Does Google’s Search Plus Your World Undermine Its Relevancy?

January 26, 2012 at 9:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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In a world where relevancy is becoming increasingly important, it’s a bit surprising to see Google taking steps that seem to make them less relevant.

After all, isn’t relevancy what Google is all about? For years, they have made it their mission to control websites’ rankings on their search engine results pages based on this very principal. In the name of heightened user experience, Google has long rewarded sites with relevant content and punished those that seemed to mislead their visitors. It all made perfect sense.

Lately, though, all that seems to be changing, leading a lot of people to question whether or not Google cares as much about relevancy as they say they do.

First, there was the search encryption that prevented websites from gleaning valuable information about the search terms signed in users typed in to Google to get to their websites (unless of course, they use Google’s paid AdWords service).

Then, there was the change to the algorithm that penalized websites who “overuse” ads above the fold, whether or not these ads are relevant to the user experience. It would seem to me that web visitors could make their own decision as to whether or not to stay on these allegedly ad-heavy sites or bounce. If they bounce, the problem takes care of itself since as we all know, high bounce rates negatively impact a website’s SERP rankings.

None of those decisions seem to reflect a genuine concern for web users or a desire to make their web experience more relevant. But this latest decision—the Google Search Plus Your World search feature (which some bloggers are now referring to as Google SPY)—is the biggest blow to relevancy yet.

Google Search Plus Your World

It’s not the mere fact that social media has been integrated into the search. That’s a separate argument altogether. What concerns me is that Google+ pages are showing up in SERPs before more relevant information simply because they are affiliated with Google. Need proof? Check out this experiment performed by FocusOntheUser .

Not only is this downright unfair to other websites including social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but it does nothing to heighten web users’ search experience or point them to the relevant information they’re looking for. This is the very thing that Google claims to specialize in, and unfortunately, this latest move is proof that they are failing miserably in terms of relevancy.

When will web users begin to realize what web marketers have long suspected? Good question, but Bing and even Yahoo are looking more and more like worthy competitors.

Efi Rodik
Co-Founder & CEO
Relevantor LLC

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