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Google New Algo? Backlinks Not Important?


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65 replies to this topic

#16 chrishirst

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:06 PM

Yeah but



from 2007

and

This from somewhat earlier and this

#17 PatrickGer

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:52 AM

@Jill:

Do you not think there's at least a significant c orrelation between "how many links point to website" (in reality, not what's shown in any of the tools), and how many links e.g. yahoo or majestic (who seem to be sharing their information generously :-)) show?

As for why people get so caught up in knowing how many links,etc. - Do you not find it important to know before you enter a market with a new website / decide which keywords to optimize for (understanding their competitveness)? Of course not the pure number of links, but what kind of websites those links come from,etc.?

thanks

#18 Jill

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:10 AM

QUOTE
Do you not think there's at least a significant c orrelation between "how many links point to website" (in reality, not what's shown in any of the tools), and how many links e.g. yahoo or majestic (who seem to be sharing their information generously :-)) show?


No. There's a false correlation only which is why it's probably more less than helpful because it can provide you with bad data to make any decisions with.

QUOTE
Do you not find it important to know before you enter a market with a new website / decide which keywords to optimize for (understanding their competitveness)?


Since I don't enter new markets with new websites it hasn't been an issue for me. I work with existing websites in existing markets where they need to get targeted traffic regardless of the competitiveness.

#19 qwerty

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:56 AM

QUOTE
Do you not think there's at least a significant correlation between "how many links point to website" (in reality, not what's shown in any of the tools), and how many links e.g. yahoo or majestic (who seem to be sharing their information generously :-)) show?

I think big differences are relatively safe to trust, but even then only as a general piece of (not particularly useful) information. That is, if YSE reports 50 backlinks for one site and 1000 for another, I think it's safe to conclude that Google is treating one site as having more backlinks than the other.

That doesn't mean there's a 20:1 ratio in the other engine too. I think it's safe to assume that a page Yahoo knows about is probably a page Google knows about as well, but that doesn't mean that a link Yahoo reports is being counted as a link by Google (in fact, we don't really know if a link that's reported in YSE is actually adding any ranking weight to its target even in Yahoo's results). But as long as the Yahoo results aren't clearly a lot of garbage, I'd say it's pretty safe to look at a big difference and call that a difference.

If I'm looking over a client's competition and I see a lot more backlinks reported in YSE, I'll report back that the competitor has more links. Even then I'd have to dig deeper to determine whether I see a reason to believe that all those links are really helping the other site. It may be that the only information I get out of this is that it looks like that other site hired someone to get them a ton of crappy links. And if the difference isn't really big, it's usually not even worth mentioning.

#20 Michael Martinez

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 01:27 PM

Correlative data is about as revealing as fundoscopic analysis in these matters ("Star Trek IV" reference there).

Link data from any source is pretty much useless fluff if you cannot use the data to determine which links are helping and how they are helping.

That's like buying a 3-ton ball of dirt that has microscopic gold flakes embedded throughout and saying, "I just bought a ball of gold!"



#21 PatrickGer

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 05:37 AM

Thanks for the replies - admittedly, though, they make me feel like 'wait a second':


@Jill:

QUOTE
Do you not find it important to know before you enter a market with a new website / decide which keywords to optimize for (understanding their competitveness)?


Since I don't enter new markets with new websites it hasn't been an issue for me. I work with existing websites in existing markets where they need to get targeted traffic regardless of the competitiveness.


I kind of expected you to say something like this - that you deal mostly with websites that are already active in existing markets, thus not much of a need to figure out the competitiveness (I remembered a comment or post somewhere where you said you simply had no interest in owning a website of your own - was some kind of discussion about "all SEOs who arent running their own websites suck, because they could be making much more $ if they did").

I think for people who do it is very much an issue, though (of course that doesnt change anything about the fact(?) that looking at yahoo's backlink profile is of no help, if it really gives nothing but a misleading idea)

@others:

Is the main point of discussion whether we can know what links Google actually knows of? or which ones actually help in their algo?

I mean I do agree perfectly with the idea that "number of links" is a horrible metric (one link building team of site A might shoot for getting a bunch of crappy links from forum signatures etc., whereas link building team of site B might shoot for few higher quality links).

Last time I thought the main point of this discussion was whether we had any idea what links Google knows of,etc. ...now it seems like the main point seems to be which links actually help?

just wondering if I sort of misunderstood the focus of this discussion..

saying that "number of links" isnt a good metric wouldnt have been a new idea to me.

