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Alternative Search Engines Forum

Northern Light Algo & Bugs
how NL ranks pages, bugs in the crawler

 1:39 am on Sep 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

Back in April, I tried a little experiment with NL. I already had my primary domain indexed, but not ranked very high. I used another domain to create a pretty standard doorway, where every keyword appearance was a hyperlink to my primary domain.

The doorway wound up ranked in the top 10, although it's since slipped to around #15. What was amazing was that my primary domain shot up to #4 the day after the doorway domain got indexed. Pretty clear evidence that "link relevancy" is a factor for NL.

Now, the bug - the crawler recrawls you regularly, but for some reason, has occasionally entered a default date of Dec. 31, 1969 into the database for some sites. This causes their rankings to sink like a stone, which is evidence that "freshness" is also a factor for NL.

I don't think anyone is optimizing for Northern Light that much, but thought I'd share these two discoveries.

Dan Thies, Editor
Website Promotion Central :)



 1:51 am on Sep 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

Interesting stuff, Dan. Welcome to WmW.


 5:50 am on Sep 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

Now if we could only figure out why nobody uses NL and it sends so little traffic, even when you're ranked well! :)


 8:18 am on Sep 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

Dan - I just noticed your signature and that's considered bad form here in these forums. Don't be surprised if one of the administrators drops by and edits or deletes your post...


 12:42 pm on Sep 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

That only happens at SEF, when Janet get's a hold of you.. :)
Much more friendly crowd here...


 12:47 pm on Sep 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

What's bad form? Using my name, or telling what I do?
It's not a hyperlink or anything. Oh, well. I'm not here to promote my website.

Anyway, like I said, nobody's optimizing for NL these days anyway. On the other hand, high-popularity terms are going to deliver hits from almost any search engine, so maybe a "pokemon" site would find it worthwhile to try to hit the top on NL.

Top position for "website promotion" on NL translated to 8 hits a month. Do the math - it's nothing like being in the top ten of Google. :-)

"Mr. X"


 2:45 pm on Sep 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

Welcom to WMW. You raise some interesting points a about NL. I agree that as a general referrer it's hardly worth the effort of submitting.

Perhaps you are right that NL is only going to be useful for the extrememly popular stuff like Pokemon and mp3 etc. Seems now would be the time to try and take advantage of it.

Also, we appreciate you being cool about the sig thing and look forward to your input here. :)


 3:37 pm on Sep 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

Some people here know I like NL for research purposes.
It's updated quite often and has a lot of news coverage.

There's a lot of material in many SE DBs that is questionable and this is one of the issues we cover here quite often.

Traffic-wise, I too don't see much to speak about from NL.

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