Why Page Theme is Usually More Important than PageRank:
In the Hilltop white paper they talk about how they can use expert documents to help compute relevancy. An expert document is a non affiliated page which links to many related resources. If page A is related to page B and page B is related to page C then a connection between A & C are assumed.
Additionally Hilltop states that it strongly considers page title and page headings in relevancy scores (in fact these elements can be considered more important than link text).
The benefit of Hilltop over raw PageRank (Google) is that it is topic sensitive - and is thus generally harder to manipulate than buying some random high power off topic link would be. The benefits of Hilltop over topic distillation (Teoma) are that Hilltop is quicker & cheaper to calculate, and that it tends to have more broad coverage.
When Hilltop does not have enough expert sites the feature can be turned off. It is believed that Google is using Hilltop to help sort the relevancy for some of their search results today.
Eating Your Own Crap: Fractal Spam - search engines may be known to like their own search results...at least for a while.
Overture Direct Traffic Center:
Some big advertisers are not too impressed with the reporting delays and clunky interface.
SEM Cares? SEMPO Cares? or is it Nobody Cares? SEM Cares perhaps too little, too late for Barbara and others to put out the good word? The domain name sounds a bit Orewellian, which almost makse it sound like maybe nobody cares.
I am sure it is only a small sample of what Google's technologies do, but it is interesting nonetheless, and it may tell you what Google thinks of your site as well as help you think of related categorical sites to get links from. Maybe it would also be a good way for a small new directory owner to grab a unique category structure for their site?
Domain Name: E-SEARCHONLINE.COM
Created on: 22-Dec-04
I did not see any meaningful company information on their company information page either http://www.apexesearch.com/info.htm. Some people are wondering if this firm has anything to do with Traffic Power. If any SEO calls you up out of the blue trying to tell you that you MUST buy something TODAY then odds are they are NOT worth buying from. Cold calls = crap. Traffic
How can a person wanting to set up an automated link network say that people should not be able to buy links by PageRank?
How Not to Make Friends...Part 2:
For a while the name of the SEO firm that wanted RustyBrick to link to them was posted in this rant thread.
One time some guy with a big mouth emailed me about how great his firm was and felt that for that reason he felt he deserved a link from my site. I also had a hunch that when another well known firm told me to add them to my SEO forums page that they were spamming me. Not too long ago I got an email from an express link building firm which used "stuff" as the the email title. I wonder how many people use these same shoddy techniques to "promote" (or otherwise destroy the brand of) their clients sites?
Google sent out an email stating that they will now only display 1 advertisement per URL per keyword. Additionally people no longer need to signify their ads are affiliate ads since there is only one ad per URL.
They multiply CTR * max bid to determine the effective ad rank, and the top ad rank for any URL will be the ad that is displayed.
Lots of dynamic keyword insertion noise (such as eBay affiliates) have been ruining the relevancy of their ads so this one step they are taking to try to keep them relevant.
This change will have no effect of white label affiliate sites since they are on their own separate URLs. Some people will probably also find ways to bounce their affiliate ads to get around this change.
The email they sent out is in the extended entry. Google AdWords™ Announcement:
Affiliate Policy Change Google
Hello from the Google AdWords Team:
In January 2005, Google will incorporate a new affiliate advertising policy that is designed to provide a better user and advertiser experience.
What is changing:
With this new affiliate policy, we'll only display one ad per search query for affiliates and parent companies sharing the same URL. This way, users will have a more diverse sampling of advertisements to choose from. As always, your ad will be displayed based on its Ad Rank for given searches, which is determined by a combination of your ad's maximum cost-per-click (price) and clickthrough rate (performance).
For instance, if a user searches for books on Google.com or anywhere on the Google search and content networks, Google will take an inventory of ads running for the keyword books. If we find that two or more ads compete under the same URL, we'll display the ad with the highest Ad Rank.
How this will affect you:
If you're an affiliate, this means that you no longer need to identify yourself as an affiliate in your ad text. However, your current ad text will continue to display your affiliate status until you change it.
Affiliates or advertisers using unique URLs in their ads will not be affected by this change. Please note that your Display URL must match the URL of your landing page, and you may not simply frame another site.
What you should do:
We recommend that you continue to monitor your ads' performance and optimize your ads as needed to ensure they're bringing you the best results. Please visit our Optimization Tips page for more information.
By improving our ad relevancy, we believe that users will have a better search experience, which will help you reach more potential clients in the future. We'll continue to make improvements to AdWords over time to further improve the user experience and help increase the performance of your ads.
