Last call for “no results” pages

This is the last call for “noresult” pages. If you want to mention examples, please send them to us this week. Here’s how to do it.

20 Responses to Last call for “no results” pages (Leave a comment)

  1. Matt

    This is a very worthy route to go down.

    In line with the SEO Transparency discussion, which was the second most requested issue that your survey threw up for Google to look at, I’d like to pose the questions:

    1. How will you define something a page as not adding value?

    2. Will this be manually or automatically?

    3. What visibility of this being introduced will/should there be along with what detail of guidelines?

    4. Do you envisage edge cases that could technically fall foul but should not be penalised? e.g. a wiki based resource that really is trying to get the community to contribute – regardless of whether the ultimate aim is for profit or not as that should be no issue of Google’s or anyone else’s.

    5. What form will penalties take?

    6. Should Webmasters be informed of any action? Should this be in the form of a warning or after the event?

    I’d really welcome your comments and the comments of others reading this – either here or on my blog/site set up to try and lead the way on SEO transparency: http://www.knowmysite.com – add /blog for the blog. Most of the questions I have posed are generic Transparency issues and I am not trying to hijack your posting :-). I just think that this would be a great opportunity to analyse some of these issues in parallel.

    Thanks in advance for any input

    Grahame

  2. No Result Types

    1. No Product Reviews
    2. No Movie Reviews
    3. Heading/Title does not match the Content/Info/Irrelvant Results
    4. There is no Content/Info, only heading / title
    5. Old info performing on search engines but the trend/technologies are changed, so what we expected that is not on top position

  3. Yehoram Tzadok

    Hi Matt…
    I have a question about the usage of labels in Google…
    This is a question that i originally posted in the web search help:

    “I’m using labels a lot on Google products (Gmail, Bookmarks, Reader, etc.)
    I was wondering if there could be web search page of a mashup of all the products of Google that uses ‘Labels’?
    (So I could search in just one location for any of my labels and find all related results in Gmail, Reader, etc…)
    And if there isn’t any – who can i suggest it to?

    And while I’m on the subject, how about unifying all the labels in the different products per user?
    I mean, if I’m adding a label in the Bookmarks – why not add it automatically to my Gmail? :)
    Again, who can I suggest this to?”

    (source: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Web+Search/thread?tid=2d3538b30a85d584&hl=en )

    Anyway, I thought maybe you would be interested, and might have an answer.. :)

    Thanks a lot in advanced,
    And sorry if you’re not the address i should’ve turn to…
    Yehoram.

  4. Dominic Parker

    How about Youtube videos that have been removed? I find it irritating when I see a Youtube result in a SERP only to go there and find the ‘This video has been removed’ or ‘No longer available’ message

  5. This is a really badly thought out initiative, Matt. What provision will Google make to help new sites that have not had a chance to get the consumer-generated content they’ll be looking for?

  6. GilR

    Hey Matt, I think this is great. What should a UGC Q&A site do? The pages begin as empty (only containing an unanswered question), but then users add answers. How can we get Google to ignore these pages when they’re unanswered and then index them when they’re answered? Google finds our new questions very quickly, when they’re unanswered, and then the question gets answered but Google doesn’t revisit it for weeks. Often the Q&A is timely, and becomes irrelevant by the time Google notices that it has an answer.
    Thanks!

  7. Marcus Deglos

    Michael,
    For me, Google is there to give me the most accurate search results possible. If I’m searching for ‘foo reviews’, I probably want to read a review of ‘foo’, not write one.
    Sites can generate UGC by providing a service worth remembering and recognising…if I’ve read a useful review on a site, I might go back for more, and if I like the site I might end up writing a review.
    Google search isn’t there to provide a free advertising service – if a site doesn’t have any relevant content, I don’t want to know about it.
    Now if a site appeared in the search results with the heading “Write a review for foo”, I would appreciate the honesty of the result, and if I have the knowledge, time and goodwill to do so, I might well write a review. But let’s face it, if I’m searching for ‘foo reviews’, I’m generally looking for information which I don’t already have, so any review I contribute will be pretty rubbish.
    Here’s a thought, if a site wants to drive users to their site to generate content, why not try a sponsored link?

  8. Dave (original)

    Dominic, I find it irrating that ANY YouTube videos are in the SERPs when I NEVER clicked “Video”. What’s the point of opting to search YouTube when it’s being FORCED upon us?

