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    Mystery #2 - Doing it right and getting it wrong!


    I've been promoting a site that provides VoIP & similar training services. I optimised it for important keywords, and all it's pages have a PR of 5 (including the links directory page and even the individual link category pages have PR4). Check it here http://www.oasisknowledge.com)

    Anyway, as a result of my efforts over about 5 months (starting at 0), I get:

    voip training = 15 in MSN, 17 in yahoo, 156 in google
    sip training = 2 & 4 in MSN, 9 in yahoo, but not on googles radar!
    asterisk training = 1 & 5 in MSN, 1 & 6 in yahoo, 15 in Google.

    My question then is - why am I so successful with MSN and Yahoo, but bombing with google?

    Naturally, I examine the results very carefully. In particular, the 100s of guys who are above me in google - and here's the kicker. 95% of these guys do not even provide voip or sip training! In other words - they are useless from the point of view of the google querier who is looking for those services. So why does google overlook pages it values at PR 5, which are text rich, and stuffed with the right keywords and actually provide the service the user is looking for? And instead google lists prominently hundreds of irrelevent search results which have only the most tenuous of claims on the keywords - lower page rank, and no search relevance!

    The broader issue here is that Google is not performing. It is not providing (in this instance) appropriate results whereas MSN and Yahoo are. I've checked the top 100 sites on all these engines for these terms and MSN/Yahoo score by finding sites providing the services. Google is so far from appropriate it would be comical - if it weren't hurting me.

    Viva MSN & Yahoo.

    oasis-k
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    My question then is - why am I so successful with MSN and Yahoo, but bombing with google?
    Because Google uses completely different algorithms.

    Just guessing, here: how much of your backlinks, in percentage, are a result of exchanges or deals with other webmasters?
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    Thanks for the feedback ...about 25% backlinks.

    Alta Vista finds about 800 links, but I have only about 200 link partners. I am very active in the VoIP community and especially its forums. These other links come from there. (The site is also in every VoIP industry catalog on the planet)

    I take your point about g's different algo, but your observation misses my real point. What good is their algo if it generates inferior results? We look at SEs from the inside, but the absolute measure of their performance is how well they generate appropriate results. I don't think that an 8 month old blog reference to 'voip' followed later on the page by some other reference to 'training' is as relevant as an organisation which is providing this service NOW, and has a PR 5 page that's just studded with 'voip training' (and backlinks pointing at it titled 'voip training').

    My point is that the MSN and Yahoo algos are smart enogh to discriminate between these 2 examples and serve up the right one for the guy looking for the service. G's algo is not smart enough to do that!

    oasis-k
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    Originally Posted by oasis-k
    The broader issue here is that Google is not performing. It is not providing (in this instance) appropriate results whereas MSN and Yahoo are. I've checked the top 100 sites on all these engines for these terms and MSN/Yahoo score by finding sites providing the services. Google is so far from appropriate it would be comical - if it weren't hurting me.

    Viva MSN & Yahoo.

    oasis-k
    I wouldn't worry too much about Google now. Since about December 17th Google results are not as relevant as they used to be. Because of this I lost a lot of traffic to my most important website.
    Traffic to my site is slowly recovering though, but not because of Google.
    I have seen an increase (compared to before the Google update in December) in 3 different ways people find my site:
    1. They enter the name of my site as keyword in the Google searchbox.
    2. They find me using the normal keywords, through Yahoo and MSN (much more vistors through Yahoo and MSN recently!).
    3. They find me on Google, after browsing all the way to page 8 or 9 of the search results.

    In my opinion this shows that the quality of Google search results is bad these days and also not relevant in the eyes of the users of Google.
    If Google doesn't do something fast then Yahoo and MSN will be very happy with all the new customers coming their way.
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    What good is their algo if it generates inferior results?
    Very few webmaster/SEO think that Google algorithm is excellent, in my opinion. I dont' know what end users think about Google results.

    From your point of view, if someone searches for "voip training" with Google does the first page of results provide the intended information?

    I don't think that an 8 month old blog reference to 'voip' followed later on the page by some other reference to 'training' is as relevant as
    Words proximity is undoubtedly an issue, here. How much good are Google results if you search for "voip training" (with quotes)?
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    I dont' know what end users think about Google results.
    what you don't know or understand won't bother you. I really don't think my mom or sister have a clue nor really care. But in the end they probally walk away from the coputer "less informed" than they should be.
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    The simple fact of the matter is that, as SEO's, we expect our results to be the most relevant. If not expect, we hope that they will be. As such, we're constantly gaming the system through backlinks, text changes, etc. to see if we can get to the top.

