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Over the last couple of weeks I have been manipulating pages… moving them in and out of the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages) in order to grasp an understanding of the November Update (or affectionately known as ‘Florida’). The good news is that I have a good grasp of the Florida Update. The bad news is there is a new update on the horizon that is offering more challenges (www-in.google.com is a precursor to that). [We will save that for another day, another post]

 

Regarding Florida, the tidbit I would like to reveal deals with the significance of stemming. As I posted in another thread, Google is now using stemming technology in the Florida update.

Word Variations (Stemming)

Google now uses stemming technology. Thus, when appropriate, it will search not only for your search terms, but also for words that are similar to some or all of those terms. If you search for "pet lemur dietary needs", Google will also search for "pet lemur diet needs", and other related variations of your terms. Any variants of your terms that were searched for will be highlighted in the snippet of text accompanying each result.

Source: The Basics of Google Search http://www.google.com/help/basics.html

 

Therefore all variations of individual words will be used within a search phrase. More importantly, all variations of individual search words will be ‘counted’ in a rank analysis of that page.

 

We all know that keyword frequency plays a role in calculating page rank. Since the beginning of search engines individuals have manipulated this frequency (i.e. saturating page with repeated keywords) to the point where early on filters were incorporated to combat such spamming.

 

Well this Florida update in essence put a lot of pages into the ‘frequency filter zone’ as a result of the stemming algo. Makes sense if we now consider ‘pet, pets, lemur, lemurs, dietary, diet, diets, need, needs’ as the ‘keywords’ as opposed to ‘pet, lemur, dietary, needs’ when analyzing keyword frequency. Obviously keyword frequencies on all pages increased as a result of this stemming incorporation.

 

Now is the time to look at your own pages and calculate the frequency of your own keyword(s) frequency with stemming in mind. If you have been bumped from the SERPs it might be do to a keyword frequency filter, one that has been in play for a long time but is now considering all forms of word as that word (i.e. stemming).

 

Hope this helps :)

Edited by TCH-Scott

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Note: this tidbit is a true gem (I mean that).

 

I am surprised that it did not spark any conversation... I know it was not because of my lucid explanation :)

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Say I want to key my main page for the word "pet". Should I use the word "pet", "pets", or try for both in the important areas of the page. What I am truying to say is, if you search for "pet" does Google also look the word "pets" or "pet" within "pets" You wouldn't think so but I thought I would toss this idea on the table. Would hate to search for pet funeral and get petrified!

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Scott, what you wrote is a true gem. No doubt. I hesitated to comment out of utter frustration with Google.

 

I really hope that Yahoo takes this opportunity to make the most of their investment in Inktomi.

 

My preference is for there to be more than one major search engine, more than two political parties, more than one major software company, etc... IMHO Google has launched filters that have removed high content, low spam sites.

 

If that's good for their biz, then more power to them... but that's not an accurate search.

 

As a business owner, this has taught me, once again, not to rely on one form of advertising, one product distributor, one supplier, one employee, or one anything. If this sounds jaded and cynical then you miss the optimism that comes with knowing I have control over my future so long as I don't relinquish that control to someone else with an agenda that might zig when mine zags.

 

I'd love to have a better understanding of how to play the Google game and have a real strategy for having my site show up like it used to before the Florida update. But when I look at the hours of tinkering and hand wringing it would take to figure out how to make my site show up for 'keyword' by having as few instances of 'keyword' in a 13,000 page content rich, community driven site.... well I think that there are more productive uses of my time.

 

Working with Google makes me feel like I'm in business with someone I hired based on an amazing reputation, and then one day they start having problems in their personal life, they start drinking on the job, and eventually complain of hearing voices. I can either figure out how to communicate with my insane business partner or I can build my business without them in the mix.

 

Along the lines of figuring out a strategy, Scott, you have pointed out some great things about Google and taught me alot. I read these posts with GREAT interest. I guess It's just that I can't help but feeling that, through no fault of yours, you're basically telling me "Google thinks white is black... and black is white. Up is now down... and dogs and cats are sleeping together at Google."

 

Which makes me think Googled is @#$%'d in the head.

 

Scott, this is a major change because up until this... you had two camps.

1- "Spam is good. Trick the engines" folks.

2- "Content is king. Build a kick butt site and folks will link to you and your content will match what the serps want." folks

 

So tell me this, in what world does it now make sense that content is no longer king?

 

Now is the time to look at your own pages and calculate the frequency of your own keyword(s) frequency with stemming in mind.

