The History of Google. Important events in the history of the search engine, algorithm updates and more...
Created by wayneb77 on 20/03/2012
Last updated: 21/03/12 at 22:46
Tags: google search engines internet algorithms
In what’s now to be a monthly update on search changes, a new Google “Inside Search” blog post today tells us that life is getting tougher for those with parked domains, life may get better for those plagued by scraper sites and those hoping to “push down” negative listings may have a tougher challenge.
Google announced they are rolling out a new search algorithm change that helps make the search results “fresher.” The big news here is that besides for the results being fresher, the results will change for about 35% of all searches.
On Tuesday, Google announced that signed-in users will, by default, be routed to the SSL version of Google (https://www.google.com). Before Tuesday, most users used non-SSL Google for their searches. Now, according to Google, "...a web site accessed through organic search results on http://www.google.com (non-SSL) can see both that the user came from google.com and their search query... However, for organic search results on SSL search, a web site will only know that the user came from google.com." The effects were obvious immediately. Here's a screenshot of our GA account showing the quantity of "(not provided)" keywords going up from Sunday to today:
We’ve worked hard over the past few years to increase our services’ use of an encryption protocol called SSL, as well as encouraging the industry to adopt stronger security standards. For example, we made SSL the default setting in Gmail in January 2010 and introduced an encrypted search service located at https://encrypted.google.com four months later. Other prominent web companies have also added SSL support in recent months.
Searchmetrics has a pretty good track record of figuring out who lost after one of Google’s Panda Updates. Among the latest victims of this week’s Panda Update 2.5, some unexpected surprises: popular tech blog The Next Web, blog aggregator Technorati, and NBC’s The Today Show. Winners include Google’s own YouTube, along with Fox News and several other mainstream news sites.
Google has confirmed that the latest iteration of its Panda algorithm update is live. Based on our tracking of the algorithm changes, this is Panda Update 2.5.
Google declined to share any specifics about what types of sites, pages or content this update targeted, instead only sharing the company’s default statement:
We’re continuing to iterate on our Panda algorithm as part of our commitment to returning high-quality sites to Google users. This most recent update is one of the roughly 500 changes we make to our ranking algorithms each year.
Much like rel=”canonical” acts a strong hint for duplicate content, you can now use the HTML link elements rel=”next” and rel=”prev” to indicate the relationship between component URLs in a paginated series. Throughout the web, a paginated series of content may take many shapes—it can be an article divided into several component pages, or a product category with items spread across several pages, or a forum thread divided into a sequence of URLs. Now, if you choose to include rel=”next” and rel=”prev” markup on the component pages within a series, you’re giving Google a strong hint that you’d like us to:
When you’re searching, you often have a specific task in mind, like figuring out which exhibits are showing at a nearby museum. Despite this narrow goal, people often start with a broad query, like [metropolitan museum of art], with no mention of exhibits. For these searches, the first result may include a list of links to specific sections of the site, which are called “sitelinks.” Today, we’re launching several improvements to sitelinks, including the way they look and are organized in search results.
Google CEO Larry Page headlined Google’s earnings call today and of course revealed some interesting statistics on Google’s most recent product, Google+. Page said the new management structure he implemented is “working together fabulously,” and helping complete Google’s goal of making “sharing on web like sharing in real life.”
Vanessa Fox, called a cyberspace visionary by Seattle Business Monthly, is an expert in understanding customer acquisition from organic search. She shares her perspective on how this impacts marketing and user experience and how all business silos (including developers and marketers) can work together towards greater search visibility at ninebyblue.com. She’s also an entrepreneur-in-residence with Ignition Partners, Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land, and host of the weekly podcast Office Hours.
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Over a month ago we introduced an algorithmic improvement designed to help people
find more high-quality sites in search. Since then we’ve gotten a lot of positive responses about the change: searchers are finding better results, and many great publishers are getting more traffic.
Today we’ve rolled out this improvement globally to all English-language Google users, and we’ve also incorporated new user feedback signals to help people find better search results. In some high-confidence situations, we are beginning to incorporate data about the sites that users block into our algorithms. In addition, this change also goes deeper into the “long tail” of low-quality websites to return higher-quality results where the algorithm might not have been able to make an assessment before. The impact of these new signals is smaller in scope than the original change: about 2% of U.S. queries are affected by a reasonable amount, compared with almost 12% of U.S. queries for the original change.
+1 gets conversations going. Click the +1 button to give something your public stamp of approval. Then, if you want to share right away, add a comment and send it to the right circles on Google+.
