Google, Yahoo Offer Search Weather Reports

    October 11, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Both search engines have had updates taking place, with Yahoo issuing its customary “weather report” while Matt Cutts at Google discusses their latest tweaks.

Webmasters get a double dose of “where’s my site rank now?” as the two biggest search engines update their indexes. For webmasters in the top ten spots on the first page for their desired search results, it is time to chew nails and hope the updates do not shift them out of the valuable organic placement above the fold in the SERPs.

“Welcome to our first weather report of the fall season. We are rolling out an index update tonight,” Yahoo’s Priyank Garg wrote on October 10th. “As usual, you’ll see some changes in ranking along with shuffling of the pages that are included in the index.”

Meanwhile, Google has been updating its technology, especially with its Bigdaddy software upgrade. Cutts noted how that affected how Google crawls and indexes the web.

“It brought smarter Googlebot crawling, including tricks like full gzip support and a crawl caching proxy that means less bandwidth usage for site owners,” Cutts wrote of that update. He also talked about PageRank:

We just did a PageRank export, so I wouldn’t expect to see another export until the new year. The infrastructure that serves up PageRank in the Google Toolbar, link: data, info: queries, and “Similar results” is also new (surprise!). I believe that’s the only piece of infrastructure I’ve mentioned so far that isn’t deployed at every data center, and relative to the other things I’ve mentioned, that infrastructure is smaller.

Don’t expect Google to hold off on an update just because it’s the holiday season and being re-ranked lower could destroy a business, though:

I know that webmasters are especially sensitive to quality/webspam/ranking changes in Q4 because of the holiday season. If we’ve got something that evaluates well and that we think will improve quality, we can’t just pause for 1/4th of the year, but if anything big launches I’ll try to be available to answer questions and help get a handle on any changes.

Cutts will also collect bug reports from webmasters seeing queries respond with what looks like buggy answers. He listed several examples and invited people to post “specific queries that seem to show bugs, and the more concisely you can explain something, the better.”

He won’t keep comments open for long on that post, so the quicker one can get a bug report on his blog, the better.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.