 

I think you give great advice and anyone looking to improve Google results should listen to you or suffer the results... but think about what this implies for a second. One of my sites is a content rich mother lode of a site in a small niche industry (but a niche that pays out the arse in Overture and AdWords).

 

Yet this content leader is gone because I might have 'keyword' in the name of the site (which I registered long before the damn Florida update) and someone replying in my forum might have chosen 'keyword' as their username...

 

That's insane in the membrane. Absolutely loco.

 

Content is king and the king is dead... that's what I'm hearing. The kingdom has been overthrown by thugs that want me to pay them protection money.

 

Google never received a single dollar from me and whether there's a cause-effect relationship in for what I've seen with my site and other content rich sites... I dunno. Google must have made this move for reasons that benefit them (unless they goofed big time) and so I have to wish them luck... because they seem to be moving in a direction that doesn't involve anyone who can't afford to send them a hefty sum.

 

I'm looking forward to the Google IPO so I can know who the officers of the company are and I can send them a steaming pile of my opinion of them... courtesy of the neighbor's dog.

 

(I'm really not going to do that... this is just a rant so I can get this off my chest)

 

I slept like $%!@ last night so I might erase this entire post... I'm grumpy and tired and it probably shows in what I wrote.

Edited by TCH-Jack

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I slept like $%!@ last night so I might erase this entire post... I'm grumpy and tired and it probably shows in what I wrote.

 

No don't do that. It was a great read.

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Dick:

 

Presently with stemming in Google, if you do a search for 'pet supply' it will consider (count) "pet", "pets", 'pet's', "supply" and "supplies" as a match. Therefore, if you are optimizing for that expression (pet supply) I would recommend using all forms of the words within your home page.

 

 

However, do not trigger a spam filter by overusing the keywords. Try staying under a keyword density of 10% within your title, description and body text (including headers, links, etc.).

 

Make sense?

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You guys are really amazing. Being new to web development, I can do nothing more than just read and soak up as much as possible from you guys. Scott, you've done a great job in trying to keep up with google. Jack, what you wrote was also a great read. I apologize for not adding more to this thread, but I don't want to sound like an idiot in frot of you guys. I guess all I could say is that its just sad that Google has to do all of this changing of their algs because of the "spam is good. trick the search engines" people. Not only does it affect them as a company, it affects us users who want to search for worthwhile content on the web.

 

"Long live the king of content" (hehe....that was nerdy Naughty )

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Jack:

 

I understand (and directly felt) your frustration. When one entity has so much control (as Google does) it is wonderful when you are 'in' but devastating when you are 'out'. Competition at all levels is good for everyone, thus I too hope that other search engines get stronger.

 

I am not in agreement with others that Google consciously 'did this' for self gain (i.e. feed adwords). I know that they were frustrated by the high rankings of a lot of affiliate sites - no content and maximum optimization. This is who I think they were trying to 'filter'.

 

You as a programmer realize that sometimes we do not anticipate the effect certain lines of code will have on an entire program. Now consider how big 'the program' that Google is working on and the difficulty of anticipating all the SERPs that will result from a given change. You would obviously look at results and tinker until what you see is what you hope for. However, you could not possibly look at all the SERPs... not even a relevant percent.

 

It is unfortunate that a few good guys/good sites fell victim to a filter which looks like to me eliminated a whole bunch of bad guys/bad sits. This would address your content vs. spam argument directly... this is what they wanted to resolve. Obviously the Florida Update was not perfect (which they are very aware of). I think in time the 'fine tuning' will result in more reasonable, and more importantly, relevant SERPs.

 

1- "Spam is good. Trick the engines" folks.

2- "Content is king. Build a kick butt site and folks will link to you and your content will match what the serps want." folks

Well my strategy and advice has always been to strive to supply the very best content (quantity and quality) and to have all that content optimized using non-spamming techniques but complete utilization of algorithm knowledge to the best of ones ability. This allows for stable, long term rankings among all the search engines (yes, even the little guys). You may take a temporary hit with a major algo change (e.g. Florida) but quick analysis and alterations should have you back on top quickly.

 

As a business owner, this has taught me, once again, not to rely on one form of advertising, one product distributor, one supplier, one employee, or one anything.
My rule has always been that no one (most importantly add client to your list) should have more then a 30% contribution or you are asking for trouble. Meaning that the worst case scenario would be a 30% hit to your bottom line, a serious hit but one most could sustain.

