| 5:08 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
pele, FYI, tsunami is pronouced "SU 'NA ME" ... not "HEH NE PEH NE". Try to keep up. ;-)
When G does what it's doing right now to the SERP's, it bugs us for two reasons (basically the same reason twice):
1 -- On our two lone e-commerce sites (used to be one), conversions drop significantly, as they have been doing since last Friday when G started showing variations of these SERP's we're seeing now.
2 -- Our many info oriented sites show much higher abandon rates off of the landing pages. In other words, people are finding us for searches that don't very well match page content, so after they get a look at the page, they split.
Happens when G fiddles with adding too much of that semantic sauce, I believe, turning back to the direction of Florida/Austin...
| 5:18 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I concur. The conversions are down, and the traffic seems less focused than it was before this tweak.
I'm also seeing lots more 4 word key-phrases in my logs again. Things seem just like Florida/Austin in many ways, I want my brandy back.
| 5:23 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
It must not have reached the East Coast then because I'm not seeing so much as a splash yet.
If they ever update their cache to more recent info that's when I expect to see some sort of change, hopefully for the better!
They crawl and crawl and crawl but never seem to update the cached versions of the pages.
At one point I noticed a few cached pages had changed but then they reverted back to the old cache. Usually this happens when they are about to update them all but this time it just bombed out.
| 7:54 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I agree with everyone on the Amazon thing, but Google don't really have a choice.
Alexa use Google for their search and put Adsense on every page - Alexa are owned by Amazon - Google don't want to upset Amazon because of the large amounts of cash they are making from Alexa - therefore there will be no Amazon Filter.
For all those who are praising 'Saint Google' tell me that there is another reason why the perfect, non-corporate-greed Google would keep billions of Amazon listings clogging up the results?
| 9:25 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
When Amazon unveiled their new "search the book" feature I wondered what would happen with the search engine results. Maybe this is after an effect? Anyone know if the search engines are crawling the content of all the books on Amazon?
| 10:08 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
"why the perfect, non-corporate-greed Google would keep billions of Amazon listings clogging up the results?"
Um, because it's a massive domain... with topical content pages on endless subjects... with tens of thousands of anchor text and inbound links from other thematic pages?
Two pages from Amazon likely should rank in the top 100 for almost anything. IMO, seldom should they be in the top ten, but any search engine algorithm must rank Amazon pages fairly well for a whole lot of things.
| 11:55 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
No algo is perfect, and of course, with its huge number of backlinks, and huge number of pages you would expect Amazon to rank well.
But in the top 5 - on many searches?
Nyet - this is an embarassment - and an algo failure.
I've said it before: we search the Internet to obtain (almost) instant information - not to be given the option to buy a book on the subject. If I want a book, I go to a bookshop -or very often am#zon.co.uk.
Their domination of the Google serps isn't doing Google, or the web searcher, any favours at all. It just leads to frustration.
| 12:40 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
<<News sites floating up, edu's, gov's, and the other usual suspects associated with the horrid Florida/Austin debacle. As I feared. G can't seem to resist moving in that direction. >>
It's very odd - like an irresistable force driving them towards "authority" over relevance. It's interesting to observe which will be deemed "authority" when you own a large amount of sites or which will make it through "the cut". The net effect for us has been around zero through this all but I can't help but find the troubling direction G has chosen disturbing.
| 1:30 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|It's very odd - like an irresistable force driving them towards "authority" over relevance |
Nicely put - I think Google should open an academic bookstore - this is clearly what they really desire.
This will leave the rest of us to surf the web.
| 1:43 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
>Their domination of the Google serps isn't doing Google, or the web searcher, any favours at all. It just leads to frustration
nope just leads them onto other engines MSN traffic building nicely thank you :)
| 1:48 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
This is why, in a nihilistic way, I wish Google would put us all out of our misery and totally muck up their serps again Florida style.
Then we can all move on: stop our desperate tinkering with our perfectly clean sites, and see traffic from elsewhere.
So go ahead Google - throw us another wobbly algo, I'm keen to see you finished now.