Saying that looking at the backlink profiles of a certain website (and digging deeper into them) in yahoo,majestic,etc. and drawing conclusions from that for competitiveness in g's algorithm would be a new idea to me.

really just wondering if I might have misunderstood this part..




Edited by PatrickGer, 15 June 2010 - 05:53 AM.


#22 Michael Martinez

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:03 PM

QUOTE(PatrickGer @ Jun 15 2010, 03:37 AM) View Post
Is the main point of discussion whether we can know what links Google actually knows of? or which ones actually help in their algo?

I mean I do agree perfectly with the idea that "number of links" is a horrible metric (one link building team of site A might shoot for getting a bunch of crappy links from forum signatures etc., whereas link building team of site B might shoot for few higher quality links).

Last time I thought the main point of this discussion was whether we had any idea what links Google knows of,etc. ...now it seems like the main point seems to be which links actually help?


I'm sure thread drift has kicked in. However, I have always maintained (in one form or another) that link-based SEO is inefficient. Good SEO integrates linking into the strategy but you cannot build an efficient strategy on the basis of link-building.

BUT...if you're going to do it this way, then you absolutely need to do everything you can to determine which links are helping. There is no way to be 100% sure or correct, but just building links the way all the SEO blogs tell you to build links is going to put an SEO campaign into low gear, mostly coasting.

QUOTE
Saying that looking at the backlink profiles of a certain website (and digging deeper into them) in yahoo,majestic,etc. and drawing conclusions from that for competitiveness in g's algorithm would be a new idea to me.


It would be a complete waste of time to use anything other than Google to determine what is going on within Google's index and algorithm.

Why? Because those other sites/tools have absolutely NO insight into what Google is collecting for data and what Google is doing with that data.

People say, "Oh, look, Google gives us crap information on links. We'll just substitute the reports from these other tools and pretend they have some clue about what Google is doing."

That's like going to college, being assigned a term paper in thermodynamic theory, and saying, "Well, I can't get to the thermodynamic theory books in the library so I'll just use the economics section instead."

Google does not share its data with Majestic SEO, Yahoo!, Linkscape, et. al. Hence, none of those other databases in any way reflects what data Google has.

Google does not share its link evaluation criteria/algorithms with those services; hence, none of those services are in any position to determine which links are passing value in Google.

Google does not share its ranking criteria/algorithm with those services; hence, none of those services are capable of helping people figure out which linking resources they need to work with to improve their Google search performance.

All that said, there are still millions of Websites that are indexed in Google and whose links pass value. You can find those sites and get links from them regardless of whether you're using the link tools offered by other companies. Your success rate will vary but on average there will be no significant improvement because they offer no significant advantage.

People DO tend to get better about figuring out where to get links from over time. Practice makes perfect. Linking tools may make you feel good -- maybe you feel like you have an advantage -- but the only real advantages any link builders have over each other are experience and the linking resources (Websites, not tools) they have learned work well.

#23 qwerty

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 07:13 PM

QUOTE
People say, "Oh, look, Google gives us crap information on links. We'll just substitute the reports from these other tools and pretend they have some clue about what Google is doing."

That's like going to college, being assigned a term paper in thermodynamic theory, and saying, "Well, I can't get to the thermodynamic theory books in the library so I'll just use the economics section instead."

While I agree with Michael that knowing what Yahoo knows doesn't tell you what Google knows, I think this sort of analogy takes things a little far. We're not talking about two different sciences that strive to explain different aspects of different things in different ways. Apart from whatever percentage of pages out there block either googlebot or slurp, but not both, we're talking about two entities with access to the same set of data, which they reach by similar methods, but index and utilize in different ways and to different extents.

I think a more apt analogy would be two statisticians given access to the same massive database of information. Neither one takes absolutely all of the data, but much of what each gets is shared with the other. However, the way they utilize that data differs, and we can't really know how differently. So if you use Professor A's data but apply Professor B's methodology, you're not going to get the same results as either of them.

#24 PatrickGer

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:16 AM

Thanks for the replies @MM & qwerty:

QUOTE(qwerty @ Jun 16 2010, 02:13 AM) View Post
While I agree with Michael that knowing what Yahoo knows doesn't tell you what Google knows, I think this sort of analogy takes things a little far. We're not talking about two different sciences that strive to explain different aspects of different things in different ways. Apart from whatever percentage of pages out there block either googlebot or slurp, but not both, we're talking about two entities with access to the same set of data, which they reach by similar methods, but index and utilize in different ways and to different extents.


