“It’s an algorithmic change that changes how we assess which sites are the best match for long tail queries.”
And as Vanessa Fox describes, he recommends that site owners affected by this algo:
- Evaluate the quality of the site and if the it’s really is the most relevant match for the impacted queries
- Think about what “great content” could be added
- Determine if the the site is considered an “authority”
- Ensure that the page does more than simply match the keywords in the query
Let’s keep that criteria in mind as, one year later, we take a peek at how they’re fairing. Here is a long tail query related to a very specific jewelry item: yellow gold stud labret 4mm
Here is a slightly marked-up look at the top 100 results at Google.com, as searched from Canada (so international index, which I have discussed previously over at NVI), starting with the top 10. The endemic problem appears to be with the top level domains .tk and .co.cc, both of which are offered for free to register in bulk. The dotTK registrar even advertises that not only will they give you a free domain name, but they’ll auto-link it with other similar .tk domains. Wonderful.
SERP for results 1-10:
- SERP for results 11-30
- SERP for results 31-50
- SERP for results 51-70
- SERP for results 71-90
- SERP for results 91-100
Here is the breakdown of the top 100 results returned by Google for that query:
Sure, this is a bit of an odd test because we’re looking at a product that is being pushed out to feed partners. But that is a fair test, this is content that is commonly duplicated around the web and Google is doing a downright MISERABLE job of organizing it. Isn’t that their mission statement?
Two things are made crystal clear from this:
- Google needs to crack down on full-domain-spam for TLDs that are free to bulk-register. They are being abused heavily, but only for long-tail, so it’s not getting much attention.
- Online commerce folk need to PROTECT YOUR PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS!
We had to have this client write entirely different descriptions for their distribution feed and website, the only way to ensure the website contained unique content – this is a long, expensive process, but as it stands right now, you can’t trust Google to get it right on its own.