Talking tech since 2003

As companies, organizations, and entities grow in size they tend to have a much higher visibility in the eye of the general public.  Sure, being in the spotlight can ultimately be greatly beneficial to a company and can help them grow significantly more than they would if they were unknown, but the fact of the matter is that public exposure works both ways.  When a company has high levels of public visibility, all of their flaws end up out in the open and they open the doors for scrutiny and criticism.   And in the era that we live in, web giant Google – arguably the largest entity on the vast Internet – is definitely no exception.

For Google, a lot of their bad PR recently has surrounded the one area that helped the company get to where it is today; search.  You see, many people have realized that in recent months Google’s search results have become more and more irrelevant and infested with spam.  Knowing that their failure to fix this problem could have easily been devastating to the company, however, Google recently rolled out a new and improved search and index algorithm targeted at generating more useful and relevant results for end-users.  After having seen these changes first-hand over the last couple of days, I’ve decided to answer the one question that I’m sure is brewing in the heads of end-users and content providers alike; how will this affect me?

First and foremost, everyone – regardless of if they are consumers or publishers – needs to understand that Google wants to give users the most relevant results.  After all, the relevance of results is what makes Google a competitive search engine and is truly what gives it a leading edge against competing search engines.

With this in mind, it only makes sense that end-users can now expect to find more relevant results towards the top of their search results.  While I haven’t personally noticed any drastic changes, the somewhat subtle changes that I have seen thus far have definitely shown more relevant and accurate results in my personal casual searches.  Mind you, these results aren’t new results, but simply seem to be a bit re-ordered in order to show more relevant results towards the top of the page.  In fact, I’m sure that all of the results that I’ve come across after the revamping would have been found anyway.  However, having them towards the top has made my searching somewhat faster.  While I haven’t seen any statistical data in regards to the relevance before and after the implementation of the new algorithm, I as an end-user can definitely feel the changes.

For those who have online presences – that is, individuals who blog and share content online – you will likely be more satisfied with your listings now that Google has implemented the new algorithm.  This is because the heart of Google’s relevance issue was with “content farms” that produced high volumes of low-quality content in order to get better rankings and visibility.  With this being the biggest issue that Google recently addressed, more legitimate websites will likely begin to gain more Google impressions now that the “spam” and “junk” results have been discredited and put on the back-burner.

Having said this, more impressions should – in theory, at least – lead to higher amounts of traffic to your website or blog; given, of course, that your website is a legitimate site that produces useful content.

However, if your website contains what Google sees as poorly-written, difficult to understand, or flat-out unhelpful content, then chances are that your website will ultimately end up receiving lower Google rankings under the new algorithm, and this will see a lower level of visibility and fewer page impressions; ultimately leading to diminished traffic.  In this case, creating better content would be the most effective solution.

At the end of the day, only time will tell how well this pays off for Google and the web as a whole.  While I am sure that the problem of result spam still hasn’t been completely eradicated, I am confident that Google is heading in the right direction by at least making an effort to better their relevance.

What do you think of Google’s changes?  Do your results seem more relevant?  Has it helped or harmed your site?  Let us know in the comments!

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