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prediction: Florida-like Update Before End of Year
Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 1:36 pm on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Larry Page has been at the helm coming up on six months. According to various reports, LP has put alot of faith back in the algo nerds. I look for a Florida like update on the organic side before the end of the year.

 

koan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 10:34 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Traffic from organic search should be considered a bonus, not an entitlement.


There was a time when people used directories, links resources pages and bookmarks to discover new sites or revisit old ones, but search engines became so good that most people use them instead nowadays. It's pretty hard to get by without some decent search traffic, unless you're a household name like facebook or amazon.

AlyssaS

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 10:51 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

non-Google strategies continued...

4. Listing your stuff on eBay - not as good as Amazon, but again it's another channel to sell your stuff on with the advantage that pretty much everyone has an eBay account

5. Collecting email addresses and then mailing your list with offers. You should have a database of email addresses of people who have already bought from you. Plus you can get opt-ins by adding a box to your site saying something like "if you'd like to be advised of special offers, please leave your email address". Then mail your list with deals and offers, (and try to be classy while still getting their attention - the list thing is definitely not an easy option!).

6. Bing. a #1 listing on Bing can deliver similar traffic to a #3 or #4 listing on G.

7. Affiliates. You may not have traffic, but they might. Affiliates are like a virtual sales force - sign them up in good time, so they have the space to build a campaign to promote your stuff

8. Banner advertising on other people's sites. If you've been dinged and someone else is still ranking, email them to ask them if you can place a banner ad on their site (no follow) that will redirect them to your product page. Pay per month for this, and you can always cancel the arrangement after Christmas.

[edited by: AlyssaS at 10:59 pm (utc) on Sep 7, 2011]

freejung

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 10:58 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree that the spam filters could use some rethinking - I also think the whole business of guessing what you're really thinking could use a bit of work. From talking to people who are not experts in search but have been using search for a long time, I get the impression that they're having trouble finding what they want in Google because of habits that Google caused them to adopt over the years.

People got used to searching for the sort of phrase that might appear on the page you want rather than the generic topic of the page. So it seems that people who are used to that sort of searching will type in very specific, long-tail phrases and get general-topic results, and get frustrated that they can't find the specific thing they're looking for any more.

Maybe all that is needed there is a bit of refinement of the idea of user intent. Clearly some searches are intended to find something similar to the search phrase, not something general on the same semantic topic as the search phrase.

If they are indeed giving more credence to the "algo nerds" then rewriting these things from scratch might just be the way they decide to go. There are a lot of cases where developers would prefer to rebuild rather than try to continue pasting things on top of the existing code, but are prevented by management.

MrSavage

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 11:27 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I find it comical that there is discussion about a "rebuild" when a product has up to 90% market share. If you're looking to retool a #1 secret sauce then failure is deserved. I haven't seen McDonald's redo their Big Mac sauce. Ironically what I and others see are terrible search results which now mean a retool is in order (bringing this post to the OP comment). Panda to some has actually wrecked Google search results, yet now Google needs a major "rebuild". Interesting. All the best in that quest.

People fail to look beyond their own endeavors to realize that there is a way to write good content and make a living of those affiliate links and ads. That's a business isn't it? Or is that not a business because it's easier and less time consuming that your "real business"? Some businesses are built to capitalize on trends or fads. Why should anyone building a money making website that utilized organic traffic feel inferior? Is that because Google says most affiliate sites or ad dominated site must be up to no good? So if a persons income was based on organic traffic then it's a more high risk, shorter life span, more volatile business. So what?

I would agree with freejung 110% on what the search results are like. The people adapted to asking Google to show sites, but now they aren't listening to you. They take what you ask and then draw from a pool of 10% of high quality sites which covers the broad subject for what you are looking. Put a search in quotes vs. not. Big difference. Put that search into Bing and see the difference. I've been doing that more and more. It's like knocking on a kids head going, "don't you hear me? don't you get it? do what I'm asking? can't you get it?". Google doesn't take you search literally anymore. That's the fact of the matter. You may be asking for specific info, but you're getting that umbrella authority site instead.

