Google refining results using "at" keyword

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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Almost every company on the web has an interest in search engine optimisation (SEO), the process of making a site appear higher in the results of search engines like Google. Just as website managers are constantly tinkering with websites for better results, so too are search engines. Sometimes the changes to search engine ranking algorithms are subtle and unpublicised, but sometimes they're big.

This week Google announced that searches with the word "at" may be limited to pages from a single website, where previously they would have just treated the website name as another keyword.

From the Google Webmaster Blog article (opens in new window):

Today we've launched a change to our ranking algorithm that will make it much easier for users to find a large number of results from a single site. For queries that indicate a strong user interest in a particular domain, like [exhibitions at amnh], we'll now show more results from the relevant site.

Prior to today's change, only two results from www.amnh.org would have appeared for this query. Now, we determine that the user is likely interested in the Museum of Natural History's website, so seven results from the amnh.org domain appear. Since the user is looking for exhibitions at the museum, it's far more likely that they'll find what they're looking for, faster. The last few results for this query are from other sites, preserving some diversity in the results.

We're always reassessing our ranking and user interface, making hundreds of changes each year. We expect today's improvement will help users find deeper results from a single site, while still providing diversity on the results page.

This will have large implications for everyone's SEO efforts, especially companies which promote or discuss events and brands over which they do not have full control: it's possible that the event and brand managers themselves will be given quasi-exclusive listings for those keywords.

How will this affect your website's SEO strategy? Contact Webdragon for a free consultation.

1 Comment

    • mietwagen mallorca
    • Wednesday, 13 Oct 2010
    • 07:44am
    • Reply
    last few days our group held a similar talk about this topic and you illustrate something we haven't covered yet, appreciate that.

    - Laura
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