New AdSense Blog, Cheap Keyword Tip, Greg Boser Retires from WMW, a Forum for Forums

Dec 1st

New AdSense Blog:
Jennifer Slegg created JenSense, which is a blog about AdSense and contextual advertising.

Cheap Keyword Tip:
From keyword guru Dan Thies...

BTW, there's a free PPC tip there for all of you drug pushers, bid a nickel or a dime for "hereviagra" and you'll get all the traffic you can handle, dirt cheap. In fact, "heresearchterm" is a nice cheap target for Adwords across the board.

Retirement:
Greg Boser retired as admin of WMW. I finally met WebGuerrilla in person at the Las Vegas WMW conference. He is the no BS type, and if I wanted to buy SEO services he would be one of the few people I would contact.

A Forum for Forums
A while ago The Forum Zone launched as a place to help forum owners learn together. The cast and crew from SearchGuild also recently launched a forum for forum mods and admins by the name of ForumSpeak.

Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like:
Christmas. All the Amazing Rain will turn to snow.

ThreadWatch Premium, SearchGuild Chirstmas Competition, Yahoo! Hand Coding

Nov 29th

Changes Afoot:
ThreadWatch to make a premium service. Feel free to float Nick some dough if you like his site :)

Please Vote:
Shall SEW forums allow sig links? So far yes is winning 10 to 1. Scaling a community is just plain hard, and I have been super impressed by how liberal SEW forums have been so far.

Tis the Season:
To make up for all our faults and show our love by buying tons of gifts...and then pay off more credit card debt <-- that credit card debt crap is evil. (Aren't I a Screwdge?)
Not to worry, because SearchGuild Clause looks to help one person find that perfect gift.

Writing Search Engine Friendly Content:
Danny Sullivan talks about how Yahoo! Search hard codes search results.

Google Spam Reporting, What Links are Important?, Total Optimizer Pro Linking Tools

Nov 27th

Subscriptions:
Are usually not worth it...even if they are free.

Snitch Squad:
Google to hire remote quality raters. A while ago I was naive enough to think that spam reporting was generally worthwhile, but usually it has no effect and if it does then you are working for another company free of charge.

Google stands behind the branding / marketing angle of letting the democratic nature of the web determine relevancy, but just like all other engines they hand edit at least some search results. At least 9 time out of 10 people reporting spam would be far better off focusing thier time on making their own sites better instead of worrying about competitors.

Make content, socially interact, buy / rent / trade links...there are lots of things you can do to make progress. Even if you tell on someone today odds are that another site will replace them tommorow. Just make a kick ass site and get the links required for a search engine to understand that your site kicks ass.

Scaling Out PPC:
Is Search Sustainable? NFFC plays devils advocate with the PPC gurus.

What Links are Important?
Everyday someone has a "the sky is falling" post about how smart search algorithms are and how some links do not count at all. Recently WebmasterWorld hosted one about BlueFind. SearchEngineWatch hosted another thread where the author was determined to speak his own outcome when he started the thread. My good buddy Lots0 shot him down in post 25:

I just watched a page climb to page one for a VERY VERY competitive keyword, using ONLY guest book links with keywords in the anchor text... And No I am not going to give you the URL in a public forum, unless you want to send me about $25,000 first (expected first quarter earnings for this page). ...
I don�t know why some people want to give google more credit than they are due. I have seen many many people come on a forum like this and make all these statements about what google does or does not do, usually most all of these statement are FALSE.

My own opinion, I think some people want google to be some super all knowing, all powerful search engine and that this super search engine should be able to do all, even if at this time most of the things that some of these people think google does are technically impossible.

Also this idea that everyone that works at google is smarter than the rest of us, I find insulting. I have been pitting my wits against the �google super search engine� and their �super brained� employees for years... and winning (as have most of the folks around here).

Hi-jacked domains:
Google is having a few problems.

Linking Tools:
WebmasterWorld has a good thread about building a linking tool. Also I recently got to try out Total Optimizer Pro, but left for Vegas and have been playing vacation too much. I will hopefully have more time to review it soon, but I am starting to think that much of the best link building software will probably be custom developed software.

Eloquent Forum Spamming: a how to...

Step 1: Merchandise - create a product to sell or signup for an affiliate program or 2 if you are in a rush.
Step 2: Distribution Channels - get a long list of forums (like the list located here: http://www.spiffysoft.com/myposter/boards.php)
Step 3: Create a script - categorize your channels and create a script that will spam bomb the same question to a ton of different forums.
Step 4: Signup - create your accounts with a generic name.
Step 5: Post - try the script out. start marketing.
Step 6: Get Busted - ooops, that is not part of the plan. But it happened here

One thing many people miss is that many people who run forums are technically gifted, well socially connected, and know a ton about the web.

