Surprises

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
seo

Companies:
google



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

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Liam (profile), 5 Mar 2010 @ 8:17am

      Re:

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

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Ryan, 5 Mar 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...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tracker1 (profile), 5 Mar 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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        inc, 5 Mar 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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cro, 5 Mar 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... ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Phillip Vector (profile), 5 Mar 2010 @ 7:56am

    Site Ranking Fail

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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Alan Gerow (profile), 5 Mar 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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Harry, 5 Mar 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2010 @ 8:51am

    google can do no wrong . period

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Alan Bleiweiss (profile), 6 Mar 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Buraq, 2 Nov 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tobin Crenshaw, 6 Nov 2010 @ 3:14pm

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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Million, 3 Dec 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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.