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Proposed: Google Should Stop Displaying Toolbar PR
tedster




msg:3416516
 7:23 am on Aug 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is part 1 of the discussion, and it is locked. Part 2, the active
thread, is here: [webmasterworld.com...]

Toolbar PR is not just a harmless toy or an entertainment.

Toolbar PageRank numbers can be 3 months out of date or more. Some "PR Updates" have been buggy enough to seriously misrepresent a page's real PR. But despite these openly discussed flaws, the toolbar "report" affects the web culture in many ways - and most of them are negative.

Matt Cutts has blogged that PR Updates are considered pretty much a non-event around Google. But when that "non-event" is also buggy (because Google sees it as unimportant?), then some advertisers will not pay fair value to a website for hosting their ads. That's not entertaining at all, and it's no longer a non-event.

In our previous threads about reporting paid links [webmasterworld.com] and the rel="nofollow" attribute [webmasterworld.com], members expressed their frustration with the way Google's green pixels have distorted the natural balances of the web.

Enough is enough. Can't the folks in Mountain View see that this situation is nowhere near honorable or "entertaining"? Since it seems that up-to-date and accurate PageRank reporting is an extremely unlikely step for Google to take, I think the time has come for them to stop reporting ANY green fairy dust at all. Keep it as part of the secret sauce, sure, but stop teasing the public at large with funny numbers.

As I see it, PR (PageRank) = PR (Public Relations), and that's the main reason that Google keeps Toolbar PR report around. Branding. Image. Mindshare.

What do you think? Could you live without TBPR (Toolbar PageRank)? Would not seeing it help the web as a whole, or hurt it?

[edited by: tedster at 7:57 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2007]

 

Reno




msg:3419798
 7:44 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I can't picture any website getting 50,000 hits a day unless it was Ebay or Amazon.

Part of the problem that people have is with a total lack of decent measurement tools.

Take the word "hits" for example. I've met quite a number of small businesspeople with very marginal websites who have sworn that they "get 150 hits a day", and they think that is 150 visitors. So I explain to them that their crappy so-called "counter" is measuring the same person as that individual goes from page to page, and counts that person again when he/she comes back a second or third time on the same day (and goes from page to page!), so instead of the 150 visitors that they think they are getting, it's more like 12.

When I then go on to explain that you can only count a person one time no matter how many pages they view and no matter how many times they come back in a 24 hour period -- well, I'm sorry to say that their reaction to that information is like watching a balloon deflate.

While everyone here at WW understands this stuff, the sad truth is that too many site owners don't really know the actual status of their traffic, and they know little or nothing about their actual pagerank, so it's no wonder they make poor decisions.

Bad information + user misunderstanding == trouble.

......................................

jomaxx




msg:3419815
 8:04 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

First of all, I used the term "visitors", by which I mean separate user sessions, not "hits". (I don't track "unique" visitors because I choose not to set cookies and because that number is less useful than user sessions for my specific site.)

Second, 50,000 visitors a day is not unthinkably many. My main site gets more than that, and I'm sure many of the webmasters here are in the same position.

jomaxx




msg:3419816
 8:09 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

jd01:

It can be deliberately faked, it can give a skewed view of reality...

Rhetorical Question:
What actual real value can it possibly give then?

Ahem, see the rest of my sentence for the answer to your question. Alexa isn't a perfect tool, but it so happens there IS no perfect tool for measuring the traffic of third party websites. Nor is one even possible. If you understand how Alexa works and what exactly it measures, you can glean useful information from it.

[edited by: jomaxx at 8:10 pm (utc) on Aug. 11, 2007]

luvdavy




msg:3419818
 8:10 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Could be. Just for the record, I did mean individual hits. They have another amount for page views. I don't look at that much, either.

Page views on a website would largely depend on the KIND of website and how it was designed. If you have to click 10 times to get to a page, you're going to get 10 times more page views than one like mine that you go directly to a page from the homepage. In my case, the customers may look at several different rental pages, but nothing like sitting on Amazon clicking from page to page for reviews and different prices.

