams and DP Review--not on a dealer or affiliate's product page (which is likely to be a duplicate of 100 or 1,000 other pages anyway). Similarly, if I'm trying to decide whether to spend my Paris vacation in the Hotel Whatsisse, I'm likely to find better information on the Hotel Whatsisse's own Web site or in a review at Frommer's or TRAVEL & LEISURE than on one of 1,000 affiliate pages that include a boilerplate blurb, a single stock photo, and a list of cribbed bullet points that say things like "Phones with modem jacks" and "Air conditioned."

Maybe your category is an exception, but in most of the consumer categories that I follow, there's very little useful information on commercial pages (unless you define "commercial" to mean the manufacturer's or importer's own Web site and not sell pages on e-commerce sites). I can think of a few exceptions, but not many.

Let's assume for the moment that you're right, and that commercial sites are cornucopias of useful information while most editorial and other so-called information sites consist of "inferior content." If Google were to split the index and let users choose between "information" and "buying" results, users would be able to peruse all those incredibly useful commercial pages without being distracted by inferior results from noncommercial sites. Wouldn't that be a good thing for users and for owners of commercial sites?

Global Wayne

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 2:42 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can't see what the fuss is about - in my industry the SERPs are better than ever - I find what I want all the time! To me G is cooking for my everyday use of search engines! I honestly don't bother with the others at all.

When the directory was full of crap and I complained GoogleGuy slipped me a sticky mail and asked what my complaint was about? It took 3 months for the algo to absorb the spammers trickery - but wham he has all but disappeared with his spam gateways and domains.

So to me G is still number one - still the broadest approach to content - whether it is shopping or info!

At the end of the day G rates content - how the content is dished up determins the outcome. If you try to burn G with spam you will be bitten though it may take 3 updates of the algo to do it...
Business is good if you have the info the customers are looking for.

/Wayne

skipfactor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 3:13 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>Business' have dropped, info sites are up...

>>>this is the only constant I have found

My business sites are logging right along, but my info sites (quality content & AdSense, no recips, but 6-months-old) have been temporarily flogged by Austin. Not many constants in process, just patience & hard work.

PS: 2 new business sites built on the quality and simplicity of the current fashions have been gobbled up & catapulted in record time.

rfgdxm1

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



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 3:50 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

>As a user, I have never used the word "buy" when looking for a place to buy something on the internet. When I type in "blue widgets", I expect to find sites that sell blue widgets. Maybe it's just me, but I doubt it.

And, what do you enter when you want information on blue widgets? The query is ambiguous. I hardly ever buy anything on the Internet, and that is true for almost everyone I know. Sure, on occasion they may search to buy something. However, 99%+ of all searches are for chocolate chip cookie recipes, info on music stars, etc. I suspect you are the exception to the rule.

>Note also that there are lots of site that do not have the word "buy" on their pages. So, how should I now tell Google that I want to buy rather than get information on a product? Should I type "blue widgets buy OR price OR $ OR purchase OR order"? Forget it! I'll use another search engine.

Simple. Froogle is --> way.

BuoyBoy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 3:51 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors wrote:
Let's assume for the moment that you're right, and that commercial sites are cornucopias of useful information while most editorial and other so-called information sites consist of "inferior content." If Google were to split the index and let users choose between "information" and "buying" results, users would be able to peruse all those incredibly useful commercial pages without being distracted by inferior results from noncommercial sites. Wouldn't that be a good thing for users and for owners of commercial sites?

That is what I suggested earlier. I will agree that there are bad commercial sites. But the current index is bringing up a lot of bad info sites soly on links and excluding commercial for the most part and I would hope that since they have made the move they will perfect it. And open a channel for the rest of us.

caveman

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



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 4:47 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Simple. Froogle is --> way.

Burrrp. Ooops, sorry. Indigestion. Just had a huge, disgusting, tasty burger for dinner tonight. :-)

401khelp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 5:39 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

As a user, I have never used the word "buy" when looking for a place to buy something on the internet. When I type in "blue widgets", I expect to find sites that sell blue widgets.

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.

metrostang

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 6:19 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

When I do a search to buy blue widgets, I enter blue widgets and expect to find sites selling them. If I want information on blue widgets, I search for blue widget reviews or for blue widget problems. If I want to know how to install one I search for installing blue widgets. At least it worked that way before.

I don't expect to find sites quoting a newspaper article about Mr. Blue injuring his widget or about Widget Motor Credit and their Blue Carpet Leasing. That's the quality of the searches I'm seeing now.

Whatever Google's goal was for the changes, I don't believe they have acheived it. I think what we are seeing is out of control unintended consequenses.

borisbaloney

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 6:25 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

In the end this is just another update thread extension, but I'll have a go anyway.

Does Google want an index that contains mainly informative pages at the top? IMO no. If they did they would have to implement the "I'm searching for ()information ()products" selection. Does Google still want the most relevant content - informational or commercial? Yes absolutely.

You cannot over-optimise with good relevant information on the page. As such no true OOP exists. IMO you can over-optimise without backing up your titles, descritions, and H1s, with non-SEOed looking through a bot's eyes paragraph text.

The combination SPAM filter / information promoting feature looks very effective from my seat.

~boris

1milehgh80210

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 21858 posted 6:30 am on Feb 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I hardly ever buy anything on the Internet, and that is true for almost everyone I know"

And e-bay had a billion in revenues in 2002 and google makes it$ money on Adwords.
Little piece of a big pie etc..

This 73 message thread spans 3 pages: 73 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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