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Blended Results, QDF and User Intention at Google
tedster




msg:3980441
 8:04 am on Aug 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

< this discussion was stimulated by the thread at: [webmasterworld.com...] >

...know more about the whole 'blended results' phenomenon?. Also about QDF.

Here's the first time we discussed QDF [webmasterworld.com]. It's become quite an evolved phenomenon since 2007 when the terminology first hit the press. For example, we can see some backlinks start out powerful and rapidly lose strength, whereas other backlinks start out as lightweights and grow over time.

-----------

Blended Search is another name related to Universal Search - you may be more familiar with that terminology. The idea, especially for short query terms, is that the user's intention as originally typed is often ambiguous. So what set of results will truly satisfy most people who type in a given query is under constant experimentation.

Commonly people think of Universal Search as the possibility of blending results from Images, Video, News, Local, Products and other verticals into one SERP. But blended search has even more going on than that.

For example, the same spelling (or misspelling) of a term can be used in many different meanings - just think of [apple] or [windows], for example. And Google sometimes forces a result onto page 1 that is taken from some more diverse user intention cluster -- even though that url would not normally rank so high at all on a pure apples-to-apples basis.

"Fresh" results can also be forced into some SERPs, as well as results from various informational, transactional, or navigational intention clusters. A strong example would be Wikipedia results, which often show up for a query when Google feels some searchers may have informational intention and others may have a transactional intention. Yes, Wikipedia has some great backlinks - but that alone doesn't account for how often it shows up in basic searches, in my opinion.

As a side track, there was a somewhat revealing bug a few years ago, when Google was evolving the technology to force certain results into certain positions (see the Position #6 'Penalty' [webmasterworld.com])

For some queries, the rankings on page 1 may still be a conventional horse race within one basic relevance algorithm. But that situation is becoming more and more rare. What we see more often today often involves some degree of "query revision". Essentially, Google works to read the mind of the search user and give them some results that they might have had in mind, rather than the straight results for what the user literally typed into the search box.

[edited by: tedster at 8:10 pm (utc) on Aug. 30, 2009]

 

jecasc




msg:3981777
 7:06 am on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

and select pages based on how these pages might score within sub clusters.

If Google ran a clothes store:

Customer: Where can I find the t-shirts please?

Google: Second floor on the right.

2 minutes later - customer comes back.

Customer: There were no t-shirts in that departement - only sweaters.

Google: Yes, I realized from your accent that you are from Alaska and since its fricking cold up there I sent you to the sweater department.

Customer: But I want a t-shirt - a red one to be specific.

Google: Here's a cluster of t-shirts in various colors.

Customer: But I want a red one.

Google: But most of our customers prefer blue shirts this season.

Customer: I WANT A RED T-SHIRT!

We propably have to get used to the fact that this is just what search engines will do as long as they consider "user intention" to be the "Holy Grail". The problem is right now they are serving water not wine in this Grail. And in my opinion they won't be able to turn the water into wine - ever.

In the meantime I will keep looking for another shop - which is willing to sell me a red t-shirt when I ask for one.

[edited by: jecasc at 7:22 am (utc) on Sep. 1, 2009]

tedster




msg:3981780
 7:22 am on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

To use your analogy, the wise shop assistant will offer a selection of those red t-shirts that are available. And if there are very many choices, he will use some criteria for limiting the selection so as not to overwhelm the customer.

If the assistant only offers a selection of bargain shirts, and the customer is more interested in top shelf goods but didn't say so, then the sale may be lost if not one single high-end shirt is included in the original offering. The same could apply to other "clustering" criteria.

And that is a decent metaphor for what search engines, including Google, are trying to do. Except they often have millions of different red t-shirts they could offer, and sometimes they also grab from a wrong pile. Well, so might our sales assistant if there were a very large number of choices.

How wide does the customer's definition of "red" extend? Only pure spectrum red? a notch toward orange? or just a little blue mixed in? maybe a softened tone with some extra gray? And so it goes.

jecasc




msg:3981791
 7:34 am on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Making suggestions based on the probable intention of the user is ok and appreciated.

But the search engines are going a step to far - they don't leave it at offering suggestions - they already implement them without asking for permission. Every day Google keeps sending me to the sweater department when all I am asking for is a t-shirt - based on the assumption I am from Alaska. (For example sending me to google.de when I asked for google.com)

whitenight




msg:3981802
 7:55 am on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Two problems:

Goog SERPS are supposed to be a LIBRARY, not a shop seller.
(that's what ADWORDS is for, remember?)
So the premise that understanding "user intention is the holy grail" is a false premise.

This is the marketer's holy grail, NOT a library or educational resources "holy grail"

It's Googlespeak for "how can I sell you something you didn't ask for, or need"

For a very long time, that was called SPAM

Yes, i say it....
Goog is spamming their users and calling it "figuring out user intent".

