Google Closing the Window of Opportunity

Danny reported that Google is moving away from listing news articles in a OneBox, and instead places news results directly in the search results. In the past these pages would require building up significant trust criteria (linkage data, etc.) before being considered for a top organic ranking, but now their editorial inclusion in Google news is giving them a free pass to a top ranking for relevant search queries. This helps Google in 4 major ways

  • Google is far from being the top news site, so this allows them to arbitrage the value of the news vertical using their core search results, while still keeping the search results relevant.

  • This allows Google to put ads against their news products, which they have yet to attempt at
  • This allows Google to funnel more traffic to trusted content sources, and thus help subsidize the content creation costs, while making those sources more addicted to Google's traffic.
  • Overrepresenting fresh trusted editorial content sources in the organic search results gives the organic search results an informational bias, allows Google to start working to depreciate their weighting on fresh blog stories, and lowers the value of small focused commercial sites (unless they are of a high enough quality to get press coverage).

Webmasters owning niche or seasonal sites that enjoyed temporal exposure will discover there are fewer traditional top 10 results that are open for the taking, because fresh news stories will fill in a few more slots.

In Addition, Google just announced web history, which allows you to search through documents you viewed in the past. Web history will help improve search personalization. If web history also directly becomes part of the organic search results then sites which can afford to spend a lot on advertising will also have another advantage over smaller sites.

Published: April 20, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


April 22, 2007 - 3:20am

Do you think this is going to lead to a shift in tactics towards the importance in using services like PRweb to inject directly into the organic results?

April 22, 2007 - 3:34am

I think certain news sources will be allowed in Google news without being given as much pull in direct organic inclusion.

Barry Welford
April 22, 2007 - 1:46pm

Luckily the news media folk have learned how to write headlines (titles) for items that will work well in a physical setting with a physical reader. I'm not sure how quickly they'll start applying SEO knowledge in writing their content. OK they have the links but we may have the content.

Jim Crysallis
April 22, 2007 - 11:50pm

News media is learning to write short-attention content, because they're studies prove that's what people want. That's also what they search for online. So I could see a 'relevancy' lean towards the big news outlets from G, despite the 'content is king' mantra they have! Those algorithms get changed so quickly, hmm...

Russell Rockefeller
April 23, 2007 - 10:26pm

This is somewhat related to the above article, but I'm interested in learning if Google or other search engines have a bias toward top level domains. For instance, does a .com rank better than a .net or a .info in terms of a relevancy score?

MD Feinx
April 24, 2007 - 1:11am

LOL lol LoL lOl loL,

this is what is going to happen,
this is going to be what happens,
what happens is going to be this,

new way to get top seo listings spam news
new seo news spam gets top listings
spam news new way gets top seo listings

ok by now you get it, this will be a new backdoorfor blackhats and search engine spam. you will see alot of repeating listing with word place changes. in the end this will be great for solid content sites and semantic relationships between sites. in the short run look for aout a year of odd listings.

MD Feinx

April 26, 2007 - 4:19pm

Interesting take on where Google is headed.

I've long thought that algorithm search would not be able to last ONCE real innovation in editorial search (human directed) came about.

The unfortunate thing is that while there is a lot of raw material on the web right now for successful editorial search, innovation costs-Google is able to charge ahead into this space because they have deep enough pockets.

Is this true innovation-or is it a modern day monopoly in the making? THAT is the question-I have my own opinions on the answer to that question, it will be interesting to see what plays out.
April 20, 2007 - 4:41am

Aaron, I only know this... When I type "seo" into my address bar, your site comes up first in the "suggestions" that come up. This occurs even though their are other sites that start with "seo" that I often visit.

And btw, you are totally forgetting the old adage that states "Everytime Google closes a window of opportunity, it opens up a small pet door located in an unexpected location that is nearly visible if you squint and are looking at the ceiling of the structure that is next door to where ever you are at and are not frightened away by the "Beware of the leopard" sign in front of it.

Editorial note: Beware of the leopard comment is lovingly dedicated to Douglas Adams.
April 20, 2007 - 1:01pm

Locked filing cabinets aside for a moment, there will always be opportunities because niche readers will seek out niches. Sooner or later if G! continue to squeeze they will cause the rise of the specialist directory which will probably rank very well in the SERPs. That and people are getting irritated with the big G! and looking to the other leaders for results.

Additionally when a group finds ways to silence minorities those same "silenced" ones find other ways to be heard. Rest assured that by making the news agencies (who are hardly bastions of truth) the primary result sources it will hurt G! more than they seem to estimate but less than we hope.

Tim Linden
April 20, 2007 - 2:30pm

Well I think the whole linking your toolbar to your search history is a little scary. It's probably been over discussed before..

Nate Moller
April 21, 2007 - 12:31am

The Web History tool can be good for eCommerce sites if I understand it correctly: if a first time client selects your site and visits via Google, then when they come back and search for that product again (if they didn't buy from you the first time), your site will show up as a recently visited site. Am I understanding this correctly? Good information. Thanks.

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