Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog

24Nov/09Off

The problem with link-based search results.

If you've been following my blog for any time at all, then you know that I am fascinated with search engines, ranking, algorithms and the like. It's my dream one day to design a better search engine, and I'm always tinkering and working on ideas to that end.

As I run queries on the major search engines these days, I'm finding that link-based ranking of pages has a major drawback: the most relevant results often don't make it to the top.

Let's take, for instance, the query "acne home remedies". Run that phrase through Google and you'll get back the results that are the best optimized (that is, that have the most in-bound links related to the query).

As of right now, the #1 ranking result in Google for "acne home remedies" is rather mediocre. You have to click onto a bunch of other pages linked to on that page to get to any real information. It's time consuming and difficult.

For me, the number one result would ideally contain a general summary of information related to the query. That is, "acne home remedies" should show pages that list a number of home remedies for acne on the ranking page -- not just links to other pages that talk about those remedies. And the top ranking pages should talk about a number of remedies, not just one. Also, the remedies that are talked about should be well known and referenced on other web pages so that I, the searcher, can have a reasonable amount of trust in the information.

How well-linked a page is should play a part, because those links help establish some authority for the page, but they should not be so strong a factor that the links cause mediocre pages to rank the way they do for a lot queries in Google and Yahoo and Bing these days.

So how do we get search results that use linking to help judge authority, but that contain solid information that is reasonably trustworthy?

That's the goal of my latest search engine, Shablast. The way it works is pretty simple, but very effective (in my opinion):

  1. Get the top ranking pages from a major search engine (in this case, Bing).
  2. Analyze each result to see what topics are being discussed on the ranking pages.
  3. Resort the results, showing the pages that touch on the greatest number of popular topics first.
  4. Filter out the obvious spam.

The results I'm seeing from this four step process are pretty good so far, but I need a lot more people to test it out and let me know what they think about it and where it falls short (which, no doubt, this early in the game it does for some queries).

So what I'd like for you to do is hop over to Shablast.com and run some subjects through it that you are familiar with and let me know if the results are good or poor, and why the results are good or poor. Keep in mind that Shablast is designed primarily for informational queries, so don't expect grand results when doing product-based searches.

You can post a comment here, or (preferably) you can go to the Shablast Forum and post a message with the keywords you searched and what was good or bad about the results returned by Shablast. I can then ask you questions (if needed) and refine the algorithm to improve the process.

If this is something you're interested in experimenting with, why not take a moment to hop over to Shablast and give it a go?

Thanks in advance, and please feel free to post your thoughts and questions in a comment below.

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Comments (82) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I would wish to pronounce that yea the statute title is VERY abusive.

    We cannot equivalence things that mortals gave with God.

  2. Jonathan,
    I’m also fed up with the quality of search results.

    So build a program along the lines you’ve outlined above, that will search for the quality we all crave, and sell me one. Then tell me how to rate #1 on your engine…

    Or give it away free and sell us the info to rate on the first page.

    Once you’ve done that, the other search engines should revaluate? Then the good stuff could rise to the top??

    Everyone tells us
    “Get on the first page and watch your sales explode”

    But my experience tells me that not all pages are created equally, I call them culdisak pages.

    I have a blog sitting at #1 for months, and I’ve had absolutely no visitors… “workfromhoelottery.blogspot.com” maybe it’s just junk and any visitors are just leaving without looking any further??

    I’m new at all this so if I’m talking a load of you know what, enlighten me, and forgive me!

    Pat.

  3. I would like to say that YES the title is VERY offensive.

    We cannot compare things that Humans made with God.

  4. Crawling, storing of link structure, ranking, and personalization processes are the basic main features of any search engine.The excellent co-ordination among these features brings out the appropriate result to any kind of search.One of the newly invented search engine “Shablast” detailed here seems very impressive theoretically.I would surely like to try it out.

  5. Wow! That is a great tool! Love it! When will you be rolling it out to the public?

  6. I really like your testing idea. This seems to be great. This is definitely helpful.

  7. Absolutely wonderful post. I feel like I should have paid a fee to be so well informed.

  8. I really like your testing idea and site. I’ll try it for some sites. We found that links are critical..the right ones. So what are the right ones?

