Biomagnification, Redirects and Back Link Penalties

I often find that the best sources of analysis in SEO, which is still a nascent industry, come from other academic pursuits. While these are regularly computer sciences (like latent dirichlet allocation) or mathematics (like volatility analysis), we sometimes find interesting lessons outside of those usual suspects – in this case, biology. Biomagnification is a fairly simple principle that through a series of prey-predator relationships, toxic substances tend to accumulate in higher percentages among organisms higher in the food chain. You can see a visualization of this in the image to the left. As mercury accumulates in various organisms, predators consume those organisms and absorb those toxins. Unless the organism has a way of disposing those toxins,...

Piwik Plug-in for SEO Tools Begun… Already tying in SEOMoz, Majestic & AHrefs

So, I wanted to keep a progress report going so I don’t lose site of my goals. It was pretty awesome to start working with Piwik plug-ins. I used the out-of-the-box Piwik SEO plug-in to create this first widget… If you are familiar with the SEOMoz, Majestic and AHRefs APIs, it literally takes only an hour or so to create your own widget that pulls the data directly into your Piwik analytics install. No tags for this...

Googlebot’s Javascript Interpreter: A Diagnostic

Warning: This is very old. I began writing this several months ago and just never published after some back and forth w/ Matt Cutts. Take with a grain of salt. Over the past two weeks multiple respected bloggers in the search community have commented on the increasing abilities of Googlebot, especially following Google’s announcement that it can now handle some forms of AJAX. I have, admittedly, long believed that we over-estimate what Google and Googlebot are capable of, so I wanted to run a proper experiment to determine the exact capabilities of GoogleBot in reading and interpreting Javascript. The Question How sophisticated is Googlebot’s javascript interpretation and, more specifically, which Javascript functions can Google accurately interpret....

Exponential Moving Average, Volatility Pockets & Improved Correlation Studies

I apologize in advance for those of you who aren’t quite interested in the math, but I have had this stuck in my head for almost a week now and can’t get rid of it. To be honest, I probably shouldn’t write about this because it is such an integral part of so many future Virante projects, but here goes… The Deception of Integer Rankings A key problem with much of SEO is that rank order is deceptive. We perceive sites as positions 1 through 10, each with a fixed integer position when, in reality, their proximity to one another in terms of actual relationship-to-the-query scores can vary greatly. It is this hidden, underlying score that is key to many SEO functions – keyword competitiveness and ranking factor determination to name two....

5 Ways to Get Started with nTopic for SEO Today

A few weeks ago Virante launched nTopic, a method of measuring and increasing content relevancy for the purpose of increasing organic search traffic. We were excited to release a study that indicated that nTopic recommendations increase organic traffic with statistical significance, but many haven’t had the opportunity to determine how exactly to put nTopic to use. So here are a few straightforward, simple ideas. Of course, all of them require you go get at least the free nTopic API. Any keyword recommendations will require the paid version ($10/mo). 1. Improve Your Blog Content Probably the easiest way to get started with nTopic if you have a WordPress blog is to install the free WordPress plugin. The tool is quite simple. Once installed and activated, go...

SEOMoz was Right on Relevancy – Judging the Role of LDA in Increasing Organic Traffic

Disclaimer: We have no conclusive evidence that LDA or nTopic are actual Google rankings factors, and the nTopic sute clearly dtates this. However, we have statistically significant evidence that recommendations based on nTopic increase organic traffic. We are committed to the accurate, scientific representation of our findings and apologize fir any misrepresentations. On September 6th, 2010, Rand Fishkin and Ben Hendrickson dropped a bomb on the search community – a new on-page ranking factor had potentially been discovered. The statistical method known as Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), a common method of topic modeling, seemed to correlate quite well with organic search rankings in Google. In layman terms, the relevancy of a document to the particular...

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