Things I will never understand about Google

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Making Page Rank updates available to the public
I understand that Page Rank is ever-changing and the numbers we see are highly inaccurate but why show them at all? It doesn’t do Google any good for us webmasters to have even a vague idea of how valuable a link would be from a certain site. It only leaves us hints as to how to build more powerful links.

When Google went live it was only known by a handful of technology Geeks. They created the Google toolbar as a marketing tool that also provided user behavioral statistics. The PageRank feature of the toolbar was popular and helped propel their success. It is now a legacy feature that remains too popular at the moment to remove. It seems clear that they would very much like to remove that feature, it’s notable that the Google Chrome browser doesn’t support the Google toolbar, they don’t need it since they get the same data directly from the browser.

The Sandbox
Anyone who’s truly tested knows that the sandbox usually wears off in about 2 months if you do nothing. I’m not talking Panda update sandboxing I’m talking link building sandboxing. Why have a penalty that once it wears off it then gives the website all the link value you just punished it for. Just an odd thing to do.

There is no Sandbox, at least not the way most webmasters think about it. There is something known as the “Sandbox Effect”. It is not a penalty, it is a feature of Search that applies earned Trust to weight the signals of relevance. It takes time to earn trust and that is one of the reasons why we see rankings slowly rise over time.

Many new webmasters often confuse the swing in rankings based on Trust factors as some sort of penalty that is targeting their website. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Trust factors are applied the same way across all websites, they haven’t been singled out, they just don’t understand what is happening and jump to that errant conclusion.

Why is Google Chasing Trends
Google is not Facebook/Twitter and it doesn’t need to be. Why is Google going against everything that built the company to where it is today. High-quality algorithm sorted searches and now moving over to use metrics and like buttons. It reminds me of the idea of a democracy. We have an electoral college because the founding fathers knew that the public was too stupid to be trusted. Once Google starts letting what people think “is cool” that particular week starts ranking the highest they will surely be putting their company in the hands of those very trends that they are chasing. I’ve never seen a company that had 80% of the market share decide they need to completely change what they’re doing. Growing is one thing but fixing what ain’t broke is another.

This is an interesting question and we can only speculate as to Google’s interest in this area. It seems clear to me that they are concerned about Facebook adding search as a feature of Facebook. That would make them an instant and formidable direct competitor with a significant advantage from their very large user base.

Facebook has already partnered with Bing, a direct competitor that is steadily gaining on Google, which is owned by Microsoft a much larger company with far greater resources than Google. If Facebook integrates search or is acquired by Microsoft, Google will find themselves in a close horse race almost overnight. I think they are and should be, very concerned about this.

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