homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.237.213.31
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 74 message thread spans 3 pages: 74 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Is Google trying to provide quality SERPs?
How motivated is G to provide the best results
arieng

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 10:06 pm on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been following the NoFollow topics over the past week or so and am quite surpised at how wide the opinions range on the topic (and how vehement everyone can be in defending their opinions). This has brought back a question that's been nagging at me for months that I can't begin to answer. Thought I'd throw it out there:

How committed it Google to providing the best, most relevant SERPS it possibly can?

Here's a little background on how I started asking myself this question. I spend a lot of time and money on AdWords. Many months ago, a colleague told me that AdWords was in for a bunch of trouble because the relevance and quality of ads was so poor (this was the height of MFA sites). He said that Google users were subconsciously training themselves to avoid AdWords ads and focus on organic results. Seemed to make a bit of sense, and his opinion was validated when Google expanded its AdWords quality component.

As I see it, it has worked. AdWords ads are much better than they were 6 months ago, and my CTRs and conversions have improved as well.

What I haven't seen is a corresponding improvement to the quality of organic results. I believe it must be harder for Google on the organic side, but I'm also beginning to wonder about their motivation. Are they really TRYING to rank the most relevant sites on the net?

I have always had a lot of faith in Google, but it starts to waiver when I see them doing other questionable things to increase revenue (changing AdWords background color to be less discernable from organic listing, prodding publishers to make their AdSense less discernable from content).

Could Google intentionally be creating SERPs that are just good enough to bring users back for their next search, but not as good or as relevant as AdWords?

 

Stefan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 3:03 am on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

How committed it Google to providing the best, most relevant SERPS it possibly can?

I don't think they care in the slightest. They're a large, fat-cat company that apparently can't have a large enough pile of money to squat on, and the entire focus is advertising.

Of course, even though Google serps aren't particularly great, they're no worse than the other money-grubbing parasites involved. But they do bear responsibility for creating MFA's, which caused an incredible dilution of genuine content, and because of that, I think you could make a good argument that Google has been the worst thing that ever happened to the internet.

reseller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 7:28 am on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is Google trying to provide quality SERPs?

No doubt about that. The latest efforts to combat paid links spam is for sure an honest attempt to improve the quality of serps.

The folks at the plex know for sure that decline in the search quality will be followed by decline in number of people using GOOG, and accordingly a decline in advertising revenues.

itravelvietnam

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 10:06 am on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

So, in my opinion, Google's result would be more quality only when its Algo was kept as secret as possible.

"Have other relevant sites link to yours." - Are Google guidelines paving the way for spam link building.

reseller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 10:35 am on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

itravelvietnam

"Have other relevant sites link to yours." - Are Google guidelines paving the way for spam link building.

Not at all. Here are few tips from Matt Cutts on how to aquire links without spamming

SEO Advice: linkbait and linkbaiting [mattcutts.com]

claus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 11:00 am on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

You have a valid point. Google as a company has no financial interest in delivering the best SERPS. Googles main focus is advertising. Economically speaking it is an advertising agency, the largest one around.

Delivering good, or best, SERPS costs money. It does not add to the bottom line.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 1:27 pm on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

You have a valid point. Google as a company has no financial interest in delivering the best SERPS. Googles main focus is advertising. Economically speaking it is an advertising agency, the largest one around.

Delivering good, or best, SERPS costs money. It does not add to the bottom line.

According to that logic, Brett Tabke is running a conference company, so it isn't in his interest to have a successful forum. Webmaster World should be crippled with software glitches, limitations to make threads less useful, and suggestions by moderators like "This thread is locked, but why don't you ask that question at the next Pubcon in Las Vegas?"

