Many across the search engine forums are noticing some substantial ranking changes taking place across Google. Speculation is wild about what, exactly, did change. The two most common theories are changes to how links are analyzed or using natural language filtering for textual content.
The theories here range from Google is placing more importance on the links being from relevant sites/pages to devaluing links from certain areas of the page. Either of these would affect the common practice of purchasing links from higher PR sites as a means to increase the target site’s PageRank. Often times these links come from well established sites that are from completely different industries and not related in any way to the industry of the target site. If Google is actively devaluing links from non-relevant sites this would substantially improve their rankings.
The other possible aspect is analyzing where links are on the page. Google would effectively be able to give certain links more value depending on where they are located on any single page. Links in navigation menus or sponsored ad areas would essentially have little or no value. Again, this would put affect sites purchasing sponsored links, even if from relevant sites.
Links, as measured by search engines, are supposed to be a vote of importance or relevance for a site. Links which are purchased ultimately do not fit that mold, and Google and other engines would be wise to devalue such links as irrelevant.
Google may be implementing some kind of natural language filter that analyzes existing textual content looking for implementations of keywords that are forced onto the page, usually from SEO efforts. Another side of this is looking for other words which would be a natural language relation to the targeted keywords. For example a search engine would know that a trip to San Diego might include a visit to Sea World so you can take a tour of the marine life.
Natural language algorithms make SEO manipulation much more difficult and greatly moves to improve overall search relevance.
If the new Google algorithm changes are either of these, or both, Pole Position Web is already positioned, and in fact, has already been implementing strategies to take advantage of this much more advanced algorithm. We’ve seen many clients ranking significantly improve over the past several days and expect to see further improvement as these new algorithms are fully implemented.