    We have video of particular types that do shoot you up the Google Totem pole.

    What have you found?

    Thanks for your great testing and reporting.

  9. Interesting about your Shablast project. I am confident that it CAN become far greater than your wildest imagination if you give it the needed PUSH. Giving your experience with the search engines and your apparent programming expertise, I am confident you can make an impact with Shablast.

  10. You have a wonderful aim. Google is the fastest search engine available now but one of its demerit is its going slower and slower due to heavy use. So it will help us if you will built a new search engine.

  11. The problem is that every link is considered as a positive endorsement with no regard to the real intention of the linking person. There is no effective way for a search engine to distinguish between positive and negative endorsements in links yet.Link-based search provides a new vehicle to find relevant web documents on the WWW.

  12. Good information on search engines, I like this post very much. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Your article is very informative. I will like to ask -
    Does # Anchor text to the link comtribute some in SEO? :)

  14. that’s great info.. and I think you’re right..

  15. David:

    Unfortunately Google no longer offers an API for their search results, so I can’t use them. Bing is generally just as accurate for most searches, so it works good enough.

  16. Its really sounds very interesting genius work man very useful and well written post thanks a lot.

  17. Creativity also plays a role and Jonathan you are gifted,so go on my best wishes with you.

  18. I like the idea. Is there a way to integrate Google as well? Or don’t you have access to the correct API?

  19. Like most people I used my keywords and my site didn’t come up in the top ten. I really like the concept. Keep working on it. I’m pulling for a grass-roots community search engine to take over Google. Maybe those WordPress guys could get in on the action.

  20. Hi,
    Though some search engines may be sub-par, the more likely problem is an absence of people processes and rules for managing information.Search engines have problems creating links to dynamic content.

  21. hey i am very happy
    U know my site is in top 10 ranking of Google search engine.
    I m really thankful to you…Thanks a lot.!!

  22. Hi, Jonathan! You’ve done a great job with this post, I loved! Thanks!

  23. Thanks for the feedback Simon. I’m working to find a reliable method of excluding overly commercial results, but so far no dice. It will come in time though. I’m determined!

    I see your point about spiffing up the results as well. I’ll see what I can do.

  24. The new summary page is exciting, you need to put a bit more work into it though.

    The presentation is not exiting, some type of bolding, headlines or other variation that breaks the monotone text would make the page more fun to read.

    The results are great for some search terms, not that good for others. “Obama” is good, “cheesecake” is not that good as there is so much commercial content where the snippets does not make that much sense. “search engine” is also a bit shallow. “open source” is good.

    I like the fact that I can get an overview of a topic just by reading through all the snippets, great for getting inspiration for writing an article. In this case I would like to see more results though, at least double what I currently get.

    “swine flu” is another interesting search with good results.

    Simon
    CEO and Founder,
    Secret Search Engine Labs

  25. As any search engine user,I never think too much about the search result in manner you have described here.You have analysed the flow very adequately.As you said earlier in this article,I hope you make better search engine soon.I am waiting for your own search engine to search.

  26. Hi John,

    I need some time to play with the search engine …. I think there is always room for improvement on just about anything to do with the internet. Niche Horde and Answer analyst are just two of many things that will help all marketers serve up more cash in pocket for accurate, appealing information.

    cheers

    Sara Lees

  27. Hey Jon, Shablast???? How about 411hip.com I have that for sale if you want. Cheers -Brian

  28. It’s very true. Google originally ranked search results based on ‘popularity’ because other search engines weren’t. However, now any decent internet marketer can ‘manipulate’ the search engine results by increasing one-way links to their website. Great for the marketers, not so great for the people searching!

  29. Wouldn’t life be straightforward if you didn’t have to muck around with links. You would only have to have mastery of your subject or else look at http://www.shablast.com to see what to write about !

    The sites I look after came up OK so I’m happy, but url seems overly important – is that a bing feature ?

    What can you do about a site with many pages which together tell a very good story, but with individual pages not amounting to much ?

  30. I completely agree that all of the search engines are much too reliant upon links to bring back the kinds of results searchers would like to see.