The bizarre thought that a huge update is coming or that it is needed says a lot. Here you have the most successful search engine tweaking results to the point where a lot of people are frustrated with the product now. From this perspective it's completely asinine. I know I've had this debate before and people disagreed with me, however, where were the dropping numbers? Where was the general public outrage or complaints about Google search results? I know some of the people on the "inside" (like us) knew there were problems, but I'm suggesting that 90% of people using the product didn't have any issues.

Political parties get destroyed in elections, then they clean house. Companies lose a lot of money, then they clean house. Restaurants lose customers and they change the menu or get a new chef. So in real life examples, where is the rationale for Google being in a position now where they need a Florida like update? Anything short of 100% is a failure or what? The point is the real world doesn't revamp, retool, etc unless there is a serious issue happening. A crisis results in retooling. I didn't see any crisis with Google search. Trends? Big deal. The ends don't justify the means.

They can do whatever. I welcome another ground shattering algo change. I'm still in the feeling of aftershocks and unstable ground so why not just get it over with. My expectations have almost done a 180 since Panda. I'm having fun writing still but I'm not enjoying the outlook as it stands now. Another Google algo change can only improve my feelings about the future of mom and pop websites.

johnhh

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 11:55 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

and the fact that they are looking for webmaster input about high ranking scrapers seems to say they have at least that area in their sights.
Way back, in the mists of time, this request was quite common, so merely by requesting indicates a problem in at least one area. I anticipate a roll-back , promoted as " a great improvement building on Panda " i.e a PR spin.

I don't go on all these conspiracy theories , all corporations exist to make money, however they do it. I do know that there are special relationships with corporations that spend $millions with Google. It's always interesting what ex-employees of "brands" will tell you !
I am not saying they get special preference, just that they get indications on what to do to maintain natural SERP positions which normal webmasters don't get.

As we have been heavily hit .. I don't feel inclined to help Google out by making scraper submissions .. sorry .. your Phd's will have to work it out for themselves. I'm off to Bing

Reno

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 12:51 am on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

There was a time when people used directories, links resources pages and bookmarks to discover new sites or revisit old ones, but search engines became so good that most people use them instead nowadays.

And there's another reason directories dropped in prominence ~ Google's dysfunctional delight in imposing penalties scared siteowners off, because many directories required a return link in exchange for a listing, and Google let it be known that "link swapping" would be penalized. Never mind that the directory had to pay for hosting, do the site design, code the listings into specific categories, remove dead links when necessary, etc, all of which entitled them to a simple return link. But apparently the business planners at G saw those sort of directories as a threat so they did their best to kill them.

I started on the web in 1995, before Google existed, and remember well that mutually beneficial link exchanges were a good way to generate traffic. Once G got big enough, they flexed their muscles and started hitting with their hammer, and link exchanges by-in-large dropped dramatically, because after all, it is suicidal to attract even the possibility of a Google penalty. It's yet one more example, as I explained above, how they have been incrementally imposing policies that will drive people to buy traffic from them. Directories losing popularity was not a coincidence, nor an unfortunate side effect of Google's punishing behavior ~ it's part of their well thought out strategy, and it sucks.

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

bw100

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 1:47 am on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

... someone from the organic team makes an unambiguous statement that their team does not even have an income related KPI to use in evaluating the effectiveness of their algo changes.

I could believe that the organic team does not have access to this data. It would probably serve as a distraction for their core mission.

But ... KPIs are fundamental business metrics. Some team at Google is monitoring the effects of all the changes that are made. It's just good, fundamental business,and Google is not generating their current margins without being aware of this metric. To suggest otherwise would be non-credible. There is just too much talent at too many levels there to believe that no one at Google knows what is happening.

Company-internal data compartmentalization, and plausible deniability for many departments are fairly standard business practices. I conjecture that if we "drill up" far enough, those with access to these metrics will be evident.

After all these years, if the official statements were bald-face lies, wouldn't some engineer, present or past, have spilled the beans and leaked the story?

