SEO NEWS: Google Experimentation Process Revealed
Have you ever wondered why the SERPs for your keywords can change from one day to the next, with no reasons apparent for why?
Well, the SEO side of the web is currently alive with talk of a presentation Matt Cutts gave back in January of this year; a presentation in which the Google guru sheds light on the experimentation process at the search engine.
According to Cutts, Google run of 20,000 tests and experiments per year, around 500-600 of which actually make it into the search engine proper. With this figure in mind, it’s no wonder the company has gone from strength to strength, innovating and setting standards annually.
It’s also no wonder that our keyword rankings are forever fluctuating. Once again, this figure reaffirms the reality that SEO is a constantly changing and evolving process, and that websites which stagnate will be left behind.
Helpfully, Cutts outlined the process fully as follows:
- Idea conceived
- Idea implemented in Google’s sandbox (risk free)
- A sample of before and after search differences is compiled
- These differences are sent to external ‘raters’
- A ‘tiny’ portion of live Google traffic is presented with the change
- An independent report is generated by analysts
- A committee reviews the change and associated reports/data
- It’s either implemented or dropped
Cutts doesn’t seem to say how long this entire process takes, but it’s probably accurate to say that many of these changes are running simultaneous at any one time.
Aside from being interesting to geeks like us in SEO, this revelation does show the lengths to which Google goes to preserve the integrity and quality of its search algorithm.
Occasionally, changes that Google is trialling are noticed by enough people that they’re picked up by SEO news sources, so if you’re seeing something odd in your SERPs which is affecting your listing, it might be worth taking a quick look across the web to see if anyone else is seeing the same thing – it could be a temporary trial which is test, reviewed and then soon disappears.