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Google backlinks and pagerank displays
Sadguy01




msg:145130
 7:41 pm on Sep 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think Google is killing their results by allowing webmasters to inspect the back links of their competitors.

The reason that this is causing problems for Google is that it's allowing people like us to fill up the SERPS with our affiliate rubbish websites - because we learn how to manipulate the SERPS by examining other sites' link structures and ultimately discover their methods of obtaining backward links.

This is creating search results that are a bunch of similar sites that link through an affiliate code to one of the sites that SHOULD come up for a search.

For instance, if I came up with a genious method of getting high listings at Google for my affiliate sites, another webmaster can usually come along and pick my method to bits just by examining my backward links. Then that webmaster will dupicate this method and so on, which not only opens the door for unintelligent spam monster webmasters to earn good money, it also creates a game of who-can-manipulate-google-better.

Why is Google allowing this?

What about pagerank, this is just a fantasy that has absolutely no relevance to anything. Why is it displayed, and why are webmasters doing monkey tricks to artificially increase theirs?

Google is supposed to be a search engine, but it's turning into some kind of spammy battleground where webmasters dual each other by furiously linking and examining each others affiliate rubbish websites in order to copy them.

This trend is only going to continue, until Google puts more emphasis on site content, rather than links, or at least stops displaying backward links.

Ultimately, the poor sod who is searching for something is going to see the top 10 sites with just about identical 'content'.

*shrugs*

 

Jakpot




msg:145131
 7:55 am on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Web pages should be positioned in the SERPs based on their own merits - and this position should not be affected by
who links to the page.
The page link concept is apparently an idea spawned on a Hooters napkin. Looks good on paper but easily abused and in the end not workable.
Far to much emphasis and attention is placed on the links
matter. User friendly web design and SEO carries the day.
I don't waste valuable time obtaining links and I'm pleased with my SERP positions and cash flow."

Iguana




msg:145132
 8:57 am on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Who uses Google to examine backlinks of competitors? I go straight to alltheweb for that.

In the past search engines that relied on on-page content were mercilessly spammed - is a page with a keyword density of 6.8% for 'widget' really the best page about widget? How do you tell a good page? It was because this question couldn't be answered that Google came to prominence - treating a link as a vote produced much better SERPS.

heini




msg:145133
 9:09 am on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sadguy, in the end there is no algo concept that can not and will not be spammed, easy as that.
Just ask the guys who were around when Altavista was king: they put up a page and knew they would hit #1 the next day.

Should Google display PR? Why not, it's a great branding tool for them. Most serious SEOs don't care for displayed PR all that much, they care for relevant ranking.

And backlink checking is not what you would do in Google anyway ;)

djgreg




msg:145134
 9:18 am on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sadguy01:
The system would work perfectly, if there were not those affiliate people who try to make big money with one affiliate site in a frameset and are search the web all the day for new linking posibilites.
If they were no affiliate programs, people would link to the company which really has the content and the system couldn't be cheated by people who grab links all the day to move there lausy affiliate site to the top of the SERPS.

greg

Josefu




msg:145135
 9:32 am on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I can't say (for now) that I agree or disagree with the pagerank system, I've just been 'doing as Romans' as I'm still new to webmastering. But I must say that the PR/toolbar issue does leave me perplexed for a couple of reasons.

I do agree that an inbound link is a 'vote' in a site's favour, but this rule doesn't seem to take into account the site itself - is it a personal home page, a reference page, or a commercial page? Not at all the same category or volume of linking. What I mean to say is, if I have a page on "The history of Widgets" it is only natural that other "Widget fans" will link to my site. If I have a home page some others may take interest in my amateur interest and link as well. Now, if I have a commercial site... who is going to link to me? Even if my site is plebiscited by thousands of customers by day, very few of them have home pages and fewer would think to link to me. That leaves... other sites selling the same thing as mine? Not. Sites interested in commercial products such as mine? All too rare. Anyhow, those looking to buy "Widgets" will do a google for "Widgets" to go to a site selling "Widgets", rarely to a site concerning Widgets with links to sites selling Widgets.

