Anyone want a quick glance at a small piece of the future? Not only can you see what will soon be there to be seen, if you don’t like what you see there, you can file a complaint.
Google is asking for feedback on one of its main testing data centers, BigDaddy. Bigdaddy is now visible at two IPs: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52. In a blog posting on January 4, Google’s chief search engineer Matt Cutts, confirmed the existence and role of the BigDaddy data center and asked for webmaster feedback.
“We’d like to get general quality feedback. For example, this data center lays the groundwork for better canonicalization, although most of that will follow down the road. But some improvements are already visible with site: searches.”
Towards the bottom of his entry, Cutts outlines ways to report spam and other issues with the index displayed at the BigDaddy data centers. Before actually filing a report, Matt askes respondents to read a couple previous posts on url canonicalization, the inurl operator, and 302 redirects.
There are two ways to give feedback about BigDaddy results. If you see spam, go to http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html. Put the word “BigDaddy” in the additional details section. If you perceive quality problems with the index, Cutts suggests clicking a “Dissatisfied? Help us improve” link placed at the bottom right of BigDaddy SERPs. Use the word “BigDaddy” in the details section.
Google has hundreds of networked data centers spread around the world. It uses these resources to juggle the massive bandwidth load and deliver lightning fast access to search results and membership based services. It also uses them to compile its index by gathering, evaluating and sorting documents found on websites it has spidered against documents already in the index.
Search engine optimizers know the IP numbers of many of the data centers Google uses to actively test results before they appear in the general index seen at google.com or one of the regional versions. Even months after the introduction of a new algorithm Google engineers need to monitor how their search engine interprets information on the web. Google makes frequent updates to their algorithms, most of which are so subtle they are barely noticeable but all of which might have cascading repercussions if not watched closely.
For search engine optimizers, the testing data centers offer a glimpse of future results, giving them a chance to make minor changes to sites they are responsible for. Realistically these glimpses are limited views as the IP numbers Google houses them on might change from week to week or even day to day. Even if one knows of a testing data center, Google almost never tells you what its exact role in their operation is. That’s what makes this announcement from Cutts so interesting.
In previous years, SEO was a cat and mouse game between clever manipulators and the search engines that clearly did not want to be manipulated. Today, Google seems to be more interested in helping SEOs work as marketing representatives than supporting a cat and mouse battle that ultimately benefits neither side.