On Fri, 2010-08-20 at 15:19 +0100, Colin Guthrie wrote:

> 'Twas brillig, and Andrew Ballard at 20/08/10 15:04 did gyre and gimble:
> > On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 9:31 AM, Colin Guthrie <gm...@colin.guthr.ie> wrote:
> >> Speaking of SEO, that was one of our concerns about randomising listings
> >> too. What impact do you think such randomised listings will have on SEO?
> >>
> >> Obviously if a term is matched for a listing page that contains a thing
> >> and when the user visits that page, the thing itself is not on in the
> >> listing, then the user will be disappointed, but will this actually
> >> result in SEO penalties?
> >>
> >> Col
> > 
> > I'm not sure it would penalize you in the algorithms. I was thinking
> > more of the number of times I have followed a promising-looking link
> > and found that the site where I was directed was a page of and index
> > of article headings or post subjects showing results 1000-1500 out of
> > 10000+, and the item I was hoping to see is no longer on that page. Is
> > it on the next page? No. Next page? No. Oh, forget it - back go
> > [search engine].
> > 
> > In that case, even if the site's page rank doesn't decrease, the
> > search results are out-of-sync and thus inaccurate. The site can
> > definitely take a hit with regard to end-user perception and can cause
> > annoyed users to leave and/or ignore your site, which are more
> > important issues than a number from some search engine's algorithm.
> > After all, it doesn't matter how many people Google, Bing, Yahoo or
> > some other search engine sends your way if those users end up
> > frustrated by the experience and don't actually use the site once they
> > get there.
> Yeah, these are also my concerns with the approach and we've been
> careful to point them out to our client. If they know the potential
> risks and they still want to go ahead then we've just got to live with
> it, even if we don't agree that it's the right solution. The customer is
> always right after all!
> Cheers for the comments :)
> Col
> -- 
> Colin Guthrie
> gmane(at)colin.guthr.ie
> http://colin.guthr.ie/
> Day Job:
>   Tribalogic Limited [http://www.tribalogic.net/]
> Open Source:
>   Mandriva Linux Contributor [http://www.mandriva.com/]
>   PulseAudio Hacker [http://www.pulseaudio.org/]
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If you use a sitemap specific to a search engine (Google sitemap for
example) then you can specify how often a page changes, or tell it not
to index at all. This could help a little in preventing getting
penalised by a search engine for the indexed content never matching what
a user actually does see. I have actually reported sites myself where I
was given something completely different from what I saw on a serp
listing, although I'm talking about wildly different, not just a product
or blog post that's been pushed back a few pages!

It brings to mind what a lot of companies do to ensure they are popular
in the phonebook. Ever noticed how there are an unusually high number of
companies towards the extreme ends of the alphabet. It was a deliberate
ploy to get as near to the first or last listing in a phonebook, which
was always done alphabetically (with the exception of paid-for listings
which were usually as larger adverts alongside the regular listings) So
you end up with AAA Cars, AA Electricians, ZZ Plumbers, ZYX Mechanics,


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