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From my own experiences AS A USER, I would give Google a rating of 8/10.
So AS USERS, how do other people rate Google? Forget dance issues, page-rank, etc. can you as a user find the information you want?
Expert users have noticed the changes in Google. They would like to give Google more chances especially in view that the "evil" MSN might benefit otherwise. I believe (and hope) that Google will be all right after a month or so, otherwise I too will be telling others to look for other SEs.
>I've tried Allthweb and, these days, find it to be producing about
>the same quality results as google. Sometimes a little better.
You both have a good point, imho. I can't see anything wrong in using other se's as well as google. I'll bookmark this posts and i'll link to it from future (returning) discussions about ... erm, how was this game called ... ah yep, monopoly.
Kaled, a 8/10 is pretty much for one who dislikes google's strength. ;)
ncsuk, unforunately the original server is down due to heavy server load. ;)
I've been using Google to search in a few completely unrelated to my business areas. The results are uniformly similar: many good sites are found and rank well, mucho complete crap ranks well, some good quality directly-answer-the-query sites rank poorly.
I've typically been going down 200 sites or more in the results (sometimes that is as many as there are). Without question, results are very poor, compared to previously. I've even gone to using Teoma and All the Web to find more sites (in the former case) and better rankings (in the latter). But will Google still serve up at least five really good sites in the top ten? Sure. Often times users just need one. If you are looking for the zip code to Keokuk, how many sites do you need to look at?
But managaing to serve up 60% good sites in the top ten is not what Google should aspire to. It should aspire to ranking all sites well, and having at least nine of the top ten be good quality.
They are miles from that now, whereas in March they were very close.
Yep, and that is the reason why i stay with my opinion. I run my own niche search engines and i've seen things you wouldn't believe. I receive emails of webmasters (!) who have no clue why their page doesn't come up for searches on "wodgets". These people run sites that run through my html parser and return Title: home / Meta description: powered by scriptsxyz.org / Meta keywords: xxx, *pron*, pics, mp3, britney spears, breeding, dogs, shepherds - no joke! THESE are joe's and jane's! Not the average webmasters who contribute here at WebmasterWorld.
This is what I think.
From a user's point of view, most searches will yield results as good as a few months ago - in some cases, for obvious reasons. However, we, as webmasters that study Google results, are in a very good position to predict whether users will be satisfied with results in the future.
One theme that HAS NOT appeared in this thread, is that results are getting less spammy or indeed improving in any way whatsoever.
I am an engineer by nature/training. Engineers have a saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Doctors (should) operate on the principle "First, do no harm." I think these phylosophies could be applied at Google to great effect.
Kaled, a 8/10 is pretty much for one who dislikes google's strength.
I tell it the way I see it. Most of the time I find Google results to be very good. However, because my own website has done quite well in FAST searches, I have begun to look more closely at their results, and I find them to be equally good, and MORE uptodate even before Google ran into problems. FAST appear to include sites within ~3 weeks and you don't get silly EVERFLUX oscillations or 2 month backsteps. From the webmasters viewpoint, I think FAST is already the better search engine, but from a user's viewpoint, I guess it's still about even.
Many people are of the opinion that unless Google improves it will lose its premier position. Sadly, I am inclined to think that Google could get a lot worse and still dominate.
I bet almost 50% or so have never ever searched on anything but Google.
It is because Yahoo and AOL has been using Google. Many people tend to search on MSN, AOL and Yahoo first and move on to specific SEs. Google is a big brand name now and it attracts its own direct traffic, but competition is becoming stiffer.
I've found that ATW and Lycos can read text inside a Flash file, which to me is a big thumbs up.
You can get an SDK from Macromedias site which rips any text out of flash. I think that is what Google indexs but dont quote me on that.
Basically if you have a flash site by the look of it make sure you have as much normal text in that flash as you can especially URL's as it means the spids maybe able to follow...
Apart from that stabilizing this update and getting back to a routine whether it is a monthly update or continuos updates will be quite welcome.
I don't think average joe public using google perceives anything broken whatsoever .. and until that holds true google has a lock on the search market. Of course, I would be keen to hear any facts (numbers, searches) supporting anything otherwise
przero2: "Google has a lock on the search market" - I hate this - Google having four of its very own forums at the top of sites like this one. It's a reason to use other search engines.
I liked the analogy one of the "dave" posters made here that it is at the moment a "construction zone". To make a significant change, they need to rip up the old to some extent before replacing it with the new. In the meatime there are detours and relatively messy road works. In a few weeks we will have something to work with, but at the moment its not broken so much as being "under construction". "Chiyo"
I've read all the so-called "theorys and rumors" since the Dominic update, but I believe Chiyo or "Dave" are right on about Google and its' current state. It makes total, logical sense and would account for the backlinks, the MIA allinanchor which rfgdxm1 is so passionte about, and also partially explain the toolbar. My site might be a good example to examine and then reconsider Chiyo's quote.
Site online Aug, 2002
Sept 2002, PR 2 - internal pr1
Dec 2002, Pr 5 - internal 4
Feb 2003, Gray toolbar - Watch those robot txt files everyone, I inadvertenly blocked "all bots" with a text file written Jan 2003
Mid Feb 2003 - Parked Page
Mar 2003 - Parked page pr5
April 2003 - Unparked - pr5 - internal pr4 (only index page actually "indexed"
May 2003 "after Dominic" - pr5 - internal pr0, new pages
gray - known backlinks almost 50%down as in google. Rankings for pr5 index page (main keywords)from position 3 to 23 of about 80,000. Internal pr0 pages rank #1 (less competition but after analyzing title, h1 tag, and keyword desity) found these pages optimized very well compared to my index page (which has now changed)
Make your own conclusions, but again, it would totally explain Chiyo's quote. Thus, google is not 'guesstimating" new page pr, backlinks dropped "back in time", but accross the board so to be fair to everyone. Pages recently indexed since Feb would most likely be experiencing the most problems or "everflux", but I believe this everflux is different in this regard. Everflux use to mean "over a rather short period of time", but now everflux spands perhaps as much as 3 months and will continue until google finally finishes their new "construction". Google had to go back a period in time, establish a "base" index - send freshy out to rebuild the "base" and will combine the two in the next update along with what I hope will be some major new spam filters. The spam filters seem to be failing miserably at this time, but I again think google is comparing the old and the new, perhaps looking closely at the old spam pages and seeing if they changed their ways (actually giving them a second chance) before applying the hammer. There are many more "assumptions" I could make and every site will have its own set of concerns.
My longest post yet and still not done, sorry and I'm sure many of you will disagree, but that's what this forum is all about. One last analogy to support Chiyo's quote:
Google is made of a series of "leggo blocks" formed in the shape of a pyramid. The pyramid has some "cracks" and needs to be rebuilt:
1. The base: all sites indexed in google "based on Feb or March complete index + new websites" form the bottom tier
2. All sites have a different color based on google's algo
3. As the pyramid "rebuilds" itself, the algo is applied and the leggo blocks are moved around accordingly
4. Google uses the solid (well established websites) leggo blocks first, then adds "fresh" blocks as the pyramid grows. The workers/algo find that some previously well established leggos have serious cracks and flaws, those are removed or put in a less "foundation specific" place in the pyramid. Some blocks get put aside until they find "their" fit. They may be refitted more than once - thus the in and out of the serps ( some sites listed since Feb)
5. The pyramid nears completion, blocks with good SEO and PR are finally moved to the top, with Google being the last block added
6. Upon completion "deepot" goes out to check the new pyramid and make any last minute "fixes"
7. The NEW "E-word" update starts
8. Update completes and everyone is "happy" MAYBE
9. New pyramid - rather than once a month maintenance with deepbot, freshy steps in and continuously keeps the pyramid from ever falling again (IN A PERFECT WORLD)
k, Let me have it
I am an amateur webmaster rfgdxm1
I expect to hear your vocal comments here, agree with most everything you said except the quote above :)
If I want new visitors I need Google.
