Google Search Results Filling Up with Spam

Continued from first page How Content Mills Beat Google.

The most well-known Google ranking signal is the number of incoming web links pointing at a webpage.  A webpage with 500 incoming links is considered “better” than one with 20 incoming links.  While those other ranking signals may have some impact where pages have link counts within a few hundred of each other, the fact is that a webpage with 5,000 links will rank higher than one with 50 links regardless of how many of the other ranking signals suggest the lesser linked site should rank higher.

The only other question to be answered is what each webpage should rank for.  That question is answered for Google by a webpage’s title tag.

junk search resultsGoogle’s search algorithm does a basic pattern text matching against the title tag of each webpage in the index.  The closest matches are put through the ranking algorithm and scored to determine the top results. The next closest matches are then ranked against each other and so on.

Unfortunately, the pattern matching that Google does is pretty rudimentary.  When a user enters a search query like quiet hamster wheels Google’s ranking algorithm starts by finding the exact matches, then looks for those that match some of the words in order, then ones that match all of the words (not in order), then ones that match some of the words and so on. The more exacting the match, the higher the relevancy of the page. There is some overlap, especially when there are not enough very close matches to rank, but for the most part, the closer a webpage matches the query exactly, the higher it will rank.

The content mills churn out not one article on quiet hamster wheels, like any legitimate pet information website would do, but rather they publish numerous articles with variations on the title.  When a user searches in a way that closely matches the title tag of the high quality article it likely will rank higher thanks to legitimate diversified links from other websites.  However, when a user searches using slightly different phrasing, the high-value article from the pet information website is up against a webpage with a more similar name.  Google considers that lower quality page to be more “relevant” and therefore ranks it higher even though it has nothing but the supposedly lower-worth backlinks from the same website.

Make Money Writing Online Using Content Mill Tactics

If you want to make money writing online with your own websites, then you need to learn from the content mills tactics, if for no other reason than to keep them from beating you.

Always link your own content. Those links might not be as valuable as offsite links, but they do count for something.  Link your highest value webpages a lot. Link everything else at least a little.

Always pay attention to your title tags.  If your analytics start showing that people are finding your webpage by searching for a keyword or key phrase that differs more than a little from your title tag, change the title tag to fit better before someone beats you to it.  Even better, write another webpage with an exact fit title tag with useful (if re-phrased) information from the original and then link to both. If things go your way, you can rank highly for both variations, just like the content mills do.

How Content Mills Beat Google

There has been a lot of news lately about how spam-filled Google’s search results pages have become over the last few years.  One of the oft blamed culprits are the so-called content mills.  A content mill is essentially a website that cranks out high volumes of webpages in order to always have something ranking highly for any search a user might perform.  They are also masters at search engine optimization, or SEO.

If you believe in the Google myth that content is king and that high-quality content will eventually become highly ranked, this should be confusing.

  • How can it be that a website cranking out thousands of webpages a day gets high-quality backlinks from authoritative website linked to all of that new content?
  • How can anyone generate that much quality content so quickly?

content mills vs googleThe answers to both questions are, they don’t.

How To Really Rank High In Google Search Results

Most of the content published by content mills has no links pointing to it whatsoever from external websites. However, every page links to multiple other pages within the same website.  Based on size alone that ensures that a website like eHow has a 1,000 incoming links to each of its articles.  These links are produced automatically by the system regardless of quality, but each one counts as a link to the Google spiders who gobble them up like ravenous rats.

Part of Google’s mythology is that it distinguishes incoming links and that good links are more valuable than bad links.  However, live search results prove that whatever downgrading or upgrading Google hands out based upon the quality of any webpage’s incoming links is easily overwhelmed by sheer volume.

Imagine that Google makes an incoming link from the same domain count for only 1/10th of what an external link would count for.  That means it only takes ten same-site incoming links to score the same as one incoming link from off-site.  Each content mill webpage has hundreds or thousands of same-site income links thanks to its volume of published pages.  Couple these low-value links with the content mills’ other trick and you have a recipe to rank high in Google search results for anything.

Of course, the content mills don’t put all their eggs in one basket.  Most of them run several websites all with thousands of webpages to use to boost linking whatever content they want.

Google’s Algorithm Overvalues Title Tags

Google claims that there are hundreds of factors that go into each ranking.  In practice, there are two or three factors that make up the vast majority of a webpage’s search ranking position and the rest are small factors that rarely influence anything but the thinnest of searches.

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