Google AdSense Problems, Making Cheap Sites, Killing Comment Spam, Google Fiber Optics

Google AdSense:
Some are questioning if & for how long it will make sense. Others are noticing some problems too.

For those Making MANY Sites:
Designing a Low Maintenance Website

Comment Spam:
Google to try to kill comment spam? ... of course even if they do people will still comment spam on the off chance that people do not impliment this.

Google Fiber Optic Network?
Google wants 'dark fiber'

Yahoo! Partners up with Verizon:
Yahoo, Verizon ink Web tie-in

Name a Book:
John Battelle is looking for a subtitle for his book.

Affiliate Links & SEO, Aggregators & Copyright Law

Affiliate Links & SEO:
my friend Tanya wrote an article about how affiliates can use their linking strategies to improve their SEO.

Aggregators & Copyright Law:
ThreadWatch covers a topic that has been floating around the blog world.

Databases & Scalable Social Networks:
Adam Bosworth conversation

The Missing "M" in SEM:
in a thread about questions to ask an SEM a ton of good questions are listed, but people do not speak much of the M (marketing)... Black Knight lists many of the questions an SEM should ask the prospective clients...including questions like:

My first question is always "What is your USP?" or "What does your company deserve to be ranked in the top ten available resources for?"

Stats:
Andy Beal has stats from a survey showing 74% of companies are not working with 3RD party SEM firms.

Deep Web Research:
While working on Rubber Stamped Peter D finds a new deep web resource. Its a shame that there are a limited # of hours in the day with all the cool search / information related white papers out there...

5 Free Goodies:
5 Free Windows Web Design Apps You Can't Live Without! (found on Jeremy's linkblog)

Economic Model of Personal Publishing:
some great stuff in the comments area of Dan Gillmore's What Smart Money Wonders, including:

though sometimes we forget the effect of echo chambers.

Funny Stuff:
She frickin' blocked me
Happy Tree Friends (kinda gross)
Darth Tater

Google Hilltop Algorithm

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.

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On the Search Financial Front...

Ask Jeeves:
Piper upgrades Ask Jeeves stating "Ask Jeeves is not only remaining a meaningful search alternative, but is gaining faster than most other players." He estimates the company's usage rates rose 18 percent from the third quarter, the highest increase for the sector.

LookSmart:
Had a bad quarter. Tough news for them. It is a real shame since they sold me twice as much traffic as Overture with a greater than 90% bounce rate. In no way to I recommend using LookSmart...at least not on any large scale.

Cheaper cost per click does not translate into savings when you are buying automated or useless traffic.

Online Ad Spending:

Google:
should buy Technorati? (found on SEL)

New Big SEM Firm:
WPP to enter search marketing fray...my general take is that good SEO generally does not scale that well, but they are opening 47 search offices. Best of luck to them...they will need it.

Personally:
I think I have been offered at least 5 jobs in the last 6 months...with some people wanting me to form brand new companies with them. There certainly must be a bunch of opportunity in this space!

Seth Godin on the Search Industry

Seth Wakes Up to search?
A while ago Seth made a comment which basically said SEO is luck and that AdWords was the only way to do search. A while ago I posted an article about why Seth is wrong about search.

Recently he posted a post titled "Is there a Search Industry," which has been getting less than rave reviews through the SEO community.

Later Seth talks about mob justice activity within the blog community (which perhaps relates to this feedback he has been getting), but what would he say if the whole search industry said well packaged virally spreading marketing books are chuck full of bullshit?

How can such a progressive thinker be so behind the times on search? Seth is getting a bunch of links from these out-of-left-field posts about search, so maybe he is just looking for some link popularity?

MSN Search Launch Rumors, Blog Comment Spam, Google Duplicate Content Penalties, Random Google News

MSN Search to Launch:
Feb 1 according to rumors AusieWebmaster. He has been right on with some of his past rumors.

Blog Comment Spam:
It's a mean & nasty world out there!

I swapped over to the newer version of MovableType and had no MT Blacklist for about a day...and really it only took 1 day for me to get pissed enough to install it.

For the record, Soma Online is a complete POS. So is pacific poker.

