Google has made a change to it's algorithm which is making it much harder (or more expensive) to outright manipulate it's search results. I believe the discussion started by SEO Guy over at SEO Chat. From there he posted it on the Search Engine Roundtable weblog. The idea has since been talked about at most of the major SEO forums.
Garret French of WebProWorld wrote a synopsis article quoting some of the more common theories.
"The probation does not apply to new sites. It applies to links. When the algorithm was deployed certain older links were grandfathered in. After that, links will be (are being) given partial credit, and be essentially on "probation".
It applies to links, not sites. And the age of the link is not the only factor. The IP range of the links and other considerations are made, and the person who I discussed this with said that Krishna Bharat is at Google primary to develop and implement this new algorithm. It is supposed to radically change the way links are evaluated...
Disclaimer: This is my opinion and that's all it is."
This will allow new sites to still quickly gain PageRank as displayed, but ranking for competitive terms via quick link purchase is becoming exponentially more expensive.
Cool new Google search result scrapper. It may soon get banned, but if it does not then it will be an awesome tool for SEO.
Proogle shows search PageRank with search results. This can quickly give you an idea of how competitive a search term phrase may be. In addition you can add a couple features to your search to make it super useful for SEO.
Instead of looking at a search phrase you can see who is linking to a site (using link:www.blawhateversite.com). In addition you can also add &num=100 at the end of the address bar to view 100 results per page.
If you are from the UK and are debating giving Google AdWords a try then you probably should. Currently Google is giving away free 50 pound AdWords coupon vouchers at services.google.com/marketing/links/uk_adwordsfifty/ to new UK Google AdWords customers.
Update: the above link has expired, but you can get a free $75 AdWords couponhere (or here or here or here) ... many options linked, as some of their coupon offers expire over time & we update this page periodically. The Google Partners Program also offers coupons to consultants managing AdWords accounts.
Bing also has a number of great coupons available.
Bing Ads: get a free Bing coupon today.
Are you from the United States? Use this $50 coupon.
Google has recently changed it's trademark policy to allow people to bid on trademark phrases of companies within the US and Canada. Inside the US and Canada they will not allow trademark terms to appear in the ad copy. Outside those areas the will check ad text and keyword.
There has not yet been any clear statement in what the valid trademark laws are on the internet. With the advent of <iframe>'s and paid ads triggered by keywords the waters are sure to be muddy for an exceptionally long time...perhaps indefinitely.
Trademark owners should still be able to protect their trademarks via the autmated price system of Google. Trademark terms showing up in ads will warrent greater clickthrough rates since their terms will appear bolded. This will cause the prices to be reduced as these clickthrough rates are factored into click price. Your competitors will be required to spend much more to have their ad compete. Google AdWords Trademark Complaint Procedure – Trademark rights in US and Canada
When we receive a complaint from a trademark owner, we will only investigate whether the advertisements at issue are using the trademarked term in ad text . If they are, we will require the advertiser to remove the trademarked term from the text of the ad and prevent the advertiser from using the trademarked term in ad text in the future. Please note that we will not disable keywords associated with trademark usage. In addition, please note that any such investigation will only affect ads served on or by Google.
Google AdWords Trademark Complaint Procedure – Trademark rights outside US and Canada
When we receive a complaint from a trademark owner, our review is limited to ensuring that the advertisements at issue are not using the trademarked term in the ad text or as a keyword trigger. If they are, we will require the advertiser to remove the trademarked term from the ad text or keyword list and will prevent the advertiser from using the trademarked term in the future. Please note that any such investigation will only affect ads served on or by Google.
...the story is about seemingly incremental features that are actually massively expensive for others to match, and the platform that Google is building which makes it cheaper and easier for them to develop and run web-scale applications than anyone else...While competitors are targeting the individual applications Google has deployed, Google is building a massive, general purpose computing platform for web-scale programming.
After reading Emergence it became more apparent how smart the Topix news idea is. After reading his post it became even more apparent how smart Rich is. I am just wondering how they will be able to take news market share from the big search monsters. Obviously doing news way better works, but even Rich's own post state how amazingling cheap CPU cycles are at Google. How will Topix overcome Google's competitive advantages?
Lots O good Google PageRank info below. Still not much out on Yahoo Webrank though... What is Google PageRank?
Google PageRank is a mathematical approximation that a random web surfer would cross any given page prior to starting to surf over again. It is a measure of link popularity on a 1 - 10 logarithmic scale. One powerful link from a strong site is worth way more than many links from small sites.
Rusty Brick also created a tool for figuring out future PageRank which is somewhat questionable in it's exactness, but fun to look at. It has been telling me that this site will rank as a 10 or 11, so that will require you providing manu links into me :)
How do I check my Competitors PageRank?
The same way you would check your own. OR
There are automated tools which process portions of the web to help you find link partners quicker. Here are two interesting tools:
SEO Guy has a tool which allows you to set PageRank levels and perform a search for any given term. It will return a list of top ranking websites which have a PageRank equal to or greater than the # you requested.
For deeper link analysis, OptiLink link analysis software - orders the backlinks of your competitors in order of PageRank so you can Quickly view his most important backlinks (in the eyes of Google).
More on PageRank
PageRank is only one aspect of website promotion. It does play a huge role in the current Google ranking system, but there are many other factors. Generally some sites could really do well by making sure their site is well integrated into their local community and then buying a link or two to suppliment their rankings.
The web does self organize into micro communities and PageRank does not take that into account as well as search engines such as Teoma do (see also: Teoma review).
