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Google Replacing Natural Results with More Sponsored Results?
Where does it end?
BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:767414
 7:07 am on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I read an article about the introduction of additional sponsored results being displayed by Google. These include "Book Results", where for some searches Google offers a link to a book underneath the existing two sponsored results at the top of the page. Hmmmm ... that makes three sponsored results now and the natural results get pushed a bit further down the pecking order.

I also read that for some searches Google is embedding sponsored results within the natural results. I checked this out and I am not seeing it yet on Google.co.uk but it is definitely already there on Google.com. For some searches Google replaces three of the top ten natural results with sponsored results. The end result is that the first page of results consists of ...

S. sponsored
S. sponsored
1. natural
2. natural
3. natural
4. natural
5. natural
6. sponsored
7. sponsored
8. sponsored
9. natural
10.natural

So from the 12 results displayed in the listing five of these are sponsored, or if you like, 42%. The pressure to increase profit now seems to be forcing Google to interfere with the natural results. Could this be the start of a slippery slope?

 

dataguy




msg:767415
 7:03 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Could this be the start of a slippery slope?

Nope. The slippery slope started a long time ago. I think this is somewhere on the way down the slope.

Tropical Island




msg:767416
 7:19 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

As an AdWords advertiser I would love to see that type of configuration.

Whether it will ever reach our tourism type searches remains to be seen.

The big advantage to an AdWords ad is that it would make 3rd or 4th place position that much more important and would allow for lower bids.

julinho




msg:767417
 7:22 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google denies that those are paid listings.

[clickz.com...]

decaff




msg:767418
 7:24 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google just grabbing more traffic for their own revenue generation...following Yahoo's lead..(the masters at this)

jimbeetle




msg:767419
 7:42 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

According to Google's Matt Cutts' blog these are algorithmically generated search suggestions to enhance the UI, they are not adwords or any other type of paid listings.

It's simply one of those UI tests that Google does every once in awhile. I think this test was first noted about three weeks ago.

<added>Looks like defanjos pushed the button first.</added>

reseller




msg:767420
 8:55 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess Google is heading in the direction of generating serps where less than 40% of each serp is covered by organic listings and the rest 60+%will be covered by various kind of listings (ads) for generating revenues.

Accordingly, the current testing might be to measure the searchers behavior and their tolerance of the maximum number of ads per a serp.

WebFusion




msg:767421
 10:43 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think most people realize the pressure google now has to increase revenue each and every quarter. Think about it....as far as "traditional" search reach, they've peaked long ago (and if anyone does hundreds of searches a day from their mobile phone, I'll eat my hat. I tried it for 5 minutes and almost went blind).

So....how do you expect google to continue to increase profits each quarter? Unless they pull a profit-producing rabbit out of a hat (and soon) the ONLY way to do it ( in the short term) is to put more adwords advertisers in front of more searchers. The only way to do that (at least in the short term) is to increase the number of paid ads on the page (already being done), and to decrease the number of free serps (IMHO - in the works).

Frankly, I wish they would just turn froogle into their own little affiliate-driven search engine. I can;t imagine the look of glee our affiliate manager would have if he got a call from google asking to join our program (cmon google, we pay 20% lifetime commissions! ;-)

If google would just stop investing in some of it's cute little non-profit scinece projects, and start acquiring some companies that actually bring some revenue to the table, maybe they could keep their core product (search) from having to carry the whole company. Here's a hint - buying companie that make cool products and then giving everything away from free DOES NOT increase your income.

europeforvisitors




msg:767422
 12:22 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Reseller and WebFusion, did you even read Max Cutts's explanation before posting?

WebFusion




msg:767423
 12:49 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Reseller and WebFusion, did you even read Max Cutts's explanation before posting?

Sure....but I don't think we can take things at face value these days from Google (not questioning anyone's integrity, but they do tend to "spin" things advantageuous to their bottom line as also advantageous to the users/webmasters - their recent adwords "upgrades" is a good case in point).

reseller




msg:767424
 5:38 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors

>>Reseller and WebFusion, did you even read Max Cutts's explanation before posting?<<

Matt Cutts is the name, not Max Cutts ;-)

Yes I read what Matt wrote and also read what Kevin Lee, executive chairman and co-founder of Did-It, said in ClickZ article. Google is testing and tracking!

