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Search Engine Optimization

Perhaps the most dominant and popular search engine of this generation, at least in the United States and much of Europe, the means in which Google ranks webpages can determine the fate of entire businesses who may rely upon the search engine for a large majority of their customers and a thorough understanding of SEO (search engine optimization) is critical for many for want to navigate through the contemporary Information Age.  One means of ranking that we covered in class is the utilization of linked hubs and authorities, pages that endorse other pages that are the answers to the query or search result.  This partially functions as well-endorsed pages by others are assumed to have better higher quality content that the consumer is searching for.  Furthermore, search engines used to traditionally utilized keywords on webpages allow the consumer to find similar content as often webpages with more associated keyword tends to more similar in content than those that do not.

            Yet, such a metric for ranking searches for queries has allowed for certain webpages to, in effect, exploit the system to allow their own websites to be placed higher in rank when compared to other webpages that may be more related to what the consumer was searching for and have better quality content.  Indeed, the most famous example was perhaps Google’s censure of Rap Genius for “dubious SEO tricks… Rap Genius offered to tweet links [of bloggers] in exchange for [them] placing a series to links to Rap Genius’ Justin Bieber lyrics to [their] blog” (Constine).  This effectively creates more hubs that “endorse” Rap Genius’ webpage from otherwise unrelated links and jumps Rap Genius higher in the rank compared to its competitors.

There has been a change, however, in the way Google organizes search results for its consumers and an overall positive trend in Google as its Panda 4.0 update, which “penalizes website on ‘over optimization’. This refers to the fact that many websites indulge in over-linking and link stuffing in order to get more hits. With the help of this function, Google manages to level the playing field and ensures that businesses using organic methods for optimizing their websites are given a fair chance” (Goulart).  Overall, this is a positive trend in the means of getting quality content for consumers and reducing the amount of webpages that supposedly have high relevance when they merely contain lots of empty links and keywords.


Works Cited

Constine, Josh. “Google Destroys Rap Genius’ Search Rankings As Punishment For SEO Spam, But Resolution In Progress | TechCrunch.” TechCrunch. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2014.

Goulart, Matt. “What Is Google Panda 4.0?” Business 2 Community. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2014.


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October 2014