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I see that the SERPs are showing no directory listings at all. Looks like the Google directory has effectively been dropped (or rather it's there, but only for people who make an effort to find it).
It's going to be interesting to see how Google plays the DMOZ link in their ranking algo from here out. Will it be cheaper to buy AdWords than to run a DMOZ listing campaign?
And, heh, whats that light grey text on the white background in the serp's upper right hand corner say? Hard for the eye to catch it, isn't it? Notice how it disappears entirely as soon as you scroll down a little.
Also, are Web Alerts new, or have I just not been paying attention?
If you looked at click-through on the tabs, categories at the top of search results and so on, I believe that the clickthrough on the Directory tab was lower than the other tabs. You can still reach the directory by clicking the "more>>" link, and the weight in scoring for ODP links hasn't changed, but in our UI experiments we have to trade off what different people use and try to show the most useful information that we can (insert reference to Edward Tufte here).
There will be healthy debate all over the web about why this font color got a little lighter or so forth, but after hearing about the amount of testing that went into this UI, I feel pretty confident that these changes are backed up with solid data.
joined:Feb 1, 2004
The double-whammy of removing the directory tab, and removing the category link from under individual sites, removes a valuable secondary source of data. It is a retrograde step from a search quality perspective.
The change in adwords format does indeed reduce the diferrential between relevance based on the algorithm, and placement by advertising. Another retrograde step in terms of search quality.
I really don't understand Google any more. There have been countless debates on here about the quality of the the actual search results for months now. The vast majority of people believe them to be worse than they were.
Now they have removed, or at least hidden, a secondary data source and enhanced the visual presence of adverts.
It is very very poor in my view, and I feel certain many vanilla users will feel the same way. Unless it has a short term beneficial effect on Google's own Adword income, I fail to see the logic.
The vast majority of people believe them to be worse than they were.
Oh, come on Zeberdee. Can we please skip phrases like "vast majority of people" and all the other hyperbole?
The people who've been complaining here on WebmasterWorld (mostly webmasters, by default) make up an infinitesimal percentage of Google's main audience, which consists not of webmasters, but of people that use Google to search.
When web stats start to show Google no longer rules in terms of things like "search hours" and other metrics, then maybe we can toss around terms like "vast majority of people."
What I'd love to see in this thread is more thoughts on the impact of the Froogle tab now being front and center on Google.com. What impact will it have on Joe Q. Public's search habits? Will more people now use that for shopping/product-related searches, rendering the placement of those types of listings in the main Google.com SERPs any less important or effective? It's only one little link, but this is a major change in what Google offers to the millions that use it every hour, every day. Shopping search is now formally separated from regular search. Will users follow the carrot and support the separation by making Froogle searches as common as Google searches?
Its going to be significant. I think that the CTR on the Froogle listings in the regular serps are not as high as one would expect, but now combined with the tab, I think we can expect traffic to increase substantially.
>Google.com SERPs any less important or effective?
No, but I think that having a result in the main serp along with an adword, and a Froogle listing gets you quite a bit of real estate on the page and can have the result of making you look "important" in the mind of the user.
Now everyone else who is not an SEO will see how having keywords in page names and urls means something to google.
So in essence, google is making it harder to optimize for search engine placement.
I am not sure whether this means that the ODP data is essentially omitted from the listings or whether the ODP data is used to add weight to the generic listings behind the scenes.
I must say I do like this new development though. If we could remove DMOZ completely from the generic listings and make it a special search then it would make my life more fun.
I've been made aware of certain DMOZ editors that offer up SEO services claiming expert knowledge in the field, when in fact all they are, are editors of a senior category.
Hopefully that's now over.
Of course ALL my sub-directories and page names are properly written with a capital first letter. :^(
The adwords design change really has had no affect on the influence of me clicking any of the ads. I mean, I still click them alot when searching.
BTW: We sell mostly food products.
Unfortunately, for those items I sell there is nothing returned from the Froogle search :(
If you do, please tell us if this increases traffic!
Not disguised. They are clearly marked as product search results and are seperated from the regular SERPS.
I go directly to google's home page. I choose not to use froogle so I do not select the froogle tab and enter my search term and hit enter. On the top are two sponsored links with a light blue background. On the right are eight sponsored links with a thin blue line to separate them from the search results. The froogle results are displayed at the top of the regular results with the same background color, same font, and no line separating it from the other results. To the typical user and not a senior member of WebmasterWorld this is designed to blend in with the regular results.