Google Promote, Remove and Comment Feature; Is it a death-knell on all established SEO techniques? What is it's apparent effect on Search engine optimization? How is it going to affect the SERPs (results page)? A colossal change has just been made by big G. Google could not have gotten better at what it does. It revolutionized the search engine all over again.
To the makers of Google, it is nothing short of the fairy-tale crystal ball where they can see everything happening around in the universe. Everyone online is sort of an open book to Google whether you want it or not. And just when you thought that Google already knows too much about people; about what they thought, what they dreamed, what they pursued, what they shopped, what they searched, Google comes up with another milestone idea to get people even more personal; the ability to promote, remove search results by every individual on the planet and add unique comments to any of your preferred result. Wow, so what if you decide to promote a website from 50th page to 1st page. And let's say you demote a top ranking result into oblivion, never to be seen on the 1st page again. So in one click did you just kill the hype and hoopla of search engine optimization?
Because the best of optimized pages could literally be gone out of your sight with this tool if you decided to have it so. And if it is really so, then this is the END OF THE WORLD. Is it the END of conventional SEO? Do i hear a pin-drop silence?
No need to panic yet. If you see the buttons then you must have noticed that they appear only when you are logged in to your Google account, and the reprise is that they only affect the results that you see, not what the world does. Do i hear a sigh of relief? If you want to skip my detailed analysis and description of this feature, you may straightaway read the conclusion at the bottom.
How does Google promote/remove actually work? A specific example.
To check the same, simply log in to your account, let's say you do a Google search for the keyword phrase "webkinz dollar store", and click on the promote button next to a result in a subsequent page. You will immediately see it magically go to the topmost SERP in the 1st page. If you click on 'promote' for another "webkinz dollar store" search result, it will move into the second place on the 1st page itself. You can move the second web page to the first position by clicking "promote" on it again. Now Log out and search again for the same keyword, you will see your selected pages dropping back to its original ranking position. Login again and you will notice your chosen pages are back to your promoted order. If you click remove on any of your promoted website, it will return to its previous place in your Google search results. But If you click remove randomly on any un-promoted website, it will be permanently removed from any results. Of course you can get it back to the search results by clicking on restore at the bottom. The results are associated with your Google account only so they will be constant across any computes of you account logs.
At first instance it is bound to give the webmasters a cold feet with the thought that Google has handed over the fate of search engine results to people and everything about SEO goes to the dumps. It convincingly looks like, as if now people are to alter, improvise the worldwide top results for each search term. But it certainly isn't the case. It's only for your own Google account, for your own personalized result page order. And it is important to know that every new search term will have entirely different promoted and removed results than the other.
I'm sure even the biggest of SEO experts, guides and critics must have lost their nerve for a second with their first experience with Google promote and remove feature just as much as I did. So the big question still remains, is this the end of our struggle and success with SEO? Is it really all up to searchers and surfers to decide the ranks of our web pages? Are we supposed to watch helplessly all the big and popular web pages get to the top, while the smaller ones vanishing away? Thank the stars that it isn't the case.
What is Google promote / remove system called?
It's called SearchWiki. SearchWiki lets users have their own order of promoted and removed results, and leave comments on specific links. Google thus remembers changes that are made by the account holder to the organic search results pages, and subsequent searches will then be displayed as per the user's customisations and notes. And most importantly, users will also have the option of seeing how other searchers have rated and reordered search results and view their notes as well, making search results a innovative community based initiative.
Who does searchwiki help?
In course of time, it will surely make a huge impact on how SEO affects a site in my opinion. Prior to this feature, a webmaster was the only individual who had an influence on the SEO aspects but now each and every Google user has the ability to decide where that site should be listed, making search engine results a different concept altogether. It may even revolutionize the idea or existing technology like browser bookmarks and RSS readership.
Customized search result page? Is it happening?
The way it stands now, it isn't a possibility e.g., a specific page could be pushed to the top result for everyone just by getting shoppers or enthusiasts to 'promote' that site a million times. Neither can your competitors outrank your site by clicking on removal link a thousand times.
Yes, you can now customize your search results with the organic rankings, deletions, leave notes against each page for future reference and see how other Google users have tailored their searches. SearchWiki notes will be visible to other users, identified with your Google Account nickname.
