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Monday, October 17th, 2005

Google Update?

Many webmasters are reporting what appears to be an update at Google. We have seen it here at StepForth as well though, like most recent Google updates, this one seems to be starting slowly. At the time of this writing, real estate clients have been the most affected, leading to speculation that similarities seen in template-driven CMS systems commonly used by the real estate industry might be a trigger.

More on the apparent update soon.

A study of search results displayed at the four major search engines shows that each engine is increasingly producing results that differ from the other engines. In other words, searchers can be reasonably confident that Google, Yahoo, MSN or Ask Jeeves will, more often than not, return results unique to the engine being used. Read more…

Spiders make great geek pets, at least virtual ones do. Here at StepForth, we keep a couple spiders on our system to test sites, pages and documents in the hopes of learning more about the behaviours of common search engine spiders such as GoogleBot, Yahoo’s Slurp and MSNBot. Read more…

Two months ago, Google released a 63-point patent document outlining how it examines historical data associated with websites and documents in its index. Since that time, we have witnessed changes in the algorithm which have become known as the Bourbon Update. StepForth has written a short whitepaper which studies that document and gives a short overview of the patent and how its contents may affect the Google organic search engine. It is important to note, this document does not cover subsequent announcements from Google such as Google Sitemaps. The following are a few paragraphs from the whitepaper, “Historic Data and Google Ranking: An analysis of the March 30th, 2005 PatentRead more…

They say that today is the first day of the rest of your life. That makes everyday an important one though as we all know, some days are much more important than others. Today is one of those days. Read more…

“What’s the use of a good algorithm if you can’t change it?” Dr. Who (The Fortune Program)

Search engine optimization firms tend to have unique relationships with their clients. Like our colligate cousins in the web design field, our clients often see our services as one-time events. Once the initial SEO campaign is completed and websites have achieved Top10 placements, some clients are content to go about their business assuming their placements are going to stay in place. In many cases, they do. A website that has been optimized by a good SEO can prove difficult to dislodge, even when these placements are targeted by other SEOs. Read more…

Over the past week, SEOs and SEMs have noted some significant changes in the search engine results delivered by Google. Google appears to be actively cleaning its listings by targeting sites using suspicious link-building techniques. A couple of well-known search engine marketing sites have vanished from Google results under keyword phrases they dominated just last week. Read more…

It has been a full year since the infamous Florida Update rewrote Google’s rankings with a massive pre-Christmas purge of previously well placed sites. The update, which caught virtually everyone by surprise is assumed by most to be the introduction of semantic contextualization software added to a variation of the Hilltop Expert Document Algorithm. It took Google about six to eight weeks to re-establish stable listings and they took a savage beating in the SEO press during that period. For a short time it looked like the shift was a failure with spammy sites and “big-box” stores dominating the Top listings but after a while Google’s listings began to make sense again. Read more…

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Wednesday, October 20th, 2004

Algo Update? Don't Panic

There has been a great deal of speculation about a shift coming in Google’s ranking algorithms over the past few weeks. Several recent pieces of evidence point to a coming shift however it is very difficult to predict what, if anything will happen. It’s pretty much a given that there will be some form of update to the way Google reads and ranks sites. Google actually makes minor adjustments on a regular basis. There are rare occasions however when major changes are introduced. I suspect this is one of those times. Read more…

Over the past seven years, it is fairly safe to say that the use of search engines has revolutionized our methods of finding and valuing information. Almost any activity involving research from personal travel planning to corporate business planning has been made far easier through the use of search engines. When one search tool or firm dominates as Google has for the past three years, it will get a lot more attention from the public and the media. Case in point, Google. Synonymous with search, Google has changed the world. For the most part, Google has made it a better place to live. That in itself justifies the intense scrutiny constantly focused at virtually every move made in the Googleplex. The fact they are changing rapidly further justifies the public and media interest and the hoopla. Read more…