diberry - 3:08 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
incrediBill, that whole post was awesome, but this:
What this means is searchers are being funneled into using specific patterns and a reduction of competition because there is less room to play and only the most trusted sites are being given a seat at that table. Most of the recent updates have been attempts to dump sites that they call 'low quality' but I think are less trust worthy to searchers.
This touches on the feedback problem we've talked about with perceived authority. People click the top links in Google, assuming they will be good, and that gives Google user metrics that indicate the site is good, so up there it stays even if it's not good. Now Google is taking things a step further by directing search through the completion phrases and so on. The completion phrases are frequently very strangely irrelevant, and now I'm getting long tail searches from them that are also irrelevant to what the visitor wanted.
I can't figure out why they're doing this. Maybe it works better on some queries than others. But the ones I track, it just adds a really peculiar long tail, like this:
"handmade widget tutorial"
Google suggests the same phrase plus "without ropes", "for llama breeders" or "for kids with food allergies." It's seriously that bizarre, and I'm pretty sure there aren't a lot of llama breeders looking for this particular handmade widget tutorial.
Maybe they're just trying to teach people how to make queries more specific? I can't imagine some of these are drawn from things people actually search for.
But whatever is going on, Google IS changing how people search, for better or worse.