A bit long-winded perhaps, but do you see the reason for my perplexity? If we are obliged to 'find' incoming links to get 'vote popularity' thus page rank, I can't see how it can be done naturally. If my site is commercial, should I buy links? Exchange them? All this has very little to do with the merits, quality and efficacity of my site.

ppg




msg:145136
 9:41 am on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sadguy01, it sounds to me like you're advocating an approach that relies only on on-page factors. Given the fact that there's no way an algorithm can determine the quality of a page's content, I doubt you'd be any happier with the search results if that were the case.

djgreg




msg:145137
 9:45 am on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Josefu:
I am absolutley with you in that case.
For commercial sites it is very difficult to get links if they do not participate in a links exchange or surf the web all the day and look for new links.
But if nobody would search for links and there were no linkexchanges and all that stuff, there were very less backlinks, but I think the sites with the best products/offes would rank better because they would have a few backlinks (for example directories) while all others would have none.

greg

Jakpot




msg:145138
 12:04 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

treating a link as a vote produced much better SERPS.

Suggest check out more SERPs - Lot's are in sad shape

dirkz




msg:145139
 2:48 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

IMHO the PageRank and Anchor Text is far superior to the version counting only on-page factors, but I'm pretty sure it won't be the last algo.

It only takes time and some innovation (and dissatisfaction with the current situation) to improve an algo or invent an even better one. At least of Google I know that they are researching, other companies do too I bet.

For commercial sites, I think it's very natural to get embedded in the community by looking for links from the (related) outside. Where would you have placed a banner in pre-SE times?

IMHO hunting for links was THE thing since invetion of the WWW (ok, maybe a couple of years later), it's only natural.

I really appreciate the possibility to learn from others via the backlink feature. This way, no one can dominate any SERP forever, cards are shuffled again on a very regular base. Even if you dominate you have to get better.

Thanks to google and affiliate programs we (at least most of us I guess) can make a decent living.

coffeebean




msg:145140
 3:07 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is creating search results that are a bunch of similar sites that link through an affiliate code to one of the sites that SHOULD come up for a search.

If affiliate sites beat out the merchant sites themselves it's because the affiliate sites have practiced more diligent SEO.

This is one reason affiliate programs are good marketing tools for the merchants. A merchant doesn't have to worry so much about SEO tricks and can focus more on making the sale and satisfying customers.

Josefu




msg:145141
 3:14 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think it's very natural to get embedded in the community by looking for links from the (related) outside. Where would you have placed a banner in pre-SE times?

D'oh! You have a point. How 'bout those of us who have our a**es between two chairs because we have a small 'home commercial' site and no budget for advertising?

I would love to hear more about affiliate programs...

dirkz




msg:145142
 3:15 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

and can focus more on making the sale and satisfying customers

Good point. Everybody should do what he does best. Google the algo, merchants their products, and we the SEO ... and the revenue :)

michael heraghty




msg:145143
 3:22 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Banklinks should always be shown, in the interests of transparency and openness.

Google doesn't owe SEOs anything; in fact, I suspect Google would prefer if there were no such thing as SEOs, but realises that's not going to happen. If SEOs find "genious ways" (sic) to get high listings, then it's only fair (and Google has always seemed to promote a policy of fairness) to let others see those methods.

Google's policy promotes a culture of quality and competitiveness, in preference to one of spam and secrecy.

If anything, Google should aim to update its display of backlinks more promptly, and to show *all* backlinks, even those from low PR sites -- although perhaps via an additional "view all backlinks" option, as per the current "view all results" option.

roundabout




msg:145144
 3:34 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

the toolbar will be the downfall of Google. It has no value for the average searcher, yet is the primary tool for SEOs trying to game the system. Can't understand why Google hasn't figured this out yet.

dirkz




msg:145145
 4:49 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

yet is the primary tool for SEOs trying to game the system

Yes, it's primarily for SEOs, but not to game the system (btw, an Overture like keyword suggestion tool for Google could accomplish this far better).

