Google Site Flavored Search

ChrisG mentions that Google's site flavored search automatically suggests categories for websites, and that generally it has spot on results.

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?

On a side note, apparently Google has no idea what Black Hat SEO is...

SEMPO: Nails In the Coffin

SEMPO founder Barbara Coll shows envy / lust / jelousy toward the newly formed search marketing association by the name of SMA-NA.

SEMPO sees SMA-NA as a direct competitor. SEMPO did not see other regional branches such as SMA-UK the same way. Wonder why?

If SEMPO is about promoting SEM services around the globe shouldn't they be interested in other regional organizations with generally the same goal?

If the goal of SEMPO is to actually bring the SEO community together, is another force which also tries to do that a bad thing? I think not. According to Ian McAnerin SEMPOs founder for some reason does.

SEMPOs founder thinks its one or the other. I think she is right. Unfortunately for her, her thought process likely indicate that SEMPO will be the organization to soon parish.

No doubt the post on Ian's blog is a striking blow to SEMPO's future.

ThreadWatch posts snippets from Ian's post.

Jon Kleinberg, Title Attribute Test, Making Friends

Home Page of the Day:
Jon Kleinberg - he worked on lots of the underlying theory that created the hubs and authority ranking system which eventually led to Teoma.

He has all kinds of cool PDFs on his site such as Maximizing the Spread of Influence through a Social Network - cool stuff. If I were better at math and network theory stuff his home page would be a virtual candy store.

Interesting & Awaiting Results:
fathom is conducting a link title attribute test

Undersold ad space
Anna Kournikova on advertising...er, advertising on Anna Kournikova

Illigitimate ad space:
Bush Administration Invents 'News' and Pays Journalist

Hosed Ad Space:
Kraft WHITE American Cheese - AdWords ad targeting problems :(

Really, I am not a Slimeball Ads:
Ken Lay starts advertising on AdWords. Interesting what the other AdWords ads say about him too.

Meta "ingnore this part of the page" tag:
I can't really see it coming anytime soon, but some want to push the idea.

MSN Beta to ramp up testing:
MSN Beta to ramp up testing

Developing a Directory?
The Don'ts of Directory Development offers tips to help you get your directory off the ground.

ESearch Online E Search Online ApexSearch Apex Search (look out):
another SEO firm out of Vegas that is allegedly cold calling people.

I did not find any legitimate backlinks into the apexesearch site. The only one I found in Google was from a forum solicitation by a guy by the name of Sincity

Sincity would like to offer you...

In that forum post it states:

real results refferences provided in business since 1996 no cusomer complaints EVER!!!!

and yet its registration details state

Registered through: GoDaddy.com (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: APEXESEARCH.COM
Created on: 20-Apr-04

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 Not to Make Friends:
Promote your services in others forums while trashing their business model in your own forum.

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?

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It's Brutal to be...

Dan Thies Offers SEO Coaching Program, MicroSoft Anti-Spyware & Anti Free Culture

SEO Coaching:
Dan Thies offers up a coaching course for SEOs and designers. Dan has one of the sharpest minds in the SEO field. If I were not so busy I would want to sign up. His stuff is probably one of the few mentoring type programs that is worth more than it costs.

Trailing Slashes:
Don't forget the trailing slashes...
site/blah and site/blah/ are not always the same.

While Looting...
From Search Engine Roundtable (the above two items were posted on his blog)... I also saw that they had found a cool free conversion tips ebook from Conversion Chronicals.

MicroSoft Anti-Spyware:
beta release (found from ThreadWatch, where Jason Duke says it appears to be good stuff.)

MSN Search Launching its own Paid Search Arm:
apparently they are hiring

Andy Beal:
Writer of Search Engine Lowdown launches the blog formerly known as Andy Beal uncut.

Keyword Prices:
Jumped 24% in the 4TH quarter, according to Fathom Online.

Bill Gates on PR:
Free Culture advocates = Communists. You don't get called the evil empire for no reason at all.

Interesting view point with MicroSoft's recent complaints about Google's lack of support for the open software community. More of the "Big Bill" interview here.

