Over the past couple of weeks there has been discussions going on around the way that Google.co.uk result sets are being formed to do with “search engine optimisation” and “search engine optimization”. Two of the better posts come from Sean @ Hobo and Andrew Girdwood from BMM (yes they’re dofollow links to competing sites – I am in a good mood today). But for me the more interesting Google problems still remain in their textual analysis resulting in Chameleon search. Specifically to do with tenders – where I have a client that’s enduring a nightmare in terms of CTR from natural results on this term as a result of this intrusion into the SERPs.
Chameleon search – my complaints
So anyway you’ll have seen chameleon results messing up SERPs all over the place – and the ideas a good one. The idea being that if you make a mistype Google will see that you typed a query that is not misspent but due to the volume related to a similarly formed query it’ll place a ‘did you mean…’ response in the middle of the result set. So basically Google understands that “tenders” is a real word, that if a user has searched on it that you may mean that you want the result set for “tenders” but as the search volume for words similar to this, namely EastEnders in this case, they’ll insert a horrible nasty set of results in the middle of the result set – pushing who was at fourth down to eighth and so on. Nasty.
Optimisation versus Optimization and back to all that Jazz
Anyway to bring this all around and whine about Googles textual analysis a bit further for a while its been removing the did you mean if you search with geographic modifiers. So if you search for “search engine optimisation Scotland” or “search engine optimisation UK” you will see that the results remove the offending ‘z’ which has infuriated a number of folks.
And I’ve just noticed after writing this that the problems in Google appear to be sorted as regards the ’s’ and ‘z’ spellings isn’t it always the way. You write a wee blog post and the issue you mention is no longer an issue as someone has fixed it. Having said that my query for tenders is still returning a result set that is rubbish.