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Interesting article: Why Google is ditching search

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Posted
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Community saint

Found this and thought it a good item to share. As you can see, based on the article, social engagement is becoming increasingly important and v8 of ocPortal is making sure that they stay in the game for optimizing site syndication to the social platforms. ( I know Duck will hate this).

Why Google is ditching search

This is a slow transition and things like sitemaps and good meta-data will still be important for a while. Of course, the most important component is still your content.

Bob
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Posted
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Community saint

I think that the author of that article has an over active imagination.

There is no way Google is ditching search. While social media is gaining in importance, it in now way automatically means the demise of traditional search/indexing.

Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S / Galaxy S II ? If so, why not check out my ScreenFree FM Radio .
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Posted
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Community saint

I think the article might be a little over-the-top in the sense of urgency, I think search is already changing.

One need look no further than Twitter's reaction to Google's announcement of "Search, plus your World" to understand that there is a fundamental change happening in search. Here's another take on it from a internet marketer: How Google's Social Search Shift Will Impact Your Brand's SEO.

This had purportedly already started with the tie-up between Bing and Facebook. But, there is more to it. FB and Twitter have now both introduced inline advertising that is part of the timeline. They are also fighting hard for those search dollars which is the reason "Search, plus your World" frightens them so much.

However, the biggest change may have been Apple's release of Siri in IOS 5. This (and the future embodiments that Android and Windows Phone will have) completely short-circuits the traditional search approach which relies on heavy SEO. The new approach puts your "friends" recommendations front-and-center which seems reasonable.

Of course, what was not discussed is that people already game social platforms to their advantage and this change will only make that more prevalent. But I believe the premise of the article is true: search will become much more social and at a rate faster than what many would expect.

Bob
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Community saint

Yes, search is changing and traditional links may end up being relegated to the end of first page or on page two, below 'prioritised' social/answers/plus entries, but they can't possibly ignore the traditional results because there is too much unclassifiable information there.

You just can't distil all the information on the internet to just 'Answers' and social-media content.

Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S / Galaxy S II ? If so, why not check out my ScreenFree FM Radio .
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Posted
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Community saint

I don't think the writer was saying that traditional search is going away, just that the surge to primacy of social search is impressive and that it is changing search rather quickly.

I, for one, prefer traditional search even knowing that it is gamed. But I look at my sister and niece, who are both working professionals, and see a significant change in the way they look things up. Both have iPhone 4s and both use Siri for quick lookups while using traditional search for deeper research. I suspect this will be the trend in search although a couple of data points don't really count for much statistically. I think this is also what the author was saying.

The frightening part to me is the potential exclusion of results from social networks not affiliated with the search providers. The FTC appears to be adding "Search, plus your world" to their on-going investigation of Google. But this is solely due to the potential that other social sites are excluded not that there is anything inherently wrong with the new SERPs.

Bob
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BobS said

I don't think the writer was saying that traditional search is going away, just that the surge to primacy of social search is impressive and that it is changing search rather quickly.

When the author states:
The most interesting aspect of Google's move, however, is its tacit acknowledgement that its stalwart search links are largely irrelevant and might as well be replaced with social results.
He's effectively saying it will be as good as gone.

BobS said

I look at my sister and niece, who are both working professionals, and see a significant change in the way they look things up. Both have iPhone 4s and both use Siri for quick lookups while using traditional search for deeper research. I suspect this will be the trend in search
I agree that this will also be the classic use case of the future, where the device/computer will provide an answer style response which will probably satisfy most general queries and then the user diggs deeper if/when they are not satisfied with the answer given.

Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S / Galaxy S II ? If so, why not check out my ScreenFree FM Radio .
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temp1024 said

When the author states:
The most interesting aspect of Google's move, however, is its tacit acknowledgement that its stalwart search links are largely irrelevant and might as well be replaced with social results.
He's effectively saying it will be as good as gone.
Well, that statement does indeed sound a bit aggressive in its stance. However, I am still not certain he is too far off the mark. Traditional search will not disappear for many years and that is why it is important to have good SEO tools built into the ocPortal. That said, search is moving to implement social input much faster than I ever thought it would (I'm speaking about Google here). That is the reason that I posted the article - so that people who think this change is not happening recognize that it is already in use.

What pleases me most is that ocPortal is doing a reasonably good job of staying abreast of these changes.

Bob
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Unfortunately I've lost the link to an article that I read the other day, but it said that in its current implementation, this new searching method is pretty flawed because if you search for a celebrity, their Google+ profile is listed as one of the top results, regardless of how important or popular their other social media profiles are.

I think the example they used was Katy Perry. Her Google+ profile has been created, but isn't used as much as her Facebook page, which has something insane like 40,000,000 'likes'!

This seems very flawed to me.


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Robbie-

I've read a couple of articles about this issue and, in fact, it is the reason that "Search, plus my world" was added to the FTC investigation here in the States.

As a user, it is very flawed to me that some important links are missing or downgraded but to Google, I think they view this as a success for moving their social platform forward.

I don't expect the current situation to stand, especially because of the FTC investigation. In fact, I think they already made changes to correct some of the biggest abuses (as I recall reading).

Once the EC gets involved, you can be certain that their anti-competitive approach will change but I bet you will still see SERPs that favor links from social sites.

Bob
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Community saint

I now have a perfect example of the misapplication of social to search.

I've noticed for some time that I always rate higher in Google searches in Safari than I do Chrome. Okay, I know that you can get different results based on what datacenter Google returns results from but one would think this is location-based not based on browser.

So, for the past week or so I have ranked first for some keywords when I check in Safari but I am in fifth if I check with Chrome. I decided to check with Firefox - fifth again. Hmmmm…could it be that Google is showing me preferences based on the fact that I am logged into a related Google account? I log out and try the search and, BAM, I am in fifth place. Google has been lying to me just because I am logged into a Google account instead of showing me accurate search results.