  31. I have enjoyed the info given here and have enjoyed reading the comments the process said here is good but like people are saying it is a little slow I think it is worth it though. Thanks.

  32. Hello Jonathan. I tried to search for, recumbent bike, and that is what I received. Number one ranking was for http://www.bicycleman.com. I did find at the sixth ranking a web site for fitness bikes, which is still relevant but not the proper item for which I was searching. When I used quotation marks, the results changed only slightly, the fitness website moved up in ranking to number four. Bicycleman.com remained number one. I finally tried using quotation marks along with the plural term for my key phrase, and discovered that the fitness bike site had dropped back to seventh place, everything else remained the same. I found relevant sites down as far as the 17th place. It looks very good to me. Thanks, Jonathan.

  33. This sounds like an interesting project Jonathan. Link-based search engines definitely aren’t perfect. The problem is that no matter how the algorithms change, SEO’s will always find a way to exploit it. It’s their job. So if the focus switched more to content, you’d see all the spam pages heavily loading up on content. It’s an ongoing battle between search engines and marketers.

  34. It’s very interesting…in Google I’m in spots 2 and 3 for a certain keyword phrase, and in your SE, Jonathan, I’m in 7 and 8 and the spots above are related to the niche but not exactly the keyword phrase…
    hmmm…I’m not sure what I think.

  35. Hi Jon,

    I did a search for ipod manuel and I got back what I was looking. I did a couple of other searches as well and those results were kinda mix. It is a bit slow too. However, I would use this search engine again. Great Job!

  36. Think the thing that really annoys me most about Google these days is it’s trend to localization of results. I want to have the option to easily turn this off. I can use a command to bring up results that mimic what a person in an other area might get, but the but the average user cannot do this.

    So my point is, localization can over-ride what might be better results even when a page has meta-tags that designed to provide a global context instead of local one. We are currently playing around with this… And are in local mode to see if we can make this work for us instead of against us to get more work from local traffic. Most of client base is US and we are in Canada.

    One side note from looking at comments is it blows me away how many of you are using WordPress as your primary sites now. I understand how folks like to be hands-on, but I still recommend having a site and a blog over using a blog for the site for maximum traffic potential. There are ways to still be able to work on a traditional static website yourself such as Adobe’s new InContext service or their old Contribute.

  37. I have just run a test on Reactive arthritis. The result was excellent. May be the topic was very specific.Let me try a few more and get back .many thanks,
    KCR

  38. This is in reply to Jon’s email looking for feedback to an experiment.
    I entered the following into Shablast:
    Why does my mouse drift across the screen?

    There were several relevant replies; the one I resorted to was the second listing, so it seems Shablast did what I hoped it would. Unfortunately the suggested fix didn’t solve the problem, but I can hardly blame the search engine for that.

    At least it was reassuring to know that I’m not the only one with the problem, since misery loves company.

    I tried to post this in the SMF Forum, but nothing happened when I clicked on Preview and Post. Technotard that I am, my eyes glaze over when I try to understand forums.

  39. what happened to searchwinds.com? i remember that it is also powered by bing. what’s the difference between this shablast with searchwinds?

  40. My initial search test results were garbage, simply put. Sorry.

  41. One of the search terms yielded results that were spot on; “organic foods” was a weaker return, with two out of the ten results being commercial sites with very little actual content (vs selling products.)

    When I’m searching for something with a broad keyword like “organic foods” I am probably more interested in information vs products. If I’m looking for a specific product I would enter something like “organic flour” or “organic vegetable sources”. I think that is one area you could improve with your algorithms.

    Hope that helps.

    Nancy

  42. I thinik I have some very interesting results. In fact they are so interesting that you will be probably willing to pay for them (with a little touch of your SEO magic for my blogs!)

    Here we go:
    First the explanation: I’ve an iPhone related blog (http://miphone2g.blogspot.com/) but when I bought my new Papyre e-book I wrote several posts about it despite it was not an iPhone topic. This iPhone blog has an iPhone version (http://www.intersquash.com/feed/d664d5a2):
    After that I decided to make a PAPYRE themed blog, so I did it and imported the PaPYRE topic posts in the iPhone blog.

