|Worthless results - has Google lost it?|
Real scenario. I was looking for a bulk toy or wholesale outlet in the UK so as to buy some small toys in bulk for our local school fete tombola stall.
Several searches of Google.co.uk returned nothing but worthless, deceiptful directories of supposed web sites (you all know the type), many of which were not in the UK. While I appreciate these sites are deceiving Google, I still question Google's value as a search engine in returning results for them.
I think you are describing the consequences of two factors affecting the quality of search.
First, spammers spend a lot of time, energy, and money finding ways to trick Google. I don't believe that it is possible for Google to exclude all spam, let alone to do so without eliminating huge numbers of legitimate websites. They're trying to strike a precarious balance.
Second, if we look at quality listings versus spam as an issue of signal-to-noise ratio, when you enter a particularly narrow or focused search, there's a lot less "signal" to be found. In a search that produces 3 million or more results of at least adequate quality, having 500 spam results would not ordinarily be particularly noticeable. If the search produces 100 adequate results, an additional 500 (or 100) spam results significantly limit its value. The situation worsens if there are ten adequate results, or five, or one or none. It may be possible to modify the algorithm to eliminate that spam, but such a modification could easily knock out the few sites relevant to the search.
Depending on the keywords Google can be excellent or total ****.
>>First, spammers spend a lot of time, energy, and money finding ways to trick Google.
My niche has about 10 sites targeted towards it - six spam, one borderline, and then mine and two others that actually provide helpful information.
Mine and the two others that actually write our own content, that have actual content a person can use to make a decision, that have quality links to and from other sites, have dropped to not even 10% of our pages being indexed.
Meanwhile the spammers are doing just fine.
Of course, those spam sites have high CTR as most of their "content" is worthless, and the few outbound links they have are affialite links.
Are we supposed to turn out sites into these spam sites, is that the way it's supposed to work? If so, I could easily save myself 30 hours a week on writing alone...
Ofcoarse, the date that Google lost it was when they change the algorithm on Dec 27th 2005.
Dec 27th was when trusted domain spam floated to the top of the serps and hasn't gone anywhere ever since.
Instead of the goal of creating an algorithm eliminating alot of spam Google has gone backwords by filling the serps with more spam and 404's than ever.
Trust rank = less relevancy and more hierarchy, the little guy is being squeezed out, allinanchor is dead.
[edited by: ulysee at 6:32 pm (utc) on May 19, 2006]
One very important thing I am hearing is people who know nothing of search are commenting on Google.
Today alone I heard,
I cannnot find my son's site anywhere
And got an email asking for information available on a page I once ranked number 1 for, now no longer in the index
Good bye internet searches / Google, back to local yellow pages.
The upshot of the latest google update, is that if you are an accomplished spammer, you are unaffected.
If you internet marketing by operating a transparent network of sites linking to your commercial sites, you are largely unnafected,
Many of your competitors will have recently tnaked unless they are doing this.
The truth is, the latest google changes play into the hands of the accomplished spammer, its the google user and now bamboozled site owners that are effected.
Personally, I don;t give a #*$!, I'm a player, but do i think the results google are showing are better?
It is making things harder for my white hat sites of course which is kind of crap.