homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.226.213.228
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 317 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 317 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 > >     
Big brands do not have the upper hand - Matt Cutts
Whitey




msg:4554060
 8:41 pm on Mar 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Big brands cannot do whatever they want. They look at value add, etc. Faster, better, better UI, content, etc.

It is weird, Google does take action on big sites and big sites often do not like to talk about it. So it happens a lot. [seroundtable.com...]

Live blog interview with Matt Cutts.

How are members seeing those quality signals playing out in the SERP's compared to "smaller" brands.

 

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4564924
 1:26 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Again, why do you focus only on organic when considering the searcher?

I didn't say that.

The AdWords portion of Google is a separate group/team/whatever. So is the design team. We're talking about the organic results in this discussion, none of the others.

What I've said repeatedly is you focus on the searcher with the organics, because that's what keeps them coming back to click on your Ads, which is long-term sustainable. Once again, every single SE that has not done that or not been able to provide what the visitors are looking for in the organics is basically forgotten as a SE.

The searcher just wants a page of results.

if Google came out with such a ham-fisted statement, they'd be toast in 5 minutes. That's one way for Google to ruin their reputation beyond repair. It would say outright: you can't trust the organics any longer - they're pay to play.

If you want to make a point you really shouldn't contradict yourself.

If all the searcher wants is a page of results, then that's what they're getting whether those results are pay-to-play or not.

And, once again, Yahoo! provided "just a page of results", which included Ads and we can see where it got them. (Yahoo!'s Ads were generally better than the organics too, but that didn't really help them much, did it?)

If Adwords gives them the best result for a particular search, why do you consider that a bad result?

Yahoo!, AltaVista, Ask, etc.

The press would be all over that. Google Shopping got bad enough press but at least Google WERE straight-up about it - they said it would be pay to play.

So did everyone quit using it?

I don't remember Google ever really taking "what is the press going to say?" into account when it comes to decision making. Think, Books, Buzz, Street View WiFi Recording, etc.

Google Shopping is moving to paid only in the UK on 30th June (has moved in the US already), so you think Google Shopping will be bad for searchers because it's paid only?

I didn't say that. We're not talking about Google Shopping.

What we are talking about is Google's organic results, which happens to be what made Google the number 1 search engine on the planet. (Meaning it wasn't their ability to serve targeted ads that got them where they are. Many search engines have been able to serve targeted ads.)

Not one search engine I can think of has ever grown, or even held on to, a large market-share of search traffic by serving ads that are better than their organic results. There are a number I can think of that have served ads that are better than their organic results and failed (meaning lost both money and market share).

[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 2:11 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]

netmeg




msg:4564936
 2:10 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nobody has ever convinced anyone into or out of a conspiracy theory on WebmasterWorld. Seriously. It's never happened. If you think Google is nothing but evil, nobody will convince you otherwise. If you think Google generally means well but often fails in the execution, ditto. Or if you're like me and believe somewhere in the middle of those two, you might temporarily shift more to one side than the other, but ultimately you come away with the save viewpoint you went in with.

All we have to go on are our own experiences, and the experiences of those we can see (and even that's usually only partially useful) Google is a corporation, and like any corporation, stockholders or not, they want to make money. But they're also sitting on a ginormous enough pile of cash that they can afford to take the long view, and not have to do profit grabs every quarter. As a general rule, they're trusted in the markets (see also: Amazon)

If you think that there are a bunch of Googlers sitting in a room somewhere symbolically rubbing their hands and cackling with glee at all the FUD, you're wrong (well, maybe except for Eric Schmidt) I fully believe there is such compartmentalization inside Google that one group doesn't know what the other group is even doing (see also: AdSense and organics, many examples, the most recent of which is the organic team pushing Responsive Design when AdSense still doesn't approve serving responsive ads)

MOST of the sites I oversee (my own and my clients, generally between 250 and 300 of em in a huge variety of niches) do not run AdWords. Most (but not all) do pretty well in the organics, whether or not we run AdWords. All my AdWords clients run heavy AdWords spend EVEN WHEN they rank well in organics, and they run it (and PLA ads - formerly Google Shopping) on the same keywords they rank for organically. Some of the are brands, none of them are big brands (although we compete against big brands) We aim for total domination of the page, that's why we focus on organics, on PPC and on product ads.

If I'm doing this on my small scale (and succeeding in some areas), you best believe that the big brands are throwing HUGE amounts of time, money and personnel at it as well. Plus they have the added advantage of name recognition, and other channels (TV commercials, print ads, direct mail, etc.) SO OF COURSE THEY RANK. Whether or not Google gives them a pass is pretty much moot; they don't need Google to give them a pass.

Big brands always have had advantages that need to be worked around; blaming it on Google's preference is real convenient, because it lets you off the hook for finding those work-arounds.

