aspdesigner - 10:01 am on Jun 12, 2010 (gmt 0)
"Am assuming that the algo is trying to get rid of a certain kind of content by ignoring normal relevance signals and looking for others."
@Robert: Sorry, but that doesn't match what we're actually seeing here. If I ask for "X" and it gives me "Y", but then I ask for "Y" and it switches to "X", that is clearly not ignoring that relevancy signal, it is using it to EVADE.
For example, if every time you glanced towards someone, they ran and hid behind the nearest tree, claiming they must therefore be ignoring you is NOT a reasonable conclusion!
"Suppose that the algo is first filtering sparsely worded content too deeply..."
Sorry, but that doesn't match what we're seeing either. Sparsely worded content seems to actually have an edge, both now, and also in Florida.
Here is an example from back then -
"A Clara personal page is first for keywords
Holiday + destinationkeyword
This page has only 10 lines and tells hows they enjoyed
their holiday a few years ago.
Yes well done Google its relative bloody useless for those looking for a holiday :)
I was worried when i first saw this update now I can't stop laughing because their is so much crap ranking well."
Or an example right now - that incomplete site we were building, that had a PR0 with no incoming links, and was not only coming-up Top-10, but out-ranking an established relevant site. Outside of headers & footers, the unfinished page that was actually ranking well ONLY CONTAINED TWO SENTENCES OF TEXT!
There is a simple explanation for all the spam & junk, one other members here concluded the last time this happened. Simply put, by targeting the well-built, SEO'd or relevant sites, what you are left with is the less desirable results, or as one member put it -
"a pile of irrelevant trash that was before now buried below 5 pages of decent SERPS."
Your second post, I will check out, and will get back to you in a bit.
"but I'm fairly sure it's what they're doing for queries with very few results that they deem useful."
But 136,000 matches, and it can't find 10 good ones? I've seen the old Google handle searches returning FAR fewer results than that, and STILL manage to find some reasonably good ones for the Top 10!
We are also seeing the same sort of results, even from competitive commercial searches, with lots of actually relevant sites to choose from!
It's also hard to imagine how evading the best matches, and/or giving us something other than what we actually asked for, would be considered...
"results that they deem useful"
Unless by that, you mean results that are more likely to cause frustrated users to click AdWords instead! ;)