Remember Harry Potter's "cloak of invisibility" in the mega-series about the boy wizard? When you don the cloak of invisibility, no one can see you. Sometimes I think Google uses a cloak of invisibility so no one can understand its complex actions and motivations. The only important difference is that Harry Potter is a fictional character -- and Google isn't. I went to check something on Google Analytics the other day and found it wasn't working quite the same as the time before. Maybe it's because Google is constantly changing algorithms and "refreshing data." One of the latest changes of interest to eCommerce online retail competition is how your web pages are ranked in searches.
The new "improvement" was purportedly designed "to take out sites that use manipulative techniques to improve search visibility." Google apparently now looks at individual pages of your website and judges each page separately, as opposed to looking at the site as a whole -- so you presumably get more and better coverage of each page. Google's recent "data update" is said to have knocked down several businesses, that included game sites, Dish.com, the Salvation Army, CheapOair, and Educational Testing Service, among others. (You can see the full list at Searchmetrics and many other SEO sites:
Some time ago, Google put out a video talking about "misconceptions" in the SEO industry. In latest explanations, described by writer Chris Crum in "Google Insists Panda, Penguin Not Designed To Increase Its Revenue", WebProNews, Google insists the recent "data refreshment" is for Google users' benefit and not to benefit Google's wallet. Writer Crum says Google Engineer Matt Cutts went to great lengths to emphasize two things:
1. That Google does not make changes to its algorithms (like Panda and Penguin) just in order to generate more revenue for itself.
2. That users (should) focus more on design and user experience than link-building and trying to please search engines.
Cutts called the latest "upgrade" an "improvement," not an algorithm change. (Google once explained that making an algorithm change is like changing a car part, while "updating data" means putting gasoline in the tank). So recently, it seems, Google put gasoline in the tank. No one, except, perhaps, Google knows where that car is headed. A lot of SEO people and Google users are skeptical. (You might want to read some of the reader reactions and comments at the end of Chris Crum's article in WebProNews).
Bottom Line For Your Bottom Line:
Google says: In order for us (Google) to return the best users' results, retailers should …make their sites compelling, make it about the user experience of your site… and make design a fundamental piece of why your site is advantageous to go to… make it a great experience…
For more on Google and the importance of link-building, See "Google Penguin, The Second (Major) Coming: How to Prepare," by Simon Penson, in April 9, 2013 SearchEngineWatch.
Finally, on another, but EXTREMELY IMPORTANT subject, it is of concern to eCommerce online retail competition that Google is strengthening its shopping entity. More on this in my next blog post.