As Michael said, it promotes competitiveness. And I think it also helps to detect spam. It would be very expensive for Google to go through their SERPs for each and every keyword and look at the not-yet-filtered methods of spamming. But SEOs always are very quick about finding spamming in the SERPs and either copy it (thus making it somewhat irrelevant if everybody's doing the same) or inform Google or beating it with more backlinks.

Anyway, why try to obfuscate? You can sort of figure out the PR from SERPs, and could even find the backlinks in Google with other means. Would it really make a difference?

elklabone




msg:145146
 5:20 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's funny how so many people spot the flaws in Google, yet can't propose a workable alternative.

In page factors can be manipulated....e.g. web position gold.

Backlinks can be increased through link campaigns... however link campaigns are hard work, and very time consuming. Most webmasters don't have the time (or patience) it takes to get 1,000 backlinks (which I think is a good goal). Also, link exchanges are a natural thing, and as old as the internet itself. If google disappeared off the face of the earth tomorrow, I'd still be looking for reciprocal links, because my link partners bring relevant, targeted, free traffic to my site everyday.

Google has it's flaws. However, they have the best system in place right now. They give the most relevant results for most people, most of the time. Period.

roundabout




msg:145147
 5:41 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Would it really make a difference?

Absolutely. Right now SEO is mostly about buying high PR links. Take away the toolbar and you throw this practice into disarray.

>> It's funny how so many people spot the flaws in Google, yet can't propose a workable alternative.

You don't have to be a mechanic to tell if your car is broken. And anyway, I did propose an alternative: lose the toolbar.

dirkz




msg:145148
 5:54 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Right now SEO is mostly about buying high PR links. Take away the toolbar and you throw this practice into disarray.

You can always guess PR from the SERPs. And even if you couldn't, where would you buy your links?
Right, from sites that have many targeted visitors per day. Should we throw away log files or web analysis tools or independent traffic estimates because someone could buy a link from a popular site?

IMO obfuscation is never a good idea. Not in security. And not regarding SEs.

dirkz




msg:145149
 6:29 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Josefu, IMHO content is king. If you have unique content you will be able to get good links. Also, there are many specialized directories for every kind of business. You can get links there and find related businesses. There are many gems to find on WW.

steveb




msg:145150
 6:30 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Right now SEO is mostly about buying high PR links."

Well, no.

It's all about pages and anchor text. High PR links is trivial in comparison. High PR with tons of anchor text is better than low PR and tons of anchor text, but that is about it.

PR2 sites with thousands and thousands of non-dynamic pages can easily rule search terms of under a million results. One family I watch now has about sixty of the top 80 search results with sixty (ten thousand page) PR1 and PR2 sites. Its sick. Pages with anchor text are all you have to do for most stuff. Pages with anchor text with good PR is what is needed for competitive terms (new/fresh is a bonus too).

mrguy




msg:145151
 6:31 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've yet to buy a high PR link and don't have any plans to do so in the future.

For the few sites I do SEO for, they regularly place in the top 5 for their terms and generally beat higher PR sites and none of them have purchased links.

It seems to me people just get frustrated because they can't come up with creative ways to get links without paying for them. I admit, it is time consuming and takes a little creative thinking.

There are a plethora of good solid free links if you do a little work and figure out how to find them and then ask for them in a way that will get you the link.

I think the way Google has shaken things up lately with the PR reporting and back link reporting being off is a good think.

I regularly see new PRO sites in the #1 spot for searcg terms. If it was all about PR, those sites would not show up.

mil2k




msg:145152
 6:43 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

the toolbar will be the downfall of Google

Maybe it will be the trump card of google. It has privacy issues and it can track the activity of SEOs ;). That being said I feel the toolbar is already showing bonkers PR values. And getting links is like socializing on the net. The more links you have the better known you are on the web. It's not a perfect syytem.. but better than the rest.

