Thursday, June 24, 2004

Nigritude Ultramarine Experiment Update


Just when I think I might be getting some relevant data, I realize I contaminated my own experiment.


First, lets do a short refresher on my experiment. On an initial reading of the Hilltop paper, I hypothesized that the next best relevant return short of an authority page is an expert page. The theory was based on a common sense postulate that if I don't get good original source information about a particular subject, then the next best thing is to have a directory or resource that points me in the direction of good original source information.

So, based on this hypothesis, I created a blog that meets the criteria of what the hilltop paper describes as an expert page. This blog is Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views.

Shortly after I created this blog, I decided that the experiment would be more meaningful if I created control blogs that tested two different things.

Nigritude Ultramarine Control A contains all the same information and links as Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views, but I specifically excluded the term "nigritude ultramarine" from the anchor text of the outgoing links. I also rearranged the order of the different posts entries in order to avoid Google's duplication filter. The purpose of this control is to see if exclusion of the targeted search term from the anchor text made a difference in its ranking.

Nigritude Ultramarine Control B is an exact copy of Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views, but there are no outgoing links relevant to nigritude ultramarine. The purpose of this control is to make the page as close to the original as possible while at the same time not meet the definition of an expert page. This control should tell me if the ranking of the original blog is just due to its keyword density rather than the fact that it is a resource for the search term.

As of this morning the pages rank in Google as follows:

Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views: 535
Nigritude Ultramarine Control A: 595
Nigritude Ultramarine Control B: 596

At first glance, it looks as though this might be telling us something. But in fact it doesn't. I just realized this morning that the link I made to these blogs from Junk Drawer weren't equal. In the link to the first blog, I used the anchor text "Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views", but in the link to the other two blogs I only used the anchor text "Control A" and "Control B". Obviously this is a serious flaw since the original blog has the targeted search term in the anchor text while the other two do not.

So... as of this morning I have corrected the problem and will now have to wait until Google respiders Junk Drawer to see what the effect will be.

Sheesh... good thing I'm not a scientist...


At June 24, 2004 at 10:23 PM, Blogger Nigritude Ultramarine SEO Contest Blog said...

Hi, thanks for the links!

I have a couple of comments. I don't know how to formulate it exactly, but I have a feeling that Google started to rank constellations of highly interlinked sites in addition to individual sites.

They always were saying that PageRank is about probability of a random searcher to get to a particular site by randomly following the links. Obviously now we could add "random searcher looking for the particular keyword phrase" as it looks like PageRank was decoupled from the rankings for a particular keywords during the Florida Update in 2003(?)

Now, when I followed Nigritude Ultramarine Challenge closely I see that some nigritude ultramarine sites tend to be clustered closed together, despite completely different number of backlinks, pages, content etc. The only common thing between them is that they are interlinked together much more than incoming links bring to them.

It looks as if there is a lider site which pulls up the rest of the gropup, regardless of whether it links to it! As long as the members of the group keep linking to each other and to the leader they inherit something from it, but it is somehow different from HillTop.

For example I have my blogger profile and two blogs: blog 1 and blog 2 participating in the contest. My profile has about 500 comment backlinks from very low PR pages, ranks around #120 for nigritude ultramarine and points all its links to the blog 1. I have a site with a few PR6 pages pointing to my profile and Blog 1 (only 1 PR6 link to blog 2). Blog 2 has a few external backlinks and points to my profile and blog 1 from every single post.

The layout is completely assymetric. I would expect Blog 1 doing much better than Blog 2, however Blog 2 is always behind Blog 1 by as little as few lines (somewhere around #130).

At June 24, 2004 at 10:31 PM, Blogger Nigritude Ultramarine SEO Contest Blog said...

Oh and the second thing I forgot to mention. When I heard about HillTop I generated a page with nothing but top 100 Google results for nigritude ultramarine. When it get into index it was ranking at ~#250 while its only parent link was from Blog 1 itself was around #400.

This got me thinking a lot and lead to a complete rethinking of my strategy by both adding more keyword density and linking to a selection of good nigritude ultramarine sites.

BTW if you'll like his content link to Nigritude Ultramarine FAQ by R. Steven Rainwater. He just entered top 10 and if anybody has relevant Nigritude Ultramarine Conrtent it must be him. I wish he gets at least to top 3...

At June 25, 2004 at 7:58 AM, Blogger Mike Lauher said...

You have some interesting thoughts.

I'm still trying to get my head around what you are describing. If you have other examples I'd be interested in seeing them.

My initial thought is that if I were a Google engineer, I don't know if I would design an algorithm just so that bundle-linked sites would be more relevant in and of itself. What you're seeing might be the byproduct of something else going on. With so many variables (100 now is it?) going into Google's ranking algorithm its difficult to say anything definitively unless broad patterns emerge.

And by the way, thank you for the links to the experiment!

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I have some educational articles on there and I'll be adding more.

See them at my new site.
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Could any bloggers out there suggest a good site for

Would you like to swap links? Just post a comment somewhere on my blog,
I won't delete it. Thanks and take care,

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