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Did all these updates make a damn bit of difference in how well people find what they are looking for? Is there any improvement at all? Can we look back with hindsight and say - Google is better then it was and these algo changes and DC's made a big difference?
I really don't think we can. In fact, Google's latest algo preference has changed it's boolean search from ALL words to ANY words from "authority" sites ranking higher then pages that are actually more relevant.
I don't have an axe to grind against Google, and I don't have an anti-Google agenda to progandize - but I have slowly, not very noticable, been relying more and more on vertical search engines. And when I do use Google, I have to go the advanced search function and set up lots of paraments that I never had to use before.
From the monthly Google dances, to Florida to Brandy - and so on, the intended goal was never met, Google engineers are overpaid on a lost cause and "invented" work, and the future of search does not lay in bipolar manic depressant algorthym changes.
In the final analysis, this route that GOogle has sold itself on is a waste of time, and the Big Corporation is infested with a case of Group Think not seen since the Bay of Pigs Disaster, or the Iran Hostage Rescue fiasco.
Google is the best, the very best, at selling their brand name - which fools people into thinking they have gotten better at what they do over the last 5 years by these "Updates."
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and now 2006. If you look at the big picture instead of your own selfish considerations of how your site did during a given year, everything has changed - but nothing has really changed.
What was it all for? It's like an unpopular war that goes on and on and on and years later, the common folk (not the politicians or generals) ask themselves - what the hell was it all for? What good did we do?
The future, IMO, likes in vertical search engines with specialized topics, semantic text indexing, taxonomy and a much small DB of 100 million pages from hand - picked websites. Vertical search engines can offer specialized searches better then the big boys do, and can decentralize the power away from the Super Corporations who assure us they know what is best for us.
I apologize for rambling here, but I have been putting together these loose thoughts on the state of search affairs from a different perspective - and don't have all my thoughts elequently written or or thought through. This is a theory that's a work in progress.
Thanks for reading, feel free to blog my insane ramblings.
Something as intuitive as this, with more search preference criteria would be a great way to filter out certain types of results.
Google ended January with a 41.4 percent share of the U.S. search engine market, up from 40 percent in December, according to comScore Media Metrix. Yahoo Inc.'s share declined to 28.7 percent in January, dipping from 29.5 percent December, while Microsoft Corp.'s MSN held a 13.7 percent share, dropping from 24.3 percent in the prior month.
Those numbers are so far from reality I may as well say Teoma has a 30% market share. It's more like google 70, yahoo 20 and msn 7 - the others share the scraps...Heck, Yahoo's cfo just sited they had a 20% market share, doubt they would play it DOWN :)
A lot of these reports count market share by page impressions instead of submitted queries. Thus anybody with their home page as yahoo or msn will count towards their market share. Even if a surfer uses another search engine.
Also some count unique visitors which is hardly relevant for market share. Google users are generally more seasoned internet users and I would guarantee that on average they make more searches than other search engines.
You can only believe what your site statistics tell you. From the 30 odd sites I manage, all have the similar trend of approximately 70% G.