Latest Google Weather Report: Panda Squall Warning

Google last week tweeted another of their algorithm Weather Reports. While it's supposed to only affect less than 1 percent of searches, the results could be more impactful than that small number suggests.

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Given 11.9 billion searches were conducted on Google last month, that 1 percent could represent an impact on millions of searches and thousands of sites. Google's Weather Report may not have announced a major algorithmic shift, but it it isn't something we should overlook.

Occupy Wall Street is protesting the impact of 1 percent. Indigenous people in the United States - Native Americans - represent less than 1 percent of the country's population. Remove either of those two groups from the population and the impact would be far more significant than numbers would suggest.

So while the number is small, we really should be watching to see if the impact is much larger than this tweet implies. The video below offers an interesting insight in to the Google process.

"When you align Google's interests with users' interests as we have aligned, good things happen," one senior engineer states. But, as the medical spelling correction example used in the video does not cover, what happens when giving what Google feels is the correct response actually details the wrong information? Hey, it was less than 1 percent whose lives were threatened.

So while the tweet may have seemed like a throwaway, this Weather Report could be the warning of a greater storm to come. Either way it should be something search marketers keep on their radar.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.