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OMG! Look At These Search Results!

lol at Google

by PotPieGirl on May 21, 2012 · 102 comments

I know, I know – it’s not like me to post again so soon, but I just saw something in the Google search results that makes me laugh my a$$ off.  Let me show you just how bad things have gotten…. OR, it’s a sign that another storm is coming…

So I wandered over to Google today…this time using Chrome.

I never use Chrome, but figured I’d go check on some search results in a nice “clean” environment.

Wowzers at what I saw!

So I searched for a very popular affiliate keyword space - how to get your ex back.

Let me just show you what got returned as the “Top 10 Results” (I had to go check other browsers to make sure Chrome wasn’t playing tricks on me!)

 

 

So let’s review, shall we?

 

#1 is a site I’d expect to find…so Ok, fine

#2 is a wikihow article thingy (ugh).  Which, by the way if anyone is interested, they have a button that allows you to put their ENTIRE article on YOUR site (yippee)

#3 Yahoo answers (sigh, but ok)

#4 A sales page… fine

Now it gets interesting…..

#5 When you mouse over the Google Instant Preview for this ranking url, you see a snapshot of a VERY keyword-stuffed page.  BUT, when you actually click THRU to SEE…well you get something totally different (perhaps the actual site that the url reflects?  Total weirdness)

#6 No Way!  “this site may be compromised”???  Ranking on Page 1?????

#7 Yet again, the Google Instant Preview of that page shows yet another keyword-stuffed page, but when you click thru – a page that is an affiliate url

Now it gets REALLY fun….

#8 A Restaurant.  (yes, laughed my a$$ off at that, but hey, perhaps this restaurant IS key to getting your ex back?)

#9 an Affiliate page/site…ok, fine.  Totally expect to find that.

and drum roll please for the last result on Page 1…….

#10 – a Music and Comedy site… don’t even really know WHAT it is….

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the Google Search Results have hit an all-time LOW.

THIS is BETTER?  Google is pleased with all this?

(I bet their searchers sure aren’t!  For me, it made me laugh hysterically!)

Or, is this a sign that yet again, another storm is about to blow thru?

Whatcha think? Comments are open.

 

 



{ 101 comments }

Big T May 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Here’ a funny one… Do a search for:
Ohio lottery winner

Starting on about page 3, and on and on… It’s filled with titles in different languages… German, czeck, arabic, french, chinese…

That made me laugh.

Chadd Naugle May 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I have been wanting to post about this very subject, and haven’t gotten around to yet, as my site is still in development, and just started adding content.

I have seen a HUGE drop in quality, Goggle touts about the “user experience”, well they screwed it all up. I was doing a personal search the other day, and I could not believe the results. Top site – under construction, second site, not even close to relevant. Third site looked like a 7 year old built it…????? What are they doing?

This is NOT just about sites ranking anymore, it is about finding what you are looking for. Don’t know about you guys, but I am starting to use Yahoo for personal searches, just so I can find what stuff.

Jennifer, I think Google could be on the way down. They have gotten to big, and lost sight of what matters. If I am going to another search engine for results, I image so will other people, and soon there goes their marketshare.

PotPieGirl May 21, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Hiya Chadd =)

It’s MESSY, isn’t it? Heck, I started playing with DuckDuckGo today just to see what other search engines are out there (it’s not bad, btw…nice and uncluttered).

Things might be about to get MORE messy….dunno, but feels like sumthin is about to happen (again)….

Cathy May 21, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Travis Sago might start thinking he’s taken over the internet! LOL

PotPieGirl May 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm

In some ways, he did, didn’t he? =)

Ken May 21, 2012 at 7:52 pm

The #6 site – Text Your Ex Back – is also showing a Pagerank of 6. Go figure!! This is crazy!!!

Ken May 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Oops! I meant to say it is the #5 site!

Dean May 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I have a number of sites that tanked with the Penguin update and some didn’t tank at all. Right now the search results for a huge number of keywords are just plain awful. Your pic is the prime example. Why would they be showing a restaurant listing for this term? I’ve also heard a lot of “regular” folks around me lately talking about dumping Google as their search engine of choice. Something I thought I would never see. But again all you have to do is take a look at the quick migration from Myspace to Facebook to understand anything is possible and nothing is permanent online.

Rosenstand May 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Hi PotPieGirl

Oh yes – there are numerous examples just like this and even worse in other languages than English. The Penguin is really broken.

Andrea May 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I’ve started using Bing and/or Yahoo! when doing research. The results at Google are dismal. I was doing research for a project this weekend for retirement communities. The actual websites were three or four pages back while the first three were filled with useless “yellow page” style listings that gave the name, address, and phone number of the community and nothing more. It was ridiculous.

