dusky - 7:47 pm on May 16, 2010 (gmt 0)
TheMadScientist IMO is on target, G* is experimenting with the AI concept and the aim to finally to eradicate SEO firms and experts from influencing the SEPRs without due merit. SEO expertise got to point where spammy sites can outrank the largest sites on thin long tail pages, G* thinks this has got to stop. The only problem now is the update is not complete, and still on going
The returned search for different people is now different to others. Joe bolgs in Chicago searches for "best way to clean widgets" will get site 1: widget-cleaning.com/how-to.html as top site returned, BUT Sanda Blogs in NY gets site 2: cleaningwidgets.com/cleaningwidgets.html as top site. Now both of the webmasters of site 1 and 2 will be puzzled, they would not know where they are ranking to Sandra or Joe, they will only know for their own search, when they do the search themselves. The returned results for webmaster 1, may be on page 23, why because he/she is a webmaster, searched, never clicked, never went to site / page, never spent anytime, never, never..,...in G* AI algo conclusion, this searcher did not find this site interesting, he just looked. Sandra on the other hand did go to the site and bought something or bookmarked it, or spent some time on it FEW TIMES, G* thinks, let's returned it again if she searches for the same or closer keyword. Joe may get the site he went to before as top ranked, if he clicks it again, that site may score more....
Searcher satisfaction is a big influence now, however, whilst the update is still going on, many sites are flat and still being re-spidered, so that AI influenced Algo appear not to be very good, because not all sites are included / taken into consideration and only sites that are moved and ranked from scratch, the rest are still being moved, spidered, re-assessed etc.
It appears now, webmasters and SEO experts will have a harder time, instead of working out keyowrds ranking influence from tiles, descriptions, onpage SEO, backlinks, anchors etc, while those are important, they have to take into account what makes the searcher return and click again, time spent on site, call to action, speed...and all the rest of the factors that will make the site returned on page one to THAT PARTICULAR searcher.
Regionalization, language, market intelligence, social grouping...., will all be more important factors. If G* is going to base its algo on an AI foundation, common variables and factors we already know are going to be more important to SEO experts, time on site, bounce rate and all the rest of it are probably the first one need to cater for and improve, they are likely to be amongst the good practices one may see being part of the AI algo
TheMadScientist along with many here (tedster et al) who spoke about this while back IMO are heading to the right conclusion, the mayday update include a massive algo change based AI and USER SATISFACTION. I can see why G* is rushing to be the first on this, M*soft were rumored to want to use the same based on the wofram alpha concept (http://www.wolframalpha.com/).
In any case, the update is far from complete and data is still being moved, you'd think they should've waited for the algo change until all the data is moved to the new Infrastructure, then again, probably the new algo was already written and just still being tweaked while the data is being moved in chunks, so if your site is completely moved (re-spidered and re-ranked) you'll start doing well, even better, before that and you are bouncing from page 1 today, page 5 few days later and back and forth and so on.