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glyn

Just How Diverse Are The Results In Google?

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I ran a small experiment the other day to see just how diverse the index of Google was.

 

I must prefer doing these kind of tests and knowing some data fact.

 

So, I wearily typed in 400 Google search queries on the financial markets niche and then created a list of all the URLS that Google served.

 

These were the most competitive keywords in the niche.

 

Of 4,000 URLS the total number of unique domains was just 149!

 

Put another way:

In a market with the most expensive keywords pulling back in excess of 100 million results, according to Google there were 149 possible marketplaces to choose from.

 

I will see in a week what the results are with the new G update.

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How diverse?

 

Lots of the SERPs that I am watching look like this....

 

#1 Amazon.com

#2 Wikipedia

#3 About.com

 

Sometimes my site is in one of their places and the site replaced is at #4. That's the diversity.

 

Now... just a few months ago a linkbomber or two might have been in the mix.

 

Diversity has gone down in some SERPs... but I bet that around October some new linkbombers will be making a move for the Christmas season.

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Maybe Blekko have it right (assuming this is still the case) - picking the 50,000 (ish) top domains and just updating the index with them.

 

Maybe search should be like a sports league table, with X number of domains shown in the first division of results. Then an option to jump to the Sorry Loser League and the Sandpit League.

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Filter Bubbles And Your Personal Funhouse Mirrors from our Cre8tive Tomorrow forum almost a year ago.

 

I have been running quarterly domain diversity tests on the top converting 1000 and top traffic generating 1000 query terms (there is only ~15 to ~35% site dependant overlap) for each of my niches for each white listed SE since 2007. Granted none are top tier competitive niches but there has been an increasingly restricted search bubble in each, with an expansion from G when brands became de rigueur then constricting again.

 

Given that a 'real' query return is, at most, 1000 results something in the neighbourhood of 150 domains with an average 6-7 selections from each should not be a surprise. What did surprise me was the initial low number of domains across 1500+ different though associated queries. SEs - and not just Google - seem not to manage many more 'friends' than real people.

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I as a user don't need 100+ domains for any particular query. I'll never visit them all.

 

An interesting question -- and perhaps one that may be raised in Information Retrieval classes (or should be, in my opinion) is "How many options does a searcher need?"

 

Search engines have been capping their results at 1,000 listings for over a decade but do we really need that many results per query?

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In a utopian world only the best, most relevant website that is of interest to the user, would be shown to a user

 

Unfortunately we have Adwords, Adsense, Black Hat, White Hat, and just Loonies (in the words of Batman "some people just like to watch the world burn")

Edited by glyn

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