22 May 2006

The Historical Importance of Backlinks.

Natural Link Growth, The Famous Google Patent, Back to the Future thoughts.

In March of 2005 Google applied for a patent called “Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data“. If you haven’t read it, you really should…at the very least, read Rands “translation” of this patent.

Now I realize the some of you are saying “Just because they applied for a patent for this, doesn’t mean they are using all the points outlined in the patent application”…yea yea, I know…but some I believe they are using. Some of the points in that patent have to do with “Links” and “Time” I’ve outlined some of those items below (Keep in mind the “Historical” in the paper title “Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data”).

*Bold items were bolded by me, and were not bolded in the original patent application.

#22 ….wherein the one or more types of history data includes information relating to behavior of links over time; and wherein the generating a score includes: determining behavior of links associated with the document, and scoring the document based, at least in part, on the behavior of links associated with the document.

#24 ..wherein the appearance of one or more links relates to at least one of a date that a new link to the document appears, a rate at which the one or more links appear over time, and a number of the one or more links that appear during a time period…..

#25 …. wherein the determining behavior of links associated with the document includes monitoring at least one of time-varying behavior of links associated with the document, how many links associated with the document appear or disappear during a time period, and whether there is a trend toward appearance of new links associated with the document versus disappearance of existing links associated with the document.

#26 …wherein the one or more types of history data includes information relating to freshness of links; and wherein the generating a score includes: determining freshness of links associated with the document, assigning weights to the links based on the determined freshness, and scoring the document based, at least in part, on the weights assigned to the links associated with the document.

#27 ….wherein the freshness of a link associated with the document is based on at least one of a date of appearance of the link, a date of a change to the link, a date of appearance of anchor text associated with the link, a date of a change to anchor text associated with the link, a date of appearance of a linking document containing the link, and a date of a change to a linking document containing the link.

#29 ….wherein the scoring the document includes: determining an age of each link pointing to the document, determining an age distribution associated with the links based on the ages of the links, and scoring the document based, at least in part, on the age distribution associated with the links.

Below I do a bit of rambling….it’s part based on what I think the engines are trying to do….it is just some of my ideas I get from the patent.

When someone links to you, Google Dates it….and they also record the link text used to link to your site.  All this data is saved, and Google is trying to analyze it to determine ranking factors based in part on: The date someone linked to you with the first time. The date of the document that now links to you (I’d assume getting a link on a page that’s been up for years is much better than getting a link from a new page (90% of “links pages” I’d guess are less than 2 years old – another nail in the link page coffin 😉 ),

You can’t change your past. What has happened has happened.  I believe the engines are looking both at You’re past history, as well as where you’re at now. 

This original post was started by having someone ask a very hard question…the ole “How long will it take to rank in the top 10 for “XXXXX XXXXXX”.” He had a semi older site….had some backlink history…but few people were linking to him with the phrase he wanted…..problem is…is that lots of the people in the top 10 have had people linking to their sites with those phrases for years….how long will it take to rank for this guy now? All I can say is “probably longer than you might think” since they don’t have a record of any backlinks to their site with those phrases historically, and others do….and there’s nothing you can do about your past now.

With this person’s site I’d almost want to really study the link text of those who have been linking to them in the past and see if some of those are worthwhile phrases to target today (To find out use our Neat-o tool (often is down to overuse…but keep trying…there’s other programs also that can show this as well).

On a personal note, We Build Pages will probably never be in the top few again for the phrase “internet marketing” because I’ve got some shady history that’s been noted….oh well….we learn…and do better now.

Them big ole PR9’s and 8’s I bought back in 2002 that got the PR block in 2003…well I can’t change that…it’s my history…..them crappy 90% recriprial links I had in 2002….yea that’s my history….That hidden text in 2001….we’ll I don’t think google knows about that ;)…them doorway pages back in 1999….we’ll they do know that those pages are long gone.  I’m sure there’s other skeletons in my closet as well…don’t we all have them?

Think about your link neighborhoods and link deals your dealing with today for the backlink history you write today might determine your rankings you hold tomorrow.

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[tags]link building, google, links, link popularity, internet marketing, search engine optimization, seo, search engine marketing, sem, boykin, google patent, google, patents, patent[/tags]