Don't sugar coat what it really is.

#2) What's all this nonsense about
"Goog has more data so they "obviously" must know what's best for US, the masses. We just need to trust them and their allmightly Googknowingness"

What a load of crap that is!

Again, with the sugarcoating.

If Goog was really, truly, honestly, concerned with giving the best results for users, then:

Instead of forcing YOUTUBE videos into SERPS, they would place a
"How to refine and improve your searches" TUTORIAL link at every #4 SERP position.
And that link would be updated as the algo was updated.

Of course, that's if Goog was actually interested in the USER'S intentions.

------------------

And speaking of false realities...

Much like the real holy grail, Goog will NEVER find it.
They are essentially a kingdom divided against itself
(lol yes, i'm going to continue to the Christian metaphors)

Jecasc's red t-shirt analogy is actually very apt.

And if one thinks that "throwing everything against the wall" in terms of placing "clusters" into the SERPs is going to work, then indeed this water will never be wine.

Goog needs some serious alchemy studies on the nature of the mind for this to happen.

But of course, this is about marketing, not "discovering user intent" so it really doesn't matter, does it?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:3981810
 8:16 am on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

While we are talking analogies if I am in Manchester and I call a cab and ask to be taken to London the cab driver will not take me to Glasgow just because he knows I live near there. ;)

Google deliberately and without ceremony sends me to the UK when I don't want to go there (.co.uk/.com) ;) This is surely wrong and I can see no real point in it. Clearly if I type in .com then I am aware of the difference and I want to use .com. Why redirect me?

Instead of forcing YOUTUBE videos into SERPS, they would place a "How to refine and improve your searches" link at every #4 SERP position.

Agreed! That is the point I was making with my teach a man to fish post. They do not do enough to teach people how to search effectively - and it's not that difficult. Just about anyone could grasp the concept if it is explained to them properly.

Think games! Couldn't they develop a good search game (better than Bing's) or something that would show people how to search in a fun way? I mean Microsoft used to do this back in the early days of Windows. Apart from being fun, games like Minesweeper and Solitaire were designed to teach people how to get used to a mouse. Before Windows very few people used a mouse and when they first did so it was a bit like writing with the wrong hand.

It's Googlespeak for "how can I sell you something you didn't ask for, or need"

You know at first I thought you were just being cynical Whiteknight but you could be on to something here. Perhaps they aren't interested in teaching people. Perhaps they just want the man to buy his fish online using adsense.

whitenight




msg:3981814
 8:27 am on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

You know at first I thought you were just being cynical Whiteknight but you could be on to something here. Perhaps they aren't interested in teaching people. Perhaps they just want the man to buy his fish online using adsense.

Never think me cynical. I'm realistic.
I can play Goog's game, excel at it, and still not approve from a "Do No Evil" perspective.

And yes, it's more than just adsense however.

As I saw the "new" SERPs updated, I originally said this was more about profits than serving up the best results.

And, as the some here will soon think or post, it's not because i'm bitter or cynical...
It's because it's what I would do with my company (if profits and a bad economy where weighing heavily on my mind)

It makes "sense" short term but it doesn't make it right morally or LONGTERM profitable.

The "dumb masses" aren't so dumb anymore, and will eventually rebel against such "hard sells" no matter how disguised and spun they are.

Leosghost




msg:3981907
 12:36 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

The point of googles "interference" ( you mean what we tell you you meant ) with their own serps will not be lost upon their adwords customers either ..nor those who up until now got all their needed trafic from organic serps ..
The new deal is "we will include our own properties in serps on page one ..we will also mess with natural results for the exact query on page one serps" ..

Want to avoid the outcome of traffic loss? ..

simple ..:)

Bid on our newly positioned ( closer to organic results) adwords slots ( which they arent second guessing and so do match "query" ) landing page quality score shenanigans not withstanding..

Or see your traffic go bye bye ..

Depending on adsense for your most of your revenue means putting on and wearing Googles collar for all to see ..you become their female dog ..

Relying upon adwords for most of your traffic ( even if ROI works for now ) means you have put on googles "choke" chain ( sometimes called training chain ) ..you are again googles female dog ..and they will jerk you around with quality score etc ..

You could be your own dog and use organics via seo ..

But loose dogs is not googles plan

So now when people search and you might show up in serps and get traffic/fed ..Google snatch away the search and send it to another dog ..

The Google message is clear ..

Want to avoid the effects of what we are doing in organics ?..and keep your site / business alive ...?

Buy adwords ( because one day we might just slide them further left and right into organics anyway ) ..be a good dog ..and come to heel.:)

Their position on geo targetting is about the same ..you want results from elswhere ?..

No way ..

We will decide which vendors offers you get to see ..

