Google’s TrustRank gone too far?
- June 12, 2009
- by Andy Heaps
This week has seen significant changes in Google’s ‘SERPs’ (search engine results pages) after an update last weekend. All indicators show that the update was initially specific to the UK results, and has involved a ‘push’ in trusted websites. That all sounds well and good in theory, but what it has actually meant is the inclusion of many foreign (we’ve seen US, Australian and even Finnish) websites ranking well based on their perceived authority (known as TrustRank) alone. gone too far? Recent comments on Search Cowboys indicate that it may no longer be just UK results seeing this, and that Google Australia is now showing similar traits.
What this all means of course means that often, the results you see are now not particularly relevant to your search. For example:
- A search for ‘Wales holidays’ shows nswholidays.com.au ranking on the first page. This is obviously an Australian site, and I am obviously a UK searcher (using google.co.uk with an IP based in the UK).
- A search for ‘ADSL’, again from the UK shows a .edu (American university) and a Finnish university paper ranking in the top 15, above many UK ADSL providers that you would expect (and used) to rank for that term. These web pages have been around for a long time and have a lot of trust – so much that they are able to outrank UK web pages. (Thanks to Rob Nicholson for pointing that one out)
- Another good example taken from Search Cowboys is a google.co.uk search for ‘family homes Kent’. As it stands at the moment there are more US websites listed in the top 10 than UK!
It’s pretty obvious from all the chat amongst the search community, and the results themselves that this update hasn’t quite gone to plan. There has been no official response from Google as yet, but previous poor quality algorithm updates are often followed by a series of smaller subsequent updates to try and eradicate the flaws. That’s what we have been seeing this week and are expecting to see over the coming days and weeks.0 Comments