In the past several months, Google has undertaken a major effort to improve the quality of its index.
From cracking down on high-profile retailers using black hat and grey hat SEO techniques to algorithm updates designed to weed out low-quality content farms, there can be little doubt that Google is serious about changing perceptions about its dedication to quality SERPs.
And Google's effort continues. Yesterday, the search giant announced that it rolled out its "high-quality sites algorithm" globally to all English-speaking users. It also announced that it's incorporating feedback provided by users into its algorithm.
2011 has been a busy year for Google. Faced with increasing criticism about the quality of its search results and the tactics publishers use in attempts to influence them, the world's most prominent and widely-used search engine has taken aggressive steps to crack down on paid links and content farms.
But Google's tweaks may go well beyond moves to reign in black and gray hat SEO tactics. In fact, it may be looking at core components of its algorithm altogether.
Recently, Google has stepped up its effort to improve the quality of its
SERPs. But despite its effort, which seems as concerted as it is genuine, one
thing is clear: there's only so much that can be done.
uncover every paid link, and even after cracking down on content farms,
there are those who think it hasn't done enough.
Last week, Google unveiled an algorithm update designed to ensure that its SERPs aren't dominated by low-quality content farms which specialize in producing rivers of search engine-friendly pages.
The rationale for this update is clear: faced with increasing public criticism over the quality of its SERPs, Google had to act.
You'd think that after being caught red handed copying Google (or not), the engineers at Bing would come up with something original. But copying Google is just far too easy.
Sarcasm aside, Bing announced yesterday that it has added new personalization and localization features closely resembling similar features Google has had in place for some time.
Have you started questioning the quality of Google's search results?
You've probably noticed that a lot of people have been lately.
Before you start asking too many questions, however, Google's Matt Cutts
wants you to take into consideration a fact you may not know: Google
really wasn't all that good in 2000.
Google and Microsoft are rivals, and they have been for some time. Everybody knows that. But what was previously a healthy rivalry between two of the most prominent names in technology increasingly looks like a bar-room brawl.
Earlier this week, the two companies became involved in a very public spat that created a social media spectacle and led TechCrunch's MG Siegler to write, "Wow, Microsoft and Google are punching each other in the face right in front of us."
Blekko may not be a big player in the search space, but the upstart search engine is trying to make a name for itself by playing up its focus on eliminating web spam and content farms from its SERPs.
The company's timing couldn't have been better: Google is increasingly criticized over the quality of its search results, and many say the search market's 800 pound gorilla isn't doing enough to crack down on those who look to game it for profit.
As consumers, techies and the media trade some of their infatuation with
Google for the latest crop of super-hot web upstarts like Facebook, the
world's most dominant search engine is finding that more and more
people are pointing out its flaws.
The quality of Google's SERPs have increasingly come under question,
with some complaining that Google isn't doing enough to weed out web
spam and low-quality content that ranks well but doesn't offer consumers
much value. I am one of those who have been highly critical of Google's
capabilities in these areas.
Since Google launched Instant, there have been numerous claims that Instant has a bias towards brands. In October, for instance, Siddharth Shah of Efficient Frontier Insights observed that "of the 26 letters in the alphabet, 21 have brands as the first suggestions."
Based on this, he suggested that Google Instant is "going to make
brand key words more expensive, increase impression volumes by 30% -