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All I have learned from this Forum...
my google knowledge
Alphawolf




msg:83104
 9:40 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thought I'd post a note about all I have learned since I joined this forum. Some points I may be unclear on and appreciate input from others.

I wanted to post this because of the impact of all the posts of read over the last few months has changed the way I look at websites.

Feel free to add/modify as you see things. :)

A solid SEO foundation for websites:

1) Plenty of good seperate pages of content.
2) a Site Map that links to all pages
3) A site map that is friendly to people as well as bots
4) Optimized Page Title + H1 text can go a long way in unoptimized SERP's. [my experience]
5) The more lean the page weight the more Google likes it. Therefore, use CSS instead of font tags and stick your JavaScript into external files.
6) The anchor text in backlinks is important though often hard to control.
7) Having the Google Toolbar is a helpful tool.
8) Page rank is important, but like all other aspects there is no 'magic bullet' where one thing will rocket you to the top.
9) Page Rank should be a SECONDARY consideration when requesting links or allowing links. e.g. A client's #3 referral is a PR0.
10) Backlinks with a PR4 and above will show in Googles Baclinks on toolbar or 'link:www.domain.com' but links from lower PR sites still count.
11) Use All the Web dot come to check back links to see all links regardless of PR. [personal choice]
12) useful queries "link:www.domain.com". "allinurl:www.domain.com" "allinanchor:word or phrase"
13) A bigger site with more pages that has proper site map MAY benefit from the internal linking, hence the bigger is better theory. More unique pages, more possibilities to optimize for individual phrases. Each page should be looked at as an opportunity.
14) Buying a text link or any sort of link just for PR is bad and Google is wacking those domains with PR0's.
15) While Page Rank in the Google Toolbar shows as round numbers, Google itself calculates it to fractional numbers. Meaning, even if you show as a PR5 the websites above you who are a PR5 may actually be a PR 5.9
16) Each SERP seems to have it's own unique parameters as far as what is more of a weighing factor in optimization. Perhaps, not due to Google, but to how people design pages.
17) Google doesn't always 'take' the page you optimize for, but instead will utilize the index page because that's usually the page with the highest PR.
18) PR is not the end all be all of SERP's and a lower PR page can beat a higher PR page. I would guess this goes for less competitve/unoptimized SERP's, but have not followed threads on this closely.
19) Google has two types of robots out spidering. One is Freshbot and the other is Deepbot. Fresh- IP 64... Deep IP 216....
Though, people have noticed what we consider Freshbot acting more like deepbot lately. Freshbot can grab new pages and update your SERP's. Deepbot will usually hammer a site over a period of a few days then leave. It is the results of those crawls that ends up in the monthly Google update. Though, I am speculating Google may use Freshbot results in a more agressive form to feed SERP's.
20) Google updates their index on a loose average of once per month. GoogleGuy will specifically not push the button until he has seen enough people wimper/moan/worry/cry/beg/plead/ and generally have a nervous breakdown.
21) The progress of the update can be seen before the database goes live on www2 dot google dot com and www3 dot google dot com. There are numerous Google Dance tools on the web.
22) The Google Dance is when all the SERP's mix around, PR is handed out...upgraded, downgraded, penalties are seen, reinclusions requests are seen and basically your life is on the line. ;)
23) For a while it took a couple days for the index to filter though the different data centers (collection of google servers) before it hit the main index, but this past update zipped though to the live server(s) quickly.
24) I'm sure one day GoogleGuy will change the IP's of the servers and serve up a 3 month old index on www2 and www3 just to play with us. Woulda been a cool April Fools Day joke. :)
25) Still, it takes 2-3 days or thereabouts for PR and SERP's to settle.
26) You can see what your new PR is buy adding an entry in your hosts file to point to a specific datacenter, but that is too GEEK for me. It is what it is... :)
27) Yahoo's Google index use to lag a bit behind Google itself, but on the SERP's I watch Yahoo seemed to update it's Google index VERY quickly this time around. AOL's Google took a bit longer to catch up.
28) You need a _HUGE_ amount of patience before you or your clients see results from SEO work. While one index may help, we analyze, learn and change...
29) Google doesn't care if your website ranks highly regardless of whether you feel you have the best offerings for that search phrase. As long as Google serves relevant results normal people have no idea that they are 'missing you'.
30) For immediate visibility check out Overture/AdWords
31) Utilize ROBOTS.TXT files and META TAGS to save bandwidth on your image directory or to 'noindex' a page that announces a weekly promotion exlusively.
32) Stuffing all the keywords you can in the META TAG won't help you.
33) It can take a few indexes for Google to catch up with all your backlinks.

