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CNN: Growing Backlash to AdSense Farm Update

     
3:17 pm on Feb 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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[money.cnn.com...]

Google made one of the biggest changes ever to its search results this week, which immediately had a noticeable effect on many Web properties that rely on the world's biggest search engine to drive traffic to their sites.

The major tweak aims to move better quality content to the top of Google's search rankings. The changes will affect 12% Google's results, the company said in a blog post late Thursday.

Comments from site operators lit up on the WebmasterWorld.com forum starting on Wednesday. Many webmasters complained that traffic to their sites dropped dramatically overnight, and others expressed concern that they can't adapt quickly enough to Google's changes to its algorithm.
9:14 am on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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My site that got hit has a lot of links to other site sections


This should not be a problem. Matt Cutts always said that you should make a website with your visitors in mind. With links to other sections of the site you are making it better for visitors because you are showing them the way to more pages on your site that are relevant.

When for instance I write an article about "blue widgets", I would link to an article about "how to make widgets blue". This is perfectly normal linking.
11:05 am on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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So far, this was OK, but what if this new algo treats this in another way? Remember, they are talking about quality, what if they consider that if you lead your visitors to other site sections, the page that gets linked from the search engine is not a quality one.
11:18 am on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it is a problem. Wikipedia is doing this too, sometimes with a large amount of links in one text.
11:21 am on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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OK, and what about the "over"-usage of title attribute in a hrefs. I notice that I personally use it quite often on my pages. Anyone else?
11:31 am on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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OK, and what about the "over"-usage of title attribute in a hrefs. I notice that I personally use it quite often on my pages. Anyone else?


What exactly do you mean with this?
12:14 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I use the title tag on most of the links on my website. This is what I mean.
12:32 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't see how this could be a problem. That is, if you use the title of the page you are linking to as anchor text for the link.
1:36 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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OK, and what about the "over"-usage of title attribute in a hrefs.

Latest I've read it's not used in scoring ...There were actually some recent tests done and posted here about the title attribute of links and it still does not appear to be used, so I would use it the way it's intended, personally.

[w3.org...]
1:54 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hmm... When you have a column of 150 pixels and want to present
"Hungary Widgets"
"Austria Widgets"
"United Kingdom Widgets"
obviously you will use something like:
Widgets:
Hungary
Austria
United Kingdom
because of lack of space.

However, you can title all those links with "Hungary Widgets", etc. so a mouse over the link will actually show the visitor that the linked page is about "Hungary Widgets" and not about "Hungary".

I find nothing wrong with this.
2:04 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Anyone know about changes to Google.ca and when G will be pushing this out to your northern friends?
2:27 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I find nothing wrong with this.

Me either ... I think that's exactly the way it's intended:
For the visitors, not search engines.

I wasn't trying to say you weren't using it that way, just saying I would use it by the standard and by the standard is to give visitors more information about the resource they will be visiting if they click. ;)
3:40 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have abnormally high bounce rate on the home page of one my sites. People come to that page for a specific reason (the date and time of a popular Detroit event) and I put it in a great big blue box on the top of the page, so they find out when it is and, if that's all they want to know, they leave. Been that way for years. Doesn't seem to have hurt in Google. So far.
4:12 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I really don't think they can use bounce by itself and definitely not site-wide imo ... The only way I could see them using it is 'click-back, re-click' and imo it would have to be 'constant' and the surrounding results could not have a similar pattern.

Beyond that, it gets really fuzzy, because it's really tough (impossible?) to tell if the searcher found the answer they were looking for quickly on a well designed site or if the site was 'garbage' when they got there ... Really, once you stop looking at the bounce rate of your site and try to gauge what a bounce rate tells you for a site you can't 'see' (design, etc.) about a visitor you don't know it gets super noisy, because a bounce can mean so many different things in so many different situations.
4:31 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yeah I always thought bounce rate was a pretty useless metric. It's kind of fun to know any little bit of data you can get about your site, but bounce can be interpreted in so many ways.
7:21 pm on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think it's a good metric for the webmaster, especially in A/B testing and the like. It's just terrible for ranking search results. If a webmaster has more than one site, they can't even compare one directly to the other. It takes intimate knowledge on a page-by-page basis to get actionable intelligence. No algorithm uses that kind of knowledge.
2:24 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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OK, and what about the "over"-usage of title attribute in a hrefs. I notice that I personally use it quite often on my pages. Anyone else?


Title attributes do not affect ranking. They do however increase download time and I never use them for that reason.
2:39 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I sometimes use title attributes - when they make sense for usability, such as pagination links that are just a bunch of numbers. It gives the visitor a way to tell the sections of an article apart when they hover.

I've never seen either a ranking problem or an advantage from the title attribute.
11:38 am on Mar 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I was a little surprised to see this report in CNN. Some guy saying Bing has better results and that Google may go the way of Alta Vista. The news people like to sensationalize of course.
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