Today's records are thusly:

VISITS

Total 1,888,207
Average Per Day 1,847
Average Visit Length 6:14
Last Hour 75
Today 681
This Week 12,930

PAGE VIEWS

Total 9,760,613
Average Per Day 11,496
Average Per Visit 6.2
Last Hour 610
Today 4,351
This Week 80,470

If people stopped measuring page views, it would help that problem. Other than for ROI purposes, I don't see much use in it. It can actually only be measuring the difficultly of the navigation, too.

Jan

jd01




msg:3419838
 8:33 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

jomaxx,

I read it the first time.
(It's why I said my question was rhetorical.)

I guess 'gleaning' is not my thing...

You're right. Alexa and TBPR are of great value if you get into an upper level 'gleaning class' at the local SEO University.

Maybe someday I'll be able to glean value out of inaccurate numbers, but I'm still stuck on basic logic. If you spoof Alexa or PageRank, it's nothing. If you spoof your server logs (allowing there is a sale of some type involved) it's fraud.

Glean away.
I'll stick with using information where there is a foundation for recourse.

<added>
I can think of a few reasons why Alexa Traffic might be inaccurately low, like here at WebmasterWorld, where there is a block on some of the reporting. See: The one rule of fight club is. Thread in the supporters forum for Brett's post about removing the block to increase the Alexa Traffic back to 'in the 200 range.'
</added>

Justin

Miamacs




msg:3419897
 10:55 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

OK, calmed down a bit.
Thanks Jomaxx, Justin, and... I hope you know you're both right.

...

Let's put this into perspective.

...

A millionaire, non-techie investor sits down to his or her, but probably his PC and types in Alexa, thinking that it's showing a balanced opinion on traffic or traffic trends.

And doesn't think for a single MOMENT that this data is utterly flawed. We know. They don't.

But we have data to work with, let's see.
The company also has another site.
Audience is different.
Let's compare them.

Other site:

Traffic: Y
Alexa rank: X

This site:

Traffic: 10 x Y
Alexa rank: X ...
SAME as the other one

...

Older site has a PageRank that's +2 points higher, yet it has a third of the # of links. Alexa ranks are OK, but could be better. They're not rivaling the best of the best just yet.

Both sites have pretty stable traffic trends according to server logs and other off-site stats. I've mentioned before, I install at least two or three of such. The older site has stabilized at it's peak, while the new one has increased with distinct pikes ...that sticked. Alexa however shows a rollercoaster operated by an irresponsible drunk central-US theme park worker. That's dangerous.

Making a decision based on THIS kind of data?
Of course not ONLY this data, but this, included as a measure?

...

WE know what PR and Alexa is good for.
It's NOT a universal indicator of traffic or even popularity, not even trends. It's a "doublecheck" tool, something that works only in combination of other stuff. I mostly use both to see if a site is really popular or just SEO'd to seem popular. I know what I'm looking for. Traces of things that'd prove the sites are NOT legit, not liked by SE's or people, and... that's it. No cache, no PR, too high Alexa rank are clues. See...? I'm suspicious of sites that have TOO HIGH of an Alexa rank compared to their PR, # of links and ranking!

It's tricky enough for me to decode the messages.
Let alone call decisions based on such things.

...

But these people aren't SEOs.
Not even webmasters.

They're businessmen misled by the marketing and branding of some sites that are famous enough to suggest ( SUGGEST and not CLAIM ) roles such as measuring site popularity.

...

In context: it's absurd.
Out of context: still is.

This is not a link exchange.
This is investing millions of dollars.
Just thinking of it makes me nervous.
Imagine the directives such a well informed investor will have for the company. Oh jeez. This is... stupid.

jomaxx




msg:3419908
 11:24 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Miamacs, you obviously have a pretty good handle on what Alexa can and cannot be used for. That's largely how I use it as well, and it helps that they show historical graphs and not just a current snapshot. But your example sounds farfetched. Who would invest in a company based solely on its Alexa ranking rather than its technology and team and user base? How does this non-techie millionaire have any money left to invest?

