Search Engine Q&A On Links

Dec 7, 2005 - 3:50 pm 4 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2005

Detlev Johnson, VP, Director of Consulting, Position Technologies is the moderator of this fun filled event.

Kaushal Kurapati, Senior Product Manager of Search, Ask Jeeves - Ask Jeeves info slide........................................ - General Link Analysis Methods (links to page a, to b, to c, yada yada --- see past presentations) - Teoma Approach on Links (communities, subject-specific popularity, hubs and authorities) - Be Cautious of reciprocal links and buying links - Avoid link farms, cloaked pages, hidden links and links by images. - Become an authority on a subject - Focus on your business and content, the rest will follow

Charles Martin from Google - He is using a Apple Computer, kudos to him - First time at SES, he works in the search quality group (I guess under Matt) - Links are a proxy for human judgement - PageRank slide.... "Most visible factor of the ranking algorithm" - Be the user when building links - "Click here" links doesnt help much, use rich anchor text - Encourage related sites to link to use, use unique relevant content to attract links - Avoid; recip links, poor quality link exchanges, fishy looking sites, who you link to can affect your reputation. - He specifically says "You can be held accountable for linking to people" - No hidden or cloaked links - He said avoid & % etc, "We wont look at them" (hmmm) - Do not obsesses with back links - Design site with user in mind - He then shows off a bit of Google Sitemaps and its error tracking

Tim Mayer, Director of Product Management, Yahoo! - There is this intense focus on link building, Tim says. There is very little focus on building quality content. If you build good content, people will link to it. - A whole industry is built around linking strategies, but its not everything. - He then said how tagging may affect this industry - Links should be related and designed to help the user - Add unique and useful content that invites others to link to your site - Use appropriate and specific anchor text to describe the linked to content - Don't use link exchanges or buy links - Site Explorer slide comes up, shows the features (discussed at exhaustion at this site in the past) -- new features include exclude the internal site links, and rss and atom feed submission support

Ramez Naam, Group Program Manager, MSN Search - He expanded about the users - MSN uses links to help them understand the popularity of the site and they use the anchor text for labels of the site - Keep users in mind....

Q & A: Q: How do you weed out artificial links? A: No real answer.

Q: I asked Tim why they built site explorer, if he specifically wants people to stop focusing on links. :) I prefaced that saying, I wanted to give Tim a hard time. A: Google backed Tim up and then Tim said that it will stop people using with automated tool to grab the data (which is a great answer).

Q: Depth of links... A: A non issue on the generic level

Q: How often are the link data updated at the engines? A: Tim said often, MSN said it depends, Ask said the same thing (depends on architecture, Google didnt say anything. Detlev said all it took was a link from me, to get indexed by all engines except for Ask and it wasn't due to add url form.

Q: Is there a limit to Google Sitemaps? A: Yes, he thinks 50,000 URLs per sitemap, up to 50 sitemaps per account..???? see site documentation.

Maybe ill add more Q&A if anything is very interesting...

Q: Stolen Content... A: Google and Ask Jeeves said do not worry, we will figure out which is the original source. Bold statement, don't you think?

Q: Do you penalize for people who link to me, I don't control it... A: Tim said, I agree, you can not always control it. But Tim said, it may bring your site unwanted attention. If you were banned, you can always submit reinclusion. Google said they only hold you accountable for things you control. MSN said dittoed it.

Note: Google guy says that nofollow attribute is a "critical tool."

Q: How many links - too fast - do we have to worry about? A: Google said it has nothing to do with the number or speed you get links. But it is about the link text all being the same anchor text. Tim, Yahoo agrees, but also make sure to be relative to your industry, do not get a crazy number of links that way exceed the norm in your industry.


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