This is exactly what I had in mind, but admittedly I dont know their technology well enough to judge it...other than guess..so I was holding it in.

The way Ive thought about it is that a website has a certain link profile. And google and yahoo and (other services) probably use similar methods to discover those links. Google seems to be big on links, and they have massive resources, and their algorithm is pretty important to them, thus Id be surprised if google did not know of (note: I said know of) the same links that yahoo and majesticseo are aware of.

I mean, if yahoo and majestic had links in their indexes that G does not know of, how difficult would it be for Google to grab that data from yahoo and majestic so that they (google) know of those links, too?

Of course this doesnt mean theyre u sing those links in the same way, but if I have a website about b asketball and got a link from the homepage of NBA.com pointing to that website...do you guys not think this one will count in google and in yahoo?

So what I was thinking is that a)google definitely knows of the same links that yahoo and majestic know of (either because they have crawled them, too and if not theyd just grab that data (so they know of those links, not necessarily use them), cool.gif they do use links in a similar way - authority websites and relevant websites are those that both SEs probably want to count. Neither one will want to count a footer link from 1,000s of pages on the same website as as important as 1,000s of links from different websites,etc....

They wont be using links in the exact same way, but if you see a link profile that has nothing but forum signature links and the like vs. one that has sites from the major sites in your niche pointing to it all over the place, I think that might give y ou an idea .... whether you see those links in yahoo's site explorer, majestic seo or google (but in google you probably wont s ee them to begin with because they dont really share that kind of information :-)).

This thread has made me think more critically about the topic, but I can't say that I'm truly convinced that looking at backlink profiles in yahoo, majestic, etc. is a complete waste of time...still it got me wondering/think more critically about it, so that's still a good thing i guess






#25 Jill

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:20 AM

QUOTE
This thread has made me think more critically about the topic, but I can't say that I'm truly convinced that looking at backlink profiles in yahoo, majestic, etc. is a complete waste of time..


I don't think anyone ever said it was a complete waste of time.

It's just important to understand what it is and isn't.

#26 PatrickGer

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:27 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jun 16 2010, 02:20 PM) View Post
I don't think anyone ever said it was a complete waste of time.

It's just important to understand what it is and isn't.


Ah, I guess, I misunderstood it a bit then...to me it really sounded like you & Michael Martinez pretty much said it was a complete waste of time to look at that data and try to draw conclusions from it to see whats happening in Google.

QUOTE
Do you not think there's at least a significant c orrelation between "how many links point to website" (in reality, not what's shown in any of the tools), and how many links e.g. yahoo or majestic (who seem to be sharing their information generously :-)) show?


No. There's a false correlation only which is why it's probably more less than helpful because it can provide you with bad data to make any decisions with.


This for example made me think that you believed that looking at it was not only not helpful, but perhaps counterproductive.

I assume, that was a bit of a misunderstanding (as you say that you dont think its a complete waste of time)?

#27 chrishirst

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 09:00 AM

Looking at the numbers and expecting them to mean something is a waste of time.

As with just about every "metric" the TRENDS will tell you more than any one thing taken in isolation.

You need to correlate these trends with the trends you see from your log analyser or any other analytic tool you use, taking snapshots of one moment in time is not especially helpful.

It's like predicting a election outcome in six months, based on single poll taken 3 weeks ago.


#28 Jill

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 11:55 AM

QUOTE
waste of time to look at that data and try to draw conclusions from it to see whats happening in Google.


Well that is true. You can't draw any conclusions as to what's happening in Google with that info.

But you can learn stuff.

#29 PatrickGer

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 05:48 PM

What do you mean by you can learn stuff (but not draw c onclusions to whats happening in google)?

Im truly confused, now! lol

Do you mean you can learn stuff as in see what the competition is doing in terms of backlinks (building mostly crappy links vs. getting authority links/smart link building campaigns) in general? - If so I would say this should allow one to draw conclusions to what "might be" happening in Google, too.

#30 Scottie

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 06:02 PM

I think you are trying to be way too literal here.

Looking at backlinks in Yahoo (yours and competitors) can tell you some things, give you some ideas, and honestly, make you think a little. It is part of the overall picture. It cannot tell you what links count and don't count with Google.

If you are expecting your backlink research to somehow give you insight to how Google is/should/will be ranking your site, you are going to be confused and frustrated and draw incorrect conclusions




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