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G traffic dropping
metrostang




msg:116449
 3:56 pm on Jul 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is Google losing it's battle with the other search engines? I'm seeing serious shifts in where my traffic originates. Below is a summary of the trends on my site. Has anyone else seen this? I saw recently where Bill Gates said we would see a change in the MSN search starting in July. Are we seeing the results?

Six months ago Google provided 80% of my traffic and sales, two months ago it had dropped to 40% Google and 40% Yahoo. Last month it was 35% Google and 45% Yahoo with MSN ranking behind some of my on pages with 10%.

This past week, google took a severe drop with MSN increasing until yesterday when MSN passed Google in referrals. It's now Yahoo 35%, MSN 30%, Google 20%.

Sales have remained steady during the month with an upward trend this week. Is this particular to my site or sector or are others seeing the same shift? In the past I've optomized for Google, looks like I might need to change tactics.

 

europeforvisitors




msg:116509
 6:29 pm on Jul 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Simple anchor text reciprocal links, shopping carts, etc. can not be used universal without making too many mistakes as a factor in seperating commercial and non commercaial pages.

Nobody's suggesting that any single factor should be used to distinguish between "commercial" and "non-commercial." Google isn't noted for simple-minded solutions; it uses algorithms that are based on statistical studies of large data samples. I have little doubt that Google could distinguish between commercial and non-commercial pages according to its own definition of each if it chose to do so.

Furthermore, it wouldn't even have to deliver completely separate results for commercial and non-commercial searches. It could simply weight a given set of search results more heavily toward "commercial" or "non-commercial" based on the user's input. If the user selected I WANT INFORMATION ON [widgets], non-commercial pages (as defined by Google) would rise to the top. If the user selected I WANT TO BUY [widgets], commercial results would be listed first.

BigDave




msg:116510
 6:34 pm on Jul 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

There is no reason to separate commercial and non-commercial, unless the searcher specifically asks for one or the other, and I hope that they never implement that in the general search.

The best source for sea kayaking safety information are the shops and schools that are run by those that literally wrote the book on it.

The best source I found last week for implementing a circuit to turn on a blower given various environmental triggers was on a vendor's website.

The best online source I have found for nutritional information, both good and bad, of both suppliments and food items is an online suppliment store. And much of this information is on their very commercial (with shopping cart) pages.

Not surprisingly, as a webmaster of a review site, I think that the searcher who is looking to buy is well served by having reviews, news items and advisories come up mixed in with the where to buy results.

If someone wants to visit someplace they read about in an old National Geographic, wouldn't it be a good thing for at state department advisory about the civil war there to pop up while they are shopping for plane tickets?

europeforvisitors




msg:116511
 7:24 pm on Jul 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I hope that they never implement that in the general search.

Will the "general search" even be around in a few years? I wonder. There comes a point where an index that's filtered only by keyword becomes hugely inefficient. That tipping point has already been reached for some types of searches.

IMHO, Froogle and Google News are just hints of the search segmentation that we'll see in the future.

Delivering relevant search results for keywords is only half the battle. Delivering relevant search results for the user is what will determine who wins the search wars.

markus007




msg:116512
 5:19 pm on Jul 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

didn't the latest hitwise study say that google gained traffic since march, and both yahoo and msn declined?

robotsdobetter




msg:116513
 7:35 pm on Jul 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I really don't think they ever will be able to tell commercial from information (And defiantly not in three years!), sure they will find some, but they still haven't stopped spam, alone try to tell the difference between commercial and information.

I think it would hurt both webmasters and the search engines to make such a move, why do you think I and so many others got advertisment (Adsense, etc) to products on my/there information sites.

Far as traffic goes Google is still the king for me with 57%, AOL with 3%, Yahoo! with 18% and MSN with 20%.

europeforvisitors




msg:116514
 7:58 pm on Jul 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think it would hurt both webmasters and the search engines to make such a move, why do you think I and so many other got advertisment (Adsense, etc) to products on there information sites.

An information site doesn't become "commercial" (in the generally understood meaning of the term) just because it has advertisements or affiliate links--just as a "commercial" site doesn't become an information or "content" site just because it has information.

And again, Google doesn't have to place sites (or, more appropriately, pages) into one category or the other. It can simply weight a page toward the "information" or "commercial" side of the equation and use that weighting to influence SERP placement for an "information" or "commercial" search.

