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Google serp quality has gone down hill

For the first time ever that I notice this

   
10:21 am on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Several times recently I have had to swith to AltaVista to find what I was looking for.

(For some searches I know for a fact that I used to be able to find what I was looking for with Google.)

This was mainly for computer related technical searches. (Have not noticed much difference with other searches, but my other searches are often less specific.)

This is the first time in years I've had to do this! If this keeps up, there will come a time when I start in AV instead of Google.

Just thought I'd mention this in case they think all is swell. Google should not think their status is etched in stone for the remainder of all time.

3:30 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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patrick deese-
I think he clicked the 'pages from uk" at the top of serps
3:34 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



> I think he clicked the 'pages from uk" at the top of serps

Still getting mostly painting sites - except for some guestbook drivel that someone helped get top rankings for that keyword. ;)

3:36 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi,
Sorry about the SERP results posting.

PatrickDeese
I get Ok results for Google.com as well but not for G UK

moneymancn

3:40 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I get one 'real' painting site on page 1.
Oh well, guess this show serps still in flux,,,
3:51 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Several times recently I have had to swith to AltaVista to find what I was looking for "
I visit 6 clients today all of them took out google from search,i wonder if the Google people check there statistics i am sure they have realised a dramatic drop in clicks and searches,wake up google brains or thats the begining of the end
3:54 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



bug in the system"<<
altavista and alltheweb do seem a bit better for that search.
Still think G is the best for pure info. searches though..
Now I have 'three' favorite search engines!
4:36 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Read the book "Who Moved My Cheese".

and

Some people see DISASTER, while some other see CHANCES. I see more advantage after Florida because the more sites drop out, it simply means less competition.

4:43 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



"I bet 90% of the people that search for such terms don't want to find 'ínformation' but want to find a service."

Better not play for real money!

And in any case your missing the obvious point. Google is about information. They aren't a service listing search engine. You can argue that they *should* be if you want, but the Green Bay Packers are a football team, whether you want them to be a bunch of hairdressers or not.

5:11 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Florida hammered us for about 3 weeks. We escaped Austin (actually, we moved up a couple spots on the singular search term, and claimed top ten on most evey related multiple term).

So, I didn't see any of this as much more than the normal whining after an update...

...until I read this post on a board that is unrelated to SEO and has a bunch of computer illiterates:

"Grillo Widget 100 put in Google, but nothing came up. Can you be more
specific about this handy widget? We are in need of something like
this."

Ooops! Maybe the general public is seeing some problems.

WBF

5:11 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I had to go to alltheweb to find some glass for the back of my truck that I broke, I tried every search term I could possibly think of to find it..to no avail. went to alltheweb and first try bingo..it's really bad and kind of sad
5:47 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Google is about information, however at the moment it doesn't happen to be pertinent information.

Whether someone wants to find "information" or a "service listing" depends on the term.

Maybe 90% of people that search do want to find "information"

However 90% of people searching for a "Pencil Sharpener" ARE NOT looking for information.

One of the results that comes up when searching for "Pencil Sharpener" is the University of Arizona Library.

A Library huh? Well if I was looking for information that link would probably be a good bet...
.
.

Just so you know they tell me the Pencil Sharpeners are located:

Floor 1: Information Commons Help Desk
Floor 2A: on the South wall near the windows

6:07 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Just so you know they tell me the Pencil Sharpeners are located:

Floor 1: Information Commons Help Desk
Floor 2A: on the South wall near the windows

I've discovered that there will be some folks here who will swear that that SHOULD be in the top 10 when searching for pencil sharpeners.

(I'm not one of those folks).

6:15 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have been lurking in the forums for quite some time and would like to thank everyone for their posts and advice. I would not be where I am today without everyone here.

Let me start off by saying that I was not affected at all in the last 2 updates. Holding steady at #1 for our most popular keywords. (knock on wood).

I went skiing with a bunch of friends last weekend. We were sitting around at night drinking and this exact conversation about Google came up. I know it's a little geeky but it started off with a conversation about Christmas shopping on the internet. These are not SEO's or webmasters. These are people from all different fields and interests. All thirty-something that have been using the internet for a while. I knew what was going on with Google but just kept my mouth shut and drank my beer.

The general idea was that since the beginning of Jan. Google was not cutting it anymore and they were exchanging alternate search engine names. I took that list and started looking for our site to see how we rank. (not bad but could do better)

Why not hedge your bets in case this does not get fixed and more people start to notice? If more people start feeling this way we all could see a traffic shift pretty quickly.

After all it is the internet. Changing which search engine you use is easier than switching from Coke to Pepsi. Brand has less meaning when it comes to results and finding what you want.

6:32 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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If Google really was all about information I would have no problem.

I wish content was king for all serps, but it isn't. Lord knows what it is now.

7:26 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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steveb said:

"It seems like some people with one dimensional sites are complaining because Google is ranking other-dimensional sites and multi-dimensional sites above them."

Nope.

