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  1. #1
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    Try some searches. For example, if you search for the web site of an airport, you will most probably get results for hotels near X airport!? I mean, if I am looking for a hotel, I will probably put just that: X airport hotels. If I search for X airport, how difficult is it for someone to guess that I am looking for the web site of that airport!? Try searching for Quito airport: http://www.google.com/search?q=quito+airport
    The correct result appears on page 11 (eleven)!!!


    Or search for Rosario Flores (a spanish singer). http://www.google.com/search?q=rosario+flores Check result #2. I mean, really... parental control or no; this is not the result you expect to see on page 1.



    I have noticed that sometimes I am getting more relevant results using other search engines, lately. For that reason, I am using Hotbot more and more. It now also allows you to search Lycos, Google and Teoma.

    http://www.hotbot.com

  2. #2
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    Still seem to be getting lots of traffic from Google. Seems to be pretty relevant and useful to me. I'm not ready to write it off yet.

    Wayne

  3. #3
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    Google supplies about 3/4 my SE visitors. I'd say it's doing okay.

  4. #4
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    I don't think their search results are as good as they were even a few months ago. I've had to search in other search engines for what I've been looking for quite a few times, which I've never had to do before.

    Several of the searches I did earlier this week returned predominantly German results in the first 3 or 4 pages. I gave up on them and went to MSN and found what I was looking for right off.

  5. #5
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    If you use the correct name, it comes out on the first page.
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...tional+Airport

    Other than that the site is horribly set for any search engine. There is no way for google to know that this is THE AIRPORT and not something on the airport and this site does nothing to help.

    MSN does worse:
    http://search.msn.com/pass/results.a...irport&cp=1252

    Quito Airport doesn't rank well on any search engine. I know that was just an example, but I think it demonstrates a few things. SEs can't do anything if you don't help them, a site like an airport is not going to pay for traffic, so they aren't listed in the pay sites, and searches need to be educated how to search and make sure to use the correct words.

    Chet

  6. #6
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    The quito airport search is an interesting example because really it *should* come up with the correct result but it's getting drowned in spam, and this is despite all the filters and tweaks Google is using.

    AltaVista does better for the search, as does Alltheweb. Wisenut comes up with a result at #12. Dogpile manages a #4 result on the same search string.

    It's an interesting question though. I get a lot less traffic from Google than I used to, but that's not because Google is less popular. Certainly you're looking at around the 75%-80% mark for a typical share of the SE market.

    But the cracks are beginning to show, and have been for a while now. What was once a fairly simple and elegant way of determining relevancy now has so many tweaks on top of it to hold it together that you can sometimes tell there's a problem just by looking at the SERPs.

    I don't think this is a Google-specific issue though. I think what is happening is that Google is beginning to sink under it's own weight. There are legions of SEOs out there optimising for Google because it's a near monopoly.. no other search engine is scrutinised in such depth, and because SEOs are always fighting to get ahead, Google keeps having to patch the algorithm.

    Err I've said this before but I'll say it again. Google is to search engines what Microsoft is software. Most of the world's viruses, worms and exploits work only on Microsoft systems, so there's a continual pressure to patch and fix products. Google is the same.. if you can manipulate your way to the top in the Google then the other search engines don't matter, and it means that poor old Google will have to tweak the algo yet again causing yet another massive shift in SERPs.

    Of course, there's a lot of competition coming. Yahoo's switch to Inktomi will take a large chunk of results away from Google. And Microsoft want a slice of the action and have no doubt that they are prepared to sink vast quantities of money and talent into carving out market share.

    My gut instinct is that in twelve month's time, Google will still have the lion's share of the market (I guess around 60%-65%) with Yahoo/Inktomi and Microsoft/MSN battling it out for the remainder.

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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    I read that since people don't know how to search, google is trying to get smarter and figure out what they really want. So give them a wider variety of results. While it is true that many people don't know how to search wouldn't it be better to just put a little note under the search box that says be specific!

  8. #8
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Well y'know people are awfully conservative when it comes to search engines.

    Most of the people I know, including techies, never use anything other than the web search and don't even know about Groups, Images and Froogle. I think these are great tools but only a tiny proportion of Google users use them.

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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I think Google is still trying to grow up and figure out what it wants to be when it becomes an adult. The search results since last Fall have become less and less relevant, with users often having to search through 10 pages or more to find a legitimate site.

    I believe there's a problem at Google, with their filters not working properly, or something else which is causing the results to be poor. Hopefully they will get it straightened out, because it's a mess right now.

    Andy

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  10. #10
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    Problem is Google has been SEO'd to death. One time one of the guys that started Google said something like there will be no SPAM in Google or they could handle it. I've always seen it and there will always be SPAM, in any search engine. Still pretty relevant results but they do have some problems and with the recent updates they're trying to get a handle on it.

    Next month when the switch happens i'll get
    45% Google and its partners AOL, Earthlink etc.
    40% MSN - Yahoo
    so that should be nice, more balanced traffic.

    I work in lounge pants

  11. #11
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    There certainly have been changes. In many areas I see worse results than before and in some areas some spam is gone. Overall, I say there is no improvement...

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