Matt Cutts fields a whole lot of questions about Google. He often offers helpful advice via his blog, comments on other blogs, Twitter, and of course through his Webmaster Help videos, but Google Fellow Amit Singhal is the guy that leads the team that looks at all the messed up search results.
Singhal spoke at SMX London this morning, in an on-stage interview with Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman. While he didn’t delve into Penguin too much, other than to indicate that it has been a success, he did talk a little bit about dealing with flawed search results. Daniel Waisberg liveblogged the discussion at SMX’s sister site Search Engine Land. Here’s the relevant snippet:
Chris asks Amit how is the evolution process at Google with so many updates; how does Google decide about which update goes live? Google has an internal system where every flawed search result is sent to Amit’s team. Based on that engineers are assigned to problems and solutions are tested on a sandbox. Then the engineer will show how the results will show after and before the update and the update is tested using an A/B test. They discuss the results and this loop runs several times until they find a change that is better in all aspects. After this process the change is send to a production environment for a very low percentage of real user traffic and see how the CTR is changed. Based on this, an independent analyst (that works for Google) will generate a report. Based on that report the group discuss and decides if the change is going to be launched or not. That’s how scientific the process is.
As Waisberg notes, Google has recently shared several videos discussing how Google makes changes. You can watch these if you’re interested:
This one has Cutts talking about Google’s experimentation process (among other things):
According to Sullivan, who tweeted since the keynote discussion, Singhal wants user feedback:
Don’t forget, Google has a feedback link at the bottom of every search results page. Of course, there are always spam reports as well.
Image: Amit’s Google+ Profile Pic