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SEO - Understanding the Simulation

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by GreyWolf, May 19, 2010.

  1. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I recently posted a tutorial on basic seo that seemed to be appreciated.
    Basic SEO practices for newbies

    When writing that guide it occured to me that many people (especially those just getting started), are focused on doing SEO and building backlinks simply because they're told it needs to be done. They understand that Google uses these factors to determine how well your site will rank, but many people are blindly just following the advice. All the while they're missing the point of how and why it works. By keeping in mind how and why everything works this way, I think it can help people make better decisions on when and where to focus their SEO efforts.

    To understand the underlying principles of SEO, we need to look at what the internet was like and how websites became popular before Google.

    When the first webpages were created, there weren't any search engines. The only way your site would be found was by telling people directly. You would build your website, tell your friends and coworkers the url, they would visit the site and if they liked it they would tell their friends and coworkers. As the number of websites grew people figured out it would be good to have some indexes to help sort through all these websites, and so the first directories were started. These directories were found in the same was as any other websites, by word of mouth. Adding your site to a directory, made it a little easier for a website to become popular, so webmasters started submitting their sites to the directories. As the directories became bigger, some people figured out ways to make them give more relevant results, and the idea of search engines was born. By 1995 Yahoo had figured out how to give somewhat relevant results, and was on it's way to becoming the most used search engine of that era.

    The first search engines weren't all that much different than directories in how the sites were indexed. Mostly just basic algorithms were used to index the sites by category, but within their categories they were to a large extent still listed in the order they were found. As the number of sites grew this became less effective and so the idea of SEO came into being. The original SEO was simply on page optimization, utilizing keywords to let the SE know the categories, and the more the keywords were used, the higher the site would place in the SERPs. Number of keywords, and number of pages on the website were the largest factors. The true popularity of a site had very little if any effect on a sites placement in the SERPs of the early search engines.

    Let's use Joe's Really Cool Website as an example.
    Here's how a truly popular site would typically happen.
    1. Joe's webmaster would make a site based on an interesting topic. He would try out some really cool html tricks, and provide some interesting content.
    2. Joe would then email a few of his friends telling them to visit his website. he would also submit his site to directories and the early search engines.
    3. Those friends would visit the site, decide they liked it and then tell their friends about it as well.
    4. Some of the people finding the site would also have webpages, so they would put a link to Joe's site on their own page. Joe would also look for other sites to trade links with.
    5. People visiting these other websites, the directories, and the search engines would follow these links to find Joe's website.
    6. As more people visited the site, more emails would be sent out, and more websites would be including links to Joe's page.
    7. Soon Joe's Really Cool Website was being passed around and linked to so much that just about everyone knows about it.
    The reason for all the backlinking was to get real visitors to click on those links, it wasn't done to get placement in the SE. A listing in Yahoo was seen as a very important backlink, but still it was just another backlink among many to get traffic. Even with all the backlinks, Joe's Really Cool Website might not have been the top listing in the search engines. The sites placement in the search engine wasn't related to it's popularity. The sites listed in the SERPs, didn't correspond to which sites were becoming the most popular, but having a listing in the SERP would give a site more traffic, which could lead to the popularity process starting for a site that had good placement. This is why keyword stuffing became so popular. At the time it was the most effective SEO technique that could be done.

    As the number of sites grew, this method of indexing sites was becoming unruly. The downside of course was that webmasters started stuffing keywords unrelated to the topic of the site, just to get spam listings in the search engines. The listings returned for searches were becoming less and less relevant. A better way was needed for the search engines to determine which sites were becoming popular on their own because people felt they were the most relevant. The idea of using the number of backlinks to a site to determine which sites were more popular was the next step in providing better listings in the SERPs, but since a webmaster could just go out and start trading backlinks on a lot of sites themselves, it wasn't the best indication of which sites were standing on their own.

    To find a solution to this, a student at Stanford by the name of Larry Page developed an algorithm to determine not just which site had the most backlinks, but which ones were linking together based on the natural growth that happens independently without the search engines. The Page Rank algorithm was designed to find the footprint of a naturally occuring popular website based on the theory that those sites must be the most relevant sites that people want to find. Using the Page Rank algorithm Larry Page and Sergey Brin were able to design an improved search engine which they named Google. As it turned out they were right, the results that Google was providing by using this popularity based ranking system were found to be much more relevant to the people using the search engine.