Digital Home Strategy:
Yahoo! partners with MicroSoft

The Cookie Monster:
Revived Spyware Bill Could Crunch Cookies (and make marketing a wee bit harder)

Want a Job?
unemployment numbers jumped sharply, luckily Google is hiring.

Google AdWords Affiliate Ad Policy Change

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.

Sincerely,
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.

Contact us: If you have any questions, please contact your Google representative or email us at https://adwords.google.com/support/bin/request.py.

Email preferences: You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important new AdWords features.

-------------

>Google offers broad access to content across the web without censoring results.

Does anyone buy that Google is not forced to censor some stuff? I don't...

Why Make a Person Wait?

Sometimes when people apply to DMOZ they spend a half hour filling out the application and then hit submit. In return they get stuff like:

There has been a failure in processing your form. We will work on it, we hope to have it up soon.
We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Why make a person wait until AFTER they filled out all their info to tell them they are SOL?

You probably know when it is broken, why not just state that up front?

Leaving a broken form up which wastes time does not make the directory any more open...it actually probably closes off a bunch of potential editors. Wasting people's time only builds negative sentiment.

Acquiring a Voice...

This is a bit of an off topic / personal type post. I guess many of them are that way now, but you have been warned ;)

My Brother...
was recently conned (by me) into creating a blog. I think everyone should have one. If for nothing else then at least for tracking your own thought process over time.

Creating Another Unoriginal Crap Site:
He originally wanted to create a site selling random junk he sold a bit of out of a catalog when he was a teenager.

Do What You are Interested In:
I wanted him to create a blog about something he knew about or was interested in to help introduce him to the web. My brother has HIV and since that is a somewhat important topic I figured that maybe he could do a blog about HIV.

I bought him a domain name and spent about $20 submitting his site to a few directories and off he went.

Being Personal:
I have actually been rather impressed with how frequently he has posted. Usually he just posts news as he finds it (which seems a bit dull to me), but occassionally he also posts exceptionally personal stuff - which is what makes a site real.

I do not think he has done much to promote his site, but randomly it ranks #3 on MSN Canada for HIV.

MSN Search Memory Lane:
It always feels good to see someone ranking well in MSN...it is a megacorp that is helping to spread your site and / or message. It reminds me of creating content by the keyword to submit to Zeal back when LookSmart was a primary feed to MSN. Back then it took less than a week to register a domain, host it, create, submit, and approve the content necissary to rank on the first page of MSN for almost any single word search query.

As an SEO Blogger You KNOW there are too many SEO Blogs When...
Your brother recently created a blog about search engines (as my brother did).

I could look at it and say "well he needs to do a bunch of learning" as many may look at this blog and say to me. I remember when I first made my other site about search engines and people emailed me nasty hate mail (I still get some, but for other reasons).

Who knows, he may be at the same spot I was a year and a half ago and may be far better off than I am in a year or two. I am interested to see what his level of commitment will be and what else he wants to learn and what other projects he will jump into.

The Secret Sauce:
The hidden secret of SEO for people new to the craft is that keyword density only really matters up until people are actually interested in reading your site.

You only need to figure out how to reach a few people in any industry. If Danny Sullivan likes your site then many in the search industry will too, by default.

It doesn't take much for a person to do well if they are honest, willing to work hard, interested in what they are doing, and learn quickly.

I look at my brother's posts and see that they are perhaps a bit rough (as are many of mine), but I also look and see that it looks like he is trying to find his voice and is trying to figure out how to sound like a person, which is something most sites do not do. Best of luck bro...

Google on 60 Minutes, Patrick Gavin Interview, & Interesting Links

60 Minutes:
Google on 60 Minutes

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.

Search Marketing Association:
North American brother of the EU and UK to launch

Renting Links:
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.

Blog Happenings:
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)

The Future of Journalism:
Dan Gillmore starts his blog.

Free Answer Engine:
GuruNet becomes Answers.com and drops subscription fee.

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.

Interesting:

Google PageRank Update, Please Help...

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.

If you want to help out you can donate directly to any of the tsunami relief funds.

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