As Google turns 10 years old, that important birthday sees the company more powerful than ever before. With its competitors in disarray, the Big G seems likely to grow even further. The secret to its success? For me, it’s what I’ve been calling the “Google Hive Mind. ” Rather than follow a rigid top-down master plan, the company’s direction and success has been shaped by decisions often taken independently of how they’ll benefit the company as a whole. But collectively, those decisions DO form a master plan, a hive mind that dictates what the company will do. The hive mind has been hugely successful in growing Google’s business through a symbiotic relationship with its customers. But that’s also a weakness: Google may seem too threatening to those same customers, as it grows. As it expands and expands, some of those outside the hive begin wondering if it needs to be constrained. Part of this is due to the fact that individually, I think … [Read more...] about The Google Hive Mind
Google uses a machine-learning artificial intelligence system called “RankBrain” to help sort through its search results. Wondering how that works and fits in with Google’s overall ranking system? Here’s what we know about RankBrain. The information covered below comes from three original sources and has been updated over time, with notes where updates have happened. Here are those sources: First is the Bloomberg story that broke the news about RankBrain (See also our write-up of it). Second, additional information that Google has now provided directly to Search Engine Land. Third, our own knowledge and best assumptions in places where Google isn’t providing answers. We’ll make clear where these sources are used, when deemed necessary, apart from general background information. What is RankBrain? RankBrain is Google’s name for a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that’s used to help process its search results, as was reported … [Read more...] about All about the Google RankBrain algorithm
Have you ever wondered why some sites rank high on Google when they aren’t optimized for search engines? Or even worse, when they barely have any backlinks? I’ve been asked this question a lot over the last few months, so I thought I would write a blog post explaining why that happens. Here’s why some sites rank high when they aren’t optimized: Reason #1: Click-Through Rate Part of Google’s algorithm looks at a click-through rate. It calculates it as a percentage, reflecting the number of clicks you receive from the total number of people searching for the particular phrase you rank for. The higher the percentage, the more appealing your listing is compared to the competition. And if your click-through rate is higher than everyone else’s, Google will slowly start moving you up the search engine results page, as this algorithm factor tells Google that searchers prefer your listing. Looking at the click-through rate isn’t enough, however, as … [Read more...] about Why Some Un-optimized Sites Rank High on Google?
After six monthsof testing, Google has formally rolled outKnol, a service designed to letpeople create pages of knowledge on any topic they choose. While Google saysKnol is not designed to compete with Wikipedia — and there are goodarguments to back this up — I still think the easiest way to describe theservice is Wikipedia with moderation. Below, more about this, the service ingeneral, and some of the issues it may raise for Google. As many are aware, Wikipedia allows anyone to create and edit pages onall types of topics. Need to know about the BS 546 electrical plug used byold houses in Britain? I once did, and the Wikipedia community has created apage about the topic. The collaborative advantage to Wikipedia is also its disadvantage. Sinceanyone cancontribute, some introduce factual errors or overtlyvandalize articles (seeGeorge WashingtonDid What According To Wikipedia???). It’s one reason that Wikipedia isconsidering moderation. Like Wikipedia, Knol (unlike many … [Read more...] about Google’s Knol Launches: Like Wikipedia, With Moderation
Google is undertaking the most radical change to its search results ever, introducing a “Universal Search” system that will blend listings from its news, video, images, local and book search engines among those it gathers from crawling web pages. The new system officially rolls out today for anyone using Google.com and searching in English. Not everyone will see it at first, but over the course of the next several days, Universal Search should be more, well, universal. A new navigational interface has also been unveiled for Google and is covered more in the companion piece to this article, Google’s New Navigational Links: An Illustrated Guide. The move potentially should be a huge boon for searchers, while search marketers who have paid attention to the importance of specialized or vertical search will see new opportunities. To fully explain the importance to both groups, I’m going to work step-by-step through the concept of vertical search engines, how … [Read more...] about Google Launches “Universal Search” & Blended Results