Saturday, March 16, 2013

Need a mean, Angry Panda picture?

by RJ Delange

Pictures of mean and (not so) scary pandas 

As we are all awaiting the results from panda update 25 for the google search algorithms, I thought to make it easy for fellow bloggers to find a scary, mean looking panda picture to accompany their analysis.

I've attempted to be as truthful as I could regarding the source of the picture.  If this picture is yours, and I have the source incorrect, please send me an update with the right source, to give you proper credit.




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Mean looking panda bear - which actually is a web-cam. How ironic.


Friday, March 15, 2013

How does Google Count? Can we rely on it's metrics?

by RJ Delange

Watch Google fumble with numbers on a quick and dirty experiment

I am not sure we can rely on Google’s counting. I've lost all faith in it. I know that sounds harsh, but in the last few days I captured my findings and the "about how many results" indicator is all over the map.  


Look, Google’s name is derived from googol. A googol is 1 to the power of 100 (a 1 with a hundred zeros).  It’s a ridiculously large number.  Seriously, every meaningful number in our world is less than a rounding error compared to this number.   Case in point, we ‘only’ have an estimated 1 to the power of 80 atoms in our universe (yes, counting every atom in every speck of dust on every planet)   – which technically is 0.0000000000000000001% of that googol number.

The experiment

Anyway, back here on earth,  it all started with a morbid curiosity to see how much competition there was for the search term: Search Engine Optimization.  I had been pondering around with the idea to start this blog, and since I was just starting to plan to make a presence, I thought it be interesting to see how “long the line” was of other results before me.   Since I just started to plan to make a presence with this blog, I thought it be interesting to see how “long the line” was of other results before me.

Results on March 10, 2013
To see how many results Google had indexed on the search term: “Search Engine Optimization”, I went to my favorite search engine, and typed in: search engine optimization. Here is my screen caption on that morning

About 90,600,000 results in 0.21 seconds when searching for "seach engine optimization" on google

About 90 Million. Holy Guacamole, that is a heck of a line. It seems I have my work cut out for me for sure.  The rest of the day I worked on other things (my website, my Facebook pages, and other excuses) so I did not get to write this post.

So at the end of the day, I decided to see how many extra pages got indexed on the search term “Search Engine Optimization”.  

About 97,700,000 results in 0.26 seconds when searching for "seach engine optimization" on google
Number of results for the term "Search Engine Optimization" on the afternoon of March 10, 2013

97 Million. Good grief. This line is growing fast. I started to regret not getting in line earlier in the day.  Apparently, I now had another 7 million pages ahead of me.  I knew the Internet was growing bigger every day, but I'll be honest: This was beyond what I was expecting. Mind you, this is not the entire set (supposedly Google indexes 50 Billion pages) – this was just my competition.  I was starting to doubt my new choice of career.

Results on March 11, 2013

I decided to wait to the next day to see if the results would be in line with my earlier 2 data-points from the day before. So here is what I found the next day:

About 34,200,000 results in 0.21 seconds when searching for "seach engine optimization" on google
Number of results for the term "Search Engine Optimization" on the morning of March 11, 2013

34 Million. Alright, that is ridiculous.  Unless another ruthless algorithm update with a cute animal name came by on March 10th or March 11th (Penguins and Panda’s, anyone?), we now mathematically can sum up these results as: 65 Million, plus or minus about 31 Million results.  Again, in perspective to the aforementioned googol number these are all rounding errors, but for the rest of us this seems pretty significant.

Latest results on March 15, 2013
Let's see what this morning brings us:
About 94,800,000 results in 0.22 seconds when searching for "seach engine optimization" on google
Number of results for the term "Search Engine Optimization" on the morning of March 15, 2013
Ok, back in the 90-some million range. I'm not sure if I should feel comfort, or not. For all I know, the number that gets reported is just the output of a random number generator.

So how much faith can we really have in this number? Mine is pretty low at this point, but Google's faith must be great, right? I couldn't explain why else you would show this number on your flagship product on every page you serve. So there has to be an explanation, even though at this point I'm not sure how to find it.

This section is painfully short at this time, I really can't explain these discrepancies. My plan is to update this section over time with new information I receive.  I'm curious enough to dig and find out more.

Also, I'm quite sure I'm not the first one to notice this, so if you have explored this before and have a better explanation, please leave a reply.

An Experiment ... How you can help
This blog is called SEO experiments, and so here is where you can help today.  Apparently, you made it all the way through the end of this article - so my guess is that you are intrigued by this too. Aren't you at least a bit curious to what number you are going to get served by Google? If so, you can click this link, and it will repeat the experiment on your computer.  To help us gather more data, please post the amount of results you got in the comments.  So ....  what were your results?

Thursday, March 14, 2013


by RJ Delange
Well hello there, and thank you for visiting. 

Recently I have been intrigued by Search Engine Optimization, and the 'dark art'-like methods and strategies that seemingly go into reaching a number 1 spot in Google.  Pretty soon I found myself familiar with "Penguins" and "Panda's", and - I kid you not - google approved "White Hat" and -viceversa - non-google approved "Black Hat" strategies. If you hear it for the first time, it sounds very "Harry-Potterish", but I guess it makes it easy to separate the good guys from the bad guys.

So far I'm experiencing a steep learning curve, and I decided I wanted a place to keep track of my journey publicly.  This is a strong diversion from what I have always done so far.  It's an experiment:  To see whether knowledge is power, or whether insight is more valuable.  Given the huge free resources found on the internet this should be evident, but it still feels counter-intuitive to me. The last seven years of my career I have spend working in a private equity setting, which made it difficult sharing my knowledge for free.  This all changed because my newest venture is all mine.

As I learn more, I started to realize two things. First: Google is now the largest social laboratory ever created.  But right behind that: Access to this is still surprisingly democratic. In other words, getting access to the largest social laboratory ever created still requires only a computer (or a smart phone), and a connection to the Internet.  What a fantastic era we live in!

So this blog will be the place where I will share what I learn about what works and doesn't work regarding getting relevancy on search engines.  Initially most of it will focus on google, since appearantly they now own 67.5% of all search traffic. And I love their analytics-suite and webmaster tools. More specifically, I love statistics, and how they relate to choices people make.  In the same way you might love sport's statistics.

Anyway - thank you for making it all the way to the end of this article.  You represent just 8.9% of all readers.  What else would you like to see discussed in future articles?