 

Having said that, for most sites that I am involved in... 85% are feed by Google (ouch :dance: )

 

Thus as you stated in your opening of your post:

I really hope that Yahoo takes this opportunity to make the most of their investment in Inktomi.

 

Again, I concur; I would even add Microsoft to the mix (unless they buy Google!).

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I think for proper competition in the search engine market, there should be three players, not two. In a 2-player system, one will always have a majority. IN a 3-player system, that is not always the case (I.e. 50% = majority).

 

I'm still trying to rework my website to not be spamming. I don't think it is, but I have to go through and reconfigure all of my keywords now. They were "online multiplayer games, multiplayer gaming, online gaming" but that could be considered spamming now because games and gaming are variations of the same word... I had it setup like that to help my "gaming" boost, because "games" is where the focal search of my website is.

 

Aargh. Another update in the near future???

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Wow! Look at what I missed! Sorry Scott, apparently I started reading and closed my browser before I hit the original because it fell off my radar until today's comments were added. Thanks for the info, it really explains a lot of what's going on.

 

Jack, we are all feeling what you are to varying degrees so you're not alone. Just hang in and as was already mentioned, rely on things other than Google. Like any investment, big risk = big payoff or big loss - for the smaller payoff but a sure thing diversify. If we can do that our businesses will grow regardless of the problems any one creates.

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Darqflare:

 

 

Well I was about to give you some (more) pointers but when looking at your site I noticed that a nice text link back to TCH was missing :D

 

Hmm... and I checked, we are still linking to you on our family members page :huh:

 

I feel we give so much (not me but TCH) here and ask for so little, maybe a permanent link to TCH on your home page would be in order? ;)

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Erm? Does the text link not show up anymore?

 

[checks]

 

No, it shows up! The TCH link is randomly chosen from my database. It chooses either that one, or a link to add my website to the Favorites.

 

[checks again]

 

Actually, it's not random. It's on an "impression" basis. Each link will get viewed equally.

 

Would you like me to make the TCH link the only one that appears on the home page? If so, that's cool, I can do that. I've just got it setup between the two, that's all.

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DarqFlare:

 

Yes, a permanent link would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

As to omgn and your previous words:

I don't think it is, but I have to go through and reconfigure all of my keywords now. They were "online multiplayer games, multiplayer gaming, online gaming" but that could be considered spamming now because games and gaming are variations of the same word... I had it setup like that to help my "gaming" boost, because "games" is where the focal search of my website is.

 

I want to make sure you understand: when analyzing your page, a spider will consider all variations (and in some cases synonyms) of each word within a phrase. Looks like multiplayer and online are 'unique'. However you must now consider game, gaming, gamers, and games. Maybe this example will help clarify:

 

Let us say that the term 'game' has a density of 2% (you use it 4 times and you have 200 total words; not including stop words). You also have 'gaming' at 6%, gamers at 1% and games at 3%. With the new algo, any search phrase using any of these 'game' derivatives will consider all of them when looking at density. Thus you will have a keyword density of 12%.

 

Thus, be sure to not overuse the 'game' derivates. I would also recommend using all derivatives throughout your page.

 

Hope this helps.

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My brain hurts. :dance:

 

 

(Thanks for the continued input, Scott!)

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Anything new on the Google front? From everything I see they have lost their ever-loving mind! :)

 

My site is below 200 easily and other SE's that don't use Google for their basis have me <35 which is pretty good for what I've got at my Key West Fishing website. There's a lot of back and forth but does anyone here have any solid leads?

 

I don't gotta be #1 to be seen but sheesh, >200 is way-bad!

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Does alternative text count?

 

Not sure what you mean by 'alternative text'? Are we talking alt tags?

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Yes, alt tags.

 

ps is there a reliable tool online to calculate the keyword density?

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Yes, alt tags are considered.

 

ps is there a reliable tool online to calculate the keyword density?

 

None that take stemming in consideration (at least none that I am aware of), might be best to write your own if you are serious.

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might be best to write your own if you are serious

 

You kidding! I'm a non-programmer creature :dance:

No, I meant without taking stemming in consideration. I have a problem to calculate the words at all :D and it seems I overdone it with alt tags B)

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What in the world is stemming????? Is that like...branching??? :D

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Cool site, thanks Scott!

I like this Lynx-me thing :D

 

It turns out there are Poison Words woooot but links is not poisonous if it's not a title, right?

 

btw, is nude a Poison Word? naughty.gif

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