A number of WebmasterWorld members acknowledge that Google is experiencing "fundamental changes" with its search algorithm. A member mentions his own observation:
One big one for me is that no matter how common the search term -- it could generate billions of results -- you always seem to bang into an "omitted results" link before your reach #1,000. In fact, i just checked out a search on the word "the" which google says generates 5,300,000,000 results. And even on this monster, #928 is the "omitted results" link. Hmmmm....
Now 5,300,000,000 also seems like a low number to me - unless it does not include any Supplemental Results. So my current assumption is that by fattening up the Supplemental Index, Google has pared down the main index to somewhere in the vicinity of 5-6 billion urls.
Others expound on this idea and feel that Google's supplemental index is getting larger:
From what I have seen from a large sampling of sites, the supplemental index is growing at a significant rate.
A user notices that his "relevant" result has disappeared from the SERPs:
About six months, I did a search for something quite esoteric .. the air flow in a traditional dome structure popular in the middle east. First page .. found an excellent hobbyist site explaining this thing with loads more info on architectural elements, the history, the why's and the wherefore's.
This past weekend I did the same search. The little site with excellent architectural information is nowhere to be found .. not even page 20 of the results. (I had the reference so could go directly there, and it is still there and updated...)
Instead, what I was presented with, was architects advertising, airflow companies advertising, air conditioning companies advertising, car air conditioning companies ... etc, etc, etc.
Yes, something is happening, but whatever is happening, it is not good for me from a user perspective. Webmaster stuff? We leave that up to the gods, the little people, the fairies, the sprites and all of those good luck charms .. (So, far I've been lucky!)
A member finally grinds it down to simplicity:
Google is still returning relevant results, but they aren't good results.
Do you agree with these findings? Do you have anything to add? Join the discussion at WebmasterWorld.