I don’t know what Google’s intention with this update was but it may have cut off its nose to spite its face this time around.

Joseph May 21, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Google is really ruining their search results with all this hulla balloo algorithm updates that they are doing. i have experienced such strange results also, but these days I prefer signing in to my Google accounts for better search results because of the personalised search thingy.

Wally May 21, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Hey Jennifer,

Both posts today were great, so no worries for the 2nd one..haha.

Yea, I think Google IS happy with this though. It’s their way of letting us piss-ant marketers that they will have it their way.

But we don’t count…the REAL searchers do, and let’s face it…Bing delivers good/relevant results so I really hope to see their share growing, and fast!

Imagine that restaurant though. They probably have quite a few new visitors per day who accidentally land on their site…so they may have a hard time monetizing that traffic since it’s 1000% non-targeted.

Totally absurd.

w

Cathy Goodwin May 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm

These results may be related to your using Chrome for the first time. Google search results can vary depending on the browser and your own previous searches. I got very solid, reasonable results when I typed “getting your ex back” into Firefox. I hear weird things about Chrome.

PotPieGirl May 21, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I checked in FireFox and IE after seeing that in Chrome – and they were the same.

Oddliyl, they’re already changing from the screenshot I posted above.

Perhaps Google is up to something?

Wally May 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm

That’s a whole argument right there you know. Google pushes and breaks their own rules to push Chrome on people, and it delivers crappy results…for whatever reason.

Michael May 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Hi Cathy,

I got exactly the same results in both browsers. I am also using the Google Global plugin just to double check and cleared my history also. But I think you have a valid point. I can see the BIG G will be giving different results in the future to Chrome users to secure even more market share and dominance!( Shhh! I didn’t say that out loud did I!If I am taken from my bed tonight and never heard of again then you know why cats! But hey see you on Bing, Facebook etc when I am out of G’s concentration camp!)

Jennifer great post as always. But you know my SEO stance is changing with all the madness of the search engines! Who knows where or if at all it will all end?

Lars Bachmann May 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Hi there

Perhaps we will see another “animal” update from Google soon? Because this penguin update is really crappy. In my language (Danish) it’s even worse ;)

Mister_Papagiorgio May 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm

How long can this go on? I mean, unless they really want to send people to get their results from Bing- it’s close to a month now- how has this “improvement” lasted this long?

Rose May 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm

This would be really funny if it wasn’t so commonplace right now. It’s getting ridiculous, i’ve seen search results where the first 4 spots are occupied by the SAME YouTube video (Goooooooogle) that run for a full 30 seconds!

MillBucks May 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Hi Jennifer,

Too funny…..unbelievable what is going on with Goggle! Maybe they’ve been hacked and don’t want to admit it, lol. You want to see something else that is funny? Run a search on “text your ex back”….a photo blog that is compromised on the first slot, another compromised site on #2, Christmas ornaments on #5 “WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” mortgage finance company on #6, maybe if you loss your house and you get it back your ex will return, hahahaha. It only gets worse as you read further down! Krazy…..back to squidoo for me!

Pokeberry Mary May 21, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I’m so glad you sent this today! I have been scratching my head lately trying to figure out what happened to google. SEO has gotten to be some kind of quirky magic. I used to search google for anything I wanted to know–now a days I’m wondering if there is a better search engine–cuz google is just not that good anymore. I’m thinking it is a function of trying to fix things things that aint broke–This is symptomatic of so many computer related things these days.

Kim van Hoorn May 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Mary.

Christian Jessen May 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Funny how several of my AdSense / low-content sites have been earning more money since the penguin than ever.. So I feel awkward about complaining about quality in SERPs. ;-)

Jane May 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Crazy, isn’t it? I’ve seen so much of this.
Well, surely my material has got to do somehow with “getting your ex back”….lol. (I wish!)

steve May 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Sure glad Google has fixed the search results and made them better! The truth is Google has their head so far up their a$$ they can see daylight at the other end. What I see across the board shows me that despite all the talk about Penguin and Panda being a success they really don’t know what they are doing. This is really trial and error and right now it looks like mostly error! It would actually be funny except for the fact it is our livelihoods they are playing with.

Chris May 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Of course, I always do research when writing a new article for my site, and I have definitely noticed the exceedingly bad search results I’ve been getting lately. Heck, even when I’m not “working” but looking for something legitimate, I’m finding useless or off-topic information. I’m actually starting to go to (gasp!) Bing.

Here’s an example of a legitimate question I had, and that Google could not answer:

“Will blue muffin viburnum be okay with only 2 hours of morning sun?”

