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What’s your site’s flavor?

February 11, 2005

When discussing search engine rankings, we talk a lot about links “relevant” to your site’s topic, and linking to authority sites

But what does Google think your site is about?

Site Flavored Search

Google recently introduced a beta test of their “Site-Flavored Search Tool”.  Although the point of the tool is to let you add a “search box” for your site that will search “similar sites”, it also will show you what Google thinks your site is about.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. To see what Google thinks of your site, go here for the site-flavored search tool.
  2. Click on “Start here to customize Google for your site”
  3. Enter the address of your web site (don’t forget the “http://”)
  4. Click on “Get Profile”

The results will be in the grey “Site Flavored Profile” box on your right.

You may well get some surprises — I know that I did on several sites.  What Google thought they were about, and what I thought they were about were two very different things.

If Google has the wrong impression about your site, it may keep you from getting the search engine traffic you want. 

To change Google’s mind, look at the sites that are linking to your site, and the text they are using in the link. 

Getting more links from sites in a given topic, and insuring that the link text is appropriate for your topic will help influence how Google views your site.

To see (some of) the links to your site that Google knows about, go to Google’s main page and search on:

link:http://www.yourdomainname.com

where http://www.yourdomainname.com is the address of your web site.

Note: The site flavored search is just a beta test right now — it may change a lot before they feel it is “ready for prime time”, and sometimes the thing doesn’t work at all.  In the meantime, it’s an interesting way to get an impression of how Google is viewing your site.

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