What Communities Does Your Site Belong In?

Right now search relevancy algorithms are heavily tied to overall authority, but given enough time publishers and search marketers will undermine that measure of relevancy the same way that keyword density and raw PageRank died off. By owning toolbars that track everything and buying into other methods of data collection (from contextual advertising to email to user accounts to widget platforms) search engines will be able to move away from the random surfer model to a less random model of relevancy. If search relevancy becomes more community centric how will your site stand up?

  • What words are associated with your brand or site? What sites are associated with those words?What searcher intent is associated with those words? What else are they searching for?

  • What sites are buying similar keywords? What other words are they buying?
  • What ads appear on your page if you use Google AdSense? What does Google related links suggest?
  • What are similar people tagging (or perhaps tagging with similar words) - Del.icio.us and Google Search History
  • What are similar people reading? (Via My Yahoo! or Google Reader or MyBlogLog) - Graywolf recently highlighted how MyBlogLog can use your readers to show what community your site is in.
  • What sites does this site link to? What sites link to this site (don't forget Google also owns blogger)? What resources are co-cited (in blog posts, popular directories, and other sites)?

Right now algorithms are authority centric and weighted toward promoting old domains, but it won't take long for us marketers to find ways to rip that apart. At that point they are going either have to place more trust on signs of community integration.

What sites are related to your site? If the algorithms shift toward neighborhoods will you still rank well?

If you are well integrated into your community then search personalisation and the death of a few market research tools will not hurt you.

Published: January 22, 2007 by Aaron Wall in seo tips


January 22, 2007 - 7:39am

Seems logical.

But this also seems to mean that link exchanges with other related websites will be weighted more.

Google's algorithm can only have so much intelligence to find a "trusted" website - we're catching up to them fast. I think Google's search algorithm will eventually turn more democratic and have other sites determine which sites are too be trusted.

January 22, 2007 - 8:19am

Well that's true, If you are well integrated into your community then search personalisation and the death of a few market research tools will not hurt you.
But if you are not integrated then there is still time to go a step ahead and start doing smartly.

January 22, 2007 - 11:59am

The automated categorisation is an excellent point from Paintball Kyle.

Even Google's automated algorithm would require some human interaction; even if it to just determine the new categories/tags.

If we were to take the total number categories/tags that humans have created across all tagging site then overlay them across all sites we would have a more descriptive (i.e. more tags) associate with our site - this would mean a far fuller description of our site.

Seo Practices
January 22, 2007 - 1:07pm

I can see the game for ranking it's pretty much the same, it's all about "Links":who links who, which links does a site need, who is linking to the site, etc. It's just transforming to a social context (communities), that's where we are going to find the information we need.

January 23, 2007 - 11:10am

If true, this would call for a unified strategy for ensuring link building, keyword research and copywriting, PPC keyword buys (?), and even user behavior (use of del.icio.us tags) be directed to focusing on the community you want to be seen as apart of.

I think the idea of community positioning sounds like another area related to PR, ensuring that the website - from copy to links to AdWords buys - are directed to a specific tight theme.

However, wouldn't this simply encourage homogenization of websites? For example, all interactive agencies will start linking to the same areas (maybe even each other via blogs!), share similar copy, and buy similar keywords?

January 23, 2007 - 12:41pm

Well if the ad keywords are homogenized then the auctioneer (Google) gets the most profit. And most businesses end up being too greedy to all want to link to quality resources, plus if many do the same thing then you have to do something different and remarkable if you want to do something new that will stand out and get others talking about you.

John Beckley
July 15, 2007 - 11:36am

Hi Aaron, we are a small web design company. Do you think signing our clients (nearly all in real estate) up to mybloglog would benifit in traffic and linking. In a normal enviroment they would not link together? John

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