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Will sites have to change to match the SERPs?

     
11:12 am on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Google may have their own reasons for producing results that do not match the search terms that are typed in but it has resulted in some very confusing situations. For instance I have sites on which the main subject is, say, green widgets but which now rank fairly high for red wudglets. These are of course a complete waste of time for visitors but this situation has existed for several months now, so should I admit defeat and change them into red wudglets sites after all? And is altering a website to match Google's search results likely to become a trend?
11:42 am on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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sc2, i think that this has something to do with Google guessing what you are realy looking for.
with all their statistics and Analysis they forget that poeple are self-determined and in most cases realy looking for the thing they typed in.
At least in most cases ebay and amzon are matiching the query ;)
11:50 am on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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G wants to sell its own stuff in preference to any other site that might appear in the SERPS - right?

G have stuffed their SERPS so full of their own products that now thay have to use other methods to increase profitability - they are a company after all and the shareholders drive the agenda.

What better way to increase profitability than to include only irrelevant "other" websites in the SERPS. That way only their own products will sell stuff.

That's a cynics view, not neccessarily mine. My sites don't sell stuff.
4:16 pm on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If you build your site to match what you think Google's algorithm is trying to achieve, you'll be aiming at a moving target.

IMHO, it makes more sense to build a site for users. Focus on your site and let Google figure out how to improve its algorithm.
4:34 pm on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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That's a cynics view, not neccessarily mine. My sites don't sell stuff.

I sell stuff & I'd agree with that POV! Would I change my site to try & match what they DO send me? NO CHANCE! As above it's a moving target. All we can do is sit back & see if Joe Public gets sick of the #*$!ty results(& await Google's self implosion).
7:43 pm on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Focus on your site and let Google figure out how to improve its algorithm


Logic says I should agree with that. However I have watched the search results grow less focussed for many months now so I don't think they are going to change anytime soon. My diagnosis is that if a searcher is looking for red widgets G will serve up the biggest sites for widgets, period. After that will come the biggest sites for the closest relation to widgets. The sites that are actually focussed on red widgets (unless they are major ones) will be nowhere. In the meanwhile there are excellent sites out there that have reasonable positions for the wrong search terms so they are presumably earning little or no money for their owners. Will Google 'improve' their search results (I put that word in inverted commas because I'm not sure if the current SERPs are deliberate or not) in the near future? From what I've seen over the last couple of years I wouldn't bet on it.

What I've found over the last few months is that making major changes to the contents of some of my sites has made (as far as it's possible to tell) no difference whatsoever to the positions they hold for particular search terms. This may suggest that changing them to focus on the Google-given terms may not be such a bad thing because they could always be altered again later. As ever of course there is no guarantee that this would hold true for every search term, in every vertical, in every country.

I'm sure Lewis Carroll would have found plenty of inspiration from Google.
9:27 pm on Feb 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's got to be at least two years since I first gave up and added to the beginning of one page:

If you were looking for flying purple widgets and blundered onto this page by mistake...

... with relevant links or information.

After all, it's not their fault if the search engine gets the hiccups. Or if the same page happens to have a long article about purple widgets alongside one about flying sprockets. (This, incidentally, is where the meta description is really useful. If the search terms occur in widely separated parts of the page, g### tends to show the meta instead. That's assuming for the sake of discussion that the user even looks at the search result before clicking.)
 

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