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How to deal with Google's latest ranking algorithm changes

In a recent thread on WebmasterWorld, people observed that there is a change in Google's ranking algorithm. It looks as if more pages are added to Google's supplemental results and that Google might re-rank the results based on new quality criteria.

What's new in Google's ranking algorithm?

It seems that Google internally returns a first set of results that is then re-ranked according to multipliers determined in testing just this set of results.

If your web site is not included in the first set of results then the re-ranking step cannot help you because no new results are added.

If your website is included in the first set of results then the re-ranking can either help you or hurt your rankings. If your web site fails one of the re-ranking tests, then your rankings scores (relevance score, trust score, website age score, etc.) might be lowered and your rankings will drop.

Such a new ranking method would explain the yo-yo effect that can be observed for some URLs: a web page goes from search result page one to the end of the results and comes back again. The same web site is always part of the first result set but re-ranked differently.

Are more pages going supplemental?

Google might use the new system to quickly get the first set of results (probably cached sets of results). To make the primary index less unwieldy, more pages might be moved to the supplemental results.

The supplemental index would only be accessed if the total number of sites in the primary index fell below a threshold.

What can you do to benefit from the new algorithm?

If you want to get high rankings with Google's new algorithm then you must create a trustworthy web site with good content:

  • Get good inbound links from trusted websites to raise the TrustRank value of your own web site.

  • Get links from websites that have many backlinks (these pages usually have a high TrustRank).

  • Improve the co-citation of your website by getting link from web pages that link to other sites that are related to yours.

  • Try to get links from pages that link to other trusted pages next to the link to your site.

  • Optimize the content of your web pages to show Google that your web pages are relevant to a special topic.

High Google rankings are still the result of two important factors: optimized web page content and the right inbound links.

The problem is to find out exactly how the web page content should be optimized and exactly how the inbound links now should look like. That's why we developed IBP's Top 10 Optimizer tools.

IBP's Top 10 Web Page Optimizer analyzes the content of the top 10 ranked pages to find out how to optimize the content of your web pages. IBP's Top 10 Inbound Link Optimizer analyzes the inbound link structure of the top ranked pages to find out which links are important for high Google rankings.

IBP's Top 10 Optimizers will tell you in plain English what you have to do to optimize your pages. In addition, IBP offers all the tools that you need to quickly adjust your web page content and to get the right inbound links so that your own web site can get top 10 rankings.

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April 2007 search engine articles