Reading your earlier post again, because of the way it's written I'm not sure if you're talking about a specific case you have personal knowledge of. Do you know the actual principals involved, or were you quoting an email or a post written by someone else?

steveb




msg:3419912
 11:55 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are at least four compaies that provide data greatly superior to Alexa (Compete and Quantcast for free, Hitwise and Nielsen for money). To stay on topic, you thusly can't compare the Google toolbar to Alexa. The toolbar is better at what it does than any other similar thing.

jd01




msg:3419916
 12:17 am on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

I used to think Alexa could be used for what Miamacs stated, but when looking at my own sites I noticed Alexa Traffic is directly impacted when I work on a site...

When I work on a site:
I view more pages and spend more time on the site.
I ask others to spend more time on the site and view the pages.

We (some of us) have the FireFox Alexa Traffic / 'Green Idiot Light' (TBPR) AddOn installed (because it's cool for checking indexed pages, backlinks, etc.) and without attempting to, the Alexa Traffic can be skewed heavily... (It's especially apparent on lower traffic sites.)

On one site (noindex,nofollowed) I've had the Alexa traffic number go as high as 700,000 with less than 10 visitors per day.

(Yes, I understand there is a difference in Reach, Rank, Views but if you don't believe me about how easy it is to throw all the numbers off try it out for your self... If you have something 'Alexa' installed, uninstall it. Then in two weeks re-install it and visit your site between reading WebmasterWorld threads for two weeks. If you really want to see things go goofy, have a friend or two do the same thing. Results will be more distinct on slower sites.)

To me when you have to know how many people who 'work for' a site have 'Anything Alexa' installed and what their browsing patterns are to determine if the spikes, increases, decreases, etc. are legit or people trying to do their job makes it a silly, futile, non-point.

I can (sort of, in some way) see the 'Hey, those numbers are too high' argument, but I don't care what the Alexa numbers are to start with, so what do I care if they are too high?

Manipulate Alexa all you want. Have fun. It's just for entertainment purposes.
(I know it's not and many put 'value' on it, but really, what a joke...)

Anyway, as SteveB noted, we should probably get back to arguing the finer points of why the 'Green Idiot Light' (TBPR) is useless and get away from the uselessness (or very near) uselessness of the 'Blue Idiot Light'...

Justin

Miamacs




msg:3419934
 1:27 am on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Jomaxx: Got the call from the CEO of the company I'm doing SEO for. A personal friend. I'm not working on THIS site that much, for it doesn't need SEO, it's driven by hype. I'm purposely exaggerating the issue of the fact that the investor is waiting for the Alexa rank to reach *certain* levels. ...This is obviously silly, and the tech staff will try to explain to him how there are OTHER, much more credible, unbiased ways to measure popularity and traffic trends. Not sure if this particular investor ( there are two with whom they negotiate right now ) has any in-depth knowledge of the Internet, but the decision is currently tied to Alexa. Not for long if you ask me. Which somewhat relates to...

steveb: I'm wondering how neither of the big traffic audit names have been brought up as an answer to this, but I'm not the one doing the talk there. I'm sure they will be mentioned.

Back on topic:

I'm on the "keep the TBPR" side.
But now that this pretty extreme coincidence woke me up to the reality of how the golden era still lingers in influental people's minds, no I don't think it can stay 100% the same.

I'm not saying that have the ranks from 0 to 10 displayed.
I'm not saying have ranks from 0 to 100 displayed.
I'm not asking for daily updates.

I'm saying that if Google is to display ANYTHING, do it responsibly and accurately.

A TBPR that can't tell a casual non SEO person whether a site is BANNED/penalized or just plain NEW is faulty in my opinion. A PR5 site could be displayed PR4 or 7 for all I care, but not PR0.

