homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 23.23.9.5
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Pubcon Platinum Sponsor 2014
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 37 ( 1 [2]     
It's All About Links, or Is It?
TheMadScientist

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4527954 posted 11:06 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Alright, well I've noticed some interesting discussions in a couple of relatively 'general advice' threads that strayed a bit OT, so after a bit of discussing with some of the members involved I thought we should have a dedicated discussion about what I'm noticing...

The first are some 'key points' from the 'Sandbox Effect' thread:
[webmasterworld.com...]

These domains are ranking exclusively on their backlinks (and rapid acquisition thereof).

In the past, it was common to see brand new domains soar to the top rapidly, then move down in rankings; but, I've watched some of these domains rank well for several months now.

-crobb305

It almost sounds like we're seeing a 'shift' to visitor behavior having a greater influence than it has previously based on what you're saying.

-TMS

Another interesting characteristic of a few of the sites I am talking about is that some lack useful site navigation ... There no links to internal pages (except for a "contact" link). The domain was registered 4 months ago. Furthermore, the internal pages contain no links to each other, only a link back to the homepage...

I don't understand what it is about the site that makes it "useful" to a visitor (or what metric could define it as such), unless an immediate click to an affiliate link equals visitor satisfied (or if the visitor returns back from the affiliate site only to click on the next affiliate link in the list, and so on).

-crobb305

But in the case you're talking about (immediate click to an affiliate link), to Google, the visitor 'disappeared' and did not return to the results, which would almost have to be interpreted as 'visitor satisfied' by an algo, even if it doesn't make complete sense to us WRT 'the site clicked' satisfying the searcher, because we know it really didn't.

-TMS

how might the algorithm might interpret affiliate links opening to target="blank" when it comes to visitor behavior?

-crobb305

It can't, because it doesn't know ... You might know, I might know, but the algo knows 'when the visitor returned to the results', 'what did the visitor search for upon returning' and 'did the visitor block the site upon returning', that's it, nothing else.

-TMS

I have the same observation. I am looking after a site that sells circle and diamond widgets only, in certain geographical area. The site has decided to create a page on square widgets, reviewing the square widgets in the same geographical area. The page contained 15 different square widgets with photo, main features and dofollow link to the square widget manufacturer (there is only one of these for each square widget)...

After creating the page, it initially ranked at the bottom of the second page for the keyword square widgets geo-area. Then over the course of the next 6 months it started to climb, ending at #1 and holds this position for the last 2 years. The bounce rate of this page is 70%+

-aakk9999


And from the recent '404 / Broken Link' thread:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Just did a test of this on a #*$!ed website. When you serve a blank page with 200 OK header google drops the page from the keyword index entirely in my test...

I was just experimenting, I thought the keyword would still rank on a blank page due to inbound links. But I was wrong
-seoskunk


What I 'get' out of these two discussions is:
Either Google is missing the 'spammy backlinks' crobb305 and a couple of us who have seen the sites in question noted, which should, in my opinion, be easily detected algorithmically, because I'm fairly certain I could code it, so thinking the programmers at Google have not thought of and figured out how to detect those type of links makes my head hurt a bit...

Or (when I put it together with the test posted by seoskunk in the 404 / Broken Link thread is: It seems to be a fairly definite indication page content (or lack of content) can override inbound link text, which as tedster noted could be to help prevent Google bombing, but could also indicate there's a bit of a shift in importance for rankings from 'links as the way to go', to other on page and visitor behavior metrics having enough weight to override inbound links, even those that may be determined algorithmically to be 'questionable' or spammy.

So, I think the question I'd like to 'start things off with' is:

If you look at pages ranking well in whatever niche you're in that don't appear like they should be where they are and you forget about the links (just ignore them and look at anything else you can think of), what other things do you see you think could cause the page to rank where it is?

To me personally it looks like 'link value' can definitely be overridden by other factors, so I think it would be great to discuss what other factors people think could be in play if we 'throw out the links' to a page.

