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Should SEOs care about Real Time Social Search?

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 08 February 2010 13:10

Are we there yet?

I thought we could spend a few moments looking at the value, potential and implications for the world of (real time and) social search. I prefer to think of them as;

  • Social search – using explicit elements (voting, annotating) in conjunction with standard search functionality.
  • Real Time Search – searching the fire-hose of the social world (Twitter, FaceBook, FriendFeed and so on)

But for the sake of this post, we’ll just go with RTSS (real time social search) to make things easier. While I personally believe there is a need for distinction, it would make things messy for this simple journey. For starters, a few examples….

Explicit data; Social Search

Google Social Search

The Fire-hose; Real time search

Real time search

While people tend to not make the distinction between social and real-time search, it is certainly important from an SEO standpoint, to do so. Now we have some associations in place, let’s look at the present state of affairs (from an IR standpoint).

Read more... [Should SEOs care about Real Time Social Search?]

Google re-ranking and personalized search study

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 18 January 2010 17:24

Once upon a time me and a few cohorts wondered about just what levels of flux there were in the Google SERPs. Has personalized search really changed the consistency of rankings? It’s an issue that has been spoken about many times in the search world. We set out to see what was up. After two rounds of research we noticed that this was unlikely to be the case. You can learn more in the post; The SEO guide to Google personalized search

It seemed only sensible, given Google’s Psearch expansion, to have another look. And so last December we started a third round. Has anything changed? How much flux is out there? Well, read on and find out what we’re seeing so far…

Google ranking flux and personalized seach study

Now, first things first; the goal wasn’t really to establish how personalized search operates. What we really wanted to know is how much movement is there in the SERPs for a given query type, in a given region (USA in this case). Yes we’re also noting some potential personalized search affects, but movement/flux was the core observation.

We must understand that even though there is some interesting data here, it is by no means a large enough sample to get nitty gritty with IMHO. It is also important to remember this is a specific task from a quasi-transactional query session (task development).

We want to go back and do more from an informational query space and one more suited to respondents (familiar, such as ‘learn SEO’ etc..). This approach, last time out, did show more movement than we saw with this space (we’ve done this round 2x now). 

As always, no magic bullets here… Just more links in the chain (pun intended of course).

Read more... [Google re-ranking and personalized search study]

Detecting and dealing with duplicate content

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 11 January 2010 15:08

(the following is a guest post from Mark Thompson)

Duplicate content and plagiarism can be an easy way for a website to get penalized by the search engines or possibly banned (ED; in extreme cases). The search engines have gotten much better at being able to check for duplicate content. If you are interested, here is what Google has to say about duplicate content. For website owners, bloggers, and writers there are a number of tools you can use to identify duplicate content.

This post will talk discuss tools used to identify plagiarism, how to deal with duplicate content and what limitations there are for having duplicate content on your site.

Duplicate Content Detection


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The SEO guide to Google personalized search

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 07 December 2009 14:18

Some facts to help keep your sanity

If there is one area I’d consider myself an authority on, it’s personalized search. Actually, behavioural signals in general (implicit/explicit) are an area that I do a LOT of reading (and research) in. We’ve gone as far as actually testing against Google’s personalized search (on two occasions) to see exactly how much it was being implemented (surprisingly little). It seems that the folks at Google are taking it to a new level.

On Friday the folks at Google made an announcement relating to Psearch

Today we're helping people get better search results by extending Personalized Search to signed-out users worldwide, and in more than forty languages. Now when you search using Google, we will be able to better provide you with the most relevant results possible.” - Google Blog

This is kind of interesting on a few levels;

  • We’re wondering (at the Dojo) if this really is something recent as we have been seeing evidence of personalization when not logged in for a short while now… so it’s possible it was rolled out on some data centers before others.
  • Deeper personalization requires more processing power; does that mean this is somehow related to the Caffeine update.

The main point here is that people know longer need to be logged into Google to see modified results. You will know when a set of results is modified when the ‘View Customizations’ link is inserted in the SERP. Like so;

Google personalized search for all
(care of Search Engine Land)

Read more... [The SEO guide to Google personalized search]

Warning; SEO confusion spreads PageRank madness

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 03 November 2009 14:36

Let’s put this to bed once and for all

Jeez… if there’s one thing that bugs me more than anything, is when seemingly sane people form apparently respected outlets, don’t seem to understand the fundamentals. Who cares when some blog in some far flung nether regions of the SEO makes a pedantic proclamation?  Not I… Heck, I don’t even get worked up when the latest round of ‘SEO sucks’ (‘is dead’ ‘is easy’ insert ignorant analysis here). Nope, that no longer irks me.

But those that should know better, the places where new search geeks and clients lurk for learning, I hold them to a higher standard.

Case and point; there is a big difference between (Google’s) PageRank, (PR) and ToolBar PageRank, (TBPR).

THe confusion between PR and TBPR

Now, as with past rants, this is not meant with malice, just a love for the game. Dear Titus, care of Site Pro News, stop confusing people with articles such as this one, it’s clearly madness of the highest order.

Read more... [Warning; SEO confusion spreads PageRank madness]
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