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Nailing some Myths
Paranoia runs deep
Just Guessing




msg:717708
 6:04 pm on Jan 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a lot of posts from (justifiably) paranoid webmasters frightened that the most innocuous of actions might incur the almighty G's wrath. Perhaps it's time to nail a few myths. Here's some for starters, please contribute some more:

Myth - Duplicate content within your own site will incur a penalty. - Penalty is putting it a bit strong - all that will happen is some of your pages will rank better than others. Now, duplicating content from another site is an entirely different matter.

Myth - Interlinking your own sites will get you banned - Not if done in strict moderation.

Myth - Google doesn't follow JavaScript links - Ah, the good old days...

Myth - Google never indexes links in Flash - It does - sometimes, but don't count on it

Myth - If you get out of bed left foot first, turn round 3 times anticlockwise, while reciting "G is Good", you will get a #1 ranking. - Wrong - it's clockwise

Please shoot me down in flames if I'm wrong.

 

nuevojefe




msg:717709
 10:59 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Myth - Interlinking your own sites will get you banned - Not if done in strict moderation.

I'd be careful stating facts as you never know if a newbie will wander in who manages a porn site and a child daycare site...

piskie




msg:717710
 11:50 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can quote from a conversation with a G Man:
"Linking between sites that are hosted on the same IP will have no detramental effect providing the sites in question share a like-minded theme...."

Qualified by words like excessive or manipulative.......

So I take that to mean sensible linking structured for the benefit of the visitor is OK. However if these frontiers are fully explored, I think we can all see some blurred edges.

lammert




msg:717711
 1:38 am on Jan 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I put my link on the bottom of every site I make: [...] Is this considered bad interlinking?

There are many sites that have this kind of linking without problems. For example CMS software like WordPress and Mambo put a default link back to their main domain on every single page and mainly because of that they both have a PR8. So many domains provide them with hundreds of backlinks per domain. I don't expect them to be kicked out of the SERPs because of too many redundant links.

Many blog communities also are heavily interlinked and don't get a penalty because they have original and rich content.

To trigger the SEO over-optimized flag on Google it is my opinion that you have to violate on many areas, not just one. So having back links from all the websites shouldn't be a problem, unless you are also stuffing keywords, cloaking or all those other tricks to put your site in a high position.

ciml




msg:717712
 12:35 pm on Jan 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

> link to this site in my portfolio

That's not cross linking, we call that "hub and spoke". Cross linking is where you have several sites that all link to each other (e.g. a designer who links all his other clients from each of his clients).

My advise would be to avoid crosslinking [google.com].

> default link back to their main domain on every single page

No crosslinking their either, but I would be worried about having a high proportion of backlinks with the same anchor text. It's OK for a well known CMS Web site that probably has thousands of natural links, but on a less well known site this could cause a problem.

Stark




msg:717713
 12:26 am on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

totally agreed, it's all stabbing in the dark. However, some things are more dubious than others.

The thing I really love about the "over-optimization" idea is how entirely undefined it is. There is no indiciation as to what exactly is included, or excluded. Various notions exist as to what constituent elements are and various views are taken as to what is an acceptable level but it's almost like religion - totally required that you take it on faith.

Compare this to something like the sandbox, which is a phenomenon that can be experienced and seen at work, although the exact cause/reason/fine detail is debated endlessly, it's hard to dispute that *something* is going on there.

lammert




msg:717714
 12:42 am on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google is quite clear in the webmaster guidelines about what they see as a reason to take measures against a site. They mention:
  • Hidden links and texts
  • Cloaking
  • Automatic searche queries
  • many irrelevant words
  • duplicate content
  • doorway pages

So, that they take measures against sites with over optimisation is a fact. What we do not know, is how this system is triggered and what or who decides on which side of the line a specific site should occur. Automatically? When sites are reported with the spam report form? Only after manual review? Only G* knows.

But if you thought Google has no penalty for over optimisation, please read their guidelines at [google.com...] They are not as obscure as you think, they also have a detailed PageRank algorithm description [google.com] on their site ;)

nzmatt




msg:717715
 4:27 am on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here's the biggest myth of all: Google indexes and ranks new sites for money/adwords terms.

- Sure it does; if you consider 'new sites' to be those older than 9 months...

Brett_Tabke




msg:717716
 2:09 pm on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

> dupe content on your own site.

There is ZERO difference between dupe content on your site and on another site. They are treated 100% identicle.

> Myth - Interlinking your own sites will get you banned

I'd go stronger and say there is no such thing as an interlinking ban at all.

> Myth - Google doesn't follow JavaScript links

Myth - Google follows Javascript links.

Truth - Google follows any HTTP url it finds anywhere on the internet. It has nothing to do if the http is in javascript or not.

> Myth - Google never indexes links in Flash

Has nothing to do with it being flash. Google will follow links buried in any content. Even comment sections of gfx files.

> You forgot that using more than one <H#> tag

Not true or proven in real world. We have many pages with dozenzs of H tags and all are ranking top 3 in their pet keywords.

> Google is quite clear

Clear as mud with docs written to scare instead of inform.

> Hidden links and texts

Link Flash? Or would that be PDF's? How about .doc files? Buried a link in a JPEG lately?

Fact: there are over 20 ways to hide links that Google will gladly index.

> Cloaking

What do CNN, AT&T, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Weather.com, Alexa, and AOL all have in common?

