Evolution of the Google Algorithm

The last two Google updates (especially Farmer/Panda) have pretty well shaken the whole web; and I can echo this with my own large-scale test sites.  I found this cool graphic over at SEOBook that gives a little history of past Google-dances.   I’d like to preface it with 3 points of my own minor critique:

  • rel=nofollow may not be treated exactly the same as dofollow, but it definitely passes value.  This can be tested simply and is echoed across the SEO world.
  • The concept of a link hurting a website is still one that I believe to be wildly misconstrued in SEO.  I’m as big an advocate as anyone of building high-value, relevant, white-hat links.  Not only do they show pretty obvious effects on the SERP’s, but these usually result in the most direct traffic as well (and isn’t traffic what we want at the end of the day?).  Various methods of bulk link building and affiliate links will become devalued (and THAT, will hurt, by association, but not directly), however.  This subtle but important approach is the only thing that keeps SEO’s from ejecting competitor sites from the rankings, and I have yet to see this ever done.  If it ever was possible for even a short time as this chart suggests, it is not possible anymore.
  • While even other Google-dances have made changes that aren’t in this chart, at the end of the day, nothing has completely revolutionized SEO.  As an SEO, it’s found to generally be easier to do something wrong and hit a penalty than it is to increase trust/relevance.  That said, SEO at it’s core, really has not changed much with Google, Yahoo!, or anybody.  The sky will not fall.  The concept at the end of the day is still this-  build a good site that gets good links.

Google's SEO Cat & Mouse.

Google and Gadgets

Like all of the people that work with me know, the thing I’m really crazy about is SEO. It’s kind of my thing in the company. Really, with the world constantly moving to the Internet, what better piece of knowledge is there than understanding how the search engines work?

After seeing Google’s Director of Development Kevin Willer speak at ISU a few weeks ago with Chad, I’ve been on even more of a focus on Google that usual. One thing that’s really struck my attention this past week was Stuntdubl‘s fantastic post recently on Google Hot Trends and Eliot Spitzer searches. How something this cool has existed for so long without me knowing I have no idea. More dorky / interesting to me than even the hot trends tool, is just looking at the public information they have on searches in general with Google Trends.

First, it seems natural to check the natural pulse of the Internet to look at how much searching has been done overall. We’ll call this our control.


Fantastic. Now you can use this information to find out things that matter. Like, when did it really become cool to rick roll a crowded place with one of those juke boxes that lets you download songs? The answer is actually quite a while ago now..

rick roll

Or, how about the demand for glittery “Hot Stuff” graphics and other myspace-related Internet pollutants.


You get the idea- give it a try.

In other news, EdibleHost.com, one of the bastard step grandkids of the Nobis company list; now has a really fantastic plugin for instantly checking out domain names in FireFox.or IE7. Go ahead and click on this to get it on your search list; and the next time you have a great .com idea, don’t just forget about it and write it off, find out if you could make it happen.