Archive for the ‘Web Marketing’ Category
Call them what you like, Doorway pages, Gateway Pages, even Zebra Pages, Google has never liked them. In the past Google has treated these as pages that are built, but have sneaky redirects in them, then they moved the goalposts of definition slightly, and now we have a clear statement from Google not to use them, and more importantly, exactly what Google themselves believe that definition to be.
Doorway pages are typically large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase.
So that is clear and simple, Don’t put up LARGE SETS, of POOR QUALITY pages on your site, and optimise it for a single term. Does that mean you can’t have a page for your important terms? Absolutely not, the key there is large sets, poor quality. Google wants, desires and yearns for large amounts of HIGH QUALITY pages on a topic.
In many cases, doorway pages are written to rank for a particular phrase and then funnel users to a single destination.
Here they give us another indicator of an element within their algorithm, set out to detect these sites. This would be typical of lead generation sites, or sites that have a single action page with many of these doorway pages built in. A clear example of this would be a site that sells a single product directly or affiliate CPA with many pages surrounding it but having a single action page.
Whether deployed across many domains or established within one domain, doorway pages tend to frustrate users.
This is actually debatable, as searching for something, landing on a page about that term, and finding what you want could be argued that it is delivering a GOOD user experience. Unfortunately while the argument may be debatable, Google are not up for debate.
Therefore, Google frowns on practices that are designed to manipulate search engines and deceive users by directing them to sites other than the one they selected, and that provide content solely for the benefit of search engines.
Interestingly Google have switched back to doorway pages with redirects to a main site, they appear here to be talking about satellite sites, or micro-sites optimised for a term and then pointing to a main site. Is this a legitimate method for advertising however? IF the links are nofollowed then it could be argued yes, the site is an advert rather than a doorway site. Google appear here to be attempting to prevent businesses from advertising their wares legitimately.
I worked with a well known company a few years ago, and they had a website ‘quote me happy’ which supported their Offline advertising campaigns. It would be wrong of any search engine to prevent a company from doing this. My advice would be that if you are using such sites, then nofollow the links to the main site, and ensure the capture site has relevant content.
Google may take action on doorway sites and other sites making use of these deceptive practices, including removing these sites from Google’s index.
This is a scary prospect, as they appear here to be saying that they will take action against a doorway site AND other sites making use of these deceptive practices. So what is to stop a competitor setting them up and reporting you?
Finally in the piece, they give some examples of use.
Having multiple domain names targeted at specific regions or cities that funnel users to one page
Templated pages made solely for affiliate linking
Multiple pages on your site with similar content designed to rank for specific queries like city or state names
It is fair to say that anyone who is using a strategy of having hundreds of pages (THIN pages), that are geographically based or topic based, should review their strategy, and, if you have suffered a loss of traffic or a change to the terms you have received traffic for, then this could be the answer.
An Interesting post on Search Engine Roundtable references the possibility that Google is using self page linking as a spam signal where Keyword rich anchor text is used. In case you are not sure what this means, let me explain.
Let’s say you have a site about blue widgets, and in your homepage content you have a link (or more than one link) pointing to the same page (homepage) with your main keyword set i.e. ‘blue widgets’.
So why use it as a signal, and what is this being based on? Well put simply, why would you link to the same page you are already on, if not to gain benefit that anchor text links bring. keep in mind that the anchor page also gets given more weight to its anchor text as well as the target page.
This has been brought up as a result of a thread on Webmasterworld forum, where a member states that out of their 150 sites, 3 got hit, and the only common element was this home page self linking. Seems weak if you ask me, simple but an effective signal. it could be enough to drop the trust on the page which in turn could impact on other elements.
Announced a few hours ago on the Google inside Search Blog link to PDF was this little beauty of page layout analysis being part of the quality score within the ranking algorithm. What does this mean in reality?
Many years ago back in 2004, Microsoft created an algorithm that scored links based on their location, type and size within a page, this was called Block Level Link Analysis, and as a result, all links were no longer equal (which is a good thing). It has been believed that Google have used this for sometime, but they have now taken this a step further.
Google claim to be interested in user experience beyond all else (other than making money of course), and this change appears to be a quality control change, but this old bald guy can’t help think that there is huge potential for babies to go out in the bathwater.
So lets grab some snippets of that blogg post by Matt Cutts
As we’ve mentioned previously, we’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change.
So they are acting on complaints (from their testers) that they want to see content above the fold.
Define Above the Fold?
Two HUGE things there are how do you define ‘content’ and how do you define ‘above the fold’? For those that don’t know, ‘above the fold’ is a term from the newspaper days of broadsheets which were traditionally folded in half. In the news displays, the papers would be placed with the masthead and headline showing out (top half of front page), anything in the printed part is ‘below the fold’ In this case it means the page requires scrolling to read it. The difficulty here is how do you define ‘above the fold’ in a world where monitor sizes vary dramatically, screen resolutions the same, how on earth do you define ‘above the fold’? Sorry Google but that is pretty much an impossible task.
On a photography site the content may be imagery, the content may be delivered by video, so HOW THEN are Google going to define the term ‘content’ Flash, Ajax, there are so many technologies that can render a page devoid of content, yet still deliver an enriching entertaining, satisfying user experience. But is this ‘content’ under the definition which Google apply?
and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.
That right there tells me they are going after excessive advertising, which was a large factor in the panda update(s), it is also clearly saying that going forward, such sites will not rank as highly.
