• Dan

    My question is: How do they determine what is small businesses vs everything else?

  • Durant Imboden

    Helping “small web sites and businesses do better in the Google search results” could benefit users, not just site owners.

    One of the problems that I see in Google’s current informational results, for example, is the number of newspaper and magazine articles (many of them outdated) that clutter the SERPs. Why would someone searching for practical information about using a transit system in [cityname] want to read a SMITHSONIAN article from 2009 that hasn’t been updated in the 4-1/2 years since it was published?

    The problem in this example isn’t whether Google is being hard or rough on small businesses; it’s the assumption that a name-brand result is better even when it’s less relevant, authoritative, or helpful to the user than a result from a specialist site would be.

  • Shel Moore

    Durant makes a very valid point here. I have experienced this many times over myself and wonder why the biggest names seem to receive the highest preference. In some cases it makes sense, however in the case Durant describes it simply does not. I prefer current information to outdated. Why would Google rank the Smithsonian article higher when it’s from 2009 – the only reason I can imagine is that it’s a link for “Smithsonian.”

  • hGn

    Does this mean that we are going to see again diversified SERPs on Google? I hope so, because Google SERPs at this moment are really boring. I’m tired of clicking until page 5 or 10 to find something really interesting or to find what I was exactly searching for. I’m tired of only seeing commercial and repetitive SERPs on first pages, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

  • Harish Solanki

    Google’s last update in their algorithm just support Brand product. if we search like any word about product, we will see in SERP just brand product not other small business, which is working with not google. @durantimboden:disqus take good topic here, why google works with those thing?

  • http://www.watchmywallet.co.uk/ Alastair Walker

    The best change would be if Google placed small businesses content higher in SERPs to those searching within a 25 mile radius. So many people still want their car, bicycle, washing machine etc fixed locally, or want a day out shopping, visiting a tourist attraction locally.

    If there was a tab `show local results’ next to `Web’ and `UK’ that readers could see at the top of the page, that would be another big help.

  • Dan

    Serps diversification should be the name of the game. Without unique results being returned, everything just seems stagnant. Having a variety of different sized companies show up is essential to helping businesses of all sizes and more importantly improving the user experience, which Google states is their first priority. I think this change can lead to better informed customers and an ultimately better experience for small business owners as well.

  • Ralph D. Klonz

    It’s high noon for that improvement, or should I say reinstating the local presence. If I don’t enter geo specific query in search it dilutes really quick and goes into lala-land

  • Jonny

    every update only to make more money for google. i think here is no more trust from webmasters.

  • Moe

    Google should give the oprtunity for small buissness to come up on the front top at the city were the website is located

  • http://www.CheesyCorporateLingo.com/ Patrick Reinhart

    I worry that Google will make the situation worse for small businesses. The problem here is that the middle class of the internet, which is small businesses and people who cannot afford to dump tens of thousands of dollars into paid search, always wind up on the short end of the stick.

    Last time Google “softened” Panda, it wound up hurting some of the smaller businesses I work with. I feel like this is one of those situations where they might look into something way too much and wind up hurting smaller guys more.

    Time will tell of course, but this makes me very nervous for the little guy.

  • FaceOnMars

    Perhaps a more significant underlying assumption in your example is that “fresh content” is always desireable in so far as newspapers inherently resembling such a profile (even if an indexed page is outdated).

  • Durant Imboden

    That may be part of it, although “name brand” seems to be a pretty big component. (I haven’t found many articles from the Pig’s Knuckle Post or Nowhere Magazine in Google’s top 20 search results for competitive travel queries.)

  • http://www.hereschicago.com/ Jim Grillo

    I see more YELP results and Open Table results than “local small business” results. Yelp is a review site with multiple listings on page one. Open Table is a booking site for restaurants. The “local restaurant” website has no chance currently to be listed above either one of those sites dominating search as we know it. Has anyone else experienced this? Also, to reiterate what Durant mentioned, based on my research in the hospitality industry, I see “national magazine” results of the 10 newest venues from 2010 and 2012 on the 1st page of Google which is completely outdated and of no use for the searcher. In my gut I know someday this will change as Google improves with future updates. After all, Yelp and Open Table have the funds to purchase thousands of ad words per month, the “small business” operators do not. My 2 pennies…

  • http://puntorojomarketing.com/ Esteban Oliva

    Is it me or this article is on the keyword-stuffy side of things?

    Guess he wrote it fast and didn’t get to review it and notice the repetitions.

  • Durant Imboden

    Question for Barry Schwartz:

    You wrote, “One Googler on his [Matt Cutts’s] team is specifically working on ways to help small web sites and businesses do better in the Google search results.”

    Matt Cutts is head of Google’s anti-spam team, right? One would expect that anyone on *his* team who’s working on Panda would be focused on spam and penalties. Does his mean Google is going to take a more forgiving attitude toward small-business spam? (That seems unlikely.) Or, in using the phrase “his team,” were you referring to the entire search team, not just to the anti-spam squad?

  • https://plus.google.com/+MohamadFahmi Mohamad Fahmi

    I have small website / online store camera, yesterday was hit and now lost a lot visitor and organic keyword, im not doing spam. why?