If google does not get back to full strenghth they could loose marketshare.
I don't like the index results at all for keywords across the board. My search for a particular type of ring took me to junk pages and irrelevant pages. I had to find what I want in the adwords selections. You know it's getting bad when the Adwords quality is better then the SERPs.
And I am tired of waiting for them to finish whatever it is they started. This fiasco seems to drag on and on and on.
I'll spend the whole summer working on my Traffic Diversification Project that does not take Google into consideration and I can't wait until Yahoo switches to Ink this summer. It'll be nice to have another basket for my eggs.
As a webmaster and user, I give them a 7/10 and dropping fast.
I have always been able to find what I want within the first few pages of the results, but they are not as good in all the searches as they used to be.
I have also noticed some searches where the results seem to be better. These are almost invariably with longer search terms.
Looking to compare my experience with Google to the others, I decided to compare my results to AV, teoma, ATW, and MSN. They all did a reasonably good job some of them better than google on some searches, till I started looking for obscure things that would be deeply buried in any website that they were on. They all lost out to google with their smaller indexes.
I started checking the number of pages of some of the larger informational sites in the different engines. Google always had the most.
What I did notice was that even though they have all cleaned up the image based advertising, google still gave the cleanest results page. Ask was the worst with often over a page of text ads before getting to the real results.
Teoma was the only one that at least competed with google in the usability of their results page. And as others have said before the "Refine" section is really nice to have.
So for now I have no desire to switch to another SE for the majority of my searching. I also see no reason for the majority of the population to switch.
Google will have to become much worse, the other search engines will have to crawl deeper, Most of them will have to learn to deliver cleaner pages. And they will have to figure out a way to appeal to the power users so that they even have a chance for the word to get out to people like my mom.
As a webmaster, I liked the analogy one of the "dave" posters made here that it is at the moment a "construction zone".
Were these the posts?
... its just that we can now all see a 'work in process' - which isn't finished yet. Like how a half built freeway isn't as good/fast/wide as when its finally finished.
..... chill out - its roadworks - its under construction - it isn't 'currently conforming to the published specification'.
...Stop torturing yourself - wait until the roadworks are completed. You'll save yourself some grief IMHO.
Never been called one of the dave posters before....
I am not sure about that. I recall reading somewhere that Google Hacks cracked the New York Times Bestseller list recently. Google has become a brand name like Coke. Part of the reason seems to be that the investors of Google, very shrewd VCs, have hyped up the story of two graduate students from Stanford blah blah blah neurosurgeon blah blah blah PhDs blah blah blah. Nice marketing job done!
...most of their searchers probably dont even know google exists
I just checked on wordtracker -
the 3rd most searched term is www.google.com and the 7th most searched for term is google.com (and sex was 4th!)
That doesn't do much to instil confidence in the long term survival of the species (how bad has it got when that many people are using a search engine to find another search engine, when they already knew the full URL of the search engine they were looking for.....)
....but it does shows that searchers know who Google is.
That's just too funny that people are using other search engines to find Google. At least I hope that's what they have done. OMG could they be using Google to search for Google?
I wonder what Google's reasoning is (indexation- or political reasons) behind this dropping of Fresh results until they are fully indexed.
I can think of two reasons.
1. Fresh content has not really earned its position in the update. It is just put in there where Google guesses that it should go.
2. A lot of the reason to get fresh content is to catch the pages that have short term appeal. A lot of the value of it's "freshness" goes away after a few days. This if more of an issue with the "fresh boost" than with why many (but not all) fresh pages then revert in content to the old information.
It could also very well be an implementation issue. If the fresh results are mixed in at search time instead of getting added and removed from the actual index, there is probably a limit to the number of fresh pages that can be tracked and added to the search results in a timely manner.