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Google is committed to NOT being a Search Engine
tedster




msg:4504320
 5:59 am on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Many members here have observed that Google is no longer a traditional search engine. This is now an established fact. Google does not intend to remain a search engine:

Recently, Matt Cutts delivered the opening keynote for SES San Francisco (August 2012) where he clearly mentioned that one of the key focuses for Google is to move away from being a search engine and focus on becoming a knowledge engine. Google is so committed to this that Google's Search Quality team has been renamed to Google's Knowledge Team.

[searchenginewatch.com...]

This would be a major shift in what we know as the web. How to get found by new visitors would evolve in a big way. Those who depend on search traffic should be paying close attention to every step along this path because it WILL impact our own business models.

As one member said in our Next Generation SEO [webmasterworld.com] discussion, "Adapt or Die".

 

TypicalSurfer




msg:4508189
 4:38 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Because if Google is doing that, then that's definitely harming consumer choice in favor of Google's own agenda. But if they can't determine that Google manually screwed Yelp over, then there is no consumer choice issue. Am i misunderstanding something?


Yelp and a few others (probably thousands if "mom and pop" were heard) have documented a drop in google referrals coinciding with the rollout of competing services from Google so that is the basis for some of what the FTC is looking into, how they did it algorithmically (decoding the algo) is not so much an issue. I probably missed the point you were making.

Of course the big omission here is that adwords is a competing property with organic serps, I think that is the big issue with "mom and pop" and consumer choice. Are they evolving the "knowledge engine" at the expense of free trade?

Panthro




msg:4508209
 5:55 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe this was the long term plan all along.


Good points there.

MrSavage




msg:4508214
 6:21 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Regarding scraping or wondering where Google gets the snippets, sports scores, movie times, etc for a knowledge engine it's pretty simple isn't it? Can't they buy a newspaper? Can't they buy one of the big tech sites and then have all those writers? Maybe I'm simplifying this took much. I don't think that they need my content or yours to become a knowledge engine. Seriously, couldn't they just buy Wikipedia? Nobody turns down a lucrative offer when it comes to selling out.

I just had a terrible dark feeling about all this. Best not to think about how this internet thing could turn out and where my place is or isn't in all of it.

tedster




msg:4508229
 7:07 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

wondering where Google gets the snippets, sports scores, movie times, etc for a knowledge engine it's pretty simple isn't it?

I don't think the challenge is acquiring the data - it's more about when to assign what data to what query. And that gets into semantics as well as all the relationships between concepts that our brains are very comfortable with but computers can be clueless about.

Seriously, people enter some very strange things into a search box. If you monitor site search for a larger site you'll see some of this. I can't imagine what Google sees.

seoskunk




msg:4508233
 7:20 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Aren't sites like wikipedia knowledge bases.? I don't know we the money they got you think they'd be happy being a search engine.

tedster




msg:4508243
 7:44 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Here's one way to think about it. Did you see Jeopardy when IBM's "Watson" super computer competed with all the earlier human champions? Watson was using a knowledge base and making some very diverse and obscure connections - sometimes with absurd results, but often with uncanny accuracy and speed.

If Google can mature their Knowledge Base technology in that direction, then they can have that kind of capability and apply it to all kinds of diverse search queries. Or so goes the hope.

seoskunk




msg:4508255
 8:09 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Here's one way to think about it. Did you see Jeopardy when IBM's "Watson" super computer competed with all the earlier human champions? Watson was using a knowledge base and making some very diverse and obscure connections - sometimes with absurd results, but often with uncanny accuracy and speed.


Actually that sounds pretty awesome !

SevenCubed




msg:4508258
 8:29 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

We have no worry about google becoming a knowledge engine -- there's not enough money in that which is all they really want. That's not their destiny. They are turning their full attention to becoming a paid-inclusion commercial portal.

That's why even though I keep hoping for IBM's Watson to make a splash landing into the internet I don't think he will because there's more potential for IBM to develop it along more useful (and profitable) lines. Like right now for instance Watson is in medical school assisting doctors around the world to diagnose difficult medical cases. Can you imagine google trying to do that right now?! Would you trust google to try to diagnose you for something like that when you see that they cannot even return a simple set of search results accurately?

Watson is light years ahead of google in AI. Also the real engineering architects of data are working in places like Wall Street. For any other aspiring engineers there's always room for them at google.

SevenCubed




msg:4508271
 8:49 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just to back up what I've said above here's a brief extract from an article on the matter.
First Layer general information typically available from sources like Google
Second Layer information from medical textbooks and journals
Third Layer test cases
Fourth Layer domain-specific information, including specific protocols and procedures that health insurance companies will want to feed Watson. [mdnews.com...]


They are relating information architecture as 4 layers and they specifically mention google by name as being the lowest form of important data.

