Got this pleasant surprise this week, as I got one of my questions on SEO answered by the head of the spam team at Google – Matt Cutts. Matt frequently video blogs Q&A sessions for the webmaster community over on Youtube. I’ve been finding for some time that certain sites (for most likely commercial reasons) on Google’s part get a bit of a boost in the SERPs at inception. Whilst this video doesn’t confirm or deny this theory, it certainly backs up its likelihood.
If you think about it, with splogs being used daily by spammers etc, its not terribly difficult for Google to footprint a particular piece of software, and use that to help in its algorithm. E-commerce sites for example will have certain elements that uniquely identifies them – add to cart buttons, view shopping pages – and that sort of thing. In much the same way that spamming software can find blogs and vbulletin forums – Google’s spiders can do exactly the same thing.
This video confirms that they do have a go at doing so, but whether that is for an enhanced user experience or for algorithmic advantage remains to be seen.