And therein lies one of the flaws of our thinking: engineer. Most Google discussion and company reference focuses and obsesses about the Google engineers. But, there are plenty of just-as-brilliant, non-engineer, business-types on the Google staff, and these are the staff and teams that are charged, at some level, with evaluating and measuring the impact of the changes, and suggesting appropriate income-related actions.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 1:52 am on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is about a specific technical issue: is adwords a direct ranking factor in the organic search algo? The idea that it is comes up a lot, but I've never seen credible evidence that it is actually the case. There are plenty of arguments as to why it might be in Google's best interest to do that, although I disagree with that too. I think they're smarter than that - the con they're running is a very long con, not a get-rich-quick scheme. But there hasn't been any direct evidence, any statistical analysis, even any seriously credible anecdotal evidence, that they actually do this.


Doesn't have to be direct and I doubt it is. More like "by promoting this group we're more likely to make money," and once that's done is like a Ponzi scheme, you have to keep doing it, or the stock many, if not most Googlers hold collapses. Results change often anyway and obviously certain SERPS help google make more money.

But as long as I don't get a Google fanboy answer "Google wouldn't do that because of ethics" I can understand all other points of view. IMO their scam is running out fast: everyone from the developed world is online, they already maxed the ads a human being can endure (it's 4 and each with multiple links just on top in some niches) and they are losing market share extremely fast. Google already keeps way more people within their junk network than Bing and Yahoo so there's a limit there too, people and site owners will revolt and ask for a better search engine.

I reread the post about "algo nerds." So who wrote the code till now, the accountants? :)

And therein lies one of the flaws of our thinking: engineer. Most Google discussion and company reference focuses and obsesses about the Google engineers. But, there are plenty of just-as-brilliant, non-engineer, business-types on the Google staff, and these are the staff and teams that are charged, at some level, with evaluating and measuring the impact of the changes, and suggesting appropriate income-related actions.

This is another myth, a PR trick from Google. They hire BOOKSMART people and will ask for their GPA even if the guy is 45 years old. That's "smart" for Google, and it shows on their lack of Google invented products. Google didn't get where it is because of engineers being way smarter than others, they got here due to cutthroat business practices and public relations.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 2:44 am on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

And there's another reason directories dropped in prominence

I'd say the biggest reason directories fell off was that the model cannot scale with the growth of the web. Even in the nineties, directory-based Yahoo had to send a lot of queries to AltaVista (where the algo of the day might turn up a couple relevant results in the top ten, if you were lucky.)

And the current search challenge is still scale. That's what makes truly competitive entry into the search market so problematic.

And this is also why social networks are such a threat to Google and why Google needs to be there in addition to search. They represent a new way to find information on the web, something a lot more comfortable and familiar for people than geeky old search results.

I hope Brett is right - and I wait for the change with a degree of expectation, in fact. Google holds maybe 8 to 10 times more data in their active index than Bing does, from what I see. And that difference in scale seems to be another part of what Google tends to choke on.

Reno

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 4:21 am on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

To clarify, my reference was to niche directories that targetted an audience interested in very specific stuff, for example, online artists galleries. I have very firsthand experience with this ~ an online directory I started in '99 was attracting new participants every single day, but when Google began it's punishment regiment, those numbers started to drop off, and now I get (at most) maybe one or two new people each week. And I know it's "fear of Google" related because numerous webmasters told me so directly ~ they would be happy to take a free listing, but if they had to also give me a link on their "Favorite Links" page, they were afraid of a penalty. Whether that fear was well founded is not the issue ~ they thought it was a distinct possibility because that's the general impression that Google wanted to convey. By cutting back traffic via link swaps, as I said, people had to turn to other means, and PPC stood to be the big winner. Since Google rules PPC, the implication is obvious...

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

Zivush



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 7:38 am on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's organic quality that fuels the whole search business and Google is too smart to undermine that with quarter-to-quarter manipulations.
Are we talking quality?


Anyone care to post the traffic numbers from their Google analytics account?

It appears to me that Google provides the least targeted traffic. Since Panda hit it is even become worse.

I am sure many of us are trying to target their content and kw for search engines.

Letís look at my main siteís analytics. (Top quality site with thousands of visits from search engines every day)

SE P/VTime on SiteBounce Rate
Google 2.47 00:02:37 50.46%
Yahoo 3.33 00:03:45 33.81%
bing7 3.55 00:03:19 27.74%

Total amount of traffic for this site in the past 30 days: well above couple of millions.

