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Google Panda - all about local pushing SERPs below fold?



6:54 pm on Jul 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I can't believe there hasn't been a mere mention that Panda is more of a format change than any update.

The local results displayed are pushing the organic 2-4 results below the fold. Not only for the organic positions but for the 4, 5 adwords positions previously displayed on the right, which now show the small map locations.

The result is less clicks for both! So unless you are number 1 organic result for a keyword phrase or 1-2 or 3 for adwords your click thru rates has decreased tremendously obviously causing far less traffic.

The only exception maybe for longer tail keyword phrases which G will not display local results or can't put 2 and together for the longer search phrases.

The locals are enjoying a large run up in calls, website traffic or walk-ins. Just call anyone of them in any industry and ask.

The phone book is going away and Google will capture all that business, giving them free results for a while, then charge them for a local listing. Think of the billions of dollars that will equate to, even for a nominal yearly inclusion charge.

And why shouldn't they,? They are a for profit, publicly traded company.


3:20 am on Jul 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Without doubt this is a high level strategy, and I don't buy the argument that product divisions within Google don't respond to commercial strategic guidelines.
+1, er...Like :). Google is run (still) by the 'big boy$,' otherwise they would have been gone long time. Eric Schmidt has a bad habit of being honest and telling exactly what Google thinks and feels [fastcompany.com...] and maybe that's why Larry took the public role. People like Matt Cutts are not likely to be in the loop up there, they are for public consumption so we believe Google, just as Exxon might let an innocent looking VP be the public face next time they spill a billion barrels of oil.

Give users lists of sites that are "trusted" - more brands, more recognisable lists of sites that are familiar, more confidence in the results. Favour sites that fit with the profile of "good" sites - equals more satisfied customers.
Actually over time they will get less users since the SERPS are predictable and people will eventually go directly, but Google will make a killing meanwhile. Brands advertise on Google. More results they get from Google, more advertising they are likely to buy (if you bought follow links from a blog and they worked, would you keep buying them?). But Google is datacentric as they like to brag, so they know the limits and acceptable looses in users /gain in profits. And results are surely not to be as relevant as brand power will drown relevancy.

Well, what we are now seeing is reality 101 ~ they are no different than Exxon or GE or MS or Monsanto.
+1! +1! +2! ^ Like

If Bank of America or Citibank or....said their new and improved [insert service here] is for the benefit of users...blah blah...what's the first thing you think? Amazing how Google has manipulated people's minds that very few are even willing to accept that Google might lie through their teeth for profit. And in banking there's more competition, they really can lose customers to other banks. That's less likely with Google.

So Google is not evil, Charles Manson that kills for the sake of it is. Google is a calculating corporation using everything at its disposal to make as much money as possible while not getting a Bernie Maddoff reputation. That's their goal and if they step all over you, it's not personal, it's business. Just like not caring about copyrights [google.com...] , extorting Yelp over reviews, or advertising bogus pharmacies that sell phony and expired meds. They got to meet what Wall Street expects or their stock options are worthless and then people have to be paid in dollars.


6:06 pm on Jul 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Actually over time they will get less users since the SERPS are predictable and people will eventually go directly

Is there any evidence for this?


7:33 pm on Jul 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Actually over time they will get less users since the SERPS are predictable and people will eventually go directly

Is there any evidence for this?

Evidence that people many times will go directly to a well known brand's site? If it's really important to have exact proof (if you're writing an article for example), you may want to start your research on brand domain typos and why they are valuable to to cybersquaters. [google.com...] Even bad misspellings of popular brands are extremely valuable as they bring decent traffic. Also you may want to Google 'John Zuccarini' [en.wikipedia.org...] and read about his court case.


7:05 am on Jul 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm not doubting that people go direct, I'm just wondering if people are more likely to go direct if the SERPs become more predictable. I reckon I go direct less due to predictable SERPs, for example every time I come here I search G for web master world as the link to the google seo forum is closer to the top of the page than if I go direct to the WebmasterWorld home page. I may be weird though.


7:48 pm on Jul 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Is it Monday yet?

