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Picking the Lock of Google’s Search - NYT

8:16 pm on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The Haggler appreciates the challenge that Google faces. Thousands of people spend all their workdays devising novel ways to fool the world’s most popular search engine. Fighting this tech-savvy horde can’t be easy.

Yet if the example of locksmiths is any indication, the horde has the upper hand in certain service sectors, and it all but owns Google Places. Though Google is apparently already battling back. On Thursday, a search of “emergency locksmith Seattle” yielded only one Google Places result, not seven, but maybe more tinkering is needed. The site that landed on this prized perch appeared to be a lead gen operation — it’s 24/7 Emergency Locksmith, which lists its address at a U.P.S. store. The woman who answered the phone at 24/7 would say nothing about the company, or even where she was located.

Less Google Places in search is not a bad thing but if the changed it because NYT wrote about it, it's not a good thing. (companies are usually contacted for comments days before the story is published)

Tried it for my town and got only 3 Google Places, but after 2 organic search results. Hmmm....
4:23 pm on July 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@wwconnect, I would have to say out of all the things I've read here in the past couple weeks, yours makes the most sense. The move for Google to an AI search rather than "traditional". The fact that it's difficult to get exact results says to me that they are taking your search phrase and filling in the blanks, as to say, asking themselves that you want this and may we suggest this. Unfortunately the web and webmasters have prepared their information in such a way as to leave no guess work (titles, keywords, anchor links, etc) what their page or article was about. I do think this AI aspect makes sense. It makes sense to me because there is no rhyme or reason to a lot of results I see. Other than if I asked a friend where I could get laptop reviews, they would say CNET, Engadget, etc. They wouldn't know about joe blows expertise and great review blog. I dunno, AI for Google search is something that rings a bell with me. Traditionally in video games AI equates to a real dummy. In a lot of ways, and in a lot of examples that I'm reading about, Google is acting like a dummy. That might indicate AI doing the work and not relying on the page elements and SEO that we all used to tell Google what our content or website is all about. And if you consider that in it's purest form SEO is just a means to best communicate to a search engine EXACTLY what our site and content is about.
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