Here’s the results, paraphrasing some of the SERP titles:

#1 – “Viburnum dentatum ‘Blue Muffin’ needs a pollinator” (that’s not what I asked!)

#2 – “Many, Many Pictures of the Shrub Border: (Uhhh … wtf?)

#3 – “Shrubs Problems” – sort of okay, but the article described that her viburnum shrub gets sun until 1:30 in the afternoon. NOT what I was asking!

#4 – a catalog of shrubs for sale at a garden center – NO!

#5 – A blog post about a gardener planting viburnum – no answer there

#6 & 7 – e-commerce catalog of shrubs for sale!

#8 – talking about summer flowers. NO mention of a viburnum on the page!

#9 – a blog post discussing his plans for a butterfly garden in the backyard

#10 – a forum post of a gardener bemoaning cleaning out her shade greenhouse.

I have NEVER received such useless results since using Hotbot! (Remember that?) I’ve been noticing the uselessness of results ever since the update. That’s it, I’m starting a garden site!

This is not only frustrating as a marketer, but as a searcher as well! Google, whatever happened to the semantic web? 2 years ago, they could have easily answered this question. Not today.

Chris

Greg May 21, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Back to back posts? Don’t worry about it. Some of my favorite blogs post several times a day.

Don’t every let anyone tell you that Black Hat SEO doesn’t work. I think that what this might really be showing us is that there are a number of people out there who are quite good at the SEO game, under any hat (and one of them who claimed to be such managed to cut my friend’s traffic from 3-5k per day to about 100 per day.)

I searched that phrase with IE and FF and got pretty much the same results. Going through hidemyass.com gives about the same same result, as goes Chrome’s Incognito window, so it’s not just Google guessing at what you want. Big shows some of the same results and more article sites.

Interesting stuff…

Allen May 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm

The restaurant is a hoot, BUT it is famous. Who in Google was drunk on its drinks?
Although I prefer Commanders Palace for food.

Ionel Roman May 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm

maybe yahoo and bing blasted crappy backlinks at google to take it down from their own index

just kidding obviously :)

bj @ The Work at Home Mom Newsletter May 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I was researching a fiddle I purchased. The label inside says it was manufactured by Masakichi Suzuki, Nagoya Nippon. So I put “Masakichi Suzuki, Nagoya Nippon” into Google. Out of the top five results, two of the sites are written in Japanese characters (the 4th and 5th spots.) Now, I can understand that happening if there are only a few sites about the topic . . . but in this case there are over 2,500! And it’s not like there aren’t other very suitable results in the same western alphabet used to type the query .

What’s worse is that one actually was one of the better results lists lately. Some have been truly awful. I’ve actually resorted to using . . . Bing. ** Hides head in shame. **

Derek May 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Hi Jennifer,

This is nothing new going on with Google. This query space has been doing this for at least the last week and its getting worse.

The same affiliate is using these same sneaky redirects to dominate a ton of get your ex back type terms. I’ve identified more than half a dozen sites they have managed to have Google redirect to their affiliate site. It only redirects if u click the link through Google. If you type the domain into your browser it goes to the right site.

They are pretty much dominating at least 3 or 4 of the top 10 for a ton of different get your ex back keywords.

I alerted Matt cutts to this 5 days ago on Twitter. No response of course but he has to be aware of it.

Best Google has done to stop it is put a couple of this site may be compromised warnings up. But the sites still stay in the ranks and only a couple sites even have the warning.

So ridiculous to say the least. Google is getting played and that affiliate is currently winning big time.

Derek

Alan May 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Has somebody replaced Google with idiots?

Adelle May 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Well when I checked with IE the restaurant had moved up. Their meta description does say they offer “romantic dining”.

Kath May 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Wow, I’m glad to see someone else is getting this junk too. I agree that google is slipping. I may expand my horizons and try some of the others for a while.

Tracey May 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Yeah, I do a lot of online research and I’ve been seeing this kind of thing for a while now. To the point that I’ve *gasp* gone back to using Yahoo instead of Google to search, so I don’t get spam for the first five pages.

Deane May 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Somebody needs to check the drinking water at Google. Maybe someone has dropped some hallucinogens in it. I know these results are not an isolated incident. I’m seeing stuff like this all over. With results like these I wonder how long before Google users will get as fed up as internet marketers are. The frustrating thing is that Google won’t ever admit they were wrong. They need to just come out and say they’ve messed up and get on with correcting their mistake. Google needs to read “How to Get Your Ex Back”. I’m sure one of the ways is admitting it when you are wrong! LOL

PotPieGirl May 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm

hahahhahhahahha! Love it!

Jims_pat May 24, 2012 at 9:46 am

Have you seen 404 Page not found error page of Google?? The search engine, who explain all over the wold about SEO and meta tags, has wrong title of the page. LOL. I think it is done intentionally. But at the end Google is not reliable source to search now.

