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Old 10-31-2006   #1
cektopxl
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Google COOP: How will it affect natural SEO?

Hi Folks,

I have a question for all the SEO gurus out there. My company is seriously considering bringing an SEO consultant on board, but the powers that be have become a bit hesitant ever since google has announce google COOP. The decision makers in my company are afraid that the introduction of a "custom" search engine is going to bring the world of natural SEO to a screeching halt. Do you guys have any feedback on google coop, and give me your opinions on whether you think this new tool will have an influence, if any, on the way that google ranks the sites that it indexes?

Thanks,

Ben
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Old 10-31-2006   #2
PhilC
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I just posted about the custom engines here

It's not going to affect seo at all. Google Co-op has been around for quite a long time now, without having any negative effect at all. All it does is give some people some extra links before the first listing on each results page. But the only people who see them are those who opted into the particular topic, which means that very few people see them.

Custom Search Engines are built on the Co-op, and those labels can be made to display in the results, but displaying them isn't automatic. The only people who will see them are those who use the custom engine.

In short, none of it will have any impact on Google's normal search engine and results.
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Old 10-31-2006   #3
Gooner151078
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Google Coop has is already starting to affect my results as i originally posted here.

In the long term each individual will see different results for the same search depending on demographic, geographic and socio-economic data known by the search engines.

User activity will also heavily influence results. I am already starting to see this with Yahoo! MyWeb and the possible weighting towards del.icio.us results.

I am very interested in seeing how this thread develops...
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Old 10-31-2006   #4
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hmmm.... you're right. I'm sure that, when the Co-op was first launched, the labels were only shown to people who subscribed to the topic, but I get the labels when searching on 'goa'. Either I subscribed to the topic a long time ago (which is possible), or they are now showing the labels to everyone. I'm gonna check it out.
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Old 10-31-2006   #5
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I checked it, and they are showing the labels to everyone now. It didn't used to be like that. Even so, the label links only point to another set of results where certain sites are favoured, but, if the the favoured sites don't rank highly normally, favouring them won't push them high enough to matter.
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Old 10-31-2006   #6
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I thought the intention was to move Co-Op results to the main serps when they became "good enough."

I'm conjecturing that the criteria could be either purely algorithmic... reaching a certain critical mass of use, eg, and monitoring satisfaction signals (like Toolbar data)... or they could be determined by hand-checking... or there might be a combination of these.

The medical results, eg, with the refinements displayed for general medical searches, went public almost immediately. These are triggered by extremely general searches... eg, "asthma."

I've been seeing single word city searches that are travel destinations trigger the refinements for some time now.

Last edited by Robert_Charlton : 10-31-2006 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 10-31-2006   #7
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I'd never noticed it before. I'll probably see it every time I search now.

They really shouldn't have much impact on rankings. They are only suggested refinements/alternatives to the searchterms, and if a site normally ranks highly for the suggestions, it will still rank highly for them when clicking returns the results.

Last edited by PhilC : 10-31-2006 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 11-01-2006   #8
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My problem is that the commercial experts signed up by Google to develop the destination guides aspect have not considered to add package holidays as one of the labels. Unsurprising considering these companies are US based where I believe the package holiday market is not as prevelant. (Please correct me if I'm wrong?) These results are still impacted on the UK search market meaning that a user searching for a holiday to Goa and typing "Goa" will not see results until SERP2 when previously, my site had been optimised into position 3.
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Old 11-03-2006   #9
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Interesting how a search for "goa more:nightlife_activities" brings different results than performing a natural search for "Goa nightlife activities".
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Old 11-05-2006   #10
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In the long-run, its about visibility - COOP or no COOP

Ben (cektopxl),

Let me take a stab to directly address your company's concern:
Quote:
The decision makers in my company are afraid that the introduction of a "custom" search engine is going to bring the world of natural SEO to a screeching halt
From what I've seen personalization, custom search engines, and social media websites have been effecting rankings for sometime and will continue to influence how SEO is done.

However, the overall SEO strategy is still the same:
  • Ensure website is crawlable by search engines
  • Having content the audience wants and searches for
  • Long term link building strategy (from directories, to virals to word of mouth campaigns)
  • Leverage social media to distribute content and encourage link building
  • Integrate SEO strategy with PPC, Branding and Awareness (Word of Mouth Campaigns etc)

In short, if a website is badly position with the audience, has little content, not crawlable by search engines, not attractive enough to be linked to - than you have a problem with search engines, co-op or no co-op. If, however, the websites has all this issues addressed, than will be well positioned nto only on traditional Yahoo, Google search engines but also in personalized searches as well.

Of course, a bad website can still get ranked well, but in the long run, a more nimble competitor can move in and displace it.

I think these are talking points your management should understand. If you have any questions let me know.

Cheers,

Daniel

PS: By the way, your question has inspired me to write a blog post on it:
http://www.emergence-media.com/2006/...impact-on-seo/

Last edited by EmergenceMedia : 11-06-2006 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 11-06-2006   #11
Sebastien Billard
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I don't think Google Coop will have a big influence, at least in the short and mean term. But if you have a website with unique and interesting content, chances are that you will benefit from Google Coop, for exemple by being indexed in Custom Search Engines
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