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Questioning the currency of Google backlinks
Are they out of date?
Arnett




msg:186906
 5:40 pm on Oct 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

I did a review of a top rated sites' backlinks. Not just one,but several of the referring sites came up "not found". Their supposed pagerank is being factored into the pagerank and position of the target site though.

Just how current are the backlinks? My own pagerank dropped after Esmerelda. I have verified that the toolbar shows a PR of 4 or higher for pages with links to mine yet they don't show in the backlinks for my pages.

 

hitchhiker




msg:186907
 4:18 am on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Last update I saw was 2 months ago.. Perhaps most people are in the same boat.

keeper




msg:186908
 4:59 am on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I haven't seen backlinks updated in quite some time. I'm beginning to wonder if publishing them frequently is a priority for them...

I find myself relying on AlltheWeb's URL inspector more and more for up to date link info.

Morgan




msg:186909
 5:02 am on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I doubt it's a priority for them, I suspected they might be taking steps to obfuscate the algorithm a little by not being so transparent. The PR's inconsistent, the backlinks seem old, and it makes it more difficult to see the effects of changes you make to your site and incoming links. I think that's a better situation than what we've had traditionally, but that's just me.

Arnett




msg:186910
 8:04 am on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I doubt it's a priority for them

Backlinks are the heart and soul their precious PageRank. If it's not a priority for them what does that tell you about PageRank?

kaled




msg:186911
 8:24 am on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Checking backlinks on Google is a waste of time. Simply use AlltheWeb. It includes javascript links that Google ignores but I don't think there is an option to fix that. I've also been playing with Altavista occasionally. Improvements definitely make it worth a look.

Kaled.

Powdork




msg:186912
 8:35 am on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Interestingly, according to my referral logs the last two people that approached me for links tonight found me while checking their competitors' backlinks on ATW. Google should fix these small holes in the foundation before Yahoo! gets their schinizzle together cuz when they do they will have the potential to seriously reorganize things.

<edit>I should mention that I also believe Google is intentionally obfuscating the backlink picture, but that's only because they can. If backlinks were to become a measure of importance amongst the SE's rather than just for SEO's I'm sure Google's link: command would easily become the freshest and most accurate picture of web connectivity.</edit>

theitboy




msg:186913
 1:01 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


I'm finding the whole backlink thing ridiculous. The whole "only above PR4" thing makes no sense. This is a tool Google CLAIMS to OFFER. It's right there as an option on their Advanced Search page.

I don't know what use this feature is to the general user. But if Google believes that the only point to it is for dodgy use by webmasters, they should stop offering it ALL TOGETHER. If they're going to offer it, they should do it properly. What is the logic of "only high ranked pages that link"? Google's strength is supposed to be its relatively comprehensive nature

Supposedly, they still know about other links, but choose not to show them. I wonder, because the logic of this simply makes no sense to me. Why only show high ranked links? What possible use is this to the average consumer, or indeed, to anybody?

Do one or the other. Get rid of the feature, or do it properly.
.

kaled




msg:186914
 1:58 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Backlinks added on Saturday are beginning to show today (Monday) on both AllTheWeb and AltaVista. How long shall we have to wait until Google can match that?

Kaled.

Arnett




msg:186915
 4:32 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Do one or the other. Get rid of the feature, or do it properly.

They may be having more problems than they are willing to admit. Maybe they can't get the backlinks updated.

steveb




msg:186916
 8:33 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Backlinks updated a couple weeks ago. Scroll down and read the threads.

rfgdxm1




msg:186917
 8:45 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Backlinks added on Saturday are beginning to show today (Monday) on both AllTheWeb and AltaVista. How long shall we have to wait until Google can match that?

Who outside of weirdo webmasters of the sort that hang out here ever use the link: command? Why should Google care about this at all?

Morgan




msg:186918
 9:03 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Exactly-- I meant I don't think it's a priority for them to display this information to us in a timely manner. It should be at the very bottom of their list of things to do.

Powdork




msg:186919
 9:22 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Who outside of weirdo webmasters of the sort that hang out here ever use the link: command? Why should Google care about this at all?
Weirdo?! Now them's fightin' words.;)
Maybe showing all backlinks would make some sort of relationship between PR and spidering more available than they would like.

rfgdxm1




msg:186920
 10:07 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Maybe showing all backlinks would make some sort of relationship between PR and spidering more available than they would like.

EXACTLY. To be specific, knowing all the backlinks that Google had found, along with toolbar PR data, the competition could essentially reverse engineer the current PageRank algo in use. There are those who have argued adding the PR display to the toolbar was a mistake by Google. The only advantage to Google is the toolbar can be a way for webmasters finding out sites that are part of bad neighborhoods. With the toolbar, seeing some green means it is OK to link. Without the toolbar there would be much more fear about linking to other sites, bacause of the possibility of getting the Google Death Penalty.

jbgilbert




msg:186921
 10:38 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm with Arnett... Google may still have some serious problems with their precious links processing and PR processing. Or,

Could it be that these things are just no longer the Google priority they used to be?

-- Is AdWords and AdSense generating SO MUCH income for Google that all the EXTRA processing required to keep these measures current is just not worth the effort or expense?

-- As long as EVERY Google search results page has AdWords ads for the world to click on, the actual search results don't have to be all that stellar.