    One of the search keywords I’ve tried to promote for my PAPYRE blog is “Mi Papyre 6.1″.
    I have tried this search. The proper results for the SHABLAST philosophy would be PAPYRE 6.1 topics in PAPYRE inspired blogs.

    Here are the results:
    1, 3, 5, 7 & 8 are related to my blogs but NO one to the “real thing” (the papyre info in papyre themed web).
    1:: iphone inbtersquash version of my iphone blog
    3: blogupp directory copy of my iphone blog
    5: Xataka has had links to my papyre & iphone blogs related to PAPYRE products as reference but not anymore. The link now is useless
    7: Goes to a blog completely unrelated that has my Papyre blog in its BLOGROLL. The result search is useless too.
    8: Web top directory copy of my iphone blog posts. But the link is useless too.

    I feel and hope that this may be useful. Your idea is brilliant like always, but difficult to implement. Best of wishes with the project.
    Linkbacks or any other kind of promotion for my blogs is very welcome.

  43. Jonathan,

    The level of thought you are working on here is so far beyond my knowledge base, I am almost embarrassed to even comment. But in the interest of possibly helping you, here’s an observation:

    In higher level general keywords, I find your searches superior (fulfilling the purpose you have stated).

    However, I notice in obscure longer-tail keyword micro-niches (which should rightly lead to a small micro-niche site), it seems to be somewhat off base.

    I have micro-niche sites that show up on page 1 Google, and I believe really should (I could be biased), but they don’t show up on Shablast, and are replaced by sites that are not as niched.

    I don’t want to give a real example, so here’s a totally made-up one (I didn’t even test it, it’s just an illustration).

    FANTASY EXAMPLE ONLY, NOT TESTED: “Home Security” or “Home Security System” might be a perfect search. But “wireless digital touchpad Atlanta” might lead to more general Home Security sites, missing a great (albeit tiny) site or page optimized for “wireless digital touchpad Atlanta”.

  44. My site ranked no 6 in your search and in Google it is 70. You are obviously doing something right. Please keep up the good work.

  45. Tried out the SE, results pretty relevant, noticed that priority seems to be given to those sites with the KW in the domain name. Was that by design? How does the SE react if the *SITE* is KW-rich with the search term but the KW does not appear in the domain name? Getting market share from Google/Yahoo/Bing is a very tall order, even miniscule market share but with better results being returned combined with advertising, you may have something here.

    Jon

  46. Search results seem reasonable, but the slowness is something you’ll need to address. People are always in a hurry and if your page doesn’t load within a couple of seconds, you’ll lose most of your visitors.

    I suspect that the slowness of your search engine is due to the fact that you must retrieve the original search results from Bing, sort them according to your rules, then format and display them.

    Once you’ve ‘firmed up’ your rules for determining which sites are good, optimizing your code should speed things up considerably.

  47. Jon you are amazing. Do you even sleep? All those wonderful ideas and the tons of tools you churn out. Well I have to agree with IW. Pages on wikipedia and similar sites pop up first on search engines simply because of the number of inbound links and not the quality of information on the pages. A page with just a mention of a term may be first in google for instance simply because it is on a wiki page or yahoo answers.

    Your idea is great and when your search engine is finally launched I will be one of the first to support it.

  48. Adding to my example about facebook above there is a search engine with a silly name, DuckDuckGo that does a quite good job of presenting a topic from several angles.

    Try this:

    http://duckduckgo.com/?q=facebook&v=

    I love that presentation, some queries does not perform as good though, they still have a lot of work to do to make it perfect.

    Simon

  49. Interesting search results, I would say you algorithm favors encyclopedia/info type intries, that’s pages with a lot of information about the topic.

    That’s not always what people are searching for though. i.e. searching for facebook does not find the facebook page but only the facebook blog.

    I’d say a good search engine would have a way to “know” what a searcher wants, or present further drill down alternatives like 1. The Facebook site, 2. Information about facebook 3. News about facebook 4. facebook themes, add ons etc and more

    I’m actually making a search engine myself so I have been thinking a lot about these topics lately. I agree with those that say Google put too much emphasis on big sites and many inbound links.