And none of this takes into account the crapstorm that would fall on Google, from users and from governments, if they were to let it be obvious that paid ads influence organic results (without due disclosure) Really, I'd believe Google was totally evil before I'd believe they would be that stupid.

GOOGLE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT SITE OWNERS OR WEBMASTERS. The sooner you get that into your head, the better. They should add that to every hosting agreement in the world.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4564939
 2:25 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I fully believe there is such compartmentalization inside Google that one group doesn't know what the other group is even doing (see also: AdSense and organics, many examples, the most recent of which is the organic team pushing Responsive Design when AdSense still doesn't approve serving responsive ads)

^^^ This definitely.

One of the biggest "one team has no clue what's going on with anyone else" indicators was right after Panda and some other updates rolled out when the "organic results team" was saying not to put too many ads on the page while AdSense Reps were calling and telling people they would make more money by putting more ads in more prominent places on the page.

They were two completely opposing pieces of advice from different departments at the same company. It had (and may still have) quite a few people's head spinning and left them not knowing what to do, because one was saying "go easy on the ads" and another was saying "you should plaster the page with ads".

ColourOfSpring




msg:4564944
 2:35 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

The AdWords portion of Google is a separate group/team/whatever. So is the design team. We're talking about the organic results in this discussion, none of the others.


A SERP is a mix of organic and ads. That's what a searcher sees. That's what a searcher reacts to. You think Google don't look at the interplay between Adwords and organic? Of they course they do, because they're literally on the same page. Google will be greatly interested in the interplay between Adwords and organic listings for many reasons: usability reasons, sheer accuracy for the searcher, diversity for the searcher, and last but not least to see how Google can earn the optimal income from any given SERP without harming quality. As I presented earlier, the "win win" that Google are looking for here is giving the searcher what they want, and maximising their profits - that's the destination Google are (and have been) working toward. They're a business.

Not one search engine I can think of has ever grown, or even held on to, a large market-share of search traffic through ads that are better than their organic results, but there are a number I can think of have served ads that are better than their organic results and failed (meaning lost both money and market share).


To be no.1, you just have to be better than the rest - not necessarily YOUR best. If being "good enough" makes you a larger profit than being YOUR best, any company would simply set their dials to "good enough". If a competitor comes along and ups their game, you then up your game to make sure you stay at no.1. Look at Google Fiber - this new venture has shown that gigabit connections are commercially feasible, and what happens? The big player in this field - AT & T - suddenly up their game and match Google Fiber's specifications. Would AT & T offer gigabit connections without Google Fiber? Absolutely not. They wouldn't need to. This happens in all industries. You just have to be better than the rest. Google are NOT no.1 because they are offering the best organic results they can possibly offer - they are no.1 because they are offering better organic results than the competition.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4564947
 2:44 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

A SERP is a mix of organic and ads.

You don't get how they work there then. The team we're talking about has nothing to do with ad clicks or selling AdWords or advertising in general. Their job is organic results. That's all. Nothing else.

(There's actually 2 separate teams that make up the organic results, and they don't even always know what the other is doing, even though they work on the same thing. One's job is to "find quality" or "answers" the other's job is to "fight spam". The results are a combination of their efforts.)

[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 2:53 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]

Str82u




msg:4564952
 2:49 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

they don't need Google to give them a pass
No Kidding, the way G has leveled the playing field for small sites/webmasters you could almost say big brands are the sites being penalized.

@TOI, in reference to "Not one search engine I can think of has ever grown...serving ads that are better than their organic results", isn't that kinda what we're doing? Better ads on our sites means more money but G doesn't have to worry about losing traffic to users clicking out on ads as much. I never saw a search engine with better ads than results but I have seen them push organics past the fold (ASK) and use the target attribute for those listings. I understand good ad copy gets clicked but can't see that ruining G if the users are cool with it (does the ad end the search?).
AdSense Reps were calling and telling people they would make more money by putting more ads
I was on a video chat with AdSense team members explaining why I wouldn't add more or modify the current ads, they were a little pushy at first but conceded to my SEO approach admitting (twice and very categorically) that they had no clue there was just a algo rollout and had no idea what effects it would have.
TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4564962
 3:30 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

To be no.1, you just have to be better than the rest - not necessarily YOUR best. If being "good enough" makes you a larger profit than being YOUR best, any company would simply set their dials to "good enough".

You really don't understand Google's philosophy or mentality, especially those Montessori Kids that run the place. They don't "do" just enough to get by like most people/companies would.

Kinda gotta be a Montessori Kid to really understand what the deal is with them and what makes them tick, but this should give a bit better of an idea about the type of goals they have. (They don't think "do enough to get by" or "just be a little bit better" in any way.) [wired.com...]

See if I can summarize with a question:
Why would you waste the effort on being "just a bit better" when you could expend the same effort and be way better? When you set your dials to "good enough" is when you get passed by someone who doesn't.



...isn't that kinda what we're doing? Better ads on our sites means more money but G doesn't have to worry about losing traffic to users clicking out on ads as much.