But Brett isn't stupid, and neither are the people who run Google. The Googlers know that search is their core product (and their most profitable product, since they don't have to share revenues with partners), so they do the best they can to provide excellent search results despite a constant onslaught of scummy SEO tricks, computer-generated junk pages, boilerplate duplicate content, etc. By keeping their users satisfied, they generate repeat traffic and positive word of mouth that results in more advertising impressions and clicks. They're like a radio or TV station: They prosper by attracting viewers. And they know that, if viewers don't like the shows, those viewers will go somewhere else.

hutcheson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 2:17 pm on Apr 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

>But they do bear responsibility for creating MFA's, which caused an incredible dilution of genuine content,

You're new on the internet, aren't you? I'm old enough to remember the internet before Google, and ... ever since vStore.spam.spam.spam pioneered fraudulent appearance of independence for affiliate advertisers, it's been 95% plagiarized ads, all the time. Google changed nothing in that respect.

Stefan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 1:50 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

ever since vStore.spam.spam.spam pioneered fraudulent appearance of independence for affiliate advertisers, it's been 95% plagiarized ads, all the time. Google changed nothing in that respect.

Point taken. And yeah, I've just been on the net since 2000. But I've seen the content of the net responding to the Google advertising model in that period, and since 2002 I've seen the change in posts here that reflect it. If you're running Adsense, there's lots of stuff to read. If not, there's still the Apache forum, and a few others, thank goodness, but not much.

I don't believe in the slightest that Google cares about the quality of their results at present, other than not having webmasters interfere with the whole adverising set-up. Early on, it was different. Now, they're another MS.

kidder

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 5:36 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

This thread is based on the assumption that Google can provide quality serps. That to me is the real issue - they do need good organic reults to maintain their user base just like any site. Can they continue to deliver with so much SE spam coming into the index every hour of every day? I am glad it's not my job to try and stay ahead of search technology - how long would the average site last if the whole world went after it?

idolw

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 6:45 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

well, i guess they are having more and more trouble with naming quality website.
keywords I look at do not have "spammy" results with hidden text, sneaky redirects, or any dumb tactics on them. all of them are complete e-commerce sites offering same products at very similar prices with similar number of product reviews and nothing really else.

why is that? because in 2007 everyone can afford to have a good, fully operational site. And quality of a purely e-commerce site is very difficult (if possible) to measure.

anyway, everyone in my sector is a spammer in google's eyes, hehe

reseller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 7:10 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Folks

This thread is asking:


Is Google trying to provide quality SERPs?
How motivated is G to provide the best results

As such, and based on previous and current efforts of Google Search Quality Team, I would say; YES.. Google is trying to provide quality serps, and the folks at GOOG are motivated to provide the best results!

mattg3

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 7:36 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Quality up to a point where it doesn't collide with income. I guess most companies would do that.
So full of obvious spam nope, but adframed widget sites in microletters published in frontpage are fine.

I think crunch time will come when the ad market isn't rising any more and the near monopolist has to actually do something again for their shareholders.

Will they compromise then even more? Massive profit increases won't last forever. Then xyz in Google might get weak if the pressure to maintain the old successes gets higher.

stakaman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 11:03 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

People seem to ignore the obvious conflict of interest between AdWords and organic results.
If the organic results (zero income) are great, why click on the ads (95% of income)?

simonmc

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 12:27 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

With Googles VAST resources they can clean up the SERPS so that the quality is improved. That is without a doubt. They have the money to do it.

They don't have the will though. That is because the cost involved would be very high indeed. This would take money from the shareholders profits and make google not look like such a success.

So yes they can do more but as a business driven by profit they won't do more than they already are. So expect the same as usual. Google tweaks a bit. The spammers tweak some more. Google tweaks a bit. The spammers tweak some more. And so it goes on.

As long as they provide a percieved good quality service compared to the rest then they are doing all they need to stay in front.

It is money that drives Google, not a crusade to provide a faultless search experiemce. It used to be that but when they sold thier soles they also gave up the crusade.

Google will do the minimum they need to do to stay in front so as to maximise the profits.

Throw all those profits at cleaning up the SERPS and then I will say they are doing thier best to provide the best results.

Don't see that happening though ... do you?

jakegotmail

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 1:46 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why would they provide quality results. The better quality they are, the less money they are going to make off of adwords. Thus decreasing revenue and their bottom line.

If every site ranked where it SHOULD. Then who would buy adwords?

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 2:49 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why would they provide quality results. The better quality they are, the less money they are going to make off of adwords. Thus decreasing revenue and their bottom line.