 

TheMadScientist

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4527954 posted 5:32 pm on Dec 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why, then, are we even mentioning trivial tidbits like meta keywords?

Because before you can put together a puzzle you have to find, identify and look at the pieces? And the meta keywords part was on the list of things I said to 'just toss' and not even think about, because it's not a 'piece of the puzzle'.

I think you're right though, sometimes the pieces are still looked at in isolation too much, even in this thread.

Interesting post Robert, especially the part about Google not seeming to be any farther ahead than they were a few years ago for some queries. Thanks.

MLHmptn

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4527954 posted 6:18 am on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)


If you look at pages ranking well in whatever niche you're in that don't appear like they should be where they are and you forget about the links (just ignore them and look at anything else you can think of), what other things do you see you think could cause the page to rank where it is?

To me personally it looks like 'link value' can definitely be overridden by other factors, so I think it would be great to discuss what other factors people think could be in play if we 'throw out the links' to a page.


Conversions either through analytics and/or bounce rates (for websites not engaged in GA) and site traffic are what I am suspecting more and more.

Sadly I am noticing competitors that drive the price so low there is little to no profit potential are the ones making big gains in the SERPs with very little related back links. (I can only suspect the conversions are quite high because of the price shoppers).

Also noticed for quite some time local brands are dominating SERP's when they have very little to offer and ZERO keyword or synonym targeted backlinks. Walmart, Ace Hardware, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, you get the idea....

Karma

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4527954 posted 10:22 am on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does anyone consider Chrome data part of the algo?

Make sense to me, as they have access to the entire 'user-experience' of a search from start to finish.

Zivush



 
Msg#: 4527954 posted 1:42 pm on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Besides user experience, page performance and user intent, which are keys, there are other factors.
I think the future of search (if not the actual present already) is that Google is not simply reading/saving bulk of data-content on that page, it’s learning deeply what the actual context on the page really is and how to classify it.
They also know (easily?) if the site is a ‘source of info’ for a specific topic.
How do they do it? A science fiction? No.
They may have a machine learning giant who “thinks” what’s behind the bla bla bla and whether it gives any kind of value to the users. (The same way as a good old speech recognition neural network works.)
+P.S forgot to mention personalization - Personal taste is a also a factor. Meaning, what I like is not necessarily what another person like when searching specific things.
They segment users by age, education, past searches, location, religion etc etc etc.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4527954 posted 3:00 pm on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Walmart, Ace Hardware, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, you get the idea....


Walmart has a strong SEO program. Don't underestimate their inhouse SEO department. I've seen them ranking well too and just for curiosity sake took a look at their code, navigation and UI and thought it was well done. Clicking around a page, reading the reviews, color choices, button sizes, all of it from top to bottom is well done. Even the checkout process is tops. Walmart isn't ranking for nothing. They're putting a strong fight for their positions.

I haven't looked at Home Depot's online presence however I do know they have an ongoing brand building effort online focusing on the local level, nationwide. So if they're ranking well, it's not without effort on their part.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4527954 posted 4:09 pm on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google is not simply reading/saving bulk of data-content on that page, it’s learning deeply what the actual context on the page really is and how to classify it.


I'm seeing a lot of evidence of this in longtail search phrases. A couple of years ago, if searchers didn't use pretty much exactly some of the words on one of my pages, they wouldn't find me. Now Google is sending me relevant visitors for phrases that *mean* what my page is about but don't really match the actual words much if at all.

This is a good development. It could, however, mean we have to start thinking about keyphrases very, very differently.

TheMadScientist

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4527954 posted 10:24 pm on Dec 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does anyone consider Chrome data part of the algo?

I honestly don't think they need it or analytics data, at all ... It's possible they use it and we aren't getting the full story for some reason I guess, but it's not like them to 'flat out lie' and I really don't think they need the info to get where they're going, in fact, I think it might add some unnecessary noise to an already 'loud' process, so I personally really doubt they use or even have the need to use either analytics or chrome data.

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 37 ( 1 [2]
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved