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Google accuracy
is google really accurate?
Cirilo007




msg:773321
 10:59 pm on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi folks,

Ok that title might be a little agitator but as a webmaster and google search user, there are several things that I think are really weird for the supposed "best search engine", or at least the most popular.

- Page Rank : absolutly no signification as it's updated every 3-4 months and does not reflect the quality of the page if not the backlinks that the webmaster has spent time creating (ok, PR is not only about backlinks, but still it's very important).

- number of results returned for a search : for example a search will return 50 000 000 results, then go to page 2, and you have only 20 000 000 remaining.

- link: function, that returns only a little percentage of the links - not accurate.

And I'll not start to talk about Big Daddy results, where 404 pages and spammers are ranking better than websites with really good content.

Let me know your thoughts!

 

BigDave




msg:773322
 11:54 pm on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow, your bullet points are all things that annoy webmasters, and don't mean a damn thing to joe surfer.

I really love this bit "if not the backlinks that the webmaster has spent time creating". Isn't it supposed to be more about backlinks that others create?

trimmer80




msg:773323
 11:59 pm on Feb 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Page Rank : absolutly no signification as it's updated every 3-4 months and does not reflect the quality of the page if not the backlinks that the webmaster has spent time creating (ok, PR is not only about backlinks, but still it's very important).

I don't agree with this statement.
1. PR is only about backlinks
2. PR is updated constantly. The toolbar (visible PR) is updated only 3-4 months but the backlinks will impact the rankings.

Cirilo007




msg:773324
 1:11 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Trimmer,

Then why Google would not update the "visible" PageRank on a daily or even weekly basis? What is the advantage of that? Would that be a technical difficulty that google could not handle, or something they don't want to do?

As for the "backlinks created by the webmaster", I was referring to link exchange campaign. I don't have the chance to manage big authority websites or very original websites to get "natural" links, and link exchange is the only solution for me. In that sense I, the webmaster, create those links.

My only question is why google is displaying non-accurate information?

Stujoe




msg:773325
 1:26 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Page Rank and Link...Why would Google want them to be totally accurate and give the optimizers more ways to see if their methods are working? There is probably a method to that 'inaccuracy'.

Number of results...Insiginificant numbers game to me. You are never going to see result 20,000,000 let alone result 50,000,000. In fact, if they are doing their job right, the user will never get to page 2 to see that 50,000,000 number in teh first place. I know I don't click page 2 very often as a searcher.

trimmer80




msg:773326
 2:05 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google accuracy for the link:, toolbar pr, and number of results is of no consequence to the end user. They care about results.

Giving webmasters too much data (eg. accurate PR and link: results) allows their algo to be reverse engineered with more ease.

oodlum




msg:773327
 2:20 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow, your bullet points are all things that annoy webmasters, and don't mean a damn thing to joe surfer.

PR is updated constantly. The toolbar (visible PR) is updated only 3-4 months

The Google toolbar is used mainly by webmasters, but not not exclusively.

The toolbar tells everyone "PageRank is Google's measure of the importance of this page", so to intentionally tell users that they consider a page of (0) ZERO importance when they have actually calculated a PR of 5 is misleading - if not outright libellous, and is certainly as "evil" as sneaky redirects and all the other things on... (cue thunder and lightening and Matt Cutts with a beard & robe) Google's 10 Commandments .

Ditto backlinks - a misleading and potentially damaging indicator of a site's worth.

My only question is why google is displaying non-accurate information?

To obfuscate the data to stop webmasters from manipulating the results. IMO they should just dump these features rather than giving the public deliberately false information about other web sites.

Let's say a popular blogger sees my site and decides to mention it in her next post. Hundered of visitors would have looked at my site, they might have told a few people, given me a link hear and there. "But wait a minute! Google says this page is worth ZERO", she thinks, "It might be shady. I guess I won't link to it after all".

or how about someone looking for a new web design company (or any business, for that matter)? Say they find a business online, the business has been around for 10 years and has a home page with a PR8, but the customer happens to land on an internal page that is only four months old and has a visible PR0. "Whoa" says Joe (who know just enough about PR to think that what he sees is accurate, up-to-date and trustworthy), these guys haven't been around long. I won't go with them".

The way Google deliberately spreads false information about companies and individuals is totally malicious. Kind of like a private investigator that discovers the guy's wife is NOT having an affair but tells all his colleages and a few friend that she is.

oodlum




msg:773328
 2:56 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google accuracy for the link:, toolbar pr, and number of results is of no consequence to the end user. They care about results.

Which would be fine if search results were determined by on-page factors alone. Point is, those results the end user cares about are influenced directly and significantly by the visible PR and backlinks. If there is a perception that a site is unimportant or is not linked to very often (even though G know otherwise), other sites are less inclined to link to it, which in turn will influence the search results.

