Natural Search Blog


SEO May Be Eclipsed by User-Centered Design

I’ve been seeing indications that Google has shifted their weighting of the ~200 various signals they use in their ranking soup over the past couple of years. It used to be that PageRank along with the number of keyword references on a page were some of the strongest signals used for what page comes up highest in the search results, but I’ve seen more and more cases where PageRank and keyword density seem relatively weaker than they once were. I see a lot of reasons to believe that quality ratings have become weighted more heavily for rankings, particularly among more popular search keywords. Google continues to lead the pack in the search marketplace, so their evolution will likely influence their competitors in similar directions, too.

So, what is my evidence that Google’s development of Quality criteria is becoming more influential in their rankings than PageRank and other classic optimization elements? Read on and I’ll explain. (more…)

A window into Google through error messages: PageRank vectors and IndyRank

There’s been plenty of speculation posted to the blogosphere on the recently discovered cryptic Google error message; my favorites being from Wesley Tanaka and from Teh Xiggeh.

What intrigues me most in the Google error message is the references to IndyRank and to PageRank possibly being a vector. In regards to IndyRank, Stuart Brown suspects it means an ‘independent ranking’ — a “human-derived page ranking scoring, independent of the concrete world of linking and keywords”.

In regards to a PageRank vector, Wesley hypothesizes:

“If page rank is actually a vector (multiple numbers) as opposed to a scalar (single number) like everyone assumes (and like is displayed by the toolbar). It would make sense — the page rank for a page could store other aspects of the page, like how likely it is to be spam, in addition to an idea of how linked-to the page is. The page rank you see in the google toolbar would be some scalar function of the page rank vector.”

Of course the Google engineers are probably laughing at all this.

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