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|Is Google invading your content yet by provider the answer?|
This isn't a typical search and answer. This is a "mind blown" scenario and should be quite alarming to well, pretty much anyone and everyone who has a stake in providing a website. Isn't that all of us?
So, today I decided to search this: (insert popular video game name) create account
Based on those terms, I was provided a box listing those steps in creating that account. At the end of the bullet list of about 5 steps, in grey (not a link) it says "1 more item".
Yes, there is a link within that box at the bottom.
To be clear, this for me is different. It's unnerving. It makes me realize one thing. Apparently no search is safe. I can understand sports scores, world cup scores, movie times, restaurant menus, etc being on Google pages, but this one today takes the cake.
This indicates to me how invasive this is becoming. It's quite clear that this trend will evolve until the point of human intervention. In other words, until your content or information is stripped off your own pages you will ignore the situation. It won't be until mass amounts of people start seeing their content or information being used in a way which cuts you out. You're going to become the middle man. Only needed as a reference link, and your information becomes the king for somebody else to eat and enjoy.
Maybe the "wow" moment hasn't come for you. Today, the "wow" moment just happened. It's not just Google of course, but since I use them for search, it's the first time I've seen such an abstract search show up with the information on Google's url rather than proving me a link. Nice for me, but I know what's fair, ethical and proper. This will come to a head, but perhaps not in my lifetime.
Get ready to be trampled.
|Deep content is made up of chunks and chunks of shallow content. People often arrive looking for the quick answer, but stay because they're tempted by more comprehensive articles. So it's a gateway. I don't think you can categorise websites neatly into those who use basic facts and those that go deeper, because even the deep ones have some reliance on simple facts to drive some traffic. |
Exactly. It's not really a matter of building a business out of Knowledge McNuggets (great phrase).
Of course the response is to try to immunize the site from being pillaged by the Google Graph but certain keywords are inevitably lost as traffic lures. The Graph is in Google's interest, not ours. We have to scramble to keep up and hope for the best when our business model conflicts with Google's.
Google will get away with this and more because webmasters do not form an organized lobbying group to press for any limit to what Google wants to do. German publishers are dragging Google into court for a piece of Google News revenue. And why not? They're organized. Should they change their business model? They'd rather sue and they have that option.
The MPAA and RIAA want Google to remove links to copyrighted content in the SERPS. They may not have a legal leg to stand on but they can at least get legislators to pay attention. No one is telling them that a business model based on copyrighted content is foolish and misguided even though it probably is.
If the business model of many webmasters is doomed, it is not because they (we) are fools. It is because we are outgunned and we don't have the clout to protect our interests.
|Deep content is made up of chunks and chunks of shallow content. |
Actually, it isn't. Not even remotely.
|Deep content is made up of chunks and chunks of shallow content. |
|Actually, it isn't. Not even remotely. |
I'm confused. Is the premise deep or the counter-argument shallow?
Saw a new variant today. Searching phrase galaxy note 3 release date, order on the results page was ad, then info/answer box, then "normal" results. What's interesting is that it's the first time I've noticed an oddball search that actually showed an ad above the info box. Part of me thought it would be more common for ad free results, in other words it would show up more on non competitive searches.
So this is now showing me that "release date" articles/pages are for the most part crossed off the list. I can see how the landscape is shrinking. Six months ago discussing a release date made sense.
I'm still coming to grips with what keywords are actually going to remain worthwhile to target. If I say to myself that if it's on Wikipedia then don't bother, that might be the wisest choice at this point. Not sure.
As an aside I'm going to watch with interest how Wikipedia goes. If Bing and Google want to populate their pages with that "user generated" content, then I'm sure some people might ask whether that was their intent when contributing to Wikipedia. As in, did you know you just because a writer for two of the biggest corporations on the planet? They aren't wanting to send you there anymore, but rather they want to publish what you wrote on their own property.
In another twist of irony, the new quality guidelines talk about questioning trust with user generated content. Or did I misinterpret those leaked guidelines? Afterall we all know about Wikipedia and paid contributions going on there from special interest groups. But again it doesn't have to makes sense or be logical.
Is anyone using Google or not on a daily basis? I'm just curious about other searches that have been gobbled up with the answer box. It will help some people to know so that those subjects can be crossed off the "good idea" list.
