First of all, I’d like to say that I’m a Google fan in general, but there is something I really hate about it. What I hate is the assumption from their staff (except the Google Chrome Team team, Ilya etc that are the FABOLOUS) that when you spot and report something you are at first considered “DUMB”.
I’m an honest man and everything I approach in my life start from a strong and solid point: “Respect and Ethics”.
During the latest years, I submitted various reports, both public and private to some Google Engeneers and to various spam reports, but all went in a blackhole.
Sometimes they reply:
“you should use site:domainname” to check if…
Google uses lot’s of factors to determine if…
etc etc etc. Not to be assumptive, but, Always the same old story! I know all of this pretty well and also demonstrated in the past that we as SEO know the search engine better than their staff or their documentation.
We are here to help you Google, and for free, so please don’t consider us DUMB. Maybe say thank you or at least listen to us.
Now that you read the incipit, you’ll understand the “why” of this post.
I’m tired and frantic! I spent all my career on stressing the importance of being honest, diligent, respectful of the rules. You should never fall into the temptation to cheat Google, cause good SEO is about helping Google finding relevant informations and not being the first on any kind of SERPs. You must deserve to be first cause you are the most relevant result, not because you think you are the best!
We as SEO have a huge responsibility and honesty should be the basis of our work.
Unfortunately, honesty is not something Google promote, or, if you prefer, they don’t demote dishonesty…but skip now to the main topic of the post.
The Google “Top stories” trick to dominate Google.
In one simple word: popularity + quantity.
What determines popularity? Lot’s of factors as all we know, but POPULARITY is far away from AUTHORITY or TRUSTABILITY! Remember this cause it’s a very important aspect of how the search engine is tricked every day since a long time.
For those of you that are already bored by the post go to TL: DR.
For the others now I’ll show you some basic evidence of the pattern and then attach a dropbox folder with all the proof that this is not an isolated case, but the norm.
Symbol changes every 5/10 minutes
The pattern is always the same. Use a set of symbols [ “,” / “:” / “~” / “|” / ” : ” / “-“] etc.. etc… just to create a simulation of change like the following
- METEO ITALIA – Weekend, ritorna il vortice IGOR, nubifragi al NORD [VIDEO]
- METEO ITALIA: Weekend, ritorna il vortice IGOR, nubifragi al NORD [VIDEO]
- METEO ITALIA ~ Weekend, ritorna il vortice IGOR, nubifragi al NORD [VIDEO]
- METEO ITALIA | Weekend, ritorna il vortice IGOR, nubifragi al NORD [VIDEO]
- METEO ITALIA : Weekend, ritorna il vortice IGOR, nubifragi al NORD [VIDEO]
then change the publication date.
KISS is a pretty true concept.
Ah! Oh! Remember. Never stop updating…even when everybody sleeping. You are the biggest editorial press of the world.
If you want to smile go deep inside the following trip
You will say…but you are showing only the “TITLE”. Maybe they are changing the content!
Yes sure. I don’t have time to waste so I created a script screenshotting a sample of pages. I also have very old screenshots of SERPs. If you want to go deeper in spam detection do your homework.
Following a dropbox folder where you can analyze everything and simply demonstrate that the content is always the same. Usually based on the article updates can last days or stop after a single day.
Download the archive. 2GB File.
And just to joke a little bit, I’d like to show to Googlers how to use site operator: a comparison between the publication frequency between a monothematic website and one of the biggest Italian newspaper covering all kinds of topics.
Pretty incredible. Don’t you think?
What to do?
Well, from a technical standpoint the answer is simple: do the same! 2 lines of code.
But we are SEOs. We work for high authority websites and we have a huge responsibility in what we do and in the impact of our decision and behavior cause those being can affect millions of people every day.
Yes. Millions. You read right. Weather keywords are very high volume keywords.
Some years ago the same “artful” website was hitten by a rich snippet spam penalties cause of fake ratings, but leveraged after less than 1 day. Is not the first time!
3BMeteo is a company highly focused on research, technology, people, editorial choices. It gives weather data to a lot of companies small, medium and big.
For 3BMeteo weather is not a game. It’s a job, it’s a business, it’s a way of leaving.
We should concentrate on making our forecast every day better&better and not waste time in tricking Google or emulating the non sensical behavior.
What should Google do?
The simple answer is to fix their algo.
The better answer is to not push the “Top stories” box everywhere and anytime without any sense. Looks at the various CTR of Weather News and you will see that people don’t care a lot about those. They care about weather forecasts, so stop enabling those completely useless news favoring content farms.
Weather SERPs are a mess since a long time. The weather box using weather.com. In Italy, weather.com is not good at all. Consider using an Italian data provider or let the user choose the data provider. Stop showing news. Stop showing Weather conditions for Macro-Region in the way you show it cause they are not appropriate and useless.
Consider what you always say: “Improve UX”. Now you are only pushing your own features.
The “Top Stories” box is usually a quantity-driven and very trivial algo, that uses popularity as the main decision-making ordering.
In order to dominate SERPS you should:
- identify a high volume keywords niche not crowded by news-related contents
- start creating tons of articles like a content farm
- induce google to think you have an editorial team of 10.000 people working 24 hours a day – more than the biggest press agency of your country.
- write 2 or 3 real article per day and updating the publishing date every 5/10 minutes and simply change a symbol in the title.
Google want to beat “Fake news” and “scaling difficult problems”, but it is lacking the basic and all those small things that make a great product.
Google we trust you! Don’t loose what made you what you are.