As it turns out, people DO trust brand names in Search for such info.
Alexa, once backed by giants, and Google, THE website Santa Claus.

Have data you want to share displayed, and only that, don't mislead, don't disinform, that can hurt others.

...

And so here's my original post before I got the call.
It's as timely as ever...

I can use TBPR in this way, combining it with info:, cache: or YAHOO! But I know SEO.
I know how the little bar is useful for certain things, and not for others. I think the bare minimum Google would need to sort out is a way to report the following few examples.

PR-1: BANNED. Spyware, malware, spam. Whatever. Not indexed. info: returns nothing.

PR 0: No inbound links, indexed. Expert mode: only same IP inbounds. No one mentions the site on the net.

PR-?: No information. Probably new, or just a low level page, but it's NOT BANNED, that's for sure.

PR 1: OK. Indexed. Google knows about the page. It could have 1 backlink, it could have 10,000 backlinks.

...

*I* know how to use a search query or YAHOO! to doublecheck this stuff. But heaven forbid that the usual "not before you're PR4/5/8" kind of answer showed up in an email or heard in a discussion that's to decide some serious business, while a site's caught up in a usual PR0 hickup. I'm not sure if I want to make business with people not checking the ranking of a site before mentioning PR, but this is how it is. They don't. If Alexa, this almost-no-one-knows-about-it-anymore tool could keep such a surprise for us, I guess PR could too.

The public was once mesmerized by the idea and still believes in magic. The least Google can do to prevent stuff from happening is to either have it functioning properly ( even if only updated every three months ) or have a huge red, bold disclaimer that it might not be accurate, right up there next to the green pixels.

...

That's it, and sorry for the rant. I'm a bit exhausted.

And now it's time to detach my face from the monitor
Another Saturday well wasted...

Justin: ... I KNOW... and advised accordingly. Just in case they couldn't persuade the investor. What's an SEO friend for. Right? Aw gosh.

[edited by: Miamacs at 1:33 am (utc) on Aug. 12, 2007]

johnnie




msg:3420452
 1:28 am on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

People who say that PR doesn't matter much should look over at DMOZ again. Without PR, you drown in there. Have a good PR, and people find you.

jd01




msg:3420506
 4:16 am on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure any of us are saying PR doesn't matter... I haven't noted those posts anyway.
(I'm certainly not saying real PR doesn't matter. It does.)

I'm saying the ToolBar PageRank is an inaccurate joke.
If G chooses to display it in their (duplicate) directory, then whatever, but in the ToolBar?
Not too sure how it's a good idea.

Justin

europeforvisitors




msg:3420520
 4:57 am on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Keep the PR gauge in the toolbar, but add a link to a disclaimer to prevent any lawyers from getting their robes and wigs in a twist. :-)

dhaliwal




msg:3420615
 9:14 am on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

when they do not relate it to anything but just Green for people to sell some links, i guess it doesn't make much of difference

SullySEO




msg:3420935
 5:03 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

At the end of the day, I personally wish that more webmasters focused on the (online) things that matter:
- Quality traffic
- User experience
- Conversions (signups, purchases, whatever)

All of that can be discerned far more efficiently with our Webmaster Tools and robust broader analytics products (including but not limited to our own, IMHO). Whether a page is PR7 or PR3 shouldn't play such a major role in the development, much less goals, of web sites. Either the page is attracting the right folks, making them happy, and getting them to learn/do good stuff, or it's not, and PageRank isn't going to tell you that.

emphasis mine.

Adam_Lasnik - don't you think that's exactly what the ~99.9% of users who aren't webmasters believe PageRank is telling them?

If not, what does your research show? What do these users think this means:

"PageRank is Google's measure of the importance of this page"

Importance based on what? This is not disclosed to those users. I think this is misleading and can turn away some who would otherwise signup, purchase, or whatever.

