Google's "link evaluation" update

by BenFromSoMo 28 replies
This was the quote from Google's latest blog post:

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.

What exactly are we to make of this?

Entire post: Search quality highlights: 40 changes for February - Inside Search
#search engine optimization #google #link evaluation #update
  • Profile picture of the author mightiest
    They've changed something. Right now it's pretty unclear what they've changed, though some people are speculating that they're moving away from focusing on anchor text or that they've devalued PR, but the truth is nobody knows.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Its as clear as mud and thats the way they want it to be so anyone claiming to know what it means is blowing smoke. The only thing is as of right now it doesn't look to be any huge change or the search results would be dramatically different.
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      • Profile picture of the author AskJon
        Like always Matt Cutts isn't clear on what he said but that's his job right, if he was people would right away start figuring a way to still "game" the algorithm. What I think is that anchor will eventually be less relevant just like meta description was devaluated ages ago because it can be easily tricked. My best bet is that day after day Google gets better at analyzing the context of each backlinks and will eventually give more weight to that factor instead. I don't think that PR will be much affected as it's still the way google give weight to each pages, but I'm pretty sure anchor text WILL get devaluated sooner or later. Why does Cutt never tell clearly what Google want? Because we all knows that we should focus on quality backlinks and provide valuable content and the only thing giving clear factor would do is really tell blackhatters/bad SEOs how to trick google's algorithm, period.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Its as clear as mud and thats the way they want it to be so anyone claiming to know what it means is blowing smoke. The only thing is as of right now it doesn't look to be any huge change or the search results would be dramatically different.
        Most of the "updates" effect very few real webmasters in the
        real world.

        One thing I did notice was the gems that talk about "freshness."
        Improvements on freshness.

        Haven't some of us been saying that for a long time? That the
        internet is dynamic, not static, so of course you are going to
        drop and rise naturally? No penalties, really. Just fresh blood
        coming in and out. No reason to panic. Some pages need
        freshening, some don't.

        Some need more links, some pages can just go on.

        Originally Posted by Matt Ward View Post

        It's almost as if you're better off not even reading or listening to anything from the Google disinformation campaign.
        I would respectfully say that nothing could be further from the truth.
        Those that read, take it in context (which always seems to get lost)
        will be better off. That is, if one is trying for google.

        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        That Google quote could mean anything.

        It doesn't necessarily mean they are talking about anchor-text (which I'm sure their not).
        Google keeps all their comments vague so everyone is left scratching their heads wondering WTH are they talking about.
        Ahhh! So you extrapolate that they are NOT talking about anchor text!
        So there are at least some clues as to what they are referring too. And
        what they really are saying would not be totally lost to some of us.

        IMHO, they are continuing a devaluing of certain links, ones that I have
        mentioned many times before. Nofollow has not worked. In fact, it's
        created more of a problem.

        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author dp40oz
          Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

          Ahhh! So you extrapolate that they are NOT talking about anchor text!
          So there are at least some clues as to what they are referring too. And
          what they really are saying would not be totally lost to some of us.

          IMHO, they are continuing a devaluing of certain links, ones that I have
          mentioned many times before. Nofollow has not worked. In fact, it's
          created more of a problem.

          Paul
          Paul are you saying you think they are now passing juice through nofollow? That would be a huge change. I personally think the change is less significant, like I stated something like bolded links not affecting the value sorta thing. I wouldn't be surprised if they did do away with nofollow as someone links these days come from social media sites like twitter ect… which all are nofollow.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    That Google quote could mean anything.

    It doesn't necessarily mean they are talking about anchor-text (which I'm sure their not).

    We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page.
    Google keeps all their comments vague so everyone is left scratching their heads wondering WTH are they talking about.
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    Hi
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  • Profile picture of the author NicheDad
    Hopefully it's that they stopped considering rel nofollow.

    People completely misinterpreted its intent and now sites are putting condoms on ANY link leaving their site thinking that will help their own rankings.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Originally Posted by profitmotive View Post

      Hopefully it's that they stopped considering rel nofollow.

