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Beware: Google is watching you!

Written by David Harry   
Friday, 14 December 2007 18:26

Finding relevance through User Performance Metrics

Tell me more would ya?Imagine a world of Google Search where each person/computer received a different set of results? Or sets of query results that were fluid and more alive? No longer could the Search Optimizer simply use tried and true techniques to rank a given site, identifying probabilistic models, themes and demographics would become a talent to be learned. The SERPs (search engine results page) would be a more fluid environment and rankings would be a moving target. All of a sudden end user performance metrics (bounce rates, conversions, frequency) would play a role in ranking of documents to individual users or sets of user groups and (potentially) the main organic index as well.

Now don’t go getting all excited just yet. These concepts are nothing new and you need look no further than Personalized Search aspects to get the idea of what such a world may look like. What is even more interesting are the implications such data could have on the over-all organic rankings and SEO ‘targeting’ in general. You see, there are many ways to aggregate data other than a logged-in Google Account user; such as the Google Toolbar, IP addresses, cookies and more recently, the Google computer and Google Mobile (dubbed Android) possibilities. This proliferation of Google services embedded in such devices means there is even more access to conversion or performance data relating to natural search results.

 

Patent Bending 101

The crux of this piece centers on broadening your understanding of some of the aspects used in probabilistic models and user performance metrics. A while go, I had a look at 3 patents that Senor Slawski had passed along during our adventure into the murky waters of metrics and search; the summaries of which I have broken down for easier consumption in my Knowledge Base. Before we continue, be sure to understand the concepts of Patents and the SEO Magic Bullet. Also, while there are many paths along the journey into patent land, and one could write a book on any given filing, ultimately what we will be looking at are variety of approaches to retrieval, scoring and ranking of search results (and PPC placements as well) based upon user performance metrics, a look at how sessions and click data to help refine future queries, as well as touching on probabilistic scoring concepts. Sounds like fun huh?

 

User Performance Metrics

 

Stay off the LSI bandwagon

Written by David Harry   
Thursday, 04 October 2007 07:10

I wanted to talk about something that has been bugging me lately… SEO folks that are quoting or selling LSI related advice or services. It’s starting to really get on my nerves.

googsmall.jpgFor the uninitiated, (lucky peeps) it stands for Latent Semantic Indexing which was worked on by Applied Semantics from Latent Semantic Analysis concepts. Then waaaaayyyyy back in April of 2003 AS was acquired by Google.  For the most part, it would seem the main usage, at the time, was geared towards the AdWords AdSense aspects.

From the press release at the time;

“Applied Semantics is a proven innovator in semantic text processing and online advertising," said Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder and president of Technology. "This acquisition will enable Google to create new technologies that make online advertising more useful to users, publishers, and advertisers alike

 

Enter the Bandwagon

Somewhere along the line the sooth seers and prognosticators of SEO far and wide began to relate LSI with the organic SERPs to the point those would claim it could superseded the traditional back link heavy model (PageRank). Lately I see the term used loosely by SEO types and find it on websites espousing how they can use it to make your site rank better.

 

Whatever happened to Orion?

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 02 October 2007 05:01

I am a big junky for anything relating to the ‘relevance’ in the indexing and retrieval game, so I was certainly curious at the time. I was sorting through a bunch of patents in my Google folder and found some info I had collected on Orion. It was like seeing an old friend again…

Anyone remember back in Sept 2005 when Orion appeared on the scene?  Or how it was later obtained by the folks at Google?

What is Orion you may be asking?

Back in 2005; Ori Allon, the developer, said;

Orion© finds pages where the content is about a topic strongly related to the key word. It then returns a section of the page, and lists other topics related to the key word so the user can pick the most relevant.

ori_allon.jpg"The results to the query are displayed immediately in the form of expanded text extracts, giving you the relevant information without having to go to the website - although you still have that option if you wish," said Israeli-born Allon, who completed a Bachelor and Masters degree at Monash University in Melbourne before moving to UNSW for his PhD.

"By displaying results to other associated key words directly related to your search topic, you gain additional pertinent information that you might not have originally conceived, thus offering an expert search without having an expert's knowledge.

"Take a search such as the American Revolution as an example of how the system works. Orion© would bring up results with extracts containing this phrase. But it would also give results for American History, George Washington, American Revolutionary War, Declaration of Independence, Boston Tea Party and more. You obtain much more valuable information from every search." – Source - New Search Engine

So what were people saying....

 

Tale of the two PageRank Patents

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 11 September 2007 17:29

Ok.. Bill Slawski put a shout out for some back up with a couple of patents relating to PageRank.. I had a few minutes to spare and decided to jump in...... Apparently Google put up 2 patents on PageRank and Ol Bill was wondering if there were any major differences -- so why not?

See Bill's original Post for more -  New Stanford PageRank Patent

 Documents - Patents of discussion; Original Patent  - Follow Up Patent -

Let's see what we can find...... (read on)

 

Phrase Based Optimization resources

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 12 February 2007 04:47
The ultimate Phrase Based Indexing and Retrieval Guide

I know I said I was done with PaIR for the moment, I simply wanted to revisit it and post links (in one place) to all the various resources/works. As I come across more and IF I write more I shall put the links here for a good reference point on the topic.

If you haven’t read up yet on ‘Phrase Based Indexing and Retrieval’ I would encourage you to take the journey.

 
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