TypicalSurfer




msg:4508300
 10:21 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google's entire financial success revolves around one commercially successful product (search) and now they don't want to do that?

I'm not buying it, as someone else speculated it's probably more of a semantic defense against imminent anti-trust action. I think their goals technically are not that lofty, it looks to me like they want to be yellow pages ($)/white pages.

It's been awhile since I've seen the IBM Almaden crawler, I always hoped they would make something of it.

diberry




msg:4508303
 10:38 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

TypicalSurfer, I see what you mean now. Thanks for clarifying.

They are turning their full attention to becoming a paid-inclusion commercial portal.


You're the second person to suggest this recently, and it does feel like a distinct possibility. I don't think they consider search commercially successful in any way other than how it drives Adsense income - if they can drive that income without being a search engine, then that would be fine with their stockholders, so it's a viable option.

BethL




msg:4508318
 11:18 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Consider that most of us (yes?) earn $ from adsense. But first Google gets us those ads and from those sources we (web site owners) make our $.
Now move Google into a position of being THE knowledge source.
The only game changer is us. Google now gets all the money from their advertisers. No more sharing of the $ is required in order to keep the advertisers happy.

My guess on this is that this was the plan all along. But first Google had to use us as well as our visitors to prove themselves to the advertisers that they can deliver results.

docbird




msg:4508332
 1:34 am on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Reading of google like this, and of tendency for mighty brands to elbow others out of SERPs

- there's niche emerging for search engine(s) without focus on mighty brands; some kind of alternative. Bit like with music: "indie" scene, with bands n songs people find interesting, away from the regular MTV and so forth.

fom2001uk




msg:4508428
 12:36 pm on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Whether its Microsoft, Apple, IBM, another big brand, government intervention, or an indie search engine (hang on, isn't that how Google started?), I just wish for all our sakes that it would HURRY UP ALREADY.

jimbeetle




msg:4508459
 2:31 pm on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

They are relating information architecture as 4 layers and they specifically mention google by name as being the lowest form of important data.

No, they mentioned it as a source of general information.

CainIV




msg:4508758
 5:46 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not surprising. With the advent of Siri and other knowledge-based technologies and mobile devices becoming smarter the writing is on the wall. In addition private and public apps and APIs are eating holes in traditional search channels.

Knowledge is easy for Google to collect on a basic level

Knowledge is easy to aggregate on a more advanced level. This has been the major directive in my opinion in the direction of G over the last 3 years

Audience is where Google is going with Social context.

Where audience and knowledge meet is where the 'new search' and conversion zone will be for many businesses.

Search without context is slowly becoming meaningless.

Austin80ss




msg:4508837
 10:45 am on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think the main idea of this statement - changing view points of visitors.
But really, i can't believe that Google someday will become wiki.
Without adwords (millions of dollars from advertising) free services are going to disappear.
And don't forget about capitalization of company and performed investments, even if they say so... in general, nothing gonna change radically.

austtr




msg:4508885
 2:05 pm on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Knowledge is easy for Google to collect on a basic level


I presume you mean Google will extract information from the sites it has indexed. That is where many people start to have a problem.

a) Google does not own any of the resources from which they will extract the knowledge. The information is not theirs to take and use for commercial gain.

b) How can Google know if knowledge extracted from a website is true? How effective can a knowledge engine be if the answers cannot be relied upon for accuracy?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4508894
 3:08 pm on Oct 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

In addition private and public apps and APIs are eating holes in traditional search channels.

Then why is this not being reflected in the stock price?

Automotive site




msg:4509964
 7:33 pm on Oct 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think Google should decide what is 'knowledgeable' for us, they should just sort out the most relevant results and then users can decide how to improve their knowledge.

This is why there should be competition in search so no one company gets too much power to decide what is right for us and what isn't. Having said that, I do use Google for all my search needs as I currently don't trust Yahoo/MSN to provide me with the best results.

anyone




msg:4510059
 2:11 am on Oct 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not sure why so many people consider google to be the bad guy, and why we are blaming it for its decisions, google its a business it does what it need to do, or what it thinks its right.

furthermore you have to admit that google in a lost of instances with its innovations manages to create needs

Digmen1




msg:4510215
 7:09 pm on Oct 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I used to admire Google
But why can't companies just leave things alone, instead of constant tweeking etc.

As regards search results, I get annoyed when I search for a business and all of these directory websites comes up.

But yes I do think that people are using the internet to get answers to questions.

Its just that nobody has done it well yet.

And the ROI on Adwords is too low, and the bid clicks are too high.
This is being reflected in their latest quarterly results, along with the move to mobile and Facebook.

jimbeetle




msg:4510859
 3:31 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Very good article about where "search" is headed:

Joing the Party, Not Crashing It [nytimes.com]

As Larry Page has been saying the past couple of years "it isn't about ten blue links on a page" anymore. It's moving way beyond that.

