lizardx - 8:17 pm on Aug 22, 2012 (gmt 0)
Leosghost, nice observations. This patent does explain something I couldn't quite figure out, though, as you note, the data was there to see fairly plain as day, assuming of course one cares enough to really see it, in fact I was watching the process, but couldn't quite understand what was happening, though I did see it clearly, just not with awareness of what it meant.
Agreed on the need to see Google in a larger context, not out of any at all, and most certainly, to ignore their babble about being evil or not evil, they are a huge corporation, they have their own interests, and due to the fairly clever way they sold their class b shares, they are somewhat immune from the interests of stock holders. Which means they can explore a lot of different avenues, not all of them obvious or profitable.
The thing with Matt Cutts is that he's a corporate guy, he drinks the coolaid, and that means he's not critical of what he himself is told. To my eyes, he's too geeky to be a good liar, so I tend to believe that he believes most of what he says, unless it's something pretty specific that they don't want people to understand. I have seen this 'do not question the source of your income' among my tech friends before, it leads to some of the most ridiculous statements being made, and believed, by the employee who does not actually critically examine his employer. Doing that, generally, tends to you becoming an ex employee fairly quickly. Basic psychology, and applied self-interest. But within that, the more I go back and look at what Cutts has been saying all along, the more it looks to me like he really did roughly say what is happening, only most people don't want to hear it, because they are doing, and have been doing, exactly what he was warning about. I've seen this type of denial first hand now for a while, the old habits die hard, how do we get the dupe content masked enough to make it not dupe? (how indeed... lol) what link text combos, etc.
The amusing thing with this patent however is that it provides a pretty clear mechanism to trap people who have knee-jerk reactions to google updates, we've certainly seen little else in panda/penguin threads, what do I change, how to do I modify my backlink structures, and, the most comical, what is the proper key word density. My personal feeling is that google keeps mentioning key word density as a joke to mess with people who follow seo chatter, while their algos have left that onpage stuff long and far behind, but hey, if it trips up a few less skilled types, all the better.
Elsmarc, you raise a valid view too, but I think the thing is, google is so addicted to full automation of algos that there is always going to be damage to people who are truly doing it right. Like leosghost, my personal sites, which have nothing but white hat seo, and that's all, just chug along, oblivious roughly to each and every google update, people link to them, if they like the stuff I put up, and if not, they don't. Traffic doesn't change much. One thing I have noted, however, is that google is doing a lot of experimenting day to day with serp positioning, much more than they used to do, ie, they will try it page one, see how that goes, then page two, see how that goes. Another interesting thing I'm seeing on a heavily panda/penguin hit site is that google is letting in a steady 10% click on serps, and the number daily doesn't hardly vary at all, so they are very clearly monitoring things much more aggressively for money key words than they were doing before. Your numbers might vary, this might be different industry to industry, I don't know, but I can see how tightly they are controlling the placements of pages now in the results based on external factors.
Here's what I would suggest, as a starter, to get out of bad habits:
1. If you are asking if the content is masked adequately, ie, duplication is hidden, then stop it. That's a stupid strategy, and it just makes google laugh.
2. If you know what key word mixes your backlinks are generating, then so does google, and they know it's not natural.
3. If you spend any time thinking about key word density, using key word density analyzers, you aren't generating real content, period. Nobody who writes real or valuable content thinks about key word density, nobody.
It's my view that on page factors were largely a huge red herring put up by google, and one purpose might have been specifically to see who alters their pages and who does not, update to update, in reaction to ranking changes.
I agree the google serps are starting to get odd, but I think there's a very big thing going on internally, the generation of the parallel internet created by and for spammers really did work, and I think that google realized they are going to have to significantly alter how they handle spam. That is going to be a process.
There's other factors too, that are important to keep in mind, leosghost is absolutely right to remind you that this is a real power center, and it's not wise to ignore how power works in and through history when trying to understand it. Obviously, in this game, one thing they need to maintain and expand power is money, so generating money is going to always be one factor in the equation. I realize thinking in a macro sense is not really a habit most seo types have gotten into, except, I would suspect, the blackest of the black, who I would tend to suspect basically understand how google works without blinders or fantasies. But google isn't that concerned with those guys at the moment, in programming, there's a saying that the perfect is the enemy of the good, and what that means in this context is, if you can get the lower skilled and script kiddie seos out of the picture, you have gotten them out. Is it perfection? Of course it isn't, the most aggressive seos, the actually smart ones, that is, rely on brains and real time manipulation, empirical testing on large scales, science, more or less. And this patent is clearly designed to make that testing more difficult.
One advantage with only occasionally dipping into this world is avoiding the day to day worrying about changing x or y, when changing x or y has not mattered for years.
I agree with leosghost, google is once again doing something interesting to watch, it's not totally clear what it is, but one thing that I think is involved is facebook not doing that well anymore, and facebook was google's top worry. Interactions with large contenders, that is, have to have a role as well in the game.