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Google business reasons for algo updates

     
5:20 pm on Aug 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 3 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4913754.htm [webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 1:57 pm on Aug 5, 2018 (PDT -8)


When all is said and done, aim of algo updates at this time and age is to increase Google revenue.
Be in denial, if this makes you feel better.
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3:26 pm on Aug 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Talk about splitting hairs.

Differentiating between the UI and the algorithm isn't "splitting hairs." Perhaps you're not aware of this, but Google has separate teams for the UI and for organic search. So Google, at least, understands the difference between the two.
4:30 pm on Aug 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Run by AI. We didn't do it, the AI did it. That's the greatest counter argument ever and I'm sure as AI starts to run more of what we see on the so-called search result pages, there can be even less accountability for what goes on. The perfect plan as they say. So is it AI team vs. AI/Human team? AI = 40% today, next year it's 60%? I know certain motorcycle clubs that use puppet clubs. It creates distance. More teams, more distance, less blame. Toss in some AI for good measure and you have no accountability. Who's to blame?
5:01 pm on Aug 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I seriously doubt that anyone at Google has said (or even seriously thought), "Let's make use of AI to avoid accountability." (Or that the people who invented artificial intelligence or machine learning used "lack of accountability" as a marketing pitch.)
6:39 pm on Aug 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So far all the posters in this thread have just spoken in generalities. According to the title, the discussion is supposed to be about possible business motivations for making changes to the algorithm.
8:32 pm on Aug 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Okay, Aristotle, the business motivation (IMO) is simple: Google earns its money by serving its users, and algorithm changes are intended to accomplish that mission.

Happy users = happy advertisers = more revenue.

As GE used to say, "Progress is our most important product."
10:26 am on Aug 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm happy @EditorialGuy and @robzilla that you are content with G's policies - and so eager to advocate for. Happy for you. Still, seems to me too content and too eager actually . . . . . .
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3:38 pm on Aug 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm happy @EditorialGuy and @robzilla that you are content with G's policies - and so eager to advocate for.

Are you suggesting that anyone who doesn't embrace a conspiracy theory or blow off steam on Webmaster forums, and who doesn't think Google is stupid enough to lace its core product with poison, is "advocating" for Google?
6:07 pm on Aug 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google is what it is.

I'm reasonably confident that everyone in this thread, indeed all members of WebmasterWorld, have concerns, complaints, problems with Google - and every other web platform/network - I know I do.

However, howling or cowering at each eclipse is counterproductive. Neither the sun nor the moon care or even notice. The only change vector available in the relationship is you (generic).

I don't apologise for Google. Nor for my past, current, and hopefully future success in receiving increasing search traffic volume and ad revenue.

Too many webdevs forget that content ads aka AdSense is a secondary bolt on, an ad network long tail; Google's primary display venue for their ads is search, the query result pages aka their own property not requiring any revenue split.

Which is why I and others have never been surprised at any of the changes that result in retaining searchers on google properties nor that Google search is increasingly a destination rather than a waypoint. It's been an obvious shift for over a decade, and, if you read back in the archives, a few lone voices were predicting pretty much each step along the way.

There have been very few surprises since Florida and that was more being startled than surprised - we all knew the gaming had become blatant.

Google has a serious problem in organic: increasing crap over time and a serious constraint in organic: limited results positions.

One can argue over the definition of crap elsewhere but that the problem exists is true. And I suspect most of the daily algo tweaks are attempts to minimize false negatives/positives in the war against crap.

Broad core changes have previously been to counter some discovered/perceived basic miss or to shake up one or more niches. Given the limited answer space and the number of available answers aka sites such churn behaviour allows Google to showcase other sites and compare searcher behaviour against prior results. Good exposure for 'neglected' sites not so happy result for those replaced. Very few sites are so extraordinary that they can't be replaced by multiple others for a given query.

Good practical business behaviour for Google. Unfortunate for those who feel entitled and failed to diversify. Reality bites.
7:46 pm on Aug 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Good exposure for 'neglected' sites not so happy result for those replaced.

Few would object to a zero sum game regarding competing sites, as implied. As most by now know, this is hardly the case. Algo updates increasingly siphon larger percentages of traffic to properties of a well known third party - the one in control of the algo.

Nobody in their right mind would object to Google making a healthy profit after covering costs. It is the excessive siphoning that is objectionable, guided by extreme greed, killing competition, innovation and small business, to the point where an acceptable equilibrium has long been overturned.

While treating content providers, the raison d'etre of search and Google's existence, with utter contempt as their disposable slaves.

Shame!
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8:09 pm on Aug 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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To subtle increase the power of brand name big businesses in the SERPS so that they can keep the flow (and increase) of dollars to them, the big advertising spenders....
8:11 pm on Aug 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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And for those wondering, I am too long in this game (1996), hardened & durable, to know what I am talking about and to shield my properties. But I could have done much better in a less hostile environment, and I don't mean competition from legitimate site owners. Have no problem with legitimate competition. My problem is with algo, etc, abuse. Thankfully, attitudes are gradually changing -especially with regulators and holders of power- and slowly but steadily there is to be change. I can guarantee you this present situation has an expiry date. Alphabet knows this well.

