Google Gives Web Page History More Importance

The Google patent application submitted in March, 2005 has generated a good deal of debate among search engine optimization experts. The patent document contains many general suggestions about the direction Google wants to move their search criteria and ranking techniques in the near future.

The document points out two areas in particular in which "there remains a need to improve the quality of results generated by search engines." (0009) These two areas are

(a) artificially inflated rank due to spamming techniques, and

(b) stale documents that rank higher than fresh ones, and therefore "degrade the search results".

Google's ingenious proposal is to deal with both of these problems by focusing on the history of web documents and web links. Assuming they have the technology to record such a massive amount of information, their objective seems to be to keep a detailed record of the pattern of changes within web pages.

This should address the spam issue by revealing unnatural patterns of change. Too many links too quickly suggests "unnatural" linking activity has been taking place. Significant links that come and go might suggest that expensive links are being purchased on a temporary basis and are not "natural".

And it should address the "staleness" issue by looking at the way specific pages have been updated. If a page that has ranked high in specific searches has not been updated for a period of time, this will be seen as a reason to downgrade the importance of that page. Other pages with more activity, more up to date information, and more linking activity, all other things being equal, will rank higher.

History is more important than ever

This means Google either already gives, or intends to give the "history" of documents more significance. And not just the date when the document is created, or most recently changed. They also propose tracking the pattern of the changes in content, changes in anchor text of links, changes in numbers and quality of inbound links, changes in quality and number of outbound links, changes in other pages within the same associated group of documents, and even changes within the pages linking to a document.

On top of that, they propose tracking user habits and patterns over time. How users got to the page in question, how long they stayed there, how many times the particular page was clicked on when it was presented in a search...a very impressive (bewildering?) array of factors.

In fact this is an ingenious attempt to solve the "spam" and "staleness" problems at the same time. The major assumption is that up-to-date "relevant" content -- the kind the search engines are supposed to be giving us -- will be regularly updated, will be inter-connected by an ever-increasing (and regularly changing) group of inbound links. In other words, links will come and go, changes will happen gradually, and "spikes" in either traffic or increased link activity will be sure signs of spamming activity.

Conclusions

Whether all of these measures will ever be fully implemented or not is beside the point. These suggestions make sense, and will be adopted to some extent by all search engines. The future has been defined, and it is up to creators of websites and online marketers to make the most of it.

The most important conclusions we can take from the patent application is that the history of our pages matters. In practical terms, this means:

-- Rapid and wholesale changes in content will be looked upon with suspicion

-- Rapid increases in numbers of inbound and outbound links will trigger red flags

-- Changes in anchor text that alter or remove its relationship to on-page content will be suspect

-- Lack of regular and steady (but not radical) changes will get your pages labelled "stale"

-- Links that were valuable last year (or month?) will not be as valuable this year (or month) because they are becoming "stale".

In other words, webmasters and internet marketers must keep adding content, keep upgrading their pages, keep improving and adding new ones, continue to get new links, and freshen up their old ones if they can.

But they should not do any of it too quickly.

Think of this "history" component as a method of measuring change. It may seem ridiculously vague, but this is the reality we have to deal with.

In the new world order, change has three speeds: Too Slow, Too Fast, and Just Right.

Rick Hendershot publishes the Linknet Advertising Network, a group of more than 35 websites and blogs offering web owners advertising and link promotion opportunities.

In The News:

Welcome to the Promoconomy  The New York Times
World No Tobacco Day – 31 May 2020  World Health Organization
Packs and Promotions  FC Barcelona

Ten Day Plan to Online Sales

Recently one of my students asked a great question: We... Read More

Time to Tell A Friend

The internet has the capacity, sometimes, to divorce not just... Read More

Competition Freebies and Sponsorship For Free Advertising and Link Popularity

How many competitions are there running on the net at... Read More

Make Sure The World Sees Your Website

You have spent hours creating a HTML masterpiece, you have... Read More

Build Your Own Online Network

Many online business owners and marketers use a variety of... Read More

Five Ways to Increase Your Website Conversion Rate

Though it's wonderful to get all those hits to your... Read More

Internet Directory Submission, Sure Way To Link Popularity

Most website owners fail to differentiate between a directory and... Read More

Whats The First Thing Your Prospects See When They Visit Your Website?

I just reviewed a new website and I'm in shock.... Read More

Internet Freebies and Cheapies to Help You Grow Your Business

Do you dream of running your own business? Well, get... Read More

Set Your Site on the Right Trajectory by Submitting It to Every Directory

Webmasters across the globe are involved in a race to... Read More

Link Cheating On The Rise

Website owners and webmasters who are trying to improve their... Read More

The Top Ten Ways To Promote Your Site And Increase Traffic

Website promotion is a vital area in internet marketing that... Read More

Your Website on My Forehead

People are so focused on promoting their websites on the... Read More

Link Building Secrets - Promote Your Website with a Proven Tactic

Building links to your website is of huge importance and... Read More

The Importance of Page Content

The Importance of Page ContentThe content of a page is... Read More

How are Directories Different from Search Engines?

Directories are important to your ranking and success with Search... Read More

Planning and Evaluating Marketing Programs

Measuring and understanding your Website's success is a critical process... Read More

Profitable Target Marketing: 6 Lessons from Major League Baseball

Does your business struggle with profitable online marketing? If so,... Read More

Do Not Post To FFAs (Free For All Sites) & Link Farms

With learning about online promotion, there is so much information... Read More

Using Free For All Links Pages as an Effective Marketing Tool

Free For All Links Pages have been given a bad... Read More

How to Get Unlimited Free Advertising

The opportunities for getting free advertising for your product or... Read More

5 Totally Free Website Marketing Tools

I've collected some really cool free products for you that... Read More

Ten Unobvious Ideas To Pull Visitors to Your Real Estate Agent Web Site

The number one key to getting business in the real... Read More

Grassroots Marketing Campaign

Many people, in a rush to spike sales through the... Read More

Web Site Promotion: 10 Super Charged Secrets To Suck Up Orders Like A Vacuum Cleaner

If your website is not generating a lot of sales... Read More