Robert_Charlton - 7:10 am on Jun 9, 2010 (gmt 0)
To get some observations in sync, one thing jumps out at me when I compare some observations on this thread and on the Is History Repeating Itself at Google? thread [webmasterworld.com], is that we're seeing keyword stuffing in some pages returned and the absence of matching keywords on others.
On the one hand...
Our competitors are listing 100 products as "related" per page to jam the brand name in there and Google seems clueless that this is not user friendly and is really just a new way to keyword stuff.
I get a #1 result for a term with 100k searches that has the word "custom widget" 30 times on the homepage.
And on the other...
If a site was "too close" of a match to what was searched for, it was kicked down in the SERPs.
And what I'm seeing at both ends of the spectrum...
I'm seeing some pages/sites that I would have thought were over-optimized, at least onpage, still hanging in at #1, and other pages/sites ranking for purely semantic associations (ie, co-occurrence) for one or more of the keywords, with hardly any keyword matches at all. Lots of synonym rankings too, particularly in long tail.
I'll probably elaborate on my thoughts about these algo factors in the History Repeating thread... will update here if we decide that the MayDay thread is more appropriate.