I have the idea that webmasters have taken the position that they are publishers of content and that google is referring people to publishers of content. Google is now compiling content from those websites and trying to keep people on their site just like most webmasters have been doing for years. Webmasters appear not to want to refer traffic on to other websites and google is starting to act that way too. The thing is at a certain point the visitor is going to hit the back button or enter another query in their browser search box or switch tabs. If they have scrolled down the page, checked a few internal links and had enough they are going to leave at some point so my idea is that it would make sense to give them somewhere to go. How this is implemented I am not sure exactly. It could be nofollow links it doesn't really matter as the point is to become a referrer of traffic. If google has got so popular because of referring traffic then in theory having great links for your visitors means they will like your site more as they found something interesting and there is a good chance they will come back to check some more of the sites you reccommend. If it works for google then it should work for other websites too. If we all do it then the amount of traffic coming from other sources other than google should drastically increase and we will have a world wide web instead of a pyramid of control. It is a basic principle you give and then you receive. You'd like love then give love, you'd like happyness then give happyness and you'd like traffic then give traffic and it will come back even more and we can all have a much more web like web.
|If google has got so popular because of referring traffic then in theory having great links for your visitors means they will like your site more as they found something interesting and there is a good chance they will come back to check some more of the sites you reccommend. If it works for google then it should work for other websites too. |
This subject has been hammered on in other threads in this board in the not-too-distant-past and, frankly, it's what we should all have been discussing for a great many years now. It's a fundamental principle of the Internet (linking). It's a cooperative approach to information but somewhere along the line, webmasters got the idea that letting traffic bleed away from your site is a bad thing. In a, thinking-only-of-myself approach, it may be but the reality is that it's gonna be good for somebody (heaven forbid).
We all got suckered into an Internet philosophy where traffic flows from one source (an oversimplification obviously) and the goal is to be the destination of that traffic, period. The Internet was never intended to be a centralized information distribution system. It's a distributed information system. We've all just bought into the notion that it needs a hub to help us find what we're looking for. IMHO, a well-built information website should function as a specialized hub, both providing information and linking to other, relevant offsite resources (said links can be considered a form of information in and of themselves). We started out in this game thinking that linking was a good thing. Wanting traffic from the hub(s) and fear of penalties, changed our thinking but I contend that those concepts are just as relevant today as they ever were.
Google wants authority and I say, be an authority but hoarding your traffic only makes you less of an authority. If you're too paranoid to link to the resources that demonstrate your understanding of the subject and that allow for the fact that there are other ways to look at a subject (other than your own), then, I believe you have abrogated your claim to authority. It's a catch-22 if you are addicted to Google but a liberating thought if you would rather like to think of your operation as a mini-Google in it's own right.
Every website is a potential hub. This may be a utopian concept but cooperation is a way to avoid having everyone's eggs crushed when someone drops the lone proverbial basket over a cliff or decides to steal all of the eggs.
And let's just take the authoritative hub conversation just a little farther. Google established itself as an authoritative search engine by compiling links and building the world's largest "link farm." Google used the process of linking to establish its own authority. We could all learn something from that.
Added: To keep this on point. The addition of a KB to the SERPS is really just another step towards bolstering that position of "authority." And this is the war I've mentioned in other posts/threads. It's the war to establish a position of authority.
|So what? AA's Flight Status page for AA nnn is extremely sparse, compared to pages of other flight-tracking sites that show maps, on-time performance data, etc. It shouldn't rank high. There's no "value add." |
Depth of content isn't everything. Accuracy and granularity might be more important. Other flight tracking sites, for example, don't know much about ground-based delays, a late-arriving pilot for a departure, etc.
Or, in a nutshell, "AA will (almost) always have the best information of AA flight status". Unless you're asking Google.
|Or, in a nutshell, "AA will (almost) always have the best information of AA flight status". |
Not in my experience.
Perhaps this evolving algo isn't worthy of its own sticky on the forum, but to me it should be under consideration. Either that or I'm completely out to lunch on the significant changes and frequency. I mean sure it's "almost" like a daily SERPS update, but is it really the same thing? Nobody is mentioning it so I'm not sure what conclusions to draw from that.
