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Blogging trackbacks clogging Google

valid danger to PR? or just temporary problem?

     
12:08 pm on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I happen to use the Movabletype engine on several client sites, so I found this article rather interesting. I haven't see the effect directly but the concern seems valid:

[theregister.co.uk...]

In what must be a record, Google is - at time of writing - returning empty Trackback pages as No.1, No.2, No.3 and No.4 positions. No.5 gets you to a real web page - an Apple Insider bulletin board. Then it's back to empty Trackback pages for results No.6, No.7 and No.10. In short, Google returns blog-infested blanks for seven of the top entries.

I think this is just a temporary problem until the Google engineers can figure out the proper way to filter this out. But SEO's might want to study this ;)

9:48 pm on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The irony is the first real result is PR4 while the blank pages above it in the results are all PR0 and PR1, yet near the end of the Register article, they say one of the remedial actions Google has taken is to abandon PageRank!

Seems to me that was a bad move. :)

10:22 pm on Oct 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Many of Google's severe problems all "track back" to its abandoning pagerank and instead obtusely just counting volume. Just another example of how bloggers and spammers with no-content, no-authority, no-pagerank can absolutely dominate semi-competitive search terms.

Google buying stuff that might give them the ability to figure out context is interesting for the distant future. For the present though, as more crap spammers figure out that Google rewards doorway/mirror/no-content pages with good anchor text, the crappy more and more search terms will become. It's not happening everywhere now, but when you find a term that these anchor text spammers have targeted, it really is shocking how foolish Google's abandoning of pagerank is. They set off a nuclear bomb to kill an ant, and the effects are 10,000 times worse than the trivial problem they addressed.

4:40 am on Oct 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The nice thought is that Google will probably figure out the algorithims to deal with this stuff way before microsoft and their new attempt at a dominating search engine.
12:20 pm on Oct 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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as more crap spammers figure out that Google rewards doorway/mirror/no-content pages with good anchor text

Why should spammers waste time with elaborate cloaking? A PR2 doorway with 2 sentences of content & 20 links using the same anchor text pointing to the same page with a 'sneaky' redirect rules right now.

5:27 pm on Oct 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Why should spammers waste time with elaborate cloaking? A PR2 doorway with 2 sentences of content & 20 links using the same anchor text pointing to the same page with a 'sneaky' redirect rules right now.

Why bother with the sneaky redirect?

You need the 20 incoming links anyway, so you can put as well "relevant" content on the page (whatever this means :). Or is the difference in ranking between an empty page and one with content (same count and quality of anchor text provided) so high?

7:06 pm on Oct 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Why bother with the sneaky redirect?

Because any normal person would leave with only 20 identical links on the page to choose from.

This particular low-tech 'sneaky' redirect uses a large image on the doorway that takes up most of the page with a redirect on mouseover. The 20 identical anchor text links are below the image.

Nothing new but how effectively this weenie method works now with the devaluation of PR.

7:56 pm on Oct 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So you meant that the 20 links are actually on the same page?! This is insane. But maybe that page you speak of is getting its rank from inbound links with good anchor text.
2:14 am on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This happened to my Movable Type blog. Google was returning URLs for comment and trackback pages instead of the URLs for my actual blog posts. My solution was to elminate all links to mt-comments.cgi and mt-trackback.cgi. I made the "Comments (n)" and "TrackBack (n)" links go to #comments and #trackbacks on the page that has the actual blog post (the "individual archive" page).
10:22 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't really understand how the trackbacks work, because I don't have a Moveable Type blog.

What about the general issue of blogs turning up in Google results? Some think this is a really bad thing.

Google now owns Blogger, and there are two Google Adwords ads at the top of each free Blogger page, so Google has a strong economic incentive to keep having blogs (at least Blogger blogs) turn up in the search results.

6:40 am on Oct 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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An oversimplification of a trackback is a "ping" from one blogger's article to the source article they are quoting/talking about. Movabletype takes in those pings, figures out the source url and links back to it. It's so you can add links to your article just as if a user left comments directly on your page. When it works and is used correctly, it's a very neat feature.
7:03 am on Oct 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Even more simplified description of TrackBack: Doing a TrackBack ping is like leaving a comment, but instead of submitting the text of your comment, you submit the URL where your comment is located. The URL is typically a post in your own blog.