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Too much weight on DMOZ/Google link-text
yonnermark




msg:125840
 12:41 pm on Sep 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm competing for the keyphrase "used widgets" and have properly optimised my site to reflect this. I'm doing the following:

keyphrase in title
keyphrase in h1 & h2
keyphrase in content to a good density level
keyphrase in link-text of internal backlinks to the page in question

But the site which is top of google for the phrase "used widgets" has done none of the above. In fact, nowhere on the whole website does the word "used" appear (I've checked source code too).

So I looked at their backlinks using google and they have a link from the google directory where the link-text is "used widgets" and the same at DMOZ.

Their URL is widgetexchange.com but in DMOZ the link-text is used widgets. Seems a bit silly.

Anyway, the recent SEO 101 thread didn't list DMOZ link-text as a specific, major factor. On this evidence, I think it should be

Mark

 

kaled




msg:125870
 1:13 pm on Oct 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

We all accept that individual website owners can link to whomsoever they please and in doing do may affect Google results. The problem with DMOZ is that too much weight seems to be applied to its links. This may partly be due to all the clones (more than 100 by my reckoning) though I would hope that Google ignores many of these.

The situation is made even worse since Google ignores all javascript links. Considering they supposedly place so much emphasis on pagerank (based on links) it amazes me that they ignore so many links. Of course, Google also ignore all cgi-type links (that call scripts with parameters) but this, at least, is understandable. (Of course the url is obvious with some cgi links so some could be counted).

With respect to DMOZ, the difference between tampering and seo is simple, if an editor takes anything other than a neutral view of a website he/she is tampering.

In all probability, if DMOZ vanished (or were simply ignored by Google), my website would suffer. However, I would still support such an action because it would make the playing field somewhat more level. I would probably have to put in some work getting more backlinks but I can live with that.

If DMOZ vanished (or was significantly downgraded by Google) I believe search results would improve though some small private websites might get fewer visitors as a result.

Kaled.

mat




msg:125871
 1:24 pm on Oct 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Whilst I consider a DMOZ link to be a good rubber stamp, I can't agree with the weight/value evaluation that is being bandied about in this thread.

Earlier this year - at least in the control set of SERPS that I know well - there was barely a top 10 listing that didn't have a DMOZ listing. Fast forward a few months and that is very much not the case.

Anchor text, anchor text, anchor text, seasoned with keyword-in-domain - that's all it takes just now - rarely has Google been so easy to tune as it is at the moment.

Powdork




msg:125872
 4:47 pm on Oct 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

The problem with DMOZ is that too much weight seems to be applied to its links.
That would seem to be more a problem with Google. DMOZ has no control over how much weight Google places is on its links or whether Google spiders and indexes clones.

With respect to the number of clones, that can be found here [dmoz.org]. I always thought the number was higher. Keep in mind that many of these only grab a portion, or niche area, of the directory.

rfgdxm1




msg:125873
 5:33 pm on Oct 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Description text is far more variable since there are many valid ways to describe a site. However, this is not much of an issue as the description text is not part of the link.

Description text is not an issue at all in terms of a site's Google SERPs. If by some means a webmaster were able to get their site's ODP description changed to one that was keyword stuffed and hype filled, this wouldn't raise them in the SERPs in the least.

hutcheson




msg:125874
 6:17 pm on Oct 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>The problem with DMOZ is that too much weight seems to be applied to its links.

>That would seem to be more a problem with Google. DMOZ has no control over how much weight Google places is on its links or whether Google spiders and indexes clones.

Google people swear up and down that no site (specifically including dmoz.org) gets any kind of boost from them. dmoz.org gets its pagerank just like my-affiliate-banner-farm.com does, by incoming links. And it boosts the pagerank of other sites just like MABF.com, by outgoing links. It's not clear how Google could do otherwise than it's doing. The same applies to the Yahoo! directory (which is also well represented) and the LooksMart directory (which is poorly represented because of its own choice: some of ITS major licensees exclude spiders.)

Now, it is certainly true that large (500,000 pages at dmoz.org), stable (ODP is over 5 years old now), heavily-interlinked (dmoz.org has about 5 MILLION INTERNAL links), low-duplication (every page is radically different by any kind of duplicate-text scan) text-rich sites are favored by the Google algorithm. Is this a fault? Or ... is it a "vulnerability that can best be exploited through good website design"?

And yeah, internal dmoz.org links approximately double the probability of a random-walkbot visiting dmoz.org pages, which is probably close to the theoretical maximum.