It is probably worth it for many sites to buy 1 or 2 PR7 or so links. I have been able to locate them for under $100 a month and sometimes cheaper than $50...a few times even free. I have seen run of the site PR7 links around $200 per month.
There are many many reseller networks of people selling PageRank. You want to make sure you are as close to the source as possible when buying links. IE: you may want to buy off a website, a link broker, or link brokers friend, but you start to run into heavy inflation when you buy links off a link broker from a different link broker from a link broker...
The prices of the links are spread extremely wide. There are many important factors such as
How well the webmaster knows what their links are worth.
The PageRank of the page.
The number of links on the page.
How well that page fits the theme of your site.
The direct traffic that link will bring.
The length of the contract.
Sometimes you can get discounts for quantity buys.
On my other site I have listed more PageRank resources and more in depth Google PageRank coverage.
As you can see there is a ton of info out there on PageRank. Since Yahoo! Webrank is new and expiremental there is no solid data out there on it.
They are currently testing Yahoo! Webrank in a beta test which is closed. In Danny Sullivan's article he pointed me to a backdoor link he found in Webmaster World which will allow you to download the toolbar that will show the Yahoo! Webrank. In addition Digital Point has a Yahoo! Webrank tool which sometimes provides sporadic or random results. Its inaccuracies may actually be due to the fact that Yahoo! Webrank is still in a beta test.
Portal Off the Starboar Brow!
Google has done the expected. Many think they are going the way of portal, and well today they have introduced Gmail. Google Mail is a free 1 Gig email account which is supported by contextual advertising.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - April 1, 2004 UTC - Amidst rampant media speculation, Google Inc. today announced it is testing a preview release of Gmail – a free search-based webmail service with a storage capacity of up to eight billion bits of information, the equivalent of 500,000 pages of email. Per user.
The inspiration for Gmail came from a Google user complaining about the poor quality of existing email services, recalled Larry Page, Google co-founder and president, Products. "She kvetched about spending all her time filing messages or trying to find them," Page said. "And when she's not doing that, she has to delete email like crazy to stay under the obligatory four megabyte limit. So she asked, 'Can't you people fix this?'"
The idea that there could be a better way to handle email caught the attention of a Google engineer who thought it might be a good "20 percent time" project. (Google requires engineers to spend a day a week on projects that interest them, unrelated to their day jobs). Millions of M&Ms later, Gmail was born.
"If a Google user has a problem with email, well, so do we," said Google co-founder and president of technology, Sergey Brin. "And while developing Gmail was a bit more complicated than we anticipated, we're pleased to be able to offer it to the user who asked for it."
Some of the benefits of the new Google mail
Search: Built on Google search technology, Gmail enables people to quickly search every email they've ever sent or received. Using keywords or advanced search features, Gmail users can find what they need, when they need it.
Storage: Google believes people should be able to hold onto their mail forever. That's why Gmail comes with 1,000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of free storage – more than 100 times what most other free webmail services offer.
Speed: Gmail makes using email faster and more efficient by eliminating the need to file messages into folders, and by automatically organizing individual emails into meaningful "conversations" that show messages in the context of all the replies sent in response to them. And it turns annoying spam e-mail messages into the equivalent of canned meat.
After months of testing (and me thinking I was part of another test) Google has unveiled its new look search. The new Google is a less cluttered, more crisp looking search result page. In addition the Google home page has lost its tabs and now just has small words above the search box. The Google Directory no longer is listed on the home page and the Google Directory category listings are no longer appearing in the search results. Google appears to be distancing itself from the Open Directory Project.
Froogle has been added to the home page as well as the SERP pages. To list your products in Froogle for free be sure to fill out your Froogle Feed. Froogle also has a "recent items found" list underneath it's search box.
One major change which will go highly unnoticed by most people is that there is no longer an interest bar to show relative click through rates between different ads participating in the Google AdWords program.
The single biggest difference with the new Google search is that the ads tend to blend seamlessly into the content. Google is perhaps doing this to fight the potential text ad burnout that we may face in the near future if all text ads look extremely similar.
Part of the time consuming process of the link building process is that we can spend 10 minutes just looking for a site that links to our competitor that could link to us. There are techniques to speed up this link hunt. These link building tips can allow you to get the most powerful links with the least amount of effort.
after you search Google place &num=100 at the end of the address bar. This will show 100 results per page. Since Google clusters search results by site this will make scanning the link list rather easy.
Boolean search operators are link builders friends. Searching for links using link:blasite.com might work, but you also can find the links which have certain text in them. For example, a search for a common authority in your field of study AND "optimized link text." This will show you where most of the topical hubs for your field are. You can also search for different optimized phrases in the same field. This will show you where lots of the quick and easy links are.
You can take link building one step further by also clasifying the TLD domain type or page title. For example the following search would give you educational institutions which link to Search Engine Watch with the phrase "search engine watch or searchenginewatch" in the text and resources links or partners or engines in the page title.
inurl:+".edu" AND (intitle:links OR intitle:partners OR intitle: resources Or intitle:engines) AND ("searchenginewatch" OR "search engine watch")
You can also search for links by keywords and specify differnt filepaths or page elements. For example, you can find out which .htm or .html filepath extension pages have the words "search engine marketing" in a the page copy which also have "link partners" in the page title by using the following search: "search engine marketing" intitle:"link partners" (*.htm OR *.html)
A site keeps screwing up my link building. If there is a specific site which is still overcrowding the search results even after you do all the above you can filter is out. Place -site:your-link-blocker.com at the end of your search query.
Using the above ideas in a creative way can allow a person with no automated software, no money, and a good idea worth spreading to quickly dominate search results. You are now an advanced Google link building stud :)