What Communities Does Your Website Belong In?

    January 22, 2007

Right now search relevancy algorithms are heavily tied to overall authority, but given enough time publishers and search marketers will undermine that measure of relevancy the same way that keyword density and raw PageRank died off.

By owning toolbars that track everything and buying into other methods of data collection (from contextual advertising to email to user accounts to widget platforms) search engines will be able to move away from the random surfer model to a less random model of relevancy. If search relevancy becomes more community centric how will your site stand up?

  • What words are associated with your brand or site? What sites are associated with those words?What searcher intent is associated with those words? What else are they searching for?
  • What sites are buying similar keywords? What other words are they buying?
  • What ads appear on your page if you use Google AdSense? What does Google related links suggest?
  • What are similar people tagging (or perhaps tagging with similar words) – Del.icio.us and Google Search History
  • What are similar people reading? (Via My Yahoo! or Google Reader or MyBlogLog) – Graywolf recently highlighted how MyBlogLog can use your readers to show what community your site is in.
  • What sites does this site link to? What sites link to this site (don’t forget Google also owns blogger)? What resources are co-cited (in blog posts, popular directories, and other sites)?

Right now algorithms are authority centric and weighted toward promoting old domains, but it won’t take long for us marketers to find ways to rip that apart. At that point they are going either have to place more trust on signs of community integration.

What sites are related to your site? If the algorithms shift toward neighborhoods will you still rank well?

If you are well integrated into your community then search personalisation and the death of a few market research tools will not hurt you.



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Aaron Wall is the author of SEO Book, an ebook offering the latest
search engine optimization tips and strategies. From SEOBook.com Aaron
gives away free advice and search engine optimization tools. He is a
regular conference speaker, partner in Clientside SEM, and runs the
Threadwatch community.