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Reverse Engineering
There may be a window of opportunity open
kaled




msg:129889
 11:39 am on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wrote the following in another thread.
I just noticed something interesting. If you've recently changed the title of a page, had it spidered and indexed, and you then do a link: search that returns the said page, the old title is still displayed.
I presume this can be used as an easy way to tell if backlinks have been updated (by checking if the new title is returned).

This also says something interesting about the inner workings of the beast

This set me to thinking.

1) We know that Google is operating a rolling update. I have observed on-page changes being reflected in SERPS (almost) immediately.

2) It is generally agreed that back-links are updated every few weeks.

3) It is reasonable to assume that all off-page changes are reflected in SERPS when backlinks are updated.

4) This permits the weighting of on-page factors on SERPS to be studied with a degree of isolation from off-page factors. (Of course, this could be done before but having to wait for monthly dances made it impractical.)

Now there is no chance at all that I am the first member of WW to think of this, which means several members have probably been conducting experiments for some time. Would anyone care to share their conclusions.

Kaled.

 

John_Caius




msg:129890
 12:27 pm on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another observation:

One client has just updated the title of their front page.

In a search for fluffy widgets, the new title is displayed. In a search for blue fluffy widgets, the old title is displayed. This is a consistent result, not an effect of hitting the lucky datacenter (i.e. it is reproduced on multiple page refreshes). Do particular searches (e.g. two words vs. three words) hit different datacenters?

MyWifeSays




msg:129891
 1:52 pm on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

I saw something similar a while back. If I searched with one phrase my site had a fresh tag wheras with a different phrase it didn't.

This was with searches on any data centre.

airpal




msg:129892
 3:41 pm on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Kaled, I came to the same conclusion and am currently testing out exactly what you mentioned above, but seeing inconclusive results (keep in mind that my site is still PR0, and I've only tracked one fresh crawl or one phase of changes where all my pages went up, not just the modified ones). I really, really hope what you mentioned is true, because it will reward those who constantly tweak their pages to see the results of their hard work in the SERPs quickly. Only a powerful mod/admin would be able to give us some more insight on this, as they are veterans in the SEO game... ;)

rfgdxm1




msg:129893
 4:16 pm on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>2) It is generally agreed that back-links are updated every few weeks.

It isn't backlink updates that count. It is when PR is updated, which may not necessarily be at the same time. There is good reason to suspect that PR is only updated every month or so. The reason being it is very computationally intensive to do so. Thus, by making changes on page between PR updates, you may be able to get some insight about other algo factor weights.

Caution: this assumes that PR is only updated monthly or so. If Google has figured out a way to update PR on the fly, all bets are off.

kaled




msg:129894
 4:28 pm on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Caution: this assumes that PR is only updated monthly or so. If Google has figured out a way to update PR on the fly, all bets are off.

Agreed. This is why I said there may be a window of opportunity because I imagine that's coming within the next year.

It is also my suspicion that it is not just PR that is updated every few weeks, I think it may be all the off-page factors including PR. For instance, I changed the anchor text on all my cross-links to include keywords a few weeks ago. So far this has had no effect on SERPS (so far as I can tell). Perhaps, if anchor text is amazing (and it works for internal links) I'll go up in the SERPS when backlinks are updated. I'm waiting with baited breath - well, Ok I'm lying.

Kaled.

rfgdxm1




msg:129895
 4:37 pm on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>It is also my suspicion that it is not just PR that is updated every few weeks, I think it may be all the off-page factors including PR.

This is very possible, and from my observations it looks like what is happening. Google may do this to thwart reverse engineering. People have long used Ink and Altavista PPI to figure out their algo, and tweak up their pages in the ranking.

dpplgngr




msg:129896
 7:51 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

The visible effects of a PR/Backlink update (the Toolbar)are not always in sync with the SERPs.

Believing the Tule-Barre means waiting for the miracle.

Want to really experiment? Build a very small cluster using low-medium profile terms. Dynamicize the link structure so that it changes once every 3 days, and record that structure in a db table... and your SERP positions, of course.

onedumbear




msg:129897
 8:09 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

john_caius
>In a search for fluffy widgets, the new title is displayed. In a search for blue fluffy widgets, the old title is displayed. This is a consistent result, not an effect of hitting the lucky datacenter

I see this exact same thing in inktomi also

donpps




msg:129898
 8:59 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Had a web update - title etc appear within 24 hours. This is a brand new web site.

Pretty excited about it.

Anybody noticing a drop in traffic? Weird because a search for my domain (blabla.com) in G indicated an increase in results shown.. from like 13000 to 14000 hits. ANy explanation for the drop in traffic?

twilight47




msg:129899
 10:35 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dynamicize the link structure so that it changes once every 3 days, and record that structure in a db table...

Forgive me but what and how do you Dynamicize your links?

dpplgngr




msg:129900
 11:00 pm on Nov 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Forgive me but what and how do you Dynamicize your links?

By "dynamicize" I mean "make dynamic". I do make a sincere effort to avoid injecting word funk into my sentences. Sometimes it happens anyway. Probably some drug I took back in the 90's.

To rewrite your links, and hence all of your pages and sites from the same database every three days, you'd probably want to run a script at those intervals by adding it to your cron daemon's schedule table.

The components you'd need are an installed and properly configured database backend (needs to be sessionable from each of these sites), an interpreter such as php, perl, python, etc, the appropriate drivers to communicate between the scripting language and the database, and crond, of course.

You will need to create a data model which includes complete, dated records of your link graph as it changes, serp positions, robot visitations, and your sites' index content changes.

From that you should be able to run queries and make charts and be an SEO rockstar. Damn. Slipping again.

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