Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization tips and strategies and information, from SEO by the Sea, to help make web sites easier to find.

Google Patents Click-Through Feedback on Search Results to Improve Rankings

I was excited to see a Google Patent granted this past Thursday, which describes how Google may rank pages in part based upon user feedback (clicks) in response to rankings for those pages. The patent tells us that this kind of identifying of a user’s needs and determining which documents are returned that might be most useful to a searcher can involve “a fair amount of mind-reading—inferring from various clues what the user wants.” But, we’ve been told recently by a Google Spokesperson that such clues can be misleading. I thought it was still worth pointing the patent out.

Google may capture search click results.
Just one click away…, Matthias Ripp, Some rights reserved

Some clues may be user specific, the patent authors tell us, and when a searcher searches from a mobile device, and Google know the location of that device, the results returned “can result in much better search results for such a user.” That does make sense.

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How Google May Classify Sites as Low Quality Sites

A mural in Carlsbad, Ca.
A mural in Carlsbad, Ca.

On Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Barbara Starr and I are giving a two person Presentation to the SEO San Diego Meetup, SEM San Diego Meetup, and Lotico Semantic Web San Diego Meetup Groups, titled Ranking in Google Since The Advent of The Knowledge Graph.

Barbara and I have been looking at a lot of patents while preparing for the presentation, and one of the topic areas that we were going to discuss was Quality Scores, since one of the patents that mentions adding “Buy Now” buttons to paid search listings in search results, may do so only if the sites being considered to show buy now buttons have a high enough Quality Score associated with them.

While preparing, Barbara pointed out another patent to me that focuses upon low quality scores. It describes how a site might lose traffic if ranking scores for links pointed to it are below a certain threshold.

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How Google May Choose Sitelinks in Search Results Based upon Visual or Functional Significance (Updated)

Added 6-17-2015 – It’s not clear from the new patent filings, but from feedback I received on Twitter from Mathieu Janin, at https://twitter.com/Matt_Refeo, it appears that Google may be showing sitelinks for pages that aren’t just the home pages of a site. As Mathieu tweeted to me:

These sitelinks appear to be from an internal page on this site.
These sitelinks appear to be from an internal page on this site.

I performed this query again on the french version of Google, and it is showing sitelinks for an internal page on the site:

Sitelinks appearing for an internal page on the site.
Sitelinks appearing for an internal page on the site.

Continue reading How Google May Choose Sitelinks in Search Results Based upon Visual or Functional Significance (Updated)

Early Panda and Concept Templates

In the blog post, Searching Google for Big Panda and Finding Decision Trees I tried to guess the identity of the Mysterious “Panda” that a recent (at that time) update was named after, as we had been told in a Wired Magazine Article.

Giant Timber Bamboo
Giant Timber Bamboo

I guessed Biswanath Panda. I guessed wrong.

I had changed my opinion of which Panda that Update was from when I wrote a couple of follow up posts:

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How Google May Calculate Site Quality Scores (from Navneet Panda)

This post is about a Google patent from a well-known Google Engineer, that describes ranking search query results at an internet search engine, such as Google.

DSC_0081

Google aims at identifying resources, of different types such as web pages, images, text documents, multimedia content, that may be relevant to a searchers situational and information needs and does so in a manner that they hope is as useful as possible to a searcher. They do this while responding to queries submitted by searchers.

One of the inventors from this patent carries one of the most well-known names at Google, the surname, “Panda.” which became well-known because of a Google update that was named after him in February 2011.

A focus of that update was upon improving the quality of sites that it targeted, and Navneet Panda specializes in site quality at Google. When I saw that a patent was granted this week that listed his name as an inventor, I looked forward to reading it, and seeing how it might attempt to define site quality, and how that definition might be used to rank search query results.

Continue reading How Google May Calculate Site Quality Scores (from Navneet Panda)

SEO from Google’s Direct Answers

Google has started showing Direct answers to questions related to SEO. That has made me wonder how much someone could learn about SEO at Google with those direct answers, and I wanted to see what terms Google was showing results from and which sources. I expect there to possibly be a log of churn in the answers Google shows results from.

I started off by asking about SEO itself:

what is seo

I then wanted to look at some topics that might have questionable answers and advice, and asked about the next three topics to see if SEO myths were being promoted by Google Direct Answer. It seemed like they are given the following three answers about Reciprocal links, Keyword Density, and LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing):

What are reciprocal links?
What are reciprocal links?

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A Replacement for PageRank?

Representatives from Google announced recently that they would no longer be updating their PageRank toolbar annotations for web pages. Google had been updating those 3-4 times a year for over a decade.

Does this news indicate that Google is no longer using PageRank, or that PageRank has changed in some significant way? (The ranking signal isn’t the toolbar annotation itself, which was too infrequently updated to be an accurate reflection of what PageRank might have been for a page)

We've been told that Google will no longer be updating this annotation or proxy for PageRank.
We’ve been told that Google will no longer be updating this annotation or proxy for PageRank.

Could it be a sign that Google has found something different?

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How Google May Select Their Data Sources Based Upon Keywords

When I was in law school, I was a teaching assistant for an environmental law professor. One of the tasks he had me working upon was a review and analysis of electronic databases that could be used to assess natural resource damages when some environment harm took place, such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

How do you determine the cost of the spill to the environment, to wildlife, to people who live in the area, to people who rely upon the area for their jobs and welfare. In short, you look at things such as other decisions in other courts where such things may have been litigated.

flowers from a local park as part of a master gardener program.

At the time, the World Wide Web was still a year away, and many of these electronic databases we were looking at were very helpful sources of information. My task was to review those, and see how much value and help they might hold.

Continue reading How Google May Select Their Data Sources Based Upon Keywords