Roy May 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I have a website that I promote for a client. The results for her niche is unbelievable. It is a very competitive term. ‘A City divorce lawyer’. On page 1 is a youtube video that is powerpoint presentation/sales on the number 8 spot is a website who I swear their only content is “We have moved”. How the heck do you outrank something that should should not even be there and has little relevance. If you type in something like Dallas plumber, you are most likely looking for a plaumber in the Dallas area, not a powerpoint presentation on youtube.

Keith May 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Didn’t I see something in the “Search Engine Guide” or some other industry blog that Google was about to release a new format for their search results. Some kind of directory style set up that lets the searcher choose the catagory and topic in a drill down format?

Do ya think all this mad hatter B.S. is in preperation for that?

Gary May 21, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Google really seems to have lost the plot at the moment, good news for Bing, yahoo etc

Yahia May 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Yea this is really good news for bing. I can’t believe their stick is $100+ above it’s value last year.

lizette May 21, 2012 at 10:15 pm

None of this should be a surprise given the obvious defects of anything Google seems to do. Anyone tried their revised Adsense reports or Analytics? It seems these inept fools at Google think making users click many more times to get the same info they got before with one click, is “improvement” instead of the reality of wasting everyone’s time. Hands down, these folks are just idiots about to take a fall for being abusive idiots at that.

Write and Earn a Living May 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I’m so fed up with Google and all the changes we are supposed to make to hundreds of pages, that I’ve said, “To hell with this!” I’ve disabled Google from some of my pages and and have installed ad code from different advertisers on my sites. I’m quite happy, at this point, to look to other monetization methods and do not choose to be Google-reliant.

All writers should still write and format their articles so that they rank reasonably well (keep fingers crossed here, especially if you glimpse a Panda or a Penguin lurking in the background ready to decimate what you spent years building up) but it’s time for all of us: writers, website owner, bloggers, entrepreneurs, to go back to the land of the living and Google can continue to roll out its tweaks to an increasingly empty house.

Thing are always cyclic and tend to wax and wan, I’ll bet if enough people turn elsewhere for their advertising needs, Google may find that it has lost lots of business.

A good example of this is HubPages. They saw the writing on the wall and implemented their new Ad Program to try to combat the loss of revenue.

Other sites are still struggling, while promising their contributers that they are jumping through hoops to meet criteria for ranking that could change overnight.

Here’s hoping things will change but meanwhile, time to move forward to greener pastures.

Dave@Green Home Energy May 21, 2012 at 11:38 pm

It’s obvious-Google has lost their minds!

Jeff May 21, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Funny but sad. Hope google fix these things befeore people switch to Bing, Yahoo or Ask.
It would be great then if my searchers will come from other search engine.

Jon@affiliatesouth May 22, 2012 at 12:17 am

I think the G team is just playing games and using the “let’s find out what works by finding out what doesn’t” philosophy so one day Matt Cutts will publish a post on his blog comparing Google to Thomas Edison.

Ian @ 3TILT May 22, 2012 at 1:09 am

oh wow those results are ridiculous. It kind of makes me mad that a couple sites have dropped in rankings yet this kind of crud shows up on page 1 for a very competitive niche!

June May 22, 2012 at 1:25 am

This is exactly why I seldom use Google for search anymore.

Sylviane Nuccio May 22, 2012 at 1:28 am

Hi Jennifer,

I guess Google still has some work to do. However, I found that with Google Penguin some trash sites did disappeared while some sites that did not rank before started ranking much better.

Thanks for sharing this.

Genesis May 22, 2012 at 1:53 am

I was doing some research for some pretty tough niches recently, for a client who wanted very specific types of sources included in their article and I could not find ANYTHING! It’s awful and Google has been broken for a while now. I get that they don’t want people to game the system, but what about the actual searchers. Everyone I know is saying that they can’t find information when they need it on Google anymore. We use a variety of search engines for research now.

Manoj May 22, 2012 at 1:55 am

Great! I think a lot more folks should be pointing these kind of search results to Google. They are making statements that “Penguin” has been a huge success – not sure for whom though! We’ve found some very weird sites—- Made for Adsense sites, can you believe— ranking for highly competitive keyword phrases. While the spirit of some of the changes that Google has done recently is fine, whether the results match up to that is seriously open to question.

Blue May 22, 2012 at 2:30 am

I think that you have once again discovered a major algo update (Puffin?) prior to its’ being announced. The Wikihow site you mentioned is now #1 in Chrome! Please drop a press release on this to CNN. only exposure of this nonsense by a major news outlet will force Google’s hand.

