The recent big daddy Google update could have a consequence for Google that the search team had not foreseen as I discuss below.
One major change in emphasis in the Google algorithms is the focus on inboulnd links, IBLs. A site will not be fully indexed or crawled unless it has an acceptable number of topic relevant IBLs.
Reflecting on the impact of the recent implementation you have to wonder whether the Google team have fully considered the long term impact of the changes they have introduced.
The increased emphasis on IBL’s to get indexed must create a barrier to new sites getting indexed and hence this reduces their visibility for a considerable period of time. Lack of visibility will impact their ability to naturally acquire IBL’s and enter the search engine index.
Does this mean that over a number of months Google’s index will become stale with fewer new entrants, with little new content other than that flowing from the established sites in the index, will it become a club for established sites?
If it does then it becomes a closed shop with closed ears to new sites that can often bring radical new content into the index, content that is very interesting to the people who search for information.
Secondly for those sites currently in the index ….. are their IBL’s being impacted by sites with few IBL’s dropping out? As sites drop out do their outbound links cease to count and hence do some other sites loose IBL’s as a consequence?
If this is true, each iteration of the process sees established sites loose IBL’s and some will ultimately fall below the IBL volume criteria and they drop out of the index. This will create a nervous set of web masters with only sites like BBC or CNN immune from this impact.
For these reasons I do not consider that the recent changes can be sustainable in the long term and Google must have a rethink, or we will learn that this was a stopgap change to address some short term problems with a more considered set of changes to come.
If it is not a stopgap measure we will reflect on this moment, a time when a new giant and icon of the new Internet age tripped itself up, became middle aged and gradually sunk into decline whilst its senior executives spend their share option monies.
I raised this question in Matt Cutts blog but he is on holiday and has not responded. See http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/indexing-timeline/#comment-32926