    Most queries on Google will return a Wikipedia entry in one of the first 3 results. If I want to read the wikipedia I can go to the Wikipedia and do a search, I don’t want every search in a search engine to be full of wikipedia, hubpages, about.com etc results especially when not all articles on those sites are that good.

    Simon

  50. Got an error when performing a search

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/shablast/public_html/index.php on line 94

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/shablast/public_html/index.php on line 94

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/shablast/public_html/index.php on line 94

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/shablast/public_html/index.php on line 94

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/shablast/public_html/index.php on line 94

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/shablast/public_html/index.php on line 94

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/shablast/public_html/index.php on line 94

  51. Great Idea,

    Of course content should be king so your idea is spot on.

    I think sooner or later Google is going to change and do the same thing, and put little or no emphasis on inbound links.

  52. Jon, I admire your vigor and smart moves.
    Can my observation contribute to your studies…?
    In my case, my website has title: “SI Units, Conversion and Measurement Skills”. If I search: SI conversion or SI measurement or SI units, I am positioned quite high on many search engines but alredy lower with SI (understandable) but suprisingly very low (or often, I am “nonentiy”) if i create two-word-phrase with the “metric’. ( I submit “metric” as a keyword!). Beacause of my technical background, I am surprised that although SI is the modern metric system, I am ignored! What conclusion should I make? Too much empasis on skimming by search engines?? Regards, Wacek

  53. Hey Jon,

    This is a wonderful idea if you can develop it to a full blown commercial scale SE. Ordinary searchers, for those to whom the Search Engines are actually supposed to have been built will benefit really.

    As for me, I just ran my main set of keywords and for the primary one, I found my site ranking 3rd but for a wrong page. Not a big problem anyway, probably it is because of the algorithmic improvements you said you made.

    I congratulate you on this.

    Alev

  54. I think the results are terrible I searched for African Art and see the wikipedia as first result and I think you are loosing your time with this experiment since Bing as good as Google or Yahoo are basing results on Algorythms and not at human review and good sense.

    Also it is not because someone visited a site that the result is good. It is more if someone visited a site and stayed some time on the site and visited more pages on that site that you can be sure the results are relevant for the viewer, so unless you have access to this information you can’ make a good search engine.
    You need info from people visiting many websites around the same subject.

  55. Hi Jon,

    I agree with your findings, and it’s really annoying when searching for real information, that I find the first page of Google dominated by Article Directories, Squidoo, Hub Pages, and Blog Catalog when what I’m looking for is a real site with good information.

  56. Hi

    Did a search for ‘burn belly fat’ and the result in the No2 position, http://www.fatfatbellyfat.com/body-transformation-system/, is a review of a body transformation system, which includes fat burning. To me the result was totally useless as it did not explain in detail the fat burning process which is what I needed to read.

    The result in the No6 position, burnbellyfattoday.com/, is pretty much in the same vein as your ‘acne home remedies’ example i.e. all it shows is a list of possible ways to get rid of belly fat.

    The result in No8 position, http://www.aolhealth.com/diet/weight-loss-program/burn-ab-fat, is devoid of any information whatsoever as all it mentions is the type of food that helps with losing belly fat.

    The No10 result, http://www.burnbelly.com/fat/belly-women/, is a very poor quality single article i.e. there is no supporting information on that single page WordPress blog.

    Overall the results were very poor in that at least 40% of the results were useless. Of the remaining results there were genuinely only 1 or 2 results that gave me any really ‘useful’ information.

    Paul

  57. Hi, for search ‘domestic staff agencies’ my site (which fills your criteria of listing worldwide domestic staff agencies and reviewing each one) does pretty well at #9 and one of my agency reviews comes in at #7.

    Plus I have a similar site coming in at #10

    But the other rankings are for one agency or another with no other references to the query. Which seems not to be what you wanted

    Don’t get me wrong! I’m happy to get 3/4 listings on page #1 – just wanted to give you some specific feedback

  58. I typed in my name, and usually my blog and my photography site are in the 1st and 2nd places in most search engines.

    However, in Shablast, my photography site didn’t appear at all. And even when I typed in Kim Ayres Photography, it only came 3rd.

