Tag Archives: google

google plus tracking click times

Proof Google is Monitoring Link Velocity?

google plus tracking click timesWhile link popularity is still a significant factor in the ranking position of a website for a given term or keyword phrase, link VELOCITY seems to be developing into a stronger indicator of ranking relevance for the search engines, and more specifically – Google.

This theory isn’t new, and while there has been some correlating evidence that points to link velocity as a ranking factor (or a spam factor, depending on who you talk to) , it’s often mixed in with social link popularity and as such, has been difficult to pin down the exact methods used by Google to monitor these links.

There is no doubt in my mind that links and comments from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter play some part in the Google algorithm and when Twitter’s real-time stream was flowing through Google’s search, it was pretty easy for Google to know, within seconds, if a link had been tweeted or re-tweeted. But with the Twitter firehose turned off, how would Google determine link velocity as quickly as it had previously?

Scrolling through the stream on Google+, I happened upon a link to a post from Christopher Penn, where he uncovered something very interesting in the way Google+ is handling tracking for external URLs.

Google+ is assigning a UNIX timestamp with an extra three digits – I’m guessing a sort of microtime – to every outbound click from G+ at the time of the click. Let me state that again: they’re uniquely timestamping every CLICK from G+ in the URL in realtime. Not just when a post was shared, not just when a post was reshared, but Every. Single. Click.

Well, now – that would be ONE way to do it, and it makes perfect sense. One of the great things about Twitter posts and re-tweets is that you can tell who’s sharing the info, who they’re connected to, when they shared it, and how often it’s shared.

It seems that Google kept that in mind while developing Google+.

Besides now having the ability to track every time a link is clicked, they can also categorize those clicks by who is clicking, what circles they’re linked to, who they chat with, their search activity, geesh…the mind boggles at the amount of information they’re gathering on us. As a bonus, it also prevents Google from having to continually crawl their own site for information, which would probably be a complete nightmare as comments are loaded in realtime, without need to refresh the page.

Will this mean the end of link manipulation for ranking purposes? Probably not, but if you’re building up great content and providing quality information to your users, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about anyway….right?

I’d love to know what you guys think about this, please share your thoughts!

google autocomplete search

Google Search Results Fixed? Uh…..not really.

google autocomplete searchGoogle’s feeble attempt to prevent scam businesses from appearing at the top of natural search fails.

By now, you should have already read the much talked about NYT’s article that blames Google for allowing ‘bad businesses’ to rank higher than ‘legitimate’ ones. Well, the folks over at Google must not have liked that story too much because less than one week later, they are stating that they’ve solved the problem.

“In the last few days we developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience. The algorithm we incorporated into our search rankings represents an initial solution to this issue, and Google users are now getting a better experience as a result.” – Amit Singhal, Google Fellow

Well go on with your bad self, Google. Nice to see you jump to action when it’s your name getting bad press. But let’s not just take their word at face value. I already verified the search for ‘lafonts glasses’ came back with pretty clean results, but let’s check a bit deeper, shall we?

Referring back to the NYT story, Mr. Vitaly Borker blames Google for his high ranking, agreeing with the reporter that something’s wrong:

“Look,” he says, grabbing an iPad off a small table. He types “Christian Audigier,” the name of a French designer, and “glasses” into Google. DecorMyEyes pops up high on the first page.“Why am I there?” he asks, sounding both peeved and amazed. “I don’t belong there. I actually outrank the designers own website”

Looks like we found a good place to start the investigation.

Google search resultshmmm..looks like Christian’s site is still pretty low down there. But on the plus side, I don’t see decormyeyes.com listed anymore. I guess popularglasses.com must be legit – let’s check their reviews!

popularglasses.com search results

hmmm…kind of hard to tell from these mixed reviews. Let’s just check if they’ve had any bad reviews from ‘that site‘. (I refuse to link to them or even mention them by name, but I will show you a picture).

popularglasses com scam results and complaints

well, my my my! The bad press on these guys fills up the whole first page of search results,  yet they rank 1st in the SERPs when I type in ‘christian audigier glasses’. What’s that I smell?


Now, I’m going to try and be somewhat fair here. Let’s try this again with a more recognizable brand – say, Coach?

search results for coach glasses

No popularglasses.com listings here – #1 belongs to go-optic.com so let’s see what we get when we look them up:

ripoff search for go-optic

Hmmm…I guess Google shouldn’t have spoke so soon, eh?

Final Thoughts

As much as I love to hate Google, I have a hard time blaming them for every bad site that appears high in the rankings. While I feel bad for the lady that got ripped off, the simple truth is that users need to become more discerning before making a purchase from a company they know little about.

Why the Internet Crime Complaint Center doesn’t act on shutting down sites like these is beyond me. But no matter, as the Feds have already started siezing domain names for sites that have allegedly violated copyright law. NOW I feel better.

Is Google really interested in cleaning up its search results or is it a lost cause? What do you think?