Archive for the ‘Google Suggest’ Category
I noticed a few weeks back that Google stopped showing scam for some brands and at the same time negative driven sites like scam.com reared their ugly head again. They seem very difficult to bury these types of sites at the moment. It’s almost like G has said we will stop suggesting scam but show results with it in so people can make their own mind up.
These sites seem to have extra weight given to them as well, they tend to have one thing in common, lots of comments. Suggest allowing comments on your own sites if you want to stay ahead of them.
This morning to my surprise I noticed that Google has dropped the suggestion Scam after many company names. Does this mean Google has at last seen sense and realised how many innocent business owners have been effected by this scam suggestion.
After further research I noticed that Scam is still suggested for more generic terms like charity scams and model agency scams which I feel is right. These sorts of searches will now show relevant results that are focused on actual scams and not on innocent companies who have been targeted by.
Will this see the end of such sites as scam.com or ripoffreport.com lets wait and see how this pans out.
A big thumbs up to Google on this update!!!! We love you agian.
It does not take much to trigger the killer Google suggestion Scam. Primerica are another company hit by the the scam suggestions.
You can see the obvious sites that trigger the scam suggestion from Google are for example scam.com and the fatal questions on sites like Yahoo questions, is this an scam? What makes Google decide to show Scam at the top of a suggestion list over more positive suggestions like primerica financial services?
What is also great is the complete lack of help from Googles own forum http://www.google.com/support/forum/
Saying that, the person who asked the question in the first place did not really approach it with the correct tone.
Hi, I work for a company called Primerica, which is a very legit insurance comapany that just recently got onto the NYSE. Unfortunately due to its Network Marketing and free enterprise system, some ignorant people mistake it for a ponzi scheme, or a pyramid scheme. Because of this, a few websites were created but quickly discredited about primerica being a scam. The result of that is when one types PRIMERICA in the google search bar, one of the top suggestions is PRIMERICA SCAM.
Please correct this unfaire mistake
If you gonna ask for help be humble, no matter how frustrated you are.
Sorry I have not posted for a while, its been such a hectic 3 months. As James G spotted on a previous post that Google has removed the Scam from the end of my example helpmegoto.com . So maybe, just maybe, we can help others, if you have an example for your own company / website then please let us know and we can check it out and post your example here. Maybe we can generate enough evidence to show that Google suggestions do not come from what people type as they have suggested in court but from other factors. More importantly if Google will remove the negative suggestions then the ultimate goal is achieved for website owners.
Industry scams affect everyone involved, and we have seen this across the board – the latest being photographers and modeling agencies. Usually how is starts can be very innocent, for example. A young budding female wants to get into modelling and decides to go through a agency. She has heard a news report about about modelling scams and is worried about being caught out, so she Google’s Modelling Agencies London. She then gets the Google results and sees a list of agencies. She chooses one she likes but is still worried about the agency being a scam so she Google’s for example Storm Agency Scam to see if there are any negative reviews about them. She may or may not find anything about them so then goes to Yahoo Answers and asks:
Storm modelling agency?
Whats the minimum age for models?
How long does it take for a reply?
What should I wear if they accept me?
How long till I get asked to do something (catalogue, etc)?
How much are models payed?
Is it a good job to get into?
Is it worth it?
Does storm ask you to pay anything?
The dust has begun to settle on the uproar that ‘new’ Google Instant has managed to stir up. What was clearly a hot topic at the point of launch, the auto-complete function was innovative in design and was set to improve functionality for users worldwide (starting in the US, naturally). And while Google say users will benefit from the ‘improvements’ to their service, the impact it will have on the SEO industry is still very much up for debate.
It’s true; while the new feature might well save valuable seconds per search (giving office workers more time to spend on the important things, like facebook) – it has forced a strategy rethink for SEO companies worldwide. Some analysts have even gone so far as to suggest these new changes might well be the death of SEO.
The premise of SEO was simple enough, once you knew a bit about web design and development. Not quite as simple as “put as many keywords into a bit of text as you can” (would have been nice) but was still very much focused on optimisation and making sure each aspect of a modern web page (links/pics/text/headers/tags) were related to the topic at hand. Then it was all about the ‘strength’ of your page, and the ‘strength’ of the pages linking to yours.
The trouble is that with Google Instant suggesting to users what they might be ‘searching’ for, it’s having a direct impact on the actual search requests that are being submitted. There have been discussions upon discussions as to the extent of the impact this will have, as it has been repeatedly argued that a vast proportion of internet users don’t actually look at the screen as they type anyway. In which case, users would be oblivious to any ‘suggestions’ that may pop up. But then, with the standard 2-keyword search, a 3rd (and sometimes 4th) search term is now being suggested, and search results being returned based on this and not what the user had typed in.