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9:07 pm on Aug 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Few would object to a zero sum game regarding competing sites, as implied. As most by now know, this is hardly the case. Algo updates increasingly siphon larger percentages of traffic to properties of a well known third party - the one in control of the algo.

If we've successfully "split the hair" by now and, in referring to "the algo", are actually talking about the algorithm and not the Search product as a whole, let me say that there's no way you're going to artificially boost your own rankings or intentionally corrode the quality of results and, at the same time, retain the brightest minds in information retrieval. Those things just don't go together. Any tweaks imposed on the rankings, rather than being a result of the algorithm, would jeopardize the whole operation. To even suggest the idea is, I think, to grossly underestimate the mind-boggling complexity of the modern search engine, as well as the people it requires.
3:13 pm on Aug 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google's saving grace where punters are concerned is that many users, perhaps the majority, still think the google search result is superior to Bing et al. Because of that the searchers return and the merry-go-round continues.
5:54 pm on Aug 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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People don't seem to want the reality. Fact: Many times on this forum people have stated that on various searches, the ads are the most relevant result on a search result page. This is a fact folks. Want to deny that? So what happens when the algo returns results THAT ARE COMPLETELY VOID of one, two or three of the search terms typed into the box? In theory, the algo failed. Right? If I ask for oranges and you show me apples because they are both fruit? That's the algo. So when the ads show oranges and everything else is apples, the ads are the relevant result. So geez, I have NO IDEA how an algo can help business.

We've all seen less relevant results. We've all seen the spike in Google shares. We've all come to realize that more often than ever THE ADS ARE THE MOST RELEVANT RESULT because the ALGO SUCKS. The more it sucks, the more relevant the ads become.

Go ahead and deny this. Deny Google making more revenue than ever before. Deny that the algo is fetching asinine results in many instances. Deny that the algo is more and more about AI, thus making it all so excusable. Hey, if I could blame the AI while the ads start to look better and better on a search result page? You bet I'm not complaining if I'm Google or a shareholder.

For apologists suggesting if results were so bad people would move to Bing? Yeah right. Kind of hard to avoid Google search on a mobile device isn't it. Beyond that, Bing is a bigger turd if we're being honest about it. However, Bing doesn't have the ability to affect much of anything, good or bad.

Deny. Deny. Deny.
6:47 pm on Aug 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So what happens when the algo returns results THAT ARE COMPLETELY VOID of one, two or three of the search terms typed into the box? In theory, the algo failed. Right? If I ask for oranges and you show me apples because they are both fruit? That's the algo. So when the ads show oranges and everything else is apples, the ads are the relevant result. So geez, I have NO IDEA how an algo can help business.

If Joe Searcher is getting apples for oranges all the time, along with peaches for plums and widgets for thingamabobs, he's likely to find alternatives--not just Bing or DuckDuckGo or Yandex, but maybe Amazon or Walmart or Target.

You might as well argue that The New York Times should intentionally put boring news on its home page so users will be less likely to be distracted from looking at ads.

Businesses that skimp on quality don't stay at the top of the heap forever. (That's as true of small businesses as it is of large ones.)
8:01 pm on Aug 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Most people are not astute enough to realize that Google provides search results that are completely void of one or more terms a person typed into the "box". Add to that, the ads are bang-on relevant to the search terms and are shown above the "results", therefore the impact is hardly noticeable to less tech savvy searchers. I would bet as we've moved from one, to two, to three, and sometimes four ads above that #1 algo generated result, most people wouldn't get far enough down to notice. Based on stock success, I would suggest the proof is in the pudding. Either that or the answer boxes took the lack of search result relevance (that's called algo generated results to the thick minded) out of the equation. The algo is losing relevance on a daily basis. But hey, let's deny, deny, deny.
8:40 pm on Aug 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't believe any of the posters in this thread deny that Google has long been making business decisions that negatively impact organic search referred traffic quality/volume.

The only denial I read is the refusal to diversify, to adapt to change that is not new, not sudden, not unexpected. I say again: Google is what it is. Not what one might prefer it to be.

The problem with indexing all the worlds information is GIGO. Also a problem that has been increasing for over a decade. A big part of Google SEO is optimising to out rank the garbage. Unfortunately even many dedicated 'professional' SEO's are really just illiterate tool users. I love a solid competitive advantage.
9:32 pm on Aug 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't believe any of the posters in this thread deny that Google has long been making business decisions that negatively impact organic search referred traffic quality/volume.


I wish that was true but it seems that more than half of the posters to this thread simply disbelieve the assertion that "Google has long been making business decisions that negatively impact organic search referred traffic quality/volume".

They just can't see it.

Where you go from there as a webmaster is up to the individual. Thank goodness I chose a subject matter 15 years ago that Google finds it very difficult to mimic.
12:33 am on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Is it groundhog day again?
1:03 am on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately even many dedicated 'professional' SEO's are really just illiterate tool users.

