Archive for the ‘Search Engine Algorithms’ Category

Mining for PageRank

Google’s Toolbar PageRank, the value that you can obtain by surfing websites while the Google Toolbar is installed, has been available via a number of websites for years, ever since someone figured out how to reverse engineer the protocol that the Toolbar uses to talk to Google’s datacenters to obtain the value. Google appears to have been fairly tolerant of tools that obtain this data over the years (otherwise many of them would have been banned, or they would have changed the protocol frequently, etc.). This tolerance sometimes makes me suspect that Toolbar PageRank is a bit of a purposeful red herring, and ranking is perhaps all about anchor text instead, but that’s a whole other discussion.

The most popular tool for checking individual PageRank values is probably Read on »

You see it every week.  A search engine makes an announcement, and everyone blogs something along the lines of:

“hey, there was an announcement – I have no idea what it means but here’s a bunch of SEO ramblings so I can sound like I’m writing a blog posting – I hope I got this out quick enough – what does everyone else think about this”?

The following is a make-your-own SEO blog post formula.  The approach is outlined in my earlier posting on formula-based content;  just spin the following into thousands of versions, and then you can skip reading about 50% of the blog postings that go up every week on SEO – a massive timesaver.  It starts out a little dry, but quickly devolves into inside SEO jokes  – enjoy! Read on »

teslacoils

Google Gnomes Measuring Click-Through-Rate in Teslas?

In the Paid Search end of its business, Google uses Click-Through-Rate (CTR) as a major determining factor in its “Quality Score” calculation, which is a key factor in its Adwords ad auctions.  This is because CTR is a proxy for relevance; if enough users click on an ad after performing a keyword search, then it’s reasonable to assume that the ad must be pretty relevant to the keyword.  When it finds so, Google’s auction system rewards relevant creative-keyword combinations and penalizes less relevant ones.  This ensures a satisfying user experience and Read on »

They forgot "Be"

They forgot "Be"

There is a company that has been doing content scraping on a level that’s really unimaginable, to the point that it can be regarded as a completely different business model than most others that do this.  Like many of the sites you’ve seen out there, its approach is to spider the web and copy other people’s content, then subsections of content are “mashed” together and presented to end-users – essentially auto-generated web pages.

The difference between this company and the myriad of other scrapers our there is in the “mashing up” process Read on »

Buried away in a Google patent application from 2006 entitled “DOCUMENT SCORING BASED ON DOCUMENT INCEPTION DATE“, there is a somewhat obscure reference to using the “entropy” of a document.  “Entropy” used in this sense is not simply as it’s defined in the field of physics, where your daughter’s room tends towards a maximum state of disorganization; instead, it refers to its definition in the field of Information Theory, which applies it to information rather than atoms.

Wikipedia has a lengthy entry on this,  but you can think of Shannon entropy as essentially measuring how much information is in a document.

If you have a 20,000 word document that simply consists of “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy” repeated 2,000 times Read on »

tron

I fight for the users!

I’ve seen a number of postings about Google sitelinks, how you can influence them, how Google likely decides whether to assign sitelinks to a website’s entry in the SERPs, etc.  Ultimately these Sitelinks are, I think, a terrible thing  for Internet Marketers, and the LAST thing you should do is try and influence Google to add them for your site; here’s why.

If your website has come up in a search, then the name of your website is either a brand term, or Read on »

We will seo no page before its timeAre domains like a fine wine, improving with age (from a SERP ranking perspective)? Contrary to what you may have heard previously, the answer is a resounding – YES.

[***Note - this entry was composed a few weeks ago, as part of my process for queuing up sufficient content for this blog.  But today I saw that Rand Fishkin does some debunking of domain age in a Whiteboard Friday today - so I decided to push this posting out - sorry Rand, I must disagree! ***]

First, some background. Google filed a patent application in 1995 which was granted in 2008 titled “Information retrieval based on historical data”. It talks about scoring a document based on the document’s inception date which could be determined in a number of ways Read on »

Does fresh content rank better?  Google filed a patent application in 1995 which was granted in 2008 titled “Information retrieval based on historical data“. It talks about scoring a document based on a number of factors, including a documents “freshness” which could be determined in a number of ways.

Does Google use this approach however?  Well, in the most shockingly short video by Matt Cutts I have ever seen, he gives a resounding Read on »