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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

URLs Everywhere

Google analyzes backlinks posted on web pages to calculate PageRank, which in turn influences the search results ranking of pages. But web pages aren’t the only places to find URL pointers. Whether or not Google evaluates any of these, I don’t know:

Whether accessing any of these makes sense is another issue. Billboards would be ads, so they would probably be excluded. Links sent in emails are often spam (though Google has ways to find out about certain spam and could exlude those mails, or conversely, add penalty pointers to the linked pages); links sent in emails are also sometimes private; so are some of the URLs talked about, or thought about (and the latter is hard to scan with today’s technology in any case). In other instances, the sample would be skewed as it would only be the “Google property” sample (e.g. when analyzing URLs in Google Spreadsheets but not in MS Excel files). Links in books could be more authoritative, though they might also be outdated. But sometimes, analyzing a URL outside of a web page may also give a better, because more diverse and fine-tuned, ranking.


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