Advertiser A ( or even organic search result B ..both from country C ) might be able to sell you a widget cheaper than you can get it in your own country ..

But unless they paid us more to show their ad than company D in your own country did ..then you'll only be allowed to see results from your own country ..and company D ..

It's as if one single company owned 80% of all the container ships and transport aircraft worldwide ..and told you who could buy from ( or at least whose offers you could see)..who could sell .to whom ..and would only show /ship products that were paid for advertised with them ..

Thats were we are now ..( what they say about what they do and why they do it is just PR ) the means of internet trade is defacto owned by Google

As whitenight says ..it makes commercial sense ..we'd ( maybe ;) all do it their way if we were them ..( would we all be so hypocritical as to constantly deny what we were doing and claim it's all just "to improve the user experience" like Google do though ? ) ..

I'm sure someone in the plex has dreams where we all have an implanted chip soon after birth..and that "allows them to better anticipate what we really want" ..and just a little later in the same dream that becomes to "better tell us what we really want ..and what we really ought to be doing/ thinking" ..some governments would love to team up with them on that one ..the Chinese government apparently have the same dream ..there are others closer to home than some us might like to think ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 12:43 pm (utc) on Sep. 1, 2009]

signor_john




msg:3982008
 2:41 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google Search has an even higher market share in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and various other countries than it does in the United States. So, if searchers in those countries feel cheated because Google is sending them to google.co.uk, google.de, etc. when they type in "google.com," their dissatisfaction isn't reflected in their usage habits.

Leosghost




msg:3982103
 5:31 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

France ..nobody here uses yahoo..enough to count
market is split 80/20 Google / Bing

Google auto feeds you google.fr ..you can clear the address bar and retype google.com til you are blue in the face ..it still auto returns to google.fr ..

only "easy" way around it is if your OS isnt in French version ( windows or linux) and therefore your browser isn't ID by Google as french ..then by delving into cookies etc etc ( and in Opera launching from a speed dial page set to google.com ) then you can get to google.com ..

Most french dont realsie that they are being geoserved "google knows best" ..like most people who use the net ( we know different ) they think that all serps are the same wherever you are in the world ..

Those of us who know different ..know the work arounds ..and also the futility of contacting google over anything they consider "they know best" on ..they dont care and wont reply nor change what you get ..

Mushrooms are also kept in the dark and fed bull$hit from above ..if they think that is the total extent of the universe ..why would you expect them to complain ? :)

My conversations with ( and observations of postings here and elsewhere on the net ) other Europeans suggest that their "average citizen is no more informed and thus no more about to complain about what they dont know is being fed to them than the french ones are ..

Your argument against forced geo serps is the same as the one you put forward in the past in favour of google cache ..one should not have to opt out ..

And with geo targetted serps ..even when one does try "opt out" ..they ignore it and opt you right back in again ..

CainIV




msg:3982121
 5:50 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is the marketer's holy grail, NOT a library or educational resources "holy grail"

I would have to agree with this statement. However, at the same time, I believe it is in the best interest for Google to provide the best possible results for consumers, because Google is a business. Therefore they have quality standards they need to meet and objectives and goals to meet. One of which is making money, of course.

Now, arguably they may do a 'better or worse' job of this, depending on when and who you ask. How many times do you hear someone say 'Google results really suck' at the same time as someone else say they are great. Perspective is a big part of the analysis.

My sense is that this thread is about QDF and how user intention is being developed in Google.com, and the possibilities of how this is done, not another rant on the nature of how Google results suck, don't suck, or any other.

whitenight




msg:3982139
 6:21 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

My sense is that this thread is about QDF and how user intention is being developed in Google.com, and the possibilities of how this is done

Hence my comment.

When one starts with a faulty premise, one gets faulty conclusions.

There is little 'user intention' in this whole theory.

Tedster read the patents (grrr... there's a reason i keep harping on "patent analysis")

He made a theory based on the patents and then went on to explain how that theory fits into the current "state of Goog"

I'm saying the theory is flawed to begin with.
So any "conclusions" after that are inherently based on "flat earth" calculations.

As I've been saying for 3 years now,
if you continue to view Goog as
"Google via 2003 education-based SE model of organizing the world's information for the good of the internet and world"
then
one will ALWAYS come to faulty theories and conclusions about WHY they are doing things nowadays.

So I and others aren't simply arguing "I like the results" or "I don't like the results"

It's the entire underlying basis of understanding what Goog is doing and why and it's less about "user intentions" than profits.

-------------

If we really want to get into "anecdotal" analysis.

I and many others here are EXPERTS in our industries (not niches, industries) and I can assure others that our clients companies and personal companies spend quite a bit of money "figuring out" what the user wants.

Way more $$$ and data per user than Google has per user.

