December 20, 2007
Has Google Trimmed the Fat in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages)?
All indications at this point would suggest so. In case you haven’t noticed, roughly over the past month, Google search results have been a little leaner than usual. Terms that were once in the hundreds of millions for competing pages are now showing results of two to three million results. Despite the algorithm shift, this restructuring has not impacted the pecking order, only weeded out and consolidated a bloated index for terms that may or may not have been as competitive as we suspected.
What the end result of this speculated shift will be still remains to be seen, is this the first step in personalization for search results whereby we will see more and more relevant 3-d search results that incorporate video, social media, Google maps and all of the other interesting platforms that are edging there way into the standard search results.
If we know one thing, it’s that change is a constant with search engines and search technology. How this impacts search engine optimization will depend on two factors, the first factor how susceptible is this platform to user based input? (such as link building, the flow of page rank and passing of link juice, networking, blogging, etc.) in reference to rankings. The second factor is, how can the SEO community adapt or will it even need to.
On a side note, will this mean different or new and unique penalties for link building (if you exceed a percentage platform of the total volume of searches) since the threshold has been lowered? For example, if a company had been link building for years to corner the market on a specific term, with the new revised ceiling being lowered, would that eject them from the rankings for such a term?
Could this in fact have been the reason to clear the clutter as a measure to minimize the affects of what they consider Search Engine Manipulation as opposed to Search engine optimization? At this point it is mere speculation (no reason to proclaim the end of the world for SEO), but as always when the changes subside, we will be able to conduct a thorough analysis to determine the impact of traditional methods and how they interact with the adjustment to the ranking and relevance component of Google’s search engine algorithm.
Does anyone really care about how many competing pages other than the ones optimizing the term?
Honestly, if you are an end user and you type a query in a search box, what is to say that the number of competing pages is even a consideration. A number 1 position is a number one position no matter how many ones or zeros are behind it, and regardless of the other pages, as long as the result is the most relevant, then people click it.
Perhaps on one level from the standpoint of ego gratification one may surmise that if the keyword or key phrase has 75,000,000 pages competing for it, well then it must be important, right? Unfortunately this concept may in fact be on it’s way out. Who knows if it was a ploy to dampen the SEO effect such as when paid links took a hit and lost the ability to pass rank, now, as it seems, keywords that have been abused or were once uber competitive how now been checked and put in their place.
Look at the term Search Engine Optimization for example, once a mighty over 100,000,000 strong, has now been consolidated to a mere 2,950,000 results. Or what about the short and sweet version SEO for example, once a term that had over 180,000,000 pages competing for it, now a mere 23,000,000. A restructuring on the relevance factor, perhaps a spring cleaning a bit early for automated scraper sites and other automated anomalies just lightening the load.
At this point, it looks like the SERPs may have lost a zero or two at the end of the total number of results. This could be them simply trimming the fat from the top 1000 pages to a more manageable number. While the reason is elusive, one thing is certain, I can assure you that most SEO firms are paying particular attention to this phenomenon scouring the SERPs for insight into this recent search behavior. All I can say is, buckle your seat belts and prepare for an interesting ride as the data centers, buck and toss millions of pages to the wayside in the largest housecleaning a search index has ever seen, courtesy of the Big G.
Diversification can insulate your business, blog or website against dependency on one marketing channel alone
The whole concept and analogy of putting your eggs in one basket comes to mind and surprisingly Yahoo and MSN are upping the ante with their new and improved search engine algorithms. Who knows at this point what the shake down will be, with viral marketing and social media garnering the attention of the masses, search engines which used to dominate the entire traffic equation are also taking on a less important role in the grand scheme of things. Traffic comes in many shapes and sizes, finding the right marketing channel and the right delivery method to find the highest conversion for your business model is now the bottom line.
Author: Jeffrey Smith is an active internet marketing optimization strategist, consultant and the founder of Seo Design Solutions Seo Company http://www.seodesignsolutions.com/. He has actively been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings a wealth of collective experiences and fresh marketing strategies to individuals involved in online business.