The obstacle that the SEO industry now faces is that users are no longer guaranteed to be ‘searching’ for the things you expect them to. In a recent court case in France, Google have been found liable for a suggested search term that came up next to somebody’s name that was considered defamatory in nature. It also didn’t help that the guy in question was involved in another ongoing court case and the association of terms was considered interfering in the natural course of justice – so they got in to trouble for that too. One interesting thing to come out of this was that Google’s defence seemed to hinge on claims that the ‘suggested’ search terms are actually an aggregate of user-based search queries. Well, that’s certainly useful information.
When it comes to deciding how the SEO industry can respond to these recent changes – it isn’t actually at all that complex. There’s a far greater significance placed on the top 3 or 4 search terms, as there are now less search results appearing above ‘the fold’ due to the drop-down list of suggestions. Let’s face it, this is what any good SEO engineer would have been trying to achieve already anyway. But now because the average two-word entered searches are going to throw up suggested third terms too, there is going to be far more to optimize for. Optimizing for search strings such as “one two” is standard practise, but if you’re optimizing for “one two” and Google suggests “one two three”, “one two buckle my shoe” and “one two three four” – you might have an issue. The search results that are then presented wont be for the original user-entered search “one two”, but instead – the top suggested search term “one two three”. The user is then given the options for the suggested term, and the user is now statistically more likely to click one of the suggested terms than stick by what they entered initially.
So far from the suggestion that Google Instant has put a proverbial nail in the SEO and Online Reputation Management coffin, in reality it has the potential to be a breath of fresh air for the people who know what they’re doing. While there’s no arguing that it has certainly made SEO harder, it has also made good SEO and ORM far more important. As an SEO company, you’re now looking at ensuring you do a better job of optimizing pages by traditional means, but also finding a way of optimizing for suggested search terms too.
With all the hours that have gone into optimizing pages on the web previously, and Google Suggest diffusing the concentration of hits an efficiently optimized website was already getting, SEO companies will now have a busier time than ever to achieve the results they were previously enjoying. By that same token, good SEO companies are also going to be in much higher demand.
Just think how much better you’ll fare against the competition if you find somebody who knows how to work the new system?
We wanted to do some testing with Google’s drop down suggestions and see how easily they can be influenced. So we took a url that did have a website and watched when we did a few things how this could effect the Google Suggestions. We used helpmegoto.com as it’s a clean url and added it to some of the positions we advertise on behalf of clients.
The question is how come “helpmegoto.com scam” has now become a suggested search term? Is it because we have set up a company to scam people? Not that I’m aware of. Is it because we have competition who want to smear us? Maybe, but we never use that URL so doubt it. So how com Google has decided to put scam on the end of this url? Well we dug a bit deeper and here are a few more screenshots to show you what we found. In the top 100 results there was only 2 urls that had helpmegoto.com and scam on the same page. They were not even beside each in the same sentence or even paragraph.
So you can see from the results we don’t have the normal sites that set off the Google suggestions like scam.com or ripoffrepot.com that effect many other companies. These are sites are a job board and a site checker which happens to have the word scam in it.
You can see from the image above the site has a flag system that includes “scam” and this is number 1 in the google results.
Again this page has scam mentioned on it but not in reference to helpmegoto.com being a scam.
So the following 98 results in Google do not have any mention of Scam and helpmegoto.com, so it’s clear that there is no reason to show helpmegoto.com scam in the suggestions unless people were typing it in. But here is the million dollar question, why would anyone type this in?
Google seems to have started to suggest “helpmegoto.com scam” because 2 sites have scam on the same page. Now that Google has suggested it, people will now click on the suggestions because of human nature to check out anything negative. This does not effect us but it is effecting 1000′s of companies around the world, and many business owners are not even aware of it. Google should remove negative suggestions like this unless they have proof to back up a company is a scam. They can not use the line they only show suggestions of what people are searching, when quite clearly this example shows why would people search this unless Google was suggesting it.
Google’s recent defence of the Google Suggest feature that it is merely an aggregate of recent searchs is disingenuous to say the least and certainly understates the impact of Google Suggest on user search choices. In a sense they are proposing that Google Suggest has no impact upon searches patterns which implies a misunderstanding of human psychology. Read the rest of this entry »
The French clearly have strict laws and even Google knows this by now – Google has been fined by a French court for its Google suggest yet again (the second time this year) and this time the court has ruled in favour of a convicted sex offender. What is interesting is that Google got fined for suggesting ‘rapist’ with the plaintiff’s name who was then awaiting conviction! Read the rest of this entry »