Not sure I exactly get what you're saying, but I don't use AdSense either. Tried it, but found other ways that were way better.

I understand good ad copy gets clicked but can't see that ruining G if the users are cool with it (does the ad end the search?).

Organics and Ads are two separate pieces of the company.
(As you obviously found out.)

So, if the Ad ends the search, then fine the AdWords team did a great job, but Google doesn't need to manipulate what's shown in the organics to try and make that happen more often. They just need to have people come back to them and it'll happen often enough naturally, as long as the AdWords team does their job, and if they slip, then the organics are still there to keep visitors coming back.

They might (likely -- would be silly not to imo) manipulate/change the design/layout to try and make ad clicks happen more often, but there's no need to manipulate what's shown in the organic results based on advertising. The organics have been the key to their success since they started, so why would they mess with that?

ColourOfSpring




msg:4564971
 3:59 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

They were two completely opposing pieces of advice from different departments at the same company. It had (and may still have) quite a few people's head spinning and left them not knowing what to do, because one was saying "go easy on the ads" and another was saying "you should plaster the page with ads".


They're not actually contradictory pieces of advice. Adsense advice basically says - if you want a higher click through rate, here are the best positions to put your ads. The spam team says if you put too many ads above the fold, we may penalise your site. If you look at both statements, they're not the "opposite" of each other.

edit for clarity: Adsense is just an ad publisher division of Google - they don't care where you get your website traffic from - they simply deliver ads for your website.

[edited by: ColourOfSpring at 4:29 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]

Str82u




msg:4564972
 4:00 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

@TOI
They just need to have people come back to them and it'll happen often enough.
You're talking law of averages, right? That's what I've always thought about them and ourselves, "Got a good flow of mostly happy users, don't screw that up to get more clicks, get more users". I think it's o'kay to say G has tried, and probably continues to try, to boost it's CTR on SERP pages but too many users clicking into ads is going to make unhappy users <-- Law of averages here says a large number of landing pages will upset users.

A SERP is a mix of organic and ads
What kind of effect would it have on a site if they were naturally #8 on page one of the SERP but had the #1 ad for that result and got all the clicks? Would the site move up from #8? I've always just assumed the ad CTR is recognized differently than a listing CTR (different redirects and all).
TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4564974
 4:06 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

They just need to have people come back to them and it'll happen often enough.
You're talking law of averages, right? That's what I've always thought about them and ourselves, "Got a good flow of mostly happy users, don't screw that up to get more clicks, get more users". I think it's o'kay to say G has tried, and probably continues to try, to boost it's CTR on SERP pages but too many users clicking into ads is going to make unhappy users <-- Law of averages here says a large number of landing pages will upset users.

Exactly!

Especially this:
"Got a good flow of mostly happy users, don't screw that up to get more clicks, get more users".

ColourOfSpring




msg:4564981
 4:22 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

You don't get how they work there then. The team we're talking about has nothing to do with ad clicks or selling AdWords or advertising in general. Their job is organic results. That's all. Nothing else.


The left hand may not know what the right hand is doing, but they don't need to anyway - the brain is controlling both. The Adwords team may not be privy to organic data and vice versa, but there will be a team in Google who are aggregating everything. In terms of decision making, I doubt the upper management of Google will decide "let the Adwords team be 100% autonomous no matter what, let the spam team be 100% autonomous no matter what, and where the chips fall, let them lie". It's not like these two teams have to liase with each other when you have management. I've been over this one, and I'm repeating myself now, but Google is a business, and it's very much in their interest to ensure their cash cow is being milked for all its worth while maintaining results quality. That is the optimal result for Google.

You think Google aren't interested in CTR split between organic and Adwords, even if it wasn't for simple accuracy testing? Layout testing? 2nd searches? Searcher satisfaction? Categorising searcher behaviour? All of this will be happening with comparison between ads and organic. All of this data will be aggregated in total even if Adwords team and spam team didn't see the full dataset - some team there will - the team that controls the direction. It's hardly a conspiracy theory what I'm describing here - just mundane data processing to ensure an optimal result for the company and their customers. I actually think it's more of a "wild conspiracy theory" to believe that Google don't have any over-arching management at all that can control the direction of the teams below them (without needing to micromanage them).

[edited by: ColourOfSpring at 4:36 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]

diberry




msg:4564985
 4:32 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Adwords and Search may be two highly separated departments, but dollars to donuts there's someone higher up looking at the big picture - the results of the two departments' combined work - to make sure it serves Google's bottom line. It would be silly for Google not to do this, because then profits could fall and they wouldn't know why.

What IS debatable is how far this goes. The big picture team could just make sure nothing Search does could inadvertently hurt Adwords, which would be totally benign due diligence on their part. Or they could give the Search team directives which sound benign ("the lawyers are recommending we boost authoritative sites over relevancy, sorry") but are really designed to boost Adwords in a way that's unethical. Or anything in between. That's where we all have our own theories and, as Netmeg said, nobody's ever had their mind changed dramatically.

