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Big Algo Change at Google - the Hype and the Help

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 18:51

Ok enough is enough. Over the last 24hrs no less than 3 major websites, (and many smaller ones) have been ranting about Google ranking new content over older index entries. Am I the only person that finds this BIG NEWS less than exciting? I mean I have understood through most of last year that there were temporal effects that had newer entries/content additions ranking early but slowly fading over time if new links aren’t flowing in or the content reasonably updated. We have been watching this for some time now.

RANT!!!This is another great illustration of how ‘the masses’ seem to think that there is a single algorithm at work. The folks at Mashable are talking about the ‘PageRank’ algorithm being broken which is just so far from reality it nearly nauseating. This has very little to do with PageRank and more to do with a variety of layered algos and a temporal parameter to the weighting system. To be calling them ‘artificially inflated’ is simply ignorant. WTF is so freaking artificial? Why do people seem to keep assuming that all things lead to PageRank?

I have covered so many patents over the last few years that in whole, or in part, bring a wide variety of potential ranking factors, (signals) into the mix beyond PR, so why the confusion? I personally believe, that a heavily skewed PR world of ranking left us way back in early 2006. There is simply nothing new here for anyone that is in the trenches ranking sites 24/7. This phenomenon has been in play for quite a while.

Let’s have a closer look at this so-called SERP evidence; January 1 tcp/ip

I am sorry, but this is not really much evidence of anything but how some bandwagon jumpers can board a no-name search term that probably had few searches, little revenue potential and will once again be worthless in 6 months when all this bullshit dies down. Now if you can do that with say a term like ‘buy viagra’ or ‘Brittney Spears’ – then it would be some freakin news now wouldn’t it? Go ahead I dare you; Buy Viagra . Now go make a Blog post and get me ranking for that in a day… Ok?

You could even go by somewhere like Digital Point Forums and see something like this on a given day;

Poster: Gee.. I rank Top 10 for a page I just put a couple days ago. This is great.
Answer; Don’t worry, it won’t last. Pages tend to start high and then slowly sink off over time.

I mean, really, even the folks at DP get it; but today it is somehow BIG NEWs??? That's gotta hurt. Man, we are getting bored huh? Things have simply been too quiet since the last Paid Links Brew-ha-ha and the natives are getting restless it seems.


Old News is Good News

I am not even going to begin to look to explain what factors could be involved as more rampant speculation seems haphazard at this point. Ultimately I am inclined to believe it is a combination of query and data analysis algorithms that have a temporal element incorporated and said layer(s) had the dials turned (weighting increase) over the last while. This is a HUGE LEAP from making silly statements such as PageRank being broken or the SERPs being ‘artificially enhanced’ in some way. I do think there is some interesting tidbits in the post over at BlogStorm that at least in part has some legs. Even with that theory, it may only be ‘News Sites and Blogs’ that have said effect.

 What this does show is that much of the algorithmic decision making process can be linked back to user performance metrics (UPMs) and query logs. It involves understanding which topics are hot or which user types prefer there information newer as opposed to older authority themes. It can also use query data to statistically determine what topics may be a temporal hot spot. This simply is not new though, if you are paying attention to the ever changing landscape via a technical search approach, this would already be understood as far as being a factor in one’s SEO activities.

Now get back to freakin work and stop wasting my time with this utter garbage that is just another excuse to put GOOGLE in a post whilst seemingly sounding off as some type of adventurer that has just discovered the new world. You ain’t found JACK that hasn’t already been part of the landscape, to varied degrees, for some time now!

Outta here…. more important things to be doing with myself… grumble mumble…


Here’s the Help; ( and really.... I could post dozens)

BlogStorm - the Google Algorithm isn’t Changing  
Bill Slawski - Google on Generating Statistics from Engine Query Logs
Reliable SEO - A Probabilistic Learning Model


Here’s the Hype;

TechCrunch - The Google Algorithm is Changing
Mashable - PageRank Gone Awry
GoogleSystem - Google Artificially promotes recent web pages
Web Metric Guru – Articifiacial rankings
Lost Remote - Timely links appearing higher in Google Rank

WebPro News - Watch the video even.. nice editorial integrity folks




0 # SpostareDuro 2008-01-02 19:50
:cry: You just bummed me out!!!!!!!!!

