Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Google Updates Very Inconsistent

A client pointed out that Matt Cutts blog shares information about upcoming Google updates before they actually hit the main Google indexes. According to Cutts (who is a Google insider and PR guy) one particular Google data center shows the results that are probably going to be dispersed over the entire network within the next couple of weeks. This data center is at

If you want to be depressed, have a look.

Google is in the midst of making changes and in particular is after spammers. The concensus from the comments at the blog address above is that many legitimate sites are being penalized in this exercise. Google is also having a difficult time with "relevance".

In some cases that I have checked, Google's tendency to favour bigger "institutional" sites is even more pronounced than it has been in the past. Of course this is offset by the inclusion of completely irrelevant (or marginally relevant) sites, as well as out and out spammers (corroborated by numerous comments in the post above).

Many webmasters and SEO types are shocked at the way sites, and categories of sites, have dropped from their previously held top ranking. As one very unhappy SEO guy says, if a site drops from high ranking to virtually off the map, what does that say for Google's previous ranking results? Not much.

Too much respect

Personally I think we have much too much respect for Google. If they were the new Microsoft many hard core SEO types would think they have good reason to hate them. But they are not the new Microsoft. Unlike Microsoft Google is a one trick pony. Making all their money off of other people's content and selling ads. This is their only source of revenue -- other than the money poured into the company by money grubbing investors.

What I dislike most about Google is the moralistic tone. Not only are they out to make lots of money, but they are "doing good" at every turn. I doubt they are even aware how hypocritical this is.

True believers rarely are.

More competition required

Google has too large a share of the search market. It is much too easy for them to screw small web entrepreneurs with their constant tinkering and experimentation. This tinkering would not be so bad if the others -- in particular, Yahoo and MSN -- had a larger share of searches. But the last year has actually seen an increase in Google's market share. Not driven by good results as much as by momentum and hype.

This is bad for all of us involved in the web. More of us need to shed the Google habit.