- Some business owners who depend on Google driving Internet users to their Web sites are angry over a change to the top search engine’s ranking system, which they say threatens to dent their revenue during the holiday shopping season.
One San Francisco retailer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Tuesday the change sent his company’s rank among Google search results from No. 1 to No. 250.
….Wayne Rosing, vice president of engineering at Google, said the change is part of the Silicon Valley-based company’s efforts to provide high-quality search results.
“This particular change affected more people, but our testing shows there was a significant quality improvement for our users,” said Rosing.
Andrew Goodman, principal at search advertising consulting firm Page Zero Media, said the volume of the complaints has risen in the past week and that most appear to come from people who use or teach various techniques, such as repeating certain words on their Web pages, to boost rankings.
“It’s part of an attempt to weed out sites that rank higher than they should,” said Goodman, who added that Google has long played a game of “cops and robbers” with Web site operators and consultants looking for an unfair edge on competitors.
….Talk of an initial public offering has helped fuel allegations that Google made the ranking changes to pump up its all-important advertising revenues ahead of a stock sale.
Rosing said there is no truth in such charges.
Google’s advertising and search businesses “are completely separated, there is no linkage between the two,” Rosing said.
“There are tons of ways that people have used to fool Google (to get a better ranking). I really do believe they’re trying to improve the quality of their results,” Goodman said. [Reuters]
So Google claims it made the changes to fortify the system against those who were gaming it and ranking higher than they “deserved” to. Hmm.
Let me just say that my love for all search engines is boundless and undying.