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Messed Up SERPS

Did Google need to Travel at 88MPH to go back in time?

Google recently announced that they are going to use meta news keywords tags which is similar to the meta keyword tags that were important back in the early days of search engines before they could understand the meaning of a piece of content. Isn’t Google supposed to be doing a better job at understanding content rather than having to rely on metadata?

Another Blast from the Past – Rubbish Results

Another thing that we used to see back in the day was websites ranking for search queries that had nothing to do with the content on the site, this was not only because search engine technology being in its infancy, it was also a result of Black Hat SEOs who were able to instantly impose their will and rank for almost anything that they wanted to.

Updates such as Panda and Penguin were meant to increase the quality of the search results and after these ‘quality updates’ surely you don’t get websites rankings for search terms that are not relevant to the content on the website.

If you think that is the case, you can think again!

Google needn’t worry about Black Hat SEOs Messing up their SERPS, they are doing it themselves!

Below are a couple of examples of how Google are providing totally irrelevant search results.

Search Query: Kitchens Glasgow on Google.co.uk

Search Results: Kitchens Glasgow

WTF? I didn’t realise I was looking for an IPad?

As you can see the Apple Store is ranking in position 3 for the search term ‘Kitchens Glasgow’.

Before you ask, this is not personalised results, these searches were done on Google.co.uk in incognito mode(a function within Google Chrome that allows you to stop personalised results).

I very much doubt Apple are doing anything blackhat to interrupt searchers that are looking for a kitchen in the hope that they buy an Apple product.  How the hell is the Apple Store result in any way relevant to a search query that has such clear intent?

How does the most popular search engine in the world that is supposed to be updating their search algorithm to stop people ‘spamming’ their search engine manage to provide such irrelevant results?

SEOs would have provided better results than Google

The recent Penguin updates were supposed to level out the playing field and stop SEOs manipulating Google’s search results, but if Google had left the above results page to the SEOs, the results would be far superior as no SEO in their right mind would waste time optimising a site such as the Apple Store for kitchen related search terms!

This isn’t an isolated incident, I am spotting these all over the place but it seems to be on the increase.

Getting the right information from Google is like pulling teeth!

Here is another totally irrelevant result being delivered from our favourite search engine.

Search Query: Hotels Glasgow on Google.co.uk

Great! Just what I’m looking for when I’m looking for a place to stay – a dentist!

Again, surely if a dentist is ranking in position 5 (or map position C)  this must be the work of a Black Hat SEO? Surely this site has lots of backlinks with exact match ‘Hotel Glasgow’ anchor text?  Surely the site has been keyword stuffed with the mentioned keywords over and over again and that’s why it’s ranking?

Nope!  Google has messed this one up on their own.

It gets even better!  You can even book a room at this dentist  for £52.00 if you visit their Google Places page.

You stressed us out for nothing

After all the stress that Google have put SEOs through recently(causing some to leave the industry) with their updates that are known to be flawed and have hurt sites that haven’t engaged in any intentional ranking manipulation,  the least they could do is provide us with decent search results.

Are Google caring less about delivering the most relevant quality results and are more focused on making money from PPC to please the shareholders?

Have you noticed anything backwards similar in the search results recently?

 

Gordon Campbell

Gordon is an SEO, PPC and Social Media Consultant based in Glasgow, Scotland.

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