Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Google’s Fairly New Reasonable Surfer Patent

I ran across a post by Bill Slawski from SEO by the Sea on the newest Google patent termed the Reasonable Surfer patent. It is intriguing reading in itself and yesterday Eric Enge took it a bit further on Search Engine Land. After reading both I came to the same conclusion I have always had going into reading it in that Google wants great sites linking to great relevant sites. It wants a more reputable, spamless web so-to-speak. The algorithm keeps getting tweaked, yet on the back end so many find ways to cheat it. There will always be people and ways who can trick Google, it is what makes the search engine world go around.

Aggregation has its place on the web, but I have been in the corner for a while of trying to get away of from thin sites that are 100% aggregated. Do I still have some of those sites myself? Sure. Do I still spin thoroughly articles and use them off site? Absolutely. Do I strive to put better content on my own sites and give the surfer a better place to come to? Yes, I do. Especially over the first half of this year. I can tell you it has paid off greatly too.

When trying to trample through all of this, just look at the rankings. Look at the top 10 to top 20 sites. Look at their backlinks, look at their content, look at their user experience. Spam still gets through as do aggregated sites, but it is getting less and less. I will close with the final paragraph Enge had in his article as it sums all of this up nicely in my opinion:

The concept of how a reasonable surfer would behave appears to have a lot of merit, and the search engines are investing everything they can in better ranking systems, and ones that reduce the impact of spam. But ultimately, basic usability guidelines still apply. Understanding how a user sees your site and their behavior when they interact with it has always made sense. Now consider the idea that this can influence the ranking of a given page, but also the value of the links it provides to other web page.

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