[edited by: SyntheticUpper at 1:49 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2004]
| 1:49 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
After the brandy update i said that don't be to happy as I suspected the knob would be turned back after pubcon and SES they did not want negative pubcon webmasters
and all those who posted said no chance webmasters hold that much sway
surprise surprise what is happening now
| 2:23 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
although we are probably looking at different industries--mine in a competitive travel industry showing a further departure from florida.
| 2:31 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
>>Two pages from Amazon likely should rank in the top 100 for almost anything. IMO, seldom should they be in the top ten, but any search engine algorithm must rank Amazon pages fairly well for a whole lot of things.
steveb, not sure I'm with you on this one. Well actually I am sure; I'm not. ;-)
The frequent littering of G SERP's with Amz listings represents a choice on G's part. It didn't use to be that way. It was not even that way with those early Brandy SERP's that many of us thought we so sharp.
Sure, there's logic to their appearance, for the reasons you note. But there's little use to them, since 99.9% of surfers know about Amz already. These listings clutter the current SERP's and push down results that in all likelihood are more useful for the vast majority of searchers, who are not using G to look for bookseller pages. I'd feel no different if Walmart pages started appearing all over the SERP's. (Don't laugh folks.)
It would not be difficult for G to de-emphasize these Amz pages, and similar ones.
| 2:58 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I am going to have to disagree--any slight change in algo with have widespread effects.
I must agree with steve b on this one--it will be tough not to have supersites somewhat clutter the serps.
i feel that it is difficult to infer what google wants be looking at one corporate site success and link it to a higher motive.
despite their difficulties the last few months, google has shown me that are willing to take risks--wise or not-- to attempt to stay the most relevant search engine.
all speculation though--of course
| 3:31 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I have to disagree with you all ....
... my reason? Oh, I don't have one .... tell you what I'll go look one up on Google ....
.... couldn't find one .... I did however buy a book on on 'Disagreeing' from Amazzon ... ;)
|wifi on the fly|
| 3:38 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
The Amazon listings could easily be from more weight brought on by something that Google deems good for their results.
By them cranking 1 little mathematical change it could do what everyone is seeing. It doesn't take a lot of mathematics to change the entire board.
| 3:40 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
That reminds me of that Monty Python sketch on a room where you can pay for Arguments. When your time's up the argument stops.
BTW the reason I posted is that I have looked carefully for all this variability you are all seeing and I see nothing. Very stable results for the past few days on the datacenters I checked and for www and www2/3. I'm working from a Canadian base. Could that have something to do with all this?
| 3:40 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
G must have been given access to the Amazon database to crawl and be listed in the SERPs. Part of their effort maybe to include previously locked databases of the so-called "invisible web."
Well, Y has announced that they are working with Library of Congress to be given access to their database.
So with G, you have Amazon listings scattered in the SERPs. With Y, you'll soon have .gov and library books littering the SERPs. What next, ebay auction listings (oh yeah, G already has ebay store listings)
| 3:53 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
major jumping of serps in last hour-many new and similar data sets--looks like combinations of previous serps over the last few days--mixing bowl
| 4:37 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Ah, now. The 'if it ain't broke' adage.
I agree with it in principal but I don't think it can apply to search engines. Google HAS to keep switching the algorithm frequently even if it means bad results for a while. If they keep switching between different algorithms and constatly change the ranking factors then spammers will have to keep changing their spammy techniques.
I think Google is playing with webmasters rather than search results. If you've noticed, the number of 'What can I do to get ranked well in Google?' queries have dropped considerably since Florida. All we have now is speculation on what works because Google changes so frequently.
I expect that this will continue for another couple of months before Google will settle down and by that time, hopefully spammers will have turned their attention to Yahoo.
Does this 'conspiracy' hold weight do you think?
| 5:19 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|G must have been given access to the Amazon database to crawl and be listed in the SERPs. |
Most likely the case. Especially when you consider the complexity of the dynamic URLs that Amazon generates.
|Um, because it's a massive domain... with topical content pages on endless subjects... with tens of thousands of anchor text and inbound links from other thematic pages? |
Err, ever check the backlinks for many of Amazon's interior pages? Even the ones close to index page? Give it a try. (hint: no backlinks = no anchor text = no other thematic pages). Amazon is just a massive domain Google has partnered with.
| 5:27 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|Over the past couple of weeks I have seen stable, but different sets of SERPs that seem to reflect one that weights large sites with good internal link structure more highly (with good on topic pages, with Amazon near the top), and another that emphasizes authority sites (smaller, but with more incoming links from on topic sites, with Amazon down in the 10 or 20 position). |
It might be the case that Google sticks with 2 or 3 different, but stable algos, but alternate which results they post (like each data center having a specific algo -- or something).
I see the same thing, I have been speculating to myself that Google is working with algos in paralell and the SERP fluctuations we're seeing is from tweaking during the process of merging those results.
