Advertising, Content Farms, Global Search Wars & Google Panda

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.


Webmaster World Panda Commentary

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.


Panda Says CIAO to Microsoft’s Ciao

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, 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…”


German Panda Spotting

“…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 Englishlanguage 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:..”


Mexican Standoff

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 2011 Curators Own Social Media

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.




Nick Trendov @SpeedSynch @ResonantView @Groups_Groups @eDiscovery_


Will Lawyers learn from innovation #IN Google Search?

Lawyers may benefit by learning from Google has radically and innovatively changed its definition of search.

Did Google Kill Search?

In February 2011 Google appears to have radically changed how they define search, the first such large scale change since Google came to market. 

While no one outside Google knows, it looks like Google search is now;

·     1/3 Google Algorithm rather than 100% before February 2011

·     1/3 Social Signals – Twitter & Facebook and other influencers

·     1/3 Web site ‘Experience’ – based on site interactions



This ‘formula’ was articulated to me and displayed here only to show the significant perspective change Google may have taken related to search. 

The old definition of search had degraded so much that it would be fair to say that change was not an option so it may be useful to consider changes in search perspectives for legal professionals who are hard pressed to deliver low cost effective eDiscovery results to their clients.

Lawyers and Legal Search

Lawyers and legal firms are extremely focused on search, but not for the reasons you would think.

Search in legal markets is a money maker though one piece of the eDiscovery puzzle its promise to lawyers, courts and their clients is that it will help ‘uncover’ or mine a ‘smoking gun’ for plaintiffs or defendants.

We believe that Google’s innovative changes to search are a cause for a pause and consideration of how lawyers and legal firms and services providers might deliver cheaper, faster or better eDiscovery.

Lawyers, eDiscovery & Google

The legal industry, like any other, has interesting stories and myths and the mythology of search appears to be quite unique to eDiscovery vendors and services providers.

Electronic search is not solely defined by Google but Google does influence search and searcher perspectives so we start with Google’s search interactions to understand its influence on lawyers and eDiscovery. 

Answers, Questions & Lawyers

Searchers typically have a question in their mind or focus on an answer and seek ‘content’ to clarify their question or justify their answer.  Lawyers may not be that different than other searchers.

eDiscovery Costs & Proportionality

Lawyers are honest professionals and act in the best interests of their clients, though very lucky when it comes to search as their clients pay the costs of eDiscovery searches.  There is considerable RISK and cost related to eDiscovery search and as a consequence the courts have favoured the concept of proportionality to share costs among legal action participants.

While proportionality is a good idea, it may not impact the rampant and easy manipulation of eDiscovery.

·     Do we really need costly eDiscovery every time?

·     Is there a measure to help us determine when?

·     Can’t we use our own tools and trusted employees in eDiscovery?

·     Is any business value created in the eDiscovery process?

eDiscovery as By-Product

If search is important to eDiscovery, is eDiscovery important to search? 

It may be that properly executed eDiscovery projects would yield findings that can be recycled or re-used by the rest of the business rather than ‘throw away results’ suitable on for lawyers or trials.

Search Standards, eDiscovery & Quality

Some eDiscovery vendors appear to be lobbying for the creation of eDiscovery search standards.  An interesting position, though in our experience precision reduces the flexibility needed to accommodate constantly changing search objectives—all searches are different.

Search quality is held up by some vendors to justify eDiscovery standards though quality is a measure that changes with objectives.  To clients quality may mean achieving an outcome un-related to search, to vendors quality may mean excluding competitors that don’t meet their standards.

Is Search a Measure or Process?

Search is simple, we need something, don’t know where it is, so we search. 

Search has a starting point, ending point and many ways to measure results.

Search standards are great if fixed processes create high quality outcomes.  I’m not sure that any form of search standard would deliver such a guarantee regardless of the skills and consistency of searchers.

The ROI of search is usually evaluated by search results un-related to the process of search, so it seems that focusing search to an eDiscovery scenario or outcome may help improve assessment of search quality.

Search, Social Signals & YouTube

When Google pushed past Yahoo in the mid to late 1990’s entrepreneurs quickly figured out how to exploit search engines to make easy money by stepping between product manufacturers and millions of buyers on the web. 

As a consequence every manufacturer or re-seller that didn’t take counter-measures saw their brands pushed down in search engine results pages (SERP) which instantly made their brands invisible to people that used web search to find products or where to buy them. 

The web created new competitors to manufacturers and may have significantly devalued their brands and while Web buyers could go anywhere to buy anything they quickly became distracted by options as measuring and deciding on 2 or 3 options is not the same as looking at 1,000.

Silicon Valley Search Battles

The value of search as initially defined by Yahoo, Google and a handful of other Silicon Valley firms was ‘degrading’ and would quickly get worse as the Venture Capitalists that invested in competitors to Yahoo and Google needed a way to make money. 

