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Recent Google updates have been very minimal, I wouldn't be surprised if one happened and we didn't even notice it. My pages have been climbing up the results on a weekly basis, if there is no update I'm not really bothered because it seems as though Google is performing a rolling update rather than one big one.
But yes there are no fresh dates here in the UK either so this normally indicates something is about to happen ....
For one, PR is really the only reason half the people have the Google toolbar. To be honest, Google's SERPs are so bad these days that I have no use for it except something cluttering up my screen.
PageRank seems like the perfect marketing tool for the toolbar and ultimately more searches being done. Seems like Google is more concerned about a few SEOs than the quality of their SERPs and marketing of their toolbar.
Not sure their marketing tactic here, but I guess I shouldn't expect much from a business run by some engineers.
Looking at quite a numner of sitess, there was a major PageRank drop across the board in the directory.
I'd like to see a Search Engine Watch article on this right about now.
If so, not satisfied with the humiliating backlink results, Google will go a step further and begins offering up three month old data instead of attempting to provide quality current information.
Now, half the sites I liked as a viewer, I can't even find anymore since this last update.
I was mad as a person who lost so many sites in the update, but now I am even more upset because I can't find the stuff I want.
I keep getting repeats when I search, I get homepages, the page that I need (let's say reebok shoes) but then a bunch of other listings about every 3 from pages on their site that don't have reebok shoes, just a link to that section.
Where did all the sites go?
I have been using yahoo for searching since the past two weeks and yes, I even clicked on their paid ads and bought something.
Google doesn't realize that half the customers they have that look through stuff for their private lives are also those who they just ****** off.
My 2 cents.
The amazing thing is that by working on those non-competitive terms, the competitive one's come more and more into reach. Time, work and patience...
There have been a couple of algo shifts in Google over the past year that resulted in really poor SERPs. The areas I frequent are not too bad right now. Google usually meets my needs. Yahoo is a poor second in my experience. Jeeves sucks air. Gigablast is probably the best competition to G in terms of quality, but the DB is too small.
As far as PR, Opera has become my browser of choice. I usually only fire up IE to check PR when I read here that there have been changes. Those who crave PR are at least a year behind the curve from where I sit.
<disclamer>I operate in an only moderately competitive field. That said, I am surprised to see my sites come up top 5 for some terms that return 1.5 million + results - terms I never tried for and that do nothing for me. Hmmmm, how can I monetize those?</disclamer>
Instead of saying how google reached this spot, we can speculate how so many people use google Toolbar, I bet more than 70% of Google Toolbar users are using it for the pagerank display in it, Google's toolbar is nothing special than any other toolbar without the pagerank display on it,
i personally spread the word about pagerank display and google toolbar to more than 1000 people( all software people and software training institute guys ), Most of them were obsessed on it and started using just by my word, Almost 800 google toolbars were installed because of me,
Now I told the same people pagerank display is no more a priority for google and they haven't updated it for more than 2 months, Now almost 500 google toolbar's were removed, Nobody were interested in other features since they are not SEOs or webmasters, They are just normal users they like to see the pagerank of different sites, Now without Pagerank updating they hate the toolbar sticking on their IE window, They seem to prefer Yahoo companion toolbar more now,
Dont know what the motive of google is, Google toolbar users are the same as google users, Most of them came through word of mouth, I bet there are 1000s of Non SEOs/site owners/webmasters toolbar users who are ready to remove their toolbar if they come to know there are no more toolbar pagerank updates,
Way to go google,
It's hard to bash Google as I liked them a couple years ago when they were being innovative and such. Now they seem very complacent.
There biggest problem will come when MSN goes after the search market. Google is run by engineers. MSN is run by ruthless business people. Ruthless business people win out in the end, just ask Netscape.
Perhaps Google has had enough.... maybe the update's been done but the tool bar has been disabled.
I sometimes wonder (no evidence) if we aren't seeing a 2 month old DB that is updated behind the scenes with a few new sites rolled in here and there. Maybe the dance never went away, but was just moved to a private club.
Look at all the posts in the forums from folks that get good initial rankings only to diappear for a couple of months. How many new sites are staying at the top of the SERPs?
How many of us have the patience to do good old fashioned SEO and then wait 2-4 months to see if it worked?
There was a time when we could make changes and wait no more than a month to see the results. We could manipulate the SERPs with dynamically generated "fresh" content and see it in days, or even hours.
Now I am afraid to make significant changes to well ranking pages for fear that in a couple of months they will drop off the face of the earth. My sites may expand, but existing pages that do well see precious few changes.
None of the above is based on any serious research. Simple musings...
At the same time it is hopeful and frustrating... there is a better algorithm mix inches away, but noooooo, its just a tease.
But, to stay on topic, the bottom line is quite a bit of dancing, but then only to have it settle down to not much movement. Decent results, but better ones are clearly available. (Zero PR changes of course.)