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The biggest thing is they move the toilet mid stream without a hint they are going to do it...(change the rules)
Googles a joke..
tired of their games..
off to support ANY other search engine..enough of this every month change the rules nonsense..good bye Google ..Good riddence..
Maybe I'm not looking hard enough for the real bad stuff I keep hearing about. Feel free to sticky me a SERP or two of some bad ones, I would love to see them.
Some very competitive phrases that I monitor have had almost all the top ten drop of the scale. Fortunately only one of my customers appears to have been hit.
The sites replacing them are most definitely NOT spam, some appear to be untouched by a search engine optimiser!
In general, they appear to be less relevant but not spam.
An example..... a search for "placename accommodation" produces results in which those words do appear, no doubt about that. But in one case, the placename bit appears as part of an email address and the word "accommodation" appears in random text somwhere else on the page. The site is actually about a town on another continent.
I'll put some of the others sites in the form of fictional examples:
Assume we want "german accommodation". What we get is French accommodation because "accommodation" appears in the text and there is something about France being a neighbour of "Germany".
We are also offered Black Forest accommodation. Same logic where "accommodation" appears in the text and the Black Forest is in "Germany".
Obviously I can see the connection, but top 10 results? I don't recall Google providing those type of results before... or am I just becoming befuddled and starting to dribble a lot?
I have no idea whether these results are due to forward, backward, inward, outward, stand on head links.. or any other permutation of the SEO craft and/or algo tweaking.
The point being that Joe Public has no interest in all those things and just wants to be served the closest match sites available. Based on what I am seeing I wonder if these latest results are providing that.
There have always been strange results in Google and it is difficult in hindsight to compare.
Not that I can compare, but I agree that single word searches tend to be less perfect though.
Do a search for "god" or for "america" (I hope generic enough to use as an example) and you will see not so perfect results.
of course thee are some great results (well, at least i think so becasue it is possbile better sites are buried deep donw so we cant know this) but #1 is really funny. all sites below this have same pr and a lot more backward links...
that is of course only one term i searched , 3rd that came to my mind actually ,i dont have to search deeper, inet is expensive here :)
Thanks for the great, honest comment. I also agree. I see very little change in the quality of search engine results. If anything it looks a little cleaner this month.
The sites that would have been up top for these keywords have been replaced by "information" sites with an obvious absence of words such as "buy here", "book online" etc. forcing me to click on one of the paid ads if I in turn am looking to buy or book something.
I am still getting good honest results from all "non money keyword" searches, e.g. "Aunt Mary's Chocolate Brownie Reicipe".
Our corporate site is getting less referrals, but this may be because we have changed strategy recently (reflected in our website) and some of the old incoming links with hypertext referring to "old" business foci no longer count.
I beleive however in high competitive high commercial sites (only from reading comments here from people who have been hit) the SERPS seem to be having problems. Im not sure what part of that is emotional over-reaction.
So after viewing the Google referrals for Monday (ezine info news sites showed no change or very small increase for Monday averages, and the coporate site was around 15% down) and reveiwing many keyword queries, Iid say overall a good update for "information" type queries at least.
I beleive that Google is not as good at ranking commercial sites as primarily information sites. Basically the basis of PR and link popularity just does not work with competitive commercial sites. (eg: such sites dont link to their competitors while information sites generally to link to related information sites)
Im many posts here before Ive suggested that targeting Google is no long term solution for web exposure and promotion for highly commercial sites just because of that. Its better to use Overture Adwords and many other avenues if you want reliable exposure.
In this update it seems Google has incorporated some changes that has impacted commercial areas in particular. Maybe things like downgrading value of reciprocal links, freshness, and downgrading off topic incoming links. Some commercial sites who couldnt get PR or incoming links naturally have used "workarounds" that Google's algos have just caught up with in refining their systems. Things like negotiatiing "artificial" reciprocal links that acheive nothing than increase PR. Maybe buying links and negitiating links for the value of PR and popularity only and not for the users of each site.
The result is we have a lot of curious posts saying "Google has broken me", "My family will now starve". And suggesting Google shoudn't change things without informing everyone beforehand. Google cannot be expected to be the free money trough for commercial sites, and should be expected to do things to reduce spam. Notifiying what these things are, even if it is a good idea, would be impossible given the complexity of features.
