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Wow, so much for authority:

Posted in: General by Richard Hearne on February 18, 2013
Internet Marketing Ireland

Wow, so much for authority:

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global warming causes – Google Search
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  1. Looks ok to me, what’s the problem? Don’t see any spam ranking. Also, why would you want to rank a spammy site for “global warming causes”? IMO the traffic is worth close to zero.

    Comment by DomainA — February 18, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

  2. First result is a page written by sixth graders… I don’t think that’s the most authoritative resource on the topic.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — February 19, 2013 @ 11:52 am

  3. Right. When someone uses the word authority in relating to SERPs I would assume they mean domain authority. In the case, by any measure the domain authority is exceptionally high by any measure. SEOMoz’s open site explorer gives it a score of 85/100, majestic SEO reports 11.6 million backlinks, etc. In fact, in my opinion, the domain authority is what causes this to rank.

    A domain’s authority is precisely what allows crappy content to rank – a case in point being very poorly researched and written articles on Wikipedia which is an easy hypothesis to prove if you have a Wikipedia account with some history lying around.

    Now, if you had said “So much for *quality*”, well I would agree with you entirely. But then, this is to be expected when we look at how Google looks at the quality of webpages. My impression is that they can only they cannot algorithmically determine between low and high quality articles in term of style or information quality. Style and informatino quality is determined by home workers on low wages outsourced to companies like Leapforce and Lionbridge. They are reliant on the “raters handbook” ( http://pdfcast.org/pdf/google-guidelines ) which in its last incarnation described the best quality content as being:

    “A rating of Useful is assigned to pages that are very helpful for most users. Useful pages should be high quality and a good “fit” for the query. In addition, they often have some or all of the following characteristics: highly satisfying, authoritative [there's that word again hmmmm..], entertaining, and/or recent (such as breaking news on a topic). Useful pages are usually well organized and pages you trust. They are from information sources that seem reliable. Useful information pages are not “spammy”.”

    To someone unfamiliar with the subject of “global warming causes”, working from home for less than the minimum wage, I could easily see them ticking the “useful” box for the above, thereby (in the eyes of Google) making it equally “high quality” to a thesis by a climate scientist etc. So, while I do find the page low quality, I don’t find it that surprising.

    A SERP that would make me go “Wow” would be this one:


    Search Google IE for [buy viagra] and find the number one result is a hacked redirect on the Irish Deaf Society’s website. In 2013. Yes, spam and hacking still works despite the Kool Aid being served by Google’s PR department.

    Comment by DomainA — February 19, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

  4. By the way, I love the way that site breaks all the classic onpage SEO guidelines:

    * No title tag
    * On page title is an image with no alt text
    * Page content served in an iframe

    + design from 1996 + poor content

    but still ranks for the sheer volume of inlinks.

    There is a lesson in there…

    Comment by DomainA — February 19, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

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