Google Gets FreshBy Robert Frische on Fri, 11/04/2011 - 16:23
One of the hardest parts of being an SEO consultant is keeping up the most current news in an ever-changing industry (as well as keeping the ‘plates’ of all our various clients spinning).
However the constant changes that Google is making to its algorithm are no surprise. Like any professional company Google realises it can never sit still and must constantly improve and innovate to maintain its position as the preeminent search engine.
Whatever noise that SEOs make about not ignoring Bing, Yahoo and others, Google stands miles ahead of the competition in terms of its reach, performance and advertising platform. Yet Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are still a work in progress.
Despite the repeated Panda roll outs (penalising low quality content) it is still possible to see poorly executed websites doing well in the SERPs. Google often penalises their page rank, which marks them out as a low quality site, but they will still get the traffic, which is what most webmasters want.
Now Google says that it has introduced a new ‘fresher’ algorithm which builds on the previous Google Caffeine preview of August 2009. The new algorithm will change 35% of all searches so is definitely worth taking the time to understand.
In my opinion, the relevant Google update to this story followed hot on the heels of caffeine and was short lived.
Google Real Time Search
Google Real Time Search (September 2009) showed search results as they happened, i.e if you were the most recent and most relevant person to upload content it would be rewarded with a prominent place in the SERPs, if only briefly.
Because Real Time Search mainly tended to favour Twitter updates (the social media website produces content quicker than any other) it was quickly removed while Google took the time to focus on their own social media offering Google + 1 (Google Buzz which encouraged users to socialise through Gmail was a spectacular failure. Google also claimed that it could not crawl Twitter quickly enough to do it justice in Real Time Search).
+ 1 is still gathering force and all the indications are that it will become a massive factor in ranking results. The question remains for Google – what is the most effective way to get the highest quality results at the top of the SERPs? In my humble opinion Panda is flawed (though Panda updates are continual) and webmasters still rule. In some cases they can promote their sites effectively even though the overuse of keywords diminishes the quality.
But can Google ever become so sophisticated that keyword spamming is eliminated? Many SEOs say that Page Rank is dead but high quality links (as well as social media referrals) are still the most democratic way of rewarding web content. Freshness is not necessarily the answer – just because something is new does not make it good.
Robert Frische is a Bristol based SEO expert who works as part of the Creation Media digital department. If you have any questions about how Google can benefit your business, or don’t understand why your position in the ranking has changed, pop in and see him for a cup of coffee and a chat.