    Number 1 link is another blog I put a guest post on 3 years ago and is nothing to do with photography.

    So I guess there’s still a glitch somewhere…

    However, kudos to you for constantly attacking the process :)

  59. Thanks for what you’re doing Jon. At the end of the day it’s a Win Win.

    I’ll be checking it out ASAP.

    The only other thought that comes to mind is that there websites optimised for those searches, even if they’re no relevant. It’s like using keywords for PPC.

    Brian

  60. Hi Jon,

    I took a look at an area that is full of hype – Bulgarian real estate on the Black Sea. What I found is…

    - as someone else noted, it’s slow – a question of server “horsepower”?
    - there seem to be two distinct types of site – the informational sites and the sales sites. Maybe there should be a dual result?
    - what was curious is that a site that advertises Sofia real estate (Sofia is the capital and is 250 miles from the Black Sea) along with but before the Black Sea areas was ranked in the top listings more than once. Why should a site talking about some place else be highly placed for a geographical search?
    - Another question from above – why should a site be listed more than once? That always bothers me (except when it’s my site!).

    Interesting, in any case!

    Just continue keeping us in front of everybody else! :-D

    Craig

  61. Great job Jonathan. I can see my sites listed so I’m kinda happy..lol

  62. Hi Jon

    This thing brings back GREAT results. The only problem I see is that is it a little slow. Looks like you have a WINNER!

    Dan

  63. Hi Jon,

    I didn’t see any obvious crappy results. A little slow, but if it was a desktop application grabbing data from (say) the top 100 results and then parsing against a semantic rulebook it would be cool. That and including geography – i.e. having a relationship between aces based on distance etc – although that would require a Google-type effort. Plus the GIS data is not easily available everywhere.

    Noel

  64. . I am fortunate to be able to have almost every day, all day to do whatever I want within some minor boundaries but stillā€¦even I, with all the discretionary time I have still have a real hard time getting things done.

  65. Jon,
    Bought links mostly appear on not very visible places for real visitors. (like in Partner Links, Visit our Sponsors…)
    A good search engine should focus more on clicked links by real visitors. But where to get the information? From firefox? From IE Explorer?

  66. hey man you’re a genius dude. you have your own SE?! dude…that’s whats up. Anyway I like your idea and wanna help out.

    Ok I did 3 searches

    Eric Su: The results are pretty relevant. Nothing else to say.

    mlm training: I give the results 6/10. the #1 ended up as a mlm game.

    network marketing business: horrible. ppl are looking for mlm companies or businesses to join, not articles. #1 spot is ezinearticles.com and #2 is a blog has no useful info.

    just wanna contribute a bit.

    Thanks bro

    Eric

  67. It really amazes me that no one (that I know of) has proposed a serious alternative to the static ranking model used by Google, Bing, etc. By this I mean the assumption that the “best” sites should occupy the top spots and stay there as long as they remain “best”.

    To me this seems ridiculously unimaginative, uninspired, and much too restrictive both to publishers and searchers. It also places much too large a burden on the algorithms required to filter out the “best” sites. If they haven’t been able to pull it off over the last 15 years or so, I doubt they’ll be getting it much better any time soon.

    Fine tuning the algo (as I think you are suggesting) to hone in ever more directly on the “best” is interesting, but is not likely going to make search much more interesting or productive. What we need here is more imagination.

    Why must we assume that of, for example, the top 50 resources 5 or 10 are so much better than the other 45 that they deserve the kind of preferential treatment they now get? Are they really that much better?

    One way to reduce the tyranny of the algorithm is to introduce some randomization into the results. Take the top 50 results and give searchers a new look each time they refresh the page.

    There has to be an alternative to the stodgy deep-in-a-rut search engines. There must be some way to breathe new life into this tired old model. I don’t think focusing on the algorithm is it.

  68. Jon,

    Don;t tell me your creating a search engine. Not a bad idea as what you say is true.

    Results on the major engines are skewed due to people gaming the system. They’ll figure out a way to do it with yours too.

    My only complaint is that IT RETURNED RESULTS SLOW.

