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How does google know what your site is about?
When a site has many themes
tomthumb2000




msg:706084
 10:42 am on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

So i know of a site about utilitarian philosophy that ranks very nicely but is mostly found under search terms to do with animals. Mainly because the webmaster uses lots of examples from evolution.
This got me thinking about site themes. What position are you in if your site has a wide variety of information that at first glance might appear unrelated? Ie. your site is about medieval bee-keeping but you also have large sections on medieval social conditions and cooking recipes.
WIth a wide spread of info how does google decide what your site is about? Does it need to identify a basic theme or is it happy to list a site under various thematic keywords?
I'm in the position now where i have so much content that i don't know whether to concentrate on building one huge site or making many small themed sites and interlinking them.
Any ideas?

 

billygg




msg:706085
 12:25 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

thats a good question, if i were u, i would buy c-name domains or subdomains off your main domain, each domain with a focus on a different section, then just link internally to that domain, whenever u reference for example cooking. i work with a big travel company, we have a main site with all travel areas, then we have outlying, c-name sites on very specific areas, these c-name sites take the cake with positioning. good luck.

MHes




msg:706086
 12:37 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think google cares less about the theme of your site, it is the theme of pages that matters. Google works on a page basis, not site. It looks at the links to a page, be they internal or from external sites. A site based around a theme will do well because the internal linking structure is producing on theme links. If your site has many themes, its a good idea to interlink related pages, so each page has on theme links. This works to a limited degree, the best approach is deep links from other on theme sites to your pages covering that theme.

If hilltop is being applied, google will find all the pages that cover a search query and thus establish the theme in a set of results. They will then look at the way these pages link to each other and rank them.... with other factors kicking in.

ncgimaker




msg:706087
 12:59 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm in the position now where i have so much content that i don't know whether to concentrate on building one huge site or making many small themed sites and interlinking them.

If you read my Cliff Top Algo thread, (mostly me posting notes as I analyse this algo) I believe the current algorithm is the same as before but with a Bayesian filter applied. The pages are analysed by the filter, if you get a high score on that filter the page will be removed from the serps as a spam duplicate, a middle score and it will be pushed down the ranking, only low score will let it rise to the top.

This means you should avoid single themed sites or single theme pages to appear high in the Google rankings.

Typically:

Use keywords sparsely.
Mix themes on the site and on the pages.
Avoid 'specialist' sites.
The more specialist the site, the more inbound linkage is needed to counter the effect of the penalty.

If your content is on one subject consider sharing sites with other people in different topics to dilute your keywords.

Normally to avoid duplication you should use a good Thesaurus, but beware of choosing obscure words that will likely be higher scoring than more common words.

For example I enter a single keyword.

Google:
1. Specialist directory site PR7
2. Specialist directory site PR6
3. On topic niche PR6 + fresh boost
4. Same as 3
5. On topic niche site PR7
6. Diverse site,
7. Off topic site
8. On topic niche site with fresh boost
9. Diverse site
10. Diverse site
11. Diverse site
12. Diverse site (free hosting!)
13. Dual theme site that mentions the word in passing.
14. Diverse theme site
...

Note how quickly the results tend to diverse topic & vague sites. Compare that to yahoo.

1. On topic niche site
2. On topic niche site
3. On topic niche site
4. On topic niche site
5. On topic niche site
6. On topic niche site
7. Diverse site
8.!MAJOR SITE!
9. On topic niche site
10. On topic niche site
11. On topic niche site
12. On topic niche site
13. On topic niche site
14. Diverse site
15. On topic niche site
16. Diverse edu site
17. On topic niche site

This is the effect of the filter, those niche sites score too well for the subject keyword, so they sink in the ratings. The more ontopic the lower they go.

8. In the yahoo listing I would consider to be the definitive English language site on this subject. (Not in top 100 on Google).

BillyS




msg:706088
 2:14 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have to say that I don't agree with everything above, but I do agree that Google is not delivering the search results I am looking for many times.

One thing that I've noticed is that these scraper sites seem to be doing quite well. As a matter of fact, one scraper site sends me more traffic than Google - go figure. (I'm #1 in Yahoo for that search term, not in the top 1,000 on Google). Unfortunately a page with 100 links on it is not much use to me.

If you still like Google, then do your search using quotations, the results are much better for some searches.

One way to try and figure out what Google thinks is using the similar: command. Other than that, my suggestion is to write lots of content and link those pages together to create a theme. I had very little linking between pages last year, but went through a major effort in December / January to link pages as appropriate. Not only should this boost you in search engines, but it helps users find more useful information on your site.

ncgimaker




msg:706089
 3:31 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you still like Google, then do your search using quotations, the results are much better for some searches.

Putting quotes around it only works if the site is in the top 1000 I think? If you search for the phrase for which you are top in Yahoo, does putting quotes around it cause the result to show up in Google?

BillyS




msg:706090
 4:26 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Putting quotes around it only works if the site is in the top 1000 I think?

Not true, sites that are not in the top 1,000 can make it into the quotes search.

The comment about Yahoo is not true either, I am merely commenting that the results in Google are often better if you include quotations. Lately, the results do not seem on target as ncgimaker points out.

antman




msg:706091
 6:45 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would get a lot more traffic from Google if the quotes search results for my keywords were the regular search results.

I don't think the average Google user knows about quotes or negative keywords and such.

ant

RS_200_gto




msg:706092
 7:17 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

If a filter is applied to your keyword in the SERBS by google, the quotations will not help your site.

ncgimaker




msg:706093
 7:33 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Lately, the results do not seem on target

I wonder if the user notices. I thought the results were good with this update, even if we weren't listed. It's only after Yahoo updated that I realised the result could be better. In the above example those sites are on topic, just not very comprehensive.

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