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View Poll Results: Generally, the relevancy of Google search results has improved over the past 2 years?
Strongly Agree 1 3.23%
Somewhat Agree 10 32.26%
Neither Agree or Disagree 4 12.90%
Somewhat Disagree 10 32.26%
Strongly Disagree 6 19.35%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-17-2006   #1
GAustralia
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Question Generally, has the relevancy of Google search results improved?

Hello -

There has been a lot of press about Google's focus on cutting-edge relevancy of its search results as a key factor in the overall success of the search engine. I'm curious what others think.

In your experience, has the relevancy of Google search results improved, declined, or remained about the same over the past two years? Please comment and participate in the attached poll.

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Last edited by GAustralia : 04-17-2006 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 04-17-2006   #2
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I am not so sure. From time to time, I see weird results in the top ten of the SERPs.

In fact, I would rather say that it is Adwords that has actually got better. Possibly because.....it generates money.
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Old 04-18-2006   #3
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Arrow Relevancy of Google Search Results

1) I have heard some in this site saying that the relevancy of search results is not as good as it once was.

2) Some complain about arbitragers taking surfers to their pages which then provides more links to click on.

3) My expectation: as Google has come so far so fast based on the success of good search results - I expected search relevancy to get much better. I am a bit disappointed. I am not sure the relevancy of the results is any better over the past two years. And, as my expectation has not been met I am inclined to say that the relevancy of the results are perhaps not as good as two years ago. I have become more knowledgeable and with greater expectations over the past two years.

4) I am disappointed that Google search does not respect the uniqueness of Adwords. Example: if someone contracts for a four word Adword. If this four word Adword is unique in the world. And, if a surfer types the exact four word Adword into Google -the ad will not automatically show in the #1 position. It must compete against those who bid for parts of the four word Adword: single words and combinations of words. I say this is an example where the relevancy of search results can be much better. Prefered rule: exact match the Adwords first, then do the broad matching etc after this.

5) I am disappointed that Google search does not apply "Advanced Search" options to advertisements - only to organic. If it is all about relevancy then the same rules should apply to advertisements as well. If someone specifies that the search results must return the word "Springfield" then the same should go for advertisements [However, I think it is ok for this to only apply to the Adword and not necessarily apply to the advertisement attached to that Adword.]

6) I am also disappointed that after 4 months of SEOing my site via NetRegistry that it is not ranked by Google for my key words. I know that Google tries to outmanoeuvre the spammers and that as part of this they like to see a website up and running a year - mine is up nearly 1.5 years. I enter my keywords into Google and I see a lot of relevant sites, yet as I go through the pages of results I see lots of rubbish as well with no relation to my keywords - and I don't see my site. It has been a few months since my site was listed on page 1 of Yahoo for my keywords. Maybe Google's manoeuvring to avoid spammers has become so good that it is impacting on the return of relevant search results.

7) Search results clean up? Sometimes for a search I see a particular site listed a number of times - different pages for that site. Maybe relevancy may be better served if there were a limit to the number of times a site turns up in the results.

What say you? And, please vote in the poll attached to this thread.

Regards,

GAustralia

Last edited by GAustralia : 04-19-2006 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 04-18-2006   #4
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I think this is quite an interesting issue.

This is simply because we need to realise that search marketing has changed direction since the good ol' days (some two-three years ago); it's more to do with profit margin for the Search Engine company nowadays.

I was reading an article earlier today (forgive me as I can't seem to retrieve the URL), it was about Google and Sony combining to create a puzzle the will show in your gmail homepage.... why are they not creating such with the smaller companies or with forums such as this? Or better still, invite the public to submit creatives for a contest? But they chose a big name with a big pocket and claimed it wasn't for monetary purposes but the experience.

Well, the whole issue of this poll lies in the knowledge of what search engine results were when Google first started and when Adwords was introduced and also when they went public. If you can really define those three phases, you will vote right.

I am looking forward to experts such as Danny Sullivan, Andrew Goodman, Aaron Wall and others to vote and say something in this thread. Then, I believe, we can come to good conclusion.

Guys please vote .
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Old 04-20-2006   #5
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Arrow Vote: Strongly Disagree

Hello,

I just voted. If the question was: has the relevancy of search results remained the same over the past two years, I would have voted "somewhat disagree" meaning that it is somewhat less relevant than two years ago. Since the statement is that generally, the relevancy of search results has improved over the past two years - my opposition is a bit stronger.

I have been influenced by my own arguments and also by the eloquent thread by Aussie WebMaster on AdWord Abuse & Search Arbitrage in the Adword section of the forum. I am also influenced by what appears to be the attitude of Google - expressed by many on this site - that Google is not responsible for the shape of web pages.

I have been convinced that "arbitrage" is a major issue undermining search response relevancy, and I see it as targeted more at the US than Australia right now. Just last night I was searching, as you do, and was directed to a site that had another set of links (that appeared to be adword advertisements) with most of them completely unrelated to my search query.