Refer to the differences. Which search engine works best for people searching on it?
Quality? I wish all of my traffic was as targeted as yahoo and bing.
Rest the case.

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 2:24 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

1- Larry Page is now in charge.
Larry has made it clear that it is 'his google' or the highway.

2- The radical rolling out of Google+ has been under Larry Pages' direction.
Google has used the engine to drive traffic directly to AdWords since it was introduced. That has happened because of Google's steadfast 'no changes' to the SERPs in almost 10 years. The changes that have occurred over the last year, have clearly been aimed at 'softening up' the ground for the changes that Google+ have rolled out (toolbar, notifications, etc.).

Google now is driving traffic, not to AdWords or other 'search related' properties (Maps, News, Image), but now shuffling traffic to the Google+ offering (via notifications and also via algo tweaking that favors G+ postings/photos/videos).

3- Some Google+ SEO factors now trump linking as prime algo ingredient. Google+ is already and clearly influencing rankings. I watched a presentation last night that definitely showed that rankings can occur from Google+ postings and photo's with no other means of support.

As Google+ grows - so will Google's understanding of how to use it as rankings signals.

We are not playing Google+ because we want too - we are playing Google+ because we have to.

4- Devil May Care:
- Instant Search, previews
- Massive site links
- Links no longer underlined
- Daily testing of radical new designs
- Auto loading pages without end
- Panda (it's about content farms... no wait, it's about quality...no wait, it's about)
- Panda - serp effects - highly over-rated. It was ground work.
- "Whenever you hear somebody say, 'This is not about money' - it's about money!" -Senator Dale Bumpers

5- AdWords just has to start showing a 'hit' from all the pushing of Google+ social notices. There has to be a response.

6- Google+ is a departure from everything Google has done before it. Aftershocks from such a change are usually felt about six months later (about the end of the year).
</.02>

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 2:53 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

As Google+ grows - so will Google's understanding of how to use it as rankings signals.


but what if that fails and they don't see patronage? there doesn't seem to be any indication of it succeeding and they can see success only if webmasters cooperate.

We are not playing Google+ because we want too - we are playing Google+ because we have to.


This one is a nice pro google+ argument but..

Since there is a huge dependence on webmasters, google will definitely try to tease them with rankings..

ps: any reason why there isn't a facebook like button here? I see only the tweet and the +1 buttons, though microsoft is supposedly using FB data.

[edited by: indyank at 2:58 pm (utc) on Sep 8, 2011]

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 2:55 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm no pro at Google+, but you have to be signed in to your google account to see it right?

If so, I'm skeptical as to how many people are using this. I've not seen it on sites, and nobody I know who's not a webmaster is signed up into a Google account.
Google+ SEO factors now trump linking as prime algo ingredient.

Now that I really don't believe. Google's serps didn't change that radically, there's not a bunch of new sites at the top of the serps with no links and lots of +1's.

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 3:00 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I watched a presentation last night that definitely showed that rankings can occur from Google+ postings and photo's with no other means of support.


I am not even sure how this could be tested or demonstrated and the kind of site and keyword used for this purpose.

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 3:06 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google+ SEO factors now trump linking as prime algo ingredient.


that is a huge statement. I am not yet seeing any evidence of it in the SERPS.

walkman



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 3:11 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wow, Brett pretty much summarized everything. You risk not being included in the insider tweets Brett ;)

but what if that fails and they don't see patronage? there doesn't seem to be any indication of it succeeding and they can see success only if webmasters cooperate.Since there is a huge dependence on webmasters, google will definitely try to tease them with rankings..

You need to understand one thing: Google only cares about its own objectives. If it drives you and me and Jeff out of business, who cares? Panda and G's response to complaints made that clear. So G will shape SERPS up to subsidize their disastrous G+, tough luck to you and me. If it doesn't work and they start to lose money, they'll change it again and those still hanging to a site will have to deal with other updates to "promote high quality sites."

Do you worry about ants as you walk to the coffee shop? No.

Now that I really don't believe. Google's serps didn't change that radically, there's not a bunch of new sites at the top of the serps with no links and lots of +1's.

