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|Are the ranking effects of new links changing?|
The way links are being used to rank sites has changed.
Its taking longer for them to be effective - if at all.
I think old existing links are still holding most of whatever power they had whilst still in place.
I think newly found links are being looked at differently.
I cant explain it - but I know its true.
I remember a couple of months ago some google engineer saying "we will be changing the way we handle links soon" - well - its happened I am certain.
What can I say - yes, you're right. From what I'm hearing, it's very hard to get any pop out of links whose placement is directly under your power.
I agree. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. I can't figure out why ranking is so inconsistent now.
EDIT: Thought I'd mention link building to non-pandalized sites simply have no effect on rankings at all.
MrFewkes, noticed this myself for over a year now but looks like Google has gone on another new link assessing spree lately. Some are saying that footer links, blogrolls type link etc are treated way differently from in content links, from links on on top etc. etc. To make matter worse, a lot of sites might not be passing PR due to a manual penalty and not know it.
That said, Google has made lots and lots of changes these few months so what we attribute to links might not have anything to do with them. It's also in Google's best interest to make site owners think that links are not worth chasing and so on. With SERPS changing very often and sites going up and down this makes it even harder to asses.
Looking at my referrals I have been getting a lot of referral spam, mostly linking to /user/profile12454 type pages with a link to a another site. Doesn't mean it's working, could be people thinking that this makes escape whatever penalty /demotion they have.
In my sector, 5 of the top 10 are there on site wide links 2600 links from 4 domains, but when you analyse these links they are from very authoritive sites, like national newspapers and such so the right link building is working, spamming forums and such is no where near as effective as of late
We will have to wait and see what the real results are as too much has been going on of late to truly test out theory's
Google, over the last three years, has really devalued PR link juice, so I'm not surprised; yet, links are what makes the web work, so will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.
Of course, G (and probably B, too) will not reveal what metrics are involved. That would simply be a blueprint on how to game the "system".
I am now firmly of the belief that links are no longer the metric of choice for google.
Prior to my noticing that "nothing" is working - I did notice that the things which had been working tended to fizzle out once a site reached the top 10. This was irrespective of competition levels.
Im going to make a bit of a guess here - sorry a bold guess - but I think that google has incorporated the AGE of "THINGS" into the algo more now - and I think this far far far outweighs new links.
I fear the age of a link is of paramount importance - moreso than the trust / PR / whatever reputation of the link giving site.
I will be driving past Mcdonalds later and popping my head in there to get that job before you lot get there before me.
|What can I say - yes, you're right. From what I'm hearing, it's very hard to get any pop out of links whose placement is directly under your power. |
I defer to you knowledge on this. But I'm a believer that the death of link building is being greatly exaggerated.
You know what you don't hear about anymore? Building big authority links. Nobody's talked about that stuff in a year, maybe 2 or 3.
I'd wager that those still work just fine. Folks won't do what it takes to get them anymore, but I see no reason why Google would have or will devalue these. More likely they've simply found ways to demote much of the easy links (though I don't even see that in my industry).
@MrFewkes as someone who has been searching about a specific keyword I used to get a few very lucrative referrals a day, I can say that we're giving Panda too much credit. Way too much credit, especially when it comes to content, design and other theories. It's possible that they might be hit one day, but now they are outranking me. I did a few on page changes and I will see if I rank higher. If I do, I'll share my finding with you. In that particular search, there's no reason for me not to rank #1, considering a certain advantage I have and considering who ranks higher right now.
Ever wondered if your site has a, let's not call it a penalty because the squad gets activated :), but a score that drags it down? Until that's removed, 'nothing works.' That might hold you /me /others back say xx% and in some cases you can still be #1 but in most cannot rank high since competition is fiercer.
Never understood the contradiction in link age... Some have said (for a while) backlinks are 'sandboxed' for a period of time to discourage parasite links and link buying schemes. Some have also said the longer the link age the better...(sign of a stability and a good sign it is not a paid link).
On the other end, others have argued that link freshness is key and that historically one gets a quick benefit from back links because google thinks the most recent links would be most relevant and up-to-date.
This is a contradiction...
Suspect both are factored into play but that google has a special 'fresh' ranking for each site depending on its history/structure that determines whether it can pass on the 'fresh factor' while other sites google deems somewhat 'spamish' perhaps can't dole out link juice as quickly and their juice gets sandboxed...
Maybe I have drank too much of the Kool-Aid that wheel has been passing out, but I am a contrarian on this.
In the vertical I am looking at, all of the non-commerce sites that used to make up the majority of the top 10 results have been pushed out by ecommerce sites (and one ehow listing).
And all of those ecommerce sites have been busy building links - not just any links, but crappy, spammy, type links.
They are the usual suspects; Automated link exchanges with OFF topic sites, forum profiles, article marketing, directories, press releases, networked sites. All within ones control, as it were.
Some of those sites currently in the top 10 DO have a FEW decent links to them - but not many.