A few years later VC’s found an ingenious investment vehicle where they could successfully make money in the IPO market–Social Media software platforms Flickr, Word Press, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

People soon found that they would rather trust people rather than search engine spiders or the advertisers that fed them and the Silicon Valley VC’s happily to delivered Social Media software platforms to markets.

Follow the Money

Social Media would not become wildly popular until early 2009 but the SEO entrepreneurs responded very quickly as their ‘easy money’ was quickly drying up.  They fought back by creating ‘instant’ content or backlinks to manipulate SERP lists.  Large vendors like Adobe also saw the writing on the wall and created or purchased content generation engines; Adobe acquired Day Software and AOL acquired The Huffington Post.

Shortly afterwards web amateurs finally saw the ‘easy money’ they too climbed aboard the gravy train, the value of search as defined by Google in the late 1990’s degraded even faster.

Google then responded to protect the value of its search franchise by acquiring Metaweb, a semantic database firm, started its own blog platform, added the notion of ‘social signals’ to search by achieving Twitter feeds while simultaneously pushing the SEO entrepreneurs to create video content and feed its YouTube pipes and squarely target old-school Media conglomerates.

Search is a technical topic though simple and rewarding if searchers keep the right perspective according to the outcome that they need to accomplish.

Ask us about Predictive and Agile Search!


Nick Trendov @eDiscovery_ @Groups_Groups @SpeedSynch @ResonantView

ROI Mining, Re-Capture & Re-Use

ROI Re-Capture, just like ‘Carbon Capture’, is based on a simple concept that content, like carbon, is a by-product of work and relationships between people, content and processes are created when projects are planned and executed. 


While the energy stored in carbon may take some time to Re-Use, the ROI embedded in content and expertise may be exploited very quickly if properly aligned to future projects.


ROI Mining, Re-Capture, Re-Use

ROI or return on investment is a calculation that identifies the value created by an investment in a project and typically the value measured excludes content that is created during a project.  Mining the content value of previous projects, internal content or content from suppliers or customers, represents an opportunity  to quickly exploit value that you have already created. 


Rather than start from ‘zero’, SpeedSynch’s ROI Re-Capture methodology is used to map people, content and process relationships and then tune content to the new project and delivered quickly to the right people at the right time.


Our ROI Re-Capture approach exploits SpeedSynch internet marketing software and Social Media “Resonance Maps’ to align content to the right people according to their process and project needs. 


SpeedSynch Resonance Maps and ROI Re-Capture

SpeedSynch Resonance Maps may be crafted from content in databases, email, Twitter or Social Media sites to help the project team, inside or outside, ramp up fast.  IT projects or Advertising and Marketing programs may benefit equally from ROI Re-Capture.

Our Resonance Maps create value in three broad areas–


1.     Wayfinding or Navigation – SEO is a small part of this value.

2.     Accelerated Learning – align content to process and people relationships.

3.     ROI ‘Re-Capture’ — mine and align existing content to future projects.

Contact us to ask how we can help you Mine, Re-Capture and Re-Use ROI yours or from your suppliers or customers.



Nick Trendov @Groups_Groups @SpeedSynch @ResonantView

Twitter Resonance Maps lets see what’s #in everyone’s mind


Nick Trendov @Groups_Groups @SpeedSynch @ResonantView






GIST #in novation in #workstyle Twitter Conversation speeds up Instant Content Creation or Curation




Nick Trendov @Groups_Groups @SpeedSynch @ResonantView


RIM aims to Rule Social CRM and win the battle for your Eyeballs

It looks like RIM has a great chance at winning the Social CRM battle for your eyeballs–a battle that Apple doesn’t even know about, because of GIST, but can they trump both Yahoo and Google?

What is GIST?


Gist looks like a great competitor for Yahoo Pulse and no doubt will be confused by many people as a Social CRM application, indeed this is what Gist says, but don’t be confused, it is an aggregation space that allows users to switch perspectives between people, companies and content.

We are looking to Gist to take our Resonance Maps above and treat them like another content source.

Keep a close look at Gist and RIM as we believe they will be a formidable combination in the market which has left SEO behind in the dust and is moving from Social Media spaces to a Groups focus.

We believe Advertisers, Executives, Lawyers and Marketers will quickly learn to fear groups.


Nick Trendov @eDiscovery_ @ResonantView @SpeedSynch @Groups_Groups

Link Bait Counter Measures, SpeedSynch Resonance Maps & Marketing SLA

Posterous Link Bait Resonance Map



Fast Link Bait ‘re-Quote’

One of the fastest way to respond to obvious and damaging link bait is to ‘re-quote’ and then submit your perspective of both the link bait and consider the use of SpeedSynch Counter-Measures using our

Marketing SLA and Resonance Maps. 

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