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There are people in the search engine optimization industry who don’t understand what an “algorithm” is. Technically, there are many definitions for ‘algorithm’ but the most universally useful definition could be phrased as “a set of rules to define how to solve a problem or perform a task”.
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from Ruud 2397 Days ago #
Votes: 0

A *really* good read.Michael Martinez points out our weakest point: we can understand information retrieval, we can understand some of the processes and procedures -- but when it comes to the actual calculation, we know nothing.Still, I encourage anyone who has an interest in SEO, and therefore in search engines, to study how they work :) Somtimes even the basic literature will give you an "aha!" moment where you suddenly realize why a search engine does this or (probably) has that limitation.

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from emanuelh 2396 Days ago #
Votes: 1

One reason why reverse engineering of the ranking algorithm is practically impossible has to do with the fact that search engines do not publish the actual relevance scores of each listing in their SERPs. Michael Martinez has shown how little we can practically know about the ranking algorithms. Add it to the unknown relevance scores and you’ll see why, as I have claimed in many comments, we know not more than a few percent of what we would like to know in order to manipulate SE results successfully always.So little knowledge does not characterize operating in conditions of uncertainty like in business management or weather prediction. In such areas the amount of information you have is often closer to 100% than to 50%. In SEO you operate in conditions of minimal information, that is, the amount of information you have about the system you try to manipulate is much closer to 0% than to 50%. How is it then possible to have any success at all? The answer has two parts:1. We do not play against Google but against other SEO workers and they do not know more than us (but often fantasize they do which is only to our advantage).2. Most of us actually fail - after all, there are only ten listings in the Top 10.

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from hugoguzman 2396 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think that the key here is inference. In other words, based on simple (or sometimes complex) experimentation, one can often infer what is causing rankings to fall or rise.The real of "science" happens in the link-building sphere. If you can establish a set of rules to determine the effectiveness of specific inbound links, in terms of their ability to improve rankings, then you’re well on your way.Even if you never truly understand the full workings of the algorithm involved.That being said, I am for once am in complete agreement with Michael on this one point: way too many "SEOs" fail to spend enough time reading the literature (patent applications, etc...) and experimenting with the nuts and bolts of what makes a search engine do its thing.Many instead rely on what others say or are content with simply not knowing even the basics.

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from neyne 2396 Days ago #
Votes: 0

there are a lot of very good questions raised here by Michael and the importance of pointing out how much we don’t know cannot be overstated.That said, I disagree with some of the sentiments expressed in the article. The only blog post which I would consider worthless and even harmful is the one based on false or fabricated data. All the other posts, even if they describe the most banal, obvious things. Even if it is wrong from the first to the last letter. Every post and experience shared present us with a new testing grounds, new phenomena to poke at. Everything must be observed through a critical eye and constantly tested and published, but I try to refrain from labeling something someone else sees as "worthless" until I examine the premise, the method and the conclusion.Sometimes people, including myself, are describing a phenomena they see. The conclusions they may draw from those observations may be completely wrong. That should not impede the research and the publication of it only because of the fear that we may be off by a mile. With that approach, very little will be discovered.

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from incrediblehelp 2387 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Posted some of my comments here a few days ago:http://www.jaankanellis.com/great-quotes-from-michael-martinez/

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from iBrian 1892 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Not worthy. Admin Note: Edited at member’s request.

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