So when I see Goog throwing wiki, news, youtube, etc into 99% commercial terms
(meaning 99/100 people searching are looking to buy or expecting to buy),
I can say with more assurance than all of Goog's and Bing's combined data that,

THOSE RESULTS (wiki, youtube, news, etc) are SPAM for those terms and their users.

And that's NOT good for Goog LONG TERM.

How can I say that with 99% certainty?

Cause some of these companies have been around 100+ years doing market research, "figuring out user intent" and have explored every means of attracting, gaining, and retaining long term customers.

That's their ONE and ONLY job.

And that's what I mean by Google is "a kingdom divided against itself".

There's simply no way they have the resources and money to BOTH
give the best results for "what people are looking for" from purely academic concept
AND
give the best results in terms of monetizing the traffic.

It's not just morally skewed.
It's a bad road to go down in terms of LONG TERM profitability,
as the two sides are often quite contradictory to each other.

But, again, most of all, one has to start with the RIGHT underlying premise to form a coherent working theory of how to deal with Goog, whether from a theoretical standpoint or commercial one.

[edited by: whitenight at 6:58 pm (utc) on Sep. 1, 2009]

Leosghost




msg:3982173
 6:58 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

if you continue to view Goog as
"Google via 2003 education-based SE model of organizing the world's information for the good of the internet and world"
then
one will ALWAYS come to faulty theories and conclusions about WHY they are doing things nowadays.

So I and others aren't simply arguing "I like the results" or "I don't like the results"

It's the entire underlying basis of understanding what Goog is doing and why and it's less about "user intentions" than profits.


Precisely ..the "beast" has morphed ..and some of us ..( whitenight being here perhaps the most vocal ) can see that ..and we say so ..

And some are still basing theories on what the animal used to be ..or says it's doing ..

It's like the old old theological arguments about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin ..they were are a waste of time there is no pin there are no angels...futile discussion which will gain one no insights into reality ..

Google's intention is to control what you see and to make sure that as much as possible of what you do see has been put there by paid for adwords ..that make the most for google ..

Debating how they are doing this is valid ..

Trying to pretend that they aren't and debating something else is just for true believers or the naive ..or those who like the taste of plex koolaid .

Or those whose primary business is running adwords accounts for their customers ..

Believing otherwise is like believing that newspapers exist to report news ..

No they dont ...they exist to sell adspace ..and to sell newspapers ..and to make as much profit as possible for their owners ..the news part is the least important in the eyes of the owners ..

Free newspapers are there just to sell the adspace ..they need just enough news or editorial or pin up pics to get you to look at the pages with the ads on them ..

This is googs model ..only we all collectively provide the filler between their ads ..but they want us to buy more ads ..so it begins in earnest ..

Leosghost




msg:3982178
 7:08 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Real SEO is about how to avoid paying for ad( word )s in order to appear in high serps ..

And is a moving target ( they see you get close they change the rules/ algo ) ..and the criteria they use to filter depends on your niche and how much they would like to monetize it ..

They watch here WebmasterWorld and elsewhere ( and even send thier PR people to post ) to learn how good we all are at gettuing good serps results without paying for ads ..and when anything works for us ..they negate it as much as they can ..nowadays on a rolling basis ..

tedster




msg:3982209
 7:41 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

In my view it's not a black and white issue at all. Any business, especially one that is publicly held, has an obligation to generate profit. They also have an obligation to deliver on their core offering. The marketplace will hold them to it.

Google is definitely working on both angles, and I'm not someone who feels that profit is inherently evil. I am, however, someone who gets bored with the same-old same-old rants that I've been reading for years. A few new insights would be a welcome thing.

So HOW is Google doing all this, and can the webmaster leverage it? That's the reason I split this thread off in the first place. To me, the concept of auto-generating taxonomies -- and sometimes promoting a url from a certain taxonomy far beyond its expected ranking -- is a big deal. It's a game changer. It explains many oddities, and it also opens some doors, even while it closes others.

Sure, I miss the "one track horse race" of the old search days - it was fun and rather easy. I miss a lot of things that are now gone. But the one track horse race doesn't exist any more - so I'd better understand the new "many track horse race", or else I will also be gone.

The typical end user has shown a ravenous appetite for video, far beyond my own. I just don't have that much passive time in my day - but apparently many do. So, the question becomes, am I publishing video and learning how it can rank? If a SERP I want to compete on is representing various informational taxonomies on one page, am I recognizing that? And responding to that?

I prefer action over becoming some old codger complaining in the corner about how the good old days are gone.

The thread's topic is how Google tries to understand user intention. Discussing whether they should do it is relatively futile. They ARE doing it and they will continue to do so. This is a wake-up call! The change didn't just happen. Ignoring it is like being the frog on a stove who doesn't notice that the water has been getting hot.