The next time your friends and contacts search on Google, they could see your +1. You’ll help them find the best stuff on the web – and you might just start up another conversation!
LONG BEACH, California — Google announced a new update last week to its search engine that addressed the growing complaint that low-quality content sites (derisively referred to as content farms) were ranked higher than higher-quality sites that seemed to be more important to users. This major change affects almost 12 percent of all search results, and the web is still buzzing about its implications, which include dramatic losses for some companies (Mahalo, Suite 101), and gains by some established sites known for high-quality information.
By now, everyone in the SEO world is aware of the algorithmic update Google launched last Wednesday, February 23rd. Several posts on the topic are worth reading, including Danny Sullivan's take, Aaron Wall's assesment, SearchMetrics' analysis and Sistrix's data-driven post.
Here at SEOmoz, we've been analyzing the shift with help from our friends at Distilled, staff research scientist Dr. Matt Peters (whom you may remember from our Google Places analysis and who's now joined our staff full time - welcome!), and several other contributors. While there's no way to be precisely sure what Google changed to impact "11.8%" of queries, we've got some ideas that fit a number of the data points and we hope to contribute to the discussion on the topic and help search marketers gauge the update's impact on their own sites.
On Friday it seems (Google's) Matt Cutt's was talking about one of the more prominent algorithm changes (remember, there's hundreds per year) that we've seen over the last while. For those that missed it see; Algorithm change launched
Now, at first blush I didn't really pay much attention to it. But then I read it a few times and also one of the posts it referenced. The blogosphere and social channels were buzzing about 'content farms' and 'thin content' sites being the focus. But that's not really geeky enough now is it? Of course not.
I just wanted to give a quick update on one thing I mentioned in my search engine spam post.
My post mentioned that “we’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.” That change was approved at our weekly quality launch meeting last Thursday and launched earlier this week.
This was a pretty targeted launch: slightly over 2% of queries change in some way, but less than half a percent of search results change enough that someone might really notice. The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.
A recent article by the New York Times related a disturbing story. By treating your customers badly, one merchant told the paper, you can generate complaints and negative reviews that translate to more links to your site; which, in turn, make it more prominent in search engines. The main premise of the article was that being bad on the web can be good for business.
With Google Instant you get results as fast as you type, but your search doesn’t stop there. Once you get results back, you choose a site to visit based on the information in each result—like the title, a snippet of text and the URL. Over time we’ve made steady improvements to our search results and snippets to help you pick a great page. Now we’re making a leap to image-based snapshots—a new kind of visual search result we call “Instant Previews” which makes it even faster to choose the right result.
Ugh... Part of me just wants to link to this old blog post and leave it at that.
But, since there's actually a bit of data to share helping to show that (at least so far) Google Instant changes less than your average algorithmic rankings update, let's share.
880,000 Search Visits Analyzed
Conductor released some nice research from anonymized data of sites on their software platform making a compelling case:
Google Instant is a search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster. Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type.
The most obvious change is that you get to the right content much faster than before because you don’t have to finish typing your full search term, or even press “search.” Another shift is that seeing results as you type helps you formulate a better search term by providing instant feedback. You can now adapt your search on the fly until the results match exactly what you want. In time, we may wonder how search ever worked in any other way.
Update: Google has confirmed that this is a ranking/UI change. See statement below.
Is it a test? Is it a bug? Is it a permanent change to Google’s search results? No one knows, and Google hasn’t answered our questions about it yet. What’s “it”? As Malcolm Coles describes in a blog post today, Google is allowing a single domain — from a well-known brand — to dominate the first page of search results on some brand-related searches.
Caffeine - 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and is the largest collection of web content offered.
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I thought my fourth post on the Google May Day update would be it for the month of May, but I was wrong. In my fifth post on May Day in May 2010, Matt Cutts has released a video on what is going on in this "May Day update."
announce Google TV, which is built on Android and Chrome and gives you an easy and fast way to navigate to television channels, websites, apps, shows and movies.
Today the Local Business Center is becoming Google Places. Why? Millions of people use Google every day to find places in the real world, and we want to better connect Place Pages — the way that businesses are being found today — with the tool that enables business owners to manage their presence on Google.
Google Places (formerly the Local Business Center) gets a new name along with some new features
Google Buzz is a new way to start conversations about things you find interesting—like photos, videos, webpages or whatever might be on your mind—built into Gmail and for mobile.