Since I don’t ever want to be targeted by an angry Panda, and I don’t ever want to be listed as a scraper or as a content farm, I highly recommend reading this link first: “Google Panda Algorithm Exploit” by Aaron Wall over at SEOBook.com. Aaron continues to be one of the most voracious, critical, and neutral reviewers of search. I just hope that as Google continues to throw its ‘do no evil’ moral code overboard in an effort to save its search revenue, that it doesn’t begin to ‘manually correct’ search rankings for sites that are critical of its team, its concepts, and its methodology. Kudos Aaron.
The thing I wanted to focus on is the startling new Google search page. Ad content and space devoted to Google’s paid advertising got a lot bigger. As Aaron points out, almost 80% of the internet using population (and even less when accounting for use of Mobile Devices) will only see 1 organic search result above the fold!
Google exists monetarily because of paid advertising. It exists as the prime search engine of choice because of the quality of its organic search results. I’ve long said that Google is selling out its core product (organic search) in favor of its paid advertising, its accessory offerings, and its attempts to become competitive in other web industries (social networking with Facebook, etc).
By bumping its search results even lower on the screen, Google is officially saying that they don’t matter as much as their paid advertising does. Which means that Google believes that user experience should take a direct back seat to its revenue stream.
WRONG MESSAGE Google.
You seem to forget that if you lose search ranking, you only rank #1 for video aggregation sites, and I know Youtube isn’t making you enough money to keep the whole of your bloated ship afloat. Like the Titanic, Google seems to think that its an unsinkable ship. They seem to think that they can navigate the waters of user experience without regards to actual users. One of the major discussions on our SEO blog is the fact that Google has lost originality, has lost creativity, and has been ignoring search ranking as the prime component of its business.
If this search page does in fact become the finished product that Google rolls out, I’m done. I’ll officially jump ship and set my default homepage to Bing, and change my browser search default to Bing. I’ll also post some very handy, step by step instructions for anyone else who wants to follow suit and may not understand how they can get clean, from Google. I’ll be Charlie Sheen’s magic drug rehab house, just for Google search.
Does that mean that I’ll encourage my clients to stop using Google wholesale? Nope. Does that mean that I’ll start following Bing’s search results, advertising network, and evaluating costs/benefits to discussing a switch? Yes.
I hope that Matt Cutts and the Google spam team still have jobs when this is all said and done. Since Google obviously no longer cares about its organic results, what’s the point of having any employees who are there to maintain law and order in the wild wild web.