Google's Animal Farm: Implications for your library homepage?
Poster in Proceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations - Genre of ETDs for Knowledge Discovery. 4-6 November. New Delhi, India.
Weideman M. 2015. Google's Animal Farm: Implications for your library homepage? Poster in Proceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations - Genre of ETDs for Knowledge Discovery. 4-6 November. New Delhi, India. Online: http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/
Most websites need to be visible to search engine crawlers, to ensure a high visitor rate. A crucial element in high rankings is how closely a webpage matches the specification of a search engine for a "good" website. The search engine algorithm determines this match. Google has released a series of changes to its algorithm over the years; the most well-known having been termed Panda, Penguin, Pigeon and Hummingbird. Any major algorithm update could have negative effects on the rankings of a website–including the demise of an e-commerce company. These updates also have implications for university library websites. A model was built to assist library webmasters in evaluating their own webpages in terms of compliance. The four well known updates were studied to determine which elements of a webpage could raise red flags in terms of these update checks. The model indicates which factors of webpage contents have to be carefully monitored, to prevent Google from penalising a library website in terms of one of its updates. Even though Penguin and Hummingbird were not designed to be punitive in nature, they could affect the rankings of a library website negatively. It was clear that three factors play a major role in this context: webpage textual content, backlink environment and customer query generation. Panda penalised thin content sites, while Penguin identified backlinks from non-authoritative websites. The purpose of Pigeon was to improve the result of local searches, and as such will only benefit a webpage where the content is of value to local searchers. Hummingbird was a complete rewrite of the Google algorithm, and attempts to produce better search result in context. Webmasters are advised to consider this model when designing library web pages.
- Sullivan, D. (2015). Irony Alert: Could Alphabet's Hidden Link To Hooli Get It Banned In Google? http://searchengineland.com/alphabet-hidden-link-to-hooli-227610
[28 September 2015]
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Technology and Libraries, 23(2), 58-65.