The purpose for this post is to attempt to demonstrate Google's Ad creep on page one search results that some members say is not happening, or that others say they are not seeing. Some of the observations I'm going to present are scathing so I think in this instance a disclosure would be appropriate: I have no financial interest in Google in any capacity. I DO NOT, directly or indirectly, own Google shares nor am I trying to influence their bid and ask prices. I am NOT in a short position for Google shares. I acknowledge Google's right to run their business as they deem necessary. Freedom of expression also entitles me to expose greed and/or corruption in our collective international society.

This is going to be my best attempt at trying to explain the pattern that has been unfolding on search results for page one of Google. These observations are based on local search. They may or may not apply to regional, national, or international results, I don't know because I have not devoted enough time to that aspect. Regardless, local business results is what Google is aggressively going after in many ways in the last 6 months or so (coincides with that event that has become known as Panda). Google's has also recently begun giving away free websites, or, in their words; "improving existing ones", to local small business owners so they can sell them advertising services afterward (handing out free crack to the kids in the alley -- gybo.ca). They have also for some time now been tilling the ground of page 1 to enable them to plant future AdWords spots and paid (monthly recurring cost) Places Tags there. They have been doing this in very subtle ways to make it ALMOST unnoticeable.

I want this post to be able to stand up to scrutiny, tedsters in particular because he feels very strongly about this matter. And why is it lately that the term "conspiracy theory" comes up so frequently in many posts by members? Is there an attempt to discredit members who are hot on the trail to make them look like fools that they are not? That would be a good tactic to discredit their observations in other members' eyes. Someone who feels as strongly as that, in my thought, must have evidence to counteract my observations. I look forward to a healthy debate of opposing points of view. And, Netmeg, if you aren't seeing it you should begin warming up to the idea because nobody is going to be immune to this stuff except for Google's own properties and those on their payroll. If your focus is local it will be coming to a town near you sooner or later. Oh and speaking of payroll, if anyone comes back with a very strong and apparent bias in favour of Google would it be asking too much to state your financial interest in the matter? Just so we can get an official ether record to add to inventory.


On to the matter. Let's begin at the root. When there is no change in a search engine's page structure there is generally very little tweaking or long term planning happening. When page structural changes begin happening it is indicative of INTENTION (of something maybe yet unrecognizable). A few minor structural changes over time may still not reveal INTENTION. Eventually a tipping point is reached, then the foghorn of INTENTION blows their cover. In this case Harper Seven alerted me that time has arrived for me to begin my work of exposing the poison of greed. Oh the waxing poetic drama, born in the 7th month, in the 7th hour, carrying 7 and some odd pounds, she arrived squealing whoa whoa whoa! What a beautiful symphony, it brings joyful tears to my (singular) eye. Sing it with me lucy (in the sky with diamonds) of thought provoking expressions!

For a long time Google displayed EXCELLENT on-topic results in their SERP but alas not enough people were clicking through to page 2 or 3 because they were finding it right there on page 1 -- less opportunity to display ads, dread! The structure during that time was non-paid results (organic) in the main body with supporting AdWords ads in the right hand column. It was a beautiful symbiotic relationship between content borrowed from website owners (because Google doesn't have any of their own for consumer eyeballs) for the purpose of building an advertising empire around that borrowed content. It was very successful and Google enjoyed respectable healthy "don't be evil" profits. Then at some point ads crept into the top 3 spots above the non-paid results (organic). Still no problem there in my opinion, it's their page and they are entitled to do as they please but at this point one should begin to notice the creep (of ads that is).

At some point during that time more page real-estate was expropriated from non-paid results (as if those websites didn't pay through hard work of bringing meaningful information to the public) for the purpose of displaying Places Pages. Many listings in the Places Page spots don't even have websites even though they could have populated those spots with existing local businesses that did have websites. How thoughtful of Google -- an Internet advertising monopoly going out of their way to reach out to businesses who don't even have a website! Such a helpful bunch, falling down over themselves, trying to rush to the aid of poor unfortunate local businesses who cannot afford to set up a website. I'll bet that would look good on the resume they present to the FTC wouldn't it? But for the binary technical minds it screams unusual BEHAVIOURAL change. Hmmmmmmm, what's going on there, I wonder what's brewing?

