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Will Google Hurt Your Site By Improving Itself?
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Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 12601
Location: Texas

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject: Will Google Hurt Your Site By Improving Itself?  

Are we getting ready to see a massive overhaul of Google or just some expansion of what we’ve already seen for years. That’s the question. Either way, it appears Google wants to keep users more on its own sites and less on other people’s sites.

If Google can give users what they need without sending them to other sites, that makes the user experience better doesn’t it? On the other hand, it could hurt a lot of other sites and businesses in the process, depending on how certain things play out. Do you think Google should do more to keep users from having to click through to third-party websites?

What Is Google Planning?
The Wall Street Journal put out this huge article about changes brewing with Google (specifically, the company’s search engine) that would make you think search as you know it is about to be turned on its head. Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land provides some good analysis and what he calls a “reality check”.

The truth about it all is that much of what the WSJ article discusses has been part of Google for a while. However, that does not mean that there is not a bigger picture takeaway we should get out of that article – the direction Google is moving in, which does have large implications for sites (and therefore businesses), competition in search and social media, and advertising. It also sounds like Google is getting more aggressive in the strategy.

Okay, so what is the strategy? Basically, it’s about providing more direct answers in search results. Much of what the article discusses sounds like what Google has been doing with Google Squared, as Danny mentions.

Where Google’s Changes Are Coming From
Google really started using the Squared technology to provide direct answers in search results in 2010.

If you read the WSJ article, however, you discover (near the end) that it’s more about (or at least additionally about) Google’s acquisition of Metaweb Technologies (also in 2010). Here’s a snippet of Google’s announcement about the Metaweb acquisition from back then:

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