Google Bombing


10-26-2004 by Jinette Degner

Weblogs or Blogs are being used to manipulate Google's search results, aka Google Bombings.

Go to Google and type in "out of touch management."

Yup, Google is the victim of a Google bomb. Weblogs are online diary-type entries. The software behind them is similar to a posting board or discussion page except that it is on the front page of these Blog sites.

Blogs are advertised as the average person's way to express themselves online. No Web knowledge is required. There are roughly 40 thousand of these types of sites. Many have articles and essays ranging from politics to personal thoughts.

Adam Mathes started what was to become the first "Google Bomb." He encouraged everyone to put this link on their site:

Andy <a href="http://www.ohmessylife.com">"talentless hack"</a> Pressman

and submit it to Google.

The whole point of the exercise was to take advantage of Google's idea that what someone says about your site is more important than the actual content in an effort to make one person look silly.

It worked. Within 2 months, Andy Pressman's Web site did come up for the phrase "talentless hack," and up until a few months ago, it still did. Now the site is not longer as relevant for that phrase. Instead, you will find more articles on Google bombing when all the news reports came out about how easily Google had been manipulated.

It is obvious that linking strategies must be very specific to accomplish better rankings for a specific word or phrase. Links from sites that are related to your main keyword focus are always beneficial. But the use of the Google bomb strategy clearly displays Google's attention to the anchor text pointing to a particular site or page as having significant weight in their scoring of pages. In the example Google Bomb Adam Mathes detonates. there are roughly 40,000 Weblog sites indexed by Google. Clearly it takes an army of sites to be able to manipulate Google's search results to this extreme.

Other attempts at "Google Bombing" in the Weblog community have been successful, but it is also important to note that the Google bomb ranking improvement is fleeting. Most of the "Blog " sites update daily, and the previous entry is no longer on the front page or it has been archived. (think "Free For All" link sites)

Google's explanation of ranking : http://www.google.com/technology/index.html

---------------snip------------------------
PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important." Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search.

Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query. ---------------snip------------------------

What Matters Most:


Each inbound link must use the same exact phrase you wish to be found for. Pages that are updated often are considered more important to Google Quality will eventually beat quantity, Links on the front page of a site will have a stronger impact than those same links deeper in the site.

Now How Can We Put This to Work for You?

If each and every one of your incoming links used the same text to describe your site, in Google's eyes, this means your site is more relevant for that exact phrase or word. As an example, if you have affiliates (your own army) using the same text link or variations of your site THEME to link back to your site, that would make your site is more relevant for that particular term according to Google. Your affiliates should have related quality content on their site which links to yours. This clearly falls into Google's criteria for a higher ranking page.

If you currently have an affiliate program in place, it is important that the links go directly to your site and are not redirects from a third party affiliate program.

Myaffiliateprogram.com software has the ability to allow you to let affiliates link directly to your site.

While not all of us have an affiliate army at our disposal, we can use multiple storefronts to enhance our inbound links. While this will not be as dramatic as 40 thousand inbound links, it will have a positive impact on your positioning. In the future, I think you will see a definite increase in the "quality of links" factoring in more than the "quantity of links" for search engine ranking.


Another linking tool is the subdomain, also known as a prefix domain or a third level domain.


For example: keyword.mydomain.com or country.domain.com or even state.domain.com

This is an effective and easy to set up link enhancement system. Most engines will treat each third level domain as an entirely different domain name. You can use this to your advantage by focusing on specific topics and incoming links specifically on each region. Cross linking different subdomains will increase link popularity as well as relevance. The key here is that EACH subdoman must have UNIQUE content. Our intent is not to spam but to focus on a specific topic and then direct the visitor to other related areas of the web.. namely your own site.

Most Web hosts charge a small fee to set up third level domains. Point each third level domain to a unique directory. For instance Keyword.mydomain.com points to mydomain.com/keyword and so on.

On the topic of subdomains, Yahoo uses them for its regional engine. However, you may notice that the results are the same. For instance:

http://ca.dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Shopping_and_Services is the same as http://asia.dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Shopping_and_Services

and so on. Knowing this and that engines treat subdomains as separate entities, you could put these links on your site to show all the different places Yahoo links to you from.


Posting board pages:


These types of pages fall into the constantly updated content section and are easy to set up and maintain. An example:

Let's say you have a site that sells arthritis products. You could easily set up message boards for each form of arthritis and start discussions with posts that have relevant, informative content that include a link to your sales site.

For example:

- This board sponsored by your company - use a keyword or phrase as the anchor text to your site.


Link popularity:


It is more important that you have:

-More links than your competition. -More relevant links than your competition -More important pages linking to you than your competition. (i.e. links from Yahoo and other directories)

You could have thousands of pages linking to you, but if they don't say the right things about your site and if the pages are not at all related to the topic of your site, they are not helping you.

In fact, they could be hurting your ranking, based on the standard that your reputation (what other Web sites say about you) is more important than what your Web site actually says.

So how can you analyze link popularity and find out how to get MORE without spending literally days tracking down links?

OptiLink allows me to look at competitor sites and gives me the rundown on all of their linking activities in a matter of minutes instead of the hours I normally would spend.

I just go into the program and enter in a client's domain, select an engine like Yahoo, and OptiLink produces a text report I can use to compare quickly to a competing Web site's results. I can even see right away if the links are all on the same class C or IP address and find out who owns them with the handy "whois" tool built right in.

Most importantly, it tells me exactly what the link text (anchor text) says on each page. So I know immediately what my Web site's reputation is out on the Web. With that knowledge, I can work to improve the perception the engine has of my site.

I used to spend hours using several different tools to delve into link popularity. Most tools would only tell me the number of links coming into each site. While some sites had hundreds of links, they still did not score as well as a competitor with only 50 links, and this required more research on my part.

I would visit AltaVista and other engines that allow a Link: command in the search box, then manually paste in all of the links so I could track them down. I would spend hours looking at log files to find the inbound links, then go check them.

I know I kinda sound like an infomercial, but this tool saves me literally days of research, and I would not want to analyze a site without it.


IMPORTANT NOTES from Ginette and Search Engine Workshops:


In all of your search engine optimization work, use "white hat" strategies, moderation, and never spam. When in doubt, read the guidelines that each search engine posts on its Web site. When using an automated querying software program like OptiLink, respect the search engines by using it during non-business hours PST, and always use moderation.

Though the search engines themselves use subdomains, don't think it's okay to set up thousands of subdomains as a linking strategy. Remember that it's the quality of links that's important . . . not the quantity. Set up a few subdomains, and again, use moderation. The same principal applies to multiple storefronts.

Always remember: use moderation!



 

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