Then the map to the right began moving and floating over the top of ads. Hmmmmmmm that's a strange BEHAVIOURAL change, what's going on there? Nothing I guess (wrong, INTENTION is brewing), but wow my attention is sure drawn to that area more now :) oh and look at those pretty red markers. And then some time came to pass and behold! some of those markers are now blue (paid recurring monthly fees for Places Tags). Hey you Google guys are you trying to train me to recognize contrast?! Are you trying to train those business owners to whom you have given Places Pages (crack), the ones without actual websites, the ones that have seen an increase in business because of your (seemingly) helpfulness? Oh wait a minute, I get it, when Places Pages Tags eventually catch on and all the non-paid red markers are replaced with blue ones those same business owners are going to notice a drop in business. I guess many of them will now jump on board your free websites for businesses offer huh? But of course they won't be SEO friendly so they'll show up at -100 or something. No big deal I guess they can always buy AdWords. I hope you didn't forget to tell them that in your free crack, I mean websites, offer. You don't have something underhanded in mind do you because my intuition tells me you are up to no good. Bah, it's probably just my delusional mind playing tricks on me right? How could anyone take a fool like me seriously.

Then a new day dawned, I performed a new search and behold 3 sons were shining in the results, all belonging to the same entity. Hmmmmm more unusual BEHAVIOURAL change there -- 3 results stacked on top of each other without having to expand any buttons, all from the same website. Even though those 3 results belonged to me I thought hey my friends below me are disappearing! I don't want them to be left behind on page 2 or 3 because they were the very souls that gave me strength to make it to the top by constantly challenging me to work harder to achieve higher placement than them in results at the pinnacle. I got to #1 on their shoulders. Come back guys! there's room enough for everyone here. We can share the wealth, except that there is a beast between me and them eating it all. Ah nuts I'm going to have to abandon my comfy perch for a while again, climb back down below the fold, kick the beast's ad$, and go looking for them.

And when I find them, next Monday in part deux of this posting, I'll going to dissect the new useless page one results (not the WW member!) and explain in vivid detail why the results that are appearing on page one are like they are. It's extremely insightful and should stand up to any logical challenges, but maybe not emotional ones. And mister beast -- you are going to develop a bad case of indigestion.


8:33 pm on Jul 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

You are right though, the SERP's are eat up with local results for much longer queries, and sure enough... business owners do not need a website any longer, they have their places page.

Google is no longer a website search engine, its a directory of businesses.

That said... if you were in the business of having a local-guide of ANY kind, you just got burned to the ground. Local reviews, buying guides, local business guides, etc... poof, gone thanks to the trusty 7-pack.

I actually just searched for something to do with oipening a locked door without a key and got 10 videos as the top results BEFORE any text serps! (6 youtube, 4 others)


7:08 pm on Jul 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well said SevenCubed.

It's always easier when faced with irrefutable and overwhelming evidence to start calling names and attempting to run-off and discredit people. Oh well, every day is a learning experience for all of us. I certainly am not perfect myself.

Back on topic. I haven't seen it myself yet, but there's been a few reports here about places creeping into non-location specific queries. No surprise there. All recent layout and 'improvements' lately have had one clear theme and result. This is simply a continuation and we will surely see more and varied excuses to push the organics off the page.

I just checked on a four word query and found a mere 4 organic domains shown at the very bottom of the page! No chance of any traffic there.

The "searches related to" was 4 lines.

The 7 places were all expanded, with each one taking up 6-8 lines.

The second organic was of course repeated a few times in a comicly obvious manipulation.
These two pages were just spun variations of the same crap.

The map on the right of course moved down over the ads as you scroll.

In short, the page is clearly designed to funnel traffic away from the few organic results that made the top 4.

Time will tell, but the arrogance and greed may eventually backfire with these increasingly spammy pages. My guess is that we will see firefox addons or greasemonkey scripts to bypass the first page spam and return the remaining useful results. For doing any research, something like this would be a real time-saver.


8:51 pm on Jul 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Don't lose hope people . I'm sure someone will come and post to say how they beat Google and their page is even higher than the first 3 Google ads....maybe even above the search box. Once that happens, you just aren't trying enough.

Get the message people, Google is going for the kill before the EU /FTC and US state anti-trust investigations are adjudicated. With so many seeing smoke, there might be something there so go full steam now until it's stopped. That's why, IMO, we see so many 'quality enhancements' this year.


3:23 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Google overhauls places... [google-latlong.blogspot.com...]
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