[edited by: SullySEO at 5:34 pm (utc) on Aug. 13, 2007]

artmedia




msg:3420982
 6:00 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)


The only and real problem with PR is his accuracy and out of date, but is so useful to know what site has a good history, backlinks and ďcontentĒÖ

Maybe should be better not 0 to 10 PR measure, instead of that could be 0 to 100 PR measure, but really updated every month at leastÖ

europeforvisitors




msg:3420999
 6:19 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

"PageRank is Google's measure of the importance of this page"

Importance based on what? This is not disclosed to those users. I think this is misleading and can turn away some who would otherwise signup, purchase, or whatever.

Am I alone in believing that most users don't know or care about toolbar PR? Is there anyone who wouldn't order HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS from Amazon because the Amazon page for that book isn't displaying any PR in the Google toolbar?

Here's something else to consider (it's something that may be even more important):

The PR "fuel gauge" in the toolbar is approximate at best, so most inaccuracies won't even be visible to the user. Let's say that your blue widgets page had a PR of 3.67 last month and it goes up to 3.78 this month because of new inbound links. The only time a change would make a visible difference would be when the new PageRank jumped up to (or down to) the next full increment, and that's not likely to happen very often.

Miamacs




msg:3421025
 6:52 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

europe: no, you're not mistaken.

However.

After the incident this weekend I'd say that exactly those who are new to this web business thingie (non-seo/non-webmaster but business approach ), and perhaps are filthy rich or amateurs at large, ...will d@mn go to google.com, read the online bible of quality and see this line as one of the commandments. They will believe it too, for it comes from the market leader, and a market leader that's said to be unbiased, innovative, and technologically more advanced than their competition.

Just imagine for a second where YOU would turn to for some "official" help on net marketing, search engine marketing or even SEO if you were new to this?

Google.com.

Where else.

...

But definitely not the "PR thread" on WW.

...

These people are a minority compared to all users, but not so in the webmaster/SEO universe. Not knowing that there's NO official information just minor guidelines, more like rules of conduct... they won't even look for anything else. With no one to hold their hands, and with no knowledge of the net -- knowledge that we developed parallel to the evolution of the web, SEs themselves! -- they're vulnerable. And easily misled. Hence I recommend Google to act more responsibly.

The toolbar isn't there for just sly old foxes, vixens, wolves, black cats and ravens.

There're SHEEP around.
Born yesterday.

[edited by: Miamacs at 6:56 pm (utc) on Aug. 13, 2007]

randle




msg:3421049
 7:13 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Am I alone in believing that most users don't know or care about toolbar PR?

No your not. Most users donít even know or care about the tool bar itself. Thatís why a discussion about this is taking place in a forum populated by people who obsess over their own web properties. A more interesting question would be; of those users who have the tool bar installed, how many know or care about the tool bar displayed PR?

The PR "fuel gauge" in the toolbar is approximate at best

This is really the very fundamental issue at hand here. Is it possible that what is displayed is not just old, or ďapproximateĒ but purposely distorted? Are some of the 4ís, displayed as 3ís? Are some of the 2ís actually 5ís? Are there some 5ís that are displayed as 6ís?

A few may recall that when the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system came out, the government purposely distorted the signals so it was fairly accurate but not very accurate. They did this so bad people could not use the system for bad purposes. Ultimately the distortion was removed and the full potential of the system is enjoyed by all. The purpose of the distortion was understandable though.

So the question is; does Google purposely distort what is displayed (not just a lax effort at displaying the data, i.e. old, ect)? Lets face it, they are purposely NOT working very hard at serving up really accurate data, on a frequent basis. So, at what point does the tool bar PR display program (of which thereís got to be a small army of people at the plex working in) become more disinformation than information?

If they are drifting toward becoming more enamored with poor information, than excellent information, then we are on to some new ground here relative to the relationship they have with the tool bar users. Thatís what people want to know; what does the tool bar PR indicator really mean? If its not 100% accurate then how off is it? If it is off is their desire to make it better, or are they just as happy to see it get worse? Are they purposely making it worse as time goes on?