Its much easier to spam forums more naturally if you do it on a small scale in small groups. Its even easier to do well longterm if the people who are running the forums like you.

I originally found the reference to this clown move on Threadwatch. Chris from SearchGuild has identified the mystery poster.

One wonders why he did not password protect his page or register his domains via proxy? How long did he expect to get away with this? The same guy created SEO tools and certainly has to expect this to hurt his inbound link popularity...

bragadocchio also threw out a good resource link "How To Ask Questions The Smart Way" in the Cre8asite thread where he busted newsguy.

How Yahoo! Handles Meta Refresh, Manipulating News Search Results, Why the Web is Cool...

Nov 24th

Refresh:
Not sure if anyone posted this anywhere, but I think Yahoo! reps reported how they treat meta refreshes at the WMW search conference. I think they stated:

  • Meta refreshes of less than a second are to be treated by Yahoo! Search as a 302 redirect.

  • Meta refreshes of greater than a second are to be treated by Yahoo! Search as a 301 redirect.

Google Local:
goes global

Froogle Wishlist:
make your wishlist today...

Message Management:
Amazon Simple Queue Service

Cost Per Click:
Graphs and article showing where the best reported return is based on CPC. Generally low cost ads provide the best return at #1 and as the cost gets more expensive it may make a bit more sense to rank at #2 or #3.

Track Stuff:
Google News to RSS (found on Blogoscope)
PubSub

Quote Stuff:
Lyrics are expensive :(

Write the News:
Gaming Google News is really really easy (many people were doing it before the election too).

You can broadcast any message you like...fast and cheap. Many people will probably make bank releasing holiday shopping news press releases.

Watch What You Write Though:
Internet Archive pages are admissable into evidence

Inspiring:
I read tons of information about the web and perhaps spend too much time on it. Right now I am kinda sorta on vacation, and yet at 5am I can't help but want to read and learn about the web. Adam Bosworth has an amazing post which explains exactly why I like the web so much and why I want to learn so much more about it.

My general take on his artilce is: software, languages, systems, communities, personalities and business models which are flexible, honest, accept feedback, are grounded in humanity, and are easy to use will spread faster and be more successful than those which do not have those traits.

From his article:

The value is in the information and its ability to be effortlessly aggregated, evaluated, filtered, and enhanced. ... The currency of reputation and judgment is the answer to the tragedy of the commons and it will find a way. ... I find this deeply satisfying. It says that in the end the value is in our humanity, our diversity, our complexity, and our ability to learn to collaborate. It says that it is the human side, the flexible side, the organic side of the Web that is going to be important and not the dry and analytic and taxonomical side, not the systematized and rigid and stratified side that will matter.

If you only ever read a few articles about the web and its underlying technologies this should be one of them.

Also if you have not yet took a peak at The Tradgedy of the Commons you can by following that link :) I have glanced at it a few times, but hope to fully read it today.

Economic Problems?
The goodness of the web may not be enough to avoid extreme economic problems. The fall of the dollar could hurt bad. Only time will tell if / how we will evolve. Meanwhile, we shall enjoy the tax breaks.

Transparent Search Engine Business Models

Nov 24th

Google created the PageRank and Google Toolbar as a smart marketing ploy, but for the most part they speak in ways which intentionally convolute their actual ranking criteria.

Yahoo! has tried to be a bit more open with Yahoo! Shopping doing link renting / SEO for their own sites and the Yahoo! Search blog referencing and communicating with SEO industry members.

MSN Search Beta went one step further than Yahoo!. They not only link off to SEOs on their blog, but they also brought some SEOs in on developement of their search engine.

Bill Gross recently released Snap, which was founded on the idea of a 100% transparent search engine.

Lycos and Ask Jeeves (1 page PDF) are going one step further by selling SEO services. Is there any better way for a search engine to throw their credibility in the dumpster?

forum threads covering Lycos & Ask Jeeves:

Overture & MSN Extend Partnership, Google Scholar Search, SEO Secrets

The Ruling Class:
NFFC is the David Beckham of SEO?

Auctions Expert...
knows how to make bank from click fraud, says Google.

While We are Selling...
google founders selling stock

Give it away, give it away, give it away now
Perfect 10 is in a sea of distress,
unimpressed by Googles information access.
porn is free
porn for me
say hell yes :)

Google Scholar:
New Google Scholar Search. Andrew Goodman has an interesting post about Google Scholar.