So how can I thrive in this new environment - that's the question for me. Just because I had an approach that worked in 2003 doesn't earn me a lifetime pass to the traffic club.

whitenight




msg:3982227
 8:09 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

The thread's topic is how Google tries to understand user intention. Discussing whether they should do it is relatively futile. They ARE doing it and they will continue to do so. This is a wake-up call! The change didn't just happen. Ignoring it is like being the frog on a stove who doesn't notice that the water has been getting hot.

ok, but WHERE are you seeing this and to what degree?

Aside from the general "how to optimize for Universal search" tips, I'm not seeing a huge difference in what Goog is doing differently than before IN THE ALGO.

Certainly not a "game changer"!

As I told someone here a COUPLE YEARS AGO, i saw Goog PURPOSELY placing our site into keywords terms that we DID NOT DESERVE to rank for on the high first page out of nowhere.

After much investigation on why someone on my staff was spending resources optimizing for a term we didn't want to target, it came to my attention,
that is was GOOG trying to get us to buy the high paying ADWORDS for this keyword term...

A keyword term that with other every other site in our niche was a natural "semantic cluster"

hmmm.

Once it was obvious we weren't going to be spending money Adwords on this high 6-figures/low 7-figures a year term, our "mysterious" rankings disappeared.

hmmm.

--------------

Again, you're saying it's a "game changer" based on what?
The radically different ALGO?
or your readings of patents and consequent predictions?

Is it a bigger game changer than getting a youtube video on your targeted term into the top 10?

Bigger than getting into Google News?

Bigger than getting into shopping results?

These are all UNIVERSAL SEARCH issues I was yelling about all quarter after Big Daddy when various members (ahem) were instead talking about
"Goog is ranking based on click thrus"...

... Back when I was yelling about the importance of understanding the Position #6 bug...

Sorry if I'm missing how this is new or different than something I've been warning about for 2 years now.

Why are you calling it "user intention/blended results" when it's just Universal Search finally being implemented in a more reliable manner?

I'm missing something obviously. help me out here.

and if it is little more than universal search on steriods, then please, give me a little credit and say I've been warning/ranting about this (as usual, contrary to popular opinion) for 2+ years now

tedster




msg:3982270
 9:15 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing the Universal Search infrastructure used to promote different angles on, or taxomonmies of, information within a single SERP. One practical approach is to see which sites rank for a short, general query (a relatively ambiguous intention) and which of those sites also rank for the "searches related to" links that are offered. Some of those positions on the most generic SERP appear to be forced rankings, taken from the related taxonomies at the bottom.

Another parallel event occurs when search volume for a query spikes very high - and QDF kicks in. Those QDF sites will not rank there for long (we see the lost rankings complaints here) and they wouldn't rank there at all without this special treatment of "fresh results".

Yesterday I had a discussion with a "deep pockets" corporation who wants to rank organically for a query term where there are currently ONLY informational sites at the top - and no corporate sites at all for two pages.

Years ago they ranked very well on that particular SERP, but today they need to buy Adwords if they want to have what is essentially a branding presence on that keyword. And it really is a branding presence, because they have no data to suggest they ever got any business directly from that search traffic.

So it begs the question, has Google been right to force those results to be purely informational? Does that move actually meet user intentions? I'm currently inclined to say Google is reading the user intention very well, in that case at least. If a corporation wants a branding presence, paid advertising is the appropriate avenue. And chasing such a "trophy" keyword will be, in my opinion, a major resource black hole.

And by the way, for anyone who thinks I'm describing something very new - no, that's not at all true. The patent I brought up in the opening post was filed three years ago, and Universal Search is more than two years old. A lot of these phenomena have been evolving ever since.

whitenight




msg:3982288
 9:44 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

lol ok, wish we could have been discussing this 2 years ago, but let's discuss now.

When i "brag" about having up to 8-9 results on the first page for lucrative keywords(not just company names), this is what I'm talking about.

A main site indented
an affiliate or information site indented
couple of youtube videos.
sometimes a subdomain indented
or supertrusted news sites point to us.
shopping/news/blogsearch results,
etc

It's unfortunate (not really) that "deep pockets" and most SEO's are so far behind as that's what corporations are known for... being slow to implement changes.

(again, back to why Goog will never invent AI as a company, only a small nimble group of people could do this)

And by the time corporations figure it out, they will STILL be behind.

Time magazine recently talked about how phone apps/browsing are the wave of the future, hence Google Exec #1 being booted from Apple's board
psst, i'm saying it NOW so in 2 years i can "bookmark" this post ;)

--------------------

If you want to tie all this together, we can say Caffeine is REALLY about finally getting Universal Search to work properly with the regular SERPs.
(hence my prediction that many people would see their yo-yo issues disappear)

--------------------

So it begs the question, has Google been right to force those results to be purely informational? Does that move actually meet user intentions?

