Just tried that search and it look OK - if not excellent to me for the search terms I used.
|Nothing wrong with having customer/user reviews and this is often very good and relevant content (to the books/product). |
True, and agreed. But you would think, given their huge resources, that they could afford expert comment on their products. I've written a few reviews for them myself, but I might have written a lot of nonsense*. I still stand by the main point - their pages don't have sufficient content to justify their dominance of the Google serps.
(*o.k., .. here it comes, "Dear Synth, judging by the quality of your posts on these forums we have to agree...:)
[edited by: SyntheticUpper at 3:27 pm (utc) on Mar. 12, 2004]
This Amazon debate is pretty weird. Sure, if people wanted a book on widgets they might type "widgets book," but if people wanted to buy a widget they might type "buy widgets," too. If you're going to argue the top returns for a "widgets" search ought to be websites with free informative content about widgets, that's one thing, but why argue that your shop selling widgets ought to come up above Amazon's shop selling widget books? A searcher may not have known that a perfectly targeted book on that topic existed, so maybe he wouldn't have thought about searching Amazon for it.
Seems to me there is a lot of truly worthless spam, content-free sites, duplicate and poorly matched search results we could be worrying about before getting our undies in a bunch about a couple of Amazon, Weather Underground, and directory results that actually contain information and products some searchers might be interested in. If Google gets the garbage ironed out none of us are even going to notice the stuff we're spending so much time complaining about. Honestly, if someone isn't interested in a book, it will take them half a second to skim past the Amazon listing to the widget-selling site underneath it. You'll have lost nothing. It would be a much bigger problem for you if there were 20 mirror sites of a spammy competitor ahead of you.
But what is the point of an Internet search that leads you to the title of a book that may, or may not, contain the information you are searching for, and whose *content* is not obtainable at the time of the search?
If you want more detailed arguments, please send me $50 and buy my book on the subject :)
You seem to miss the point of ‘TRUST’ in outcome for your mother’s sake, no doubt purposely. I used Dallas as a factionary city example of a real-world call from your MOM. The point is, what engine would you trust when your mom's life depended on it? One that filters erratically (best local doctor probably blocked) or one that does not filter.
Go ahead and tell me you would prefer the filter. I know you will, because there appear to be a few people on Google's payroll trolling message boards claiming how great the results are now. lol Maybe you don't work at Google, and maybe you just like to talk non-sense. Whatever...
|there appear to be a few people on Google's payroll trolling message boards claiming how great the results are |
Not being a conspiricist by nature, I've never been sure about this. But certainly, when FloridAustin was at its worst, and pumping out some of the silliest results imaginable (which has now effectively been admitted by Google) there remained a number of posters saying the results were great.
I could never figure this :)
Because they replaced others from the top spots!
|True, and agreed. But you would think, given their huge resources, that they could afford expert comment on their products. |
Who writes reviews? One who has bought the product and it made such a strong impression on her that she felt like spending a few minutes writing a review.
To buy the product, one has to be positively inclined towards that. To make an impression on you, either it was good as you expected it to be, or it was so bad that you want to tell the world about your experience. However, before you want to tell about your negative experiences, you realize that there company lawyers are quite powerful and Amazon will give out your personal info once threatened for defamation and so on. So, you keep quiet.
As, a result most reviews writen by users tend to be positive and even the negative ones are not that harsh. These reviews are like product endorsement and help in selling more products.
Expert reviews are somewhat better still they too have learnt that in order to survive they have to be generally positive with a few negative comments thrown in for authenticity. For example, if there is a movie by Steven Spielberg, a reviewer knows that a negative review by him will most likely result in lots of readers writing to the editor for his removal. Who wants that?
Most reviews on Amazon are worthless despite the good intentions of the people writing them.
|Expert reviews are somewhat better still they too have learnt that in order to survive they have to be generally positive with a few negative comments thrown in for authenticity. |
|Most reviews on Amazon are worthless despite the good intentions of the people writing them |
Most reviews of both kinds are helpful provided you are intelligent enough to understand where the reviewer is coming from.
As you say, expert reviews rarely slate anything that is popular, but they also shy away from praising anything where the content may give certain people offence. They also often regurgitate the publisher's hype, or even worse rework someone else's review. A professional review is a product to be sold, so caveat empor applies.
Amateur reviewers don't have that particular problem, and as long as you ignore the chaff the wheat can be very useful. For example, a thoughtful review on (say) a French grammer or a software manual by someone who has actually used it can be very helpful.
|However, before you want to tell about your negative experiences, you realize that there company lawyers are quite powerful and Amazon will give out your personal info once threatened for defamation and so on. So, you keep quiet. |
I doubt if many book buyers take that into consideration when reviewing a book. The only thing that puts me off reviewing is the fact that Amazon grabs the copyright.
I buy many books from Amazon, and I find the reviews indispensable. I buy from the UK site, so if there isn't a review there, I always take a look at the US site where there are usually more.
I'm biased, but as a book buyer I am happy to see Amazon entries in SERPS. :)
It's not the amazon listings in the searches that I object to, as long as they arent taking up 20 spots it shouldnt be a big deal.
I think the wider issues is that bringing back results from the "deep" web or whatever you want to call it is pointless and fruitless for the searcher.
Just think what would happen if you went down to your local river bed and dredged the whole thing up - sure you might come up with the odd piece of gold, but you would be left with a whole hell of a lot of muck to sort through to find it.
Sadly it is all about money now, and no amount of public relations from Google can help that. I wonder how many other webmasters (like us) still take adwords even though we are number 1 for at least 3 of our keyword searches? We benefit from being able to show different messages, adsense viewings and being able to quickly respond to the market with punchy and relevant text we just couldnt do through our web content and expect it to be included in Google.
