Archive for July, 2006
According to stats released over the last few days, Google has STORMED ahead in its share of the UK market. If searching in the US is known as googling, then in the UK search IS Google.
Google is now BY FAR the biggest, in fact TEN TIMES BIGGER than its closest rivals in terms of search volume in the UK market.
Google 77% (US = 44.7%)
Yahoo 7% (US 28.5% )
MSN 7% (1US 2.8%)
ASK 5% (US 5.1%)
others 4% (work it out for yourself I am too lazy, but Time Warner (AOL etc) got 5%)
Stats provided by Hitwise May 2006 with the US stats from comscore
So for anyone who thinks google is not that important in the UK, THINK AGAIN
At Long last Google have decided to give webmasters the option of not using the ODP titles and description. In a blog post at the official Google site-maps blog Vanessa Fox a Google engineer said:~
“One source we use to generate snippets is the Open Directory Project, or ODP. Some site owners want to be to able to request not using the ODP for generating snippets, and we’re happy to let you all know we’ve added support for this. All you have to do is add a meta tag to your pages.”
So if you want to kill the DMOZ title and description, then use the following:-
About a week ago, Google started to roll out an update to their PPC quality score algorithm. That’s right I said ‘update’ not introduced the thing in its entirety. The Google quality Score system has been around for a while now. August 2005 to be precise, when it was announced that the following would affect your bids
Keyword’s clickthrough rate (CTR)
Relevance of your ad text
Historical keyword performance on Google
And other relevancy factors (more Google hidden sauce.
All of this is absolutely fine, because after all we expect to find relevant content at the end of a click, be it free or paid listings, relevancy is and always will be king in the world of search. But from around July 4 06 Google twisted the knife by altering the minimum bids of advertisers where they think their Google quality Score is too low. There is of course an almighty backlash across forums as advertisers who bid on low traffic low cost keywords/phrases see their minimum bids raise in some cases from $0.20 to $5.00, effectively pricing them out of the marketplace.
The question on everyone’s lips though is WHY. Officially Google say
“From time-to-time, we improve our algorithms for evaluating landing page quality (often based on feedback from our end-users), and next week we’re launching another such improvement. Thus, over the coming days a small number of advertisers who are providing a low quality user experience on their landing pages will see increases in their minimum bids. It is important to note, however, that the vast majority of advertisers will not be affected at all by this change, as they link to quality landing pages.” taken from here
Most people are saying that this is a direct attack on poor quality landing pages that are using Arbitrage (buying low cost AdWords, delivering them to a page with AdSense ads on and making money by people clicking on the higher priced AdSense ads.) If this is the case, then WHY are Google not simply removing these pages from its AdWords system? WHY are Google not enforcing the quality guidelines that say do not make pages just for AdSense. WHY are Google not altering their terms and conditions to make it unacceptable to deliver AdWords traffic to pages carrying AdSense? OR simply introduce a system where if the visitor is referred from AdWords then the AdSense click is not charged or credited. ALL of these things would result in this tactic being removed, but NOT A SINGLE genuine advertiser would be affected.
Another consideration is the landing page quality? Many PPC professionals use highly optimised landing pages (as you should) and part of this results in constant tweaking of these pages until they get to their optimum for the advert. (YES 2000 adverts might well result in 2000 landing pages, masses of work, but when you see the conversion ratio double, triple, quadruple and more, it is well worth it.) As these pages are tweaked, it is possible to have almost identical pages, and, as a result of this, top pro’s block the spiders from them. They are there SIMPLY for PPC, and NOT as part of the organic SEO, they are an SEM tool. SO how then are Google going to run their algorithm on a page they are not allowed to spider?
I have sent the following request to AdWords support
“Since you rolled out the quality score minimum bid increase that is focused (amongst other things) on the landing page, this has set alarm bells ringing in my head. Although I do not personally run Adwords myself, I do handle accounts for many of my clients, one of which is spending about $30k a month. My main concern is that as many of these landing pages are tweaked and developed to increase conversions, they often become close to duplicate, and anyhow as they are part of the PPC pages we do not want them to be treated as potential doorway pages or as part of the site (as they are not). For this reason we exclude robots from them.
My question is short and simple. How can you evaluate the quality of these landing pages when you are blocked from viewing them by spidering? Will the blocking result in a set score for this element, and will it affect the overall quality score.
I look forward to your reply, and will be posting the reply across the forums to help ease the worries of myself and others.
Interesting to see what they say about this.
There are also rumblings of unacceptable business practice that might well be illegal in the UK & Europe (companies MUST have a clear and transparent charging structure, charging what you like to different people is not acceptable there) One thing is for certain though, while this might improve the quality slightly there are going to be an awful lot of people large and small who are going to be mighty peeved over the increase in minimum bids.
Odd goings on in the SERPS and various data-centres are leading to some pretty wild speculation around the forums. It all started about 2 weeks or so ago when some pretty wild fluctuations were seen in the rankings. Sites jumped up for competitive phrases, while other sites just disappeared. I have to report that my own and my client sites were those who benefited (which is always nice to report).
Then over the weekend went out the cry of ‘PageRank update’ yippee cried some with any luck I can get another step on the dumbass greenbar and charge people more for my page rank , (oops I mean ‘charge people more for high value advertising real estate and pick your own anchor text but it is nothing to do with link mongering, and of course I would never use the nofollow tag)
PR update was the order of the day. THEN things started happening, whispers in the night!
GOOGLE DON’T DIGG.COM NO MORE
No this was not an ageing hippies convention they were referring to the fact that digg.com was showing a PR ZERO on many datacentres. But digg.com is the darling of the web, say it isn’t so
Then came the rumours, has Google broken the toolbar PR? is pr reporting the latest SEO tool to go the way of site: link: etc ? it makes sense to this old Welsh bloke that Google should disable toolbar PR as it serves no purpose. For those who don’t know let me explain. Google has 2 sets of PR
1. Toolbar pr which is a simple snapshot value gathered periodically, and has absolutely no part in the ranking process whatsoever.
2. Server side PR. THIS is the PR value that integrates with the indexing and ranking algorithms. This value is in a constant state of flux as pages are indexed, or de-indexed during the daily cycle that is google everflux.
Google has created this monster called PageRank, and like Frankensteins monster before it, this monster has turned ugly. In the early days, people linked to sites because they were a good resource that complimented their own page/site. Then people got the PR bug, and suddenly ‘link to anything with a long green bar’ is the order of the day. Sell high pr links
So the question remains, what exactly IS going on at Google, and is everything coming up roses at the plex (or is that just Matts house) ?