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Google Activity That May Have an Impact on Rankings

Algorithm Changes, Experiments, and Acquisitions

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There are currently some interesting happenings with Google search that webmasters may want to pay attention to. The company, which is always busy, has been making moves, which may greatly affect its flagship product – search. This is all in addition to everything the company is doing in social media, mobile, gaming, advertising and everything else (which all may have their own separate impacts on search).

Have you noticed recent changes in your ranking? Tell us about it.

Algorithm Change

Google makes changes to its algorithm all the time, but when a change comes with an announcement, you know people are going to talk. On Friday, Google announced a tweak designed to surface multiple pages from a single site for relevant queries.

"For queries that indicate a strong user interest in a particular domain, like [exhibitions at amnh], we’ll now show more results from the relevant site," says Google software engineer Samarth Keshava. "Prior to today’s change, only two results from www.amnh.org would have appeared for this query. Now, we determine that the user is likely interested in the Museum of Natural History’s website, so seven results from the amnh.org domain appear. Since the user is looking for exhibitions at the museum, it’s far more likely that they’ll find what they’re looking for, faster. The last few results for this query are from other sites, preserving some diversity in the results."

Google Tweaks Algorithm

Not all webmasters have been thrilled with this. "Brace yourselves! Another Mayday disaster coming," one person commented on our story about it.

What do you think of this algorithm change? Comment here.

Experimenting

Just as the company frequently changes its algorithm, it also frequently experiments with different features, showing them to small sets of users before either turning them into full-fledged features or throwing them away. The jury’s still out on this one, but a new experiment has been spotted, which alters search results as you type your query.

Think of this like autosuggest taking over the entire SERP. The video demonstrates:

Again, this is only an experiment at this stage, and it may never make its way to the mainstream Google experience, but people are already expressing a great deal of concern about it (particularly with regards to queries that begin with words that could yield undesired NSFW results).

My guess is that Google would have ways around that issue, but it remains to be seen if users/webmaters will have to deal with it. If the feature does come to fruition, this is something SEOs are going to have to consider, as it could have a big impact on the habits of searchers. You may, for example, want to optimize more for the earlier words in a longer key phrase, in addition to the key phrase itself. But, we’ll see.

Should Google change search results as you type? Comment here.


Google Crawling Sites From Numerous IPs

Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable points to some discussion from SEOs in Webmasterworld, who have found for the first time that Googlebot is now crawling from several different IP addresses at the same time. One webmaster said, ". their fast activity notified me so I took a peek to see who was scraping the site… I’ve never seen Google spider so fast and from so many IP addresses, they were all valid Google ip’s but there was like 10-20 of them running at once."

Acquisition

Google acquires Like.com

The other day, it was officially announced that Like.com has been acquired by Google. Like.com is a shopping search company offering visual search technology and an automated cross-matching system for clothing and other merchandise.

At this point, it’s unclear what Google has planned for this technology, but it could very well affect search results for shopping queries, which means it could affect small business visibility for better or for worse. Shopping search is going to be an area of Google to keep an eye on.

Have you noticed anything else interesting happening with Google search within the last week or so? Are you seeing things that are impacting your rankings? Let us know.

Google Activity That May Have an Impact on Rankings
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    and as such, they will do what is necessary to turn a profit. I think they do this to drive more people to buy the adwords. If people are ranking on top for too long, they won’t need to buy adwords so i would not be surprised if google’s algorithm had some of piece of code that watches how long a site ranks in the top 10 and then pushes them to the bottom.

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    Ah, a SEOer’s work is never done!

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