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Basics on Reduced Link Graphs, Part 2

June 17, 2021

In part one of this two-part blog, we went over some of the basics and research that have gone into a tool called reduced link graphs. These graphs are a specialized and more specific way of looking at the value of links for a given site from an SEO standpoint.

While there’s no concrete evidence that Google or other major search engines use these reduced link graphs as part of their rankings, research has indicated so many positives that it’s increasingly likely they’re being used – just behind the veil of what’s been released publicly. Today, we’ll go over some specific signs when it comes to Google themselves that indicate they may be at least using a similar kind of graph.

Google and Link Ranking Algorithm Patent

In a filing that dates all the way back to 2006 and was recently updated in 2018, Google has attempted to secure a patent for a particular link ranking algorithm that used a reduced link graph. This algorithm was very different from previously similar ones, identifying what it terms “seed” sites within a huge range of topics, then ranking the distance between links from one site to another. Essentially, the further away a given site is from the seed sites, the higher the chances of that site being spam.

In many ways, this is exactly what a reduced link graph does. These graphs will include fewer links than other forms of analysis, but they’re highly effective based on the way they track distance between links. New versions of Google’s PageRank appear to use this sort of thing.

Does Google Use a Reduced Link Graph?

Unfortunately, Google has a general policy of not confirming the parts of a given patent it uses in its actual ranking algorithms. There have also been no public statements from Google about this subject.

But based on research in the field, it’s considered highly possible by online marketing experts that at least some form of this graph is being used by Google and other search engines. However, there remains no concrete proof of this.

What It Means for SEO

Whether or not Google is actively using a reduced link graph, and whether or not your site would be significantly affected if so, it’s good to know about how these algorithms work. The simple fact that these graphs are possible is important – it can be used to help formulate ranking strategies and understand why prior strategies might not be as important anymore.

To learn more about how you can apply these themes, or to learn about any of our SEO and web design services, speak to the pros at SEO Werkz today.

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