The Other Side of SEO (as Seen by Search Engines)

Search Engines Vs. SEOIn case your wondering why your rankings may have dropped in Google, it appears they have rolled out a new infrastructure for assessing relevance.
Are SEO's and Search Engines Playing a Friendly Game of Chess?, by SEO Design Solutions.
A few weeks ago SEO specialists speculated that anchor text (the text in the link) now has less significance, which according to testing we conducted is valid. However, there is more to the equation than meets the eye.

Typically there is a triad of relevance that balances the distinct signals a site emulates from (a) their link profile which boils down to the anchor text linking to the site (b) the amount of information available on the subject and (c) how long the topic made its debut.

What this implies is, if you intend to start ranking for new keywords outside of your accredited range of relevance, it may take longer than expected to see results. From our assessment, it appears that search engines adding an extra layer of due diligence when compiling relevance score.

Speculations such as longer URL’s not carrying the same weight, only the first link to a target page counting and other minor adjustments to search algorithms have many SEO’s scrambling to get to the root of the problem when rankings fall out of favor. Although these factors may or may not be the case, one thing in certain, something is distinctly different and some pages are affected more than others.

Just consider, as Google’s search engine index grows (with millions of new sites lining up each day), the safeguards that were at one time rather lax are not showing the same lacksidaisical allowances for newer sites and links and getting in requires that the relevance score is up to par.

Having a website and having content is not enough, you need relevant links and relevant content to ensure your site has the right ingredients to get the attention from the Google bot to crawl and index your content regularly. Now it appears that authority and reputation have a bigger role in the relevance mapping of sites as semantic crawling is only one layer of the assessment.

Looking at the different types of retrieval and the fact that the weekend index (the be back in 72 hours cache of Google search results) has been in extended play for weeks while under the surface, the infrastructure appears to have underwent a complete transformation.

Aside from older penalties being updated with new consequences, Google Bombs have been diffused, anchor text from other sites does not hold the same weight and links that appear in clusters (either with similar anchor text, across closely grouped IP’s as well as chronologically within a concise time stamp) are being quarantined until they pass the trust rank algorithm (and pass link weight and value).

What this means is, search results as we know them are fluctuating due to personalized search results, new metrics for assessing quality and relevance and many of the rankings you may have enjoyed are on hiatus momentarily. Search engines call this evolution, SEO calls this challenge, what you see and how you mold your perspective depends on which side of the fence your on and what your objective is.

Search engines make revenue from advertising, not SEO, so just keep in mind that a friendly game of chess is not uncommon. You must constantly refine your game plan and innovate new solution oriented methods to stave off the competition, have curb appeal for visitors as well as appease the constantly evolving search algorithm.

Simple suggestions for adding depth to your SEO efforts:

1) Don’t rely on one dimensional SEO techniques like low quality directories.

Let’s face it, search engineers are savvy. If link from website A does not have relevant content for text in link A, then link is null. In other words, those who abused getting off topic links from the past will find that search results inflated as a result now are falling flat.

Topical relevance is now more important that ever, and when building links default to quality and trusted sites to solidify your SEO defense.

2) Integrate multiple platforms to work cohesively to reinforce relevance.

Use press releases, build software or templates for giveaways (that gain links from authority sites or niche directories), offer a free e-book to attract new readers or create incentives for existing visitors, think of ways to integrate social media (create quality posts so others will link to you) and above all keep building links.

3) Keep your pages on topic.

Some things will never go out of style and one of them when it comes to SEO is the title tag. I personally have noticed that with other forms of measure falling out of favor, that the title tag has withstood the test of time. What this means is, when in doubt, keep it simple and go back to basics. Write quality content in smaller bursts but make each range of keywords emanate relevance from keeping the pages on topic and title tags solid.

4) Give your pages and links more time to mature before jumping to conclusions

Time is an asset, as each page ages it gains more authority if integrated properly. Look for internal linking opportunities (think wikipedia) to cross reference and link content with aged links and trust rank to lend a helping hand until your fresh content makes the grade.

5) Be patient during major algorithm changes.

How many times have webmasters panicked for no good reason. As many phrases you ranked for subside and newer phrases reach their apex, one fact remains. Change is imminent, but how you react to it to a great extent is up to you.

Just consider it a test of your sites mettle, as millions of new pages push their way up, all pages in the existing index are being challenged.

The site that links to the site that links to your site may have fallen out of favor. Perhaps an authority site went down due a bad server during a crawl or dozens of unseen influences impact the world wide web and its reciprocity.

For this reason, when one action sets off a chain of events, it is not always easy to determine a cause from an effect when they are in flux, so patience is required until you can take a measurement and assess the situation with a firm grasp.

More often than naught, the ranking returns in due time after the new algorithm has introduced itself and the everflux takes all of the past considerations of value into account. As long as you are continually creating ethical advances by providing value with your content, not pushing the envelope of promotion into gray areas and linking to safe neighborhoods, then you have nothing to fear from a new change in the algorithm on the contrary only new rankings to shore up your website during transitions.

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4 Comments

  1. Danel R. Lehrman
    Posted September 5, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Lots of good points here. It seems to be normal for Google, not to be normal. At least for long. Keeps us on our toes. Patience,in this case is a virtue!

  2. SEO Guide
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Nice post.. I learned new things in this post.. Thanks..

    Just SEO It
    Admin

  3. Jeffrey Smith
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    It just goes to show, you have to evolve to stay ahead of the curve. Diversity is essential for SEO, “just in case” the algorithm checks off your favorite method.

  4. Zermic the Frog
    Posted January 11, 2011 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    The internet wouldn’t be a “net” without links. It would only be a collection of independent pages that are not connected to each other. Inbound links and internal site linking is important for organic traffic, meaning people seeing and clicking on those links to get to your website, but they are also important for SEO.

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