    This new approach totally changed the way webmasters needed to approach SEO. Keyword stuffing was no longer effective. Google was basing it's index on popularity, not just keywords. SEO experts soon figured out that only enough keywords to let the SE know what the site's topic were needed, any more than that was getting the site penalyzed. How popular the site was had become more important, so simulating popularity became the focus of SEO.

    To get a better understanding of the background behind the foundation of Googles methods, you can get a good start by searching for Page Rank, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Google on Wikipedia.

    The goal of modern SEO is to create the appearance that your site is a naturally occurring popular website. To do that you need backlinks. Not just a lot of backlinks, but the right natural structure of backlinks. Just having a lot of backlinks only lets the SE know that the webmaster is good at getting a lot of backlinks. The PR algorithms have changed quite a bit since Google's startup, and even become less of a factor than how they were originally used, but the SE is still looing for the same thing. It's looking for a site in which the backlinks appear to have come from interested visitors linking to the site on their own. The search engine is looking for that popular viral type site like Joe's Really Cool Website.

    There should be a very large number of random personal type sites that are linking to each other, also linking to your site as well as a few others. These sites should also be linking to some directory sites in which your site is also listed. There should be many people bookmarking your sites. Your site would have been noticed by some authority sites by then, so there should be many links on those sites. Through the whole process there should be a lot of independent islands of small scale interlinking spread over a very large scale going very deep. This is the way the backlinking to a popular site naturally occurs, so this is the type of backlinking you are trying to simulate.

    As your building your backlinks, you should remember that this naturally occuring popularity is what you're trying to simulate. Using whitehat and blackhat methods you can artificially create the same type of backlinks that would have occured naturally if you really had a great site that real people find relevant. The better your able to simulate this occurance, the larger the chances of success. If you're site actually does have good content that will interest real visitors, the simulation is likely to just jump start the natural process. With a good solid SEO strategy, you can skip months or even years of natural growth. In any event, if you make the simulation good enough, the google algorithms will believe it and give you top position in the SERP. This alone can be enough to drive masive amounts of traffic to your site.


    Understanding the simulation you're trying to artificially create is the key to making your site successful.

    Hope this can help a few people,
    Wolf :cool:

    Note -
    It's a very good idea for you to look through the sticky threads in the WhiteHat SEO and the BlackHat SEO sections to find threads listing the best tools you can use to create this simulation and track your progress.


    Edit- If you're interested in creating linkwheels, link silos, or any other artificial link structure, you should really understand the concept described in this thread. This simulation is the foundation of all structured linking strategies.
     
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    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  2. g111k

    g111k Regular Member

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    Great post!

    I mean it's nothing revolutionary, but a very well organized way to help people see the big picture of SEO... I hope this helps people understand that there is no magic bullet link types... X amount of "do follow high PR" links won't get you to the top of SERP alone... neither will 1000's of social bookmarks... you gotta have a little bit of everything :)
     
  3. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    @g111k - I'm glad you liked the post.

    Absolutely not revolutionary at all. Yet it's almost never stated. :cool:

    In fact it's the oldest, simplest, and most basic principle behind SEO. It's such a simple thing that people who understand SEO never think to mention it. Unfortunately for many people, they're just following the rules everyone else lays out for them without understanding why.
    I hope so too. As you say, there is no magic bullet. Just an overall strategy that has a purpose. Everything plays a part in that strategy. If people keep in mind what they're creating, they have a much better chance of getting results.

    Understanding the simulation can help people realize they don't need to stress over any individual thing. The overall strategy is what's important.
     
  4. stopnstare

    stopnstare Junior Member

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    I have been seeing this in what I consider my main competitors page. She has 80k visits a month and almost allways shows on the upper first page of any related keword search. 3 blogs and it looks like every keword in those blogs links to the Sales pitch site. There is alot of competition for this niche but almost all of them use "no SEO" and end up with under 3k hits a month. I have a goal and a target. I plan on using what I find here and her own tactics! By the way, the on thing that get me is nont of the blogs have been updated in over 3 years! How the heck can sites that old with 35 articals each have that much weight?
     
