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Proposed changes to Google's formula are first tested on a separate set of computers that imitate real-world search.
Those deemed worthy are next sent to evaluators around the world who act as online searchers and rate the relevance of results in various languages and regions.
Google then does live testing, with promising algorithm enhancements carefully blended into results served up by the main search engine.
"At any given time, some percentage of our users is actually seeing experiments," Huffman said.
Scott Huffman's team tested "many more than" 6,000 changes to its search engine in 2010, with 500 of them passing the grade to become permanent.
[edited by: tedster at 2:00 am (utc) on Apr 16, 2011]
"If you think of the scale of what we are talking about, it is almost absurd to say we could rig results," Huffman said, noting that Google handles more than a billion searches daily.
That kind of "rigging" is done by inserting new blocks onto the results page. That's how Google does it. They are not rigging the actual organic results, they are displacing them.
"If we care about our users -- don't care about money -- everything else just falls in line," Singhal said. "A healthy Web and happy users are key to our future."
Singhal pictured a day when search engines understand users so well that they predict what people wanted to know and cue them with messages on smartphones.
"That is the ultimate dream," Singhal said. "We are nowhere close to that yet."
Yahoo! Search and Bing achieved the highest success rates in March 2011. This means that for both search engines, more than 80 percent of searches executed resulted in a visit to a Website. Google achieved a success rate of 66 percent. The share of unsuccessful searches highlights the opportunity for both the search engines and marketers to evaluate the search engine result pages to ensure that searchers are finding relevant information.
BTW, my bing referrals are better than ever.
Matt always says that he loves webmasterworld but people here aren't giving real world examples.But they aren't doing it either.Except for one example which he keeps repeating in interviews there aren't any good ones.Even the one he used as an example doesn't anyway prove the kind of quality they have unearthed now.
This was post-Panda too so we can see what a success it was [...]
Can your analytics isolate bounce rate by entry type - by search keyword in particular?
Yahoo! Search and Bing achieved the highest success rates in March 2011. This means that for both search engines, more than 80 percent of searches executed resulted in a visit to a Website. Google achieved a success rate of 66 percent.
it looks like they are dreaming about how they could spam people on the pretext they knew what the user wants.
"Alongside changing the engines, the plane has become quieter, the ride got more comfortable, and we even changed your seat while you were sleeping," he continued. "We just do it in small steps that go unnoticed."
The move was part of an ongoing duel between the search titan and low-quality websites that feature only content copied from elsewhere on the Internet or use techniques to trick their way high in results.
"People are not just expecting a search engine to return every document that has most of the words typed in a query box," Huffman said. "They want the context understood; there are a lot of nuances hidden within that."
OK, so this interviewer apparently got the engineers to tell him that a "quality" site does not use copied content and is white hat. So that begs the question: Why did so many of us get hit so hard when we are not using tricks and have original content?
To be on page #1 soon you will have to pay, Google will fill all searches with it's own properties.
It's all a PR effort, Google is choking on cr@p, and is trying to please the big media in a futile attempt to extend it's life as a leader by a few more years.
[edited by: TheMadScientist at 2:20 am (utc) on Apr 15, 2011]
Returning to this interview with the engineers, I can't help but wonder how many testing cycles Panda went through before it was launched - especially those "small subset of user" live tests.
That's because 20% of searches done on Google are by webmasters