The reason most businesses fail is because they didn't look at the big picture, or didn't read it right. Google's success strongly indicates that no matter how they divide the workflow, or how they may keep departments on a "need to know" basis, someone there knows precisely how Adwords is looking on various queries, and they are issuing reports about it.

ETA: ...and I cross-posted with ColourOfSpring just as we said almost precisely the same thing. Jinx! :)

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4564991
 4:54 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've been over this one, and I'm repeating myself now...

Likely because you're not really reading my posts. You're just trying to pick out points and citing piece that make sense in context, but not necessarily in isolation.

Just one example is where I said AdSense Reps were calling and telling people they would make more money by putting more ads on the page and/or in more prominent locations. I didn't say anything about what's posted on the page, yet you told me if I looked at the page I would see there were no opposing statements made. How's the page have anything to do with Reps calling and saying something not on there?

(You can't make more money from more ads or increased prominence when that causes your traffic to tank since when your traffic tanks you don't get the visits to give you the clicks you need to make more money.)



Looking into how Google is actually run and how segmented the different areas are from one another might be shocking to you.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4564993
 5:22 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Adwords and Search may be two highly separated departments, but dollars to donuts there's someone higher up looking at the big picture - the results of the two departments' combined work - to make sure it serves Google's bottom line. It would be silly for Google not to do this, because then profits could fall and they wouldn't know why.

And I haven't once said there isn't.

COS is still making statements implying I've said things I haven't or putting words in my mouth in one way or another. (I've pointed them out a few time previously ITT.)

What IS debatable is how far this goes.

Definitely.



Here's another example.

I said this: (emphasis added)
So, if the Ad ends the search, then fine the AdWords team did a great job, but Google doesn't need to manipulate what's shown in the organics to try and make that happen more often. They just need to have people come back to them and it'll happen often enough naturally, as long as the AdWords team does their job, and if they slip, then the organics are still there to keep visitors coming back.

They might (likely -- would be silly not to imo) manipulate/change the design/layout to try and make ad clicks happen more often, but there's no need to manipulate what's shown in the organic results based on advertising. The organics have been the key to their success since they started, so why would they mess with that?

I got this reply:
You think Google aren't interested in CTR split between organic and Adwords, even if it wasn't for simple accuracy testing? Layout testing? 2nd searches? Searcher satisfaction? Categorising searcher behaviour? All of this will be happening with comparison between ads and organic.

diberry




msg:4564996
 5:44 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

TOI, you mentioned the separation of departments as a response to suggestions that Google (as a whole) is making sure the SERPs, ads and all, serve their bottom line. Or maybe you didn't mean it as a response, and it just read that way on the page. Sorry if I misunderstood - just wanted to see what page we're all on.

Google MUST be looking at the end result SERPs to make sure it works for them... beyond that are all those things we can't know for sure:

--What manipulations would boost profits for Google. We can speculate, and some things seem obvious, but as this thread shows there's often two reasonable ways to interpret the same data.
--Which manipulations, if any, Google is willing to engage in from a corporate culture/ethics/legal risk standpoint. That's where opinions are sharply divided because it's a moral assessment of people none of us (?) knows personally.
--Who at Google knows about any manipulations they may be engaging in - or evaluating and then deciding not to engage in.

My own opinion is simply that Google probably considers ANY strategy that might boost profits, and then rejects some which are deemed too risky or too unethical. Where they set their ethics lines, I have no idea. And as for legal risks, I'm not even sure anyone knows precisely what's legal or what's Google's responsibility in a lot of situations. The law is still so far behind on it all.

netmeg




msg:4564999
 6:01 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Adsense is just an ad publisher division of Google - they don't care where you get your website traffic from - they simply deliver ads for your website.


Boy is this ever wrong. You do realize that AdSense is the other half of AdWords, right? Nothing happens to one that doesn't affect the other, and traffic quality is largely what drives smart pricing.

The point being, there are a TON of things that go into it, I don't know all of them, you don't know all of them, and you're gonna believe what you're gonna believe.

This business of Google manipulating organic results in order to boost ads - I've certainly seen them switch out the layout and the backgrounds of the ads, but changing the organic results? Over almost ten years and hundreds of websites and many AdWords clients (and probably tens of thousands of searches) I have never seen any sign of this. And I've looked.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4565000
 6:02 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

TOI, you mentioned the separation of departments as a response to suggestions that Google (as a whole) is making sure the SERPs, ads and all, serve their bottom line. Or maybe you didn't mean it as a response, and it just read that way on the page. Sorry if I misunderstood - just wanted to see what page we're all on.

Here's the page I'm on:

1.) I think the ads and organics are separate in what they include and the order what's included organically shows.

2.) I think they use design, layout and other "features/gimmicks/prominence" to try to maximize ad clicks from visitors and/or hold them on their properties (sites) as much as possible without being "totally irritating".