You're assuming that "quality" means displaying e-commerce and affiliate at the top of the search results. That assumption is based on a fallacy: that SERPs exist for merchants and not for users, and that Google's mission statement ("to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible") is less important than your desire to get free traffic from Google Search.

Let's consider an ideal scenario from a user's point of view:

I'm Joe User, and I'm interested in Widgetco digital cameras. I search Google for "widgetco digital cameras." Google delivers results for the Widgetco Digital Cameras Division home page and Widgetco camera reviews at places like PopPhoto.com and the major digital-camera review sites. From my point of view as a user, those are great search results, and smart camera dealers piggyback on those SERPs with AdWords, because they know they'll reach people like me who are searching for information on Widgetco cameras.

That's how things are supposed to work, and it's how things increasingly DO work in Google Search. A few years ago, a typical search on "widgetco digital cameras" would have delivered a mixture of information results and boilerplate affiliate or dealer catalog pages. Today, the same search is more likely to deliver the kinds of results that I've just described. From a user's point of view, that's an improvement. If you're selling Widgetco cameras, you may feel otherwise, but you aren't the target audience for Google Search.

Now, you may say "Wait a minute--some people who search on 'widgetco digital cameras' are looking for product pages or prices." That's true, but in cases where Google has to choose between defaulting to "information resource" and "shopping directory," it makes sense for Google to tilt toward the information side because of its mission (and, presumably, because of what it knows about Google users). Plus, when Google does default toward information results, users who are shopping for prices, etc. do have the option of selecting results from the AdWords column. It's a win-win-win situation for users, Google, and businesses that understand the value of advertising to targeted audiences.

randle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 2:52 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google is trying to provide quality serps, and the folks at GOOG are motivated to provide the best results!

Agreed; however the paradox is the quality of the results has declined over the past 18 months, with a real dip over the past 90 days. They are suffering from just an unstoppable onslaught of individuals determined to use any means to get their sites free traffic. The other issue at times, and I donít necessarily blame them, but they seem to try and get to clever with some of their countermeasures and it just causes bizarre results (this 950 penalty thing is one of these, whatever good they hope will come out of it is just not worth how bizarre it makes their results look.)

They are genuinely trying IMHO, thereís no conspiracy to slack off on the quality of the results to pump revenue; I just donít believe that. However their losing the war for quality.

rekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 3:52 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

People seem to ignore the obvious conflict of interest between AdWords and organic results.

Bingo. Adwords it the brainchild of a meeting where Googlers asked "How can we make money off all those free organic results."

Answer: Put ads by Gooooogle on every site in the organic results.

But what, you ask, happens if you don't have Google ads on your site? We'll leave that as an exercise for the reader...

rekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 4:06 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Plus, when Google does default toward information results, users who are shopping for prices, etc. do have the option of selecting results from the AdWords column. It's a win-win-win situation for users, Google, and businesses that understand the value of advertising to targeted audiences.

That's quite the delusion. You really believe there is no chance that Google's results are influenced by them making money off those sites?

Try the search "buy widgetco digital cameras." I just did. 9 out of 10 results were Adwords sites. You could only "buy" a camera from one site.

It's pretty clear Google wants it's cut of digital camera sales to me.

arieng

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 6:25 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

EFV:
"Let's consider an ideal scenario from a user's point of view:"

Hmmm. Is this really an IDEAL scenario? Why would you consider an information site any more relevant than an e-commerce site? I agree that is seems e-commerce sites are increasing deferring to information sites in organic listings. However, another explanation is that Google knows that e-commerce sites have a greater financial incentive to get search traffic, and are more likely to pay for it if they can't get it for free.

I am by no means inferring that Google wants non-relavent SERPs. Their results are by far the best in the industry. I have a hard time believing, however, that no one at the Plex has ever asked, "How can we make the SERPs good enough to bring people in, but get the real meat into AdWords?"

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 6:36 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hmmm. Is this really an IDEAL scenario? Why would you consider an information site any more relevant than an e-commerce site?

Either can be relevant, but read Google's mission statement (which predates AdWords).

