Weekly SEO news: 8 May 2007
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at two new Google patents. What do these patents reveal about Google's ranking algorithm?

In the news: Yahoo supports a new indexing tag, Microsoft and Yahoo might have discussed a merger, a Chinese search engine has three times the market share of Google and more.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Two new Google ranking patents

Google filed two new ranking patents in April: Document Scoring Based on Traffic Associated with a Document and Document Scoring Based on Query Analysis.

What do these new patents reveal about Google's ranking algorithm?

The patents are similar to a Google patent that we analyzed in an earlier issue of this newsletter.

They deal with web page changes over time that Google might track and analyze:

  • the web page creation date
  • the changes and updates of a web page
  • the analysis of search queries
  • links, link texts and the changes of the links
  • website traffic
  • user behavior
  • web page topics
  • domain related information

Google might assign a score to web pages based on that information. When a web page is associated with a search query, Google might combine history scores with relevancy scores to get a total score for the page.

Alternatively, the relevancy score of a web page might be changed based on the history score.

While that information was already available in previous patents, the new patents indicate that Google could also look at the following factors:

  • The rate at which ads are shown and updated on a web page over time.
  • The quality of the ads. For example, a web page whose ads link to web pages with a high TrustRank may get a higher score than pages whose ads lead to untrustworthy sites.
  • The click-through rate of the ads.

Googly might track and analyze web page characteristics that change over time, including ad traffic, to calculate a score for that page.

What does this mean for your website rankings?

It seems that Google starts to use more of the information that they have about a website to calculate the rankings.

That means that you need a holistic approach to search engine optimization. All factors must be correct when you optimize your site for search engines:

  • Make sure that your web page content is relevant to search engines. Without relevant content, you cannot get high rankings. (Optimize your web page contents with this tool.)

  • Make sure that you get links from the right pages and that you link to the right pages. The links from and to your website should be related to your site. (Optimize your links with this tool.)

  • Make sure that your website shows steadiness. If your website was yesterday about cars, today about shoes and tomorrow about sports then it will be difficult to get high rankings.

Google uses many factors to determine the rankings of your web site. That means that you have to work on many factors to improve your rankings. Details on how to work on all website factors can be found in our free SEO eBook.

2. Search engine news of the week

Yahoo introduces robots-nocontent for page sections

"Webmasters can now mark parts of a page with a 'robots-nocontent' tag which will indicate to our crawler what parts of a page are unrelated to the main content and are only useful for visitors.

We won't use the terms contained in these special tagged sections as information for finding the page or for the abstract in the search results. [...]

Addressing some comments and questions, with regards to links, the 'robots-nocontent' does not in any way affect how links are treated.

All links will continue to be used to find targets and will carry attribution to the target if they do not have the 'rel=nofollow' tag on them, whether or not they are inside a 'robots-nocontent' section."



Microsoft, Yahoo discussed deal

"Recent talks between Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. over how to band together betray increasing unrest at Microsoft over how to compete with Google Inc. and get in step with the booming online-advertising market.

Microsoft and Yahoo discussed a possible merger or other matchup that would pair their respective strengths, say people familiar with the situation."

Related: MSN-Yahoo: Watch out Google



Baidu claims 57 per cent of China search market

"Baidu has maintained its dominant position in the Chinese search market with a share three times that of its closest rival, Google, according to new research."



Search engine newslets
  • About.com buys ConsumerSearch.com.
  • Yahoo releases Yahoo Go OneSearch.
  • Yahoo Photos going dark as Flickr shines on.
  • Yahoo tests a new result page format.
  • Google also tests a new result page format.
  • Google tests 'Gadget Ads'.
  • Google voted UK's most loved brand.
  • Google resumes Belgian newspaper links after talks begin.
3. Articles of the week
AltaVista almost Google

"The story of how AltaVista rose and fell is one commonly told in technology circles. The object lesson: The best technology doesn't always win; the technology that connects to the right business engine for its time often does."



Jerry Yang explains his mingling strategy

"Yahoo's decision to invest in Chinese Internet property Alibaba.com, rather than try to take on Alibaba and others directly, is paying off [...]

Yang ended up golfing with Robin Li, the CEO of Baidu, the Chinese search giant that has emerged as a formidable competitor to both Yahoo and Google."



Microsoft's sophisticated ad system has some catching up to do

"Microsoft has been pouring money and employee time into its new adCenter system, hoping to grab a bigger chunk of the quickly growing $17 billion online-advertising industry.

But despite all the company's efforts, advertisers say the system's biggest problem has little to do with adCenter."

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4. Recommended resources

"I am another of your proud customers with proven rankings!"

"I went with a number of companies, websites and softwares before I came to find one of the original fledgling copies of ARELIS in 2002 and I still use you today in its latest version.

As a matter of fact , I am another of your proud customers with
proven rankings [...]

The list goes ON AND ON (5 clients in great rankings ... in no small part
because of all your hard work). Anyway , I cant thank you enough for all the help over the past years."
Greg Chernoff, www.endurancehosting.com



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