Josefu




msg:145153
 9:16 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

...yes, it still is better than the rest, no matter what critique I may have made. In the past month I have seen sites (alltheweb, yahoo, etc,) working like mad to develop in the same direction as google (google's 'site:' mirrored by Altavista's new 'host:' function). But I digress from the topic : ) - sorry Marcia : P

Also, there are many specialized directories for every kind of business. You can get links there and find related businesses. There are many gems to find on WW.

...I would love to hear more about that - if you don't deem it relevent here please feel free to sticky me.

I do have a 'natural' ad campaign going - quite honest, believe me : ) I will just be patient, I guess. But still, I dont' rightly think it's fair that I be number one if only I have the might to BUY my links to that spot - through the investment into a massive ad campaign which reflects my monetary might, not the quality of my site. Commercially speaking, of course.

davewray




msg:145154
 9:33 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Complaining about "affiliate" sites or site owners who just check out their competitions backlinks and go after those as well is a useless thing to do!

When you acheive the number one position from sweat and hard work you CANNOT sit on your laurels. You can't just enjoy the ride. You have to continuously be ahead of the competition...work harder, work better. Always keep ahead of your competition by making them try and catch up on a continuous basis. Most site owners who are not serious will eventually give up.

If attaining link partnerships with the appropriate anchor text is what works and is effective right now, then for the sake of survival you need to "play the game" while it exists. If you don't do as the Romans do, you will perish as a site owner.

Really, if you don't like your current situation, DO something about it! Stop whining and complaining.

roundabout




msg:145155
 10:23 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> IMO obfuscation is never a good idea. Not in security. And not regarding SEs.

I disagree. The Google algorithm (links being counted as votes for a website) worked better before SEOs grasped the concept and starting reacting to it.

What's so bad about obfuscation anyway? Sometimes it's just better to keep some things secret.

netnerd




msg:145156
 10:40 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)


Google is supposed to be a search engine, but it's turning into some kind of spammy battleground where webmasters dual each other by furiously linking and examining each others affiliate rubbish websites in order to copy them.

I make my living using affiliate schemes and rebranded sites. I dont think there is anything wrong with them, and mine are certainly not rubbishy.

If you find my widgets directory during your search for widgets , then you have a good site full of information about widgets and reviews of companies where you can buy widgets cheaply. Thats exactly what i would want to find in a search engine result.

I feel that affiliate site webmasters get a hard time - ok - some are a bit useless , but i think that the more successfull ones are the ones that actually add value.

What do you guys think?

Marcia




msg:145157
 10:44 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think if it reaches the point that a search engine's results are ordered according to which webmasters know where to scrounge up anchor text and buy links for PR and/or anchor text, then to a significant degree that search engine has lost control and needs to find some balance and get back in the saddle and take the reins back from the rustlers.

EliteWeb




msg:145158
 11:02 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I like PageRank
I like Backlinks, it is what weaves the web. Without back links spidering would be lame..

PageRank is a nice greenbar :) Heck I don't use it on many of my computers, want a highly ranked site get everyone to use it. :P

As time evolves new things will come out, think of how many people already dropped out of SEO from trying to keep up with the game and getting tired or failing thus dropping out. Its all a game, you reverse engeneer the search engine algarythms when you get sites to the top or ya'r the one who uses the info to get it there.

In a highly competitive market its not as easy as just a few links and a meta tag. :P And I love reading all the posts here, makes me think more. :P This post made me think 'never get too comfortable with your ways as the SE's will evolve and if you dont you will die.' mmMm fortune cookie style.

[edited by: EliteWeb at 11:18 pm (utc) on Sep. 23, 2003]

netnerd




msg:145159
 11:16 pm on Sep 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I too enjoy the game - especially when im winning. I just hope i can get enough out of it to retire before i loose my touch!

This 56 message thread spans 2 pages: 56 ( [1] 2 > >
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