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Looking for volunteers

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 22 September 2008 19:36

Mining for personalized search data

Hiya kids… if you have a few moments to spare I want some peeps to do a few searches and send me the results. If you have a Google account with personalized search turned on, great… if not, still valid. I am looking for data from a variety of geographic locales (even OS and browser type have come into play).

A Google patent recently came out which got me thinking about personalized search once more. I started some basic data collection and was surprised.. so now I am doing more. If you agree to participate you will receive all the raw data (names removed) so you can also make your own analysis on it all… there are likely gro-graphic factors that will emerge as well (seems that way so far).

This is no definitive imperial scientific undertaking, more just anomalies I want to look into further. If you are interested in taking part, the ultimate data should at the very least be food for thought.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in playing along with… Get in touch and I will send you details

So… whatcha waiting for? Get in touch so we can see what value ranking reports really have.


Phrase Based Indexing and Retrieval one more time

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 16 September 2008 10:21

How Cuil is that?

It seems phrase based IR (PaIR) is back – momentarily at least. Super search geek Bill Slawski had a post today about a late entry to the set of patents from Google on the topic (see; phrase based indexing and clusters), which is as good a reason as any to revisit it.

Simply put it is one of the methods for understanding relevance of concepts and topical anomalies through phrases and semantics. It is a probabilistic learning model which seeks to add more relevance to the ranking process. A large number of people search in phrases, not singular keywords and this method certainly had some merit.

For more see these;

Phrase based optimization resources (here on the trail)
Phrase based indexing and retrieval (Reliable SEO)
Phrase based IR – a second look (Van SEO Design)
Phrase Based information retrieval and spam detection (SEO by the Sea)

This one, from what I gather, deals with clustering of concepts/related phrases and using occurrences to create a ranking signal. For any given topic (query space) there are related phrases that will also occur in a given document. By looking at ratios of related phrases, clusters can be created to valuate other pages and so forth…  it seems to have some ranking mechanisms not covered previously.

Read more... [Phrase Based Indexing and Retrieval one more time]

What is SEO?

Written by David Harry   
Sunday, 24 August 2008 09:53

Ok… I noticed a few comments on Sphinn about my last post… (why don’t peeps comment on posts here?)… and decided to respond…

Hugo Guzman said;


I usually like his post's, but I think that he burned himself on this one. My two main issues are as follows:

1) He says that ranking matter, but uses keyword research as the main foundation for his assertion. There's a big difference between performing keyword research - a key SEO element - and using rankings as a basis for SEO analytics (the latter is what most people are referring to when they say that rankings don't matter)

2) He says that worrying about conversions is not a key aspect of what SEO's should be worrying about. That screams SEO circa 2001. The most successful SEOs understand that SEO is really just part of an overall marketing effort, and that most of the time, good SEO goes hand in hand with analytics, creative, development, usability, etc...

David lost big points in my book. I hope that he comes on here and clarifies his stance, in case I misinterperted (I'm still suffering from a little leftover SES jetlag).

As U may have noticed, I was decidedly taking a singular route with the post … in the hopes that it would further the discussion (until ethics and standards once more grace us…ooops.... here we go). Being a cheeky fecker, it just was the mood I was in.

Not sure you caught all of what I was on about…. But ignoring rankings might be a great idea for those SEO enthusiasts working on their own projects, but when it comes to billable activities, associating costs and values of given target terms is still important. Sure, like the dreaded ‘little green bar’ it is but a metric that we don’t bet the farm on, but discounting it as I have seen, is not realistic or even wise IMO.

Read more... [What is SEO?]

The evolution of SEO

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 20 August 2008 09:50

SEO is dead, ranking is useless and other fairy tales

Well peeps, it seems it’s that time again and peeps are shovelling crap once more. Not that it’s anything new, but worth me taking time away from my sabbatical to rant off a bit.

First off we have the ever popular ‘SEO is a dead man’ routine that is making the rounds again of late. Let me explain this to you right now; as long as there is organic search, SEO will be viable. It’s a fact. It truly behoves me to see folks believing that the future of search doesn’t include optimizers. Are these folks merely trying to put fellow SEOs (and the competition) off the track? Dunno….

As a search geek guy that follows developments from universal and personalized search, phrase based (and semantic) approaches all the way along the trail to behavioural metrics. I can tell you that in many ways SEO has become more technical than ever. It’s not merely throwing links at the wall to see if they stick…. if you haven't been evolving then your SEO is truly weak!

Could it be that the old fashion optimizers see their tactics of yesteryear becoming less effective and thus think the sky is falling? Dunno….

SEO Fairy tales

Read more... [The evolution of SEO]

Learning SEO

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 28 July 2008 10:07

What is the best way to learn SEO?

Today I launched this year’s version of my how to learn SEO over at one of my part time gigs at Site Reference. If yer looking for a mighty link fest of Site Reference SEO BlogSEO goodiness; go check it out!

How to learn SEO – theGypsy on Site Reference

As SEO evolves, so do the the ways one can learn it. And so I thought it might be interesting to reach out to some of the pros in the search world and see what they felt were the best ways to learn SEO.

What is most intriguing is that there was no two answers the same… seem we all have our own angle on the best way to learn SEO….

While experience is obviously the best way to go… what other approaches do the experts advise?

….here are some of the choice quips from the gang;

Read more... [Learning SEO]
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