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Deprecated - Altavista, Alltheweb.com Forum

Remarks about Fast algo
Content is still king

 1:13 pm on Dec 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

In spite of other posting's I've recently seen (can't remember where) I still believe content is king in both Google and Alltheweb.

For a client I've rebuilt their site on a new domain name. I just got in at #1 for a 2 word keyphrase.

The interesting part of this:
- it's a brand new site, no pagerank or whatsoever
- the site doesn't have a single incoming link
- no listings in Yahoo, DMOZ or anywhere else
- none of the keywords are used in the domain name
- none of the keywords are in the directory or file names.

It does have relevant content, title and meta's however.



 11:08 pm on Dec 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've been pondering about this for quite a while now, HitProf.
Getting into Fast without a single incoming link? Hmmm.
Did you submit the site? Or how did the spider find the site?
Ranking at #1...one possible explanation could be a bonus for fresh content. It's a phenomenon we all know from Google's fresh listings. Can't say I have seen this behaviour at Fast though.
Really interesting case.


 1:43 am on Dec 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

You are actually making the counter argument to what you think you are HitProf. A site with no links, that isn't in human directories, that doesn't value concepts enough to name directories after them... that is a site that is pure anti-content. There is *no* way for a search engine to judge that site's content! The only thing for it to look at is stuffed keywords that may or may not have any true content value at all. It's a purely random coin flip. Putting words on a page isn't content.

The fact that a new site with no evidence of good content (even if it in fact has good content) can get to #1 for a term even moderately competitive is very disturbing. It shows the randomness and weakness of the ranking method.

SEO aimed at FAST appears to be pages and pages of words upon words. Don't even bother with sentences.


 1:18 am on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

@heini: I manually submitted through the local Dutch versions of Hotbot and Lycos.

I think you are right about the freshness bonus, time will tell.

It is an experiment to see how the new site will behave compared to the old one which still exists. There is no interlinking between the old and the new site. It will be submitted to directories in the future.

@steveb: It's not 'stuffed with keywords', it's just a new site about a specific subject. I don't know search engines can tell the difference, if that's what you mean.

edited submission after consulting documentation


 7:31 am on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have a page that's #1 in FAST with the title "Bandwidth exceeded for the month". It used to be a real page, but the web host took my page off line and forwarded users to their site offline announcement page when my site went over it's bandwidth allotment last month. Cool that my page still ranked #1 even though the page that must have been spidered recently was the web hosts offline announcement page.

I think it means that off page factors must count for a lot at FAST. The real page that went offline did have some nice inbound links.


 8:19 am on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Lol, interesting Jane :)
I can't give any good answer to that. As you say FAST must have crawled the "new" page and either assigned the old page's content to it, put a lot of weight on off page stuff or it's simply just a glicht from their end.

It should correct it self once you pay the bandwidth bill though ;)


 4:40 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

> It should correct it self once you pay the bandwidth bill though

My only option was to upgrade to a whole different hosting package at much higher monthly cost, so I upgraded my whole site by changing web hosts. :)


 6:37 pm on Dec 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just found another example of a #1 listing, where the search term doesn't even appear on the page. It is in meta keywords once, and it is totally on target, the site is a very good result for the search.
There are several links pointing to the site, which also do not have the search term in the anchor text. The linking sites anyhow have the search term on their pages, actually it's the "theme" of those sites.


 7:24 pm on Dec 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

Now that my site has moved to a new host, I put up my own forwarding pages at the URL for each of the old pages. One page still ranks #1 in the MSN regular listings for its keyword out of 200,000 competing pages for the same keyword. And there's only a few lines of text on the forwarding page letting users know the new URL, "This page has moved. The new URL is...".

Gotta love those inbound links, even if people are slow to update them when the URL changes!


 11:41 pm on Dec 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

That's a great find heini!


 8:05 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi, reading this late, but I can confirm with Heini. But why has my other site that is no. top 3 in google now nowhere in FAST? Can someone shed light on the Fast algo.


 11:21 pm on Jan 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ranking at #1...one possible explanation could be a bonus for fresh content.

Although #1 didn't last long, it's still in the top 3 and has been there all the time.

It's also made it's way to Google now, somewhere on page 2 :(

Still no (substantial) incoming links, the site still hasn't been promoted anywhere. I think it's time to end the experiment and launch it officially :)

BTW: the old site it's going to replace *does* have all the incoming links.


 11:46 am on Feb 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

A lot can be said for intelinking between site's.

Though i have always thought that a website is like an argument with the search engines, and the quality of the argument (the web site's content, page size, navigational structure, etc) is proportional to achievement, with incoming links, being supportive, though not always necessary, if the site on its own can deliver the results.

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