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Old 03-03-2005   #1
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Crazy Idea - Bookmarks Seen by SE's

Could someone tell me if SE's have the ability to see your bookmarks. If so would they use them for organic rankings? Imagine if power of factoring in what peoples favorites sites are in rankings.

Maybe somehow with their toolbars?

Can it be done.. I don't want to really know if they would do it, but more if they could.
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Old 03-04-2005   #2
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This is probably the single biggest reason for Google to build its own browser. If search engines can analyze bookmarks, that is a better indicator of popularity over linking. MSN already has a browser so they would be wise to be working on this already... a big head start if you ask me.
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Old 03-07-2005   #3
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Anything is possible given enough time money and motivation, but in this case the bookmarks do not reside on any public documents but on your computer, and I really doubt that you want to allow spiders into your personal files do you?
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Old 03-07-2005   #4
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That could be a very sticky area, but you're right, it could certainly be used as a stronger indication of "positive citation".
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Old 04-05-2005   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St0n3y
This is probably the single biggest reason for Google to build its own browser. If search engines can analyze bookmarks, that is a better indicator of popularity over linking. MSN already has a browser so they would be wise to be working on this already... a big head start if you ask me.
google has their own browser too, it's called mozilla/firefox. i think the lead dev of one or the other is employed at google and paid by them to work on it full-time.

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Old 04-05-2005   #6
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As discussed in the original thread about the newly released Google filled pending patent, it says:

Quote:
"According to an implementation consistent with the principles of the invention, user maintained or generated data may be used to generate (or alter) a score associated with a document. For example, search engine 125 may monitor data maintained or generated by a user, such as "bookmarks," "favorites," or other types of data that may provide some indication of documents favored by, or of interest to, the user. Search engine 125 may obtain this data either directly (e.g., via a browser assistant) or indirectly (e.g., via a browser). Search engine 125 may then analyze over time a number of bookmarks/favorites to which a document is associated to determine the importance of the document.

[0115] Search engine 125 may also analyze upward and downward trends to add or remove the document (or more specifically, a path to the document) from the bookmarks/favorites lists, the rate at which the document is added to or removed from the bookmarks/favorites lists, and/or whether the document is added to, deleted from, or accessed through the bookmarks/favorites lists. If a number of users are adding a particular document to their bookmarks/favorites lists or often accessing the document through such lists over time, this may be considered an indication that the document is relatively important. On the other hand, if a number of users are decreasingly accessing a document indicated in their bookmarks/favorites list or are increasingly deleting/replacing the path to such document from their lists, this may be taken as an indication that the document is outdated, unpopular, etc. Search engine 125 may then score the documents accordingly."
Since this seems to be part of our future worries, it would be great if we could use this thread to discuss strategic ways to optimize for this. It could be just as easy as asking your site users to "please bookmark this site" or any creative way you know/think will/might work.
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Old 04-05-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nacho
Since this seems to be part of our future worries, it would be great if we could use this thread to discuss strategic ways to optimize for this. It could be just as easy as asking your site users to "please bookmark this site" or any creative way you know/think will/might work.
if this ever comes to pass, all the adware vendors and script kiddies with botnets will be sitting on fresh pots of gold. my grandma's computer invariably has kinky bookmarks every time i visit (no, she's not into that) and that's today when there is little value to them. my prediction is that this feature will be consumed by spam and dead in the water the minute it's out of the gate. do i win the cliche density prize? ;]

-rsk
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Old 04-05-2005   #8
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I would not like the SEs to know/use my personal bookmarks but I assume they somehow already do. With Furl and Del.icio.us I understand the purpose of saving them is for aggregation purposes and I like that muy mucho.
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Old 04-05-2005   #9
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They could be doing it already now - it would be increadibly hard to find out for sure. Through the toolbar they can get access to the bookmark data (well, as a desktop app that YOU installed they can basically get access to anything they like - even key strokes and such. Not that I think they do THAt today ).

I am not sure how the different engines pack and transmit data back from the toolbars to them. If they compress various kinds of data into small binary packages transmitted along other data, it could be very difficult to find out what they actually include. I am not saying it's impossile, but surely not something the majority of us can figure out (myself included).