So I'll start off ranking well in SERP's to fall off the slope! Boo Boo Boo Where's the Newbie 'gentle let-down'?? lol
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0 # theGypsy 2008-01-02 20:16
he he... hey maybe it's like a drug dealer, give you a little taste and then take it away again... DAMMMIT!

It is always nice to get the first rant of the year out of the way, thanks for Stumbling it though... moooch-o appreciated.

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0 # Doug Heil 2008-01-02 20:46
That was a good rant Dave, and certainly deserved. Isn't it amazing the hyperbole perpetrated in SEO circles? I think it's a case of people just not finding anything new to write about. It seems that old stuff is re-written over the over again and just the sentences are put in different places.

Heck; I'm with you and totally agree... and you know I don't agree with you on many things. lol My forums do not ever rewrite crap that other industry "elites" seem to think is news. I think we have discussed this issue starting about 3 years ago and have ongoing answers to the same issue since then in response to 'newbies" asking about the issue. :-)
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0 # theGypsy 2008-01-02 21:34
Hey DH, long time no see. I really just don't get out to the boards as much as I'd like these days. I will certainly make a note to try and drop by sometime soon.

I tend to call the phenomenon 'Industry Regurgitation' when folks bandwagon the latest topic and the sheep follow. What can ya do?

Thanks for dropppin by though, sure to see ya around at some point :0)
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0 # JMorris 2008-01-03 02:40
You've got a good point on this one.

There have been numerous times when I've published something on my site that contained a phrase root that has over 500,000 SERPs, but my post has the phrase root + 1 or 2 words. Give it a few hours and there I am on the 1st page of SERPs with my phrase.

The example given illustrates what I'm talking about... January 1 tcp/ip [broad match]

SERPs: 261,000

Eliminate the buzz results that stem from social media coverage of this and the SERPs drop a good bit.

Really, how hard is it to rank well for a term that has low SERPs? I've ranked #1 for more popular phrases than that in a day's time. It's really not that hard when the search frequency and SERPs are so low.

I agree... Old news. I'll add to that bad example. Now throw up an example of a phrase that has over 1,000,000 EXACT Match SERPs where a new site has hit first page within a day and then I'll be impressed.
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0 # Gab says PR is broken. 2008-01-03 07:41
Funny, you've got a pretty good rebuttal to my argument that Google is broken here. That said, if you just change the wording and focus on PageRank, I think it still is in trouble.

Granted, they've got a slew of other patents that you, Bill and others have covered. But those don't explain why Google has trouble with paid links and is making such an issue of it. You don't see them making a big deal on Matt's blog or elsewhere about cloaking or other seriously blackhat issues. It's against their guidelines, and that's that.

On a related note, I've answered your comment at my blog, and sphunn this.
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0 # theGypsy 2008-01-03 08:06
I see your answer and raise you another comment on your Blog... he he....

Like I was saying there, there is so much more at work than many folks seem to want to take the effort to understand. It is much easier to all start regurgitating a story with GOOGLE in the title and breaking news abut a NEW ALGO or BROKEN ALGO... that reality doesn't enter into it.... all about getting the story out.

Your is fine as far as I can tell, just begin to let go of the whole PAGE RANK addiction and its a start .... he he...

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0 # Matt Ridout 2008-01-03 17:00
Well im glad someone has posted what im feeling too. Lots of nonsense floating around about this.

Enjoyed your rant and will be retuning for more!

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0 # theGypsy 2008-01-03 17:23
Tnx Matt.... He doth protest too much methinks :D

It is pretty funny that Google has everyone so caught up in PR (TBPR) that they have forgotten about the rest. For folks that seemingly begrudge PageRank, it is amazing that Google has moved away from it to a certain degree but the SEO folks won't go... bwaaa ha ha ha ha

whatta maroon... (as Bugs Bunny would say)

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