  • Ampi VallartaNayarit

    There are search filters for a reason. A primary search shows everything that is on the web. Pageviews affect SERPS. An older article has much more accumulated views than a new article, so for a same search term might rank higher.
    When you start selecting WHAT you want to see, like blogs, news, images, videos, from last year/month/week/hour, you get more accurate results.

  • http://twitter.com/smichaelgriffin Michael Griffin

    I’m still seeing links to Yelp SEPRs in Google’s SERPs! Surely Google will work to remove those pages (and, eventually supplant Yelp, etc with Google+ Local) as they are likely siphoning off advertising revenue.

  • Anthony

    Small business ~ small website

    Since most small businesses can’t afford to create lots of pages of content quickly (and don’t have masses of UGC or feed content either).

    Also, they probably don’t have masses of links for similar reasons and may not have the latest in responsive design.

    Of course, Google may only assist them in a limited manner e.g. a plumber in NW London might find their visibility for some commercial phases “plumber in Harrow” increases, but not for many other phrases and searches conducted from elsewhere.

    This is doable if Google focuses more on quality metrics including (spelling, grammar, contact information, competitive pricing, positive review ratio) along with specifics such as price and location.

  • http://www.tylerherrick.com Tyler Herrick

    Google already does plenty for small businesses and being found online, for years now. There are the businesses that take advantage and optimize that opportunity, and there’s the ones that don’t. If there’s 500 storage facilities in New York, clearly not all of them can be listed on the front page. I would go so far as to say that the ball is not in Google’s court, and instead it’s up to business owners to take advantage of what Google has provided for them.

  • http://www.tylerherrick.com Tyler Herrick

    Well then it’s not really a Google issue then if changing your query gets the results you needed… I think the problem is that a lot of people just don’t know how to search effectively.

  • http://www.tylerherrick.com Tyler Herrick

    What a stereotypical answer, what does this even have to do with the article?

  • http://www.tylerherrick.com Tyler Herrick

    This is the wrong place for this question. Try asking on reddit.com/r/seo

  • http://www.tylerherrick.com Tyler Herrick

    Technically, Google does this. Searching for “laundromat” shows 4 businesses within a 1 mile radius of my current search location. All the small businesses results are higher than the directories and informational sites too. When I change my location to United States, all of my local results go away. So in a sense, if your Geographic location is set to the correct city, you should see local results above “non-local” results.

  • https://plus.google.com/+MohamadFahmi Mohamad Fahmi

    Woops, sorry, and Thank you :)

  • http://www.cartuse-shop.ro FreeWorld

    they probably heard finally that small companies lose money and didn’t afford publicity on Google anymore, and increasingly more of them cut those add’s funds… and one more thing… a paradox: why a mathematical born web script/programm as those panda/penguin stuff should dictate how a company of PEOPLE (non-mathematical beings) should act?… everywhere you turn you have to be gridded by rules… it’s unacceptable!

  • Ralph D. Klonz

    Hello there, that could be indeed a factor. But I seriously doubt that we will be able to change that. Rather have the search engines adapt to the behavior and make the best of it

  • Jonny

    it not a stereotypical answer, it a real answer. Even new updates will created for this purpose, when official version tell us different thing. But it lie like usually.

  • http://www.tylerherrick.com Tyler Herrick

    That is the definition of a stereotype: Every company is only out to make money for itself. Google cares more about user experience and services more than any other company I know of. How would Google softening up their algorithm mean they’re going to make more money? Why would I distrust Google because of an update where they’re trying to help small businesses? Sure, Google *does* have components of their business that are based on monetization, but with the scale of their company, there are teams that focus solely on user experience and services, rather than monetization. I personally believe that someone like Google would not blatantly lie to its users about what each update or new product is intended for.

  • Jonny

    google in niche which control almost all of the internet. It more about monopoly, so common rules cannot be applied here. Google also must have social responsibility for small business (because people looking not for amazon, scroogle goods or wikipedia), but relevant original product developers, really relevant information and cheap prices. Google replace their small sites with own “pay per sale” or “pay per click” ads and “pre-selected very big sites”. It not to help, or to improve “user experience”, it way to destroy very small competitors in most of niches in order to make more money.
    What is about “user experience” – it very low now. I myself now unable to use google search in normal way, it return only crappy results (and I tell it not like a webmaster!)

  • http://www.links-building.com/ Morgan Akchehirlian

    I wish I will be wrong but Google will take such steps only in books and not practically. Whatever update they will launch will surely hurts rather than being beneficial. Small websites with average quality content not fresh content.
    Strange to hear how panda helps them. Let see when it roll out. Hope so MR MATT makes it public with his surprising tweet like always.

  • Dave

    Google should analyze the number of SERPs user are visiting now with those that were 2 years ago. I am sure, at present, number of SERPs users are visiting has increased. This is because of news, articles and other unrelated/outdated higher authority sites that are given preferences over the related small or mid size business sites. People are not getting what they searched for in the first page of search results and have to visit 2 or 3 page to get what they want.

  • http://adbizvideo.com/ AdBiz Video

    The fact that Google’s customers aka “Advertisers” always find preference in the SERPS will probably never change. Regardless of how well we follow their guidelines and work hard to compete, companies with deep pockets always have an advantage.