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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or page from the search engines using natural organic and algorithmic search results (SERPs).

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July 13, 2007

Google's New Algorithm Update and What is TrustRank?

Beginning July 5Th 2007 Google began implementing some changes in its algorithm. These updates have brought some very drastic changes in the SERPs. The changes / updates lasted for about 3 days through the weekend. It's pretty safe to say at this point that your position now is your "new" position ... until the next update.

Where is Google going with this update?
I personally have thought for some time that Google will look to fully implement TrustRank in 2008. No matter what TrustRank is coming, only the time frame remains a question. I suggest to all webmasters and SEOs that they get on board and read up on TrustRank and its expected criteria, as I suspect it will be very unforgiving. I published a short article on TrustRank criteria back in April you may want to check out. The main drive principal behind TrustRank seems to be the "credibility factor". I did some extensive research last month into building credibility on your site that I have implemented a large percentage of on my sites...incidentally the sites have fared very well in the update. Some moving from non-existence to page 1.

This recent update is being reported as concentrating on TrustRank type criteria. Of course there is the already "well established" use of TruskRank for backlinks...Google seems to have tweaked that. Rumors are that websites using reciprocals are being allowed to rank above natural links. I will tell you this, I haven't seen any proof of this. I cannot disperse this claim as I do not use the method myself, so I welcome some honest research proving this claim. Google has made such clear moves away from unnatural linking in the last month that I find this hard to swallow. I suspect it is quite different. My sites that enjoyed the boost in SERPs have ALL organic links.

The update seems to be taking into account the age of the domain. This is something that is often misconstrued. The age of the domain helps your rank, but lack of agedness does not harm you. The experts from "" gave age of site a 4.1 (exceptional importance). I think however a additional concern here is if your domain expires within a year. I have been telling people to renew domains for some time...I was unable to find it, but a long time ago I read Matt Cutts commenting on how Google "might" construe a domain expiring within a year as "fly by night". So food for thought there.

Lastly, I think you will find Google has reduced the weight of a site's PageRank with the relationship to SERPs. Logically I see the reason for this as follows. High PR sites do link organically, but not they have no need to provide others with links. Very often out bound links from pages with high PR will contain a "nofollow" tag if you do manage to get a link. So I suspect Google thinks if you have alot of high PR backlinks they "may" not be organic but rather an attempt to "bleed" PR. You might even have paid for it. Devaluing PageRank helps to fight paid linking. I see the connection. My question is do I lose some value in my high PR links too that are 100% for example....or Digg. I think in the shadow of PageRank, TrustRank will pick up where it has dropped in essence you will only lose link juice to sites that cannot uphold TrustRank. You will be able to identify these sites already because they have probably already take a hit in the SERPs. Now realize the higher the PR the smaller the hit... Sites with High PageRank generally have TONS of backlinks and it would take a much larger adjustment to see the kind of movement we have seen in smaller sites. So if you are linked to a PR6 and they dropped 3 places on the same page in the SERPs with the new update...that is close to equal as a PR2 losing 2 pages. This is just theory, but check out your big links and how they fared in the update...if they lost ground then you probably lost link juice.

As always relevant comments will result in edited posts!

Peace and SEO

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