Google Up To Something Large?

We’ve been noticing a few odd things lately with Google:

  • New sites aren’t getting spidered – or not as quickly as earlier this year. Webmaster tools gives a generic message about the website not being listed in Google’s index, along with a link to a video that seems to mostly be about websites that get themselves banned for violating Google’s terms of service. Also existing websites that are growing aren’t always having the new content added as quickly as before – or rather it happens inconsistantly lately.
  • Google PageRank tools don’t seem to be working any more. I’ve tried a number of them lately.
  • While we’re on the topic of PageRank, it seems to be even less relevant than before. In one controlled scenario where we have many listings showing for a specific search term, a PR5 page is showing on the third page, while much lower PR websites are showing on the first page. Sorry, I can’t be more specific, but it is a fairly controlled scenario. All of the pages involved are similar in size with similar numbers of occurrences of this keyword.
  • Searches are often slow. As far as I can tell, this isn’t just my internet connection. Its been years since I’ve had the Google homepage time out on me.
  • Search listings sometimes change dramatically in short time periods.

All of the above seems to indicate that Google is gearing their entire system up for something big. Speculation among my staff says they’re going to try to make everything realtime (or close to it) in order to compete with Twitter. That means that they’re going to try and reorder all of their indexes very quickly (rather than weekly or possibly daily) in order to try and provide something closer to the immediate zeitgeist that one can obtain through Twitter.

Having some idea of the size of Google’s indices, and a vague notion that the number of servers in their demesne is in the low millions, the scale of this boggles my mind.

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11 responses on “Google Up To Something Large?

    1. Jeremy Lichtman Post author

      Thanks Kevin. I’ll probably get one of my SEO specialists to do a further writeup as things progress.

  1. sol

    Nah man, you got indexed for “Happy Spaghetti Accident” within a day or two.

    Google’s probably brining their competitor to SkyNet online, and it’s hungrily consuming all their resources, preparing to nuke us into a band of smelly, dirty, machine-fighting rebels…

    Ok that was lame. I’m surprised though to hear that you get search pages timing out on you. I haven’t had that happen in years. Are you sure that you aren’t just on a slow connection?
    So you think that they’re planning to have a search engine that can find content that has just been put up within hours or minutes? That would be impressive, if they could pull it off.

    P.S.: 10 points to you for using the word “demesne”! If a server is a part of cluster, is it still a separate server?

    1. Jeremy Lichtman Post author

      I think the Chrome OS is just another attention grabber – like Android. Not to say that they’re bad or anything, but they’re not direct revenue drivers for Google. Their goal there is just to push more traffic back to the search engine.

      The stuff that’s going on right now with the search engine results seems to be more to do with trying to improve results, or make them more current.

  2. sol

    …Maybe. Or maybe this is just to distract us from something else even bigger, coming later…

  3. Jan

    Google is definitely up to something. I used to be able to search for the title of any of my posts or a phrase within the post, and bang, have it come up as the #1 search result…now I’m lucky to be on #5 page… However, links to my post from various blog directories now appear as the #1 search result, so I’m still there, it’s just a more clicks away now – and more unlikely that someone will click? Dunno…