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Google responds to evidence of review algorithm bias

Google responds to evidence of review algorithm bias

 


In response to a small publisher who published a step-by-step article explaining how major corporate publishers manipulate and circumvent the Google review system's algorithms, Google It demonstrated what appears to be a bias against big brands that negatively impacts publishers.

HouseFresh Google Algorithm Release

The story begins with a post published on the HouseFresh website titled “How Google is Killing Independent Sites Like Us.” By creating the impression that HouseFresh is a hands-on review of what it claims is not a real review, it is trying to disguise what some company review sites claim is evidence of Google's algorithmic use. Announced.

For example, many of the publishers that ranked the expensive air purifiers reviewed by HouseFresh (and Consumer Reports) found them to perform worse, use more energy, and It was noted that the replacement was found to require an annual expenditure of $199.98. Still, major brand sites gave the product glowing reviews. This is probably because affiliate profits are higher due to higher costs.

Remarkably, they show how product photos from different big brand publishers were sourced from the same photographer, likely from the exact same location, with the individual publishers themselves It strongly suggests that you have not reviewed the product.

HouseFresh provided a detailed takedown of what it claims is Google's prioritization of fake reviews.

This is part of the list of sites that HouseFresh claims have been successful in ranking low-quality reviews.

Better Homes & Gardens Real Simple Dotdash Meredith BuzzFeed Reddit has spam links dropped by suspended users Popular Science

HouseFresh claims that while Google's review system algorithm is said to be giving big brands a pass, every time smaller, independent websites that publish honest reviews are exposed to a new wave of Google's algorithm. We published a clear and rational explanation demonstrating that we were steadily losing traffic.

Google's response

Google's SearchLiaison responded on X (formerly Twitter), taking the accusations seriously.

Notable in the response are the following facts:

Google does not manually check claims made on web pages (other than as part of a reconsideration request following a manual response).

Google's algorithms don't use phrases designed to suggest real reviews as ranking signals.

The search liaison tweeted:

“Thank you. I appreciated the thoughtfulness, concern, and detail in your post.

I relayed this to the search team and expressed my desire for them to do more to show more diverse search results, including both small and large publications.

One note to an otherwise excellent article. This article suggests doing some sort of “manual checking” of the page's claims. we don't. That reference and link is about the manual review we do when a page has a manual *spam* action and we submit a reconsideration request. This is completely different from how automated ranking systems reward content.

On a somewhat related note, just claiming about a “rigorous testing process” and following an “EEAT checklist” does not guarantee top rankings or somehow automatically improve page performance. .

We talk about EEAT because it's a concept that aligns with how we rank great content. But our automated systems look at the page and don't recognize claims like “I tested this!” And I think that only makes it better. Rather, what we talk about at EEAT is around what people find useful in content. Doing something for people in general is something our automated systems seek rewards for using a variety of signals.

Learn more: developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/creating-helpful-content#eat

Thank you again for posting. I hope that in the future we can do a better job of dealing with these types of issues. ”

Does Google prioritize big brands?

I've been working in SEO for 25 years in practice, and there was a time in the early 2000s when Google showed a bias against big corporate brands based on the amount of PageRank a web page had. Google has since reduced the impact of his PageRank score, reducing the amount of irrelevant big brand sites littering search results pages (SERPs).

This wasn't an example of Google favoring big, trusted brands. It was an example of their algorithm not working as intended.

It's very likely that there are signals in Google's algorithm that unintentionally favor big brands.

If we infer what kind of signal is responsible, we infer that it is a signal related to the user's preferences. His recent Google Navboost testimony in the Google antitrust case revealed that user interaction is an important signal related to rankings.

This is just my speculation about whether Google's reliance on user signals is having inadvertent consequences, something I've been pointing out for years (Google's Froot (See Loops Algorithm).

Read the discussion on Twitter:

What do BuzzFeed, Rolling Stone, Forbes, PopSci, and Real Simple have in common?

Read the HouseFresh article:

How Google is crushing independent sites like us

Featured image by Shutterstock/19 STUDIO

Will presenting a rigorous testing process in my FAQ content affect my Google rankings?

Providing a rigorous testing process and claims of thoroughness of content are beneficial for user perception, but they alone do not affect Google rankings. A response from Google makes this point clear.

The algorithm goes beyond mere rigorous testing claims and focuses on factors related to the usefulness of content as perceived by users. The claim of “rigorous testing process” does not in itself rank signals. Content creators need to focus on truly meeting their audience's needs and providing value. This is consistent with Google's ranking principles. What steps does Google take to verify the accuracy of web page claims?

Google does not manually check the factual accuracy of web page claims. Their algorithms focus on evaluating content quality and relevance through an automated ranking system. His EEAT concept at Google is designed around how to rank useful content, but does not require manual review unless there is a specific spammy reconsideration request. This separates factual scrutiny from automated content ranking mechanisms.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-responds-to-evidence-of-reviews-algorithm-bias/508775/

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