This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page.
Now read this and think, “or make it hard to find Actual ORIGINAL content” so again this appears to be targeting content scrapers (like Google :p ) sorry I couldn’t resist! Back on topic, it looks like they are trying to get original content with a balance between ads & content. I was involved in traditional publishing and a 60/40 mix (with content being 60%) is about as high as you want to go without ruining the user experience, and getting ad blindness, which results in poor advertising ROI. Which is fine, but that single video could have 1000 words on it, all original, all relevant, all content . How will google handle this?
OK Google define ‘Above The Fold’ Please
If you believe that your website has been affected by the page layout algorithm change, consider how your web pages use the area above-the-fold and whether the content on the page is obscured or otherwise hard for users to discern quickly. You can use our Browser Size tool, among many others, to see how your website would look under different screen resolutions.
In short, they fail to tell you what THEY are classing as above the fold, admittedly they are recommending you check this using browser simulators and screen resolution simulators, BUT they give absolutely no reference point with which to gauge where your content sits.
I appreciate what Google are trying to achieve here, but I can’t help but thinking there will be a lot of good, honest websites disappearing from page 1, losing pretty much all their traffic, and revenue, PURELY because again Google has introduced an element that is vague, and doesn’t really stop the spammers (who right now are placing layers of content above the fold to combat this) and so protecting themselves from the algorithm change. While the good old boy watches his really popular image based website go down the pan (along with his earnings) killing not only his website, but his dreams of earning a living from the web, and his faith in Google’s ‘don’t be evil’ mantra.
A while ago I made a post about crap Google results full of twitter and the like and good old Goog listened to me … Well me and most of their user base really, and moved away from it.
Well here we are with Google realtime, a real time search engine.
Not exactly todays news but newsworthy all the same
The future is bright, the future isn’t Orange (as the advert says). The future is YOU viewing documents as GOOGLE wants you to view them after having rewritten the content to suit themselves.
A recent patent application buy Google does just this. In short it is
A method of enhancing document browsing comprising:receiving personal information relating to a user;generating descriptive information based on a content of a first document and the personal information;identifying an additional document based on the descriptive information; and generating a second document that includes at least a portion of the content of the first document and including references to the additional documents.
Or in layman’s terms, they can grab a page, rewrite it to insert LINKS (paid adverts or otherwise) before you get to see it. In short, Google will ride roughshod over the advertising exclusivity agreements advertisers might have, or even WORSE would place advertising links to the COMPETITORS of the site owners!
This is not good, it is very not good, and the old ‘Don’t be Evil’ is becoming quite a joke of late.
So the great new Google search engine update trial is over, and we can look forward to getting shiny new results that bounce better than a bouncy thing (for a while anyhow)
Announced by Google on their Sandbox which has been up for a number of months now.
We appreciate all the feedback from people who searched on our Caffeine sandbox.
Based on the success we’ve seen, we believe Caffeine is ready for a larger audience. Soon we will activate Caffeine more widely, beginning with one data center. This sandbox is no longer necessary and has been retired, but we appreciate the testing and positive input that webmasters and publishers have given.
Matt Cutts has said that it is unlikely to roll out completely before Christmas, but can we be sure? us Uk’ers have had more to be concerned about than anyone, as we have yet to see ‘proper’ UK based results from caffeine, due to the complicated algorithm that controls geo locating.
No doubt, sometime soon, business and webmaster forums will be chock a block with new threads about ‘my site has gone’!
All in a days work I guess, but not so nice for those who suffer not being teachers pet any longer through seemingly no fault of their own.
At long last the site has had a makeover. It was about time as it had been a few years and i thought it was looking like smelly pants.
Any comments appreciated as well as any glitches or brain farts the site might have!
I intend posting a bit more, and getting back to the original format of replying to questions asked. so
ASK ME ONE and maybe I will answer.
This is the question that is asked time after time in forums across the world. Unfortunately it is a case of ‘when all else fails, read the user manual’. An old adage sure, but it is true.
It is amazing how many people throw words into a list, write an advert, and set it running. This almost always results in money being eaten faster than a donkey eats strawberries.
So to answer the question, you need to follow the basic steps. I intend drip feeding the various elements that are involved, and will be guided by user comments.
The easiest way to bleed money is by poor matching of your phrases. I have assumed that you have carried out proper keyword research, because keyword research is the King AND Queen of internet marketing. Get That wrong and Read the rest of this entry »
As anyone who has not been sleeping off the mother of all hangovers for the last week knows, Google are now showing Search Volumes in their keyword research tool. HURRAH! I hear all you posh types say, but here is the thing, Life is not that simple, many are now rushing out, grabbing numbers, and off they go on the back of a virtual donkey, complete with a spade and a pan to find their gold. It is the Yukon all over again.
So before you follow them off chasing rainbows, let me show you that the pot of gold is NOT at the end of your rainbow, it is at the bottom of a hole, you just have to dig for it.
When using the AdWords keyword researcher, there are a couple of things to take into consideration. Read the rest of this entry »
Back to the original purpose of this blog, to answer Questions. and the question is ” how can Google identify bought links?” for obvious reasons the guy who asked the question didn’t want to be linked to (I wonder why)
How can Google tell if a link is a vote or bought?
The simple answer is they CAN’T. yep because it is impossible algorithmically to determine if money has changed hands! But it is not as simple as that. The question really is not ‘CAN Google identify individual paid links’?, but rather,