How to improve your rank with Google’s Blog Search Engine

Google’s Blog search works differently from it’s regular search when determining your page rank. Instead of indexing your blog’s html pages, it uses your blogs XML feeds. Any blog that publishes a site feed such as RSS or Atom will be included, if your blog isn’t already included in the search, you can add it by giving them a ping here.

Google’s patent application for the process reveals the positive and negative factors which are used to determine how the blog search ranks its search results. For more details, you can take a look at an article by Bill Slawski over at SEO By the Sea. There, he goes into more details about exactly what each of these points mean, and what Google says about them.

Positive Factors

  • Links from blogrolls (especially from ‘high quality’ blogrolls or those of ‘trusted bloggers’)
  • Links from other sources (mail, chats)
  • Using tags to categorize a post
  • PageRank
  • The number of feed subscriptions (from feed readers)
  • Clicks in search results

Negative Factors

  • Posts added at a predictable time
  • Different content between the site and the feed
  • The amount of duplicate content
  • Using words / n-grams that appear frequently in spam blogs
  • Posts that have identical size
  • Linking to a single web page
  • A large number of ads
  • The location of adds (“The presence of ads in the recent posts part of a blog”)

In order to do the actual ranking of the search results, Google combines the quality score obtained using the positive and negative factors above, with the relevance score for the actual search query. The IR score may be determined based on a number of things as well, such as:

  • The number of occurrences of the search terms in the document
  • Where the search terms occur within the document (e.g., title, content, etc.)
  • The characteristics of the search terms in the document (e.g., font, size, color, etc.)
  • The weighting of one search term versus another when multiple search terms are present in the query
  • The proximity of the search terms when multiple search terms are present

Not that a lot of this information is surprising, but now we know what can be done, and what can be avoided in order to help increase your blog’s rank with Google’s Blog Search.

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