Wouldn’t it be great if Google shared some insight into how they actually work?
We’ve been sharing information about Google’s Secret Sauce for years.The recipe keeps changing and Google doesn’t want mere mortals to be able to replicate it, but spend enough time with us, and let us teach you search engine optimization, and you’ll understand enough to cook up a pot or two of Google-y goodness.
The other day, one real-life Google Bot posted a video purporting to teach you how to how to get more out of information in Google Webmaster Tools. And I learned something new: Google’s Rankings Don’t Mean What You Think They Do.
Here’s that video, queued up to the moment that made me go “whuuuuuuh?” :
Did you catch that? Only pages that ACTUALLY ARE SHOWN TO THE USER count as “queries”. But since queries in Google Webmaster Tools include information about very high-numbered information, either this is wrong, or PEOPLE ARE SCROLLING WAY DEEP INTO RANKINGS, which flies in the face of conventional wisdom about search results deeper than page 2 being essentially worthless.
Seeing this made me look at search rankings at Answer Guy Central, sorted by average position IN REVERSE. And it turns out that we rank at #950 for the word macintosh (amazing, right?). Then again, since Google’s infamous “<10″ count appears on that search, it really doesn’t tell me much of anything.
But wait … we rank #870 for “business structure“, and #820 for “computer support“, with both search results showing a couple of dozen people who looked for each of those terms in the past month ACTUALLY GETTING THAT MANY PAGES DEEP ? Whuuuuh?
Secret sauce reveal, my eye.
It’s nice to know that we’re in the top 1,000 results out of almost 400 million competitors for one very broad search term and over 900 million for another, and yep, that’s a form of Influency. And while I would have thought nobody ever actually saw those results before I watched this video I’m kind of happy to know that a few people did. But … this information just calls Google’s search results more into question.
Were those actually people who got so far into the rankings, clicking on nearly 100 pages until they saw us? Or are Google’s search results polluted by search bots doing questionable things?
We know that “page rank” is finite. We know that when pushed by governments Google will reveal certain things. But when I look at this video I find myself asking a simple question: Can You Trust Google, At All?
The question of course, is rhetorical. But the answer isn’t; You Can Trust The Answer Guy To Get You Where You Need To Be in Google’s Eyes.
If you want to talk about Influency, Integrated Marketing, Optimization, and Google, you can click here, or use the “Contact” buttons you’ll find on this page. However you get to me, I’m looking forward to telling you how to get to #1,263 in Google for “gobbledeegook”. And why that’s actually a useful thing for you to strive toward.