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Google Patent on use of "Reachability Scores" in ranking
lorax




msg:4516949
 1:50 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bill Slawski shared a blog post in which he discusses a patent that Google filed (over 2 yrs ago) for Determining reachability. His post can be found here: [seobythesea.com...]

Basic premise of the patent is that your website's ranking is affected by the reachability of the websites you link to AND the user interaction on them. The short take-away is, don't link to just anyone - choose quality sites for your outbound links. Read the patent (link provided in the post).

Pls note: The resource cited here has been discussed with the Mods of this forum prior to posting.

 

Bewenched




msg:4516957
 2:38 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Interesting.
We have a section on our ecomm site that lists events related to our business field. It's really an info source for our customers and a reason for them to come back to our site. Most of the time we do show the links they supply.. but I dont always check them. Most of the sites are little one page fliers for their events..... I hope this wouldn't count against us.

ken_b




msg:4516981
 3:43 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

The short take-away is, don't link to just anyone - choose quality sites for your outbound links.

That sounds great on the surface. But here's where I have trouble with the whole idea.

Define quality.

In my niche, many of the websites I link to would probably be considered low quality by WW members and Google, probably Bing too. But these sites provide real value for the user often providing very hard to find info.

BUT.... a HUGE number of them are put together and put online by people who are doing so as part of their contribution and involvement/affinity with a hobby.

Even a good many of the related ecom sites are put together by mom & pop outfits that are simply trying to do their best without any real input from web pros.

In either case, "most" of these folks probably are not hanging out at WW, and most likely have never even heard of any search engines "webmaster guidelines".

Generally I link out to many these sites. But all too often I find one that is so stuffed with keywords, frequently on every page, that even I won't link to them. (Those are almost always sites built by some level of "web pro".)

My overall point is that these kinds off patents and policies are written by and for web pros with a much higher level of web awareness and skills.

Built by web pros or "affinity/hobby webmasters" these sites are often buried so deep in the serps that the casual surfer will seldom if ever find them.

So what do the users of these sites think of them? On the affinity/hobby sites the comments from users very often are extremely positive.

On the related mom & pop and ecom sites, comments are also positive, but occasionally include real helpful useability hints/tips. That holds true for the ecom sites apparently built by "web pros" too, but those comments more often appear on related forums, etc, rather than on the target site itself.

Aside from the keyword stuffing the next most common "low quality" signal on these sites (most often on the "pro built" ecom sites) are small links sections with some off topic links. Even when they have an actual links directory software package installed there's usually very few links.

The crazier their links section is, the less likely I'd link to them.

In any case these sites provide real value for the user often providing very hard to find info.

But should I be punished with lower ranking because of policies and patents written by and for highly informed web pros because I link to these sites?

I can live with it, but I'm not sure of the wisdom of such policies.

lorax




msg:4517183
 2:52 pm on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

considered low quality by ... Google

Why would they consider them low quality if your users find those sites useful? That's the point of this ranking system.

The sites you link to are measured for user interaction in addition to their own ability to rank. So if someone clicks on a link on your site and uses the site you sent them to that's a plus for you - not a negative. And you get bonus pts if that site has authority ranking. Simplified but that's how I read the patent.

diberry




msg:4517189
 3:24 pm on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why would they consider them low quality if your users find those sites useful? That's the point of this ranking system.


It's appears that how your visitors interact with the sites you link is only one factor, though - a factor that might get outweighed by the site's keyword stuffing, footer links, etc. In which case, Google may ding you for linking to them even though your visitors use them.

I would hope that's not the case - I would hope instead Google would ding the other site in that case but NOT ding you because it can detect that your intention in linking the spammy site was good. But unless I missed something in the article, it's not clear how Google will look at these traits in addition to other traits it evaluates.

lorax




msg:4517339
 12:15 am on Nov 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

You are correct. There are still many other factors in play in their ranking. This is simply one additional factor they may be adding into the mix to reach the overall rank for a site.

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