We look forward to continue providing you with the most effective advertising available.
The Google AdWords Team
Disclaimer: As a business Google must make decisions regarding the advertising we accept. As stated in our Terms and Conditions, we reserve the right to exercise editorial discretion when reviewing AdWords ads created within the program. This only concerns our advertising and in no way affects the search results we deliver. Google offers broad access to content across the web without censoring results.
Search Google Ads: Widget Ads - you can search Google for ads only.
What is Google Smoking?
Bongs in the search results - I randomly searched for Chong at Google. On my good old handy dandy FireFox some Google searches are showing images.
Why would a company so textually driven want to place those images prominently above search results? They are probably going to be easy to spam, increase page load time, and IMHO detract from Google a huge amount. I suppose they know a bit more than me about that sort of stuff, but so far I do not like it.
I met Patrick Gavin of Text Link Ads in Las Vegas and have been working a bit with him. I recently interviewed Patrick about link buying, how he got into the web, and where he would start if he started on the web today.
Six Apart is the company that created the blogging software that runs this site. They are going to purchase LiveJournal, which will drastically expand their userbase, though most LiveJournal customers are not paying customers. A ton of consolidation in this space will likely occur throughout the year between some of the platforms, tracking, and search sites. (found on ThreadWatch)
PPC Keyword Research Software: TheDowser is a new (to me at least) keyword research tool which combines some of the features from the Overture search term suggestion tool and the Google Keyword Sandbox tool (as well as having some other features). I did not use it a ton, but downloaded the trial and played with it a bit. If you run a bunch of PPC campaigns it only needs to help you save a little time or find a few new keywords to pay for itself.
what is social security "reform"?...more info...ever wonder why so many politicians and news outlets portray everything as a crisis? The answer is simple...it is. If they don't do something to distract you and keep your attention then you might actually have time to learn how to change their world.
I was in and out around the end of the year and just finally got back home in a somewhat stable state today. It looks as though Google has finally updated toolbar PageRank again, and I have been reading bits about the horrible tsunami.
To try my best to help out, for the month of January I am going to send all my SEO Book sales income to help out with relief from the storm. I think Paypal eats about $2 out of each order, but other than that the remainder will go to help out Sarvodaya.
Search a Bunch of Sites:
GigaBlast allows you to create a custom topic search engine which searches up to two hundred of your favorite domains.
Taking Bets: Sebastian reviews 2004, and bets that SEO firms will drop like flies in 2005. I have grown to know a good number of SEOs over the past year or so (and chat with many daily). Many come from bright business backgrounds, but it also seems to me that many of us also had exceptionally low points in our lives and looked to the web for something to do when other things did not make sense (I am definentally part of that second group).
I would not bet against the resiliency of internet marketers, especially with how fast and cheaply the web provides feedback. No matter how much search advances people will still make money off SEO services. Some SEOs will always be able to manipulate most any search results, while others will move on to other business roles.
I think niche SEO services (knowing everything about an industry or link building or directory registration or keyword research), more sophisticated SEO services (those who can instantly rank anything or know how to get around any technical problem), and more personalized SEO services (working exceptionally closely with just a few clients) will spread.
General broad SEO services for some random set fee to tons of clients will be a business model that provides less and less value as time passes and search advances.
More clients means more data, but understanding social networks and finding the key things that various web based businesses need to do to succeed longterm is not something that can scale out to work well with thousands and thousands of clients. Most base level salary workers can not do the deep analytical stuff and there is only so much that you can automate or mass produce before it loses value.
Some of the best SEOs work for a limited number of clients and share profit with companies that they help make successful. In the long run it is much more valuable to forge a few strong relationships than to spread too thin. From my experiences usually those who demand the cheapest rates also are the most likely to be bad customers in many many many other areas.
If customer SEO fees and service structure are not customly designed around what their sites need then they are:
paying for a package they may or may not need; &
probably are not getting the individual attention their business needs to succeed longterm.
Even selling things like directory registration or consulting I have fees listed on my website, but in my mind the numbers are arbitrary guidelines to qualify prospects...really nothing more. In my opinion no legit service price can be given for full quality SEO services without first extensively chatting and feeling each other out.
SEO in and of itself will not go away anytime soon, though many of the people doing it may create interesting new business models and ideas or have job positions that go by some other official name.
Then again I could be wrong ;-)
Do you think SEO is going away anytime soon? How will it evolve? Will customers learn to pay in jars of peanut butter?