It makes sense to engines to grab as much useful data as possible - off- and on-site, and use it to rank and prioritize documents. That includes bookmarks. However, anything can be manipulated (thats what we do all the time as SEOs) and I agree that if the ranking value of bookmarks would be just as hyped up as PageRank has been we will soon se so much bookmark spam that it will eventually kill the function for users
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Old 04-05-2005   #10
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Perhaps a search engine could combat bookmark spam by simply not letting the cat out of the bag that this information is being analyzed. If its possible to keep such a thing a secret it would be ideal for them. Imagine what the SEO landscape would look like if PageRank was kept a secret!
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Old 04-05-2005   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St0n3y
Perhaps a search engine could combat bookmark spam by simply not letting the cat out of the bag that this information is being analyzed. If its possible to keep such a thing a secret it would be ideal for them. Imagine what the SEO landscape would look like if PageRank was kept a secret!
I think that's a bit too late on that one.
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Old 04-05-2005   #12
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I don't think its difinitive that Google or any SE is analyzing bookmars... we're just saying that they *could*. Or am I wrong on that?
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Old 04-05-2005   #13
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I think that's a bit too late on that one.
Just my words! It's very difficult to "undo" information once it's out
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Old 04-05-2005   #14
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If this does come into play, a "bookmark this page" link will become essential on every page. Personally, I have never bookmarked a page at the prompt of the site itself; I only bookmark pages that I think will be useful resources or that I don't have time to read right away. So I would say this is is pretty good measure of relevancy that is even harder to artificially manipulate than links.

One way to game this system might be if some software installations started adding bookmarks (with permission of course) to the user's browser. Maybe website owners could pay software companies to have their bookmarks installed with software? For instance, the owner of an SEO related website might pay to have their bookmark added when the user installs rank-checking software.

No doubt this would spawn a swarm of malware apps that would start spamming peoples favorites lists....and more of those annoying "Would you like to bookmark this page?" popup windows.
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Old 04-05-2005   #15
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If you go to the "darker side" of the web you'll see that bookmarks can be fully atumatically added with scripts on any web page. It's already happening - just not on a broad scale. But if a BookmarkRank hysteria starts we WILL see a dramatic increase in the use of such scripts, I think
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Old 04-05-2005   #16
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Just to get even darker... is there a way to add a bookmark to someone's broser without them ever visiting your (or an affiliated) site? I wouldn't condone such a practice, but want to know of the plausibility of such a tactic.

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Just my words!
So you are suggesting that Google or other SE's are already actively analyzing bookmarks and factoring that into their algorithms?
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Old 04-05-2005   #17
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Quote:
So you are suggesting that Google or other SE's are already actively analyzing bookmarks and factoring that into their algorithms?
On a broad scale? No, not at this point. As tests? Yes, definately. But as an SEO I have always tried to predict what way engines are likely to go and and try to get there before they do. So once they get there I will be ready

Most off page factors such bookmarks, takes time to "manipulate" on a large scale. Often months or years. So even though the engines might not be doing bookmark analysis right now I am quite sure they will at some point if there is any possible way they can get away with it and if it proves to improve results enough. So, I will continue to recomend that clients do what they can do to get users to bookmark pages, as I've done for some time now. Besides the long term effects it may (or not) have on rankings it will produce more repeat visitors - and that's good in any case
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Old 04-05-2005   #18
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I think some people have been riding around in black helicopters watching scary movies.

This is NOT all brand new - they've just spilled the whole can of beans but some of these concepts have been out there in public view for a few years

From the patent issued to Google Sept. 5, 2002:

Quote:
Any other type of information that can be derived about the nature of the user (e.g., browsing history, bookmarked items, etc.) could also be used to weight the user. This weighted user information 530 may then be used as the refined user count 540.
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ead.php?t=5061

Anyone ever hunt through search engines to mine open stats for keywords and see the entries showing traffic from bookmarks? There's a lot that's right out there in public, nicely logged for all to see. Oh, and how about the data picked up with the Adsense info that's phoned home on sites? If they know our IP number, just maybe they know if we got to the page by a search or from a bookmark. All legal, fair and square because publishers willingly permit the ads to run on their sites.

FYI, keystroke logging is done by spyware - and I believe it's illegal in this country and constitutes a security risk. IMHO a search engine will wade just so far into muddy waters and risk all for a few stats when there's so much wealth of data legitimately available to them.

Last edited by Marcia : 04-05-2005 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 04-05-2005   #19
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Old 04-05-2005   #20
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>a search engine could combat bookmark spam by simply not letting the cat out of the bag that this information is being analyzed.

Maybe they let a fake cat out of the bag this time, to entertain us.
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