Still think you're focusing on the wrong issue here.
It's not about user intentions.
(it's a nice side effect if people buy into that spin, but that's not the focus)

It has been, for the past 2+ years, about getting Universal Search into the results...
Specifically, youtube's 1.65 billion, (with a B) investment that hasn't gotten a whiff of making that money back.

Geo-targetting, again, about getting the mom and pop Adwords money.
NOT user intent. or should i say just enough "user intention focused" reliability to sell geo-targeted Adwords.

Now, if an SEO is nimble enough, they can do serious damage with the same philosophy/knowledge, but let's never confuse:

Google saying they are going to "create the perfect search engine for users"

with

Google trying to soak every last advertising penny out of every last niche they can.

Leosghost




msg:3982300
 10:04 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

The thread's topic is how Google tries to understand user intention

And the point of some of us is that it Google isnt "trying to understand anything" of the sort ..it Google directing and dictating ..and we can see why

And stating the screamingly obvious is not ranting ..

Perhaps the catholic church accused copernicus and galileo of ranting ..about the real reason the lights in the sky moved ...come to think of it they did ..;) Why what did their accusers have to gain ?

Neither do I have anything against them ( or anyone else ) making a profit ..I'd just like them to cut the no evil cr@p" now ..it's no longer remotely credible .

What is the point of continually directing us towards the left hand of the magician tedster ? ..thats the distraction ..

Like whiteknight said ..the rabbit came out of the right hand ..lets look at the right hand ..:)

The why of what it ( google ) did/does is blazingly obvious ..attempt to increase profit via sales of adwords ..normal ..why deny it ..

So How do we mitigate for that ?

Well either we buy adwords for our own sites:)..

Or if we run agencies who act as buyers for adwords for our clients ;) and we get richer ..or if we run SEO agencies we tell our clients that we can seo our way around this ..;)

If we are the latter entity ..and we actually can seo our way around this :) then we would be very very dumb to post "how to do it" in an open forum frequented by openly declared Google reps ..and undeclared google employees ..and their friends ..and their ( undeclared publically ) friends ..

Because google would then move the goalposts ..again :)

And if we only run our own sites ;)..but do know how to get around the SEO problem ( for now )..we would also be very very dumb to post "how to do it" ..because google would move the goalposts ..again :)

Because they read here ..especially threads started by long time admins ( and if they dont then they are dumb ) ..and they are not dumb to that degree ..arrogant yes ..then arent we all to a degree ;)

So ..I'll say ( not rant ) when I think you or anyone else is telling us to look at the left hand when it's the right hand thats pulling the rabbits ..and that the magician is on ours or the searchers/audiences side..because maya is bad for us .

But post how to get around the trick ..with google and it's friends watching ..c'mon tedster ..none of us is that naive ..I hope ..( certainly not you nor whiteknight nor I are naive :)..and posting what doesnt work ? well thats maya agin ..some do it ..I dont ..often:) ..so we dont show google how much we know about their defenses ..and how to circumvent them ..:)

Laying ones throat bare to the enemy and showing that you know of it's weaknesses helps neither oneself nor ones friends ..

Nothing against answering geo targetting or translation or hardware stuff etc etc ..though ..thats helping webmasters ..and revealing nothing specific to googles watchers/provocateurs/reps :) ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 10:46 pm (utc) on Sep. 1, 2009]

Leosghost




msg:3982310
 10:19 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Whiteknight types faster than I do ( probably isn't cooking yet again another very late dinner whilst doing so ;)..

Agree with all whiteknight said ..especially the time frames ..from big daddy on ..

And google showed their hand badly over their clumsy implementation of QS for landing pages .. the you can get a better quality score by paying more ..

From then on all trust in any semblance of "do no evil" was gone ..

and it became us and them ..

If a corporation wants a branding presence, paid advertising is the appropriate avenue.

1.why paid ? ..good seo can get them up their for their own name ..unless google ( or any search engine ) rig the serps to "encourage" them to pay ..

and then claim that they dont rig their serps ..

2. and if it's a mom and pop who need to rank for their own name ..to survive ..they are collateral damage ?

Geo-targetting, again, about getting the mom and pop Adwords money.

exactly ..( it is neither what the searcher nor the site owner wants ..it only serves to push mom and pop sites into adwords ..or die ) which is why I have loathed it from the beginning and said so here for years to GG, Adam,Matt and whatever other nick their PR people want to use ..

tedster




msg:3982314
 10:27 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I was discussing having a branding presence on a very generic keyword search, not on the company name. Anyone who can't rank for their own company name has got some learnin' to do.

Geo-targetting, again, about getting the mom and pop Adwords money.

What about the Local Search onebox?