Search for a techie story and see the pictures of writers with a link to their G profile. A surprising number are on the front page, remember Google bribed them with top rankings and white-listing even during Panda. (There's no real money in those terms so G only gained by doing that. Now those G robots praise Google because they are members of the undeclared club. They even have G engineers in their circles. OMG!)

If so, I'm skeptical as to how many people are using this. I've not seen it on sites, and nobody I know who's not a webmaster is signed up into a Google account.

I believe the question you are asking is: does G have enough data to really re-rank based on G+? I doubt lack of data will stop them from doing what they had in mind. They pull the same crap with the "open source" Android, follow the Google line (use G products) and Verizon and Motorola would get a head-start.

Edit to add: According to a Forbes writer that was there, G told publishers straight upfront, use G+ on your sites or your rankings will suffer (a lot.) The story disappeared from Forbes quite fast, maybe she feared the rankings disappear for writing about it?

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 4:07 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

> that is a huge statement. I am not yet seeing any evidence of it in the SERPS.

Then try testing EVERYTHING on G+. Including posts, comments, video, photos, and especially efix data. (I see a dozen other places available on G+ too - put your thinking caps on ;-) )

AlyssaS

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 4:07 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'll believe the +1 button is taking off when Amazon condescends to put it on their pages. They currently have a facebook button, twitter button and email button but no +1. That's because their customers - mainstream people - have no idea what it is.

P.S. Just checked some other mainstream places - NYTimes has facebook, twitter and Linkedin buttons on it's articles but no +1. The Guardian has facebook, twitter and reddit, but no +1. Daily mail has just facebook. Ebay has facebook, twitter and email buttons on all it's listings, but no +1. Zappos has facebook, twitter and email buttons on it's pages - no +1.

This is being ignored by the mainstream. It's only small webmasters who are rushing to add the button to their sites.

[edited by: AlyssaS at 4:36 pm (utc) on Sep 8, 2011]

Freedom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 4:32 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I suspect Brett might be right and Wikipedia will sure take a hit without +1. That will be interesting. They are one of the few sources on the internet to actually use a bibliography which helps make them credible, despite being open to anyone.

+1 versus a Bibliography...

One definitely sounds more superficial than the other. (Pun intended.)

Kind of like when Google gave up offering me ALL my words in a search to ANY..because they know better than me what in the h*%$ I'm looking for.

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 4:34 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well fair enough. My universe of the serps is pretty limited to my niche and personal searches. Nothing too exhilerating. There's entire sections of Google search I never go anywhere near.

randle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 5:38 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Direct user feedback added into the algorithmic ranking process certainly makes sense. The question in my mind is the percent of all users/visitors that will actually provide feedback; it has to be of a certain size to reach a validity threshold.

Beyond the crowd that hangs around here the only reason I can think of for someone to be logged into a Google account, and thus be capable of providing this feed back, would be because they use G-mail.

What percent of the online population uses G-mail?

What percent of people that use G-mail would bother to provide feed back on sites/pages they visit?

I like the concept, but the "only users that have a google account can participate" part seems a little,, I guess confining?

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 5:45 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I like the concept, but the "only users that have a google account can participate" part seems a little,, I guess confining?


lol....the whole purpose of google+ is to make you log into a google account. why do you think they are spending a lot of money and effort on this?

Reno

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 5:47 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

The question in my mind is the percent of all users/visitors that will actually provide feedback

You are exactly right, and in addition, certain types of sites are far more likely to generate this sort of thing than others, so it may be one measurement, but it's a very imperfect one, to say the least.

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

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 7:17 pm on Sep 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

This has serious potential to backfire. What's the mainstream press going to do if it's obvious that you have to have a google+ button in order to rank? I'm not putting a + button on my site - no way no how that I can see this happening in the current environment. But if we're forced to offer every stat for every visit to every site to Google as entry criteria in the serps? The press will have a field day.

