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Link Builders Guide to Historical Ranking Factors

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 29 April 2008 08:02

Because it's about time 

When in comes to doing SEO for Google, one thing is certain; you’d better know about backlinks. Given the fact that the core algorithm is based largely on ranking and detecting spam via links, it is certainly an area to be familiar with.

A while ago there was a re-release of a Google patent on temporal ranking factors which really was a watershed back in 2005 when it first came out, as were subsequent related patents. Analyzing the recent (re-released) publication for new anomalies gave life to the thought that it would be interesting to highlight a few areas as a bit of a refresher course.

For this post I am merely going to address the implications of temporal factors on link building programs.


The basics of historical factors

Just because a web page is 10 years old, doesn’t mean it is still relevant. It also doesn’t ensure that it is. In some situations fresh content can be more relevant than older content. The discovery data can be used to re-rank a document in a positive or negative manner…

Search engines, (such as Google) can use temporal data to analyze link profiles for anomalies based on discovery, (inception) dates;

“…it may be assumed that a document with a fairly recent inception date will not have a significant number of links from other documents”

And can be used for Spam detection;

“While a spiky rate of growth in the number of back links may be a factor used by search engine to score documents, it may also signal an attempt to spam search engine. Accordingly, in this situation, search engine may actually lower the score of a document(s) to reduce the effect of spamming


Thus inception dates and historical data can be used for link velocity analysis.

Read more... [Link Builders Guide to Historical Ranking Factors]

You are not paranoid, someone IS watching you

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 23 April 2008 23:47


Microsoft’s take on user behavioural data

A search related patent released by Microsoft the other day touches on a popular theme of late, (with me at least); user behaviour analysis. In simplest terms, they look at various interactions with the search results (SERPs) and listing pages, to try and determine the relevance of a set of results. This has been a common theme among the Big 3 as noted by these recent posts;

Google confirms using query analysis – use of past queries in the regular index
Google on User Performance Metrics – trio of patents on the subject
Yahoo Personalized PageRank – user behaviour and PageRank
Yahoo on Personalized Networks – user annotations used to populate networks get the idea...

While concepts utilizing user behaviour relating to AdServing have been around for while, there is increasing interest in ways to harness it within the main SERPs. That is beyond mere personal search implications – though they work best there.


The Microsoft approach

The patent; Search system using user behaviour data - Filed; December 2003 – Published; April 22 2008 

We're watching you

Read more... [You are not paranoid, someone IS watching you]

The Quest for Social Search Sensibilities

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 21 April 2008 22:08

Another chat with Bill Slawski

Where is the future of Search headed? Will algorithmic, link based, search engines continue to rule the roost? Or will the Web 2.0 world produce a social search engine that takes the world by storm? What about a mix of both?

These are some of the questions that have been bantered about with a few of my friends in the SEO and SMM worlds over the last few months. As you might imagine, the views are as varied as the individuals I talk to. Many of my mates in the social media marketing world tend to believe that people are the answer to search relevance and the death of spam. I personally can’t see a straight social search approach ultimately providing the most relevant results. Granted it is hard to say as there have been no widely-accepted/used social search engines and the premise requires a larger data set than we can see so far. So for me the jury is still out.

For me, search engines are always taking in implied or passive data, which in many ways is a form of social search engineering (behavioural targeting at very least).

Talking to the experts

I don’t really do a lot of interviews here, but I do enjoy bringing conversations public and over the next few weeks shall be asking a few friends to talk about this with me here on the Trail. First up; technical search geek and fellow algo-holic – Bill Slawski (we last chatted here)


Read more... [The Quest for Social Search Sensibilities]

Yahoo to improve social searching through trusted networks

Written by David Harry   
Thursday, 17 April 2008 23:15

It’s all about the Buddy System…

Recently I have been engaging a few of my industry cohorts on the topic of social search engines and the future of search in general. In the coming weeks I will be publishing some of these discussions which for me lead to some hybrid of algorithmic, performance metric based and human enhanced ranking signals.

Yahoo gets socialOne of the problems facing those that believe in a pure social powered search engine is the fact that over time, once the novelty wears off, many users will be less inclined to actively be involved and so the few (in the form of power users) would be creating indexes/SERPs for the many. One way of dealing with this (and spam) would be to have a form of personalized (trusted) network search approach… But how do you make creating networks and accessing ranking signal easier? Yahoo seems to have a plan.

In a patent I came across yesterday, I would seem the folks at Yahoo! are looking to address such shortcomings in a personalized/social search sphere.

Systems and methods for establishing or maintaining a personalized trusted social network

Read more... [Yahoo to improve social searching through trusted networks]

Use the Forum my young SEO Jedi

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 15 April 2008 08:53

Fond memories of Social Networking 1.0

Once upon a time there was a mystical magical land called Social Networking 1.0; or as us old folks like to call them – forums. It was a wonderful place where you could not only meet up with other professional SEOs, but webmasters and curious onlookers alike. They could be engaging, enlightening, frustrating and fun; often quite consuming. But, for a young SEO practitioner, there is also a hidden value to remember that is potentially important to your future.

I don’t get out to the boards as much as I did a few years ago, but like many SEOs, countless hours have been consumed within them. True to my moniker, theGypsy, I have bopped around a lot and have accounts in more locales than I can remember (right Able?). While reflecting upon what I enjoy about that social format, a few things seemed truly important for the new generation of SEOs; important aspects of being an SEO forum fly that can be help your growth;

Read more... [Use the Forum my young SEO Jedi]
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