  5. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is an example of how google uses more than just keyword seo and backlinks to determine a sites relevancy. You've just identified two more factors that google uses for indexing a site; age of the domain, and number of visitors. It also takes into account the bounce rate as well.

    There isn't much you can do to simulate that. Other than starting a site by purchasing an aged domain, your stuck with having a newer domain. There isn't much you can do to simulate traffic. You could purchase traffic, but it's not going to help much. You actually need traffic that's sent from google, so you just have to build it up. The only factor you can control of these factors is the bounce rate. The only way to keep your bounce rate down is to have a high quality interesting site that visitors will stay on for longer than a few seconds. That's not always easy to do.

    So basically you've identified a few things that you can't control, but it's important to know about them to understand why many sites are outranking yours. The only thing you can do if you don't equal them in that area, is to do better in the areas you can do something about. Which is basic SEO and a good backlinking strategy.
     
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  6. gregstereo

    gregstereo Elite Member

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    Great post wolf. This should be required reading for noobs...and even for "veterans" who need a refresher on the topic.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. Nookie Monster

    Nookie Monster Senior Member

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    While we are on the subject, would banner ads add to the backlinks ? Or am I thinking wrong here ?
     
  8. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Of course banner ads are backlinks. They don't actually carry the weight with google that they once did. Google considers them the same as any paid for link. A legitimate "paid for" link still count as a backlink, but not with as much weight as an organic link. These are the type of links that Google originally created the N0F0LL0W tag for.

    So the answer is yes, but that isn't a good reason for using them. There are better backlinks to get to help for indexing.

    If you're using banner ads you should really be using them with the intent of getting visitors to your site via the banner ad, not for the purpose of getting indexed.

    They are also one more thing that adds to creating the simulation that is described in this thread.
     
  9. plex_brahial

    plex_brahial Regular Member

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    Very nice post, this is indeed refreshing so that the making of an seo plan is a lot easier if you think like this and it might explain why well thought of linkweels work. Linkwheels can simulate that spider web of sites linking to yours and can cary a weight of there own if you social bookmark them, even submit them here and there.
    Thanks fot this post and I am very suprised you only got 13 thx...
     
  10. goawayplease

    goawayplease Regular Member

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    Brilliant stuff... people should pay more attention to this.

    Search Algorithms are just attempts at imitating or evaluating human behavior.
     
  11. MisterGemini

    MisterGemini Senior Member

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    Great post Grey... I just don't get it though.

    Like... whats a search engine? Is that like a Chevy with a spotlight on the front? :jester:
     
  12. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    LOL. Yeah this thread is definately about some pretty basic information.

    It's so easy to pass over it though, that many people are trying so hard to get to the top of the SERPs without any idea of what there trying to do. They just keep trying one magic bullet method after another and wondering why it isn't helping. Hopefully this thread gives some of those people a better overview, so they can create a decent strategy for applying the various SEO methods.
     
  13. Chronos

    Chronos Junior Member

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    How did nobody comment on this post for 2 days?

    Brilliant post. Great and helpful read. Thanks!
     
  14. wealth54

    wealth54 Regular Member

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    great post as usual GreyWolf :)

    I m wondering , is it better idea to purchase aged domain or new domain ?
     
  15. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I've discussed this in another thread recently. If you look back through my previous posts you should find it. Also do a search on BHW for aged domain and you'll get a lot of info about it.

    An aged domain can come with a lot of backlinks and some established PR that can save you some time for SEO. If you build a new page on an aged domain that can take advantage of those factors, then an aged domain is a good idea. The disadvantage is that they'll usually cost more.

    For the most part you can do what you need to get indexed and ranking high in the SERP even with a new domain. Since an unused domain name is usually a lot cheaper, this is most often the best way to go.

    Basically it depends on what you plan to do with the domain.
     
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  16. wealth54

    wealth54 Regular Member

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    thnx for the quick response . I m planing to build a network of minisites ( adsense niche sites)

    do u suggest minisites if no what kind of site is good for adsense income. my primary goal to build a websites network to earn money from adsense :)
     
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  17. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    That's kind of off-topic for this thread. You should do a search for mfa, adsense, microniche, microsites, and other related terms to find some threads discussing them. Look for hotboy2111's thread on "the road to riches with 300 adsense microniche sites" (thats not actually the name of his thread. LOL. just search for "300 adsense" to find it). You will find a lot of people following the method you're thinking of.

