November 2, 2022
what Google doesnt know

What Google Doesn’t Know…Yet

what Google doesnt knowGoogle might be the most powerful search engine, but it’s not yet complete.

“Google doesn’t know what it doesn’t know.” That’s the answer I give to anyone who asks why the most widely used search engine changes its algorithms so often and sometimes, so big. My answer explains why it dropped Authorship and why Google+ is undergoing yet another change. The insight gets to the core of a very stark reality–Big G is ultimately powered by people. The same people who are working to build a complex system without much of a roadmap, if any.

Google is Navigating Uncharted Waters

Think about it, what model do the engineers at Google follow? To which system do they look to for guidance? What entity has built such a machine before that can be reverse engineered? There is none, which explains why Google makes so many changes–because this level of sophistication has never been done.

Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a “major” algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways. For search marketers, knowing the dates of these Google updates can help explain changes in rankings and organic website traffic and ultimately improve search engine optimization. —

Sure, there were other search engines that preceded and there’s always the possibility another will surface and come to dominate market share. For the foreseeable future, Google has the reigns while we are on the outside, watching (at least in-part) the sausage being made. Even though we aren’t on the inside, we are still very much a part of the process because it’s user behavior which helps to shape how the search engine works. As we collectively change, Google must adapt. Since the software engineers lack an accurate crystal ball, changes will be not only proactive, but also, responsive.

Your Business and Google

While the search engine is certainly more sophisticated than it was just four years ago, it still is evolving. The proof can be seen in the largest algorithms, like Panda, which debuted in February 2011, followed by Penguin, which rolled out for the first time in mid 2012 and Hummingbird in late August of 2013. Thereafter Pigeon can online in mid 2014. These introductions can as a response. The reason largely being that some untoward SEOs were trying to promote sites outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. That will continue for the foreseeable future and the search engine will respond accordingly.

The point is that search is dynamic, as is ranking, just like your business. Google might be the largest search engine but it doesn’t determine the future of your business, that’s up to you. It’s only one of many tools at your disposal and any changes it makes are just part of the maturity process.

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search, and similar news. History buff, movie, and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband.     

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