If we could have a realistic dialogue with Google on this I think many would be generally curious to know ďin its present state; what is it there for"? Why do they continue to display it? Have you ever thought about, as the OP addressed, just getting rid of it?

I do want to make clear I donít blame Google for any of this, as they are very much up against an aggressive core of people determined to use any means possible to gain a few clicks, thus degrading their search results. In addition, they have given us all an array of tremendous tools to use for free that are far, far more valuable than a little green bar.

But, itís a very interesting topic because as an admitted peeker at the tool bar PR display when perusing sites, I genuinely would like to know if Iím being fed garbage data. And if I am, then just tell me.

Reno




msg:3421070
 7:48 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thatís why a discussion about this is taking place in a forum populated by people who obsess over their own web properties.

You are exactly right. So here's a suggestion:

Perhaps they should remove the PR gauge entirely as a default part of the Google toolbar, but add a feature to Webmaster Tools that would allow siteowners to not only see their own (approximate) page rank, but in addition, they could visit external sites from within WT to see the PR of other pages that they were considering as link partners.

So for much of the "99.9%" who don't know/don't care, this confusing little entertainment device is gone; for the 0.1% who obsess, they can study PR to their heart's content. As long as this minority understands that it is not totally accurate (Google could provide a general explanation), then they can use their own best judgement as to the true relevance of the numeric value.

..........................................

jd01




msg:3421082
 7:57 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I do want to make clear I donít blame Google for any of this, as they are very much up against an aggressive core of people determined to use any means possible to gain a few clicks, thus degrading their search results. In addition, they have given us all an array of tremendous tools to use for free that are far, far more valuable than a little green bar.

Good point.

I think one of the issues with TBPR is:
It's a 'non-event' for Google.
It's (for the most part) a 'non-event' for those of us who know it's inaccurate.

Therefore, those who know the web and the state of TBPR (Google, Knowledgeable Webmasters) assume it's a 'non-event' for everyone, which makes donkeys out of everyone...

The issue isn't with Google or Knowledgeable Webmasters... It's the 99.9% of people who install it and have no idea it's not accurate, and have no idea they need to look to see if it's accurate or not.

If I look at TBPR from the perspective of my knowledge level, it's fine.

If I look at TBPR from the knowledge level of my friends, family, people I don't know (who have real jobs), it's not fine, because they laugh when you say, 'It's out of date, and doesn't mean too much.' To them it looks correct (it's green), it functions correctly (it changes from page to page), it must work and be Google's real, current opinion of the page being accessed. Why? Because, it is displayed as such.

Justin

europeforvisitors




msg:3421112
 8:28 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

But, itís a very interesting topic because as an admitted peeker at the tool bar PR display when perusing sites, I genuinely would like to know if Iím being fed garbage data. And if I am, then just tell me.

I don't think the GPS-toolbar analogy is meaningful because the best-case levels of accuracy are so different. With GPS, resolution (even for consumer devices) is quite high; with the toolbar, resolution is coarse at best. The toolbar is like having a GPS device that says "you're within 50 km of Manhattan" as opposed to a device that says "you're within 5 meters of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street."

Amelia_G




msg:3421250
 11:55 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I kind of like having as much data as possible, available at a glance.

randle




msg:3421274
 12:42 am on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

with the toolbar, resolution is coarse at best

Exactly the point. The question becomes is it ďcoarse at bestĒ because;

A.Thatís the very best they can do.
B.They just donít feel like putting much effort into it and improving it.
C.They are purposely distorting it to be that bad.

Which one do you think it is?

Quadrille




msg:3421290
 1:08 am on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Silly Question! :)

A. Thatís the very best they can do.

No - they COULD put real PR - but as AL says, they don't want to have webmasters obsessively checking everyday.

B. They just donít feel like putting much effort into it and improving it.

See above. It suits them fine as is; but the early stages of this thread did have some quite constructive ideas for improving it.

