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Search Engine Penalties
Posted 08 March 2004 - 12:23 PM
Most of the SEO guru chatter I was picking up related to two main states that a website mainly exists. Indexed or NOT Indexed. In the Indexed state - it seems that the main discussion is about RANK - which is built on many POSITIVE factors - including but not limted to link popularity, seo mojo, etc...
Is there BAD mojo that gets calculated into the algorithm? Do the godsofGoogle count points against us in determining final rank position? Or is it all based on positive merit? And if this is true - does focusing on cleaning out negative seomojo become just as important as creating more seo improvements/optimization?
Posted 08 March 2004 - 01:35 PM
I have some thoughts on this, but I'm curious to see what others might say, first!
Posted 08 March 2004 - 02:08 PM
I'm of the mind that Google rarely bans or places a heavy penalty on any site. Instead, they take a measured approach for most indiscretions. Too much interlinking of your own sites, it may cost you a few places. Not enough quality backlinks, your placement falls.
In the end though, the "Good" factors far outweigh the "Bad" ones. In other words, if you're doing most thing right and just a couple of things "wrong", the good will outweigh the bad. So you rank well.
On the other hand, if you don't have many of the "good" things Google looks for in place, as couple of "bad" things can have a massive effect.
Mathematically speaking, a very simple example of the concept would be:
(1 * 400) [good things] - 3 [bad things] = 397
(1 * 10) [good things] - 3 [the same bad things] = 7
Of course I can't prove that. Just an observation based upon experience.
Posted 08 March 2004 - 02:17 PM
Even if there's only a tiny penalty, getting rid of the stuff will likely give you a tiny boost, relatively speaking. On top of that, if you get rid of the stuff you think could eventually cause you trouble now, then should your rankings drop later, at least you don't have to wonder whether the questionable stuff you left in there is the reason for it. Clean it up now and you've got one less thing to worry about.
Posted 08 March 2004 - 02:38 PM
Posted 09 March 2004 - 09:20 AM
I get concerned when I see any site that's been around for a long time that has a PR3 or less. Makes me think there's something holding it back, some sort of minor penalty.
Unfortunately, there's no way to know for sure, and all you can do is dig, dig, dig, to see if you can uncover whatever it is that G may not like.
Posted 09 March 2004 - 10:06 AM
I agree. IMO Google dishes out penalties that work counter to PageRank, and this is reflected in the Toolbar PR. These penalties can be seen as negative PR penalties. A typical penalty appears to be something like -4. So if the penalised page was PR7 before, it becomes PR3. If it was PR4 or less before, it becomes the dreaded PR0.
I believe that with Google at least, there are things that can give you a slight penalty. Often this is reflected with a lower than expected toolbar PageRank. Generally it's under PR4.
These penalties appear to have other side effects also related to PageRank. For example, pages may drop off the fresh cycle, or fewer pages from a site may be indexed, simply because the effective PageRank (after applied penalty) of the penalised pages is too low to warrant frequent indexing or indexing at all.
Posted 09 March 2004 - 10:37 AM
Unfortunately, it's not always easy to get to the bottom of the problem, and I've seen it happen where there was no apparent spamming happening.
That's kinda scary. Especially when you tell everyone just to go about your business as if the search engines didn't exist (like Alan and I both often do). In general that works nicely, but every now and then something happens unintentionally that can have nasty consequences in Google.
Posted 09 March 2004 - 11:11 AM
After all pages have been checked, the results where sorted by relevancy without actually checking that a word isn't just simply repeated on a page.
This system alone was already not easy to code and fine-tune, due to various factors involved. What I could have done additionally was to check for various spamming techniques and headings, and possibly subtract points and resort the whole thing. There was also no keyword density check, but it could have been added fairly easily.
It is very interesting to see how the results become "naturally" sorted by using such a based point system. Changing one word on a page can make a page hop up or down.
The difficult part was deciding how many points to allocate to certain things, for example giving less point to repeat occurances of a word and how much the title gets, as well as individual words as compared to entire phrases.
My results were simply sorted from most to least points.
If any search engine uses a system around that basis, then they definitely allocate points using their own system. And any minor tweaking will cause an entire shakeup of results for many keywords, plus due to various databases and the bulk of content, this goes over many days or weeks.
Regarding the keyword density:
I have also noticed, that reducing the keywords in the content seemed to give a minor in ranking.
Posted 09 March 2004 - 12:02 PM
That is the way I see it anyhow, no over optimisation penalty, just an optimum point, and any thing else is less.
Then again I am old bald & stupid.
Posted 10 March 2004 - 06:08 AM
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