My observation today? Whelp, I was looking at how to remove a stem from a faucet today. And? Instead of a box and answer within that box, instead I had like a super sized video box with a play button in the center. No, it wasn't the YouTube colors but it was a play button. Aha, but I was tricked! Instead of having the video play, guess what happened? I went to......the YouTube page. Anyone connecting the dots? It's like my point about how an answer box would keep people from your site where you might just be trying to get more people on a mailing list or you might be showing an ad, etc. So I found this example to be quite astonishing and rather easy to dissect. To be clear, I would MUCH rather had the video play in the SERPS which is what I was led to believe, but was tricked in a way. And yes, it was a great video although a bit long winded, but it clearly gave me what I needed. Thanks Goog!
Edit: Just wanted info about heat exhaustion. Answer box there again. The site source seems legit (looking at the url and not clicking it) so if Google trusts it enough to list the answer from them, then why do I need to double check with the actual source?
PS: Since I'm seeing this so commonly now (as in way beyond what I was seeing even a week ago) that I will stop these observations. I would however still like someone smarter than me to explain how my link in that box is not redundant and how can this answer on Google somehow be better for site owner than simply having a link to the site instead. Fact is I doubt anyone here can make the argument. If there was a ... in the box then maybe, but it's appetizer, entree and dessert all served up in the box for the answers that I seem to be attracting. What a bizarre era this is turning out to be.
|Instead of having the video play, guess what happened? I went to......the YouTube page. Anyone connecting the dots? It's like my point about how an answer box would keep people from your site where you might just be trying to get more people on a mailing list or you might be showing an ad, etc. So I found this example to be quite astonishing and rather easy to dissect. |
Admittedly this would make a better story if the second site didn't happen to belong to the search engine ;)
|somewhere along the line, webmasters got the idea that letting traffic bleed away from your site is a bad thing. |
Oh. Oops. Is it? See, my thinking is: Sooner or later people will leave. I'm not renting out rooms and sending out IV drips over the Internet. I can't keep them forever. But if they go where I send them, in a way I've still got them.
Happily this is also good for search standing. Someone who goes off to follow a link on your site isn't bouncing straight back to the search engine, so for all g### knows, they're still on your site. Win win.
Regarding linking out, I forget to mention that I completely disagree with the comments suggesting that people are afraid to link out. In fact, what I see is a massive increase in "credit" for stories or news. In fact it's so commonplace that it's abnormal and bad optics to not be linking to the source. Maybe people commenting here are watching much different subjects or content, but to me, linking out is mandatory and proper practice of attribution. Not having that link imo might actually hurt you in terms of trust with Google.
|Not having that link imo might actually hurt you in terms of trust with Google. |
I know this is a Google discussion but not having good outbound links can also hurt your cred with your visitors and what I'm suggesting is that rather than focus on what a link does for your cred with Google or whether it makes it into Google's KB, simply cut to the chase and use it to build credibility with your user. Use linking to get them to come back rather than having to rely on Google to get you another visitor. Be the hub! Stop thinking of your site as a destination and start thinking of it as a starting point...a place where your visitors can launch their online quest, over and over and over again.
My comment about linking in general was in response to comments by the OP and here's what I meant when referring to linking paranoia.
Try and get even one of the webmasters represented in the top 20 search results for one of your favorite queries to consider linking to your site and see how far you get. You might make some inroads but you're gonna meet with a lot of resistance because very few would even consider linking to what they consider to be the competition. There's misunderstanding and paranoia about link exchange in general and there's the fear of getting branded as participating in a link scheme (whether founded in reality or not) and penalized. Then there's simply a healthy dose of "there's nothing in it for me" out there.
I see so much confusion about linking in these threads these days and that leads me to believe that the majority of webmasters are NOT comfortable with their own linking strategies, causing them to take extreme and unnecessary measures such as removing or requesting the removal of perfectly natural and beneficial links. It's an environment of FUD and it would be a healthy step to move beyond it and back to the essence of all this.