However, another explanation is that Google knows that e-commerce sites have a greater financial incentive to get search traffic, and are more likely to pay for it if they can't get it for free.

Sure, and that's a perfect example of how Google can "do well by doing good." By delivering the search results that users expect--and that are implied by Google's mission statement--Google makes more money. What's wrong with that?

arieng

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 6:53 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

EFV, wow. I think you just gave me a revelation moment. I am and have always been an e-commerce person, and must admit I've always found the most success through AdWords.

So Google thinks e-commerce sites should cut Goog in for a piece of the action. Maybe there isn't anything wrong with that. It does smart a little though. :)

randle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 7:15 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Either can be relevant, but read Google's mission statement (which predates AdWords).

OK, lets read it;

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

There is no way this is even close to being an accurate reflection of their ďmissionĒ these days. Do you honestly believe their board believes this? (and Iím one of the people who does think their trying, but lets all get with the times)

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 7:22 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

So Google thinks e-commerce sites should cut Goog in for a piece of the action.

I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that Google Search profits by living up to its mission statement: "organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible."

By publishing the kinds of SERPs meet the needs of its users, Google attracts and retains an audience that advertisers find desirable. That's how the publishing industry (of which Google Search is a part) is supposed to work.

If Google's organic SERPs favored advertisers over non-advertisers, you could legitimately say that "Google thinks e-commerce sites should cut Goog in for a piece of the action." But I don't think even the most rabid Googlephobes in this forum have claimed that Google favors advertisers over non-advertisers in its SERPs. (If Google did, we wouldn't hear so many complaints about Wikipedia's rankings!)

arieng

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 7:39 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

EFV, I want to know your take on this. Assuming that everything else is equal, will Google favor an informational site more than an e-commerce site? Is there some part of their algorithm that consider whether the page is selling something?

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 8:14 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

EFV, I want to know your take on this. Assuming that everything else is equal, will Google favor an informational site more than an e-commerce site? Is there some part of their algorithm that consider whether the page is selling something?

I don't know, but I will say it isn't unusual to find an information page from an e-commerce site, affiliate site, or manufacturer's site ranking high for a given search.

If Google is biased toward information (and by "information," I don't necessarily mean "non-commercial information"), then it would make sense for e-commerce sites to spend money on informational content. In addition to helping the site do better in organic search results, good informational content can win the trust of prospective buyers. (Think of informational content as the equivalent of the guy at the remodeling center who answers your questions about paint or gives you a folder on how to select tile and grout.)

arieng

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 8:34 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good answer EFV, and something I whole-heartedly agree with. The site I'm currently working with is in a bit of a pickle in regards to free information pages. It is a market-leading distributor of name brand products, but also has its own product line. They have to be extremely careful with any information such as buying guides, as the vendors in this industry can be very touchy. Several competitors have gotten in trouble with user-generated content that vendors weren't comfortable with. We've made a conscious decision to avoid it completely and focus on being a first-class e-commerce site.

Regardless, it is still good advice.

reseller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 9:19 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

stakaman

People seem to ignore the obvious conflict of interest between AdWords and organic results.
If the organic results (zero income) are great, why click on the ads (95% of income)?

For sometimes ago, I thought the same. However, I changed my mind when I saw how large online news sites function in practice. Usually advertising sales departments are just about totally separated from contents departments (mostly journalists/editors). Those journalist/editors are very proud of their work and would never ever accept any decline in the quality of their contents just to satisfy advertising sellers.

I guess in Google we meet the same situation. You have AdWords/AdSense teams which have no whatsoever influence on Google Search Quality Team, including decent folks like Matt Cutts, Adam Lasnik, Brian White etc...

I can't imagine Matt, Adam or Brian accepting to manipulate the organic serps just to satisfy the folks at AdWords/AdSense teams.

[edited by: reseller at 9:27 pm (utc) on April 26, 2007]

idolw

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3319359 posted 9:26 pm on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

If every site ranked where it SHOULD. Then who would buy adwords?

heh, what if 1000 sites are of same quality and the only difference is number of purchased links?
just have a look at hotel keywords to understand what i mean.

This 74 message thread spans 3 pages: 74 ( [1] 2 3 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved