Posts Tagged ‘tags’

New experiment in business search

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

I’ve been involved in producing a new tag-based business directory for the UK, which went live today. It’s in very early beta, and it is far from being perfect, but it has some interesting features even at this early stage.

It’s very fast, and it uses a lot of tags – both for comprehension and for internal linking. I shall be very interested to see what Google and the rest will make of it.

Effects of taggregation, plus status updates

Friday, August 15th, 2008

I am a little surprised to find that the blog home page was briefly #2 (now #3) in Google for the phrase “search experiments”, and that the site home page is #2 in Yahoo (in each case, the UK varieties). Despite this apparent “success” (I don’t think that the term has driven any search visitors to the site), there remain pages of the site resolutely unindexed.

Google

The preference that Google is showing for the blog home page is also interesting, and it is worth looking into why this might be, particularly because the links that I have created are all to the website home page. Although all the pages on the site link to the blog home, all the pages/posts on the blog link to the site home. 

So what is going on with Google here? A link: operator search returns no results, but Webmaster tools credits the site overall with 39 external links. Eight of these are to the home page, the rest to blog pages. The eight, which I set up, are from a couple of other blogs, one of which is totally weak and the other fairly weak.

The links to blog pages are mostly from Technorati, and all Technorati links are from pages aggregating all blogs with particular tags. The other links look as if they are doing something similar, probably with material taken or scraped from Technorati.

There’s good cross-linking between the blog and the other site pages: all links on blog pages to the main site home page use the phrase; conversely, all links on the non-blog pages link to the blog including the phrase. 

So, crosslinking should pretty much cancel itself out in relation to relative ranking. Which leads to an interesting tentative hypothesis: that simply blogging and using tags can garner external links – from aggregator pages – that are as powerful as hand-edited links from existing sites.

I do have one reasonable powerful incoming link set up (from the home page of a five-year old site with thousands of organic links), but this is not yet showing up as an external link in Webmaster tools. (This link is to the home page, not the blog.)

OK, it could of course be passing PR without showing up in Webmaster tools. I shall keep an eye out to see whether the relative ranking changes, and when the link shows up in Webmaster tools.

Yahoo

In Yahoo, it’s the home page that is showing up in the rankings. The blog home page is nowhere to be seen in the rankings; indeed, Site Explorer doesn’t recognise the page among the six that it currently lists. 

However, Site Explorer is giving credit for the one relatively powerful link to the site.

Observations and predictions

1) The blog home page being “ahead” of the home page in Google rankings seems to suggest that the links garnered by tag aggregation – I am disappointed but not wholly surprised to discover that the word “taggregation” has already been coined – may have a significant role to play in getting content indexed and ranked. I will not put it more strongly than that at present. It may be worth experimenting with a new blog, unlinked elsewhere, to test this hypothesis – by watching how it performs up to the point that someone manually links to it.

2) Having a top 3 result for a plausible if specialised phrase does not necessarily generate traffic.

3) Google is more interested in blog content than Yahoo (?)

Prediction: when Webmaster Tools shows the strong site in the external links, the home page for the site will outperform the blog home page in Google. 

Thinking about it, the other possible reason that the blog home page may be outperforming the home page is content – there’s typically a lot more content on the blog page and (obviously enough) the phrase “search experiments” gets mentioned all the time on it.