Does Google Know What's Authoritative To A Human?

Does Google Know What's Authoritative To A Human? Avatar Posted by tomshark under News
From 1536 days ago
Made Hot by: Webdev1 on February 5, 2014 7:53 am
This poll summarizes the main points from the Webmaster World forum discussion on this topic; are you dealing with these same issues?


Written by mytravellinglog
1526 days ago
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Written by SeanGallahar
1535 days ago

I still think Google could be doing a lot better job. For instance, I can type "internet marketing" into a search engine, and I'll get thousands of results for internet marketing agencies. If I type "1920 Ford Model T for sale" of course I should get fewer results. The competition for Google has gone stale, but I am glad that we aren't getting spammy websites as results anymore though, and because of that I still think there is a lot that can be done to improve search engines, but I think that's a long long road because there is too much content out there, and only one search engine.

Written by tomshark
1535 days ago

Thanks Sean. Sure Google "tries" to provide better search results but try as they may search results of today are significantly less useful than they were a few years ago. People have become inocculated that there are better search engines than Google avialable today simply because G wins the popularity contest.

Another aspect is Google's PR engine to influence people to think that whatever they say must be right after all they are the leader in search today. Sure G is the leader today, but think twice before you buy everything they say. If they really could make their algorithms provide better search results, why do they need to use PR to tell people things like guest posting won't work for links any more? Hmm... I don't buy it.

Written by ShawnHessinger
1537 days ago

Hi Tom,

After reading the post, and the comments thus far, I'd have to say that, while I think Google could certainly use more competition in the search engine field, I'm not sure results are really worse or less relevant than they use to be. However, maybe this has to do with what you're looking for. And maybe what I'm really suggesting is that content at the top of searches seems more authoritative and less spammy. I think the great balance for Google actually has to do with the attempt to get content that is both authoritative and up-to-date. An increasing focus on news and the latest posts may be hurting both users and content producers. It's sometimes harder to find the best content if it doesn't also happen to be the latest. I'm curious. In what way do you feel content from searches has become less relevant?

Written by tomshark
1534 days ago

Hi Shawn,

I agree there are better ways than Google to get the most relevant info today for specific topics. And it seems like we agree that Google is just serving up things that the majority will think is ok, but my guess is the majority will probably do several more searches to find better results.

Anyway, this is one of the reasons for this poll. I'd like to see what other web marketers/publishers are experiencing. Vote pls.

Written by ShawnHessinger
1534 days ago

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the clarification. I think I'd agree in the sense that, if you were to track, say, tech news on an aggregator like TechMeme, for example, you would certainly be missing plenty of breaking news on Google. (And much of that is coming from admittedly smaller websites.) Or at least you might be missing that news unless or until it is picked up by a larger, more established website. That said, there was a time not so very long ago (definitely in my memory) when Google was routinely serving up scraped content who's only possible advantages over the original might have been that it was published more recently and keyworded both on page and off more aggressively/shamelessly. Such results are generally not admitted with Google's new tweaks, or at least are not being shown in search results as high up as they once were. I can understand the frustration on the part of Web publishers trying to get their content found. But from a user's perspective, I think we must all understand that, for their purposes, the results probably seem more helpful and relevant than what they once had.

Written by tomshark
1536 days ago

Hi Shawn,

Thanks for your thoughtful comment. If you have monitored search results for specific search terms over a period of months as I have for certain terms, I have seen big brands get the lion share of search rankings even if they aren't that relevant. Seems like Google trusts them simply because they are big. I also believe relevance trumps "up-to-date" content as well.

I challenge you to regularly monitor search results for things you know a good deal about and see if the authoritative sites and info you expect is indeed there. For the past 9 months or so, I've been disappointed numerous times.

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