About a year ago I told you that Google had rendered their web site measurement tool Google Analytics worthless. It’s not strictly true; Google Analytics provides a lot of great information about your web site. But because anyone can have their computer put up a big “don’t count me!” sign, what Google Analytics doesn’t do is count all your web site visitors or all the pages that they visit.
As Google continues to struggle with which sites deserve high ranking in the search engine optimization wars, tweaking their results in ways that we can all only hope turn out OK, the real outcome remains in question.
Just this week, Google invested in Hubspot, essentially buying a content farm right after enacting content farm penalties. I questioned that move, but in this post about Rock Stars and SEO also pointed you at something else Google did this week:
Google will now let you decide what results show up in your search results.
This is a great thing.
While there’s a real potential for people who have an axe to grind with you to make your life difficult if Google starts using these personal preferences to influence broader search engine rankings, we need to look at that issue:
- Google can always decide that some new measurement deserves to be used against you
- So far, Google’s position has been that personal preference shouldn’t influence SEO results
In fact, Google’s overall position has been that their results aren’t curated so much as indexed. Editorial on that level would make Google little more than just another Yahoo or Bing, both of which use search editing criteria filters that go way beyond what Google does.
And there are others, like Blekko, that let everybody’s opinion affect everybody’s search results.
This is simple: Google is telling you that you have the right to exclude what you think is junk from your search results. YOU win, and (again assuming Google doesn’t start aggregating everyone else’s opinion into your results) that’s great.
Update, March 17, 2011: How Google Custom Search Actually Works.
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