Google can invade your content (as the title of this thread suggests) but they're gonna have a tough time competing with the depth and breadth of it and with your expertise (if you have any) where your loyal visitors are concerned. If your jumping off point is better than the top 10 results in the SERPS, you've created a credible launching point that will bring people straight back, skipping the middle-man altogether.
|Not having that link imo might actually hurt you in terms of trust with Google. |
One would hope so. Links are the most fundamental building blocks of the Web. A lack of followed outbound links might not be a sign of sleaziness, but it certainly doesn't inspire trust.
|IMHO, a well-built information website should function as a specialized hub, both providing information and linking to other, relevant offsite resources (said links can be considered a form of information in and of themselves). We started out in this game thinking that linking was a good thing. Wanting traffic from the hub(s) and fear of penalties, changed our thinking but I contend that those concepts are just as relevant today as they ever were. |
Well I did a days work on it. Got started looking for some suitable links that I could scale and managed to find a really good resource. After hours processing thru the spreadsheets I was able to match over 3000 links to put one per page. On top of that I inadvertently discovered some really good data in a suitable format for further development so all in all very productive. My plan is to integrate much more links at the bottom of my pages and develop a directory. The directory I started already a couple of weeks ago and I put some hard hitting resources on there. So much so I have felt angsty about it like psycic attack from certain quarters but by core readers seem interested if the increasing number of follows is anything to go by. Really at this point I think the public are ready for something different. A new voice and a new direction. It makes sense to be there with a clear direction to take things forward setting out on a creative path too brighter days.
"If your jumping off point is better than the top 10 results in the SERPS, you've created a credible launching point that will bring people straight back, skipping the middle-man altogether. "
Yes absolutely possible. Any subject can have its broader perspective like it is a a micro, macro multiverse. Then all that is needed is to apply the understanding of how it fits together and include the resources so that the visitors will be spellbound and come back again and again to launch into incredible adventures wherby your site is the best place to head forth. Other sites just don't even come close and the worse the serps get the more people desire to find that special site they can make their home:)
I just did a search for "uk weather forecast" and had the complete 8 day readout in detail for my local area, temperature, wind, precipitation and so much more......no need to visit the website!
As a user this is great, all the info I want pulled into this box, GREAT, NO NEED TO VISIT THE WEBSITE, NO NEED TO RISK MALWARE, SLOW LOADING TIMES!
As a user the box is perfect. I want short concise and factual information with a “read more” option just in case, but who has time to read a 500+ word “opinion” on a subject these day unless they are researching for academic purposes? The unemployable? The retired?
I have never needed to click past the box whenever it has been served for me, just the facts please, I can form my own opinion!
I predict more and more information will be displayed in the box with perhaps an Ajax call (read more) that pulls the entire article from the webpage straight onto Google, a progressive shortening of the chain seems to be where this is heading and there will always be publishers willing to supply more for less.
As netmeg has pointed out, this is only going to get harder. If you are a "publisher" of information and your only skill is to coherently state your opinion on a subject in over 200 words of waffle and filler I’d say start looking at your future. As the saying goes "talk is cheap".
It's kind of ironic though, weren't Google trying to weed out 'thin content', yet this knowlege graph is providing a short/quick answer in a line or two. I wouldn't dare do that on my own site fear of a penalty.
Thankfully, most of the topics I cover actuallyt do need a fair amount of wording.
What is the purpose of the weather website operating if nobody is actually going to visit their site anymore?
|It's kind of ironic though, weren't Google trying to weed out 'thin content'. |
No, that’s still a fairy tail future created by seo forums and articles to keep you chasing your tail!
If google did penalise a site based on thin content I woudnt be able to show you a UK national site ranking number one for the past 3-4 years for a multimillion service with NOTHING for content but an IMAGE suck into very crude HTML.
Imagine you created a website, wrote some text, added some photos and did a screen print, ditched everything and simply sunk the graphic into the background. (ill pm anyone the site who’s interested).
At least the community has finally moved on from "social signals" as a ranking factor :)
|It's kind of ironic though, weren't Google trying to weed out 'thin content', yet this knowlege graph is providing a short/quick answer in a line or two. |
What's ironic about it? Google isn't making users click away to a one- or two-line "answer box." Users who don't want answer boxes can simply ignore them and use the other links on the SERP.
Also, there's a big difference (both conceptually and practically) between a page of search results and a freestanding page that's listed in those search results.
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