We asked 2,190 Google users if they noticed any changes in Google results since Penguin. This is what they said.
Google implements countless changes and tweaks to their search results over a single year and most users don’t notice more subtle changes such as order of websites in search results. March and April, however, brought series of algorithmic improvements which were even announced on Google’s blog hinting at their impact and significance. On the other hand SEO community has been quite stirred up and even divided with recent algorithm updates targeted at search quality and web spam.
Out of 9,610 survey views we received 2,190 responses within 24 hour period. Data was collected from news (47.4%), reference (34.1%) and arts & entertainment (18.4%) publisher categories. Among people earning $25-49K, those aged 25-34 picked Yes 2x more than those aged 55-64. We used Google Consumer Insights to ask Google users (USA only) if they recently noticed any changes in the quality of Google’s results.
Was Penguin good for the user?
Those who noticed changes in Google results were asked to describe whether in their opinion Google’s search quality has increased or decreased and by how much. We offered a 1-7 star rating selection purposely in order to capture fake positives in the middle (4). In total we collected 500 responses and here is the breakdown of answers.
How would you describe Google results now in comparison to 30 days ago or before?
Note: 24.4% users answered that Google’s search is neither better nor worse, in that case they should have answered the qualifying question with “NO” and end the survey there.
Factoring in all 500 answers the average response tends to lean towards neutrality (with an average of 4.4) with a slight hint of possible improvement in users perception of Google’s search result quality. Distributing the value of (4) evenly across both ends (positive and negative) we end up with 41% of those not satisfied with recent changes and 59% who feel the results are now better.
Most Google users didn’t notice the change at all, however those who have, feel that Google now shows higher quality results than before.