Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Changes In Google Algorithms May Send Some Businesses to the Bottom

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 8:00 AM

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Google is such a widely used resource, that according to merriam-webster.com, the term "google" is a perfectly acceptable verb:

goo·gle verb, often capitalized \ˈgü-gəl\
goo·gled|goo·gling
Definition of GOOGLE

transitive verb
: to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Webto use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web.

The Google search engine maintains its hold on a high percentage of users in part because not only do end-users rely on Google to help them find what they're looking for quickly and accurately, but businesses rely on the search engine to help guide those end-users to them. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a term bandied about offices in an attempt to get to the top of a Google search. The idea, put most simply, is to use search terms that an end-user is likely to enter. Sometimes, however, a business takes advantage of SEO and makes a cheap bid to drive traffic to its website.

On Feb. 6 media critic Jack Shafer tweeted this post: "The greatest example of SEO whoring of all time. http://huff.to/i8IDKr (via @noreenmalone)." The link leads to a post on huffingtonpost.com with the headline "What Time Does the Superbowl Start?" in what seemed like a bald attempt to draw visitors to its site.

Google tries to keep an eye on shenanigans. Jcpenney.com was cited for setting up fake websites to up its ranks in Google searches.

Google also works to stay at the top of the pack—consistently ranking much higher than Yahoo, Ask, Bing, Internet Explorer, etc.—by continuously tweaking its algorithms to keep pace with the constant flow of new content coming into the Web. These changes are generally unnoticeable, but in a Feb. 25 report from cnnmoney.com, a recent tweak became more of a twist, sending some sites, that previously would have been at the top of a Google search, plummeting.

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