In my country, there are substantial privacy laws. You can't give data from your website to a third party, not without clearly disclosing this information on your site. Right now, sites that use Google analytics and don't disclose this are breaking the privacy laws (pretty sure they are, I reviewed this pretty thoroughly). You're required to have a privacy statement, yet few do. I don't care because what's it to me? But if my competitors are outranking me with +! buttons AND not disclosing that they're providing all their visitor information to Google, well now the privacy commissioner might get a call. So there's another way this can backfire. You want a call from your country's privacy regulators over your use of a +1 button?

walkman



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 12:29 am on Sep 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

@wheel
I hope Google dies of a thousand cuts, each for the bad deed they're trying to do. With G+ buttons they will track every site, every page you visit, as if every Google search you type was not enough (they hold IPs for 18months IIRC) and god knows how long they'll hold the ones tied to your real name. From a Google console, a thug or the Govt (not that much different :)) or a divorce lawyer can, with a court paper, see everything you have searched for or every site you have ever visited. All from one place.

This is the story about Google trying to blackmail site-owners with loss of their livelihoods:
[cnn.com...]
And depending on where you work -- say, Facebook or the Justice Department -- that could look like Google is unfairly using its search engine might to boost its Facebook alternative.

That might explain why Forbes killed a story by Kashmir Hill entitled "Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Suffers" which was seemingly based on information from a meeting with Google ad representatives. On August 18, Hill wrote, "the message in this meeting was clear: "Put a Plus One button on your pages or your search traffic will suffer."
...

But the story quickly disappeared from Forbes' website and from the Google cache, though it was noticed and saved by the Raven Tools SEO blog.

One guesses the tone of the post -- and its headline -- rankled someone somewhere.

Forbes, Hill and Google all declined to talk on the record about the post that disappeared into the memory hole.

jmccormac

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 1:31 am on Sep 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'd say the biggest reason directories fell off was that the model cannot scale with the growth of the web.
Web directories hit a scalability wall very quickly because they rely on user submissions to gain content. The alternative is to have a website detection/acquisition setup and this is beyond the expertise of most people who build web directories as it effectively is the precursor to a search engine.

And the current search challenge is still scale. That's what makes truly competitive entry into the search market so problematic.
Actually I don't think that the problem is scale. This is based on building search engine indexes and doing monthly website usage surveys of about a million websites. The problem is getting fresh content and identifying derelict websites that have not been touched in years. There is also a sub-problem of distinguishing actively updated content from spam sites. Scale is easy - it is a technological problem. Quality, timeliness and relevance are far harder problems to solve.

I hope Brett is right - and I wait for the change with a degree of expectation, in fact. Google holds maybe 8 to 10 times more data in their active index than Bing does, from what I see. And that difference in scale seems to be another part of what Google tends to choke on.
I think it is more a question of quality. I've seen a lot of easily identifable holding pages in Google so it is a possiblility that Google's quality control sucks. It seems that Google relies on its algorithms to keep these sites down in the SERPs but it really is an example of poor programming that they should even make it into the Google index in the first place. (This may upset the Google fanboys and fangirls but it is a simple truth of building search engine indices that it is far easier to stop junk going into the index than remove junk from a live index.

The other thing that is really after screwing up Google is that the fear of penalties from linking is making people think twice about putting links on sites or even asking for links. This is a headshot for the Google because without links, it is stuck with gTLD websites. Most ccTLD registries do not provide zone file access in the same was as the gTLD registries. This means that Google is completely vulnerable in ccTLD markets because it cannot detect new ccTLD websites until they have inbound links.

Panda may yet turn out to be Google's Altavista moment and if they don't do something quickly, they face losing more traffic to Bing.

Regards...jmcc

1script

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 4:04 am on Sep 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Web directories hit a scalability wall very quickly because they rely on user submissions to gain content.
And that's what makes some of them great. Really depends on who's submitting that content. I absolutely love small specialized topic-specific directories. There are some still up since the 90s that contain a treasure trove of info on some hobby stuff I do. They are mostly accepting submission by the owners (not technically a submission though) and maybe a small circle of trusted friends. Sort of like a prehistoric Yahoo - style.
Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 12:11 pm on Sep 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

>The question in my mind is the percent of all users/visitors that will actually provide feedback

About quality and not quantity. You've heard of Klout.com right? Google has to have something similar internally. You know the Author thing G released and how they surface reliable content for that? Yep - klout'like internal ratings.