P.S. Jen, these issues have caused my to hesitate jumping into IM. Could we discuss that via e-mail? Thanks!

Sunny May 22, 2012 at 2:31 am

Well it all makes perfect sense to me, Google wants people to pay for traffic and only those who can afford to be on the first page will get into the top 10 slots. It looks as if Google is attacking two spaces one being the “affiliate marketing” space and the other is the “SEO Consulting” space.

The only choice left for those who still want to get traffic from Google is to write on topics that require (instructions, tutorials on how to make, how to fix, how to repair, how to sew, how to restore, how to build something) because these types of queries require more than a one word answer plus there is little completion.

Just look at anything that has to do with sewing, crafts, crochet, etc. Those searching for this type of information would actually benefit from getting sewing patterns or tutorials on how to learn the craft. So many of these topics require that the person writing about them actually know what they are talking about so most of the content is original.

Other areas are such as wood working or things that require some type of plans to figure out the construction of the object. For example you can get woodworking plans for learning how to build furniture which come on DVD’s and Videos.

I just think that if one is going to survive in this type of climate, it will require that we look at what areas are thriving right now. Just take a look at sites like Etsy, Instructables, and other handmade craft sites and you will see what I mean.

Sorry for the long post but I thought I would share the information I have been seeing lately.

Alan May 22, 2012 at 2:48 am

Are IM query spaces on Google’s chopping block?

Had Google rather return wiki-how junk, results that redirect, and “Site May Be Compromised” than to show real searchers our websites?

The apple basket has been turned upside down.

Will real people flock to Bing/Yahoo in response? I feel like the answer is no. Google seems to gain market share, month after month. I find myself using Bing as a consumer…… A LOT. The main reason being that Bing/Yahoo is consistent. You can “Bing” something days or even weeks later after your initial search, and the results will be very similar.

Amidst the chaos with Google is opportunity. The SERPS need respectable results and we can fill those spaces….But getting in those query spaces seems to be elusive for me these days.

Some gurus are scribbling on whiteboards, trying to tell us what is going on, and others say that they have it all figured out….Hogwash.

Keep us posted PPG on your findings and hunches……We are listening.

WDE

Helen May 22, 2012 at 6:03 am

I agree -loads of times I have found sites written in a different language in the top 10 -for example in “family travel” also lists Marriott as a top 10???? Anyway, I have stopped using Google and moved to Bing which is very reliable.

Mike H. May 22, 2012 at 7:36 am

Wait a minute, maybe this IS exactly what google wants to do? Show us that they are willing to throw up any crap they can find – as long as it isn’t the site of an internet marketer or a small business owner… ;-)

Don May 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm

You nailed it. Google is not a “search engine”, it is a business that offers a search engine. Businesses can not live without sufficient revenue to cover their costs and include some profit (the bigger they get, the hungrier for profit they get). They don’t care about the little fish in their big pond. Many Internet Marketers are using Google and all of its resources to make money without any kind of “kick-back”. They obviously don’t care about search results that promotes our business – only about their ad revenues. Don’t you think Google would be very pleased if all Internet Marketers – especially bum marketers – would just disappear?
Helen – Why are you surprised that Marriott is in top 10 for “family travel”? How did that happen? They bought their way to a place you and I cannot afford – ever. They have staff (or hired consultant) SEO managers. Do you? I don’t either.

fay May 22, 2012 at 8:23 am

Yes I have started to use Yahoo more too for personal use. Hope Google shoots themselves in their oversized foot. What is worse is they are in with the UK Government leaders. How can the small guy stand up to them? Soon the UK sites will all have to be logged on to BEFORE any access if the EU get their way.

Henrik May 22, 2012 at 11:00 am

Get article.. and it sure much give the Google people something to think about. I thought that Google didn’t show the sites that write something for the search and another text on the site (its really black hat). I think I remember that the president of BMW was down on his knees because they did something like that some years ago…..
As always great article.. all the best to you.. best regards, Henrik

Don May 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Hi Jennifer: No doubt Matt Cutts (Chief Algorithmic Critter Tender) would offer a plausible answer for such crappy SERPs. What it means is that searching the Internet is an imperfect science. Like many online marketers, I use the Adwords keyword search tool to check my sites and usually will hit on page one somewhere. But at the bottom of the entry is a note that says something about results are based on my Google RSS feeds. So does this prove anything? It is a jungle out there, and maybe the Prnguin is affected by the heat.

Keep ‘em coming PPG

newyorker_01 May 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

This is just one example. There are examples like this all over Internet. Excuse for this might be imperfection of the search engine that G engineers always mention when such examples come up. Compromised sites rank on page #1 for many terms, this is just one of them. However, searching habits are hard to break and despite all these failures, not too many people will move to another search engine just because of this.

