diberry - 4:04 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)
One way ( IMO certainly not the only way ) that they "pre-sort" is to use ( and "boost" ) sites which "pre-sort" for them..pinterest is a good example of this ( made G's image sorting job much easier..now they know where the cute kittens and lace are likely to be ) ..especially if their search history and personalisation data for you knows that you are likely to be female and spend time and money on fashion sites, and looking up bios of soap stars..they ain't gonna send you to 4chan..:)
This would definitely explain why Google is sending people to sites that have strong internal search already (so much so that even my Baby Boomer friends wonder "Why doesn't Google understand that when I want Amazon results, I'll go to Amazon? When I use Google, I'm looking for something else").
And it does make sense for all the reasons discussed.
Perhaps Penguin 2 works in a reverse order deciding authority based on weight of positives as well as negatives. This would certainly account for websites that have been affected that didn't build links at all.
This is exactly what I've been thinking for a while. My site that Penguin hit had no manipulated links or spammy stuff going on. But it WAS my weakest site - visitors didn't respond to it like they do my better sites. I never understood why some of its pages soared to #1, and when they fell that didn't seem wrong to me. It was only when I learned that what had dropped them was an update supposedly about backlinks and spamming that I panicked - if Google thought I was spamming when I knew I'd never had any such intention, I had to figure out what I'd done that "looked" wrong to them.
But if Penguin also had factors that boosted some sites, then of course some non-spamming sites would see lowered rankings just because. And in fact that's what my Penguin demotion looked like - other pages were better than mine, so they bumped me down. (And I am seeing a small recovery post Penguin 2.0 - probably because I've worked on improving the site and am getting a better response from visitors now.)
For my ecommerce clients, I'm trying to convince them to stop making separate pages for each size or each color, but to combine the choices on to one or two pages at most.
I've been wondering why sites are still doing this. One niche I work in peripherally is product review. Some people in that niche set up a separate page for every single shade/shape/slight variation on a product to review. They say it's because three widgets from the exact same line may not perform the same way. But it's really just that they're afraid visitors won't find the exact widget review through Google unless it has its own page. I understand the dilemma, but I still think you can use headers to give Google a clue that your page is about multiple tightly related items rather than setting up separate pages.
Now am I relaxed or am I relaxed?
LOL, glad to hear it!