When people build SEO- and revenue-driven sites around keywords without knowing or caring about the topic, it stands to reason that their sites won't have much of a shelf life.

Site owners who equate "content" with "filler" are doomed.
4:14 am on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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These types of discussions have to go off the rails because some people are steeped in a conflict of interest. SEO is about selling the idea that "free" traffic (customers) is attainable in 2018 and beyond. SEO services do not point out the lifespan or returns on investment or the long term prospects of making it worthwhile. It's just about selling the idea that some "free" traffic that can convert is actually attainable and worth it. If I run a website dedicated to selling hope and the concept of SEO or attracting and retaining free converting traffic, then certainly we can't expect to have a logical discussion. Some people can't see the forest for the trees. That's why you get senseless off topic, one liners for example. I'm glad I'm not selling hope for that #1 spot that's now buried under 4 ads, answer boxes and YouTube videos. Until then? Deny, deny, deny.
10:33 am on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Fact: Many times on this forum people have stated that on various searches, the ads are the most relevant result on a search result page. This is a fact folks. Want to deny that?

Many people claim that Earth is flat. Does that make it so?

You're confusing fact with observation -- if this even classifies as observation. I use Google a lot, both personally and professionally, and an ad is rarely the most helpful result. So I'll happily deny it, and in doing so denounce your "fact", as my experience apparently differs from that of the "people" you refer to. People, I should add, on a webmaster forum, where many complaints about the "irrelevance" of search results are founded on frustration that their own websites (which are, of course, always the most relevant) don't rank highly enough. Not the most trustworthy bunch. You can say "we've all seen X" and selectively pull in a bunch of random facts and observations and say 1 + 1 = 2, maybe put a few words in all-caps, but none of those things prove anything. The "proof is in the pudding" because Google revenue keeps growing? It's not that roughly a quarter million people newly gain access to the internet every single day? Or the increasing popularity of other ventures like Google Cloud and Android? I could go on. This is textbook confirmation bias.
1:58 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, well when it's fact that top "algo" results that are void of one, two, or three search terms typed into the "box"? You know where to stick your flat earth comment. Try using the product before claiming expert status on it.
2:42 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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SEO is about selling the idea that "free" traffic (customers) is attainable in 2018 and beyond.

Free traffic certainly is attainable, but if you want to get it from the search engines, you'll need to think beyond SEO and offer intrinsic value to the searcher. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, "Ask not what Google can do for you, ask what you can do for Google's users."
4:51 pm on Aug 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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when it's fact that top "algo" results that are void of one, two, or three search terms typed into the "box"?

Well, this isn't the 90s, and it's not AltaVista we're talking about. The query (or part of it) doesn't always appear in the results. That was a great advancement many years ago, and it's often helped me find things I wouldn't have known the proper query for. But feel free to provide examples where this happens and the results are completely irrelevant.

Try using the product before claiming expert status on it.

I've never claimed to be an expert in anything, ever. Saying I have doesn't make it so.
1:46 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google wants to be defective by design so that the SEOs cannot reverse engineer the Algo and manipulate the results..
2:01 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google wants to be defective by design so that the SEOs cannot reverse engineer the Algo and manipulate the results.

Google wants the algo to be designed so that it can't be reversed engineered. That much is true. Why "defective" defective suggest that it does not work as intended. The algo is intended not to be reverse engineered.
2:56 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If you go to the library and ask a librarian for books about apples and they bring back a pile of books about oranges? You question them and they reply by saying they are both fruit, so what's the problem. You're likely to say the librarian is a dummy. How then when Google does the same thing (blame the algo) we don't call this "defective"? Go ahead and start using Google more as and end user and not an SEO so you can educate yourself on how stupid the librarian (Google) really is these days. If you haven't noticed, then you haven't used it enough. This isn't complicated to figure out but I understand that people are too smart to see simple things. Many of who have already posted various tidbits of nothingness in this thread. Ask the librarian about some exotic fruit and they will come back with more books on oranges. Their defense? Nobody else is looking for that exotic fruit so in their eyes, it doesn't exist. You must have meant oranges because that's what everyone else seems to be wanting these days. Nice algo there. Powered by AI, so forgive us for being so stupid.
3:27 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As I've mentioned previously I call the sometimes mess sometimes miss with Google query results their GIGO problem.

Anecdotally - I've watched the GIGO waves for over a decade, historically they rise to a crest, G makes changes and they ebb to slowly build again. However, since the advent of their touted RankBrain I've watched the crest continue to build and in many queries not have a countervailing trough. I wonder at times if their real time ML is having problems they are finding difficult to correct. Whatever the underlying error I see multiple results daily that are largely to totally nonsensical.

So they still have lots of room for algo changes/improvements... And we have lots more opportunities to complain when the change bites back.
6:52 pm on Aug 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How then when Google does the same thing (blame the algo) we don't call this "defective"?

Perfection is unattainable, but in any case, there's a big difference between not batting a thousand and consistently missing the ball on purpose ("defective by design").
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