But look at it another way: the ODP represents hundreds of man-years of work. As Bach said, anybody can get that kind of effect. You just press the keys, and the 'website builds itself' Your six-month project to collect as many affiliate links as possible, followed by another six-months' seige of all the available free link sources, is still 199 years away from earning what the ODP has earned -- even if you just count time expended, rather than worthwhile constructive effort done. (Many e-tailing sites represent a net REDUCTION in the "sum of human knowledge;" of course, you cannot expect effort spent lieing, deceiving, and concealing facts to earn the public gratitude or spark the public interest in the way that efforts to disseminate knowledge can.)

BigDave




msg:125875
 6:37 pm on Oct 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Okay, let's try this again.

Google's claim that humans can not tamper with the results are referring to tampering with the output data, given a specific set of input data (i.e. the data they picked up suring the crawl)

In other words, GoogleGuy cannot go in an move the website of his brothere AgoodGuy, from the third page up to the #1 slot. He might be able to sneak in a tweak to wht algo that would move him up due to certain site aspects, but that is it.

They have no control over what happens in their dataset, so you can do whatever you want there and it is not considered tampering with the results.

It can be considered to be doing something that decreases the quality of the results, and then Google might do something, that you might not like, to increase the quality of their results.

I do not believe that the single DMOZ link or anchor text counts any more than any other link. The fact that it is often a high PR link makes it more important, and the fact that it is repeated hundreds of times, including in the google directory, for another high PR link, is where it gains importance.

I am not convinced that the DMOZ description does not deserve at least honorable mention in the results, since they do display it in the SERPs. Then again, I have no reason to blelieve it does either.

rfgdxm1




msg:125876
 7:10 pm on Oct 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I do not believe that the single DMOZ link or anchor text counts any more than any other link. The fact that it is often a high PR link makes it more important, and the fact that it is repeated hundreds of times, including in the google directory, for another high PR link, is where it gains importance.

Take a look at a random selection of ODP categories. The correct statement is that only rarely is an ODP page high PR. And, typically there are lots of links on the page, which means that each site on the page gets very little PR transferred from the ODP. Yes, there are some very high PR cats at the ODP which have relatively few sites listed. However, these are the rare exception, not the rule.

>I am not convinced that the DMOZ description does not deserve at least honorable mention in the results, since they do display it in the SERPs. Then again, I have no reason to blelieve it does either.

I've seen zero evidence that the ODP description makes any difference. And, if it did I'd have expected by now to see real world examples that proved it. For those who want to test the theory, I'd suggest scanning ODP descriptions for unusual typos that create non-existant words. If Google is factoring ODP descriptions in at all, then it should show on searches using these non-existant words in descriptions.

kaled




msg:125877
 12:19 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

As I see it, DMOZ sole reason to exist is as a source of links for search engines. Since such search engines can operate effectively without DMOZ, I think they should do so. Let's be realistic, no one would bother submitting to DMOZ if all the search engines ignored it (and the clones).

Given that it can be impossible to get listed in some categories, those sites that are already listed are definitely at an unfair advantage.

Kaled.

BigDave




msg:125878
 3:42 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

kaled,

I use directories to find things. I get traffic to from directories. I use link pages to find things, and I get traffic from link pages. I have used a directory to find pages that I want to link to.

If I do a search and I see a DMOZ category come up in the results, I will check it, as there is often a much higher chance of finding relevant content than with the search results.

It would also be MUCH harder for search engines to crawl the web without having directories to seed them. Otherwise you would most likely have a bunch of little clumps of sites linking together, and lots of commercial sites that would not get any links at all.

rfgdxm1




msg:125879
 4:01 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>As I see it, DMOZ sole reason to exist is as a source of links for search engines. Since such search engines can operate effectively without DMOZ, I think they should do so. Let's be realistic, no one would bother submitting to DMOZ if all the search engines ignored it (and the clones).

Utter rubbish. Let's imagine for a second that all search engines gave no ranking benefit for being listed in the ODP. Now assume that I am doing SEO work for a new client. I can submit a site to the ODP in 2 minutes. Just cut and paste the URL and site title on the submission form, and type out a couple sentences that make for a respectable description. Even if I bill clients $150 an hour, the client will being paying me just $5 extra for the ODP submission. Even if the traffic from the ODP and clones is just a few extra visitors a month, from the perspective of a commercial site this one time $5 would be money well spent. Just one sale likely would result in more than $5 in most cases. People would submit to the ODP even if search engines ignored it because ODP submission is free if you do it yourself, and even if an SEO does it for you it won't cost much.

buckworks




msg:125880
 4:13 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

a cloaker! Which is atleast 50% of the people in this forum, at anyrate.
And you surveyed this how...?
BigDave




msg:125881
 4:48 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

By asking the little voices.

