Google Admits That Many Of Its Own Sites Fail At SEO

from the telling dept

With all of the recent lawsuits claiming that Google unfairly promotes its own sites and the sites of its partners in search rankings, it's interesting to see that the company has put out an SEO report card that is quite critical of some of its own sites for failing to do some pretty basic search engine optimization practices. While this may be the point that Google is trying to make, it certainly suggests that Google treats its own sites on the same basis as outside sites, contrary to the claims in the lawsuits.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2010 @ 7:16am

    Besides, Google is a private entity. It has a right to discriminate all it wants. Don’t like it? Make your own search engine. Or maybe you can encourage your government to create a competing government funded search engine. but leave Google alone.

     

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  2.  
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    Cro, Mar 5th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    "While this may be the point that Google is trying to make, it certainly suggests that Google treats its own sites on the same basis as outside sites"

    You got this sentence the wrong way round;

    "Google treats its own sites on the same basis as outside sites, it['s] certain that this [is] the point that Google is trying to make"

    This smacks of a anti-lawsuit PR stunt... not that jurors read the news or anything... ;)

     

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  3.  
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    Phillip Vector (profile), Mar 5th, 2010 @ 7:56am

    Site Ranking Fail

    So doesn't this show that the search engine formula that is used is flawed?

     

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  4.  
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    Harry, Mar 5th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Yahoo said it best...

    At SES a couple of years back, a panel of search engine representatives including Yahoo and Google were asked if their algorithms give priority to their own properties. Yahoo, said something to the effect of "we don't change our algorithms to promote our own sites, but that doesn't mean we don't tweak them to encourage rankings that benefit sites that act and SEO like ours".

    So, these lawsuits will never find anything explicitly helping a site. Another example was Google's answer on YouTube. When asked why all of the top video results were from YouTube, Google replied that the video rankings (for the exact same video across multiple sites) is determined by site popularity and YouTube is the most popular video site. Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

     

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  5.  
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    Alan Gerow (profile), Mar 5th, 2010 @ 8:07am

    Re: Site Ranking Fail

    It may, but SEO is only a small fraction of Google's formula.

    What made Google's search so successful to begin with was that it was built off of a trust network from cross-linking. SEO just helps Google return relevant pages, the actual ranking in the listing has to do more with the trust level of the site.

     

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  6.  
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    Liam (profile), Mar 5th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    that's like complaining MS promoting it's own internet browser..... oh, wait....

     

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  7.  
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    Ryan, Mar 5th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re:

    Yep, exactly what I was gonna post. Funny how antitrust always ends up being a witchhunt so that politicians can claim they're looking out for the people, rather than any actual help to the people...

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2010 @ 8:51am

    google can do no wrong . period

     

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  9.  
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    tracker1 (profile), Mar 5th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re:

    In all fairness, MS went beyond promoting in terms of gaining its' browser dominance. If they hadn't done the free ISP packs, I think it'd be less of an issue. Including it in the OS is IMHO less of an issue to distributing via physical media at a loss, covered by your dominant OS, to push other vendors out.

    Personally, up until after IE6 came out, aside from maybe Opera, it was hands down the best browser available at the time... at least IMHO. but getting to IE6 involved some underhanded maneuvering. Just the same, that doesn't necessarily mean it should be illegal. It's also not the same to provide a link, or bundle with a product being sold as it is to spend money on physical distribution to force a competitor out of the channel.

     

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  10.  
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    taoareyou (profile), Mar 5th, 2010 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    Yes because any evidence supplied to the contrary of the position you support must surely be fabricated.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    Re: Site Ranking Fail

    Not at all. Any good SEO will tell you that SEO practices are only relevant when you're not a prominent site.

    Google cares more about the relevance of the result than the quality of the product. So, if your website is terrible (in terms of search engine algorithms), but millions of people visit it daily, then you are guaranteed a high ranking for the relevant search topics.

     

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  12.  
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    inc, Mar 5th, 2010 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re:

    I think every OS does the same thing M$ does with making their browser default. It doesn't bother me much and how else will I download FireFox? FTP may work, but this is simpler. When you install Google Chrome on the other hand it asks you what you want your default search engine to be. It is more likely to appease those talking anti-trust but they don't have to include other search engine. I think when you have no other choice, like in the cable market for example, then anti-trust is a bigger issue. As far as search results use bing or yahoo if you don't like Google. No one is forcing you.

     

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  13.  
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    Alan Bleiweiss (profile), Mar 6th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    LOL

    Most of the time I have an opinion one way or the other on all things SEO, given it's my livelihood, I have an SEJ column I need to write on a regular basis, and my persona on Twitter is all about rants :-)

    In this case though, all I can say is that when I read the report card, I laughed. A lot. because regardless of the reason they came out with the report card, and regardless of the issues that people like to claim are behind such things, it's just ironic in this case. And a great excuse to laugh.

     

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  14.  
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    Buraq, Nov 2nd, 2010 @ 11:56pm

    Yea, but this doesn't _end_ SEO, it makes the case for solid-broad based, organic SEO with real content behind it.

     

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  15.  
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    Tobin Crenshaw, Nov 6th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    It does seem pretty problematic. The Google dance can be really frustrating and now it seems even more complicated!

     

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  16.  
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    John Million, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:47am

    I don't understand how Google's failing to properly SEO some sites implies they are treating those sites on the same basis as outside sites... wouldn't that just mean they have incentive to artificially rank their sites or make their algorithms not apply? Or that they have incentive to change their algorithm? I know Eric Schmidt recently said that "brands are how we sort through the internet cesspool" or something like that... they could just say "brand is more important now, and we have a big brand, so our no-SEO sites will rank first" Boston SEO

     

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