Comments: Google New Pagerank In != Pagerank Out Changes And Google's Statements


here's another one for you:

-- there was a page -- not mine -- that I thought should have a higher rank than it did (it was barely on the bottom of the first page of results)

-- I *said so* on my blog...

-- a couple of days later, I noticed that the rank for that result increased significantly (got to third) and continues to stay the same

-- I just checked and "craigslist criticism" is NOT on Google's Open Directory (the article you linked to said that was the "human component" to Google search)

-- other search engines, such as yahoo and altavista kept the old (flawed, as far as I see it) order


P.S. I don't really NEED to know how it all happened but it would be interesting... if you have an idea. I just thought it was *way* cool!:) and made me love Google web search even more... D.

Posted by Delia at November 9, 2007 01:05 PM

Seth, I answered your questions on my blog (in the body of the entry). Also sent you an email yesterday. Thanks! D.

Posted by Delia at November 10, 2007 10:44 AM

Didn't get the email, but I now see your new blog entry, thanks. Let me think a little.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at November 10, 2007 11:30 AM

OK, sorry for the delay, here's my thoughts:

Disclaimer: Search engine ranking are a dark art, with few absolutes, and much conjecture.

First, just in general, note that on a search for "craigslist", Craig's own blog doesn't rank in the top 10. This indicates that although Craig is highly associated with "craigslist" in human minds, to a search engine, his blog isn't highly associated with that term.

The most important factor is that there's only around 140 webpages which contain the phrase "craigslist criticism" (not just the words "craigslist" and "criticism", but next to each other for the phrase "craigslist criticism"). And quite a few of those pages are spam.

Moreover, there's not a lot to distinguish the pages, apart from the site. In fact, several of them appear on the result just because the "craigslist criticism" blog was mentioned. Thus, any small differences between the search engines in terms of weighing factors will change the order of many results.

It seems Google is taking account of the keywords and link, where you had "a comment re: "craigslist criticism" on Craig's blog" - observe that contains the keywords "craigslist criticism". So that adds to the relevance of the page being links for those keywords.

You can see this by searching the longer phrase "craigslist criticism on Craig"

Google will show the linked-to page as #1 result.

MSN and Yahoo won't show it at all. So either they won't count the link, or they haven't incorporated it into their rankings yet, it's unclear which.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at November 14, 2007 03:44 AM

Thanks, Seth!

Ah -- I should have better clarified the main issue. Of course, I appreciate you looked at it in general but here was what really puzzled me:

-- after I mentioned it on my blog, that link JUMPED from the bottom to the third (I would say that's pretty significant) AND is *staying* there -- which makes me think it wasn't something explained by normal variations in time AND that ONLY happened for Google...(not for the other search engines I checked -- those showed no significant change)


P.S. Again, I'm not at all familiar with these things -- that's why I asked you:)...

I'm not sure what you mean when you are saying that most of the 140 pages when you search for "craigslist criticism" are spam? I hope you are not refering to *my* posts:), which do make up the bulk of it (I've been hoping somebody would take this topic out of my hands for a long time).

Although the topic of my blog is "craigslist criticism" I use this phrase very rarely. It's usually when I post a comment on a site and after a long discusion I just need to go... so I might suggest the person check out the blog *if* they need more information on this.

The vast majority of times when I make comments I don't even mention my blog (I enter it in the URL box if that's an option, just in case people want to check it out... but I'm just posting relevant comments to their post.

I do feel that I need to tag the posts on my blog
as "craigslist criticism" since this is the topic of my blog. I don't see how this could be regarded as "spam," if this is what you meant. They do no even *all* show up when you do a search -- there is only one hit for my blog -- (most of them would show only if you want more similar results).

There is relatively little spam among the results
as far as I see... just some adult sites, that I suppose grab all key words they can get and possibly some innocents that list "craigslist" and "criticism" separately (I see that as an inperfection of the search engine, not as "spaming" by those people). D.

Posted by Delia at November 14, 2007 11:20 AM

correction: results for "craigslist criticism"

Sorry, Seth! you actually said "quite a few," not "most" (I guess I'm sensitive to the topic since I thought I did a pretty good job of not bringing up my blog unless necessary...) D.

Posted by Delia at November 14, 2007 12:20 PM

Seth, one more thing: copied over from my blog

MORE: the link that Google moved up was *not exactly* the link I gave in my post: I linked to the relevant *comment*, Google linked to *the entry*... [part of Seth's explanation was that Google was taking into consideration *the phrase and the link* in an automatic fashion, I assume] D.

Posted by Delia at November 14, 2007 05:34 PM

EVEN MORE: the link to the entry had been the hit that was at the bottom of the first page of hits, pretty much uniformly across search engines...D.

Posted by Delia at November 14, 2007 05:54 PM

Delia, first, no, sorry, I wasn't calling anything you did spam. I was saying that if you look at every single page that has the phrase "craigslist criticism" in it, quite a few of them are simply scraped or spam pages, which will (normally) never rank very highly. So the number of pages that will be in the top few results is even smaller than the raw about-140-pages number.

You link to:

with keywords a comment re: "craigslist criticism"

The important thing to realize is that the #comment-71696218 is a part of the main page - it's not a separate page, but a position on the page itself.

The overall result of that one link is that from Google's perspective, it raises the importance of the whole page

for all the words: a, comment, re:, craigslist, criticism

It only raises it a tiny amount. But that tiny amount is enough to push the page up several notches in results for a search about "craigslist criticism", because there's so little to distinguish (for search engine ranking) between almost all the 140-odd pages which have the phrase "craigslist criticism" on them.

The other search engines aren't pushing the page up because either they don't count that link, or they will count it eventually but haven't gotten around to adding in the contribution.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at November 14, 2007 06:56 PM

ok, Seth...thank god you didn't think I was spamming!:) let me know if you think of anything else about this... thanks!


P.S. replied to your email, also... D.

Posted by Delia at November 14, 2007 07:26 PM

Congratulations, Seth! You blog dethroned Craig's blog for the number three hit...:)


P.S. I know it's probably all that mentioning of the "craigslist criticism" phrase but still... D.

Posted by Delia at November 21, 2007 06:15 PM

My guestion is does Google really but that much in faces on Page Rank? I see many PR 2 sites ranking higher than PR 4-5 sites.

Posted by Richard at December 4, 2007 11:33 AM