I've actually haven't seen much cloaking lately. It make you too easy of a target

Powdork




msg:125882
 7:53 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

People would submit to the ODP even if search engines ignored it because ODP submission is free if you do it yourself, and even if an SEO does it for you it won't cost much.
Adding a site takes waaaay more than 2 minutes, especially if you do it right. The ODP takes longer than most. And if you're starting an online business, directory listings must be taken into account at least a little when you design your name and logo.
And if Google, and GoogleGuy, didn't recommend the ODP, it would get much less business because the traffic just isn't there for most. However, because of the way things have been for so long and because of the efforts of so many, it is a good directory, and it is free to use and submit to. I don't think it's the best it can be and I also think it will be overtaken as the industry leader before Google is.

dirkz




msg:125883
 8:44 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

The problem with DMOZ is that too much weight seems to be applied to its links.

Can you proove this?

ODP submission takes time, for some sites eternally. Why should a good SEO rely on something that gives a good anchor text in 6 months if you can get it much faster?

Get some links somewhere else and you'll be much better off much faster.

how "tampering" varies from SEO

I think everybody in this forum is tampering with Google results in some sense. I think this is called SEO ;-)

If its one thing I cant stand its a cloaker! Which is atleast 50% of the people in this forum, at anyrate.

If you believe that cloaking will get you good results then why don't you do it? Too much work? Or not lasting long enough? ;-)

IMHO, even if it's possible, in the long run it's not rewarding. If you take a look at Google's (supposed) algo you can imagine that cloaking does NOT get you to the top. It's a technique for old-style search engines that put heavy weight on on-page factors. You should know that Google puts more weight on off-page factors.

Maybe THAT'S the reason some people are not doing it. I don't care about cloakers because I know what will beat them.

Powdork




msg:125884
 9:06 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Description text is not an issue at all in terms of a site's Google SERPs.
It is true that the description text has no bearing on where results pan out, but it is not true to say it is not a factor in the serps. Look at the shelf space a site with a Google directory description gets compared to one without. It also comes with the category listing.
This is very important.
Having a Google Directory link gets you twice the real estate every time the page with the link shows up on the most important site on the web.

That is a hugely important factor that is often overlooked, if not always.

victor




msg:125885
 9:10 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

And if Google, and GoogleGuy, didn't recommend the ODP, it would get much less business because the traffic just isn't there for most.

I'm confused. The ODP doesn't get any business at all, so reading this statement perhaps the way you intend, leaves me with a question:

Why would Google get less business if they stopped recommending the OPD?

storevalley




msg:125886
 9:34 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think everybody in this forum is tampering with Google results in some sense. I think this is called SEO ;-)

My point exactly :)

EarWig




msg:125887
 10:15 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Build your site for the user.
Follow Brett's "Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone"
[webmasterworld.com...]

Leave out the ODP bit and you will still get Quality Serp's from Google.

EW

bull




msg:125888
 11:18 am on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Too much weight on DMOZ/Google link-text

Blah. Next week it's too much weight on (sub)domain names, in two weeks too much weight on keywords in filenames, in three weeks to much weight on I-do-not-know. The only advantages of these other noisy possibilites are: no poor dmoz editors whining about spammed "suggestion" queues and no poor webmasters complaining about sites (worth or not) not being listed.

A multilingual subdirectory of my site is listed three times in ODP in different cats, each one with one "keyword" in the anchor (after all it's totally NC), and is #2 out of 900.000. Beaten by a site not listed in DMOZ but which has a link from a PR7 or 8 site with the KW in anchor too.
So, I simply don't believe there is a special treatment of ODP listed sites. No evidence.

kaled




msg:125889
 1:17 pm on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, since it would appear that I'm already guilty of tampering with Google results in the eyes of many, I think I'll apply to become an ODP editor (when I have a little more spare time). At least I should be able to get my website two more entries. When I do I bet their respective SERPS will jump big time.

rfgdxm1 said
I can submit a site to the ODP in 2 minutes.

You must be an editor then. If you can guarantee to get me listed, perhaps I'll slip you a few bucks!

Kaled.

storevalley




msg:125890
 1:29 pm on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1 said ...

Submitting and being listed are two different things ;)

dirkz




msg:125891
 1:36 pm on Oct 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

think I'll apply to become an ODP editor (when I have a little more spare time).

Have fun trying it :) I'm very much interested in your report.

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