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Understanding the Google Patent: Part I - SEO Strategies Made Simple

Jason Roy

You are probably aware of how important The Google Patent Application is in understanding how your pages are going to be ranked by Google. Before the release of the Google Patent application, there were many rumors going around based on guesswork as to how Google was actually ranking web pages. However, now the Google Patent provides a solid look into what Google is tracking and why.

The following article will provide a clear cut definition of the Google Patent and help you formulate a practical plan for applying these principles to improve your page rank.

Basic Concepts Stated Within the Google Patent Application

1. Changes made to your documents

The term “documents” is used in the Google Patent to describe your web pages. The patent explains that Google is tracking how often your documents are being updated with fresh content. It also states that they are looking at the amount of change that is being made each time you update your documents.

What this means for your site: Make sure that you are updating your site often with fresh and relative content. It is best to add a little bit of new content on a consistent basis. This demonstrates that you are consistently working on keeping your site updated for your visitors. Also, since Google is looking at the amount of change being made, make sure that you are not just changing a few sentences or words.

2. Link Behavior

The patent states that Google is tracking the amount of clicks that you are getting on your links and anchor texts. They are also tracking how long your customers are remaining on the new document after they have clicked on the link. For example, they know how many people are clicking on your “about us” link and how long they are remaining on the about us page. This is determining the overall rank of your about us page in comparison with the rest of your site.

What this means for your site: The most important thing for you to do in order to make sure that your link behaviors are working for you is to measure the behaviors yourself and be constantly working on improving them (see our article on measurement for details). You can’t manage what you can’t measure, so if you want to build your page rank with Google you must be constantly tracking your link behaviors and seeking to improve them.

3. Keyword Relevance

Google is looking at your documents to determine if they are relevant to a specific keyword or key phrase. While they are looking at your meta information and alt tags, they looking more at your content to make sure that your documents are relevant to those key phrases.

What this means for your site: Make sure that your content is keyword relevant and that you aren’t simply putting keywords in the meta-information without using it in your content. Also, be sure that your keyword density for your pages is between one and three percent. This will show Google that you are providing natural keyword-rich content instead of adding keywords for keyword’s sake.

4. The age of your web pages compared to the overall age of your site

Google is looking at the average age of all the pages on your site and comparing it to the age of each individual page. In other words, if the overall average age of the pages on your site is two years, Google is looking at EACH page in order to see how old it is in comparison to the rest of the site. While the patent does not state the precise reason for this, the other things which Google is tracking suggest what this might mean for your site.

What this means for your site: Older web pages have seniority because of the fact that they have been around for a while. However, it is also important to Google that you have fresh content being added on a regular basis. While this may seem like a paradox, the fact that Google is also tracking link behavior suggests that your older pages should still have a lot of activity on them. As long as this is in place and you are consistently adding new content, you are in good shape.

5. Link's age, quality, and accumulation rate

This is the most widely misunderstood concept when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. The Google Patent states that Google is looking at the quality and the relevance of the sites to which you are linking as well as the sites which are linking to you. This is being determined by the page rank of the pages you are linking to as well as the duration of time which you are linking to those pages.

The Patent also states that Google is monitoring anything which may appear to be unnatural in regards to the accumulation of your incoming links. In other words, if you have a spike where you get 400 inbounds links in one day, Google is going to get suspicious that you are not linking to sites by a natural process.

What this means for your site: Be selective about who you link to and make sure that they are relevant to the content of your site. For example, if you have a site about dog training don’t link to a site about bodybuilding just to get a link. Also, before linking to a site make sure that you have a look at their page rank and the quality of their backlinks using an SEO tool. This will ensure that you are only linking to sites that will help your page rank to improve.

Finally, make sure that your strategies for accumulating inbound links are not appearing unnatural or spammy. To be sure of this, limit your backlink accumulation rate to between 5 and 20 links a day. This completes Part 1 - continue to Part II to view additional information and SEO strategies related to Google's search algorithm patent.

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