CainIV




msg:773329
 3:41 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

The toolbar tells everyone "PageRank is Google's measure of the importance of this page", so to intentionally tell users that they consider a page of (0) ZERO importance when they have actually calculated a PR of 5 is misleading - if not outright libellous, and is certainly as "evil" as sneaky redirects and all the other things on

Not at all. The tbpr is actively labelled as entertainment by Google. The fact that 1 million webmasters hopelessly hold onto some promise of it assisting them in ther endeavours is their issue IMHO.

I have never once heard of a visitor not bookmark, or visit a site because of pr. Most users simply dont use it. It is transparent the end user as are link: functions.

Do a survey and you would find the same thing - users do not care about tbpr. In fact they care nothing about sites are evaluated, only that the information they seek is presented when they search for it in a timely fashion.

People don't look at other peoples link results to determine whether to link to them. They simply link if the content interests them.

While links and internal are relevant factors to ranking in google, there would be 0 advantage to showing updated TBPR to visitors. for this very reason, and reasons of manipulation by webmasters, backlinks and TBPR are not shown.

oodlum




msg:773330
 6:19 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

for this very reason, and reasons of manipulation by webmasters, backlinks and TBPR are not shown.

They are shown, but with false information. I'm my opinion they should not be shown at all.

I have never once heard of a visitor not bookmark, or visit a site because of pr. Most users simply dont use it. It is transparent the end user as are link: functions.

Do a survey and you would find the same thing - users do not care about tbpr.

Maybe, but webmasters do care about it, and this in turn skews linking patterns and therefore the natural search results (which was always a fundamental flaw of PageRank). Visible PR can also seriously effect a user's perception of the site's value (and of course webmasters are end-users too).

One of my sites has a new-ish section that displays members' profiles and allows them to include a link to their portfolios. As the section was new, it existed without visible PR for months and the member list grew slowly but steadily and predictably. Then, after the last PR update when the page started showing PR5, KAPOW! Members started pouring in. These were photographers, not SEOs.

CainIV




msg:773331
 6:29 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Of course it does affect webmasters and their linking patterns, you are correct there.

However, it does not affect visitors as very few ever check a site toolbar in order to know whether to return or initial visit a site.

The example you have given regarding toolbar (pr5) probably coincided with a natural link update at that time, or changed Serp's for that page(internal pr)

Toolbar pr does not bring the average joe to your site. To confirm this, simply set up a comments form asking the average user whether they look at or know what pagerank is.

colin_h




msg:773332
 7:58 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

.... "The Google toolbar is used mainly by webmasters, but not not exclusively" ....

I would go a little further and say that Google is used mainly (i.e. +50%) by people / bots involved in website creation. I think that Google has become the biggest by allowing the webmasters in, giving them a sense of power and letting them boast to their clients that they can get "top listings".

When I look at my log files, I see 75% of Google hits coming from web industry related sources. By this, I mean the Webmasters checking their competition, the clients checking their position and competitors and robots that use google to build link pages to make their sites look full of content. Only 25% of Google hits read as though they came from real people (i.e. "cheapest deals on widget in widget town" or "I need a widget repairer fast"). Only 1.5% of my Google visitors end up at my Orders page.

Yahoo, MSN & even AOL leads seem to be supplying a far higher return per hit (In yahoo's case 16% of yesterdays yahoo hits left via my order completion page).

Google has become a swamp, infested with cheats ... It's about time they cleaned up their serps. Get rid of the Web-Wasters and the Page Boosters and aim at becoming "The Best" rather than just "The Biggest".

All the Best

Col :-)

jomaxx




msg:773333
 8:06 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

The PR complaint is a tempest in a teapot, IMO. The PR of a page usually changes very slowly, so just because it's not up-to-the-minute is not a big deal. Also the fact that the estimated number of search results may not be accurate is of no real consequence.

I do get annoyed at the fact that the link: command appears to be deliberately crippled. I don't see how it would kill them to give a complete and correct response to that.

cahbaxter




msg:773334
 11:56 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

One of my sites has a new-ish section that displays members' profiles and allows them to include a link to their portfolios. As the section was new, it existed without visible PR for months and the member list grew slowly but steadily and predictably. Then, after the last PR update when the page started showing PR5, KAPOW! Members started pouring in. These were photographers, not SEOs.

Google updataed, your PR increased, your traffic increased and hence the number of subscribers increased. Am I missing anything? I don't see anything strange about your number of subscribers increase with your traffic, or did the proportion of subscribers increase when your PR showed 5 instead of 0?

oodlum




msg:773335
 12:19 am on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

It was an update to the toolbar PR only, not my true PR. My traffic didn't increase at that time, just the number of subscribers. Presumably they now value the link on their profile. Toolbar PR is influential one way or another, so it should either be accurate or removed completely.

CainIV I totally agree that Joe Surfer doesn't know or care what PageRank is, but as you say it does affect webmasters and their linking patterns. I'm saying that this, in turn, affects the free results and around it goes. But that part of it is an old argument. I'm off to the cricket!

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