By Catherine Potts
Jul 26, 2007
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Well, Jason Lee Miller of WebProNews opened a discussion regarding link authority on his site… is it dead? Is it dying? I couldn’t improve on what Jason said, so here it is:
A month ago, SEObook.com author Aaron Wall blew the whistle on relevancy problems in Google’s SERPs. Big name sites, like eBay and Yahoo, set up “infinite” subdomains, addressing various topics, while others bought websites that already had high rankings in Google’s index.
So, in essence, the big brands, who already had tremendous authority and presence, were leveraging that status to rank for as many high-paying keywords as possible. And if that weren’t enough, they began buying other slots in the SERPs – a strategy that gets your online property appearing three or four times in the top ten results.
Interestingly, Jason refers to David Brain who has been working on a new way for SEs to measure the popularity of a site that includes: content, inbound links, page update frequency etc… basically how active a site is and how many people are visiting, linking, time spent on the site, commenting and so on. Seems like a good idea to me. After all, isn’t that a more true picture of a website’s popularity? Then again, not every site has visible comments and not every site is the same as far as time to be spent on it. In this day and age of SEO, a company who wants ranking and a competitive edge better be on top of what is going on trend-wise.
David also says:
…with the increasing mass adoption of Twitter and Facebook and favourites listings like Digg and Del.icio.us things have moved on. Bloggers Twitter and Facebookers Dig. Many of us are multi-platform users and so our online ‘footprint’ is much more dispersed.
Opinions vary on whether or not link authority is dead. Some people are OK with businesses buying their way to the top of the rankings because after all, this is a capitalistic society right? Others do not think it’s fair, nor do they have the money to do such a thing. Small businesses might not have manpower to build links for their sites. Any combination of factors could come into play. Is that something everyone in SEO has to consider? Or do we get to the point where there a process that is easier for everyone, on the whole? It is definitely a moving target, morphing into a new animal as more people and companies come aboard.
Is this youth soccer? Do things have to be fair for everyone? Does everyone get a prize, no matter what? It makes sense that hard work pays off and “cheating” does not.
With the millions of sites struggling for rank and popularity, SEs have a conundrum in finding ways that best suit everyone. Always interesting topic for debate and there are always differing viewpoints I enjoy reading. However, there will always a winner and always someone who thinks the winner is cheating.
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