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How does google determine relevance?

   
1:08 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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A common statement with this and many similar forums is "build relevant backlinks"

OK, whats relevant and how does google determine this?

For example- I own a car site that deals with Lincoln and Cadillac - So how do I determine if google will consider a site selling brake pads is relevant to my site? Or another car site dealing with Chevys?

9:05 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Link with the page which are the same theme as your website. May check from their title page, content body. Google will give you more relevance when you link to them and they linked to you.
9:18 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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well - what looks relevant to me might not to google, hence why I asked the original question.

TO me - a site selling auto parts is relevant --

HOW does google determine relevance? That is my question......

9:36 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I've asked this same question before and gotten a similarly useless answer (no offense intended). Some here would have you believe that relevance is measured in terms of getting backlinks only from sites that deal with the exact same subject matter. Well, that's just idiocy to be sure. Any moron knows that a flea brush is relevant to a dog, socks are relevant to shoes, and a desk calendar is relevant to an antique desk----->But does google? I don't think so. How could it? Google would have to have some preset, canned library of relevant phrases...for every conceivable search term there is. And it doesn't.

So, I'm not sure if relevance between linked documents does exist, other than what's in the anchor text. And, possibly, for authority sites, some version of hilltop.
If this hilltop thing does exist, and there is no proof that it does (most discussions in forums, and I am guilty of this too, tend to be the equivalent of grassy knoll conspiracy ideas and "area 51" conversations, i.e., there's NEVER any proof), it probably references the entire text found in the body of whole pages, rather than simply concentrating on anchor text, titles, headings, etc.

9:43 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Sorry, but I really don't think it matters. When asked for links I decide on the basis of whether I feel any of my customers would find the link of use.

If my market research holds out, I know the types of sites in which my customers may be interested.

If I think it could interest them, it goes in, if there's no possible link, it doesn't.

Ok, so a customer shopping for auto parts may happen to be interested white linen towels, but to my mind, it's not a possibility.

A customer shopping for auto parts may tho be interested in 'nodding dogs' so that would go in.

What google thinks is related doesn't matter. Those links are there for the customers - not for google. Some google might find related, some not. No worries...

10:32 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Any moron knows that a flea brush is relevant to a dog, socks are relevant to shoes, and a desk calendar is relevant to an antique desk----->But does google? I don't think so. How could it? Google would have to have some preset, canned library of relevant phrases...for every conceivable search term there is. And it doesn't.

I think google can and does (and most certainly could) associate abstract concepts (word combinations) together. When you have the largest writing sample the world has ever known relevancy could be realized as a function of context and frequency. "flea brush" and "dog" probably appear together quite often (or frequently), whereas "flea brush" and "toothbrush" are probably not used together very regularly at all. Context I think is trickier - shoes is associated with socks and running, does this imply that socks and running are associated?

In any case when I link relevantly I look for sites most associated to my own and gradually branch outword. I think it more productive to define a lack of relativity then to decide what is relative enough.

11:02 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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exactly why I asked the question 'HOW' -- Do I need to be adding KWs for thinkgs like Brakes and engines so google recognizes things as relevant?
11:48 pm on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



This thread [webmasterworld.com] talks about some of the ways they could determine relevance. Playing around with Google Sets [labs.google.com] may provide some practical examples.
12:57 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Post Florida thinking which had a good impact on me. However, as time went on I believe it less and less.
1:00 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If you have a site with adsesne try doing some testing. Try to write about a subject in a roundabout inderect way. Once the mediabot finds it, you will see some pretty on target ads. If they are that good at figuring out what a page is about when you are trying to be obtuse, imagine how good they are when you write about something in a straight-forward fashion.

I changed my opinion after trying several of these tests.

7:35 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



agree fully with graywolf, Google knows quite exactly what your site is about and btw: relevancy is relative. If you have a site about shoes, than socks are as relevant as trousers - still talking about clothing.
If you have a site about old shoes and want to be 'classified' as relevant to some sort of 'old things collectors' sites you might have a problem if you are not able to stand your position clearly on you site ... ;-)
8:52 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



You know, I see this in quite a few threads and on a number of forums. Only get relevant links, etc.

The funny thing is, you all miss the point entirely. To date it is not a search engine thing to get relevant links. It is a user experience thing.

To date nobody has ever proven any study about theming or relevancy of links between sites. Nobody. Until they do, a link is still a link.

10:03 am on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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You all talk sites. I think it's pages.

R

1:07 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



For example- I own a car site that deals with Lincoln and Cadillac - So how do I determine if google will consider a site selling brake pads is relevant to my site? Or another car site dealing with Chevys?

An easy way to get some rough idea is to cruise through the categories at ODP and see how closely they're topically related in the category structure.

>>Until they do, a link is still a link.

Nope, a link is not a link, not in all respects and there's more than one or two factors involved. And it can't be proven they all have equal value, not until there's a study that proves that all the concepts about relevant links in the academic papers for years are being totally ignored.

>pages

I think it's pages within a corpus of documents, which includes pages on the site and those connected by links.

1:24 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)



You all talk sites. I think it's pages.

I think it's both. Look at the way Google serves ads on its AdSense network: When it doesn't have ads that match the topic of the individual page, it serves ads that fit the site's overall theme. If Google can do that, why shouldn't it be able to determine a site's overall theme for search purposes?

1:28 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi all... kinda new here.. been watching and reading loads...

Surely if you were interested in what google finds relevant, wouldnt looking at Google's semantics help? As it tells you for the term e.g. 'widgets' what words it itself relates to them in the results... e.g. 'widget care', 'widget colours' etc etc... by using the '~' in the Google Toolbar.

Or am I way off track here?

1:38 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I think you may be right on track there.
1:39 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You all talk sites. I think it's pages.

It's both, but it is more the page than the site. Again if you use adsesne and add a new page, before the mediabot has visited the page, the ads are usually about the domainant theme of the home page.

1:57 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



if you use adsesne and add a new page, before the mediabot has visited the page, the ads are usually about the domainant theme of the home page.

I put up some new pages and could *not* get adsense to run what the page was about, only what related to the site theme would run. It still absolutely will NOT on one page particular page. I tied it in with text so it fits on the site, but it's nothing to do with the site theme and they will NOT run the right adsense for the page - still, after a couple of weeks. Just what's the main theme of the site.

I'll run a little test to see if I can influence it and give more of a nudge. ;0

5:29 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I have a single page where AdSense is so off topic it hurts. It's neither relevant for the page, nor the site, nor the backlinks. MediaBot uses some type numbers contained in the page and shows ads for totally unrelated products which happen to have the same type numbers.

When I saw it the first time, I added some links to other sites with some on-topic keywords in it, to no avail.

5:58 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Using the adwords keyword suggestion tool may be a good way of determing what is relevant / related (provided that you want to go after links google thinks are related). They give quite a wide range of keywords.
 

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