Stay on Top of Search Results

Google has stated that in its search algorithms it currently uses over 200 unique signals to help determine the best results. I have always had an interest in monitoring the changes in the search results to analyze the direction that Google search is taking. In the last week, one of the factors that seems to have been negatively affected more so than in the past, are EMDs and PMDs. An EMD is an exact-match domain  while a PMD is a partial-match domain.

Some SEOs talk about a penalty for EMDs and PMDs. I prefer to think of it as less weight will be given to that signal. Think of it like a college test. The old tests relied on 80% multiple choice and 20% essay questions. This year the tests are 50% multiple choice, 30% essay, and 20% true/false questions. You won’t be penalized for being good at multiple choice questions but you do need to work on the true/false area and improve your essay skills to stay on top.

Continue to work on the positive things that will improve your site.

Penguin 2.0 Released

Matt Cutts announced the release of Penguin 2.0, the next generation of the webspam algorithm, which will affect about 2.3% of Google’s English-US queries.

If you have been following my recommendations to add original relevant content to your site and built natural links with a variance of  anchor text , the only thing you should notice with this Penguin update is an improvement in your rankings and increased traffic as more blackhat sites are punished for their indiscretions.



Search Quality Rating Guidelines Released by Google

I spent quite a bit of time looking over Google’s newest interactive infographic, How Search Works. In the section The Search Lab, they provide a link to the Search Quality Rating Guidelines. I had the opportunity in the past to see leaked versions of the evaluator guidelines but this is Google’s first public release. The Google document is dated November 2, 2012 and in the preface Google states that this document is only a “Cliff Notes” version.

The official Google released document is labeled Version 1.0 and consists of 43 pages.The last leaked document was labeled Version 3.27 and was 161 pages. Google explains this discrepancy in their preface saying that the raters’ version includes instruction on using the rating interface, additional rating examples, etc.

For affiliate marketers, be sure to read Part 3: Webspam Guidelines 4.1 Thin Affiliates.