Also I note that there are entire slabs of the web that try to bend themselves to the rules that Google sets in an "over the top" way - all in the name of getting more clicks -- and in the process seriously ignoring the relevancy to the end user. There are web pages that just provide another set of links and you click there and then another page appears with another set of links.

I am SEOing myself - most of the links that my firm has put on my site I have no idea who these people are.

Some sites have so much busy and irrelated activity on them that you really wonder what is it all about besides some busy activity to get the attraction of Google's webcrawler. Then it becomes such a relief to go to the plain and uncluttered Google site - and only Google are the ones who can afford the luxury of such a simple site as they already have such an elevated web presence.

I say Google has near Monopoly power over the shape of a large share of the web and that they should start acting and making clear rules for sites to help increase relevancy of search results to the end user. Additionally, they could change their search results to make responses more relevant. Here are some measures Google may pursue:

1) For arbitrage sites that just redisplay Adwords advertisements - don't give them any commission. Better yet: blacklisting and penalties in addition.

2) For sites that just like to send you to other sites of links - make it tough on these guys, set rules, PageRank them down!

3) Change the default search response to first exact match what the searcher asks for and then provide a broader match [you heard me right that is two searches in one for each search - Google does it all so quick right now this will not slow them down] - the searcher should get more respect that they know what they are searching for. Generally, I feel I am getting too much rubbish in the search results as Google is trying to outguess me as to what I want.

4) Apply #3 to the display of Adwords advertisements.

5) Apply "Advanced Search" options to Adwords advertisements.

6...) ??

I am asking for Google -- already the #1 Global Search Engine - to be the guardian of relevant search - not just to sit back laissez-faire style and say Google does not shape the web it shapes itself - this is rubbish - Google is a major shaper of web pages and should take more responsibility in this regard.

Regards,

GAustralia

Last edited by GAustralia : 04-20-2006 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 04-21-2006   #6
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Arrow Comments as well as votes please

Voting is welcome. But comments provide some insite into your vote.
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Old 04-21-2006   #7
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Quote:
comments
Question rather than comment: this is the Google Search forum - organic search results,right? Is this thread really and truly about organic search relevancy, as the first post (and the poll) seem to indicate, or is it more of a hallway to get into more about Adwords relevancy?

That's what it kind of looks like to me.

Last edited by Marcia : 04-21-2006 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 04-21-2006   #8
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Marcia - thread is relevant to forum

Hello Marcia.

The forum is called: "Google Web Search"

It is not called "Google Organic Web Search."

My clarification of "Google Web Search" is anything that shows on the page when one types something into the Google search engine. What you see on results pages is a combination of organic results and sponsored ad results.

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Old 04-22-2006   #9
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Quote:
My clarification of "Google Web Search" is anything that shows on the page when one types something into the Google search engine.
Well then you are wrong! That is a Google web page with two distinctly different types of listings. Furthermore, your clarification is not consistent with Google's or that of these forums, or any of the other forums around, if you'll notice how they're divided. Search is search, and advertising is advertising.

Quote:
What you see on results pages is a combination of organic results and sponsored ad results.
No it is not a combination, they are not combined! They are kept completely separate with the ADS clearly and visibly separate from the search results. They have to be, per the FTC and every search engine complies with that. They are two completely different things. Different departments, different staff, completely different system.

Search Engine: crawls and searches the web, stores the pages fetched, and sorts them according to algorithmic criteria to present them in an ordered fashion to users.

Adwords: Paid advertising, with completely separate criteria for ordering.

Quote:
The forum is called: "Google Web Search"
It is not called "Google Organic Web Search."
Oh? I beg your pardon. Have you read the forum description?

Quote:
Google Web Search
For discussion of Google's organic listings. algorithms and search technology.
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...splay.php?f=29

Notice that there is a separation into four sections within the Google grouping because they are three different topics and one for miscellaneous issues.

Quote:
Voting is welcome. But comments provide some insite into your vote.
GAustralia
Well, if you are going to continue to keep bumping this thread to get responses, lets make it very clear that this forum is about Google's algorithmic search, and the Google Adwords forum is just a click away.

Last edited by Marcia : 04-22-2006 at 04:03 AM.
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Old 04-22-2006   #10
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Reply to Marcia

Hello Marcia -

Thanks for your comments.

Perhaps my thread is not 100% on target for the forum.

The distinctions you make between organic results and Advertised results - this is not completely the web user viewpoint. From the web user viewpoint they type something in and do a search and get responses. Those responses happen to comprise of organic and also Sponsored results. This is the viewpoint I am coming from.

It appears that SEW does not have a forum for search results from Google sponsored advertisements. I have been making my case in the Adword forum and it has been at bit awkward there as while I have no issue with Adwords, I do have significant issues with Google searches of sponsored Ads.

