Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Two Changes to Google’s Link Counting

Changes in how Google counts linksGoogle knows that people have an interest in manipulating Google’s search results in their own favor. Every time Google makes a change to their algorithm, someone tries to figure out a new way to manipulate the system.

It’s a typical predator-prey relationship. Google understands, as we do, that top ten rankings in Google’s search results can make millionaires overnight.

When we  first discovered that a large number of incoming links could propel our web site to the top of the rankings, lots of companies with lots of money began to carpet bomb the web with their links.

Last April, Matt Cutts (“The Google Guy”) announced Google’s intention to reduce the influence of “paid links”. Three months later, Google was implementing new algorithms to limit the effect of paid links.

That was Step 1. Step 2 was implemented rather quietly a short time later, and it may be more important than Step 1.

In a terrific article in Site Reference, the effect on articles is explored. Writing articles and submitting them online to be used by other webmasters needing good content, has been an effective way to get incoming links from related web sites. Author Bill Platt posits this:

Suppose you submit an article to 100 article directories – web sites that collect such articles for other webmasters to find them. If three months down the road that article only exists on the same 100 article directories and no one has picked it up and added it to their own niche websites, Google is likely to consider the article spam, and will give it no link popularity value.

However, if an article is in 100 article directories and 25+ niche websites that have picked it up and reprinted it, then that shows that the article has been voted worthy by 25 niche webmasters. The result? Google may give the article full credit for some or all 125 links it provides back to the author’s website.

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