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Panda 3.3 and Google's Change to Links


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39 replies to this topic

#1 Hichem

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:44 AM

QUOTE
Link evaluation. We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.



Source
http://insidesearch....40-changes.html


What does that mean unsure.gif ?

#2 torka

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:13 AM

It means that algo-obsessed SEOs will have plenty of fodder for speculative blog posts and tweets for weeks to come. mf_type.gif

Seriously, it means what it says. Google made some kind of change to the way they evaluate links. It was something that had been in place for a few years, but lately they decided it wasn't working as well as it once did, so they stopped doing it. (Whatever "it" is.)

While they're happy to let us know they made a change, they have no intention of giving us any further clue as to what, specifically, the change was. To Google's point of view, that would be TMI. Some people outside the Googleplex may be able to make some educated guesses as to what was done, but we'll probably never know for sure exactly what changed. dntknw.gif

Which, ultimately, means it's pointless to worry about it. Just keep generating quality content and seeking strong links from reputable web pages and you should be fine. I sincerely doubt any of those basic principles were changed by whatever adjustment Google made. thumbup1.gif

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#3 torka

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:17 AM

And just to clarify, the "link evaluation" change you asked about is not Panda 3.3. It is one of 40 updates recently announced or confirmed by Google. One of those 40 was a Panda update; this is another.

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#4 Jill

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:30 AM

I hope it means they turned down the knob on the weighting of anchor text. rap.gif

#5 torka

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:37 AM

From your lips to the GoogleGod's ears, Jill! secret.gif

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#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:53 PM

Apparently it's not anchor-text related. In my opinion, whatever method of evaluation was discontinued has probably been superceded that does a better job of evaluating whatever it was about links that was being evaluated.


#7 chrishirst

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Mar 2 2012, 07:53 PM) View Post
Apparently it's not anchor-text related. In my opinion, whatever method of evaluation was discontinued has probably been superceded that does a better job of evaluating whatever it was about links that was being evaluated.


Hey Michael, are you practicing to be a speech writer for a politician? biggrin.gif


#8 Michael Martinez

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:59 AM

Hadn't thought about that but I suppose it might make a suitable third career if I get tired of Internet marketing.

#9 pkelsey

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:45 AM

Hi there,

New to the forum and this is my first post. I'd just like to see peoples thoughts on what Google announced recently about how they are going to evaluate links. This is what Google announced:

QUOTE
Link evaluation. We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable. 27/02/2012: insidesearch.blogspot.com



I've noticed a slip in rankings since this announcement. After a long and hard analysis I feel that Anchor Text is having less effect, unless they are placed on highly relevant sites to your own. Over the years I've networked with a number of web masters and we all share links where possible, but I am starting to wonder whether my hard work is now worthless when measuring project by project.

Really appreciate your feedback


#10 Michael Martinez

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:02 PM

Tiffany Oberoi, a Google representative, said at SMX West last week that the link evaluation change had nothing to do with anchor text.

Since Google is constantly tweaking their system with lots of little changes, including delisting or filtering out sketchy linking resources, the overall value of links pointing to many marketing sites tends to fluctuate a great deal, even for sites that only practice ethical link acquisition. Think of a lot of water sloshing around in a huge container as it's being moved around the countryside. That's roughly equivalent to how link value shifts around the indexed Web graph.

#11 seodesire

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:56 AM

Jill I think they turned down that knob..

Have a look at this new article on the Official GWM blog..

it even says sites will be rewarded even with 'no seo at all'

Off to create a thread about that and see what it means and how it can work.

#12 Michael Martinez

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:31 PM

I doubt there was much room in the algorithm for "turning down the knob" on anchor text. It's never been that the algorithm was emphasizing anchor text that much -- rather, it's been mostly that too many Internet marketers have been relying on anchor text.

What Google seems to be doing this year is pulling the rug out from under the link-based SEO campaigns, rather than fine-tuning the algorithm ranking signals.

Links play a relatively small role in the vast majority of query rankings. That has always been the case.

#13 Jill

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:59 PM

It's never been that the algorithm was emphasizing anchor text that much


I disagree.

See my anchor text link spam article.

#14 clandestino

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:40 PM

I disagree.

See my anchor text link spam article.


I'm with Jill.

Wow, Jill !!! You said this --

If Google doesn't want to (or doesn't know how to) not count spammy links, perhaps this is an opportunity for Bing to set itself apart and become the better search engine.

I couldn't agree more.

I just add -- if Google would set rules that are clear, people would follow them. "Just say no!" When Google says, "if you use anchor text with keywords, we will penalize your site no matter who you are." Website owners would stop, for the most part. The only people that would continue is website owners that have hundreds of low quality sites and they can afford to burn some of them -- a who cares, we'll just build some more mentality. Google can continue their goofy war and have a high old time chasing them down.

Instead, Google uses a "You should be very afraid!" approach and then does nothing or randomly penalizes, who knows what they are doing. It all makes no sense and gets no meaningful results.

The problem that arises by Google not being clear and then not doing what they say, is people keep doing it because it works. And it does. And their competitors are doing it so they have to or be relegated to the 2nd or later page, relative irrelevancy. And, Google must be O.K. with it because they don't say it's not O.K. and their algorithm rewards it. It's a vicious cycle.

So when is Google going to take control and play a leadership role rather than hope that fear takes care of it all? -- when there is a serious threat to their business model, that's when. Maybe that threat is Bing, I hope so.

Google puts businesses into no win situations -- if their competitors don't put them out of business, Google will.

I'm tired of this childishness that is Google's internet. I want out.

A note for honesty and clarity -- there is nothing in the Quality Guidelines that says you can't use anchor text. There are many ways to market/advertise that will encourage the desired anchor text and that practice is within the Quality Guidelines, too.

The real answer isn't to point fingers at businesses that use a practice we disagree with because that's the way we think the internet "should be."

It's up to Google to decide what kind of business model they want to have or they may very well loose out to Bing.

Or, they may loose out to consumers. If the average internet user knew about all of this, they may not be as interested in Google's products. What if everyone stopped clicking on PPC ads and started entering the URL in the search box instead? There are plenty of other monetary signals that consumers can send to encourage Google to change too. Chrome, G-mail, Android Phones, Google's Browser -- what if everyone stopped using those?

Edited by ChuckFinley, 25 April 2012 - 06:22 PM.


#15 Michael Martinez

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:13 PM

I stand by what I said. People in the SEO community have always assigned more weight and importance to link anchor text than the search engines. Natural queries (which compose the majority of queries people use) are simply not influenced by anchor text very much because there is so little anchor text designed to influence them.

Just because SEOs think links matter more than anything else doesn't mean anything to search algorithms that continue to do their thing automatically.

In fact, when you have 20 aggressive linking Websites all chasing the same keyword with anchor text, the links pretty much cancel each other out relative to those 20 Websites.

And given how many filters and penalties Google has rolled out to devalue links over the past several years, using links to rank for search has pretty much been a crap shoot anyway.




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