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Ryan Jones
Works at SapientNitro
Attended University of Michigan - Dearborn
Lives in Allen Park, MI
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Ryan Jones

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Lots of SEOs going on about the google paper talking about using a fact based algorithm instead of links. We need to stop thinking about this like marketers and start thinking like computer scientists. I'm going to try to explain how I view this from a comp-sci POV.

 First, I'm not sure that the paper actually says "instead of" in there. I couldn't find it. The news sites say "instead of links" but my reading makes it seem like they are talking "in addition to" links.  There was a time on the web when popularity and quality shared the same metrics.  That's changed recently - especially with content marketers like us and fake news sites and sites like buzzfeed and what not.

Links are a good way of measuring popularity still, but not quality.  The web has changed such that popular doesn't always mean correct. For some reason we like to share and link to and talk about stupid things (see blue and black dress.) and the algorithm needs to adapt to handle that for a certain subset of queries.

If you're searching for medical advice, you don't want the "man thought this was a zit, you'll never believe what happens next" video. You want real medical advice.  The same is true for all factual queries.

Some people have said that it will require a ton of humans verifying facts. Some have said that it will require a lot more expansion of the knowledge graph. Some have suggested this will be easy to game.  and some have suggested adding random facts to their sites.

People won't need to validate facts. More KG info will help, but shouldn't be necessary, Yeah I'm sure you can game parts of it but it won't be easy, and adding random facts about dresses to your e-commerce site won't help you rank higher.

These people aren't thinking like an algorithm.  How does the current algorithm determine relevancy to a term?  It uses information retrieval theories similar to but more advanced than tf-idf.  It basically means they look at every result that has that term and use math to see how "important" that term is.  It's not based on any inherent value that the term has, it's based on the set of results.  If every site has the term it's probably not as important. If only a subset of sites mention that term, it's probably more important.  Again, this is simplified - there's TONS of math involved here.

Now, take that concept and apply it to "facts."  Actually, a better word that facts would be "statements."  If 10,000 websites say "the dress is blue and black" and only 300 say "the dress is gold and white", then to Google the dress is definitely blue and black.  It's not a "fact" but it's a "statement' that the corpus of results agrees with.  

When applied to the web as a whole, this is generally pretty reliable.  Unless a LOT of sites all have the same false information (see: SEO blogs) the algorithm will mostly get the right answer.  Sure there will be edge cases, and other algorithms needed to detect that, but that's true of everything.

The interesting part is, this is how the Google translate works now. It's not built off a database of words and definitions. It's built off of crawling the web.  They look at how the language is used, and train the algorithm based on that. 

If I were coding this new "fact" algorithm I'd be mixing the concepts of term relevance with how the google translate algorithm works.  If enough places on the web say it's true, then by golly it's true.  

Will there be some edge case issues? I'm certain there will be just as I'm certain that we have always been at war with Oceana.  See how that could be gamed?  See how it won't be easy though? 

Now, quit panicking and worrying how you can "trick" this algorithm. You can "trick" it just like every other algorithm - by creating something valuable that helps a user solve a problem and telling people about it.  
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Hey search folks - get your nominations in NOW.  http://wtfseo.com/wt-effie-nominations/ 
Tweet As we near the end of the year here at WTFSEO we’ve only got one thing on our minds: How can we squeeze a tiny bit more revenue out of our brand to get our Xmas bonuses? Awards! That’s right, the end of the year signifies the perfect time to recognize all of our …
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New social network just launched: going to be an ello killer.  Bonus: profiles have dofollow URLs!  http://wtfseo.com/wtfseo-announces-new-social-network-owdy/
Tweet As an <insert boilerplate here> online digital marketing site, we’re always on the bleeding edge of what’s going on in the world of SEO and Social, and as such, we’ve been seen the publicity that another new social network is getting, so we’re jumping straight on that bandwagon. Owdy is the latest MySpace Plurk Orkut …
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Everything you need to know about the upcoming Google Falcon update.  http://wtfseo.com/exclusive-interview-guy-search-engine/ 
Tweet We’re really lucky at WTFSEO to bag an exclusive interview with that Guy from the Search Engine who goes out to every conference, and speaks to every publication going as the official voice of the Search Engine.  This exclusive interview was only possible thanks to our extensive network, and the high esteem to which …
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Technical SEO Issues  - 
 
Not my article, not even sure how I found it, but definitely something I need to play with: http://joerega.com/blog/search-box-serps/
In this post I talk about using semantic markup so our search box can appear in the SERPs
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Search Box in the SERPs
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I've been with Google Adsense for over 10 years now! Thank you Adsense for regularly playing my Mortgage (and some other things!) 
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Viewpoints on the current controversial topic: http://wtfseo.com/viewpoints-current-controversial-topic/
Tweet I’m sure we’re all fully aware of the hugely controversial topic that’s been all the talk on 3 people’s social network posts.  As it’s generated a great deal of venom and indignation on both sides we thought that it was time to bring it out into the open on WTFSEO and give both sides …
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You can now view the most popular users on the social network that you still aren't on.  http://owdy.co/popular 
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Tweet As an <insert boilerplate here> online digital marketing site, we’re always on the bleeding edge of what’s going on in the world of SEO and Social, and as such, we’ve been seen the publicity that another new social network is getting, so we’re jumping straight on that bandwagon. Owdy is the latest MySpace Plurk Orkut …
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Tweet Greetings WTFSEOers, It’s that time of year again where we list the top Social Media Gurus of the year. These social media mavens are out there tweeting, and retweeting, and somehow getting paid to just screw around on Facebook all day. We gathered data, crunched the numbers, blatantly ignored them, and came up with …
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Have him in circles
1,459 people
Angela Myers's profile photo
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AJ Kohn's profile photo
Stacie Sheldon's profile photo
C Russell's profile photo
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Work
Occupation
Manager Search Strategy & Analytics - Sapient
Skills
SEO, SEM, Analytics, Measure, Omniture, Google Analytics, Excel, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Public Speaking
Employment
  • SapientNitro
    Manager Search Strategy & Analytics, 2012 - present
  • Team Detroit / ZAAZ
    Sr. SEO Strategist, 2009 - 2012
  • Identity.net
    Sr Mgr Product Marketing, 2008 - 2009
  • BrandLabs.us
    SEO/SEM Department Lead, 2007 - 2008
  • Auto Credit Express
    Software Engineer, 2005 - 2007
  • Morton Marketing
    PHP Developer, 2005 - 2005
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Allen Park, MI
Story
Introduction
SEO, Programmer, Marketer, Analyst, Speaker from Michigan. Plays hockey, softball, & golf (poorly.)   Would have already taken over the world if not for those meddling kids and their dog. 
Bragging rights
Once turned down an opportunity to appear on Dr. Phil. I work with fortune 500 clients.
Education
  • University of Michigan - Dearborn
    Computer Science, 2004
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Single
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