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|Technologies Behind Google Ranking - from Google's Amit Singhal|
incredibly good posting today - among other things about synonyms.
I'm amazed that no one else saw this - hopefully my posting this is within TOS. It should be.
>>It's for a different and more general audience.
Exactly. They already know how *we* are to reach. ;)
>>I wonder if the official Google blog even reaches that audience.
Probably not. But what else could they do to reach that audience?
And if they could, what kind of approach could they take? Like for Mom 'n Pop webmasters with graphics-heavy 300KB pages who think you have to keyword stuff the whole site with exact match to "SEO" for Google? For real - I see it all the time (and have worked with such sites), and even this terrific post would probably go over their heads, IF they did ever even get to see it.
I've generally found that a good site is a good site whether or not the person knows any SEO. If the owners takes the trouble to describe their products/services properly and think about their visitors' needs they're most of the way there. They might need help with layout, navigation, architecture and tags, but without decent content none of this makes much difference.
If people actually take trouble to take their website content AWAY from what they would have done if search engines didn't exist, then they should be sure they're doing it properly. If they do it badly and then leave it when it doesn't work that's their lookout.
Like you said, if you always think about the 'quality' aspect you can't go far wrong. Individually-brokered links from related quality sites, which you can't get without YOUR content being great to start with.
|Can they, or is it a lost cause and completely impossible? |
it's probably closer for Google to try and reach their ultimate goal, and cancel out the need to educate people about their ever-current/ever-changing methods of getting there. This way they don't disclose secrets in the process either.
I think they'll continue to keep their policies about not communicating the underlying technology/indexing/ranking methods... while fleeing towards the goal to
|make it easier to create quality than to imitate quality |
And then they could ( finally ) freely educate people about the *real* issues of building a website, like accessibility, usability, structure or even marketing...
They're already halfway there.
All that user data was well worth acquiring.
[edited by: Miamacs at 3:47 pm (utc) on July 22, 2008]
|What could Google possibly do to make scalable information available that they could reach Average Jane and Joe with, on a broad scale, about how to do a good, "Google friendly site" that's also good for users? |
I don't think that's Google's job. Google's job is to index Web pages and help people find those that are useful, based on Google's criteria for judging relevance and quality. If Bob understands the basics of Web publishing and Bill doesn't, then Bob's pages should rank better than Bill's, all other things being equal. And if Bill wants people to visit his site, it's his responsibility to read WEB PUBLISHING FOR DUMMIES.
|Is the goal to ensure people find what they want in the fewest possible steps, to get them to click on the most ads possible, to do the fewest searches per session on Google, to interact with the most possible results on the page of results presented? |
While I understand your point, Google has been very clear on this in the past. The ultimate goal is the experience of the end user. Giving them what they want with as little effort on their part as possible.
So as a result the answers to your questions are fairly self evident...
- No, ads are not a consideration in natural search. Create something people will use, and keep using, ad clicks will take care of themselves are are the responsibility of another division.
- Yes, get them the information they are after in the fewest possible searches.
- No, the user would ideally find what they need by interacting with the fewest possible results.
|And if Bill wants people to visit his site, it's his responsibility to read WEB PUBLISHING FOR DUMMIES. |
I strongly disagree with this. If Bill publishes information that is more valuable (relative to a given search) than anyone else's information then a good search engine will strive to put that information in front of the searcher.
It will try do this in spite of Bill's experience level in development and SEO.
The alternative is search results populated exclusively by sites who are most successful at manipulation of algorithms (and increasingly those who have the most money to spend on manipulation).
Side note... Search personalization could mean the end of using Google for quick social bookmarking i.e. "that's easy Bob, just do a search for 'widgets' at Google and check out results one, two and four".
|Our work on interpreting user intent is aimed at returning results people really want, not just what they said in their query. This work starts with a world class localization system... |
I call this the fat-free yoghurt of the search engine world: a company introducing a totally unnecessary feature and then retro-reasoning that it's what people really, really need, because if not the company wouldn't be offering it, or would it?
