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The ultimate goal of this exploration is to merely encourage a sense of understanding, fire up the imagination and hopefully stir the passion. When those in the SEO industry speak of ‘standards’ and pontificate the future, pausing to look at the IR community may better serve us all. Should we seek to avoid being labelled link whores and hype merchants, having deeper technical skills and knowledge may lead us to that end. This is my challenge to all those in the world of search engine optimization.
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from leftthebox 2147 Days ago #
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Amazing post Dave. Really indepth and worth a read. You’ll find some great resources from this post.

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from theGypsy 2147 Days ago #
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Hey GB...tnx... I think one of the best finds was video lectures as U know - that place rocks. Starting the new year with some fresh ideas seemed like a good idea and I had to put up or shut up as far as whining about the lack of IR knowledge in the SEO sphere.. he he...

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from uzbekistan 2147 Days ago #
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Good written!

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from Halfdeck 2147 Days ago #
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Great list. That said, I think one reason why many SEOs lose interest in studying search algorithms is because at some point they realize they can nail rankings without an intricate knowledge of how Google works. Many people IMO are also only interested in understanding algorithms in order to try to reverse engineer them and make more money.

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from Misscj 2147 Days ago #
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Agreed Halfdeck.  The thing is that because IR and other computing methods change so often, they miss out on stuff that’s been going on for a while.  Semantic web is old news, sites should already be prepared for example.  LSI was really old news and there was all this noise about it.  There are interesting developments that will affect those making a living through SEO so best be part of the discussion imho.  There will be no list of documents in the results one day - no rankings.  Then what?  SEO is an art and a science too, lots of computing people call it "manipulation" and not "optimisation".  It’s worth opening up that discussion between both parties no?  Can you improve those sites and that content for users and can computing people work to deliver better information faster through this?  That gap is going to start to close.

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from waveshoppe 2146 Days ago #
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Halfdeck, while your statement has merit, I believe the real exercise here is personal enrichment via increased knowledge of how things may tick. I was taught a lot of things in school that I have never actually used in my quest to succeed in life, but I take comfort in knowing that I have those tools if I ever needed them. My rule of thumb is that all actions should be transparent and provide quantifiable results.

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from theGypsy 2146 Days ago #
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Agreed on all counts1. it is important as an exercise in enriching our knowledge of the chosen field.2. one will defintely be able to better future-proof ones SEO - I happen to believe my techniques stand the test of time well because of this.3. how does one know which cock-eyed theory to believe when reading SEO stuff? I am going to be highlighting the mounds of research on implicit user feedback (behavioral signals) next week. And how does one know what to test with a limited knowledge base?And really, search engineers aren’t the only ones that see us as manipulators not facilitators. A deeper level of technical expression could actually strengthen our image as a whole... There are sooooo many reasons why SEOs would be well served by learning.. well, uh... SEARCH ENGINES.... ya know?

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from DanaLookadoo 2146 Days ago #
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Thinking this is one of the best compilations about SE algorithm of recent history! I’ll be referring to this list often. This quote really hit a chord:We should learn knowledge management and algorithms with the same verve we apply to playing in social media.

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from theGypsy 2146 Days ago #
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Sadly, though appreciated, I’d be suprised if it hits many other’s strings. I was encouraged by some peeps that have like minded passions and positions on the whole thang.. but privately I mused to close friends that it is unlikely to move many... but I’ve been wrong (many times) before.... we shall see.For me it will be a great reference to further refine my skills and otherwise entertain myself. The fact a handful of peeps also do (enjoy it) makes this old horse happy and I shall be further defining my positions on various parts of SEO in a like manner from now on. One can’t help but think that a higher average IQ among SEOs towards IR related topics wouldn’t help the industry image as a whole - a guy can dream right?Thanks for the kind words.. every little bit helps 

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from hjortur 2146 Days ago #
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Wow! Now I need to take a week off just to read ... Great work, Dave. This will get a lot of link love, well deserved.