That's about it. Naturally, it's presumed the page you want to optimize IS on topic for the phrase you want to rank highly in.

In terms on mindset it's best to think in terms of 1/4's of the year instead of "How did we do this month?"

Please add or modify as you see fit. Brett, saw your pet peeve so...

Hope this Helps. :) :) :)

Regards,

AW

 

deejay




msg:83105
 10:08 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

:) Very nice!

Just two points I'd query:

16) Each SERP seems to have it's own unique parameters as far as what is more of a weighing factor in optimization. Perhaps, not due to Google, but to how people design pages.

I'm not quite sure what you're meaning here. Google applies the same equation to its database each time a query is made. It can certainly appear that keyword density or PR or backlink text, etc, is the dominant factor in a given set of results, but I believe that is coincidence. ie, the same equation is applied to a query for 'blue widgets' as for 'popstar flunkies'... If the SERPs for 'popstar flunkies' happen to have a PR7 come in first, a PR6 follow, a PR5 in third and a bunch of PR4s after that, while PR for 'blue widgets' results seems all over the place, it is not indicative of a greater weight being given to PR in one query over the other, but coincidence, or perhaps as you say, the way people are designing pages.

17) Google doesn't always 'take' the page you optimize for, but instead will utilize the index page because that's usually the page with the highest PR.

Don't agree here. Google runs its equation and returns the page that scores highest. What it does indicate is that you may have over-optimised or missed key points on your optimised page, or your index page is, in fact, better optimised for the term than your targetted page... perhaps because of a nudge in PR, perhaps because of incoming backlink text, perhaps your keyword density is a smidge too high in the targetted page and closer to ideal on the index.

GoogleGuy




msg:83106
 10:42 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would change #20 to "Google will not push the button until it has has time to test quality and make sure its new index passes a battery of tests."

When it takes us longer to put out an index, we don't do it to make WebmasterWorld folk anxious. :)

Clovis




msg:83107
 10:45 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WOO HOO!

the phantom GG appears!

how do you feel about the list alphawolf has put together?... the points that apply to Google of course.

netguy




msg:83108
 10:56 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Great job Alphawolf! Now I have something to review with my coffee in the morning.

caine




msg:83109
 11:14 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Clovis,

I know your probably having a laugh, but G-man's Post count, probably makes him a lot less of a phantom than you think.

AlphaWolf,

My greviances with some of your points, though i think it is an insightful attempt to clarify Google's standpoint on the scheme of things.

7) Having the Google Toolbar is a helpful tool.
disagree very stongly. Outside of its obvious charms, its a tracking tool for us webmasters and all that for Google HQ > read the I Agree part.

11) Use All the Web dot come to check back links to see all links regardless of PR. [personal choice]
Agreed. Excellant tool, started playing with it as soon as i found it could not believe
the information available - heck off a lot more than G publishes on the net.

17) Google doesn't always 'take' the page you optimize for, but instead will utilize the index page because that's usually the page with the highest PR.
disagree. Good optimization of a site will allow G's algo to disseminate the site into its rightful SERP listings - forget PR - G's algo is way beyond that.

20) Google updates their index on a loose average of once per month. GoogleGuy will specifically not push the button until he has seen enough people wimper/moan/worry/cry/beg/plead/ and generally have a nervous breakdown.
Have to agree with GG on this, i can't see any ryhme or reason why G would hold off or disrupt the update patterns, too wind up a few members on webmasterworld and other forums. I would be more inclined to think that they are either tweaking the algo, or doing something on a more manual basis - it truely is very complicated stuff.

22) The Google Dance is when all the SERP's mix around, PR is handed out...upgraded, downgraded, penalties are seen, reinclusions requests are seen and basically your life is on the line. ;)
Yes. only if you put all your eggs in one basket - their is more than one search engine to skin a cat with, and google while enjoying the fame, is only one of many.

28) You need a _HUGE_ amount of patience before you or your clients see results from SEO work. While one index may help, we analyze, learn and change...
50/50 its about money, if you've got it, and you have the right sort of people around, patience need not count. If your doing it cheap, as the vast majority of pro/semi-pro/and amatuers are - then patience helps.

29) Google doesn't care if your website ranks highly regardless of whether you feel you have the best offerings for that search phrase. As long as Google serves relevant results normal people have no idea that they are 'missing you'.
Whose Fault is THAT. mmm! Thats why most people are here, though not only becuase of G.