Keith May 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm

“Knowledge Graph” is a new feature integrated into Googles search results for logged in users. I has just been rolled out and is probably the source of the weirdness being displayed by Googles search post penguin.

You can read about it at : http://www.siliconvalley.com/ci_20637503/google-change-search-pages-include-new-results-from

or at: http://searchengineland.com/google-launches-knowledge-graph-121585

Onefineham Lakes Region NH May 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Jennifer-

1st off – I hope the restaurant was at least 4 stars!

But seriously, Google search results have gone bonkers – I ran the same search, got same result. I also tend to do occasional searches on stuff I’ve done recently to find out where and when it was indexed, and some of those results are coming back really weird too – on yahoo search as well.

I think the “weirdness” may be broader than just Google.

Hope this finds you well,
Barry

Karen May 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Google is, and has been for a long time, slipping…

Seattle Drywall May 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm

But “Pandas” are so darn cute!

Folks at Bing are just holdin’ their breath…waiting to pounce!

Henrik May 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Am I the only one who still love Alta Vista lol….

Sylvia May 22, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I find it hard to believe that this is the first time you have ever gotten this type of results?

Cindy May 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Google is just getting RIDICULOUS!!!! :D

Paul May 23, 2012 at 12:32 am

Hi, all
Jennifer, I just discovered your site, beautifully written compared to other sites in this SEO/make money on line/internet marketing field. I love your metaphors.
I think we need to be sensible here though. Google is not the internet. It provides a service to internet users searching for sites with information they are seeking. Google became the preeminent search engine in fair competition because its algorithm provided more relevant results for users than the competition. Bing are now probably as good but different because of different weightings of all the elements of the algorithms. 99.99% of users will continue to find Google good for their needs and I’m sorry folks but I don’t think that is going to change in the near future.
I love reading all the whining comments from people who think that SEO is gaming the system by arranging unnatural links to their sites to get better rankings. Did I say gaming, sorry I meant to say cheating. Cheating doesn’t just damage Google it harms your competitors who have stuck to the Webmaster Guidelines. Of course, once you have contempt for rules it is but a small step to contempt for the law, which is why stories in the press are now linking Internet Marketing to criminality. I know most of you aren’t criminals, you just thought that it was necessary to break the rules to compete but you should have known better. Please don’t whine because the spam police have caught up with you.
Oh, come on please don’t tell me you weren’t cheating. I have followed similar conversations elsewhere. Everyone complained they were as white as virgin snow. When you look at their profiles it is quite clear that most links were not natural. One was even advertising a link network and another running a content spinning net of ‘article sites.’ Some of you may have been ignorant (stupid) but most of you were too lazy to do the job properly, according to the rules.
Yes, it is partly Google’s fault they should have stamped on this long ago before so many were involved. But they have issued plenty of warnings, plain and coded. It isn’t the first time Google have had to do similar culls, as business people you should have known and anticipated this as a possibility and been ready for it. I was so fed up with waiting, I almost joined an article spinning scheme myself. Yeah, I know but nobody’s perfect!
There are still apparently people ranking who are in link schemes, so not all of them have been caught yet. Hopefully, Penguin updates will catch them. If not, then I guess I will just have inform Matt Cutts. I disagree with you, Jennifer, we should be turning in the offenders. Would you allow somebody to mug you in the street and not tell the police.
I think most niche search results will be improved by the latest actions by Google. There will be anomalies like the ‘get rich quick without any work’ niche where everyone was gaming the system and no up to date naturally ranking sites existed but some of you with decent content and USP will soon move back into the market. As Jennifer has said, it will be easy to rank with decent content and just a few proper backlinks in this niche!
Nobody has taken away your living, you have been robbing others and Google have said no longer can you rank in their search engine by cheating. Nobody has put you in jail. You just got a ‘Googleslap.’ You made some money “illegally”, be grateful and move on.
Jennifer is right, if you are running a business you should not be relying on one source for most of your business. Ideally, no one source should provide greater than 15% of your business, then if one source cuts off supplies of traffic you will only need to tighten your belt; not starve. Look at SERPS and PPC for all search engines, adwords and also offline marketing, where appropriate. Of course Google don’t care about you. Why should they? You don’t give them anything. On the other hand, they have nothing against you but the success of their algorithm is based on webmasters operating within the rules. They believe that their algorithm gives the searchers the most relevant results and this then enables them to monetize through PPC.
Finally, so called negative SEO. Of course it is possible. However, if you are currently languishing in position 250, its going to be a very expensive campaign to get to number one. Anyway, it’s illegal. Sooner or later, the law will get you.
So now you know. Nobody cares about you if you’ve been cheating except your fellow cheats. You’re not running a business you’re committing a ‘crime’. Set yourself up to run a proper business and I wish you the best of luck. Having read all the self pity and bile in the comments since Penguin, I thought it was time someone told you all the truth. No, don’t thank me!

