Original Content

Am I mistaken here or didn’t Google state (through unofficial channels) that their system is able to ferret out where content originates so that the right sites receive credit for their material? If this is the case then I have to say that they sure are slow in giving credit to where credit is due.

Without giving away any domains I will pass on some of my own personal experience regarding this topic.

A few years back I was working for a sports gambling site and I noticed that for a sports gambling site they sure didn’t have a lot of sports related articles on the site. Thinking to myself, that from a search engine standpoint, this omission was bad for business so I quickly remedied this by writing some articles covering the major sports. As I wrote these ‘league specific’ articles I felt that the information I was writing looked more like personal letters so I signed them as such.

The owners of the sports gambling site liked the name I penned them under so much that they encouraged me to write more articles using that persona. I agreed to give it a go and before I realised it had happened, I had developed a brand. The first few articles I wrote began to do exceptionally well in the search engines so I decided to take it to the next level by purchasing the domain for this new brand.

I took the articles and created a site around the material and continued to develop new articles on a daily basis. I also continued to post the material on the first sports betting site with another half a dozen sites or so adding this material as well. This relationship went on for about a year with the sites ranking well in the search engines for the articles. In fact the sports betting sites were doing so well that they actually all got bought up by a major player in the sports betting market.

When the sites got sold the relationship between my branded site and the sports betting sites ended with no further articles being reprinted. It has been about 4 months since I last posted an article on any of the sports betting sites and yet, the sports betting sites still rank higher in Google for my old articles then they do for the newest articles on my site.

If Google has a preference for fresh, topical content and has a thought towards crediting the content originator, why is it taking Google so long to credit this author? Keep in mind that the site is named after the author and is not some keyword stuffed domain designed to manipulate the SERPs. Also, the site has a minimum of 4 new pages added every week and those pages are all within the theme of the site.

Now I would understand that if the older sports betting sites were still reprinting these articles, that given their higher PR, they would probably be receiving higher SERPs but as I previously stated, it has been months since they added any new material. Where is the freshness – relevancy filtering in this case, why aren’t they kicking in if they exist?

I am willing to wait to see how long it takes Google to give credit where credit is due but the longer it takes the more suspicious I will become of their results.

Google VS Relevance

I hope you all had a great holiday season with your friends and family. I know mine was exceptional once again this year.

Here it is the first full working day in 2006. As I sit at my desk looking over various Blogs and posts related to the world of search engines, I can see that 2006 is picking up exactly as 2005 left us… no surprise there. The same issues remain and probably will remain unresolved at good old Google.

Over the holidays with all of the football games being played I went to Google and did a search on the grand daddy of all football related search queries “Free Football Picks”, to see what the results would be. Not wanting to spend a long time going over the 1000 results that every search query should give, I used a string that gives 100 results per page as opposed to the 10 one would normally get.

At the time of this writing I see that Free Football Picks returns over 5 million highly contested results. The thing that is really interesting here is that out of the 5 million plus results, long before you reach the 1000 results limit you are gifted with this message…

In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 283 already displayed.If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.

Hitting the link resets the search and you can now go all the way to the 1000 results. Closer inspection revels that of these 1000 results there are hundreds of pages from football.about.com/ and coversexperts.com/ and to a lesser extent, a few smaller sites.

Now I understand that these two sites have status and I personally use them but, how is it that their old archived football information can out position new, relevant content from other sites to the extent that they do? I have not noticed this problem on any other search engine, only Google. Relevance my ass!