SEO and Defining Site Objectives

The Importance of Defining Site Objectives

I like digging into some of the patents and papers that come from search engines and academics who study how search works.

But something else I find fascinating is how marketing fits into Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and how important it is to know about both to be successful in getting traffic to a site. Or should I say the right traffic – visits from the people who will find the pages of a web site interesting and engaging to them, which begins with defining site objectives for a site.

A lot of that crossover is getting an insight into the words that people will both use to find a site, and expect to see upon its pages. That doesn’t come out of doing some research on wordtracker or nichebot or the obsolete Overture keyword selection tool.

Those can be nice tools to use, but some of the most important steps in finding meaningful words that people will search for come earlier, before you should even be looking at those sites.

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Loren Baker and John Scott visit Google Japan

Some great pictures of Google Japan over at Search Engine Journal from Loren Baker. Loren and John Scott met up at the Tokyo offices of the search giant, and it sounds like they had a pretty informative tour, discussing issues such as search privacy in Japan, the new addition of local search, and more.

Wonder if we’ll start seeing some of those Google vending machines make their way to this side of the world.

Where Google Definitions Come From

How do Google Definitions appear at the top of search results?

Over at Threadwatch, Graywolf started a thread titled Are you Optimizing for Google Definitions? There are some insightful comments in the thread, and I recalled a Google patent application that covered the topic.

I looked around the web to see if there had been any discussion about the Google Definitions patent application, but couldn’t find any. The document is System and method for providing definitions, (US Patent Application 240040236739), invented by Craig Nevill-Manning, filed on June 27, 2003, and published on November 25, 2004. Granted as System and method for providing definitions on 8/28/2012.

The abstract for the Google definitions application is pretty general, but the document is fairly detailed. Here’s the abstract:

A system and method for providing definitions is described. A phrase to be defined is received. One or more documents, which each contains at least one definition, are determined. The phrase is matched to at least one of the definitions. One or more definitions for the phrase are presented.

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Multi-Stage Query Processing at Google

Multi-Stage Query Processing at Google

Determining how a term or phrase may be used in the context of a page can be helpful in deciding how relevant that page is in responding to a query from a searcher.

A patent application from Google was published this week which looks at possible ways of considering the context of those words, and describes a multi-stage query processing approach to determine relevancy and find results to a search.

The document is fairly complex, but some possible actions that can be taken during the different stages described are:

Multi-Stage Query Processing Stage 1:

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Move over PageRank: Google is Using Phrase-Based Searching?

Will Phrase-Based Searching Become an Important Ranking Approach at Google?

Google isn’t the biggest search engine that Anna Lynn Patterson has worked upon. That distinction probably falls to the Internet Archives, which she worked on before joining Google, and likely has a few billion more pages in its database than Google (the archive has 55 billion web pages right now).

In addition to that feat, Anna is the writer of a pretty good article on search engines, over at ACM Queue, titled Why Writing Your Own Search Engine is Hard.

The latest search engine description from Anna Patterson, published yesterday, involves a search engine immune from Google Bombing. It could be said to reward authors for well-written html, and good punctuation. It can find relevant pages that don’t include the query terms on those pages, even though immune to Google Bombing. She also finds a way to perform personalization with the search engine, and detect and eliminate duplicates.

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