For example:

1) A camera review at S****'s Digicams would be weighted toward "information" even though it conceivably could have an affiliate link. If a user searched for "I want information on...", the review would tend to rank higher than a catalog page for that camera at XYZ Photo Supply (assuming that all other factors were equal).

2) A catalog page for the same camera at XYZ Photo Supply would be weighted toward "commercial" even though it would include some information about the camera. If a user searched for "I want to buy...", the XYZ Photo Supply catalog page would tend to rank higher than a S****'s Digicams review of the same camera (assuming that all other factors were equal).

It shouldn't be that hard for Google to assign an "information" weighting to S****'s Digicams pages and a "commercial" weighting to XYZ Photo Supply pages, for two reasons:

- Commercial pages tend to have certain layout patterns, shopping-related words, shopping carts, order buttons, the use of boilerplate copy, etc. All Google needs to do is determine the statistical probability that certain factors or combinations of factors = "commercial" and weight the results accordingly. (Note that this isn't a slam at commercial pages; we're talking about whether a page is commercial, not whether it's spam.)

- If a Webmaster wants his e-commerce pages to rank high in commercial searches, it's in his interest not to disguise the commercial nature of those pages. And if he creates information pages in the hope of ranking high on information searches, what's wrong with that? The important thing is to make it easy for information searchers to find information, and for shoppers to find shopping pages.

vbjaeger




msg:116515
 8:47 pm on Jul 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

while Google is returning relevent results optimized for the person searching.

That statement is absurd IMO. Google is returning big money web sites, it has nothing to do with optimization, it has everthing to do with money and who can buy PR, and important links.

What's absurd about it? Right now Yahoo is returning sites based on the closest domain match. Period. If there is no domain that matches the search phrase, it looks for the closest match.

Google is taking into account the popularity of the site and the on-page content.

As a searcher, that is what I want.

loanuniverse




msg:116516
 10:06 pm on Jul 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think that the number of Google referrals {drop or increase} varies from site to site. My own site's traffic has continued to increase and looking at the number of Yahoo and MSN referrals for the first ten days of July I thought that maybe I was getting more from other engines than Google finally, but when I ran the numbers in the spreadsheet I was surprised to find Google sending me 65% of all SE traffic, when before it was on the high 50s.

robotsdobetter




msg:116517
 10:25 pm on Jul 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Europeforvisitors I was not trying say that they should put it into categories. What I am trying to say is most information type of sites make money off of advertisement and that advertisement is to sites that sale products that are related to their info site. The point I am trying to make is this could really hurt information type sites.

Let's say I am searching to buy a game and I go to site that tells me a little something about the game and provides a link or banner to a store that I can buy it.

Or let's say I am thinking about buying a game, so I type the game's title in, how is Google going to know if I want to buy it or not? I know users can put something like information for game ***** or cheapest price for game ****, but how do the search engine figure out what I want for something like that? Search engines don't need to start deciding if I want to buy or not!

I really don't think the search engines can get this right because they still can't beat spam, so how do you expect them to figure out what's a store and what's information? That's what bugs me and if they can get it right I am all for it, but I just don't see that happening in the near future. We still don't have that great of an understanding of sorting this web data out yet and it's going to take years before we can create such a program (If we can) that is capable of doing this the correct way.

europeforvisitors




msg:116518
 1:09 am on Jul 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

The point I am trying to make is this could really hurt information type sites.

No, it wouldn't. See my previous explanation, or consider these examples:

NYTimes.com article with ads and affiliate links = an "information" page.

A BestBuy.com or REI.com sell page with product information = a "commercial" page.

The differences aren't all that subtle, and even if they were, I'm talking about weighting pages toward "information" or "commercial," not placing them in separate indexes.

how do the search engine figure out what I want for something like that? Search engines don't need to start deciding if I want to buy or not!

They wouldn't. You'd indicate your preference by using the "I want information on:" or "I want to buy:" field, or by clicking one of two search buttons.

If you chose "I want information on:," the results would be weighted toward information, so that reviews, manufacturer pages, tourist-office sites, etc. wouldn't be mixed in with a jumble of affiliate and e-commerce pages in the first few pages of results.

If you chose "I want to buy:," the results would be weighted toward the commercial, so that affiliate and e-commerce pages wouldn't be mixed in with a jumble of reviews, manufacturer pages, tourist-office sites, etc. in the first few pages of results.

Right now, trying to find something in Google is using The Magazine Index at the library and finding Yellow Pages ads mixed in with the article listings--or like picking up a catalog and finding article listings mixed in with the product blurbs.

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