Please Google, you are just tinkering with the machine now. Time to get serious before Yahoo and MSN do the Altavista on your ass :D
I am sorry, but can with either have a mod close this forum or get back to observations bases on analysis.
Clearly this looks to be an update. But this thread is not meant to discuss opinions on google's "intent", etc.
It would be better to start another forum--perhaps "conspiracy theories". Results seem to be fine in my competitive travel section. Amazon discussion is definetly valid--but posting messages to challenge google? Would you want to hang out here if you were google guy?
can we get back to topic?
and can we be fair in our critism of google. yahoo wants to charge you 30 cents a click to get spidered every 48 hours. google does this for free
I think that the 'conspiracy theories' are very on topic as they are theories as to why Google's results are getting so bad these days.
That is an integral part of any update thread, working out what has been added recently that has made the dramatic changes and Amazon is a clear example.
There's got to be some weight to what we're saying as a lot of my conspiracy posts are removed or never make it onto these forums. Anyone else had there conspiracy theories removed from here? (Starting a conspircay theory on conspiracy theories now ...)
[edited by: Marcia at 9:09 pm (utc) on Mar. 12, 2004]
[edit reason] Irrelevant, impertinent comment removed. [/edit]
I don't have a problem with conspiricy theories
but I do consider it rude to abuse GG
When did you find MSN rep on here or position tech etc. who many webmasters have equal if not more issues with
TIM and GG should be commended for being here
I would personally like GG to continue contributing to this forum so please remember to be at least civil
|TIM and GG should be commended for being here |
Well said. These guys are just doing their job to the best of their ability. It's important to remember that the problems we are having ARE NOT the fault of these two guys. In other words, we shouldn't punish the messenger when they are not the cause of our problems.
Every change in serps brings another round of foolish conspiracy theories that are completely discredited in due course, despite some fanatics nattering on and on about them long past the point of where therapy should be required.
Google is working to improve its results. Sometimes the algorithm succeeds in some ways while failing in others. What it always succeeds in is getting doomsday posts from a serial group of folks with less than 20 posts on this message board.
I think SteveB echoed my sentiment exactly. A general conspiracy theory is fine--but i get the feeling that a lot of talk is based on the "my site dropped, so google is dead" mentality.
Considering this is on their homepage "Searching 4,285,199,774 web pages" I feel people should resist be so centered on evaluating googles relevancy based on one site.
|Clearly this looks to be an update. But this thread is not meant to discuss opinions on google's "intent", etc. |
It isn't an update as such, and agreed, at best opinions on Google's "intent" can hardly be more than vacuous speculation.
|It would be better to start another forum--perhaps "conspiracy theories". |
That is exactly what people start blogs for, to have a personal platform to expound their own conspiracy theories. That way people have a choice to go there or not if they want to read them or not, rather than having to stumble over them as a captive audience, so to speak. ;)
|Amazon discussion is definetly valid-- |
Not so sure about that at this point in time. Seems like it's beating a dead horse ad nauseum 'til it's about pulverized.
|sorry, but can with either have a mod close this forum or get back to observations bases on analysis. |
Thank you, how about if we do just that. As far as Amazon is concerned - ho-hum, yawwnnnnn... - how about let's cut back on the noise level and restrict that to discussing what in the algo is causing those pages to rank. Then we'll all be happy. :)
>>"my site dropped, so google is dead" mentality
That's the thing. You don't see anyone saying all my sites have dropped. Conspiracy theorists obviously don't have enough sites under their management to see the big picture.
"Conspiracy theorists obviously don't have enough sites under their management to see the big picture."
Yes I do. How many web site in your 'expert' opinion is required to be allowed to express personal speculation on what may occur in the future with Google?
I think conspiracy theory is a very harsh term, personally I was just joking around with it (like I'm sure Marcia was joking when she called me 'impertinent'), I don't think Google is evil and I wouldn't be in these forums if I didn't want to continue a fruitful relationship with the Google search engine. All we have is speculation of what is to come, anyone that negates the motives behind various conspiracy theories (though I agree Amazon was beaten to death in here) 'obviously' has no feel for the way the internet works.
My gut feeling is that Google are working on a new program to add to the current facilities. Not just a new bot, and that recent bot problems, stale content etc. are due to attention being fixed on other upcoming programs. Face it, Google need to do something quick if they're going to steal back some media attention from Yahoo.
No way will they go Paid Inclusion though.
I think it is very relevant to question the results that are now appearing at the top of SERP. Its nothing to do with traffic dropping.
When a page that is no 1 for a competitive term has nothing but an image and the keyword in the title tag, then this is of grave concern.
Google has a lot of power and needs to be responsible for it. You put these results at no 1 and the spammer will catch on quick and the web will be full of these useless pages. Googles attempt to fight spam does great things for the internet. These new results do not.
I also note that the people that create these 'conspiracies' are the people that are open to new possibilities. If you are not then you are not going to last long in this industry.
|I am sorry, but can with either have a mod close this forum or get back to observations bases on analysis. |
Clearly this looks to be an update. But this thread is not meant to discuss opinions on google's "intent", etc.
I don't think this is an update, Googleguy said as much. Whatever it was, it appears to be over (or will be when the results move over to Aol etc).
I dont think Googleguy hangs out here to get slapped on the back every day, I think he hangs out here to get useful information as we all do. I value his presence and want it to continue.
But discussing the Google serps is what this forum is all about.
Well, a bunch of stuff changed after it all had pretty much been the same for a while. You can call that whatever you want, but I call it an update when that happens. :)
>>You can call that whatever you want, but I call it an update when that happens
Everyone is free to call SERP fluctuations whatever they want. However, GG made it pretty clear many posts ago that these recent changes shouldn't be considered a true update. That being the case, I don't think there is much left to discuss in this thread, so I think it's time to close this one down.
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