DrCool




msg:83110
 11:18 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nice summary overall. I agree with some of the clarifications that have been made to a few of your points but overall it is a very usefull list.

jeremy goodrich




msg:83111
 11:18 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ya, the bit about the toolbar - don't need it. While they may / may not be tracking SEO's with the toolbar, 90% or more "seos" that I know have it installed.

lay people - who know nothing of SEO - I have yet to meet 1 (in person) that uses the Google toolbar.

Put 1+1 together, and you will get 3. :)

<added>

the rest is pretty good. Nice summary :)

caine




msg:83112
 11:27 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Jeremy,

Would certainly agree with you about the amount of people who have continued to keep their installation of the toolbar.

For me it took a good year to shake it off, and now i am glad i have, can obtain any of the info via other means, and I generally just don't care about PR, after seeing low PR site's trauncing high PR sites, because of the unmistakable fact of relevancy - rather than link popularity.

Everybody to their own, just got bored with the PR miracle, i suppose amongst other things.

Clovis




msg:83113
 12:05 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

caine,

youre right, i was referring to the way he appears and disappears... we call it "blending and fading". although im sure he has a lot better things to do than read every post here and reply to all the references to him.

no disrespect GG, its always good to see you... kinda like an action hero. there are usually a lot of references to you/your resposes and thoughts on certain matters, so when you arrive, its great to "see" you... even if you did swear off WebmasterWorld for the new year. (please dont leave)

bunltd




msg:83114
 1:28 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Alphawolf,

This is exactly why I'm no longer lurking here but am attempting to get involved. Great post, good stuff! Thank you.

LisaB

SEO practioner




msg:83115
 1:48 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Alphawolf -

Great post, I agree with pretty much all of it too.

:-) SEO

chiyo




msg:83116
 2:00 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

great list. nice summary to give to new employees when they start working on pages!

I would add.

* Its impossible to know how "well you are going" by checking/tracking just a few keywords. As sites mature, they get many hits from a very broad range of terms. Check you logs for ideas on which keywords are working, even if they are getting only two or three a day from Google.

* Google continues to favour information sites. For some terms and industries, using Adwords or PPC, or advertising in content sites returns a much higher ROI than optimization. Broaden your promotion portfolio

Jesse_Smith




msg:83117
 2:43 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

#36. Google hates URLs that have session IDs.

GoogleGuy




msg:83118
 3:19 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

No worries, Clovis. Sometimes I've got a few spare minutes and so I pop over. :) For what it's worth, I mostly agree with everything Alphawolf said. And the bit about session ID's. ;)

Feels like it's about time for another "do.. don't.." thread? Any old-timers want to pipe up?

shelleycat




msg:83119
 3:33 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Nice list. One extra thing I found out after some time here is that the things I did to make Google (and googlebot) like my website ended up being just plain good webdesign and have (hopefully) helped the humans reading my site. I know this stuff sounds obvious, and I'm sure I did things completely the wrong way round, but things like a clear navigation structure through the site and descriptive page titles are not only great for Google rankings but great for surfers too. :D

So I guess I would add something like
34) Google likes good webdesign.

As for google toolbar, I actually use mine for searching :)

Alphawolf




msg:83120
 4:16 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good comments. I guess when business is super slow best thing to do is post here to...uh- help my competition. :)

I have to try to get to sleep at a semi normal time tonight.

I stickied deejay and caine regarding the 'google not taking the pages that were optimized for a phrase, but rather the index page instead.

Will respond to more tomorrow.

But- wanted to add that yes- indeed 'good web design' is important. I was trying to focus more on the SEO aspects. Sure, good SEO will be hand in hand with a good website. But didn't want to go off-topic on web design specifics as there are other Forums here for that.

Regards,

AW

Alphawolf




msg:83121
 4:26 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

BTW, I'm really bummed out that I live in New York and simply cannot afford to go to Boston for the conference! :(

I was just there end of January and stayed at the Double Tree which had quite nice rooms for the price! Just a tip for anyone who may not be able to stay at the Wyndham. It's on Washinton Street directly across from the New England Medical Center.

To be able to chat with others in person about all this stuff and much more would be great. I discovered SEO/SEm doesn't make for great dinner conversation when among 'normal people'. ;)
Have fun and hope there's another one soon.

Regards,

AW

Jesse_Smith




msg:83122
 4:49 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

When you include a session ID, all your doing is giving yourself the Google Death Penalty! It only took me two years to learn that before I came back from the dead three months ago!

