Posted Sunday, September 19, 2004
The month-old brouhaha over Google's 'changed algorithm', the 'Florida Update', hasn't yet ebbed. With the dawn of new year, the spectre of many 'renowned' websites loosing business looms large. Indeed, for many, Google was the lifeline. And now that comfort is gone. In the ensuing melee, many opinions are emerging. Sane advice like 'not clubbing all apples in one basket' are pouring in thick and fast.
The moot point however remains. As to why Google needed to change. In this article we'll attempt some answers.
Google, the blockbuster
There isn't a dispute here. Founded by two Stanford techies, Sergey Brin and Larry Page some five years back, Google has traveled a long distance in a short time. Maintaining a scorching climb, unmatched in search engine industry, Google is now the de facto king among all its brethrens. That, it would be so, was pointed out by Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineWatch.Com over 5 months back (refer Danny's articles here and here). Echoing similar view, Dr. Ralph Wilson in this article notes that "... Google is the US search engine to focus on.".
Viewers expect 'relevant' results in searches. Of late though, Google has been failing. Why so? Because, optimization experts with bits of tweaking here and there could achieve top search results, 'relevant content' be damned. Scottie Clairborne of RightClickWebs.Com in this article, speaks about frustration of not getting relevant search results. And in this article, Jill Whalen of HighRankings.Com almost pleads with Google to recognize relevancy of sites.
Ever wondered why Google mentions time it took to bring you search results! A subtle reminder that your time is important. Google takes pride in - dare I say- 'flaunting' its speediness. And why not! The fact is Google's infrastructure is spread far and wide all over globe. So, no matter where you search from, you get almost instant result.
Google's other advantage is its database. Crawling millions of webpages every single day, Googlebot has helped build a mammoth storage of data. Others charged for 'prized' entry into their databases, but couldn't make headway. Google didn't charge and is now the king.
With so much going for Google, why would it bother! Make no mistake, Google's earnings hasn't affected. It earns handsomely from paid advertisements, popularly known as AdWords. The question then, why Google would bother!
It would, for it knows competition is sharpening knives to strike back. Moreover, an IPO for an estimated $15 billion reportedly on anvil (Ref: Article *How good is Google?*, The Economist, Nov 1, 2003), Google needs more than ever to clean up its stable [Bloomberg.com in its Jan 5 dispatch confirms that Google has appointed Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to manage its IPO]. Bringing relevance in search results is therefore a priority. For, who else, but Google knows well that for a vast majority of about 200 million searches a day on its search engine, top search results are what that matter.
The picture ahead
Relevance of website content and that with incoming links (oh yes, 'good' incoming links assume significance like never before) will decide ranking in Google's results. Looking farther, perhaps the day is not far when niche search engines dealing exclusively in particular topics will gain prominence.
Readers may like to read related articles by Atul Gupta of SEORank.Com here and here.
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About the Author
Partha Bhattacharya is the author of the ebook, Sure Web Success with 1001+ Top Web Promote Links, that bridges gap between possibility and certainty of your web success. Partha's website, EzyPost, also offers nicely-designed ready templates for websites.