Im seeing a shakeout that should in time convince totally commercial, revenue generating sites to go elsewhere for promotion. No search engine can index the whole web reliably, and the hype about Google has made people feel that it can. It can't.
So though we have 5 sites, 4 information ones and one comemrcial one, we target google for the information non-revenue generating sites, and overture and adwords, and many other avenues for the commercial one.
Thats why i dont have any problems with the searches i do, and some of my work requires professional research including finding info online.
Whether Google is trying to "lead" people to Adwords in competitive "money" areas is a separate issue, but it may well be that Adwords provides better results as its hard for competitive commercial sites to gain "authority". Sure it brings the staus quo moneyed corporates to the top, and it reduces the ability of mom and pops, and "poor" or "family" companies to compete, which was a great thing about the web before. But now big biz has found the web, and its a serious business. Now there is just so much competitiveness and spam in competitive commercial areas that google can no longer keep up. In the end money talks. Its sad, but was inevitable as the Web grew to become mainstream.
To me the key is to always keep changing strategy. Those who think that a small company can keep up in big money areas in competitive areas are living in the 1900's. However you can still niche and compete in niche areas. it takes more time and more brains, but to me that is a sound strategy, and it is the very basis of the Web as first conceived.
The Web was not invented to sell things, but to share information. Its now that the first real realities of that are kicking in. Keep that in mind in web strategy.
All which leads to my opinion that in my very small world and important keyword areas, it is one of the best Google updates for a while for relevance and finding good info.
I certainly agree. This update is better than the previous ones, but of course there will be imperfections. If somebody searches for "widget" it certainly makes sense that widget.com rank highly. There is just too much emphasis on URL though. Google should tone that down a bit. Still, considering the buying pagerank and other issues, this update was a pretty darn good response from Google.
Linking, content and titling
...need all be valued. We moved from being perhaps a little too far on the linking extreme to perhaps being a little too far on the titling extreme. I expect we'll move a little bit back next update now that the dips who paid for pagerank see what a waste that was.
True, the company had a link to accommodations in that place ... but I can tell you that it is definitely NOT the "most relevant" result Google could have or should have served up.
I did a few other searches for similar things such as "place name resorts and although the first result was definitely a winner, the second result was not.
I have to conclude that there is definitely something amiss with the algo, despite the fact that results in my particular area are virtually unchanged and remain very relevant.
IMO, Altavista is "caca". Very limited, and non-relevant results for my searches. I think I will stick with Google for now.
Google is definately not broken! .... sadly.
I see Alltheweb has an Alexa rating of below 200. That means that even if Google really was broken, nobody would notice Alltheweb was better anyway since they must have a tiny fraction of Google's searches.
Purely based on a couple of my sites, I think Google has become far more sensitive to keyword repetition. My own site took a minor nose dive, and the only thing I could pick up between it and my client sites was keyword repetition:
'1element widget design : widget design : widget accommodation : widget optimisation : atlantas europa'
Too many 'widgets' is my theory. I've done little investigation so please shoot me down if you've got evidence to the contrary.
On one site I have a number of 'catalog' type pages each for a different product set... the only real difference between them is the keyword density on the page, according to the number of products in each set. No changes in links, PR, anything else - I basically took a month off.
The one pattern has been a rise in the lower density pages, and a fall in the higher density pages. Those at 8-12% have risen (including a couple of number ones - yippee!)... those over 18% have fallen... in one case from position 32 to 61.
Unfortunately I haven't really got any that fall between 12 and 18% to find the balance point.
...should I start stripping words
I already have and it worked. :)
My (simplistic) view of this update is that Google moves closer to its idealogical goal:
... relevant and appropriate content, acknowledgement from your peer (theme) group, penalising 'spam' (defined above).
This update is not perfect (one of my sites went to #1 from nowhere - undeserved IMO) - but I'm happy if the simple SEO techniques get clipped - <title> , <description> , <h1> , <alt> , etc. etc. because it leads to manipulation by the relative few (?) who know about it.
That's my 2 Euros for tonight.
<add> should have mentioned - the percentages quoted are for a two word phrase. If you're targetting single words I expect the figures to be lower, or higher for three word phrases</add>
stundubl - it never ends :) I'm sure we're all closet m@sochists.