The non-commercial sites that were formerly king of the SERPs and have now dropped out of the top 20 do NOT have a bunch of crappy inbound links.
Another item of note is I have seen one of my own sites rise from about position #40 up to position #14 for a particular keyword, mostly due to link building efforts. In my case, I am only doing a few scattered crappy links, but the majority of my link building effort has been going toward more authoritative links. In general, link begging to .edu sites.
One important thing (don't know if this is cause for my ascendancy in the SERPs or not) is that most of the links I get do NOT have the exact keywords in the anchor text. In fact, most of the links I get do NOT even point to the exact page I am trying to rank. They point to either the home page or one of a handful of article pages ON my site.
However, from those pages, the first INTERNAL in-content link on them is to the page I am trying to rank, and that link DOES have exact match keywords for the anchor text.
Anyway, for those that think link building is dead, I would suggest that you try to build links to pages that google EXPECTS to find inbound links (i.e., homepage and internal articles) and then try set up internal links to the pages that you are trying to rank with the exact anchor text in the internal links.
|Ever wondered if your site has a, let's not call it a penalty because the squad gets activated :), but a score that drags it down? Until that's removed, 'nothing works.' |
That's certainly a possibility. My suspicion - based entirely on what I have read from other link builders - is that google might place a "link juice governor" on some sites, meaning that for an extended period of time, any new Page Rank from link building efforts is nullified.
So it is less than an Over Optimization Penalty (the dreaded -50 or -950). It might NOT even BE a penalty, but just a part of the algorithm, so sending a re inclusion request wouldn't help.
I suspect the algo has a velocity filter on the accumulation of inbound links/page rank and only allows so much page rank to accumulate within a certain time frame. Go over that amount, and it is not counted toward your total "score." Go WAY over that amount, and you induce a penalty.
Planet, I actually meant that in addition to links being possibly 'quarantined' for a while, there maybe something else that's holding the site back. Goog is making lots an lots of changes and we simply don't know if it's the lack of recognition of the new links or something else. FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.
Since Panda has hit and the changes have settled, are any of you seeing any shifs in the serps? I am not talking a place here and there but a new site entering the serps you watch and know if there has been a shift.
After Feb. Panda, I have noticed that when I post a new article on a pandalized site it ranks for example on page 2 or 3 and as soon as I start getting natural inbound links from quality websites to that article, it gets buried to page 5 or much lower. And its previous positions get replaced by scrapers.
It looks like either inbound links or scrapers cause these drops.
Before panda, usual pattern was that I get high on the first page, soon after getting quality inbound links for an article.
Anyone experiencing anything similar?
It depends how relevant the site linking to you is, how powerful it is and where is your link placed. If you are going for site wide links, Insist for link in main navigation or in the header.
Another possibility is that it is not so much the value of new incoming links that was depreciated, but the significance of link anchors. It used to be pretty easy to shape relevance by links anchors, but it seems no longer to be the case. So now you build links, and you don't see the impact you expected - but that's not the link's value that changed it's the anchor significance. Or may be both factors are in play.
|Another possibility is that it is not so much the value of new incoming links that was depreciated, but the significance of link anchors... ...So now you build links, and you don't see the impact you expected - but that's not the link's value that changed it's the anchor significance. |
I would read through tedster's post about google's improved use of semantics and see whether it might related to anchor text froim inbound links.
|I would read through tedster's post about google's improved use of semantics and see whether it might related to anchor text froim inbound links. |
Yes, irrelevant anchor text might be one reason, but it seems to me that even highly relevant anchor text won't affect rankings as it used before, and in general, there is some sort of shift form anchor significance to on-page prominence factors. It suddenly seems as having the right keywords in the title, or meta description, or showing closer to the top of the page really matters again ...
In the past, using different variations and combinations of "green" and "widget" in the anchor text of inbound links, was a sure way to rank your page for "green widgets" keyword. It seems to me that it has become more difficult now.
I'd say that NATURAL semantic variation in anchor text is what's in play, and what got tuned up big time. Statistical measurement of what's "natural" has long been a major part of what Google does. If they tune-up their semantic processing, then that has major implications in many areas of the algorithm.
Here's a thread from 2006 that applies even more today: Natural vs. Un-natural - in SEO and the Google Algorithm [webmasterworld.com]
I'd love to have the data google had.
Not just so I could boost my ranks - but I would find it absolutely fascinating to run stats programs on.
Anyway - beyond dreaming - (lol I actually drifted away there for a moment into a world of graphs and trillions of numbers) - I think i'll have a look into getting more links with an anchor of this sort of thing....
check these out
That sort of thing - to mix things up a bit more.
I wonder what the natural % of anchors is actually that kind of text - off the top of my head - I would honestly say that its up in the region of 50% - thats where I would like to get my hands on their data for my ranking efforts.
There's a clue in there about links that work.
|...and one ehow listing |
There's a clue in there about links that work.