So what I really, really need is a search engine knowing better than me what I want, regardless of what I say in my query. Unfortunately what I really, really, REALLY want is the standard/US Google results that I used to be getting a couple of years ago over here in Europe. Does Google really need to know better?
Not to whine too much - I use Google all the time until this very day, and when I'm travelling, localized results just rock. But for everyday use, the fact that localization is forced upon me as user is easily THE thing that Google introduced in recent years that ticks me off most.
|If Bill publishes information that is more valuable (relative to a given search) than anyone else's information then a good search engine will strive to put that information in front of the searcher. |
Information is often about presentation as much as about data. If I want a definition of a RAID 5 drive array, the Eiffel Tower's hours of operation, or the population of Niagara Falls, there are probably dozens (if not hundreds) of sources for each query. And if Bob does a better job of making that information accessible than Bill does, why shouldn't Google send me to Bob's page rather than Bill's?
This isn't about SEO or manipulating search rankings; it's about basic presentation. If Bob decides to start a Web site about hard-drive arrays, Paris tourist attractions, or the U.S. Census, he needs to develop rudimentary skills such as writing descriptive page titles, just as he'd need to learn how to write headlines if he were starting a weekly newspaper.
|Information is often about presentation as much as about data. |
To my way of thinking, you have nailed the essence of the argument.
All things being equal (more or less), when any one of a hundred different websites would fulfill a query with perfectly fine results, it appears that Google's algo must have criteria -- such as presentation -- for deciding what ranks higher. And if that's in fact the case, then we're back to trying to figure out what presentation works best, and that as we know, seems to be a moving target. What's good today might not be good next month, so we go on pursuing a changling, never quite knowing for sure whether we have it or not.
|If I want a definition of a RAID 5 drive array, the Eiffel Tower's hours of operation, or the population of Niagara Falls, there are probably dozens (if not hundreds) of sources for each query. |
You're correct where the population of Niagara falls is concerned... anything where the answer is a small snippet of information.
But it's not really reasonable to boil all of search down to these kinds of queries.
With RAID 5 or string theory or any other topic that can have a huge amount of information involved there are always going to be sources that have better quality information than the others.
People in SEO hate to admit it but SEO is the enemy of quality search. A search engine can't rely on the opinions of a page's creator (or SEO consultant). They are, after all, the worst possible source of relevance information right?
|People in SEO hate to admit it but SEO is the enemy of quality search. A search engine can't rely on the opinions of a page's creator (or SEO consultant). They are, after all, the worst possible source of relevance information right? |
A lot of SEO falls into that category, but I disagree.
The need for SEO is created by a "knowledge gap" - between a search engine's ability to interpret a query and an author's ability to express themselves in a way that matches their target audience. Many sources that I would consider authoritative are noticeable by their absence in Google SERPs. Usually because of a lack of specialist and/or technical knowledge.
|All things being equal (more or less), when any one of a hundred different websites would fulfill a query with perfectly fine results, it appears that Google's algo must have criteria -- such as presentation -- for deciding what ranks higher. |
I wasn't suggesting that Google judges the quality of the presentation. (I don't think Google does.) I was merely arguing that it's the job of a Website owner to master certain rudimentary skills if he wants to compete with the 10, 1,000, 100,000, or 1,000,000 other pages on his topic. And when I say "rudimentary," I mean just that: Supplying a descriptive title for a Web page isn't any more complicated or onerous than, say, typing a letter to the editor of the local newspaper instead of submitting a handwritten missive, or printing the title "Chocolate Chip Cookies" at the top of a recipe so the cook who's digging through a box of recipe cards will be able to find the right recipe.
Again, this isn't about SEO: It's about elementary content formatting and labeling--the kind of thing that most of us learned to do with pencils, typewriters, or word processors long before the Web was invented.
This transparency from Google is very good and will help users and webmasters .
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