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from DanaLookadoo 2146 Days ago #
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I had not considered how a better understanding of IR could help the industry image as a whole.  That in itself is motivating!As @waveshoppe pointed out:... the real exercise here is personal enrichment via increased knowledge of how things may tick.Not everyone is going to desire to understand the roots of this discipline. But your post is an awesome resource for those who do want to delve further. For that, I’m very grateful.Your comment & article reminded me of a class in Logic & Combinatorics. Most people in the degree program complained about the minimum 12 hrs of homework each week, but those same people were spending hours on email and designing graphics. They missed out on some valuable information about set theory that would have helped them in programming and understanding of the Internet. The difficulty of that intense study later helped me to understand SEO. It’s too easy to be drawn to the "fun stuff" in this industry, like social media, and be distracted by feel-good shiny objects. Been there, still there in some ways - confession.Keep dreaming and sharing such valuable insight. You’ve sparked a neglected chord in a few of us!

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from theGypsy 2146 Days ago #
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Hjortur well links don’t matter much (preaching to the choir as an SEO consultant)... and once more, it’s a unique set that gets into this gobble-d-gook... he he.. But if you find yourself more well rounded an SEO, then it’s mission accomplished. I am toying with the idea of a little private community for us SEO geeks, a place to talk shop and muse about algorithms and the future of search.... not sure on that yet, sounds fun (HuoMah Dojo?)Bella... just glad yer having fun and are motivated. As mentioned in the post firing up the passions  was a primary motivator and hopefully the next time says, "its all the same sh@t in the SEO space - there’s nothing new" - we can point them there and keep ’em busy for awhile ;)And yes, such areas of discussion would only strengthen us as a legitimate group of professionals and serve to end the death bells ringing for SEO as there are still many things to learn... search evolves, we evolve. Understanding the evolution of search engines IS synonomous to the evolution of SEO.Thanks again to U both for the enthusiasm and reTweets ... making my year start of with a smile :0)

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from DanaLookadoo 2146 Days ago #
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Let’s see, one can’t retweet on Sphinn, so I’ll just repost your defining comment:Understanding the evolution of search engines IS synonomous to the evolution of SEO.

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from beussery 2146 Days ago #
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One of the most thorough posts I’ve seen in quite some time.  Excellent post and great research!  On a personal note, "Introduction to Information Retrieval" is such a valued resource, just checking out the new slides over the weekend...

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from theGypsy 2146 Days ago #
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gracias kind sir... there is just sooooo much out there. I’ve been listening to videos while working and reading papers galore while researching future posts. It was worth doing and makes a great resource even for me... shall be referring back many times fer sure...And to be honest, there is no end. On the ever popular ’bounce rates’ and other behavioral signals (implicit user feedback) I have well over a dozen papers alone for an upcoming (final?) chapter in the saga. Each topic and area of study could easily make a lengthy post on their own. So that is really the tip of the proverbial ice-burg. I was going for some general concepts and related offerings, enough to interest a broad range o peeps.There should be more of this (as well as patents as always) in the future... thanks for the support, I really thought this might not fly... glad it did, renews my faith a bit :0)

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from yetanotherben 2146 Days ago #
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I’m loving the appreciation for this resource - certainly worth recommending and sharing across SEO teams.  I’m only just beginning to start writing about the topic myself as I felt that the areas of research and algorithms in the community were needing some more attention, so really pleased for you that this (awesome!) resource has been so well received!!!Thanks again David for putting that together!  :) 

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from theGypsy 2146 Days ago #
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Hiya Ben.... glad you enjoyed it and I wouldn’t go calling techno-garble popular just yet -lol - generally speaking such posts (patent stuff at least) still gets a ho-hum response here on Sphinn as many a post from Bill, myself or CJ languishes on the upcomming list with little fan-fare. This post may just have gotten some traction cause of the "holy crap that post must’ve take a lot of work" factor :0)That being said, it has brought out a few new SEO Geeks that I hadn’t known about before - so that’s nice. In the end all we can do is continue to encourage a more technical base and see how it comes out in the wash. If you ever are working on a post and need some thoughts or leads on referrences, feel free to get in touch....And yer VERY welcome.... I (and others) felt it a post worth doing :0)

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