I wonder if anyone ever uses these bots for socially constructive ideas.

Google Duplicate Content Penalty:
A dup penalty timespan is based on your offense.
1st Offense: 30 days
2nd Offense: 60 days
3rd Offense: 90 days
found on SEW Forums

update: Danny Sullivan asked Matt Cutts and he stated that those times were given as "for example" time periods.

Google:

How Not to Pick / Name a Site / Domain Name

Not sure I any sort of worlds leading expert in this category, but I have seen some people name some domains that just did not make much sense to me. Link Proctor was great software...too bad I didn't know what the hell proctor meant when I first saw the name. I ranted to Brad Callen about that name and he changed the software name to SEO Elite...which is a better name IMHO...and pretty darn good software to boot.

A recent link network came out by the name of Link Smile. I looked at the design and the smiley guy on it and it made it hard for me to want to take it seriously...made it hard for me to want to spend money.

Today I just got a spam email message alerting me to a new link exchange network by the name of Link Fart...which I thought was such a bad name that it inspired this post.

Colors and words evoke emotions, and if the first subconcience response people have is one of alert, disgust, or confusion in most cased your name is probably not helping you sell more widgets.

Some tips on choosing a company or domain name:

As a disclaimer: I bought that Search-Marketing.info domain name when I had 0 knowledge about branding. It is a crappy domain name IMHO.

[update: a friend of mine also pointed me to Name Boy as a good domain name resource. Thanks Todd]

Fractal Spam, Overture Direct Traffic Center Rant, SEM Cares (or do they?), Google Subdomain Chatter

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.

Free Culture Stuff:
A few good links from ThreadWatch's thread about big blue Open Sourcing 500 patents.

Patented European webshop
Software patents – Obstacles to software development by Richard Stallman

Chatter:
There is also chatter that Google may be dropping some spammed out subdomains from some competitive keywords in some of their data centers.

Yahoo! Desktop Search, Free Blogging Guide, MSN Search RSS & Clustering, Marketing to Children, UseNet Archives, MicroSoft IE Se

Yahoo! Desktop Search:
beta release

Beginner's Guide to Business Blogging:
Recently some people have been emailing me asking "how do I blog?"

Not sure that I know the answer other than maybe saying be yourself and use a human voice (or be a really cool alter ego). Debbie Weil is giving away her business blogging guide through the next two weeks.

MSN Search Results in RSS:
hot on the heals of GigaBlast...MSN also has search clustering tools and research

The Good PR Site:
I Know is a newly launched site aimed at opening childrens' eyes to marketing myths.

UseNet Archives:
20 year history...cool

Most offensive use of a frog in Marketing:
Did-It... I just randomly crossed their site again and thought WTF

Wall Street Rumors:
From SEM 2.0 Andrew Goodman stated that Bill Martin at
FindProfit.com thinks AOL may be pondering an acquisition of FindWhat.

I can't see them making more profit selling their own ads than they get by sharing profit with Google. As AdWords is a larger and more sophisticated ad distribution network, but who knows what they are thinking...

GOOG Price Target:
RBC analyst Jordan Rohan issues price target of $235.

MSFT may help fix those high price targets with a recent IE security exploit fix that blocks Google AdSense ads.

Google really needs to start working harder to promote the better browsers. I would love to see on the Google home page: Sick of Internet Explorer? So are we. Try FireFox!

Google Scrapper:
Daniel Brandt helps out the dark arts by releasing his Google Scraper code free of charge. (found on ThreadWatch)

An Interesting way to sell MicroContent?:
TKPal - hides a portion of a page's contents until people sign in via TypeKey and pay you via PayPal.

More Economics Papers:
Economics of Open Source... eventually I may want to read these. (found on Ross Mayfield's blog)

Mike Grehan on SEMPO:
always fun, always worth a read :)

Streaming Audio of:
Steve Jobs MacWorld Keynote. KeyNote looked cool enough to make Apple look really appealing to my soon to upgrade eyes.

ThreadWatch has lots of great MacWorld coverage today.

More Audio:
Free guide to ripping and encoding music

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...

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