Jemma May 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I totally agree with you Paul.

Christopher Lee May 23, 2012 at 1:26 am

Number 5 is the result of a plugin I designed and sold. I will not name the plugin due to I do not wish to advertise on your blog but if you want the specifics feel free to shoot me an email. Let me tell you what it does.

It allows you to show one page to google which is the natural page. When a visitor goes to the site they get a pop over and it appears to be a whole new site. I know i know you think this makes me evil designing such a plugin right? Not really please let me explain.

I did not invent this plug in to game google. I invented it for people who had sites that where viral who can get some extra income. Little difficult to explain.. I will try.

I use to love N4G it is a gaming social network. I can share a story there and have thousands and thousands and thousands of visitors. Yet it was hard to monetize. Now one thing I noticed is not ALL those visitors came from N4G a lot came from webmasters who reposted a summary of my article and gave me a link back. I figured what if I turn everyone who was not coming to my site from N4G into cash money. This is where the plugin was born. People from N4G gets to see the real blog. when someone comes from anywhere else it would show a offer that is related to the gaming niche. Later it advanced and I could set all kinds of filters like if they came from here show this page or there show that page or if they came from a google search show this page or via this KW show that page. Endless opportunities. These features came later though when I started selling it. As people requested them. It was never my intention to game google or allow anyone to do this.

I sadly no longer sell this plugin and it is now in the hands of people who cheat the serps everyday. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. I still use it today as I originally intended to make some extra income from referral traffic.NOT to game google.

Alicia May 23, 2012 at 5:34 am

I actually think the wikihow and yahoo answers are relevant so it makes sense to have them there, I actually like to use sites like those for niche research. The rest of the results do seem kinda sketchy though, I am not sure why Google is making all of these changes just to make things worse for their users.

Yvonne Finn May 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Hi PotPieGirl,

Thanks for the laugh!
And I could really enjoy it, if Google was still not so powerful
and seems to run the Internet and can in most cases “make or break
a website/blog”.
Really enjoy your stuff!
Yvonne

Clara May 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Why does iphone5.com have a PR3?

Jemma May 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Nothing is perfect in this world and Google is not an exception. I still don’t find any significant reason to leave Google as my primary search engine. For example, search for the term “word for modifying the weather” in Google and Bing. You will see that Google still gives the most appropriate results.

Bruce May 29, 2012 at 3:30 am

I totally disagree, my thoughts are that any time any business gets to the point that it basically has a monopoly on things, it is time for a drastic change.. Opposing opinions are welcome ;)

A. Chris Turner May 23, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I am of the opinion that they are moving further and further away from their original mission of being completely ‘white’ and above the standard, and into a bigger focus on ads. Suffice it to say, they are giving up on the organic and pushing for Google Adwords, Plus, and Places (a trifecta of awesomeness). Say good bye to the SERPs.

David May 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm

The first result for the term “define green coffee bean extract” on Google, without the quotes, is a site about premature ejaculation. Worse it doesn’t even offer information about this “manly” problem except for a mambo-jumbo of what looks like code. Ha, ha.

Clint Lenard May 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

With all of the major (and minor) changes Google is making, while trying to get with the times, there’s bound to be a lot of strange things happening.

Over time the SERP’s will get better, but there will be more updates before then, obviously.

Dan May 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm

It’s beginning to make sense to me now. So if you want to build a music and comedy website you would use “get your ex back” as your kw’s. So if I had a website about fly fishing then I should use the kw phrase “the best ways to rotate your tires”. But if some is spending all their time rotating their tires when will they find the time to go fly fishing. The dementia that google is experiencing leads me to believe that they are in their twilight years. Now I am more confused than ever???????

nightowl May 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I don’t understand why so many people still use google for research let alone for search.there are
sooo! many other search engines available that are far far more relivant than google.I feel that
people who use google are just the lazy unfocused type of hype info seekers.Ask any serious researcher what they use and google is joke.Its really only good for playing the marketing game on.
as all of you good people have implied in the above comments,I say let them sink down deep where
they belong.A bad job is a bad job no matter how popular you are.

Shaefercd May 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Hey Night Owl,

I agree the only reason I use Giggle is for getting traffic and unfortunately if i want a piece of the potpie, I have to play the game. On the other hand when I am looking for or researching a topic I do use Bing.