  9. Dave (original)

    Michael Martinez, I would imagine Google will try and prevent no content pages appearing their SERPs through their algorithm.

    It should never be the site owners problem as Googles’ default is to spider & index everything possible. I.e. no penalities.

  10. Matt,
    sorry for posting in the wrong place – I simply didn’t find the right one. My question pertains DMOZ and while I know it isn’t quite your cup of tea I suspect you’re just the person to ask.

    Recently I’ve went back to DMOZ to submit one of the clients’ web sites and decided to spend some time reading their blog. Honestly, I was amazed at the quality of work that people do there. The never ending power trip is just getting worse. Responses of the editors alone would be enough to never trust that source again, yet somehow Google manages to value DMOZ so much that it became a commodity. Personally seen people becoming DMOZ editors for money to be able to sell listings in high-valued categories (but this is more Russian-based feature of DMOZ). So the question – what’s the value of a catalog to Google if it is run by corrupt editors who list mostly sites they have interests in, who constantly whine about overloaded queues yet rejecting new editors en masse, who don’t have time to update their categories because they’re too busy with their own lives that they prevent any one else replace them at the very spot they are too busy to take care of?
    Sorry if this went a bit emotional, but it just bugs the hell out of me. In any case, thank you for reading. Would much appreciate any kind of response – personal or public. Thanks again.

  11. Matt,

    Add “No Results” to Google Spam Reports to identify No Review / Result / Content / Info.

  12. Matt,

    Just a note related to spam reporting. Google’s OCR of PDF files created from scans means I’m now seeing duplicate content from copies of my books that people have scanned and uploaded to websites for either distribution or private use. Not sure that I feel any better knowing about them, but I tried my first PDF spam report today;-)

    Morris

  13. Dave: “Michael Martinez, I would imagine Google will try and prevent no content pages appearing their SERPs through their algorithm.

    It should never be the site owners problem as Googles’ default is to spider & index everything possible. I.e. no penalities.”

    Michael: Right. Let me know how it goes for you the next time you try to help a new site get some search visibility so it can attract user-generated content for its UNlisted pages.

  14. Dave (original)

    Michael, why would Google users want no content pages in their SERPs?

    If you want to “attract user-generated content” then roll your sleeves up and start writing non-user-generated content and link to the blank pages.

  15. This is a really badly thought out initiative, Matt. What provision will Google make to help new sites that have not had a chance to get the consumer-generated content they’ll be looking for?

    Agreed, but for a different reason. All that’s going to happen is we’re going to see “consumer-generated content” written by the same people who developed the review sites because they don’t want to lose traffic. It’s just as easy to write a fake or shill review for the purposes of generating content as it is for the purposes of generating search engine referral traffic.

    A bigger problem will be created here. It’s so obvious it’s not even funny.

  16. Dave: “Michael, why would Google users want no content pages in their SERPs?’

    Michael: Dave, why should they care. Google could easily solve this dilemma by putting a little note beside the listing: “No discernible content. May be waiting for user input.”

    Let the users, not the SEOs who don’t know how to rank pages above minimal-content listings, decide whether the pages are useful.

    I’d rather see a search engine list a blank page than see a search engine help an SEO who doesn’t know how to write copy and point links.

  17. Dave (original)

    Google could easily solve this dilemma by putting a little note beside the listing: “No discernible content. May be waiting for user input.”

    High SERP positions are like valuable real estate. Why waste it on blank pages? It just means a more relevant pages is shunted out and down.

    It’s a flaw in Google’s algo.

  18. The video thing is quite annoying. You search for a video, and then try to play it and it says: “removed due to copyright infringement” or something simillar.

    However, Dave, I think there is an element to the search result that you have missed, and that is when you are searching for a comonent of a larger topic. Example: I searched for “Supernatural Season 4 Episode 2″, and the page I found had a video that did not work. However the site that contains this page had almost every other episode available, so I have still found a valuable resource for my new found addiction, and I’m still pleased with my Google experience ;-)

  19. Dave (original)

    Tristan, when I, the user, actually WANT video results in the SERPs, I will click the “Video” link that is supplied by Google as an *option*. Same goes for Blogs.

  20. Only pages with good content should be at top serp .I would like to share this website http://www.bsvconstructionservicesltd.com doing PPC at Google while site is not cached as well as have not backward link but still have 20 related page. Check it

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