Answer: they all cloak pages in one form or another.

Cloak appropriatly, and cloak at will.

> Automatic searche queries

Doesn't have much to do with seo'ing your pages.

> duplicate content

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

aka: what *is* duplicate content? Where is the thresshold?

> doorway pages

Define it, before you kill it. As far as I define it, doorway or landing pages are still tops with the major se's.

> it's all stabbing in the dark.

For newbies that is true - but for people that do this stuff for a living - it is all definable.

note: if you have q's on specific topics - start a new thread. We will keep this thread a bit cleaner than normal - so lets try to stay on topic to the original message.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 10:12 pm (utc) on Jan. 30, 2005]

walkman




msg:717717
 4:11 pm on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just checked out of curiosity and weather.com is not on the index. Maybe it's a coincidemce, but All their pages are URL only: [google.com...]
I think the fact that many other sites cobrand their info might have something to do with this.

Brett,
let's say a site has 100 pages (out 1000) that meet G's duplicate threshold (whatever that maybe). How does the penalty work? Are those pages alone penalized or is the entire site is slapped with the dupe penalty? I remember you saying that once that is taken out, 3-6 months would be needed to come back.

Just Guessing




msg:717718
 9:21 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is ZERO difference between dupe content on your site and on another site. They are treated 100% identicle.

There's zero difference in how they are treated, but it does matter to you rather more if your own page is buried in favour of a page on another site, rather than replaced with another of your own pages.

larryhatch




msg:717719
 9:39 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here's a new myth, I just made it up.

Myth: Google counts letter frequencies in the text portion of web pages.
If they are more or less the same as 'normal' percentages in ordinary text, no problem.
If they are quite different, G tests deeper for kw spamming, agressive SEO etc.

BS? Quite possibly. I'ts my first stab at inventing Google myths. -Larry

Marval




msg:717720
 11:11 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Brett - excellent - I see things havent changed

Myth - You should always check the PR of a site wanting a link exchange on the Google Toolbar before linking

Truth - Dont believe a thing you see on the toolbar - that little green line is just a pretty decoration to fool SEO wannabes

lammert




msg:717721
 7:30 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Myth - The Google index is limited to contain 2^32 pages

Although this has been a main issue in the discussion about the Google sandbox [webmasterworld.com] (starting at message #156), an IEEE document [computer.org] written by three Google technicians shows that the index and underlying hardware architecture is flexible and scalable by nature.

Just Guessing




msg:717722
 10:16 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Trying to keep this useful to comparative newbies (at the risk of stating the obvious):

Myth - PageRank is all important for good rankings. Truth - for less competitive searches, it's pretty unimportant and other factors such as anchor text on inbound links, for example, is far more important.

Myth - PageRank is calculated on an individual page basis, based on links to that page only. Actually, that's not a myth, that's true, but the ranking algorithm also seems to take into account either the number of inbound links to the home page or to the site as a whole.

Myth - The "link:" search shows you all your Backlinks. Truth - it shows you only a small sample of backlinks, making it difficult to analyse why any page ranks high or low.

Myth - The Cached page shows the page that corresponds to the entry in the SERPS. Truth - Don't count on it - the cache may or may not come from the same data center, and may be older or newer than the page contents indexed in the SERPS. (at the moment cache links in the SERPS and from the toolbar use an IP address rather than a Google domain name to direct the query.)

MultiMan




msg:717723
 11:25 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

piskie wrote
I can quote from a conversation with a G Man:
"Linking between sites that are hosted on the same IP will have no detramental effect providing the sites in question share a like-minded theme...."

Brett wrote:
> Myth - Interlinking your own sites will get you banned

I'd go stronger and say there is no such thing as an interlinking ban at all.

As usual, G$ is lying (if the "G$ man said that"). Maybe there isn't an outright ban, but it is downright near to being a ban. When sites go from Top 10 to 850, it is pretty near close to being thought of as being banned.

Non-spam, same-theme-based sites in a topical community, all interlinking to try to specifically convey to users what their topic is really about (to help users find and see what other sites offer the best information about each sub-niche), each offering very unique and important sub-niche information of their own, and using a common hosting company to unite to support their cause, are all wiped out into the 500 - 900 positions in the SERPs. G$ completely wipes out the entire community from being found by G$ users, when those authority sites (in their sub-niches) used to spread out over the Top 30 of SERPs. Now the G$ SERPs are utterly useless as the REAL community of the topic is in nowhereland in SERPS, and what remains in top SERPs now are either outdated or useless one-page theories by people with uniformed opinions who are are not committed to the topical keyword.

The problem is, there is no way out of it because of the need to inform the user about those other quality sites remains, and because of the need to financially support their community social-cause (with financial unity, with same hosting within their own community) remains as well. It is G$ that abuses their users by so depriving G$ users of finding any quality information on the topic --except for the site(s) that submit to G$'s blackmail for AW, of course.

Maybe position 850 is not a "ban" per se -- but it might as well be perceived as being that.

nippi




msg:717724
 11:48 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Myth - You should always check the PR of a site wanting a link exchange on the Google Toolbar before linking

This is not a Myth. You should do this. The site might have no PR because of bad html that prevent indexing, links to crap sites, no robots tags, bad redirects... all sorts of problems. Oh of course, it might have no PR for a totally legit reason, but it's still a red flag.

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