November 17, 2010

SEO parameters - second part

Yes, it's been a while since I wrote my last post but during the summer I prefer to spend time in nature, walking and riding the bike, instead of hanging on the computer. Summer is already gone and it’s time to return to work. The first article was posted in April and those month something important have happened for all the webmasters. Google has introduced Cocaine. Yes, you read right, the new version isn’t called Caffeine, as they want us to believe and I have the evidence to prove all this. The ranking the new version gives, compared to previous ones, can only be produced by an entity heavily doped: you don’t understand how it works. Or at least it was so early, a shock for those involved in this sector, but now the webmaster begin slowly, slowly to understand the new rules and adapt to them. The changes are a lot and in many cases it will take a lot of time and effort to get back on earlier positions, but this is Internet, characterised by its dynamism, many changes, today you are in and tomorrow you are out. But let’s go back to our theme.

Often the second part of a movie or a book has the same title as the first but with the addition of the word "revenge." Therefore, the title could be SEO parameters, the revenge of SE. In fact, in the years to come algorithms became more and more complicated that only few were able to understand. But the turning point was the introduction of backlinks as a parameter. Replicate a site is easy, but having the same external links is much more difficult, especially if the guy we want to reproduce has its own network of sites where he links; certainly he will not give a link to his rival.

With the birth of backlink also the market for links was born. I will pay you and you will post a link to my site on your web page. The result of this was that the strong, I think of those with a solid financial base, have become even stronger and the weaker ones, but often full of enthusiasm and great content, they are almost gone from the front pages with the results. Also Google has noticed this fact and has introduced new rules but without any significant change; it is difficult to be sure that a link has been sold, that is bought. So the internet reflects today's society very well, pure capitalism – money earn money. No despair, there are many exceptions to this rule.

One of the results of back links is also the pagerank, which is widely analyzed in these pages, which lately has become less important than once, but differently of many webmasters who believe in its death (the argument in their favor is the fact that it was not updated for more than half a year), I think it's still an important parameter.

Returning to the words used to link our site, Cocaine has introduced an innovation. The sites optimized for search engines were penalized. Too much uniformity in the keyword of the ancor tag linked to us is for example considered optimizations we mentioned above. Therefore, according to the latest knowledge in the sector, it’s important to diversify the keyword. For example, if our main keyword is "ads online," it should be dilute its presence of about 70% of cases and the remaining 30% use alternative words such as "best ads online," "buy and sell ads" etc.

There are obviously also other terms of comparison, they say more than a hundred, that Google considers, from which many lesser known, but we will see them in the sequel.

April 15, 2010

SEO parameters - first part

In this and some future articles I will talk about the parameters that affect the page rankings, especially in Google. Knowing these parameters and the ability to measure them in some way gives us great advantage because it allows us to optimize the SEO work in order to get good results. For newbies, the abbreviation SEO means Search Engine Optimization. Google it, and you’ll get over twenty seven million hits – this tells you how important SEO is. But before going any further, let me talk a bit about how I started in this business and how it was done back at the stone age of internet, more then 10 years ago.

In the late 90’s, when I started to access the Internet using an ancient 48Kb/sec modem, I had already understood how important a good placement in search engines really is, to attract quality web traffic, and visitors clicking the banners and ordering goods or services offered by sponsors. Back then, together with AltaVista, the most popular search engine was Infoseek. I spent hours analyzing the sites that appeared on the first page of results, trying to discover the mechanisms that regulate which site stands at the top of the rankings and which at the bottom. In those days the SEs were not taking in consideration the backlinks and thus it was pretty easy to discover the ranking concept – all I had to do was to analyze the content of the pages. My effort was rewarded and after two weeks of hard work, I succeeded in finding the mathematical formula that assigned scores to a web page. The formula was based on the presence of keywords in the title, text and links. It was enough for me to analyze the source code of the first placed site and I could produce the page that had better score then the analyzed page. The result was that my site became placed at the top of the search list.

The first sites that I developed and the first pennies I earned came from the sponsorship of the adult industry. Being rated first in the rankings for the word "porn" translated into a few thousand dollars a month and I often succeeded to be the first. I already thought about quitting my job and becoming a full time webmaster. After all, my regular job was paying only a fraction of what I was making on the Internet, and besides, I was my own boss and was working whenever I wanted.

However, I soon realized that there are others who had the same idea and the competition was getting fierce. I needed to work day and night in order to beat the competitors and keep the rankings. I remember days when ten or more different sites would occupy the first spot – everything was changing so fast. Soon thereafter, the people at Infoseek have begun to change the search algorithms very frequently, making everything even more complicated. For instance, they introduced limits on the density of the keyword - if a keyword, let’s say, exceeded 6% of all the words on the page, the site was penalized. I had developed a word generator that repeated the keywords as many times as required, but soon realized that this is not going to work any more.
And in order to get a high ranking, the good content was becoming a necessity, the texts became longer, and the files grew larger. The game was getting really complicated.