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The Orion Algorithm and Your SEO Efforts

Aug 17, 2007
Every so often there is a new development that is so enormous that it changes the way the entire SEO-using world works with their websites for optimization and proper promotional structuring. Most recently was the purchasing of the rights to the Orion Algorithm by Google. Equally important is that Yahoo! and MSN have both taken an interest in the Orion Algorithm and vied for its ownership.

The Orion Algorithm - for those of you who aren't working for a search engine - is something that has actually been kept quite secret. Its specifics are not known, but what is understood is that it is a new technology for the performance of search engines. It allows search results to be immediately displayed as expanded text extracts so that users will know the relevant information without having to actually check the site to make sure that it is what they are looking for. The option to visit the website is, however, still quite available if the user chooses to opt for it.

To web designers, search engine optimizers, and other website owners, it means that there will likely be another shift in the way that websites are ranked and indexed. Furthermore, the traffic to the website will be much more specific to that site's target market, as fewer people will land there only to find that it is not what they are looking for.

For users in general, this will mean that the results that are displayed using Google searches will be much more similar to those found at Ask. It will allow users to judge the site's content compared to what they're looking for without having to click the link. It will make searching much simpler and more practical for users who will be able to review everything all in one place. Then, when they come upon the site or sites that interest them, they may still click the link and find out what the site is all about in more depth.

This means that the Orion Algorithm is essentially an entirely new way of evaluating websites with regards to the search terms that are used for them. Instead of ranking the website based on the search phrase being used by the user, the Orion Algorithm may also dig a bit deeper into the phrase, searching also for related phrases. This concept, while not entirely new for directories, is the first of its kind for the standard search engines that are typically used on the internet. This will mean that search engine optimizers will need to change their overall strategy so that they will now appeal to search engines in different ways.

Among the techniques that may be utilized in searching with other relevant terms with the Orion Algorithm are the following. Their relevancy and weight has not been determined, as the Orion Algorithm is being held in the deepest secrecy. However, knowing what we do about Orion, it is logical to believe the following:

1 Directories are the least likely to be considered using relevant phrases. Though they may be utilized for supplementary keyword sources, they will not likely be considered as results in themselves. The drawback presented by this approach is that there will therefore not be as many cross-referenced popular keywords as there are currently due to the results brought up by directories with a search engine query.

2 Thesaurus are relatively unlikely to be used for discovering related phrases since the technique rarely works for related keyword phrases that are used with searches. It may be possible for single word searches, but as soon as multiple words are used, or even when acronyms are employed, it is much more difficult to find proper terms using thesauruses.

3 Search behavior is also unlikely to be used in order to document relevancy for future searches. The concept is sound, as it would allow search behavior patterns to be collected and then predicted. However, this would not allow for decent results until the search engines have had enough time to compile adequate results and then assess the behaviors that have been recorded.

We may never know precisely what goes into the Orion Algorithm, but search engine optimizers "as always" will continue testing new results for creating sites that are most likely to achieve superior search engine ranking results.
About the Author
Mark Nenadic
Mark is the director and face behind FifteenDegrees-North, where you will find articles and resources to help with SEO,
marketing and Web design.
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