C. They are purposely distorting it to be that bad.

It isn't distorted at all; merely approx three months out of date.

europeforvisitors




msg:3421324
 2:06 am on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

What Quadrille said.

Also, "coarse" doesn't mean "distorted." it simply means the opposite of "fine." The Google toolbar's PR gauge is like your car's fuel gauge: It doesn't tell you how many liters or gallons are left; it just shows roughly what's in the tank. Like a fuel gauge, it's as accurate as the manufacturer thinks it needs to be for its intended purpose (which is not helping Webmasters or SEOs fine-tune the transfer of PageRank).

jd01




msg:3421415
 4:34 am on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's accurate for its intended purpose...
(Not sure I agree.)

It's intended purpose is to tell visitors, 'Google's measure of the importance of this page...'. It out of date (not by a little), but the implied statement is 'current', which makes it very misleading at best.

How it is possible for inaccurate information to accurately indicating the importance of a page (or anything)?

I'm going to bow out of this one.
Sorry for tearing into you guys Adam.

Normally I try to take your side, because I can only imagine the difficulty of the task you are all trying to accomplish, and think for the most part you all do a great job, but I think this one causes more confusion and misinformation than most.

Justin

Adam_Lasnik




msg:3421449
 5:33 am on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hey jd01, I don't take it personally and I appreciate the frank feedback. You might be surprised at how similarly open we are within Google with our thoughts about various services, products, policies, etc.

I hope and expect we can be increasingly open externally, as well, but -- as you've seen -- that can be a challenging and unrewarding endeavor at times :-(.

jd01




msg:3421484
 6:56 am on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Cool.
Thanks Adam.

I'm sure there are quite a few of us here in the forums who appreciate hearing from you, even if we don't always like what you have to say, or if your answers are a little, uh, ambiguous at times. ;)

Really, I think most of us appreciate all of you who take the time to stop by and post to let us know you are still around, looking at (and/or listening to) what we have to say.

Justin

Actually, it's nice to know you are still sitting there trying to 'glean' information from our posts...
Maybe if we can keep you occupied with TBPR long enough we can keep you from working on anything really important.

luvdavy




msg:3421493
 7:11 am on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Justin whispers in the shadows....
Actually, it's nice to know you are still sitting there trying to 'glean' information from our posts...
Maybe if we can keep you occupied with TBPR long enough we can keep you from working on anything really important.

I got a belly laugh out of that one! :-)

Adam, I want to 2nd the thanks and praise to you and Matt for being as open and helpful as you are to everyone. To me, it seems like the ones that play by the rules usually do well, and we are almost always happy with Google. I have to wonder why the ones that aren't, don't...:-) Or something like that.

I did think of one more thing. You mentioned you didn't want webmasters checking PR and obsessing every day. I don't think I'm that different...I check my main sites every day, and often several times a day, not for PR but to see if it's up and making minor changes.

If the toolbar is on (which it is) then the PR is being "checked" whether I look at it or not, right?
So it would be no extra drain on your servers one way or the other. I think most everyone I know will notice their PR changing the very day it changes anyway. Just a thought.

Thanks again, Adam.
Jan

Quadrille




msg:3421561
 9:30 am on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of the strengths of these forums is the knowledge that Google do read them - and take them seriously.

In fact, I sometimes believe that Google takes them too seriously. While members here have interesting and valid points, and often make them well, it is easy to forget that the membership is not a representative sample of webmasters at large - far from it. And we have no mandate to speak on their behalf, though many (including me!) attempt see things from their POV.

It seems to me that Google sees users first (quite right), and 'seo-knowledgeable webmasters' second - missing out the 'seo-naive' webmasters in between.

On one level that's just great - but taking a step back, we do end up in strange places - like having a webmaster tool that everybody (here) knows has virtually no value, but most want to keep in the absence of anything better. Even though we all know that it is frequently used to mislead and scam those 'seo-naive' webmasters'.

It's not good. Really!

< continued here: [webmasterworld.com...] >

[edited by: tedster at 7:56 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2007]

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