The folks of Google keep introducing different testings and beta-products under different names and motives mostly "improvement of search".
Unfortunately what we see and read on our forums here and else where nothing less than attempts from Google to generate more revenues and collecting data while search quality dropped.

Even you UFV (with all due respect) whom always defend Google blindly canīt deny that ;-)

Chris_R




msg:767425
 6:08 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

They are not sponsored links - this is ridiculous.

Google DOES NOT HAVE to do this to make money. people have been making the Google is going to have to go evil on us excuse for years. After 7 years - and one full one as a public company - they still have less ads than any other major search engine. They have the most clearly defined ads of any search engine. They also have been making a ton of money.

The article has no proof whatsoever that these are commercial. I have done tons of searches to find example of inline revisions and THEY ARE NOT commercial.

It says:

"Levin claims the re-directs indicate the results are being tracked, but not with all the code that's used to track Ad Words placements. "So it is an experiment in AdWords relevancy that changes the current page rank approach," Levin hypothesizes."

How is that an experiment with Adwords relevancy?!?!

The code used to track them is the same type used to track the organic maps at the top test they have been running as well.

Google has been doing alot of testing lately. They have been adding a third line to the adwords at the top - now THAT is for commercial reasons.

reseller




msg:767426
 6:38 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Chris_R

Cīmon Chris you can do better ;-)

Are you telling us that Google is testing and tracking just for fun or just because Google engineers have nothing else to do?

Lets face it. Google is testing to explore the possibilities to generate more revenues from the ground of organic results in future. Its just a new business model. Thats all.

decaff




msg:767427
 6:55 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

"How is that an experiment with Adwords relevancy?!?!"..

Every tweak and algo test this summer from Google is all about testing the serps against adwords for enhancing and improving click thrus and revenue performance...you can bet that Google crunches this type of data very deep ... looking for new opps to continue to grow their quarterly profits to be invested in other business growth initiatives...

Surely many advertisers have noticed that Google has been tightening their editorial requirements in Adwords over the last year or so..this is to sharpen the distinction between the serps and the adwords display copy...this type of focus will drive more user to adwords because they answer the search query more immediately then do many of the organic serps listings (where the copy can't always be as precise)

Chris_R




msg:767428
 7:00 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google is testing to explore the possibilities to generate more revenues from the ground of organic results in future.

Have you even looked at these?

To do a TEST of what you are suggesting would require that google integrate adwords into the SERPs - not organic listings from a refined query. How in the world would this help them test putting adwords in positions 6,7, and 8? Any data from such a test would be useless for this purpose.

To use an example google gave - "mono" gives an inline revison for "mmononucleosis" - and the first three results for that query. So when you search you get

ADWORDS
Mono 1
Mono 2
Mono 3
Mono 4
Mono 5
Mononucleosis 1
Mononucleosis 2
Mononucleosis 3
Mono 6
Mono 7

Please explain how that would help them test integrating adwords into the organic SERPs?

reseller




msg:767429
 7:16 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Chris

>>Please explain how that would help them test integrating adwords into the organic SERPs? <<

I havenīt mentioned Adwords, but testing and tracking in an attempt to generating revenues out of the ground of organic listings. And there are several possibilities for that.

For example Premium Listings for Maximising Exposure that we know from several directories.

And to follow your own example, here how it might look like:

ADWORDS
Mono 1
Mono 2
Mono 3
Mono 4
Mono 5
Premium Listing 1
Premium Listing 2
Premium Listing 3

Mono 6
Mono 7

Thoughts?

Chris_R




msg:767430
 7:26 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>Thoughts

They COULD (but wouldn't IMHO) do that.

However - in order for any type of test to be meaningful - they would have to actually put the results they wanted to test for in 6, 7, and 8. Google alreaddy knows what % 6,7, and 8 are clicked on. Putting a different set wouldn't help them test for adwords [or other types of money making listings] - as the titles would be different.

Also - they aren't marked as ads - which would changed the CTR as well.

None of the data they are collecting now could help them do what you are suggesting. The queries are in a place that would get very low CTR. It just doesn't seem to help them make more money if they put stuff there anyway.

I don't really see them putting ads there in the future. If they wanted to test that - they could, but nothing we have seen so far has suggested this is what they are doing.

I have noticed an what seems to me to be an abnormal number of refined queries for the term queried get revised to "query" + "magazine". However - if you try and reverse it and put in the first word of some popular magazines - it doesn't seem to work out that way.

I wonder where they are getting the data from to suggest the term + "magazine".

reseller




msg:767431
 7:48 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Chris

>>Putting a different set wouldn't help them test for adwords [or other types of money making listings] - as the titles would be different.<<

Trust me they can test several things that way, including how the public (including searchers, webmasters, news reporters etc.) reaction to such attempts

Found this thread which might be of interest in our current discussion.

"Only 18% of all Web Searchers Know when a Link is Advertisement"

[webmasterworld.com...]

Chris_R




msg:767432
 8:09 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Trust me they can test several things that way, including how the public (including searchers, webmasters, news reporters etc.) reaction to such attempts

That is not a test - that is a PR stunt. Using that line of reasoning - you could argue almost anything. They wouldn't even need trackers for that - but it helps the conspiracy to spread. The original article this thread about was misleading - and so far no one has provided anything other than typical google conspiracy theories to back it up.

I like the article you post to - especially this part:

92% of Web searchers say they are confident about their searching abilities.

Reminds me of these:

"One study found that 90% of the automobile drivers in Sweden rated themselves above-average drivers."

"In one study 82 percent of drivers considered themselves in the top 30 percent of their group in terms of safety. (In Sweden, not unsurprisingly, the percentage is much lower.)"
[efficientfrontier.com...]

Although I can't actually find the study. Maybe I shouldn't be as confident about my searching ability...

reseller




msg:767433
 8:44 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Chris_R

>>That is not a test - that is a PR stunt. Using that line of reasoning - you could argue almost anything. They wouldn't even need trackers for that - but it helps the conspiracy to spread.<<

So you are 100% sure that Google wouldnīt at anytime incorporate paid listings, ads or any revenue generating items within the organic listings.

Is that what you are trying to tell us, Chris ;-)

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:767434
 9:58 am on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

The article has no proof whatsoever that these are commercial. I have done tons of searches to find example of inline revisions and THEY ARE NOT commercial.

You are correct about this (for now) and I was not aware that Matt Cutts had spoken before I posted this. However, being a cynical ******* I can see no reason for this other than an experiment in how to generate more revenue. This is what Google are all about nowadays. They are a 100% commercial company and this is factored into just about everything they do. It's just plain silly to suggest otherwise. If this experiment is successful you will see ads embedded in the natural results.

Think about how valuable this would be to advertisers ... just think about it ;) This could be fully exploited under the guise of providing better results. They would effectively be inviting people to click the sponsored ads while making it look like an attempt to improve results. From Google's perspective this ingenious.

toddb




msg:767435
 1:18 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

It would be hard to do this all by computer so Google would have to charge at some point to help generate the new links. And then why not charge for it?

Bard




msg:767436
 6:21 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

When does a search engine cease to be a search engine?

A. When it serves it's own best interest disregarding the very definition of it's existence
B. When it devises new ways to make web sites pay to be found based on a traffic monoply of their own construct which the governement refuses to acknowledge
C. When they accept money as the "RELEVANCY" for every search result
D. All of the above

I'm just having fun...but seriously more organic listings nixed where does it end?

[edited by: Bard at 6:25 pm (utc) on Aug. 26, 2005]

europeforvisitors




msg:767437
 6:22 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts is the name, not Max Cutts ;-)

Yeah, I know. I'm getting old, so maybe I had a mental flashback to Max Headroom.

Even you UFV (with all due respect) whom always defend Google blindly canīt deny that ;-)

I don't always defend Google, blindly or otherwise. Looks like you're having memory problems, too. :-)

martinibuster




msg:767438
 6:26 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Most reasonable people can see the tin hats shining in the glare of the truth. Can we please save the gratuitous Google bashing for the Sunday tea party?

reseller




msg:767439
 6:53 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

martinibuster

>>Can we please save the gratuitous Google bashing for the Sunday tea party? <<

Whould you be kind to specify which post on this thread you consider as "Google bashing", Martin?

Thanks.

reseller




msg:767440
 6:55 pm on Aug 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors

>>Looks like you're having memory problems, too. :-)<<

Iīm getting old too, EFV ;-)

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