I am hoping you can help me make some observations about the new AltaVista algo.
I think the one thing we can agree on is that nobody can really understand AltaVista these days. Pages which have ranked in the top ten for eons now can not be found in the top 100. While pages that have been optimized using the same techniques and are also on the same domain are still in the top 10.
There is also the Hide and Seek Factor that is going on at AltaVista. One moment a page will show up in the top listings, and the next minute it is gone only to reappear at a later time.
Comments from AltaVista suggest that this is related to "server balancing" during peek request periods of time on the Internet. But in my personal testing that just doesn't hold water. If you test your ranks during the time frames when Internet traffic is at it's most quiet level you will get the same wacked out results.
And talk about wacked out results! Let's look at just one.
At least as of the time I am posting this, if you search AltaVista for the term lemonade you will find http://lemonade.com listed in the #9 spot.
The hoot to this ranking is that lemonade.com contains absolutly no content. There are not even any Meta tags on the page. In fact, the entire web site is composed of two graphics that when clicked alternate between index.html and index2.html. And inbound link populartiy? It is in the dismal 30's.
So from a SEO perspective the message would seem to be to that in order to get a high ranking on AltaVista all you need to do is get a good domain name, title your page with that domain name and include zero content.
But let's go a little farther on our examination of lemonade.com.
Go over to AltaVista and type in host:lemonade.com to see how many pages are in the index from this domain.
Instead of finding only pages from lemonade.com you will also find pages from:
Anyway, this is only one example of the wacked out results on AltaVista these days. And I realize this is anecdotal evidence. But in closing I'll add one more thing.
Do a search on AltaVista for anecdotal.
Positions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9 all take you to catagories in Yahoo!
Now, that is really wacky! What engine relies on a competing directory to provide search results?
Anyway, if you guys can help figure out why lemonade.com is in the top ten, or come up with any other good examples from which we can learn, that woudl be too great!