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SMBnow.com / SMB Web and Email / Google gets Jagger Upgrade
Friday, December 23, 2005
53 Update by Brawlin Melgar, Lead Publisher
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Google gets Jagger Upgrade


This past 2005 fall Google launched a major update to their search algorithm which shook up the search engine optimization (SEO) community and millions of website rankings. The update, named Jagger and is probably finished.

The keywords that people used to find your site with in Google may not be producing as many visits any more because the Jagger changes caused your rankings to plummet. Of course many people have seen their rankings stay the same or improve in Jagger's aftermath too.

If your site's rankings have decreased, what can be done to get back to where you were or better in the post-Jagger Google world?

There are still a lot of questions to be sure, but there are some good beginnings of answers as well. Since this update was rolled out over months and in three distinct phases, it has been much more difficult to determine what factors have been given more weight or less.

For instance, IBL (inbound links to your site) have always been important to achieve high rankings in Google. But there are many different kinds of IBL's. Link trades, where you put my link on your site and I put your link on my site may be less valuable than a one-way link. This has been the case for a while, but is the importance of each changed now since Jagger? Probably. I don't know all the answers, and I don't think anyone knows all the answers save the people at the 'plex (short for Google-plex).

What are some theories? Here are some of the top ones, but I am not saying they are necessarily true or false. And this is not a full list, there are most likely numerous other factors that affect Google rankings after Jagger that no one has recognized at all yet. The following list consists of ideas I have read online, which I spend hours each day doing, or some of our own hard-earned observations using the large number of clients' websites in many different industries to learn from. Read the following with a grain of salt, which is always a good idea when reading any articles or forum posts about SEO or Jagger.

Things That Could Possibly HELP You More In Jagger's Aftermath

Aged Domains - Sites with domains that are older rank better now - the older the domain, the better its rankings with all other things being equal. (This is probably true to some degree).

Very Relevant Links - IBL (inbound links) and OBL (outbound links) relevancy is more important after Jagger. This means that if you point to related sites or you get links from other sites that are related to your website, you may rank better after Jagger with all other things being equal. (This is probably true to some degree as well).

Links From Trusted Sites Help - TrustRank (or a similar concept) is more important than ever after Jagger. TrustRank is a concept that says if you get a link pointing to your site that is highly trusted by Google (trusted either programmatically or by human editors), then you will rank better with all other things being equal. (See http://www.vldb.org/conf/2004/RS15P3.PDF).

Variety of Links - Links from .edu and .org websites are good for increasing your rankings and are more important than ever. (It's vital to get links form a wide variety of websites. Just like your investing, you need to diversify your IBL's. (This has probably been true even before Jagger).

Aged Links - The older the link that points to your site, the more weight it's given now. (This also has probably been true even before Jagger).

Embedded Links - Links that are embedded in sentences and paragraphs instead of stand-alone links are weighted more heavily now. (This may be true soon if not already).

Article Links - Articles are what directories had been a year or two ago for link building. Links from the author by-line or within the article that point back to your site will positively affect your rankings. (And this is one reason I've chosen t


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