This is stupidity. They are doing me no favors by misrepresenting my place in search relative to the rest of the world who are not logged into this account.

I truly believe that Google is looking more and more like the old MS. They've got their fingers in so many pies that they are doing a mediocre job with their most basic (and important) service.

"Do no evil", my posterior!

Bob


Last edit: by BobS
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I don't know this for certain, but yeah I think that Google will give priority to websites that it knows you visit frequently, or have visited before. This is either via your Google Account, or via cookies.

But again, this is just my guess based on what I've observed. I'm glad you noticed it too.


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Community saint

It seems to be based on being logged into the account. When I logged out, my position dropped from first to fifth, the same as in other browsers where I was not logged in. After logging back in, I'm back in first. This is just craziness. Google is apparently trying to stroke the egos of its users rather than providing accurate search results. It just makes me question that much more the validity of any of their results.

Bob
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Posted
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Community saint

Well, Google missed analysts' expectations. I don't read too much into this and I am not certain if they met their guidance (I don't follow Google). But this miss does reflect to some extent the changing nature of the game for Google and their diversification may be hurting them longer term.

Google's Results Disappoint, Sending Shares Down said

Google's disappointing results were particularly surprising because it rarely misses analysts' expectations and because the fourth quarter is usually its strongest, fueled by retail ads for online holiday shopping. Indeed, e-commerce advertising on Google was strong during the holidays, mobile advertising increased significantly and display advertising with image and video is on track to generate $5 billion in revenue for Google in the coming year, said Nikesh Arora, Google's chief business officer.

Still, said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners, "Q4 is Google's time to shine, and it was just O.K. results, so Google looks a bit mortal."

Analysts focused on the amount that advertisers pay for clicks on Google ads, a metric called cost-per-click, which dropped 8 percent over both last quarter and last year. Susan Wojcicki, Google's senior vice president of advertising, told analysts that a drop in average cost-per-click often accompanied an increase in the number of paid clicks on ads, which rose 34 percent over last year. She also said that foreign exchange rates and 40 changes that Google made to ad formats in the second half of last year affected cost-per-click. It was also affected by an increase in ads on cellphones, which sell for a 20 to 50 percent discount, according to Goldman Sachs.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/technology/googles-strong-results-less-than-expected.html

That eight percent decline in CPC is partly the result of further competition from the social platforms, especially Facebook. And, they may be more vulnerable when the changes in the OP become more prevalent. There is a reason they are hyping Google+ so much and for their lame gaming of search results to benefit their own social followers. This is also the reason Android is so important - they need to be able to establish the same type of dominance on mobile advertising to replace that in traditional search advertising. So far, the numbers are not there.

Bob


Last edit: by BobS
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Posted
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#79109

Non-joined user

BobS said

This is just craziness. Google is apparently trying to stroke the egos of its users rather than providing accurate search results. It just makes me question that much more the validity of any of their results.

Bob

I think you're missing the point.  Google is trying to provide search results that are relevant to the user.  I expect making search more useful for its billion+ users is a higher priority for Google, compared to flattering a few thousand website admins.

Why is everybody having the same results more 'accurate' or 'valid' than ones personalised to, say, where you live?  

If Walmart was selling your product, you wouldn't find it strange if they placed it in different aisles within individual stores, depending on the demographics of each stores' customers.
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Not Sergey Brin said

I think you're missing the point.  Google is trying to provide search results that are relevant to the user.  I expect making search more useful for its billion+ users is a higher priority for Google, compared to flattering a few thousand website admins.

Why is everybody having the same results more 'accurate' or 'valid' than ones personalised to, say, where you live?  

If Walmart was selling your product, you wouldn't find it strange if they placed it in different aisles within individual stores, depending on the demographics of each stores' customers.
Your point might be valid if the ranking was based on cookies. But it appears that it is based on being logged into the Google account. Since I am the only one who has access to that account, the results are being skewed just for me. That makes no sense.

And you are right that I would not be bothered if Walmart were to place my product in different aisles in different stores, but I would be surprised if they put my products on a primary end-cap when I walk through the door.

Bob


Last edit: by BobS
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Posted
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#79124

Non-joined user

BobS said

Your point might be valid if the ranking was based on cookies. But it appears that it is based on being logged into the Google account. Since I am the only one who has access to that account, the results are being skewed just for me. That makes no sense.

Sorry, you've lost me.  Surely the point of personalised search is that the results are 'skewed' (or personalised) just for you?
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Community saint

Another good commentary on Google's forced march to personalized search and G+:

Why Google owes you nothing | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

Bob
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Community saint

Here's a bit more to chew on (especially for 'Not Sergey Brin'):

Hack Swaps Google's Search Plus Your World Results for the Wider Social Web

Bob
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Posted
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Community saint

And here's some good news from Google that also happens to be laced with irony:

Google Tweaks Search Results to Punish Ad-Heavy Websites

Bob
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Posted
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#79271

Non-joined user

Thanks, BobS.

I think you're missing my point - I'm fully aware that Google are pushing Google+ at the expense of Twitter and Facebook.  My question is, why is this any different to what they (or any one ese) has done before?

All search engines 'skew' their results according to their owners priorities - that's why they all give different results.  It's naive to think that Google, or any other profit driven company, is acting purely in the interest of some sort of utopian vision.  Doesn't Microsoft own shares in Facebook?  I bet Bing prioritises Facebook over Google+.

As a web admin, we simply have to play the game - if Google is the biggest search provider, and is pushing Google+, we probably need to get on Google+!

It might not be right, and wemight not like it, but that's the way it goes sometime.
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