Like you said a bad job is still a bad job. Keep passing the word and Giggle will get theirs in the end. As in all things in life, “This Too Shall Pass”.

Deane May 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I just noticed this in one of my niches. If you do a search for memory games, the number 1 result is a site that comes with you a “MALICIOUS URL” warning. Thank you very much, Google!

Teh SEOwner May 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I have been posting to Matt Cutts about this market for quite some time, yet he takes no action at all. The keyword you used is not the worst in fact, try “how to get ex girlfriend back” and you will see 7/10 hacked results.

https://twitter.com/tehseowner/status/205421179639562240

Danny S. May 26, 2012 at 5:20 am

Seems like Google’s priority has actually shifted AWAY from providing the highest-quality content and simply rooting out spam – even at the expense of relevancy. Have one link in the wrong place – BAM, you’re gone, must be a spammer. Your SEO efforts haven’t happened to come under scrutiny (yet) – you’re fine, relevancy notwithstanding. It’s getting ridiculous, and Google just indicated they wouldn’t be releasing a 1.1 for Penguin!

Larry Stahl May 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Open market= personal/business choice= bye-bye Google. Economic simplicity!

Garen May 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Regardless if Google is wrong or right they trying to combat spam more than ever. They have had this problem for quite sometime and this is there first stab at it. Sometimes things backfire and as we know in 2003 there update was a miss. I predict that many more people will be starting petitions against Google. Sadly, they won’t listen until big sites start joining together. Will anything ever get resolved from marketers complaining? Probably not. As soon as people start using Yahoo and Bing more frequently Google can pretty much do whatever they want.

Pobman May 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I have been thinking that this is something special Google is doing… the first few results are right, but rather than display a page of 10 perfect results, which may well be kind of the same, they are throwing in wildcards and sites doing odd things.. i.e. Googles logic being if the first two or three links are not what the person is looking for lets give them something very different for the rest of the links. There is a sort of (backwards) logic to that… I kind of hope it is NOT what they are doing though.

Benjy May 31, 2012 at 7:48 am

The results for just “get ex back” (no quotes) is even worse. A French restaurant, a CPA network, a PHoto Blog, and like one relevant site (and it isnt even #1). Oh, and half of the results say “This site may be compromised”

Marilyn Obert June 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I also have a question about google. I have published two articles on Ezine Articles
and there are tons of other products that are not related to my article.
For instance-my article is about dating. How did a roofing company get on my article page?

What’s going on? I’m one of your affiliates and new at this. You’ll notice
this is not a gmail. Don’t want their new policy of giving out my phone number.

Roger Marlow June 3, 2012 at 2:07 am

Yes I feel your pain…. I want from 6 on page 1 to somewhere over 85 on my key word incense…… You should see the “crap” that is in between …What a great service Google has done for all of us…. I have completely stopped any ad word campaigns I did with them too bad I am such a small fish in this huge ocean…. Thanks for the article! Roger

CJ June 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I see cloaking is alive and well! Yeah Google!

Pawel Reszka June 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm

This is why I switched my browser’s home page to Bing lol. When I do a search on Google it makes me want to puke. It’s like they went back in time to 2003.

Lorii Abela June 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Certainly that’s a bit funny. But maybe these sites are really doing something on there SEO keywords.

Crissy June 6, 2012 at 3:55 am

Love this site that now outranks my site! Why write when you can scrape?? The new style… I like to fondly call it… vomit writing! Anyone can vomit up some writing and get on page one!! (search term “camper values”.)

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Tracey June 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Yeah, I’ve seen far too many sites like this as well. I usually post rude comments on them, if comments are enabled!

David @ Juicebox Creative June 6, 2012 at 8:05 am

I will have to check out the restaurant :)

This IS what needs to change – nothing wrong with making money from a site, but it’s annoying to see sites that provide little value ranking for high value search terms, or worse, irrelevant sites.

Tracey June 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

This HAS to result in some kind of epiphany for google. If so many of us here are no longer using it, there must be many others too.. And that must cause them to take notice. One would hope so, anyway

Henrik June 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I have to admit … lol…. I am using Google.

No product is perfect.. and certainly not Google either… but in general I think they are doing a nice job. The best part of Google is that you can use the address bar as a search bar.. in general the results are okay too (I think)…

If you check the other search engines you will be able to find wired results too… right?

Don’t hit me with to many responses lol… take care Henrik

Sunil June 7, 2012 at 12:57 am

Google has messed up with PENGUIN

just search for CONTENT DEVELOPMENT NETWORK in Google.com.

The #1 site is geekswithblogs.net/cdnapps/Default.aspx with an empty index page – NO CONTENT

Hats off to Matt Cutts and his Spam team – getting rid of Spam or promoting Spam?????

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