What do you advise? Do you think my sponsored ad search issues should go in Adwords? Can I start a new forum?

And you may note that I am not happy with the default search with Google and that I believe it should be a mix of exact search first thn broad search (and the same should apply to search of Sponsored Ads). I believe the results will be much better.

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Old 04-23-2006   #11
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Quote:
I do have significant issues with Google searches of sponsored Ads
What do you advise? Do you think my sponsored ad search issues should go in Adwords?
But see, there isn't an Adwords algorithmic search like there is for organic search. It may be an Adwords issue, but it isn't "search" related regarding how ads appear - they're separately determined and figured in completely different ways.

Quote:
And you may note that I am not happy with the default search with Google and that I believe it should be a mix of exact search first thn broad search (and the same should apply to search of Sponsored Ads). I believe the results will be much better.
No they wouldn't - and they'd be prone to a different kind of spam, aside from not delivering the best results.

You're talking EXACT mode and FINDALL mode in Google's organic search, and apparently the engineers made a decision to use FINDALL as the default - as do most search engines. Besides, EXACT is available, all anyone has to do is use quotes to get the exact match returned. Very simple.

It makes no sense how that would affect ordering of Adwords, which are either broad match or exact match by the advertiser's choice when ads are run, and are by bid amount, clickthroughs and (supposedly) relevancy. They don't need to scrap the whole search engine system to make a new architecture and algo so it will be "EXACT" for the benefit of advertisers who choose not to use exact match; all the advertisers have to do is simply go after exact instead of broad match. It's very, very simple - 2 different sets of criteria, two different scenarios.
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Old 04-23-2006   #12
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Hello Marcia -

How do you exact match sponsored ads as a web surfer? When I use "Advanced Search" options as a web surfer for "exact match" the organic search obeys the specifications and the sponsored ads do not. Example, when I want to seach a few key words and exact search Denver as one of the key words for instance.

My expecation is for the sponsored advertisements to exact match the Adword such as "Denver" and not necessarily the advertisement attached to that Adword. Yet I expect those ads to be very relevant for "Denver", for instance. It does not seem to work for me.

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Last edited by GAustralia : 04-23-2006 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 04-24-2006   #13
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GA, there was a LONG thread about this same thing 6 months ago and given many replies - but apparently you're still not clear on the difference between organic search and Adwords.

For how organic search works, I'd suggest pulling up a chair and digging into these posts:

"FINDALL" mode exact mode in search

(And BTW, you have to put "FINDALL" in quotes or it'll bring up find all - which is exactly how it should be.)

Then, after you've grasped all of that in those threads, if you still have any arguments about how search works, you can challenge Dr. Garcia and the others, and offer your input and the particular formulae you suggest substituting in the search engines' code.

Last edited by Marcia : 04-24-2006 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 04-25-2006   #14
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Is a little bit of spam a good thing?

imo, relevancy for Google has declined somewhat of late. This is of course part of the inevitable ebb and flow of the battle between them and SEO. As one takes a lead on the other, things will shift around.

However, oddly I would say that in my opinion, MSN's results are getting much better, and are probably at this time more relevant than Google. Yet, MSN is easier to spam than Google.

I have a much easier time getting to the top of MSN, than I do getting to the top of Google. This begs the question, is a little bit of spam a good thing? Should the self-proclaimed meaning of a site play a larger role in the Google algos, instead of the current trend towards it playing a smaller role?
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Old 04-28-2006   #15
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It all depends

I think it all depends on what day you do a search on google. One day they are on and the next day they are totally off.
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Old 05-11-2006   #16
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Post Poll Summary - Google relevancy not much better over two years.

All-

In total 27 voted in the poll:

Generally the relevancy of Google search results has improved over the past 2 years.

0 (0%) Strongly Agree
10 (37%) Somewhat Agree
3 (11%) Neither Agree or Disagree
10 (37%) Somewhat Disagree
2 (15%) Strongly Disagree

My interpretation of these results in aggregate is that there is a belief among those who participated in the poll that perhaps there has not been much improvement, and perhaps no improvement, in the relevancy of Google search results over the past two years.

This is a disapointment for the following two reasons:

1) One might imagine that Google's search relevancy would just keep getting better - based on Google's initial success with reletively superior relevancy and the fact that the company has grown so fast over just a few years.

2) It appears that Google's research expenditure has not much improved the relevancy of search results. Google's expenditure on R&D went from $91 million in 2003 to $484 million in 2005 - a five fold increase.

GAustralia

Last edited by GAustralia : 05-12-2006 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 05-11-2006   #17
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looks like I am the only one who voted in favor of Google. well it may sound very juvenile, but I personally feel that Google's results are relevant to my search query. I guess its because of the personalised search, tracking search history and pages visited etc, that helps in improving the retrieved links. well those who agree otherwise, surely must be having their reasons.
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