Yes sir, martinibuster, I think that might hold a part of the puzzle.
But there is one more mystery about it that needs solving...
On June 14th, when people started saying that the latest version of Panda was hitting the street, all of a sudden that ehow result was switched out for a different ehow page.
It was the same position in the SERPs for the same keyword. Just google woke up that morning, yawned, and decided she had had enough of showing that one ehow page, and decided to show a different one.
I know that is not an entirely unique event, and I know with the similarity of one ehow article to another you could basically throw a dart and decide to rank whatever article it struck, but I can't help get the feeling that internal linking might be playing a bigger part lately...
|On June 14th, when people started saying that the latest version of Panda was hitting the street, all of a sudden that ehow result was switched out for a different ehow page. |
I posted that in another thread on here, i think Google is really pushing its quality side, meaning your not going to rank your homepage for too many keywords now, try do a link analysis on the top sites in your sector, or the people moving up fast and what im noticing is that Link diversity is playing a more important part
Too many links to the homepage is not so natural when you look at it yet most sites will have at least 90% of all their incoming links to the home page
I just finished this test and the sites that are moving (well at least in my sector) have at least 40% of links to their inner pages
Going to keep an eye on this, but it is looking that a diverse site opposed to a great page is what's making the difference
|all of a sudden that ehow result was switched out for a different ehow page. |
Happens a lot to my pages. There is a large volume query where Google ranks one page of mine on positions #5 to #10, and is constantly changing the page from homepage to an inner page back and forth.
At the beginning, I thought it was a split test - google was trying to determine which page was the most relevant for that query, but since this "test" has been going on for many months now, I think it's just an inherent part of the algo.
|Too many links to the homepage is not so natural when you look at it yet most sites will have at least 90% of all their incoming links to the home page |
That's an interesting observation. I haven't been looking for that specifically, but I have been building links to a limited number of information pages (three, as of now) that are a few clicks away from the home page. I do this to better flow page rank to other internal pages - which they seem to do pretty well.
So if I am trying to rank product page abc.html I will link to it from the home page as well as from those three internal information pages that I am trying to get inbound links to.
I might only throw one or two links at most at the product page abc.html itself.
Again, it is a relatively low competition / low volume keyword, so I don't know how effective that is with high competition / high volume keywords.
Quality Score For SEO Includes alot of things:
Page quality (Panda iterations)
Business local citations (linkless citations)
Brand development / permeation
Domain ownership / history
Authority of inbound links
Other (still to come)
Surgical manipulation of SERP's will die a slow, timely death as Google begins to shift to, and use, a diverse range of factors to accurately assess the quality of your website websites.
This might explain why some websites we see who have built a ton of decent quality links have moved nowhere, and others, who employ a diverse range of tactics mainly geared at promoting their business online are seeing completely different results from one another.
If you were a search engine, you would likely always search for new signals to pull into the mix.
At the end of the day, the website with the best SEO will simply be the transparent business that has great value and offerings and tells people about them in a wide range of ways.
I wonder if I may “come in on the side” here and add a thought I have had for some time? As the MD of an SEO company I have for a long time thought that whilst hugely effective in the medium term, Google’s efforts are so often thwarted by “mans” ingenuity, which inevitably levels the playing field again after a while. Link farms are one such example which I bet Google never saw coming.
Who would have thought either that rumours (as that’s all they really can be without a top level snitch in Google) that the aforementioned was going to use the Facebook “like” as a factor in its algorithm would ever in ones wildest dreams see major companies advertising on TV and offering incentives for customers to “like us on Facebook” and none of us should be surprised at some of the ingenuity employed to thwart Google’s plans or manipulate rankings.
Now I have to admit that I can’t imagine what will be next, but mark my words as people get inventive and truly savvy about the creation of inbound links and Google realises that inbound links are not as effective as was originally intended or expected as a ranking factor, there will be some new ranking factor that we’ll all have to get our mind around – how about, err... content relevance! – Until that time... tired of worrying about it, I’m off for a coffee!
|Who would have thought either that rumours (as that’s all they really can be without a top level snitch in Google) that the aforementioned was going to use the Facebook “like” as a factor in its algorithm would ever in ones wildest dreams see major companies advertising on TV and offering incentives for customers to “like us on Facebook” and none of us should be surprised at some of the ingenuity employed to thwart Google’s plans or manipulate rankings. |
Yes, but don't forget G's ability to manipulate the gullible.
You are right - lots of businesses are going ballistic on Facebook in the hopes it will help them. And so are all the spammers.
And maybe that's what G wants. Maybe they thought "lets send all those spammers to Facebook, it'll keep 'em busy and let Facebook deal with them for a change".
I think Facebook helps with social proof, and it's a nice way to allow your customers to interact with you, but am not at all sure that it helps with rankings.
Now thats an interesting point! What if the bods at Google are sitting the the Board Room laughing their pants off at us all!
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