Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.


Google is Broken

I'm not a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert, but I do keep informed of the variables that impact search engine ranking. Any web design/development team should be informed as the structure and navigation of a web site will impact searchability and user experience.

In the course of monitoring some of our web sites, I've recognized that Google's results are, in many cases, quite different from its competition. You can see how dissimilar the results are using the Thumbshots Ranking tool. Google might say that this is as a result of their algorithm being unique, and that they are providing the superior service.

A quick comparison of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) provided by Google, MSN and Yahoo does not support this superior service position. The results from Google are just as likely to produce nonsense pages, or those that are unrelated to the key word/term search.

There are many inconsistencies in the technical details that search engine professionals are currently discussing. There are a few web sites devoted to the topic. Many of these discussions stretch back to the infamous Florida Update.

So, Google continues to dominate the marketplace. Why? Because people already trust the Google brand. The value of their public offering is proof enough. Some conspiracy theorists might question the timing of all this in conjunction with the IPO. Not I...

But things move fast online. A quick search - using Google - of "google broken" found 3,930,000 references. MSN Beta is set to challenge, and Netscape (once the dominant browser) stands as an example of how Microsoft can eat up the competition.

In a battle of these billion dollar brands, who will win?