Who's to say that Google is not trying to change their ranking algorithms to a much simpler format?

DerekH




msg:186922
 10:51 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

jbgilbert wrote
>>Who's to say that Google is not trying to change their ranking algorithms to a much simpler format? <<

Well, I am!

If only for the fact that google proclaim that their ranking algorithm uses over 100 factors, but I've never seen this forum describe more than about 20....

Backlinks is one.
Anchor text is two.
Title is three.
<H1> is four.
Keyword density is five.

What ARE the other 96?
Or failing that, what are the most important 48?
DerekH

kaled




msg:186923
 12:44 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

To be specific, knowing all the backlinks that Google had found, along with toolbar PR data, the competition could essentially reverse engineer the current PageRank algo in use.

Given that toolbar PR data is unreliable (and imprecise), this is certainly nonsense. However, even if it were true, what advantage would other search engines gain by such knowledge?

The link: command fails to work in Google for technical reasons. If they could make it work better they would.

Who outside of weirdo webmasters of the sort that hang out here ever use the link: command? Why should Google care about this at all?

Whether they care or not is irrelevant. The fact is that it helps webmasters determine how effiently Google is updating it index. The inescapable conclusion is that others are doing better. Of course that does not mean that others produce better search results but it does mean that there is room for improvement at Google.

Kaled.

rfgdxm1




msg:186924
 1:35 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Given that toolbar PR data is unreliable (and imprecise), this is certainly nonsense. However, even if it were true, what advantage would other search engines gain by such knowledge?

Further knowledge about the inner workings of Google.

>The link: command fails to work in Google for technical reasons. If they could make it work better they would.

So you think the problem is that Google programmers are bozos, and can't get this to work like Alltheweb and others do? I consider it far more likely that this is intentional, and they don't want this to work better.

Arnett




msg:186925
 7:41 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Backlinks updated a couple weeks ago. Scroll down and read the threads.

Yeah, sure they did. I've checked my backlinks and those of other sites. Several pages that have a PR4 or higher that have links to mine haven't shown in my backlinks for months. They still don't show. Pages that Google says link to mine have no links to my urls in them. Checking top rated sites and checking the backlinks bring up several 404s (not found) instead of showing pages. I have a site with over 40 PR4 pages with links to it that shows a PR1 and 2 links to it. Read the 1st post in the thread.

sit2510




msg:186926
 8:26 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

IMHO but contrary to most of the people's belief over here, I think Google backlinks are pretty accurate and it conveys a simple and direct message about your links but depending upon how you interpret them...

The belief that link pages must be PR4 or higher to be qualified for backlinks is purely out-dated. PR4 or PR5 link pages do not necessary be shown as back links.

>>> I've checked my backlinks and those of other sites. Several pages that have a PR4 or higher that have links to mine haven't shown in my backlinks for months.

You may want to view the cache or count the number of links on those pages that your links are in. I believe this will help to answer your question.

adfree




msg:186927
 8:51 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

My 2cents: the recent efforts to invite external programming power to resolve their "issue" might be exactly that, G might have figured to leave everything as is until another solution is available with just that external help they are asking for...
Jens

kaled




msg:186928
 10:15 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

So you think the problem is that Google programmers are bozos, and can't get this to work like Alltheweb and others do? I consider it far more likely that this is intentional, and they don't want this to work better.

I presume then that you believe also that when link: worked properly (ish) during dances, this too was deliberate.

Google works in mysterious ways its wonders to perform.

Kaled.

Marval




msg:186929
 10:34 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

The important part of this that theitboy referred to here...Google offers the "what pages link to this page" as part of it's advanced search page. This is designed for the surfer, not the WMs out there that are trying to improve their pages.
Why would Google not want to show all of the results to the surfer on an advanced search (forget about it being a tool we use for a minute) - probably the same reason that they have chosen to only show 50 mill results for a common search term when over the last few years the same word had anywhere from 150-230 mill results...they are trying to improve the search results using algorithms - and this doesnt usually have anything to do with the quality of the experience that someone trying to rank higher with web pages gets from their tools.

steveb




msg:186930
 11:58 am on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Yeah, sure they did."

LOL, well, yes they did. You may have issues with your site but backlinks were recently updated, and were updated within a month before that. So was pagerank.

glengara




msg:186931
 12:31 pm on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

The slowness to re-index modified PR= or >4 inner pages suggests to me backlinks/PR must be well out of date.

Arnett




msg:186932
 5:18 pm on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

The slowness to re-index modified PR= or >4 inner pages suggests to me backlinks/PR must be well out of date.

That is my point exactly. I went through the backlinks for a top rated site. Clicking on the backlinks yielded several 404 not founds. That seems to be telling me that the backlinks themselves are not current and was the reason for my original post.

Gus_R




msg:186933
 8:40 pm on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I consider it far more likely that this is intentional, and they don't want this to work better.

As everything else, it's expensive to maintain this data updated and google doesn't care beyond common user interest.

pmac




msg:186934
 9:06 pm on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

The back links that Google shows have been out of date for ages and ages. Get a much truer picture at ATW. Links showing up within 24 hours in some cases.

2_much




msg:186935
 10:04 pm on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

So the question is does Google just not "show" them or do they choose to "ignore" them - big, important difference.

This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39 ( [1] 2 > >
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