    Personally, I don't care for the method. All it's really doing is creating hundreds of thousands of spammy looking crap sites. (I don't just use the internet to make money, I also use it to find information. It annoys the hell out of me when I'm searching for something and I have to wade through pages of crap to find it.) I think the method is pretty saturated now because the more that are created the harder google works to block them.

    Don't get me wrong. Many people are making a lot of money with this method, and it's even possible to create some decent sites with some value. It's just that most people aren't. More and more are losing their adsense accounts and the sites are being de-indexed for MFA violations. Just seems like way too much work with too high a risk of it all being for nothing. It was a pretty good idea at first, but as time goes on it just becomes less and less worthwhile.

    Myself, I like to work on a smaller number of sites and produce something with some value. It doesn't really take that much more work, but it has a better chance at becoming a long term moneymaker. In fact concentrating your efforts on a smaller number of sites should be less work to create more value, and cost a lot less in domain names, seo and backlinking.

    It's a big debate regarding the number and type of websites to use for adsense; especially about which is better "quantity over quality" or "quality over quantity." I think "quality over quantity" and then selectively using WH and BH methods to get the traffic is the better way to go, but it really isn't the topic of this thread.
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  18. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I answered a couple of posts in another thread.
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/link-building/204410-when-too-many-bacnklink-too-many.html

    My replies are pertinent to the topic of this thread too, so I'm quoting them here as well.
    It depends on how many backlinks you already have. If you go from 0 to 6000 all at one shot it might be seen as unnatural.

    If you go from 0 to 100, then 100 to 1000, then 1000 to 10,000 over a period of days or a week it will seem more natural.
    The larger the number of already indexed backlinks, the less unnatural large increases will seem.

    Also, if you have 0 backlinks and go to 10,000 but they are all just blog comments, or just profile links, bookmarks, or whatever it will seem unnatural. Natural backlinks will occur across a variety of websites.

    Doing the backlinking for 3 seperate pages on your site may be slightly better than doing them all for just one, but the explanation above is the bigger concern.

    Also it's better to give google a few days to find the backlinks on it's regular crawl schedule. It will make them enter the db at a more natural rate. If they still aren't all indexed a few days after you've made them then go ahead and ping them if you want.

    You're trying to simulate organic backlinks made for a naturally popular website. If the backlinking appears natural then you won't have a problem, even if the backlinking is happening at a large rate you want it to appear in a natural pattern.



    Yes absolutely. It will also be more effective. By doing so you're making those sites seem more relevant. That's the concept behind link silos, but to do a proper link silo the sites should actually be designed as proper sites as well. Either way, by linking to buffer sites it will make the backlinks on the buffer sites more powerful for your main site. You're site will actually gain more relevancy by doing that than if you just did all the backlinks to the main site.

    Same thing applies to your linkwheels. If you point backlinks to the outer spokes it'll make them more relevant, which will feed more relevance to the hub, then from there it'll feed more relevance to the main site.

    As your backlinking campaign grows you should start by making backlinks to the main site, then when that number becomes large, start making backlinks to some select backlink sites, then start making backlinks to some of those sites as well. You're making a net that extends randomly out across the web. All of it ultimately networking itself back to your main page.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  19. stopnstare

    stopnstare Junior Member

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    My competitor just added a winamp popup that plays music. If people stay connected and listen to it will this help his stats and PR as far as the search engines are concerned or just another ploy to keep customers on the site?
     
  20. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I doubt it will help with his PR. PR is based on backlinks.

    If he has google analytics set up for his page then it very well could help him in the SERP. Traffic is a factor that google considers in determining relevance and bounce rate is a big part of that determination. If he has a way to keep visitors on his site longer, that'll be a positive factor to google. If he can get them to navigate to a few other pages on his site, that's a positive factor as well. I don't know how big a factor it is, but it's definately a factor.

    So yeah he's done a pretty good thing for his site. It depends on the type of site you have on how effective that would be though. For most sales pages it probably wouldn't have a positive effect on your ctr, and might even have a negative effect. It's the type of thing you would just have to test out to determine it's value to your own sites.