What are the implications of Google searchwiki on SEO?
It is like an alarm bell for everyone to straighten up their act, specially thin affiliate sites, spammers or the ones resorting to black hat stuff. Yes sooner or later there will hardly be a scope for anyone to deviate even by an inch from the core of search engine fundamentals. That is relevance and accuracy.
Yes, many things will be affected from sales to delivery and reporting. SEO won't be dead but it will have evolved and more oriented towards content than techniques .
Google has been remarkable in preventing spam and this new tool on the prima-facie would not only generate more direct data for Google analysis but would also also initiate a mass spam removal movement worldwide. As far as promoted and removed data is concerned, Google obviously is wary of SEO masters using proxy servers running multiple alias sites and redirect pages and unethical methods that can easily used to promote a single page. Hence they will never make a mistake of simply considering all the votes gained for a page to it's ranking algorithm for organic searches without due verification. All of this will give Google a whole new perspective to search user habit and patterns by allowing the user to mix and alter the organic results itself. Unthinkable but true that it is already happening.
What if Google decides to apply the promotional and removal data to page ranks? Dooms day?
Top 10 ranking results will be flooded with the sites that the majority of people prefer. The hottest and most popular existing pages will fill up the top slots overnight, for every imaginable keyword search phrase. The scope for newer, smaller, unpopular websites will virtually perish with no place in the top noticeable positions. As a result it will hardly ever gain a promotion. And slowly it will stand as good as removed even if it is not.
It might be great to force people to look at the most popular websites, but the small ones which are less marketed or are comparatively of less value or quality will never stand a chance. Lesser traffic can never be the final diagnostic indicator.
But look at this from the perspective of a person who's looking to find something out. If I need to learn about the "webkinz dollar store", I don't frankly care whether that comes from a small blog or a an unknown forum page, as long as I find the info I need, and its reliable. And I can always find them right where i need from anywhere in the world.
For those concerned about SEO.
The agony or the anxiety about it's effect on SEO and rankings could be erased in a second just by reminding ourselves of the one and only governing factor about search engines, that their existence itself depends and will always be on it's ability to offer accurate and relevant information to the users and not anybody else. Even searchwiki, this new Google tool is intended with no other intent but relevance. Isn't it so common find relevant content even after page 10 at times? ( I don't know about you, but I do search deep when I need information ). In such a case one would either bookmark that page or copy the content for future reference. I always sympathize with quality web pages nowhere near to the top ranking positions. That proves that just great content alone can not guarantee top ten results. A multitude of factors like SEO, backlinks, sandbox are responsible to drive a page to the top. And the process itself is slow.
Relevance will now be "of the search (Google), by the search (Google) and for the search (Google)." Sounds quite like a democratic definition of a search engine.
Not so long ago when webmasters saw the immense potential in harnessing people's bookmarking habits, the craze of social bookmarking sites diggs, del.ico.us erupted overnight giving search relevance a completely relative meaning.
Things will now change. What better to bookmark a page from within the searches in just one click with no further accounts to log in to.
Backlinks and quality links are still the driving forces behind a websites rise or fall. It is equated as votes earned from other sites. As far as Google's stand point is concerned, a natural promotion of a webpage from different un-suspicious IP addresses can count as votes of relevance for a search phrase.
Scientists are maybe still trying to unify the forces of nature into one formulae, but looks like Google almost successfully unified the world.
Welcome to Google monopoly. Look how it gets bigger by the day.
One Account: Where your world converges.
(Oh if you haven't got a Google account yet. You will be compelled to have one sooner or later)
One Search Engine: The keyword manufacturing unit. Keyword demand supply chain. Unlimited Manpower at work for the biggest keyword market. From where internet business and ecommerce are governed.
One Search Tool (External keywords tool) : Manufactured keywords put on window display. Who does have a better authority to declare than Google itself, about what people are exactly searching for? Take it or leave it.
One Traffic Estimator: (Google lets you judge the cost of your keyword too) Window shopping for keywords.
One AdWords: OK so interested parties can shop for keywords from the keyword store.
