Advertising, Content Farms, Global Search Wars & Google Panda
2011/04/18 Leave a comment
Google focus shifts from Spam to Quality
During a recent Wired interview Google’s search-quality guru Amit Singhal said,“…we basically got a lot of good fresh content, and some not so good. The problem had shifted from random gibberish, which the spam team had nicely taken care of, into somewhat more like written prose. But the content was shallow…”
Google’s focus on their spam problem created a quality problem which had to be addressed sooner rather than later and Panda came to the rescue.
Google’s Panda Search Update
Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts, Google’s anti-spam guy, praised an internal engineer for ‘figuring it out’ how to deal with the shallow content but rumors are rife that manual searcher ‘blocking’ feedback where Google Search users would ‘block’ certain sites from their search results were a big factor in solving the new problem faced by Singhal and Cutts and it may be fair to say that Google ‘customers’ focused Google’s attention on which sites may have be problematic and then afterwards the searcher blocked sites might have influenced the overall re-tuning of the Google search algorithm.
Webmasters that depend on search to attract people and advertising dollars to their websites naturally have their own opinions on the goal and outcome of Google’s Panda update.
This is one of thousands of blog posts about the Panda update which we chose because it describes how search must ultimately accommodate the needs and stories of individual searchers. Algorithms are nice, but they just don’t help searchers with constantly changing needs and stories—algorithms are backward facing, and probably the reason that searcher blocked sites were believed to be the most significant factor in influencing the Panda search algo change globally.
Quite simply Google can’t guess the perspectives taken by individual searchers, nationally or globally.
“From all my observations it seems the new algo is part based on the way Watson came up with answers on Jeopardy which is a very story based way of thinking.
Look at all the clues G has given – the old “did you mean this” that came out last year was a good clue. Consider all the contextual word association meaning patents G has and is heavily using.
On a very simple level – look at the keyword results the keyword tool returns for a query. If you have lists of relevant words for a keyword from last year and compare it to this year, they are most likely not the same. This shows the “learning” level of the algorithm and how the associations of one word to the next have changed.
If you get your hands on a document analyzer, you put the doc into it and it tells you all the relevant themes and the strength and relationship of those themes and the story signature of the content. You don’t even have to read the doc to be able to talk about it intelligently. My belief that is that is what G is doing and relating that to Watson’s mind’s working as this sniffs out the “story” the user is looking for.
This way of thinking is beyond the technical feedback loop of using keywords and creating content around those but engaging in the story around the keywords both on the site and off the site. Social media is telling the story around relevance of the keywords to the story the user wants to explore and which G wants to give. It is my view that is how the algo now works around incoming links and social media relevance. This is why real sites based around relevant topics with user engagement on and off the site were not hit. It also shows why the so called content farms and others that fall under the old technical thinking of keywords were hit.
I have been studying this for 11 months now since hit by mayday which I believe was the first implementation of this way of working and started dialoguing with people in the “story” end of seo thinking and now I agree and that is my conclusion. Needless to say, I am approaching SEO in a different way now. I am not dropping the old but putting my mind into the new for here on in.”
Webmasters may have to adjust.
The battle to control content and associated advertising revenues has gone global with an interesting twist, collateral damage that is ‘accidental’ by virtue of Google ‘improving’ it’s search engine algorithm in an attempt to boost its search quality and relevance.
This is what happened to CIAO in the EU;
“One of the worst hit by the “Panda” update was Ciao.co.uk, a Microsoft-owned company that had been leading an EU competition case against Google.
Ciao’s web visibility fell by 94% according to analysis by Searchmetrics.
Google’s head of search evaluation, Scott Huffman, said it was “almost absurd” to suggest that the results were rigged…”
“…Nachdem das Panda/Farmer-Update in den USA letztens schon für erhebliches Aufsehen gesorgt hat, war es nur noch eine Frage der Zeit, bis Google diese Ranking-Anpassungen ebenfalls im Rest der Welt einspielen würde. Gestern hat Google sich nun entschieden, Panda für alle englisch-sprachigen Suchbegriffe zu aktivieren. Wie bei meiner Analyse des Updates in den USA, möchte ich gerne ein paar Daten und Zahlen zu den jetzt in England vorgenommenen Anpassungen veröffentlichen. Wie immer basieren diese Zahlen auf den Daten der SISTRIX Toolbox und wurden sowohl vor dem Update (Anfang letzter Woche) als auch gestern und heute nach dem Update erhoben. Los geht es mit einer Tabelle der 30 größten Verlierer dieses Updates:..”
“…After the Panda / Farmer update in the U.S. has finally been taken care of quite a stir, it was only a matter of time for Google to import these adjustments also ranking in the rest of the world would. Yesterday, Google has now decided to activate panda for all English–language search terms. As with my analysis of the update to the U.S., I would like to publish some data and figures on the adjustments made in England now. As always, these numbers are based on data from the toolbox and SISTRIX were both before the update (early last week) and collected yesterday and today after the update. It starts with a table of the 30 biggest losers of this update:..”
When asked whether Panda was accomplishing its objectives, replies from Singhal and Cutts were telling;
Singhal: It’s really doing what we said it would do.
Cutts: Which isn’t to say we won’t look at feedback.
Sinhal is about search quality, keeping searchers happy and Cutts must motivate the legions of webmasters who direct their website visitors to Google or rather optimize their content to Google.
Trust is the new Prize in Search
The bottom line of any search model is revenue from Advertisers promoting products for sales or from bounties offered for delivering searchers to sellers who aim to recoup their investments from profitable sales. Indeed these simple models may have been the main reasons web surfers moved from search to Social Media sites where they could ‘trust’ the responses of people to their questions rather than search engine spiders fed by Advertisers.
The prize in search from the customer point of view has moved from information to trust and Google’s Panda is an attempt to respond to the market that quickly moved to Social Media and beyond.
How to Deliver Trust
The fastest way to deliver ‘trust’ to searchers is to hand back ‘control’ and let them declare their perspectives and share experiences with other searchers with similar needs, temporary though they may be, in a hybrid form of search that focuses on story perspectives or Resonance.
But which stories?
In our experience the value of a message or content delivery increases if it can be oriented to either a single person or small group and to accomplish this we look to focus on customer behaviour patterns and TransMedia or Cross Media tools.
We let our customers tell us which questions, answers or stories are important to them, and this may be done anonymously, quickly and simply by using NeuroPersona tools.
Ask us about how we evaluate the alignment between your product stories, customer behaviours, search optimization and the social media spaces where people share their related questions and answers.
email@example.com @SpeedSynch @ResonantView @Groups_Groups @eDiscovery_