3.) I do not believe they're silly enough to let advertising influence what's shown in the organic results, or in any other way "sacrifice" the organics to make an extra penny today, because:

The organic results are what make them better than the rest.

The organic results including what people are looking for, regardless of advertising, will keep people coming back should they not find what they're looking for in an advertisement or should there not be advertisements for a query.

Every search engine with lesser organic results over time has lost market share and profitability (maybe too many "landing pages" when you have to click the ads to find something as was previously suggested?), so for long-term viability, based on Google's history wrt building their current market share and the past "failures" of other SEs, the organics remaining by "unmanipulated" anything other than visitor satisfaction / quality indicators is the key to their continued success.



Bottom lines in my thinking:

Advertising, design, features, layout, nearly everything except the ordering/inclusion in the organic results = profit maximization.

Organic results remaining unmanipulated in the ordering/inclusion of sites/pages by advertising or anything other than visitor satisfaction indicators / overall quality improvements = The key to their long-term sustainability/viability as a search engine (or knowledge engine or WETF they call themselves today).

ColourOfSpring




msg:4565006
 6:35 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Boy is this ever wrong. You do realize that AdSense is the other half of AdWords, right? Nothing happens to one that doesn't affect the other, and traffic quality is largely what drives smart pricing.


netmeg, I meant that Adsense don't care - or should NOT care - about your website's loss of traffic from Google itself because the ad placements they recommend may cause your site to be deemed "low quality" by the spam team. I take your point in that of course they don't want (for example) 1000 spambot clicks going to your site, or even generally low quality traffic. I didn't really explain that clearer. Basically Adsense don't - or should not - care what percentage of your traffic comes from Google itself, or even the negative impact your ads will have with Google itself.

This business of Google manipulating organic results in order to boost ads - I've certainly seen them switch out the layout and the backgrounds of the ads, but changing the organic results? Over almost ten years and hundreds of websites and many AdWords clients (and probably tens of thousands of searches) I have never seen any sign of this. And I've looked.


You cannot "see" Google's best possible SERPs versus Google's "good enough" SERPs - you just see what they deliver. There's no split test you can do - you just get - what I get - what we all get - what Google deliver at any given time. Google only have to deliver "good enough" if "good enough" makes them better than their competitors. See AT & T's sudden ability to offer gigabit connectivity as a reference to the "good enough" mentality.

I'm not sure why people are so resistant to the notion that Google would try to maximise ad clicks (their cash cow) while at least maintaining their search share and general popularity amongst the population and media.

On another forum it was widely debated that Google do not want to get above a certain level of search share - to be seen as TOO monopolising and incur seriously profit-damaging legislation against it (particularly in the EU). I'm sure there's an optimum level of share they want to obtain, and then maximise the profit from that share of the market.

I know for some people here, the "official" view of Google is that Google simply want to grow market share - grow it to 100% if they could - while totally NOT focusing on ad clicks simply because a bigger share of the market will naturally win more clicks. But ponder this - one of the biggest threats to Google - perhaps THE biggest - is not Bing or Yahoo! It's accusations of being too monopolistic and controlling, and subsequent legislation being made against it. This isn't even a conspiracy theory. Google have - even with 70%-odd share - been dealing with this accusation for years. There's no way they can simply shoot for such a high market share without seriously jeopardising their no.1 position.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4565007
 6:51 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

But ponder this - one of the biggest threats to Google - perhaps THE biggest - is not Bing or Yahoo! It's accusations of being too monopolistic and controlling, and subsequent legislation being made against it. This isn't even a conspiracy theory. Google have - even with 70%-odd share - been dealing with this accusation for years. There's no way they can simply shoot for such a high market share without seriously jeopardising their no.1 position.

Ponder this.

Market share is based on number of queries conducted.

To lower or just maintain their market share % Google can either lose visitors (and ad click revenue) as a percentage of searchers or people have to find the answer they're looking for with less queries on Google, meaning Google's results must get better, not worse, for them to lower or not grow market share and maintain profitability.

What they need to do to keep from having too much market share while retaining profitability is the exact opposite of what you are suggesting they're doing. The worse their results, the more queries people have to make to find what they're looking for and the more queries people make on average the higher their market share becomes.

See AT & T's sudden ability to offer gigabit connectivity as a reference to the "good enough" mentality.

As I said previously, the "good enough" mentality is what gets you passed by when others don't do things that way. ATT is a perfect example of what I said.

They lost market share to a company they shouldn't have, because they worked with a "good enough" mentality. If they had just done what they're doing now initially it would have been much tougher for Google to "get in the game" while ATT would have set the standard and retained their market share much more easily.

The "good enough" mentality isn't as profitable as you seem to think.

Whitey




msg:4565011
 7:15 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Some facts, quotes and weight of opinions:

1. Unscientific poll associated with OT quote:

Do you think brands get preferential treatment by Google?