Most people are complaining because the sites at the top of their serps are not relevant to the search term, a direct result of bad matching, ahhh, I mean broad matching. The algo stinks. Perhaps in your areas the results are fine. But before you make blanket statements that the serps are much better, you need to realize there are millions of serps you haven't looked at which are terrible. I've never hit the back button this much since 1997.

7:36 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)



I think steveb has nailed it: Google is currently engaged in a process. Think of it as a kind of evolution. Evolution isn't always neat or pretty, but when that evolutionary process is more complete, Google will have cleaner, better, more useful SERPs.

Mind you, not everyone will be happy with those future SERPs. If they favor information pages, commercial sites may need to think of other ways to attract prospects. If they weed out duplicate content, affiliate sites will need to create their own content instead of relying on vendor-supplied copy. If they impose even the mildest of penalties or adjustments for "overoptimization," SEO philosophies may need to change. But let's face it: Change is part of the Internet landscape. If it weren't, we'd all be complaining about our listings at Open Text and the World Wide Web Worm. :-)

7:48 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



You've hit the nail on the head in my opinion, europeforvisitors. By the way, I'm sorry that I haven't been posting on WebmasterWorld as much lately, but I've been crunching pretty hard on some projects.
8:03 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



that seems the saddest thing these days..that the one guy who says something remotely in favour of google is right and the rest of the 200+ guys and their anecdotes have got it wrong....google remains in pure denial......
8:22 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



soapystar wrote
>how on earth do they measure their quality

george123 wrote
>i wonder if the Google people check their
>statistics i am sure they have realised a dramatic
>drop in clicks and searches

Strictly speaking, google doesn't make money from people clicking on free links. The main statistics google would be checking is the increase in adword revenue and the increase in signups in adword advertisers. They would then be analysing this against the loss of total searches (or decrease in growth rate of total searches).

The 'quality' google would be seeking is to establish a results set that maximises adword clicks and minimises the loss of overall google usage.

8:27 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



the results right now speak volumes to me and what they are offering is nothing useful to the surfer hence why they are leaving G.

If europeforvisitors is correct and G is moving onto a higher plain lets hope they still have some traffic to be useful, but I just don't except it

Fortunately Joe public is now getting results from other SE's MSN/AV and even Lycos are now starting to pull in traffic, the surfer has voted and has realised they can get better results somewhere else, G has lost!

8:50 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Google seems to be on a path that is very different from the other Search Engines. I could try to follow Google and change my websites to suit OR I can look at my number 1 positions in MSN and in Yahoo! when INK results are introduced.

I have no confidence in Google being around in 12 months time with the current crap that it is serving.

EuropeforVisitors, I too have a Travel Guide site, and this site has done very well in the recent changes. But I must conceed that many of the poorer pages from my site are ranked above much better pages.

8:52 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's a PROCESS. There isn't anything favorable or unfavorable in that, just an understanding of the moment in history we are in.
8:55 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>It's a PROCESS

Ok lets assume it is, is this PROCESS going to take 1 week/month a year in the meantime G is losing traffic and once they go they don't come back! Look at what happened to AV

8:56 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It's a PROCESS. There isn't anything favorable or unfavorable in that, just an understanding of the moment in history we are in.

i dont quite get that. If you put an inferrior product to market you lose market share. It not much use to the user whether it happens to be because of a PROCESS, when the customers go they go.

9:12 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"I think Google's current results are the worst I've ever seen them."

I agree.

"The 'quality' google would be seeking is to establish a results set that maximises adword clicks and minimises the loss of overall google usage."

I think they have over done it. After people click on those irrelevant results a few times and have to use adwords they will realize that Googles results are mostly irrelevant and they will start using another search engine.

I used to be able to find exactly what I was looking for with Google. Not anymore.

9:24 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)



>even Lycos are now starting to pull in traffic..

Amazingly, they really are! Lycos referrals are up 500% in some areas where the Google results really suck. Now, a 5 times increase over 100 per day over a slew of sites is not earth-shattering, but it is happening. AV and Dog-Pile searches are also up significantly.

Referrals from the crapola affiliate Espotting/Overture "search engines" are through the roof as people find these results on Google and then click through to my sites in the SE results that Google refers them to. I'm not complaining but it strikes me as a little strange that Google is now becoming little more than a glorified meta-engine.

I've now got search terms where my listings on other directories/search engines take up the majority of the SERPs on the first page using my site title and description - yet the actual site is off the scale. Strange!

9:28 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm all in favor of process. As long as G is aware of the bugs and anomolies in the system and is intent on squashing them, I have no complaints... I just hope they hurry. ;)
BTW: thank you for posting GG.
10:33 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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If Google is evolving then the current algorithm is neanderthal man.
11:00 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I think it was mush better when they did monthly updates. These days if you type in something on google and comeback tommorow i doubt it will be there.

This morning got up turned the computer on and what did i find out my site has completely dissappeared from its listings. Not good news exactly.

11:06 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have decided to use my default search engine as MSN, moving away from Google, which replaced Altavista 4 years ago, right after they introduced portal service.

Anyone else moving away from Google as default search engine?

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