Toolbar
for your site. free and customizable.

Deskbar:
Google Deskbar API

The Best SEO Secrets:
are kept secret...says Nick W

MSN + Overture:
Partner up for another year.

Link Building Info:
Andy Hagans has a new site offering link building tips.

Scoop:
A while ago a sketchy self proclaimed "white hat page generator" (www.metawebs.com) hit the market. I do not know a ton of programming, but Dan Thies, one of my well respected SEO friends sent me an email stating:

It took me about 15 minutes to write a Google API app with PHP to fish these out of the SERPs, using a very small list of seed terms (<20 words). I stopped it after a while, but it's like shooting fish in a barrel to find these "unfootprintable" pages. It will get even easier as these sites get indexed, because it increases the odds of a "hit" when searching for them.

Webmaster World Search Conference 7 - Las Vegas

Nov 23rd

So I went to the Webmaster World Conference Las Vegas. It was fun...this is kinda a personal post. On SEO Forums...
There are many problems with SEO forums, many SEO forums are decaying, and some people feel like they were burned by the commercialization and policies Webmaster World have adopted over time. As the largest webmaster forum Webmaster World often is stressed harder than many of the other forums.

Webmaster World Search Conference VS other Conferences
Webmaster World's conference was much larger than SEO Roadshow, but the conference still seemed to have a fairly strong sense of community (much stronger than that of Search Engine Strategies) I think SEO Roadshow had about 100 people, WMW had about 800 people, and SES was like 2,000 people.

Webmaster World Search Conference Highlights
Webmaster World's conference had many no B/S type speakers who spoke in a "results oriented" (thanks RC) manner. Yahoo! stated that they fixed their redirects problem, but it can take about a month to propigate throughout the web. During Google's lucheon they stated that they were eventually going to work on giving advertisers better control of spending through their various ad networks.

Seeing People
Many times I type keys thinking I am just typing keys...with actions that almost seem automated, but the web server logs are showing the traffic patterns of people. Some people I did not know came up to me and said "your SEO Book," which I found both really cool and somewhat weird...as it is not something I am used to.

On the web I am not too shy, but in person I am. I rarely leave the house and sometimes even have a bit of social anxiety in crowded areas. Despite that I spoke with a ton of people and had a ton of fun though.

People I Spoke With...
I talked to a ton of people, drank a bunch, and have a somewhat sketchy memory sometimes, but thanks to the following people who I got to say hi to:

and thanks to Brett Tabke for putting on the conference. Looks like the next one will be in New Orleans and then back in Las Vegas after that.

New Blogs, Google AdWords & Trademarks

Nov 15th

SMA EU
has a new blog...and so does MSN search

Rumor Mill
AdWords and Trademarks

Branding
Is it dead? some say yes...

Vegas
I will be going there in a couple hours :) While I am gone you may want to take a peak at Threadwatch. You can also make posts there if you find anything good on the various SEO forums, like I recently did here.

MSN Search Beta...

Nov 11th
posted in
msn

MSN Launched their new search engine

More info about the new MSN Search beta:
John Battelle
Chris Sherman

Google tries to steal their sunshine by announcing a new 8 billion page database...

Google Advertising Professional Program

Nov 10th

Google Advertising Professional
The Google Advertising Professional program was...

Designed for professionals who currently manage or want to manage multiple AdWords client accounts, the Google Advertising Professionals program can help you become a more successful ad manager – for free.

You have to comply with their rules, spend at least $1,000 in a 90 day period, and pass a test. The test costs $50 to take. Wonder how it helps you make more money for free when the test costs $50? ;) Google AdWords Learning Center
Google has a bunch of free tutorials and quizes which can help prepare you for their test.

Google AdWords Test
I just took the test and it was 104 multiple choice questions. I was given 1.5hrs to take the test and was required to get a minimum score of 75%. A few of the questions are a bit confusing but most of them are rather easy. If you know much about AdWords you should be able to take the test in under an hour.

After you pass the test and spend enough money on AdWords you can get your shiny Qualified Google Advertising Professional Logo

Google Advertising Professional FAQs
There is a large online Google Advertising Professionals Support FAQ section as well.

My Client Center
Allows you to link together up to 500 AdWords accounts and access them from a single login.

New AdWords Tools
I have not tried either of these out, and neither are officially endorsed by Google in any way, but a few newer bolt on AdWords tools are AdWord Accelerator and AdGooroo.

MicroSoft's MSN Search to Debut Tomorrow?

Nov 10th
posted in
msn

There aren't many details behind the story or how exactly the debut will be different to the currently available MSN technology preview. Danny states limited details are available and gives a brief history of MSN search.

Various Internet News...

Nov 10th

TV Search?
Google is working on it...

Namebombing
Tim Bray talks Namebombing...you saw it here first. ;)

Interesting
The (Transparent) Shopping Society

Go FireFox
Google thinks FireFox is cool...

SEO Toolbar
Not sure if this sends your data to SEO Inc or not, but if not then some may find their SEO Toolbar useful. A while ago my buddy Dale Brown also created a SEO Toolbar offering.

Open Source Developer Search
Koders
(thanks Andy)

In Search of Disclosure
PDF about search engine disclosure of paid placements

Lock Your Domains...
ICANN new transer policy

New Smarter Google AdWords Keyword Evaluation

Google is using predictive modeling to try to help serve up more of your ads.

New AdWords Status Ratings
In the past Google stated ads were strong, moderate, or at risk. The new ratings are normal, in trial, or on hold.

How the New AdWords System Works
If Google has enough keyword data from prior ads on your keywords and it indicates that your ad should perform well Google will start your ads off in normal distribution. If they have inadequate data on your keyword then they will give the predicted CTR a small boost to help start you off in normal.

If past ads for the same keywords show that the ad is not likely to perform well then the ad will start off "on trial." Your account can only have a limited number of on trial keywords in it at any given time. They'll continue showing the "on trial" ads until they are statistically confident their CTR is below or above 0.5%.

If you have more than the max alotment of words which are expected not to perform well then the additional ads will go into the "on hold" category. The on hold ads will be tested based in the order of expected clickthrough rate.

More info on the Google AdWords Changes

RSS Ads, Public Spam Reporting

Nov 9th

Pheedo
RSS Ads are here...Overture and Feedburner may be nearing a partnership too.

Getting Less for Your Buck...
PPC prices rise 14% on the month.

Public Spam Report
goes awry... DaveN states why many "spammers" still use blogs and guestbooks:

Blogs are now a smoke screen. I monitor the same areas as you, and I saw a site come in to the top 20 with only 20 backlinks before the blog screen went up..

Generally it is a bad idea to post public spam complaints. Its doubtful that search engine reps will see them before they get snipped (or react to them if they do), and you may introduce additional competitors to your keywords while making enemies.

SEO Forum Growth, Google Posts AdWords Content Policy

Nov 6th

SMA UK
Releases membership rates.

Go Big or Stay Home
Less than a month old, the Uncover the Net directory just joined the World Wide Web Consortium, already has over 100,000 pages in Google's index, and is running a free site submission program this month... click here for details of the promotion.

Google
Stock 30 points off its peak. Perhaps the market did not like the new (finally published) AdWords Content policy.

She Comes and Goes...
RCJordan starts a thread about how SEO Forums build up and die off...lots of great comments there too.

Talk to me:
Speegle

Sterling Blog Comment Spam
Having a blog is a good way to track what markets are exceptionally competitive or which ones people think are worth a ton of money. I have been getting a bunch of forced sex spam recently...apparently some people are into that, and it is perhaps a hard market to penetrate.

Today I just got a comment from Sara B Sterling, pointing at http://www.sarahsterling.com/

Notice the Sterling anchor text...bet that becomes a silver website.

Canadian Dollar:
At 12 year high against the US dollar. After the election some Canadians are looking to use the additional funds to rescue people from the states, while others just want to buy the blue states outright.

DMCA Being Used Against Google

Political Search Engine Marketing

Nov 2nd

Google Vote Logo.

Google for President:
Steven Berlin Johnson is probably one of my 3-4 favorite authors. He writes awesome books and lots of cool articles.

Not too long ago he wrote Google for President, which looked at how the presidential campaigns were missing the boat (no, not the swift one) on buying Google AdWords ads.

Participatory Democracy:
Democracy only works if you actively participate. Over the last two months I have been running a smallish campaign on Google AdWords for the presidential election. I wrote about my line of logic and my actions in a boringly named article Political Search Engine Marketing.

I do not care much for either canidate, but think now is a good time for change. Whether you think I am right or wrong it is a fact that our government, our society, and our world would be far better off if people questioned authority and spoke their mind a bit more often.

Anyone think Political SEM is going to get huge?
Just in case it does I registered the domain name. No intention of making a site for it anytime soon, but if I really start to dig politics it could be a fun way to get into some mischief. There are lots of other things I want to learn about too though :)

Other SEO / SEM Blogs Covering the Election ;)






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