Alphawolf




msg:83123
 4:50 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy,

Feels like it's about time for another "do.. don't.." thread? Any old-timers want to pipe up?

OK. 1 last post before I go to bed. ;)

I think sometimes people go to extreme's following Do's and Dont's.

For example, I've seen some people take the 'smaller page size' suggestions a bit too extreme.

While having a super sparse page may be great spider food it *is* important to have a site design that promotes strong brand identity and is in line with what the visitors will expect to see.

Even if you get a Top 5 spot it won't help much if your pages are bland to the point that people leave.

I guess it's sorta natural to stick to the "Do's" as much as possible. But I've seen folks go crazy with no page over 50k, all DIV's-tables are evil, all CSS/CSS-P, and usability to a fault.

Just my .02

AW

Chicago




msg:83124
 4:58 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

if all the do's and don't can be expressed in one place, then what are we all taking about all the time - what will we talk about.

is it that simple. are we wasting our time... :)

in all seriousness: thanks alpha, and thanks GG for the confirmation, and good luck old-timers' in getting that list going. for me - from now on, i am going to start cutting and pasting all the G truisms I see in WW. I'm gonna create me the bible....

Testing out some humor from time to time.

Thanks again.

Justin

mil2k




msg:83125
 5:54 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Very good list with all those modifications. Will like to say i like toolbar. Also am a regular user of alltheweb for checking the backlinks. It is simply amazing!

annej




msg:83126
 6:15 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Even if you get a Top 5 spot it won't help much if your pages are bland to the point that people leave.

By the same token the page title 'widgeting' may get you #1 in the serps but 'mysterious widgeting stories' at 3 or 4 or even more will get the clicks.

doc_z




msg:83127
 8:23 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Alphawolf

nice summary. I would add:

2a) Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).

MattJ




msg:83128
 11:13 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

deejay wrote:
[...] perhaps your keyword density is a smidge too high in the targetted page and closer to ideal on the index.

Is it possible to have a keyword density that is too high? I've seen the (tentative) values of 4% to 20% tossed around but I thought 20% was only mentioned because any higher would simply look bad to a human.

I have optimized my index page to something like 35% for 'blue widgets', perhaps I should lower it for more optimization. I'm a bit worried now.

indiandomain




msg:83129
 11:31 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

super post.
something extra to bretts legendary post on google ranking/

cheers!
sohail

deejay




msg:83130
 11:34 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi MattJ

I'm about five minutes away from unconscious, so I'll try and make this quick:

Do I believe there is an ideal keyword density? Yes.
How much is it? Haven't researched it closely for a few months.. 8-14% would be ballpark.
Effect? say the ideal is 10%... I believe a page at 9% will fare better than a page at 15% for that factor
At 35% should I worry? Nope. It's all relative to the sites around you... and it is only one factor in the algo.

say for example the ideal is 10%, in the current index keyword density is weighted as 5% of total page score. Page 1 has a density of 15% and scores perhaps 4.3/5% for keyword density... Page 2 has 30% density and scores 3.9/5% for keyword density. Although the densities are quite different, the overall effect at .4% difference between the pages isn't too huge, and might be quite easily overcome by any of the other 98 factors in the algo.

I'm not saying it is unimportant. I am saying it is a factor that is within your control, is relatively easy to control, and without too much effort you can maximise the points available to you for this factor. BUT, like the often over-emphasised Page Rank factor, it is just one factor of around 100.

Alphawolf




msg:83131
 12:22 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

In regards to Google not taking the page you optimized for based upon my stickies from deejay and caine (will reply to you guys later!) it seems a KWD issue.

I didn't think Google was so big into KWD and that there is a magical 'sweet spot' for KWD.

Rather, it makes sense that it is a factor but I haven't paid much attention to posts regarding KWD. :)

Regards,

AW

Alphawolf




msg:83132
 12:32 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

caine,

50/50 its about money, if you've got it, and you have the right sort of people around, patience need not count. If your doing it cheap, as the vast majority of pro/semi-pro/and amatuers are - then patience helps.

Can you expand on that? Rather, if one has a huge pile of cash they are willing to invest into SEO what would be top priorities?

Regards and thanks for the sticky.

AW

Alphawolf




msg:83133
 12:40 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

deejay,

Do I believe there is an ideal keyword density? Yes.

Thanks for the sticky. Will be interesting to see if the index page (mentioned in stickymail) I increased the KWD on will help/hinder/or do nothing.

I guess it makes sense that after a certain % Google would consider a page to be 'spammy'.

Regards,

AW

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