Yes 73.96% (250 votes) [seroundtable.com...]

aka "Bias"

2.
The internet is fast becoming a "cesspool" where false information thrives, Google CEO eric schmidt said yesterday. Speaking with an audience of magazine executives visiting the Google campus here as part of their annual industry conference, he said their brands were increasingly important signals that content can be trusted.
"brands are the solution, not the problem," Mr. schmidt said. "brands are how you sort out the cesspool."
Source Oct 2008 : [adage.com...]
Discussion : [webmasterworld.com...]


So Eric Schmidt conveys what the organisation wants.

3.
Vince Algo Update - More Offline Brand Authority in SERPS?
@Tedster My only question is whether the influence is from offline or possible some other factor - such as unlinked brand mentions, or social media buzz. [webmasterworld.com...]

Matt Cutts addressed these concerns in a three and a half minute video, which I have embedded below. Matt Cutts said this change is not necessarily a Google “update,” but rather what he would call a “minor change.” In fact, Matt told us a Googler named Vince created this change and they call it the “Vince change” at Google. He said it is not really about pushing brands to the front of the Google results. It is more about factoring trust more into the algorithm for more generic queries. He said most searchers won’t notice and it does not impact the long tail queries, but for some queries, Google might be factoring in things like trust, quality, PageRank and other metrics that convey the importance and value of a page, into the ranking algorithm. I guess, big brands have earned more trust than smaller brands, which is noted by all the recent chatter in our industry.
Source: March 2009 [searchengineland.com...]
Matt Cutts : [youtube.com...] In response to [seobook.com...]

So we think it's external factors, but not sure what. Google explains the difference.

4.
Google’s Head Of Search: Google Does Not Give Brands A Bias

Singhal explains that when someone types in T, mathematically “most people typing T will go to Target. That’s the probability model. If you add R to it (“Tr”), most people are looking for a translation system. It’s actually just pure mathematical modeling.” It is just math, he says, not a bias.

Source Dec 2010: [searchengineland.com...]

"Completion" here is referring to the Autocomplete feature of Google Instant, which Singhal says is completely mathematical.

@Robert_Charlton The report doesn't discuss the algorithmic factors which might cause brands to come up as frequently as they do.
Discussion : [webmasterworld.com...]

Is this bias or an explanation that would cause an average Joe to say "what's the difference. It's the result that counts. How it's formed is Google's responsibility against the perceived user intention. So what if the search team says we are only responding to probability". I think Aaron Wall, noted above subsequently refers to it as "Reality Warping" [en.wikipedia.org...]

Doesn't seem straight to me either.

5.
Panda / Penguin
Hit's mostly small and medium size business' that have used aggressive techniques, mostly in linking and content [ too little or farmed too much], in part, to combat brands.

Brands provided a pass.

Google defines it's own definition of brands, since some high profile sites that relied too heavily on SEO techniques were demoted in the updates. Some would argue that brands given a pass fitted a commercial bias that allowed big spending marketers a higher trust threshold that exempted them from Panda/Penguin, based upon user metrics, mostly measured on the probability referred to by Amit Singhal

6.
To date few sites have escaped Panda, and non Penguin

Once branded by Google, as + or - sites likely won't escape. Google doesn't want excess sites and information where it doesn't have a need.

7.
Brands that offer little or no added value, such as affiliates can have a pass, even if they don't pass all the quality criteria in the measurements outlined by MC in the OT

MC states that in highly competitive verticals, you may as well forget about trying.

So I think he was referring to niche only in the OT quote, as the "sorry, we're full" sign has gone up. Inference. You'll have to buy tickets if you want to play.

8.
Eric Schmidt on the winners and losers in search rankings
Google is being investigated as to whether it may be violating anti-trust law in how it ranks websites when consumers do searches. Gwen Ifill talks to Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt as part of the Atlantic and Aspen Ideas Forum. [pbs.org...]

Transcript of Senate Hearing [guardian.co.uk...]

NB Brands only seem to be complaining about the prejudice of results by Google assets, not their preferred positions. [ I mean why would they ].

9. Guys, you'll have to help me for this referral, but in an SEC filing, I think, around late 2012, it states something along these lines :

Google does not consider Ads any differently from organic listings. They are all listed for the purposes of relevance to the user audience, from which the advertising model derives income to Google.

So if Google has enough relevant content to organise a bidding game that pays across various Google assets, why show organic listings that don't pay.

10. Loop back to the poll @ 1 above

Personally, I do think there is merit in promoting some brands, and a reality about big business that "money talks" , "BS walks". That's life, even though I detest the latter and have to negotiate through it by seeking the truth as best I can.

-Do I think we've been fed the truth. No [ well YES kinda of :) ]. Sometimes. Darn semantics, language and interpretation gets confusing to know what the truth is :)
-Do I think small/medium business has suffered. Yes [ but they can fight back, but not all will if they solely depended on Google organics]. Sad.
-Will Google provide a free socially democratic platform where everyone will be happy and all quality innovation will be rewarded. No - it never will and it never could.