Leosghost




msg:3982325
 10:38 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

You dont try to brand a generic keyword that brings you no traffic ..( on or offline ) tedster ..if you do you are wasting your money or your clients ..

cola means coke or pepsi ..thats branding ..that makes them sales ..if branding makes you no sales ..you are just burning the budget ..

Btw ..when I cut my teeth in marketing and ads .."branding" ( that didnt result in sales ) as a term didnt exist ( well we tried it on some clients and they didn't fall for it :) ..if the bottom line didnt get better ..forget it ..

..then again when I began the world hadn't fallen for kids with MBA's in business studies and marketing either ..but no experience and many still living at home with the folks outside of term time ..:)

showing my age ..;) I quit due to a surfit of ethics ( I was told ..by those that wanted I stay on ) ..but I kept up ..doublespeak wasnt that hard to parse ..still isnt ..marketing is still mostly doublspeak ..mainly to the clients ;)

whitenight




msg:3982333
 10:45 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

I was discussing having a branding presence on a very generic keyword search, not on the company name. Anyone who can't rank for their own company name has got some learnin' to do.

Yes, I got what you were saying.

My point was that it does take some time to push all one's competitors out of the top 5-7 terms with competitive generic keywords and only have one's own branding there.
But it can be done.

What about the Local Search onebox?

Ok. Yes. Nice.

Implemented to compete with yellow pages, white pages, etc that for a while there was kicking Goog arse for local searches.

But do you wanna compare "city + keyword" searches to the trillions of SERPS with irrelevant youtube videos placed in the top 10 for no good reason?

Just because Goog is PRIMARILY trying to make a profit doesn't mean they are going to just RECKLESSLY throw up junk and hope for clicks on adwords.

Or haphazardly not compete for mom and pop advertising dollars.

They DO need to be competitive as an ACTUAL search engine.

And Mom and Pop had to do some work to get those onebox rankings,
which means they had SEO help,
which means they are also probably spending money on Adwords that they weren't spending before,
or at least know about it.

CainIV




msg:3982421
 2:17 am on Sep 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just because Goog is PRIMARILY trying to make a profit doesn't mean they are going to just RECKLESSLY throw up junk and hope for clicks on adwords.

Or haphazardly not compete for mom and pop advertising dollars.

They DO need to be competitive as an ACTUAL search engine.

This sounds to me like a complete about-face from what you just said, 7 posts ago, where you iterated in so many words that Google's emphasis is primarily making money MORE than satisfying search and being accountable.

Sounds more like a rant to me than anything of real logic and substance, unless we missed something in the argument you are making.

Perhaps it is the sheer fact that you write books when mere sentences would suffice.

Perhaps you can condense the novel and let us know where us mere mortals are going wrong :)

moehits




msg:3982499
 7:49 am on Sep 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Could a search for apple show a negative side effect to QDF? Or is it being intuitive and I only intend to eat if I search for plurals?

whitenight




msg:3982638
 1:09 pm on Sep 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Wow Cain,

Don't know what's gotten in to you, but oh well.
I can still play. :)

This sounds to me like a complete about-face from what you just said, 7 posts ago, where you iterated in so many words that Google's emphasis is primarily making money MORE than satisfying search and being accountable.

uhh, lol, yea, the post you quoted of mine says exactly this:

"Just because Goog is PRIMARILY trying to make a profit doesn't mean they are going to just RECKLESSLY throw up junk and hope for clicks on adwords."

So, I'm not sure how you think i'm contradicting myself?!

Since you've put me on "rant" mode and are missing the subtle YET HUGE differences in my arguments,
i'll go back to my fav analogy...

The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west.
Yes?

There's a HUGE difference in thinking that's because the Sun is revolving around the Earth.
And thinking it's because the Earth revolves around the Sun.

ONE of those theories will give you faulty and incorrect assumptions and calculations on the nature of life EVERY TIME.

One of those theories will allow you to gradually master the secrets of life in the universe with enough knowledge.

It's fine if YOU think it's mere semantics.
That's your choice. Or if you think I'm ranting.
There's a reason I keep pointing out that my "rants" have been eventually proven true in this thread.

MY THEORY/RANT has allowed me to accurately predict the direction Goog is going in to near 99% accuracy over the past few years.
Whether's it's figuring out the algo or investing in Goog stock.

Again, you may think it's mere grumbling and cynicism.
But at a certain point, a person, (i would especially think you would get it), has to wonder HOW I'm able to do this....

And I would tell you, it's because I START with the "more correct" underlying intentions (pun intended) of the whats and whys of Goog.

Perhaps you can condense the novel and let us know where us mere mortals are going wrong :)

That's what I'm doing in this thread. And then you want to call it a "rant" and subtly put me down.
So what now?