Mr. Singhal is talking about what computer scientists call ubiquitous computing or intelligence augmentation the idea that computers will no longer be devices we turn on, but will be so integrated into our everyday environment that we can ask them to do things without ever lifting a finger.


A must read.

gehrlekrona




msg:4510895
 5:03 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

@jimbeetle, "Brave new world, here we come...." There will be no use for any other web sites than Google.

Panthro




msg:4511070
 1:52 am on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ jimbeetle - thanks for the article. It made it seem like the future of Knowledge Graph will be all about answering trivia questions at parties, stuff like that, but I think that's an important thought.

In regards to the future of search and Google leaving behind search to be a "knowledge engine", here's how I can see it happening:

You and your friends are hungry, so you pick up your Galaxy S3: "Google - Can you call I Love NY Pizza on Central?" Google interrupts: "I can call I Love NY Pizza, but did you know that Frankey's Pizza has a special on Large, 1 topping pizzas today? Should I show you more about that?" You guys are interested in saving a little money, and you like Frankey's anyway, so you go to the ad and call them.

Later that night, you remember your wife's birthday is coming up and you've been wanting to get her a nice, new DSLR. So you pull out your Nexus tablet. This time, instead of speaking, you type (so she doesn't hear you) - "n..." "nik..." Google Instant brings up "nikon d5100" before you can look back up at the search bar. Although, instead of the typical 10 SERP listing that we're so used to seeing from a "search engine", you get a big block of "knowledge", almost exactly like the knowledge graph blocks that are (for now) off to the right on some searches. It's a beautiful, simple presentation. There's not so much text to digest all at once. Not so many choices, so many decisions to make. There's a short, clean description with a photo of the camera, videos reviews of the product and links to where you can buy it and how much it's going for. You can even select "Read More on Google Shopping" if you need more info. Down below that, in the bottom-left area, is a link about the same color as the "Ads Related to" text that we see in the SERPS today. It reads, "Search". Or something like that. You remember that, but you don't need it. This new thing is much nicer, much faster, much easier.

When you really do need to do some research, maybe for a university essay or something, Google still gives you that option. In fact, "search" can't disappear, because that will be partly where Google will continue to get all this "knowledge" anyway. It will just play a secondary role in the future. It will be under the surface, powering the new Golden Goose. Webmasters will still be there fighting over Adsense scraps and trying to figure out how to get to the top of the results, but there will be far less competition (and far less traffic) and the rewards will not justify the efforts for most. Only those with the best, highest quality resources will remain and the wide scale reverse engineering of Google Search will finally be dead. This will be partly due to the lack of tools that the SEO world once relied on to thrive. First, checking backlinks via Yahoo's site explorer was killed, then Google "site:" operator was rendered all but useless. Keyword query information will be almost completely gone soon. A few more adjustments and site owners and marketers will eventually be forced to focus on creating the highest quality content with the best user experience - and formatting it properly for Google to hopefully serve it up as Knowledge.

Just as the majority of consumers today can have their personal computing needs met by iOS and Android operating systems, Google Knowledge will be able to give [i[the[/i[ answer to most of the world's questions. No more searching necessary. That's sooo 2000.

After over a decade of Search, I'm sure that by now Google's engineers feel that they have enough data about what we're looking for, who's looking for it, and how and when we're looking for it (and everything else) to justify this new shift.

TypicalSurfer




msg:4511095
 3:17 am on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

The jury is out. Google has decided to amplify their advertising layer at the expense of search, that's their decision, now the public decides.

I'm liking yandex for now, kind of refreshing to see search results unmolested by ads. I've yet to get a fail on a search (unlike bing) and they have a little link to google and bing on the bottom of their results page "just in case". I also like their auto-scrolling results. They also get a few points for kicking googles butt in their primary market (Russia).

jimbeetle




msg:4511337
 4:05 pm on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just as the majority of consumers today can have their personal computing needs met by iOS and Android operating systems

A buddy just scrapped his home computer. There is nothing he has to do at home that can't be done on a smart phone -- banking, grocery orders, Amazon, e-mail, music, surf the web, a bit of search -- all in the palm of his hand.

As an added benefit his wife was able to scrap the computer armoire that took up precious NYC apartment space.

diberry




msg:4511338
 4:06 pm on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm liking Blekko - it's like Bing and Google, but without ehow and Livestrong showing up 50 times on every query, LOL.

Seriously? Good for Google, hope this works out for them. But I don't think traditional search is dead yet, and people are getting more savvy about the fact that Google isn't their only option. Maybe Google realizes they can't be the #1 search engine forever, so they're trying to evolve before that day comes. If so, that just opens the playing field for everyone else.

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