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.
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 donï¿½t 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 ï¿½google super search engineï¿½ and their ï¿½super brainedï¿½ employees for years... and winning (as have most of the folks around here).
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)