    Disagree all you want but any system can be gamed. Yahoo and MSN while it might seem that they're giving nice relevant results to you are just as open to gaming as Google. Perhaps more so in that it's easier to change the text on a page than it is to get some backlinks.

    Are any of the search engines perfect? Nope. Will they ever be? Nope.

    Now, as to the original poster's question, with Google, you need a lot more backlinks. Relevant backlinks are the best thing to get if you can. Does that mean it has to ONLY be VOIP links? Absolutely not! There are other areas that will be related to VOIP that your readers might be interested in. Get some backlinks from those sites. Get a link program that will help you keep track of the links if you don't already have one.

    Search for your competitors in google by using the keywords that you're targeting. Then *analyze* what they're doing to get the results you want. The wonderful thing about this particular niche we're in (SEO) is that we can *always* look at what others are doing and know what they're doing to get the results they're getting. Certainly, we may not know 100% but we can surely come to an 80% result which will get us very very close.

    Tools like what I have in my sig are very helpful as well. I use that quite frequently to figure out what my competitors are doing - and I'm getting results.

    G-Man
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    I'd put it down to the quality of both your incoming and outgoing links.

    You are linking to some "bad neighbourhoods" with those pharma sites, and a quick look at your incoming links showed many were very low rent.

    Whoever "managed" your linkage has done you few favours, get rid of all but the topical "resources", submit the site to DMOZ, and buy a listing in the Y! and MSN directories.

    Then wait and hope... ;-)
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    Originally Posted by glengara
    I'd put it down to the quality of both your incoming and outgoing links.

    You are linking to some "bad neighbourhoods" with those pharma sites, and a quick look at your incoming links showed many were very low rent.

    Whoever "managed" your linkage has done you few favours, get rid of all but the topical "resources", submit the site to DMOZ, and buy a listing in the Y! and MSN directories.

    Then wait and hope... ;-)
    Wait and hope...I wouldn't say that waiting and hoping is gonna help a lot to be honest. Rather than just waiting and hoping, get to work and get more backlinks. Nor would I say that buying a listing in Yahoo or MSN is gonna be helpful. Course, that's me. I'd rather spend my money on other stuff.

    Plenty of free directories out there to submit to including DMOZ.

    As you can see though, there's plenty of opinions here - kinda like a buffet - pick and choose which ones you want


    G-Man
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    Kudos Geoffrey! That is good advice.
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    Thanks for the feedback. Of course I'm just spouting off - not really looking for answers to the unanswerable mysteries of life or google.

    Couple of quick responses, though.

    You are linking to some "bad neighbourhoods" with those pharma sites
    Phew... tough one this! That's my bad neighborhood site!!! And I don't think it costs me my google ranking (but I sure won't link to any other pharmacy!!!)

    - DMOZ - already submitted in June, queried after 30 days in July and now waiting for the 6 months before they will permit me my second query!! I'll try again end January. In a few years perhaps!!

    - I don't see how buying my way into yahoo or msn directories would help, their respective SEs put me in the top 20 anyway, and this site is listed in all major voip industry directories and heavily built into voip-wikis (which actually gets me onto google's front page via a 'side' door anyway - on the subject of 'gaming')

    - I use Arelis so I can find competing links. I also use Optilink. But frankly, I haven't built links aggressively enough, and I don't really worry about the quality/relevance of the link partner's site too much just the SE friendliness of the link.

    with Google, you need a lot more backlinks.
    this is probably right on the money. On the other hand, I've been spending major time in the voip forums and my sigs there have the site link - how relevant can you get? (todays example mouthing off about skype - http://voxilla.com/forum-viewtopic-t-1615.html) Alta Vista finds all these posts (hundreds of them) I believe MSN and Yahoo value these links too, but they never seem to end up in google.

    In my opinion this shows that the quality of Google search results is bad these days and also not relevant in the eyes of the users of Google.
    I think this contributor got the bottom line. I think we will see g's star fall over time and msn/yahoo and maybe others assume more prominence. G tends to be be people's first search engine but the SE market place is very young, as it matures through time there will be a leveling of the playing field.

    oasis-k
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    Yes, yes relevance is opinion and every site owner and seo believes their opinion. I restate my own opinion. SEO's made G what they are today and in return G is now biting the hand that fed them. When a dog does this to its master it usually gets Slapped. Do it to many times and the master puts the dog down. IMHO, its time to put this dog down.