      People completely misinterpreted its intent and now sites are putting condoms on ANY link leaving their site thinking that will help their own rankings.
      It's probably something lame, like the title-tag in a link (lol).
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  • Profile picture of the author dp40oz
    First of all its not affecting anchor text or PR. Those 2 factors are about 90% of the algorithm. Its probably something like when a link is in bold face or italics not mattering anymore. Anything else would cause major shifts in the SERPs like we've never seen. Anchor text is the heart and sole of Google. Google will live and die by it.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrehan
      Could be more about link relevance. Is the title or article title relevant to the anchor text? LSI words in the article.
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    • Profile picture of the author mightiest
      Originally Posted by dp40oz View Post

      First of all its not affecting anchor text or PR. Those 2 factors are about 90% of the algorithm. Its probably something like when a link is in bold face or italics not mattering anymore. Anything else would cause major shifts in the SERPs like we've never seen. Anchor text is the heart and sole of Google. Google will live and die by it.
      Don't confuse your opinions with facts.
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      • Profile picture of the author dp40oz
        Originally Posted by mightiest View Post

        Don't confuse your opinions with facts.
        I'm not. Most of Google's algorithm is based on page rank and anchor text. Those are facts. Everyone of my pages rank on those factors virtually alone. I have a page ranking for a car insurance term when the site is about debt settlement because I accidentally had a bot build the wrong links to the page a while back. Google makes tweaks here and there to the algo but since the beginning it has been hugely dependent on anchor text and PR link juice flow and that hasn't changed.

        If you really believe that Google has stopped using either of those as a ranking factor well then let me get your email because I could sell you a lot of other garbage as well.
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        • Profile picture of the author worldwide166
          Originally Posted by dp40oz View Post

          I'm not. Most of Google's algorithm is based on page rank and anchor text. Those are facts. Everyone of my pages rank on those factors virtually alone. I have a page ranking for a car insurance term when the site is about debt settlement because I accidentally had a bot build the wrong links to the page a while back. Google makes tweaks here and there to the algo but since the beginning it has been hugely dependent on anchor text and PR link juice flow and that hasn't changed.

          If you really believe that Google has stopped using either of those as a ranking factor well then let me get your email because I could sell you a lot of other garbage as well.
          My two sites which were linked to High PR pages with relevant anchor texts has been dropped from first top 10 pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ward
    It's almost as if you're better off not even reading or listening to anything from the Google disinformation campaign.
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    "Keep moving forward."
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    • Profile picture of the author bpsw
      Originally Posted by Matt Ward View Post

      It's almost as if you're better off not even reading or listening to anything from the Google disinformation campaign.
      +1 They remind me of something....the American government?
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    • Profile picture of the author NicheDad
      Originally Posted by Matt Ward View Post

      It's almost as if you're better off not even reading or listening to anything from the Google disinformation campaign.
      Now you're gettin it
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  • Profile picture of the author MaverickUK
    I personally think it affects the likes of keywords in bold or italics or even alt tags.
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  • Profile picture of the author WarriorForumFan
    I think google will change tactics regular, keeping everyone on their toes. One thing for sure is they will not stay with one method. If they don't change then the scammer and spammers will make tools to beat them. So google will have to make constant changes, this is the only sure thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author danb12
    Type in "search engine" in Google, Google is #4 and its them making the rules.

    LOL - they keep themselves on their toes!

    (Google.co.uk)
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso


    Can't wait for next weeks "aleluias" and "wtf's" from these recent "changes"....
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    People make good money selling to the rich. But the rich got rich selling to the masses.
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  • Profile picture of the author DonTino
    Did anyone experience any drops or changes lately? I have a client whose #1 site dropped of to page 2. We think it might be due to the new changes. That drop happened about a week ago.
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  • Profile picture of the author ShaneMcc
    has anyone noticed a big increase in the amount of local results appearing at the top of the serps recently?
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    • Profile picture of the author MaverickUK
      Originally Posted by ShaneMcc View Post

      has anyone noticed a big increase in the amount of local results appearing at the top of the serps recently?
      Yep, this was due to a change that Google rolled out over the weekend. They've also slightly tweaked how they rank local business websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author linkvana
    Generally these changes are hard to decipher. It's best to just keep doing what always works. High quality, contextual links.

    SEOmoz will no doubt have a case study out soon enough that reveals what they believe the changes are.
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  • Profile picture of the author thatkeywordguy
    There is not enough information in that sentence to determine anything. But it is interesting.
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  • Profile picture of the author uoftenwinny
    I think there is more or less effect on SEO work. Some websites may get high pr but some not.
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  • Profile picture of the author JawadAshraf
    I don't know whatever Google is doing but the impact that it's leaving on my sites is very clear. Two of my niche sites Page Rank has decreased but Ranking is still same or even improved for one site. Just 3 days back, one of my site was on #5, yesterday it was #2, today morning it was #1 and now evening again on #5. I am not placing backlinks to it from more than 3 weeks now, that's why I can say that it's not Google Dance, something different.

    Tip: While building backlinks just make sure your posts are no less than 500 words, containing LSI keywords, using your main targeted keyword as an anchor text, putting one link to your site's homepage and the 2nd to any inner page of your site. Must have G+, Youtube, Twitter, FB & Linkedin etc backlinks to your site. Google CAN'T devalue these link EVER. FACT
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