Inside Google's Black Box

Jun 13th

A bit slow to mention this article that came out while I was at SMX, but it is worth mentioning. The NYT ran an article about Google's relevancy algorithms titled Google Keeps Tweaking Its Search Engine, which talks about how Google reacts to relevancy problems. The article should be required reading for all SEOs and search lovers. Rand offered a great overview of the article, highlighting that Google noticed their age weighting was too heavy when Google Finance was not ranking where they thought it should, Google changes their matching algorithms to place more weight on phrase matching for some queries, and that Google has created a query deserves freshness (QDF) algorithm which determines how well to mix in new and old results.

Matt Cutts, who was quoted in the New York Times article, also commented on it on his blog, confirming that

The search-quality team makes about a half-dozen major and minor changes a week to the vast nest of mathematical formulas that power the search engine.

Google is not the only search engine heavily focused on the human elements of search. In one of Tim Mayer's slides he showed a Yahoo! search result which said something along the lines of Yahoo! employees see bad results? Report spam.

The two things Google does more aggressively than the other engines are:

Build as many quality signals as you can, such that if they ever impart intent on your sites you can get away with more dirty stuff than a spammy sounding unbranded site can.

Published: June 13, 2007

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Comments

Yaniv
June 13, 2007 - 1:12pm

What do you mean by "Build as many quality signals as you can"?
Can you give an example?

Matt L
June 13, 2007 - 7:11pm

Couple are:

  • quality design
  • quality logo
  • domain-without-a-billion-spammy-keywords.info
  • logos like hacker-safe, SSL certs, etc. Even if you don't sell direct products online, how good does that SSL secure logo look above the fold?

There's a ton more - think Aaron even has posted in greater depth on the blog. Check the search tool.

Alex
June 14, 2007 - 2:19am

Off topic, but do you know anything about Danny Wall?

Sabrina
June 14, 2007 - 2:53am

A fascinating article - but I did notice that when I clicked on the link to read it, it took me to the NY Times website and I left this site. Had to click the back button to get back here. Would suggest setting up external links to automatically open in a new window or tab :-).

dave
June 14, 2007 - 5:17pm

A fascinating article - but I did notice that when I clicked on the link to read it, it took me to the NY Times website and I left this site. Had to click the back button to get back here. Would suggest setting up external links to automatically open in a new window or tab :-).

Rolls eyes.

Seo guy pakistan
June 14, 2007 - 6:28pm

Well the article review was good Aaron, was expecting a little more elaboration on it considering your authority on the subject.

Matt Jones: htt...
June 15, 2007 - 5:50pm

Interesting article, but it doesn't really have any pracitcal ways that change the way we do things.

Chillout Lounge
June 16, 2007 - 3:56am

Google absolutely loooooves wikipedia. So many queries have a wiki page in the first 10 SERPs.

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