I am SAYING AGAIN, it's NOT about user intention.
I don't care if that's the topic of thread or it's a "reasonable sounding" theory.
I don't believe it's correct and that belief will lead to FURTHER mystification of Goog's algo...
Which I find rather simple to figure out.

So right now, I would go to the Caffeine threads and see what I'm saying and the "mere mortals" who currently think I have no clue what i'm talking about and think,

"Hey, what is whitenight pointing to here that I'm not getting or don't agree with? Maybe he's on to something I don't see yet... that will be a Featured Discussion 1-2 years from now"

:)

speaking of novels...i wrote a short 2-sentence post about what's really going on with rel=nofollow in a thread a month ago...and yet we still have people posting and misunderstanding what's going on with it. :(

CainIV




msg:3982864
 6:44 pm on Sep 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Don't know what's gotten in to you, but oh well.
I can still play. :)

Hey, it's a a series of checks and balances. :)

So right now, I would go to the Caffeine threads and see what I'm saying and the "mere mortals" who currently think I have no clue what I'm talking about and think

I don't thinks that's is the case here. I think that you are rebutting the theory which is posed about user intention playing a major part of the current SERP's and I am challenging you on it.

You have stated that Google is about making profit - agreed.

You have also then mentioned that Google cannot recklessly throw up junk, which translated to me means "must be accountable to the stakeholders and the general population". Let me know if this is what you mean (which was what tedster mentioned)

Google moves forward. They need to appease stakeholders and provide a quality product that both makes them money AND satisfies user search.

In this particular thread we are talking about HOW we see Google attempting to satisfy user search.

Still, I have to admit, it's always fun having a Whiteknight - on any forum :) (What would the forum be without it?)

whitenight




msg:3982925
 7:47 pm on Sep 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hey, it's a a series of checks and balances. :)

lol, as leosghost said, i get enough checks and balances from the Google PR people and their friends, and the underground PR people and their friends on this board.

Recently, I can't even post a sniff of the truth without one of them posting something else to throw everyone off track. :(

In this particular thread we are talking about HOW we see Google attempting to satisfy user search.

lol, as i said in my first post. That's problem #1.
People are coorelating changes in Goog NOW with "satisfy(ing) user search"
Wrong premise.

80% of the changes with Goog since Big Daddy have had to do with implementing Universal Search.

Would Goog be spending so much time and energy FORCING Universal Search into SERPs if they hadn't spent billions on youtube, books, news?

Or would they simply classify those pages as any other page and let them rank by the same merits.
ie. how many people are linking to those pages?

Take out the "neccesary from a business aspect but not from a user's aspect" monetization of Universal Search and you eliminate:

- #6 bug
- yo-yo
- the entire need for a new infrastructure called Caffeine
- a myriad of other "issues" that have affected Goog in the past 3 years

So, one of Goog's PRIMARY responsibilities as a BUSINESS is to justify why they've spent so much money on youtube, news, books.

Now, as a webmaster, knowing this 2 years, some of us saw this was a trend that was here to stay and started optimizing for youtube, news, images, onebox, etc.
and
were able to rank for these in the top 10 waaaay easier than it was to rank for a "natural UN-forced" organic listing.

rest of post cut and edited as it was getting to long. ;) Will save and post later if needed.

tedster




msg:3982971
 8:28 pm on Sep 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

My opening post is more about ways that the Universal Search infrastructure is also being used to blend in certain results by taxonomy - and a taxonomy that is generated automatically through phrase-based indexing (co-occurring phrases).

These results are not necessarily monetized, and they are there because some users are looking for THAT aspect of the original search phrase. Not videos, news, books etc - just a web page that covers a different taxonomy, a different semantic aspect of the original phrase.

This can sometimes be seen on a personal name search. When the name is held by a famous person "normally" all the top ten would be for the famous person. But a page about the less-famous person who happens to have the same name now sometimes shows up, too - even though backlinks, anchor text, PR and so on would not normally see that page ranking well.

I mention that as a relatively easy example to notice, but the same process seems to be happening in more subtle ways, too. The most general taxonomies are clearly in play (informational, transactional, navigational) but more fine grained taxonomies as well - taxonomies that are specific to the precise term: history of, important events involving, even a similarly spelled but distinct a lesser known topic.

whitenight




msg:3983027
 9:30 pm on Sep 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

And what are your suggestions for optimizing and taking advantage of this situation for our clients and ourselves?

tedster




msg:3983053
 10:54 pm on Sep 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Make sure that website content covers a range of informational taxonomies that are related to the main keywords - not just a pile of content, but content that really nails the common taxonomies.

It also helps in understanding how a ranking can show up and then disappear without any "penalty" being in play whatsoever - that keeps you from chasing shadows.

dertyfern




msg:3983261
 8:51 am on Sep 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Can you recommend a resource/guide that elaborates on taxonomies?

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