One AdSense: Auctioned keywords recycled back to the people (searcher) working in the keyword factory.
One Webmaster Tools: The manufacturers of keyword money are now the safekeepers of all your keyword rich belongings.
One Analytics: Realtime live tv telecasting keyword news to keep the buyers and sellers interested.
One Web history: Refined fuel for the keyword engine machinery. Everyone's web habit and online track records are well kept with Google. They exactly know geo-specific, cultural specific keyword needs. Well who better to assign a price-tag to a keyword up for auction?
One Homepage (iGoogle): If all these have become second nature to you, then iGoogle is the way to stay hooked. You will get a handful on your finger tips.
And Now Google searchwiki: Google taking control of what you thought is best for you.
It is like, you have helped manufacture some great and moderate keywords so far, so why don't you manufacture some great result pages with your click votes too. After all there are a free gazillion keyword workers (search engine users) in the factory (Google) at any given point in time. Keep working a bit extra and Google shall know what exactly the gazillion wants to see or not see. The fairytale crystal ball is for real now.
Where do you stand? Your best kept secrets are the best resources to the Google rulers. Google knows what buyers want, what sells most. Google knows what sellers want, what buyers are willing to pay, how much are they willing to pay for, where do best buyers come from and the sellers too. The world wide web is not so entangled for the big G anymore. They conquered the world faster than Alexander.
Everyone's Top 10 Pages will look different for the same search phrase. Scary to even think about it.
Google has gotten perfect at eradicating it's imperfections. And if you thought you had a reason to point a finger at them due to erroneous relevant results, they gave the baton to you to improvise. Google may use 20 million algorithms in a millisecond to offer what is relevant. But now they will have a gazillion more from an entire planet to vote for and review their own definition of relevant searches.
What are the future projections and it's impact on SEO practices?
1. Analysis of top ten projections and reporting is likely to change based on a world consensus.
2. The definitions for pagerank and rankings for single phrases and e-commerce variables could change. If a considerable number of people are not seeing a particular result in the first pages because they have it custom configured for a particular phrase with pre-selected results crowding the top, then definitely there would be lesser click-throughs as even the top sites will be pushed back further. Thus resulting in lesser visitor count for subsequent pages and affecting pagerank algorithms.
3. Marketers and SEO experts will have to look at a bigger picture than being obsessed with pagerank and rankings for single phrases.
4. Google AdWords will become more eminent as an assured method for topping the results with paid rankings, even if the user's result page is highly customized. This means more revenues for Google.
5. When everyone starts to promote their favorite sites, the quality of content will definitely become even more undeniable (as it should be), and "classic" SEO techniques will need a complete re-orientation.
6. Marketers and SEO industry now thriving on Google, will be more proactive on Yahoo, Quil etc as alternative options.
7. Since this feature is only for Google user accounts. As of now the page rank and result pages outside logged Google accounts will very much be based on the organic SERPs. Especially given the fact that yahoo still owns more account user bases than Google. But eventually they will dominate even more with search engine market share, because of their unlimited customizable features.
8. As this Search Wiki tweak can be highly prone to spams, we won't really see any sea change in the PR status radically soon until the rest of the planet not on Google account register and start using the feature.
9. Analytics will be even more laser focussed. Google will harness immense amount of personalized data and use them to improve relevance of results. You now will have to option to know your promotion vs removal ratio for every indexed page. You will soon know your popularity rank as much as your PR rank.
10. You will soon be presented with realtime reviews on your web pages moderated or not moderated by Google.
11. Websites with genuine content and relevance will now be a super must to even fair anywhere near.
12. SEO will spell "Authority pages" more than "Optimized pages".
13. Survival of the fittest will be the new Google theory.
14. All onsite testimonials and reviews on products, services often clinically engineered or manipulated will matter less because you will have realtime online reviews even before you land on that page. (Google comment feature = Realtime reviews)
Millions of webmasters and people must still be biting their nails, trying to figure out what is wrong or right with our big Google. How is it likely to affect the already established businesses, websites and SEO? But I hope this article gives you enough insight about our fate or growth on Google in near future.
Another search engine revolution has begun with Google Promote, Remove and Comment Feature. Are you ready for the change?
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