Google Search From the Inside

The Google Search Team are Algorithmic Individuals

Early in 2011, the Churchill Club managed to snaffle Matt Cutts, Ben Gomes and Amit Singhal and get them on stage to explain the background to current thinking and future thoughts on where search technology and Google are heading.  There followed an intriguing expose of the ways in which the Google search squad have tweaked their algorithms to try and deliver the best results for the user who is searching for an answer.

The Drama of a Google Search Conference

Now don’t expect to be riveted by the drama of the video… it’s 3 guys who share the Search Office at the Big G.  A couple of things that quite surprised me were the 3 guys absolute insistence on the separation between the search engineers and the Commercial side of Google Ads.  Not entirely sure I believe them… but at least I discovered Matt Cutts isn’t a robot.  The video starts off with his little tale of elopement to California with his sweetheart!

The video is long, so skip through.  AT 47 minutes, it’s fascinating to hear Amit Singhal explaining how they dealt with an algorithmic cock up which put an anti- semitic site at the top of the search rankings.  They held their nerve and didn’t blacklist the site, rather dealing with it by trying to deal with the problem in the algorithm.

Key Thoughts on Google Search

About an hour into the video there is a useful exposition of the the approach to social search as a general tool and their own Google + system.  Clearly the social side of search is going to be massive in the coming years.

Google’s Hints For Staying on Top in Search

What does all this mean for a small business owner in an obscure corner of North Western England?  Lots!

Whether you see your website as your shop window or just a simple point of contact for the customers or family friends who already know you; you still want your website to be found when you are searched for; by name, brand or service keyword.   As a business owner, it becomes even more critical to make sure that you are working within the rules and guidelines of Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest of the search engines.

Essentially, it becomes important to try to provide unique good quality content on your pages that will inform the end user and genuinely try to persuade him or her that you are a good bet.  Since this video was recorded, in the aftermath of Panda ” farmer-geddon”,  it has become clear that the algorithms used by the Google beast have started to measure quality in a way not seen before.  There are also moves afoot to strengthen the role of machine learning as used by the Russian search engine Yandex.  All of these factors combined mean quality, ethical approaches and honesty will win out over the spammy and short term approaches.

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