"Dear Google"

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Help us understand how to improve the chances of our sites getting
found beyond the advice to "Have other relevant sites link to yours."

Overall the Google search results are probably the best available but
it is still frustrating to see an angelfire page somebody slapped up on
a whim being ranked 100 or 200 positions ahead of much higher quality
sites that had the benefit of weeks or months of development time.

The idea of ranking by inbound-linking is brilliant on the surface but
it still seems vunerable to being "played", i.e. someone asks all their
friends on campus, their family, etc. to link to a site or a single
page and soon they are high in the search results even though the
actual content found there is shoddy or not even meaningful.

At that point page ranking becomes more a measure of social networking
skills and opportunities than an indicator of content quality.

We are aware that there have been recent efforts to clean this problem
up and we hope they are successful.

We also hope those who continue to work on search algorithms will keep
thinking of new metrics that are indicators of the quality of the site.
(ie typos? broken links? longevity? actual visits? actual hits? how
many people have bookmarks to the site? spelling? grammar? depth of

A lot could be learned if there was a method by which webmasters could
voluntarily permit Google to collect traffic information directly. The
AdSense scripts could be a gateway for this, but even without them you
could find a lot of webmasters willing to include a simple "Google
traffic logger" on their sites.

Maybe you are already working on these sorts of things; if so, keep up
the good work. If not, probably someone else will some day.

Best of luck to everyone at Google

The Webmasters
PS We especially like the "Don't be evil" thing.

Re: "Dear Google"

Writing in news:alt.www.webmaster
 From the safety of the http://groups.google.com cafeteria

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you mean it's much the same as any other factor in running a business?

William Tasso

Save the drama
for your Mama.

Re: "Dear Google"

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The problem with using links as a rating of relevance is that it militates
against new web sites.
If the site is about something very unusual then there is still a good
chance it will get to the top, but if its about a popular subject it is
probably never going to get there because of the "chicken and egg" problem.
Noone is going to find it if its not in Google, but its not going to get a
good Google ranking unless there are lots of links to it.

From a searchers point of view, I find that newer pages are often found in
alltheweb so I use that alongside Google when i am looking for information.
It has often come through where Google has failed.
Its a pity it was not possible to combine the two!

Gordon Hudson || Hostroute.com Ltd
e-mail:ghudson [at] hostroute.net
http://www.hostroute.com/resellers Host 5 web sites for $9 per month
http://www.nameroute.com/ Domain Names with free hosting and email $15

Re: "Dear Google"

On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:19:56 -0000, "Gordon Hudson"

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Much like any offline business. In general, I prefer to deal with
established sites, not with fly-by-night operations, and that's what I
want Google to recommend to me when I do a search.

A site that consistantly performs well for surfers will eventually get
many inbound links, even if it makes no attempt to cultivate such
links. And it's easy (although tedious) to pick up a couple of hundred
inbound links in a month, so it's not like new sites cannot get fairly
good page rank on this basis.

Google looks at other factors in ranking a site. Fresh, focused
content makes a big difference.

And Google hardly the only way to get traffic to your site. Your
grocery store doesn't rely on Google to get people in the doors to buy
hamburger; you can certainly copy them and use print and broadcast
advertising to get traffic. If you get favorable mention in books,
articles, and news stories, that brings in traffic, too.

  If we're losing 40-130 species a day,
  How come nobody can itemize them?
  And why can't fruitflies be one of them?

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