Delay in Ranking a Feature, Not a Bug.

by Harold Davis

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According to a recent article in SitePro News, an online publication aimed at Webmasters who want to optimize their sites, Google's delay in ranking sites, and the delay in according credit to inbound links, is a feature, not a bug.

I've written critically about the longer and longer wait times for sites to get indexed as a problem (see Is Google Painting Itself into a Corner?). Now, according Lawrence Deon, an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert and the author of the article titled "Surviving Google's Aging Delay" in SitePro News, it turns out that Google does it on purpose as part of the arms race with those gaming the system. The "probationary period" makes sure that there are no instant returns for "manufacturing" tons of links, but it also makes it harder for newcomers to break into the system. In addition (this may or may not be an unintended side effect) it makes it more worthwhile than it used to be to purchase AdWords slots from Google to draw traffic, at least during the probationary period.

The idea that Google probably intends to slow indexing and ranking down, and that this is (in some ways) to Google's financial benefit, makes me call again for publication of the details of the PageRank algorithm. (See Publish the PageRank Algorithm.) Let the antiseptic of open scrutiny and discussion work its magic on this matter that is so important to the Web!

(Adapted from an April 11 entry in the Googleplex Blog.)