    I just thought I would expand upon your google focus and give you a wee bit broader view
    Brilliant! I think the slapping has begun! Just what I wanted to say - but better!

    cheers,
    oasis-k
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    Originally Posted by glengara
    You are linking to some "bad neighbourhoods" with those pharma sites, and a quick look at your incoming links showed many were very low rent.
    What did you mean by the "low rent" part?

    G-Man
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    * That's my bad neighborhood site!!! And I don't think it costs me my google ranking..*

    Well good luck to you then......
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    Originally Posted by gchaney
    Hey oasis-k. I believe it's relevant back links and then age/time. Not much more you can do for G. If you are ranking #1 in MSN and Yahoo then it's down to back links. If your not, tweak on page and get more quality related back links. Both will help in all search engines.
    I agree.

    Originally Posted by gchaney
    While I agree with Geoffry about SEO and SERP Gaming and SEO expectations, the difference is, G's algo has matured in a way that is designed to defeat and filter these techniques. The consequence is SEO's are moving from the ability to determine relevance in the results to G attempting to control what is relevant and minimize the impact SEO's have on results. This must be G's ultimate goal based upon the filters they are applying and the extensive amount of time any site must wait to even hope for a chance to rank.
    Of course that's their goal. I'm sure they believe that you can programmitically determine the relevance of any topic. They've got some smart guys and perhaps their right but I'm sure it can still be gamed

    Originally Posted by gchaney
    While this may sound natural, it's like asking an attorney for medical advise. The attorney is not going to know the answer and if they venture an answer, how accurate and complete will it be? At least with MSN and Yahoo, it is the site owners and SEO's themselves that control relevance. This has worked for years because any site owner/SEO working on targeted relevant KW's will work within the known factors to achieve and beat out spam/junk or non-relevent sites in the most important industry results.
    Hah - I love this. Nice analogy.

    Originally Posted by gchaney
    You say Yahoo and MSN are easier to spam thats only because few spammers can compete in Google. Why? Because the vast majority of the SEO community and site owners focuses on traffic and so we as SEO's and knowledgable site owners focus on Google to attain that traffic. Couple this with good spam filters and you have great results. This void has left Yahoo and MSN's inktomi results prime fertile ground for spammers as many don't attempt to compete.
    Yahoo and MSN are easier to spam because they focus on on-page optimization. It's much much easier to tweak your page than it is to add another 1000 backlinks.

    Spammers will always take the easy road though whatever that might be.


    Originally Posted by gchaney
    Let the SEO industry focus on MSN or Yahoo as we are starting to do with even decent spam filters. No spam site can stand against SEO's fighting for position and traffic in the top engine. None would let them sit in the top ten much less top 50, whether taking them out through spam reports or taking them down through natural serp maturity.

    Who cares if spam/non-relevant sites show up for a search term getting 2 clicks a day? I don't and neither should searchers. What is important is that SEO will deliever better results for any search engine on those search terms that matter most.
    Who cares? Heheh the spammers do...They'll go for the very low competition, very low traffic keywords and create a TON of pages that will probably get to the top easily...Think about it, if you can have 5,000 clicks a day for one highly optimized site or 5,000 clicks a day for 50 junk sites with a ton of pages, as a spammer you'd go for the second. It's easier and very cost effective.

    Originally Posted by gchaney
    G has defeated even this and the degredation in the results is now starting to show up and will continue as SEO moves away from the high cost in time, money and effort and shifts to fight for known traffic that can be achieved in weeks with MSN and Yahoo. This is G's own undoing as SEO focus moves from Google to MSN and Yahoo we will continue to improve the results and relevancy of these results giving searches a clear path to a better option.
    Google hasn't defeated it. There's just a LOT of competition going on which makes it more difficult and thus gets the spammers to focus in different areas.

    Originally Posted by gchaney
    The improved results people see in MSN and Yahoo today are not just about algo changes, they are about more SEO's like me focusing on this known attainable traffic using SEO techniques rather than fighting for 12 months against an Algorithum which appears designed to defeat any SEO attempts. It's why many site owners continue to complain they are #1 in every other engine and not in the top 1000 for G. Enough of these and eventually searchers are going to see a very, very distinctive difference and start asking why didn't I find this resource in Google?
    Yeah, that may very well happen. Dunno how long it would take though. People are not prone to change very often. And many don't use multiple search engines like we do.

    G-Man
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