Folks that believed they could eat candy for free for life and Google loves them, are probably angry and disappointed in their delusion of romance, leaving some spurned, rejected , bitter and badly burned - no joke intended, this is real and needs respect [ that's sad ], but as @travelin_cat says: Thanks for all the fish [webmasterworld.com...]

Look after yourselves, families , friends, communities and business'. The web can and will be a place of prosperity with or without Google.

[edited by: Whitey at 7:53 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]

netmeg




msg:4565021
 7:51 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yea I don't consider that an accurate timeline at all (at least it's most certainly not how I'd map it out) But I've already spent too much time on this as it is. Carry on.

Whitey




msg:4565023
 8:03 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sorry Netmeg, it's the best I could do. The community needs you and your valued perspective, so if you or others see a glaring timeline omission please post it. Thanks anyway. My motivation is that I don't think I've seen a clear explanation on WebmasterWorld - and surely mine is not the best. Certainly personal SEO advice has been deficient in this department IMO in preparing for Panda/Penguin, and I'm absolutely no SEO.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:30 pm (utc) on Apr 15, 2013]
[edit reason] fixed typo at poster request [/edit]

diberry




msg:4565129
 4:44 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm always getting unsolicited pitches from a supposed SEO expert named "Stella Fair" who wants to rock my site to the top of Google. Well, this evening ol' Stella informed me that nowadays more people find sites through Facebook and Twitter than search engines, and so she wants to help me improve the visibility of my "brand." (It was just last week that not being at the top of Google was going to wreck my life.)

Can't help but chuckle at the idea of SEO services re-marketing themselves as "internet marketing specialists." Oh, if only they'd been that from the start... and if only they'd had a better business model than spraying your homepage link all over any blog not smart enough to moderate those comments. ;)

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4565133
 5:05 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Can't help but chuckle at the idea of SEO services re-marketing themselves as "internet marketing specialists."

What else are they gonna do, quit spamming and get a job where they have to do something besides press the spam some more button on their computer for a living? Hahaha!

...and if only they'd had a better business model than spraying your homepage link all over any blog not smart enough to moderate those comments. ;)

FYP: "And if only there was a more profitable business model requiring less work than preying on the unwary and spaying their home page link all over any blog not smart enough to moderate those comments."

Unfortunately, for anything else to actually be profitable (other than shifting to social media spamming with the press of a different button) they would actually have to know what they're doing wrt SEO, and, heaven forbid, they might even have to work a bit.

It's so sad what Internet "business" has come to.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4565151
 7:10 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

To lower or just maintain their market share % Google can either lose visitors (and ad click revenue) as a percentage of searchers or people have to find the answer they're looking for with less queries on Google, meaning Google's results must get better, not worse, for them to lower or not grow market share and maintain profitability.

What they need to do to keep from having too much market share while retaining profitability is the exact opposite of what you are suggesting they're doing. The worse their results, the more queries people have to make to find what they're looking for and the more queries people make on average the higher their market share becomes.


Just recently desktop searches hit an all-time high in the US ([searchengineland.com ]). Make of that what you will. In any case, the search share has been pretty stable with Google holding at around 70% in the US regardless of volume. It's hardly made huge leaps in either direction for years in other countries either. The feeling I get (and it's just a feeling) is that Google are pretty happy at this kind of market share in regards to being accused of being a monopoly. It's high enough that they still get continuous flak from the EU, but it's not TOO high to seriously put them under pressure.

In regards to gaining market share through more searches per user - I think if a searcher got frustrated with Google's results and did more searches, he or she would eventually just quit and go to another search engine. Simple as that. Of course Google do not want that to happen. That's NOT a way to sustainably gain market share - but it's a great way to lose it.

Google want to be the best and remain the best. That doesn't mean that "good enough" is the lowest standard possible that keeps them no.1 - when I say "good enough", I mean Google find an accuracy level that keeps searchers happy, and maximises their profits. That's just good business. Your view is that Google will maximise organic accuracy regardless of the impact that will have on Adwords. You might be right (and we're all guessing here), but I would be very surprised if you were.

Just a visual example here. Compare SERPs in 2005 to today on a commercial search - more ad space, less organic - quite often organic is below the fold on common screen resolutions. It's just a visual representation of what ad clicks mean to Google. They will work right up to the threshold when it comes to maximising ad clicks - the threshold being searcher satisfaction. They don't want to breach that threshold (that would be stupid), but clearly they want to maximise ad clicks by working right up to that threshold.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4565158
 7:42 am on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Your view is that Google will maximise organic accuracy regardless of the impact that will have on Adwords. You might be right (and we're all guessing here), but I would be very surprised if you were.

And I would be surprised if I'm not, because that's where their sustainability comes from as a "whatever engine" people try to find stuff with.

