A couple interesting SEO developments

Both of these really intrigued me, so I thought I’d share with my followers…

How I Hijacked Rand Fishkin’s Blog

When there are two identical documents on the web, Google will pick the one with higher PageRank and use it in results. It will also forward any links from any perceived ’duplicate’ towards the selected ‘main’ document. This idea first came to my mind while reading a paper called “Large-scale Incremental Processing Using Distributed Transactions and Notifications” by Daniel Peng and Frank Dabek from Google.

Super interesting…I was under the impression that the PR of your own webpage didn’t really matter, unless you were selling links or planning to flip your domain.  I didn’t think it affected rankings of that specific page.  But apparently it does…you can go out and rip of other people’s content, and as long as your PR is higher than theirs, you’ll rank for it!


Check out some of the case studies that Dan posted.

The good thing is, you can take measures to prevent this “hijack” from happening to your own content/pages:

  • Canonicalisation – set rel=”canonical” in your HTML header; you can also protect documents like PDFs
  • Authorship – have an author box for each article
  • Internal Links – use complete URLs, not relative URLs when linking internally.  I have a habit of using relative URLs because I figure if I ever need to move my site to another domain, all the links will work out-of-the-box.  Well I guess I won’t be doing this anymore!
  • Content Monitoring – use services like Google Alerts and Copyscape to be notified if your brand is mentioned online, then you can contact the site that stole your content and request it to be removed, or a link back to your site

Prediction: Anchor Text is Dying…And Will Be Replaced by Co-citation

This is super cool.  Rand Fishkin (it’s really just a coincidence that he’s the subject of the prior article I talked about) gives examples of relatively competitive keyword phrases and find sites and brands that are ranking without appearing to target the keyword, meaning that keyword isn’t in the title tag. It’s barely even on the page. It doesn’t seem to be something that they’re going after. They’re not getting much anchor text for it.

My eyes are definitely open to the importance of using keywords and brand names inside of social media posts.  I had no idea Google was this clever.  Dang.