Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What is Google Really Looking For? Pt1

Here's Part 1 of a multi-part article first in iGaming Business Magazine, iGB Affiliate and Econsultancy. I thought I best add it to my otherwise defunct blog, since it still ranks for my name. ;)

‘Vince’ - an apparent additional weighting towards larger brands which only impacted a few generic keywords. The impact in the UK began some time after office hours on Friday 26th June 2009 – Matt Cutts had this to say about vince

Google’s Matt Cutts Delivers the Party Line

Taking what Google’s Matt Cutts disclosed in the above video, when asked the question: “Can you verify that Google is putting more weight on brands?” Matt’s response included three key points:-
“I wouldn’t call this an update, but there has been a change... It affects a relatively small number of queries...most people haven’t even noticed it.”
This official response raises three questions:-
  • Why does Matt not want to call this an update?
  • Why would this “change” only affect a relatively small number of queries?
  • How could this largely go unnoticed?
Let’s first review the visible symptoms of the change, which Matt insists is not an update.
Tracking the Ranking Changes.

“Poker” on Google.co.uk
Let’s first review the visible symptoms of the change, which Matt insists is not an update, starting with how the adjustment impacted the “Poker” SERP.

Poker SERP 24th June to 2nd July

he chart above shows the moving and shaking around the time of the Poker ranking adjustments.
  • Pkr.com moves into first place sometime before 8:31 on Saturday June 27th.
  • Partypoker.com enjoys a few hours in the #1 spot as the Party brand temporarily displaces gaming giants 888.com and their new found natural search threat Pkr.com.
  • Two days following the initiation of the ranking adjustment, 888.com finds its self on the ropes with Pkr.com posing a significant threat to 888.com’s dominance in Google.co.uk and by Wednesday July 30th Pkr.com are the new leader of the pack.
  • Wikipedia’s poker listing is repeatedly displaced, forcing the encyclopaedic reference standard down below the fold.

Summary of Observations

We can see that the adjustment to this SERP began in the early hours of Friday 26th June and continued through to Monday 29th June. Online brand equity appears to be playing a role, however the parameters behind the adjustment remain diverse. We'll look at the analysis from our data set tomorrow. For now, note that by contrast, the “Online Poker” SERP was not impacted outside of normal flux.

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