Just a visual example here. Compare SERPs in 2005 to today on a commercial search - more ad space, less organic - quite often organic is below the fold on common screen resolutions. It's just a visual representation of what ad clicks mean to Google. They will work right up to the threshold when it comes to maximising ad clicks - the threshold being searcher satisfaction.

Everything you're saying right there is Design/Layout.

I have said I think they maximize that (meaning design/layout) for ad clicks and keeping searchers on their properties without becoming "overly annoying" or "frustrating".

What you're not showing with your example, and no one else has a better one than you (that I've seen), is them changing/manipulating the order of or changing/manipulating what shows in the organic results.

There's a big difference between changing the design of a page to influence someone to click on something and removing the objectivity of what's shown in the section of a page you claim to be objective.

One is business and profit maximization.
The other is deceptive, unethical and likely a huge lawsuit.

netmeg




msg:4565257
 2:53 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Right, which is kind of what I was saying.

I'm always getting unsolicited pitches from a supposed SEO expert named "Stella Fair" who wants to rock my site to the top of Google


Yea, she hits me up too, on sites where I have 8 out of 10 results on the first page (and if she were a real SEO, she'd know who I was and wouldn't bother. For that matter, she's probably not a she, either) These people are not really SEOs. People who know what they're doing don't have to troll for new business with cold calls and spam emails.

diberry




msg:4565272
 3:53 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yea, she hits me up too, on sites where I have 8 out of 10 results on the first page (and if she were a real SEO, she'd know who I was and wouldn't bother.


I've noticed that too on two of my sites that are ranking just fine (not as awesome as yours, but as well as I honestly expect at this point). I have a feeling "Stella" and "Ivar" and the others are the "SEO experts" who serve their clients by leaving all those ridiculously flattering spam comments on blogs. As TOI said (more or less), it's a super easy way to "earn" a living.

But I have to give them credit: they're changing their pitch in a very timely fashion. ;)

Str82u




msg:4565276
 4:07 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

IVAR
Oh, that silly, silly Ivar. "You site is aren't ranking with the much profit term KW KW KW KW KW widget KW"

HEY, anyone seeing Android apps in SERPs? I got one that popped up at #20, want to see if that's going to be the next "youtube video" for our SERPs.

tedster




msg:4565283
 4:26 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

This thread contains a lot of thoughtful observation. I think it's important for us to process the "biggest picture presented by Google Search as a whole - including organic results, the SERP layout, and their Adwords business -- and start by accepting the [oints made above by TOI - that they are each the province of separate teams. When Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal speak, they are talking about the organic slice of the pie and not the overall constitution of the SERP.

Here's something I find interesting - the way that our individual focus often gives us a bias that masquerades as real analysis. For example, websites who are not competing in Adwords often say that big advertising dollars also buy you better treatment in the organic SERPs. However, I have also worked with companies that have very large advertising budgets with Google. And those companies often complain that with all the money they spend, Google should give them some special treatment in organic search too... but they don't.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4565345
 6:18 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

And I would be surprised if I'm not, because that's where their sustainability comes from as a "whatever engine" people try to find stuff with.


You get sustainability from keeping your customers happy and being the best in your class by a long way....not necessarily the longest way.

Everything you're saying right there is Design/Layout.


I think this comment sums up our differences. I am see things a lot more holistically here. Yes, of course Google are made up of different departments. But to say "this is design", "this is Adwords", "this is organic" doesn't negate the fact that Google will have directions and decisions that over-arch all of these areas. It would be chaotic if all of these departments were 100% autonomous regardless of their impact on Google as a whole. Google would probably give them as much autonomy as possible, but overall direction will be from above.

I have said I think they maximize that (meaning design/layout) for ad clicks and keeping searchers on their properties without becoming "overly annoying" or "frustrating".


That was my point actually - just highlighting just how important ad clicks are to Google in the SERPs - I admit it's rather an obvious point I was making though.

What you're not showing with your example, and no one else has a better one than you (that I've seen), is them changing/manipulating the order of or changing/manipulating what shows in the organic results.


Well, strictly speaking, Google already "manipulate" the organic SERPs by deciding the rules and signals of the algorithm. That's just inevitable. It doesn't mean there's anything nefarious they are up to - just that they are deciding what rules and signals to plug into the algo to give both the searcher and Google the most optimal results. That is the way to maximise profits and keep your customers happy and keep you no.1. I don't actually see anything wrong with that.

There's a big difference between changing the design of a page to influence someone to click on something and removing the objectivity of what's shown in the section of a page you claim to be objective.


There is no such thing as objectivity when humans build and maintain an algorithm. The algorithm is objective in the sense that it will mechanically judge all sites the same according to the rules it follows and signals it looks for, but the rules themselves are literally subject to the decisions humans at Google make (literally subjective).

This 317 message thread spans 11 pages: < < 317 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved