Everyone loves to talk about a winner don’t they? 10 years ago, it was Microsoft that was the focus of coffee chatter in professional circles. People loved to talk about the latest moves by the software giant. But that shifted a bit. Now Google is in the dominant position that Microsoft once was. Google controls the majority of information on the web and that of course is power. And now there is a lot of chatter about what’s going on at Google with some people predicting its demise. In this article, Mark Daoust seems to suggest that Google is on its way down. In this article, Steve Rubel makes suggestions along the same lines and predicts that something ‘Wikipedian’ will take its place at the top of the information heap.
Adding to the chorus of concerns about Google, I’m pondering some of the developments that came from the recent Jagger update. Specifically, I’m referring to the seniority preferences. According to Search Engine News, Jagger introduced a definitive ranking benefit that is now given to older websites.
Now is ‘older’ necessarily ‘better’ for the web consumer? In many cases, content gets outdated fairly quickly and in those cases older content will definitely not be relevant content. Will Google give preference to older results now and compromise their relevance? For example, what if I query “WideScreen TV Reviews”. I would probably not be very interested in a review written two years ago.
The flip side of this is that Google wants to filter out fly-by-nite websites and they want to make sure that only serious web sites get recognition in their rankings. As with everything else Google, the seniority ranking benefit is laced with speculation. SEO/SEM professionals now believe it exists, but no one really knows exactly what it entails.
What we can assume is that it is no longer very easy for new sites to come up in the Google rankings – especially for competitive keywords. That should be of interest to anyone considering starting a web based business – home based or otherwise. If you’re committed to making your business work, then you may have to be prepared to wait for the proper recognition from Google. You may need to start with less competitive keywords and work your way up to the more competitive ones. In any case, don’t forget that although Google is the ‘biggest show in town’, it’s not the only one.