Google Industry Specific Search Algorithms

Jul 8, 2013 • 9:07 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

google garbage cansA WebmasterWorld thread brings up a topic that came out of SMX Advanced a month or so ago on something Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts said.

DS: Does Google have different ranking factors for different industries?

MC: We have looked at topic-specific ranking. The problem is it’s not scalable. There’s a limited amount of that stuff going on — you might have a very spammy area, where you say, do some different scoring.

What we’re doing better is figuring out who the authorities are in a given category, like health. If we can figure that out, those sites can rank higher.

DS: How many different categories?

MC: Lots.

The topic of using different algorithms for different industries is not new. It is something some search engines have alluded to in the past but something Google has never confirmed.

Google's Matt Cutts said they looked to do this but instead, as announced previously, they are doing Subject Specific Authority Ranking.

GoodROI, said in the thread:

I have been dealing with different serps for years. Let's not forget about QDF and universal serps. Those changes made me evolve my approach to SEO and enabled me to gain more traffic when my competition didn't evolve with those changes.

Do you believe Google has industry specific search algorithms or no?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for trash cans

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Mike Jessop

07/08/2013 01:15 pm

It makes sense to have different types algos for different sectors. You can't market finance services in the same way as consumer products, pharma or leisure. As a result different inbound strategies are needed and different algos must exist to measure these.

Michael Tilma

07/08/2013 01:29 pm

Absolutely. I just changed companies, and came from one where there were a thousand real blogs to guest post on. My new company is in an industry where I can't find one good blog to do this with... plenty of forums, a few industry magazines with online editions, but zero blogs. It's a totally different industry, so different factors have to come into play when figuring out which sites/sources are authoritative. I will say, perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that there are different tweaks to the algo based on industry, rather than a different algo by industry.


07/08/2013 01:48 pm

Seems like an opportunity to make a compelling blog. I mean, you were going to be submitting guest posts anyway, why not use that content to build up a blog to help with traffic?

Michael Tilma

07/08/2013 02:00 pm

Thanks ethalon... yeah, that's essentially what I'm planning to do, but tactics do have to be tweaked a little bit. Earning external links will look different in my current industry than in many others.


07/08/2013 04:13 pm

I've always seen a difference in industry types. I think the approach of handing it over to brands (authorities) in many sectors, as cited in this post, is "solving the problem" as far as Google is concerned. How to overcome this issue? Google: SEO Endgame

Bruce Clay

07/08/2013 04:17 pm

I have been teaching and practicing separation by keyword/intent, not industry. For any keyword there is a natural behavior and intent, and we have found that intent drives algorithm behavior more than anything else. As a result, with an infinite number of keywords there will be an infinite number of algorithms. Every keyword must be analyzed separately. Yahoo Mindset and initial Google Everything column had the ability to set intent and we benchmarked page rankings and have a good model... but definitely there is more than one algorithm.


07/08/2013 06:31 pm

I explain the latent semantics of Google SERPs - Apple if other fruit terms on page sees site associated with the fruit but if computer terms are on page is associated with the computer company so if we look at industries it may not be a algo tweak but an association tweak - mention phones vs laptops and the Apple example would tweak to iphones vs macbooks


07/08/2013 09:11 pm

Blekko? Slashtags?


07/09/2013 07:29 am

Completely true and it;s like never ending process. As search technology get developed new algorithms updates are coming in play to take care of them.

Spook SEO

01/26/2014 02:11 pm

So true, we're keep on moving changing everytime, as there is no constant in this world but change. Every year, new updates over the web are implemented, new gadgets exist that's why Google keep on updating new rules to handle all of this in the right hand. In this world, only God knows when to end all of this and even Googles Tracking System cannot predict this in advanced of a year.

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