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Google changes its algorithm again

Some webmasters have observed significant ranking changes in Google's search engine result pages. It seems that Google has tweaked its algorithm again or that it is still fine-tuning the way it ranks web pages for its next algorithm update.

What has happened?

Google uses more than 100,000 servers to store its data. These servers build-the Google data centers. Depending on the time and the place from which you access Google, Google will redirect you to different data centers.

For example, you might be redirected to the IP address or to when you enter in your web browser. Both IP addresses reflect different data centers in which Google will search for your query (the IP addresses in this example were operational on 29 March 2005, they can change at any time).

There are very many different Google data centers and each data center has its own index. Normally, the contents of the different data centers is about the same.

Webmasters who observe several data centers have found out that there are currently three types of data centers. Depending on which data center group you use for your search query, you'll get different results.

What does that mean?

It seems that Google uses different algorithms in these data centers and that Google uses some data centers to test algorithm changes. Using only a few data centers allows Google to test algorithm changes without affecting all search results.

The three different data center groups that have been observed by some webmasters probably reflect the test of different algorithms that affect the same ranking factor.

Data center group one (the biggest) uses the current algorithm, group two (a small group) tests algorithm change A, group three (another small group) tests algorithm change B. That way, Google can test the best way to improve its algorithm without affecting all search results.

What does this mean for your web site?

At the moment, this means nothing for your web site. The changes are only tested in some data centers. If you use Google's normal web site and if you don't access Google's data centers directly, chances are that you haven't been affected by these testing changes.

To optimize your web pages for high Google rankings, take a look at the web pages that currently have top rankings on Google and try to find out what these pages have done to get these rankings. As these pages have top 10 rankings, they must have done something right.

IBP's Top 10 Optimizer can help you to do this quickly and easily. IBP's advice is always based on the latest search engine algorithms.

Don't go mad about Google. Although Google is a very important search engine, you'll also get targeted visitors from Yahoo, MSN Search, Ask Jeeves and other search engines. Optimizing your site for more than one search engine makes you less dependent on a single player.

Copyright - Internet marketing and search engine ranking software

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March 2005 search engine articles