awall19

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 9:25 am on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you have repeatable empirical evidence that Google is "manipulating" (whatever that means, it would be nice to have a definition) search results to increase adwords revenue, that would be interesting.


does adding a 4th ad slot for Google vertical ads like Google advisor count?

how about the time they ran a test search result with extra white space in the left column (to drive down the organic search results) and less than normal white space in the right column (to keep all the ads above the fold)? other than user manipulation, what justification would they have for needing more whitespace in one column AND less in the other?

what about Compete.com showing Google downstream traffic to Youtube up 30% then 18% month over month? That is great growth for a new site, but is unheard of for a site the size of Youtube.

People still give Google a pass even *after* 3rd parties saw them put monetary values in the search results next to the listings, not once, but twice
[valleywag.com...]
[seroundtable.com...]

Before Google Instant, Googlers mentioned that 20 to 25% of Google queries were new. After Google Instant Eric Schmidt recently put that number at 15%. And it not only consolidates search query volume against fewer keywords (that are more likely to have ads), but the interface of Google instant drives down the organic search results while it is open.

There was also the time that Google bought BeatThatQuote, was highlighted for it being spam, and then restored it to the search results only 2 weeks later *without* fixing *any* of the paid links that were highlighted.

At some point the results & such observations become more than sufficient evidence to highlight a trend.

Even after the illegal drug ads, Google *still* has a "get rich quick" AdSense ad category. When you hover over the category they describe it as "SCHEMES promising fast earnings"

And when they cleaned up the drugs ads (after the sting campaign) they announced that they disabled 50,000 AdWords advertisers who they thought were selling counterfeit goods. How does it get to that scale unless they are intentionally looking the other way?

And, as Brett mentioned with Google+ as a signal, Forbes published then pulled an article titled "Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Dies"

walkman



 
Msg#: 4359046 posted 11:28 am on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you have repeatable empirical evidence that Google is "manipulating" (whatever that means, it would be nice to have a definition) search results to increase adwords revenue, that would be interesting.
Other than what awall19 said, SERPS change so how do I know why? It's all secret, not even impartial parties are allowed to inspect it AFAIK. But I have empirical evidence and anyone with a braincell knows that a lot of what G is saying is BS.

First G already admits of manually inspecting and consequently changing top keywords. Even Matt Cutts admitted that there's a lot of hand tweaking now vs the old days. Oh but they are checked by raters using "science" that Amit Singhal is fond of saying. Really? You can get them to vote either way, any pollster knows [en.wikipedia.org...] . And that's even if the criteria was $$ blind, which it isn't sinces what we have seen mentions or hint at brands quite a few times.

The result seems to be that for many top commerce terms the top results also have adwords ads at the same time, so Google doesn't lose and it takes care of it's 'ecosystem'. One hand washes the other.

What's better for "Insurance" ? A site that gives you a choice of 4-5-10 quotes or a list of major insurance companies (with billions to spend a year and just so happened to be G advertisers?) Does anyone believe that that term was left to chance? But the algo did. Yeah, sure, after it was tweaked to do exactly what Google wanted it to do it.

I'll ask these questions:
Does anyone believe that an algo that hurts Google earnings would stay ? Yes, different SERP results can make the ads look better or worse. When was the last quarter Google lost or made less money? Or is an algo that makes more money always the most relevant one :)?

Or Google leaves that to chance too? We will learn a lot about Google once private documents are going to be examined. For some it will be worse than when they found out that Santa Claus didn't exist. Google's corporate 'ethics' are do it, and hope not to get caught. They attempted to steal the copyright from book owners (they can let us know if they disagree was their answer. HUH?) and then knowingly chose to steal from Java and take their chances, IF they got sued later. We know about the drug ad deal thing, where they even risked jail for very little money, relatively speaking. This shows unlimited and contempt for anything and anyone but their profits.

Hell, maybe they change your site's title on the fly to make it suck so people click on ads. It's not like 'they wouldn't do such a thing,' or that they can't, and ads are part of search. Who cares if a user got what he/she wanted by clicking on an ad vs an organic listing? No one but Google's shareholders and the loser site-owner.

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