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Google likes information resources


Author Message
GoogleGuy Says

PostPosted: February 15, 2004 8:25 PM 

Importance: Medium

In this long, post Google seems to advise information-type sites. Also, in my opinion, he alludes to what I believe is an all-out ware against cookie-cutter, boilerplate affiliate sites. This is good, in my view - those sites add zero value when I am searching for product information.

GoogleGuy Says: [Link to quote]

"GG, your advice makes a lot of sense for information or content publishers, but how should widget marketers interpret that statement? Are you suggesting that they make their commerce sites more like information sites, using editorial or advertorial content to attract prospects? Or does clearly written, descriptive, and original catalog copy qualify as "good content" from a Googlesque point of view?"

Good question. I think both can qualify as good content. It's easier for me to think of it as a user though. If I want to buy a diamond for someone, I might go on the web and just search for a place to buy a diamond. But a typical user is also going to want to know about their purchase. Things like color, carats, clarity, and so on that people want to find out about. I probably would want to know about the different organizations that certify diamonds, along with some believable opinions about the organizations themselves and their value.

If you have a "buy it now" site, you're definitely going to attract a certain type of visitor (maybe the most valuable single type, by the way). But the more unique information you can provide to distinguish your site, the better off you'll be. A buy-it-now site with nothing but boilerplate or affiliate links doesn't add a lot of value for a searcher who is looking for context, comparison-shopping, or more background.

This is all just my personal take of course, but I'd recommend building the sort of resource site that people can use to read and research, the sort of site that people bookmark and return to. That can come from original content: a good newsletter, for example, or a forum where people have a good community and discuss the pros and cons of different types of widgets. It can come from honest, unbiased reviews. It can come from providing more information than anyone else about a product. But if there's nothing that makes a site stand out--if a user perceives it as a cookie cutter site with little additional reason to use it versus another site--then you can see where it's not of as much use to a searcher.

Again, this is all just my two cents. :) We want quality sites to do well--ideally without worrying too much about SEO. And if you know of sites that are doing well but appear to be doing it against our guidelines, drop an email to webmaster [at] google.com or do a spamreport and mention the keyword brandyupdate. I'd like to make sure that we keep looking at any issues with our scoring, so that people with good sites can keep working on making their sites better, without worrying about the people trying to take shortcuts. Feedback helped in our last iteration of algorithms, and we appreciate getting it.

By the way, the front page is talking about "The Semantic Web". I was talking about plain old semantics--understanding documents better, for example. The "Semantic Web" is a different topic altogether--more about RDF and XML and (OWL?) and lots of other things.

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