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Google Search Quality Strategy

I think that the Jagger changes on Google reflect a new more careful approach. Despite the extraordinary impact these changes have had on us - it looks to me as if they have not only broken up the changes into bite size pieces, they are also running extended testing on a small number of datacenters.

It occurred to me that Google probably have the capacity to monitor searcher behavior quite closely and I could imagine that they would develop indicators of search results quality by the extent to which searchers dig down into subsequent pages or make subsequent qualifications to searches. For example from their point of view if people are satisfied with what is offered on page 1 then job done - otherwise further refinement may be called for. In addition they could look at returns to the search page for more results and the timings of those returns. These sort of metrics would provide an objective means of assessing whether planned changes improve searcher outcomes or worsen them.

If this speculation is correct then webmasters have less to fear from Google than we might imagine from the apparently random violence done to our businesses. Provided we are refining and developing content that matches searchers' needs we should continue to prosper in the Google space. People making very broad, i.e. single keyword, searches are are going to be harder to please because they don't know what they want, whereas narrower searches imply greater clarity of purpose and more predictable outcomes.

So despite the fact that over 95% of our visitors are now being delivered by Google I am comforted by the thought that Google appear to be maintaining their commitment to quality search results and that their approach aligns closely with our strategy.

Jagger3 still seems to be in that testing phase - it looks like bach mp3 might get moved back to the second page which is bound to impact traffic to that popular page but a quick survey suggests that most of our pages are un-affected. This is consistent with the comments that suggest that this is a spam elimination/correction phase.

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