  69. I searched with the phrase “hosted pbx” (without quotes). Four of the top five results were legitimate solution providers. The other was a review site.

    A better search engine doesn’t try to return the most relevant results in just one go. The search space will usually be too large for one pass to be sufficient.

    To achieve maximum relevancy you must apply Control Theory to the process with the user’s choices taken as input to the feeedback loop.

    As each search progresses the types of algorithms should change. An uninformed list algorithm might be the best at one level while an implicit tree search is the most suitable choice for the final pass.

    Since your engine is fed by the results of another one I’m curious if you’re applying any hueristics of your own?

  70. Hello Jonathan

    I sought “photo to oil painting”, and got all products as results. The phrase is also used by folks, who want to learn how to use photoshop to convert a photo into an oil painting, and, presumably, by painting students, who want tips on how to paint.

  71. I’ll bet you have an IQ of 200! Everything you do is top quality!

  72. I dunno how you find the imagination and time to sift through all your ideas and put them into operation.

    I have tried doing a few searches and found that the results come up very slowly, obviously because it is doing more than just extracting the search data from Bing. My results were quite surprising, considering that I did the same search in Bing and got very different results – a couple of my sites, which are good quality information sites, come out in the top 4 in Bing, and are not shown at all in your Shablast.

    There are also only 10 results for each query. Whilst most searchers mostly look to the first 10 results, it is still valuable to be on the next couple of pages, to pick up the dreggs of people that don’t find what they are looking for on page 1 and actually click to page 2 or 3.

    Please keep us posted on your progress.

    Kind regards,

    Barry

  73. I’m probably not the best person to talk about you because when I started my online biz I had relied heavily on your products, including Adsense Gold & 3waylinks.net. The result? I’m a full-time IM guy now.

    I shablasted “digital products” and observed that one of my websites nbeing ranked among the top 3.

  74. Relevancy…been talking about this for years. That’s why content sites will get their day. Just may be a while since the SEs seem woefully inadequate.

    Plus, with the search results polluted by ads, it sickens me to use any of them.

    Why not leave off the ads on the SERP and reward those relevant sites with an incentive to put up AdWords? The BEST sites would get the most hits, the advertisers would get the best bang for the buck, and the SEs would look less vested in rigging the system.

  75. It’s very hard to design a “good” search engine because each person will have a different idea of what results should be showing for the top few rankings.

    - Academics will want a lot of in-depth info on a subject without advertising.
    - Marketers and shoppers will want related products to show for the topics
    - So on and on…

    So what criteria do you use? I’m getting a headache just thinking about this…

    Alex

  76. Well…. my site has jumped from no10 to no3 for a very competitive term so I feel happy :)

  77. Hi Jonathan,

    I’d try the SE. I see no highlight color on my search term on the results page. The results are OK except no mark.

    I compare the result with Bing. I know the deferences.

    This is your great work. Congratulation.

    Be blessed.

  78. James:

    Thanks. I’ve added a filter to keep those from showing up.

  79. And how you have the time to do everything you do is beyond me. I am fortunate to be able to have almost every day, all day to do whatever I want within some minor boundaries but still…even I, with all the discretionary time I have still have a real hard time getting things done.

    I agree that search engines in their present form are…well…less than desirable. I would go so far as to say they stink. I am constantly having to click on a ton of links and repeat searches numerous times to find what I am looking for.

    Carlos

  80. The problems with search engines are many and varied.

    For example: If I put up a 50 page site with all the top quality information related to “panic attacks” it will be nowhere in search engines – ever. Unless I do something like buy a keyword rich domain name and get a million inbound links.

    Search engines will turn up a page of Yahoo Health and Wikipedia in the top 5 but they contain far inferior amounts of information to my 50 pages.

    And my site will never beat them – no matter how good it is.

    Why is my site only better than their one page when I manipulate the system to gain 50,000 inbound links?

    Search engines take too much notice of inbound links and not enough on depth and breadth and quality of content. They also focus way too much on mega-sites like Wikipedia which offer a small amount of info on a lot of different things.

  81. Great idea! For who ever is interested, 2 of the Top 10 searches are presently “adult”-related.

  82. You are always on top of things, how you always have so many great ideas?


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