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Monday
Oct152012

Order in Google arguments

Does Google give a different answer if you reorder the words in the search? What? A trivial question? Have you ever tried to refine a search by reordering the words? Wouldn't it be useful if you knew for sure that it would or would not make a difference?

Experiment:

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These two searches indeed did produce different results! And not just a reordering of the results. There were at least two results in the top 7 which were present in one and not the other.

Q.E.D.

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Reader Comments (1)

Yes, and it is not just that keyword order changes relevance for top page hits -- the bigger impact is paid search. Moving a keyword closer to the front influences the choice of whether the first page includes hits that are paid placement. If there is a keyword that connects to a paid placement, and it is way at the end of a long list of keywords, it is unlikely that the search-er is someone that the paid-place-er wants to connect with. And since each impression costs $ the algorithm is being friendly to the paid-place-er by not dinging them for $ in circs where there is little likely value.

Also try comparing these two searches done in normal browsing, to these two search done in anonymous browsing. Even if you are not logged in to G still the results are swayed by inferences that they make about you.

October 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Sebes

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