Maybe trying to strike the proper balance between commerce and info? In any event, I've been making good use of that 'Help us improve' link.
| 5:36 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
This 'update' (can we call it that?) just gets wierder and wierder.
I'm in the UK (for server reference) and after 7 weeks Google has finally freshened the data on my main page. (This is odd as it is normally updated every couple of days).
Stranger still is that although fresh tags seem to be appearing next to results again (9th and 10th of March) they are not appearing next to many sites that always showed fresh dates. Even most of Google's buddies at stanf#rd.edu's pages are not showing fresh tags.
The thing is though, there are now more fresh tags showing that over the past month so what do you guys think has been going on? I've already stated my theory of a new spider, anyone concur?
| 5:40 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I agree with that last post--I too have seen two different sets of serps, alternating on and off the main page every few hours. It's extremely odd.
However, both sets of serps look all right to me. They're clearly emphasizing different things, but I don't see a lot of spam in either one. It's just weird that it keeps fluctuating like that. Maybe they're going to blend the two together eventually, or maybe they've just decided it gives even exposure to all of the top-ranking websites to alternate them. (-:
And as for Amazon, I think it would be impossible for Google to get rid of those results without manually penalizing the amazon.com domain. It's a popular domain with thousands of non-duplicate pages each of which has unique content that changes every time a new joe-schmoe writes a review. I don't see how they could get those pages out of the serps, other than banning them (which wouldn't be appropriate as they're doing nothing wrong) or hugely overemphasizing backlink anchor text (which would replace them with lower-content spam).
Hopefully once they finish tuning this semantic stuff, the Amazon pages will naturally start showing up only for searches that are very relevant to them (the book title, the author's name, a phrase that's actually repeated on that page, etc.) That would be just fine as far as I'm concerned.
| 5:54 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I can't believe the beef over Amazon.
Its only 2 results out of thousands and quite properly Google is giving the surfer the option of finding a significant source for their enquiry.
Many surfers would possibly be interested in buying a book on the subject of their interest.
Get over it.
| 5:59 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
I don't buy this Amazon/Google conspiracy.
Amazon has the most incredible backlink network through its own affiliate programme, you just can't track it because it includes an affiliate i.d. which isn't present in the page you see on the site.
Everyone else's affiliate scheme points to a tradedoubler type organisation, who gets the benefit of the links, whilst Amazon, who pretty much invented the concept built their own and accidentally enjoyed the benefit of all that Google juice.
And when if comes to long urls, you will notice that although they are long, they are also free from the dreaded query '?'. Again an accident of home grown tech, in my opinion but has served them extremely well.
Amazon are there through sheer merit by every measure you care to through at it. IMHO anyway. You're just all jealous ;-)
| 6:51 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
|And when if comes to long urls, you will notice that although they are long, they are also free from the dreaded query '?' |
It's still dynamic. Just put a '?' in place of the last '/' and you get the same page. Anyway, Google can crawl pages with the '?' just fine.
|I don't buy this Amazon/Google conspiracy. |
Just because we're paranoid, it doesn't mean someone isn't out to get us. :)
Most of Amazon's result in the new Yahoo! are Yahoo!/Inktomi trusted feed results. Why wouldn't a behemoth like Amazon have something similar in Google - even if it is just a private datafeed? If I were Amazon, I would definitely approach Google with this; and if I were Google, I definitely would work something out.
Do I think Amazon would be paying directly for something like this? No. But there are other ways to compensate for this - such as a higher cut for Google on Amazon based AdWords ads.
Google can make more off of one Amazon than 10's of 1000's of little guys.
|You're just all jealous ;-) |
Not jealous. Just making some observations and assumptions.
| 7:05 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Is the majority of the web subject to SEO? No.
Does google spend its day asking how to scr*w SEO? No.
| 7:58 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
Google looks like they are finally adding new open directory results. Several of my clients directory descriptions are being added to their listings.
Maybe this is part of the reason why so many recent flucuations are taking place/
| 8:25 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)|
One big reason Amazon is where it is in the SERPS is due to their links from the Affiliate programs that they have.
On several searches I performed this morning and saw Amazon in the top-10 I did a back-link check on those pages, guess what 25-100 Affiliates for each page, almost no natural links.
My beef is that this is not a natural vote for Amazon since there is a monetary reward for the Affiliates to place these links. If G is so keen to discount purchased links that some here do & other artificial linking schemes, then why wouldn't G also want to discount Affiliate links?