VIPS - VIsion-based Page Segmentation
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"Links and Traffic Tutorial, Part Six" - VIPS - VIsion-based Page Segmentation

For all intensive purposes, VIPS is probably one of the most valuable tools that is being added to the search engine's arsenal of ranking strategies.


What In the World Is VIPS - VIsion-based Page Segmentation?

Click to Enlarge VIPS Map

VIPS began life as a paper published by Microsoft Research. The actual 28 page paper was titled, "VIPS: a Vision-based Page Segmentation Algorithm", and it was written by Deng Cai; Shipeng Yu; Ji-Rong Wen; Wei-Ying Ma in November of 2003.

The image to the right illustrates the basic concept behind VIPS.

This system makes a whole lot of sense from the point of view of the search companies.

Nearly every page on the internet has the same basic structure to it.

The top table row <tr></tr> is generally always the page header, which contains the website's logo and sometimes a site menu. The bottom table row generally always consists of an additional site menu, other website ownership information such as additional websites owned by the same webmaster, and copyright information.

The left table column <td></td> is nearly always the site menu and assorted advertising. If there is a right table column, it often contains additional website links and even more advertising.

The body text area of the page almost always carries the information that the webmaster wants to share with their readers.


How Does VIPS Change the SEO Challenge?

Through the VIPS system, a web page can be reverse engineered by looking at its <table> structures.

Exactly where on a page a link appears in the <table> structure, can determine the real value of that link.

It is just common sense, if you follow the habits of webmasters from around the world, that the page body text carries the most important information on the webpage.
And, it makes sense that any tables that may be embedded in the page body region of the web page might just be additional advertising.

Follow the logic. Look at how you have constructed your own websites. Your website is the very best testimonial that you can look at to understand the power of the VIPS algorithm.


The End of Paid Link Placement for SEO?

If the search engines are going to discount links in the left or right sidebar of a web page, if that link points to an external website, then has the search engine just devalued your most common paid link placements? You bet they have.

Editor's Note: The primary Links And Traffic.com linking strategy, is to aim the link placement into the Body Text area of the webpages that will host your Natural Links.


Between the Natural Linking algorithms and the VIPS algorithms, linking strategies must evolve to meet these new challenges.

If you should desire to take on establishing links on your own, we strongly suggest that you do not take too many shortcuts. If you do decide to take shortcuts, your shortcuts may lead to the demise of all of the hard work you have put into your SEO activities thus far.



In our final tutorial, we are going to take a look at The Ignored 40%.
I hope that you are not one of the people who have chosen to ignore this 40% before now.





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