The business of Search covers a wide area: web search, mobile search, video search etc - you'll find that and all the techniques, and intricacies associated with it here.

Public Relations meets Search Marketing

Thread Title: Dec. 14 Audio Conference: Leveraging Search for Greater Impact Thread Url: Thread Description:

Slowly but surely the admen and prguys are moving in on Search. Time to start circling the wagons has probably been and gone...

Join these leading experts in the public relations and search engine marketing industries to learn how you can gain better visibility for your brand, increase traffic to your Web site, stand out against the competition and further your sales strategies through search engine visibility techniques:

Hijacking A Google Listing - Testing Googles Secret Flaw

Thread Title: Let's Test Hijacking A Google Listing Thread Url: Thread Description:

Following on from DaveN's threat of unleashing the "how to hijack" guide if Google dont sort themselves out Lots0 give us some more to think about:

The Nigitrude Ultramarine SEO contest that SearchGuild promoted, proved in public, beyond any doubt, that anyone can harm your site in google, if they know how. In fact there are several ways (not just one) to accomplish this.

A few twists and turns and even Marcia wants to see some action:

I was sitting on the edge of my chair in anticipation with my fists and teeth tightly clenched. It was getting as exciting as waiting to watch a rocket get launched!

Lets see what happens :)

The Age of links - How Important is the Age of a Link?

Thread Title: The Age of links Thread Url: Thread Description:

Which is better as a backlink? A PR4 link that's been linking to your site for 2 years... or... a PR7 link that's been linking to your site since last month? (all other things being equal).

The days of buying links for a quick fix may be ending, and being replaced with working to obtain more "perminant" links.

A one time submission to a directory for a lifetime listing is starting to look like a nice investment right about now.

Yahoo Hand Tweaking Search Results Pages - How & Why?

Thread Title: Seem Google will chase SE spammers with new remote workers Thread Url: Thread Description:

Danny Sullivan, a man generally held to be in the know, provides some insight into the reasons behind the major SE's hand tweaking certain result sets as well as a practical example of Yahoo! doing this (alledgedly :-)

It doesn't take a search genius to realize that hand tweaking goes on quite alot, particularly on the kind of queries that were they to be poor, would attract negative media attention. Greg Boser made a good post about this detailed here.

Although TW is hardly a search engine, i often hand tweak the recent posts list by choosing which posts to reply to in which order :) It's a natural enough thing to do when the normal algorithms or mechanics of a system fall short of ideal.

It's a great technical post by danny, go check it out.

RSS Feeds, Blogs & Duplicate Content Penalties

Thread Title: RSS Feeds, Blogs & Duplicate Content Penalties Thread Url: Thread Description:

5StarAffiliates aka Linda Buquet points out something that many must have thought about during the current RSS explosion.

Some of the big popular blogs probably have tons of people displaying their feeds and creating plenty of duplicate content. To me, this is similar to merchants who have lots of affiliates displaying their product datafeeds.

Do you think Google will some day penalize sites for displaying blog content the way it is suspected they may possibly be penalizing sites for duplicate affiliate content?

It's something I was talking to rc about roughly a year and a half ago but now it comes to the forefront of savvy webmasters thoughts as RSS finally hits the bigtime and people start to mess around with it to see how it can be used to gain better listings.

After all, it's free content right? I know i've thought about it much but never quite had the time to do anything special with it. Here's one idea i had that might work nicely:

Set up a spamazon site Set up an yahoo advanced news search feeds along with whatever you can grab from G news and MSN queries Munge that grabbed data into your rubber stamped spamazon stuff Stir well, and leave to simmer

You could add all kinds of other stuff into the mix of course but you get the idea...

Avoiding Dynamic Content Traps & Pitfalls

Thread Title: Google cutting fat from dynamic content? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Threadwatch member Mikkel deMib Svendsen offers some invaluable advice for webmasters regarding dynamic content over at SEW. Not a day goes by where you dont see at least a small handful of threads claiming that one of the major SE's are doing something funny with dynamic pages.

We know that under certain conditions (too many vars in a url for example) Google has trouble with these sites, especially with session id's but when those areas are covered, where's the problem?

What I most often find the problem to be is that many webmasters chose the first possible solution they find to get their dynamic website indexed and ranked. Sometimes the chosen solution, allthough it may work, is just not the best for the site.

Some webmasters may jump right into URL-rewrite when in fact the big problems to deal with is session IDs, track IDs, browser agent detection, GEO-location, indentical content, infinite calendars or other spider traps. The URL-rewrite may looks like it solves the indexing poblem but suddenly one of the other problems kick in with the result of de-indexing of pages. Now, most webmasters will think that Google is messing up, don't support URL-rewriting or something like that when in fact the problem is not that at all.

Thats why quick fixes for dynamic websites often only work short time. I recomend all to take the time it takes to really understand every aspect of how your dynamic, or technically advanced, website impact search engine spidering, indexing and ranking. And then, make sure you fix all important problems - not just the first you run into.

If you dont know of Mikkel, he used to work for one of the larger scandinavian SE's and is more than qualified to speak on such matters.

Great stuff from SEW...

Gaining top position in googles sponsored results

Thread Title: Top position? Impossible? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Gilgul asks how an advertiser can achieve top spot on Googles sponsored results – these are the premium slots in the horizontal band.

AdWordsRep explains how ranking is calculated and reveals the extra criteria used for allocating premium slots.

Now, here are details about how placement in the top one or two spots differs:

* Ads go to the top when they have met an additional performance standard, which focuses on the relevance of the ads to our users.

* This is measured by CTR. So ads/keywords with a particularly high CTR are the ones that go to the top. This also means that CTR is weighted more heavily than CPC in the algo for 'promotion'.

* Actual CPC is more important than Max CPC in terms of going to the top. This means that simply 'bidding higher' is not likely to get one 'promoted'.

* Ads/keywords must first be reviewed and approved, in order to be sent to the top one or two spots.

Slightly different from what Google have documented in the support section

The Trick to Sorting Search Results - Tim Bray Explains

Thread Title: Sorting Result Lists Thread Url: Thread Description:

Tim Bray talks about the trick to minimizing compute overhead when sorting result sets. Not being a search engineer this is a bit over my head but being a programmer (hack) it seems reasonable...

Here’s the trick: nobody will ever look at more than the first hundred or so results. So you don’t have to sort at all, you just have to find the highest relevance values. Here’s the algorithm:

Maintain a list of twenty most relevant entries, and their relevancy numbers. Initially it’s empty. Fill the list with the first twenty results in whatever order they’re in, and sort them in descending order of relevance. For each of the remaining items in the list: -- Compute its relevance value. -- If it’s less relevant than #20 in the most-relevant list, you’re done with it. -- If it’s more relevant than #20, add it to the most-relevant list in the proper place, shuffling down and losing #20.

What do you think search geeks?

Google & Cloaking - Industry Notables Speak Out

Thread Title: what penalties does google have and "sentence"? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Brett Tabke of webmasterworld speaks out on how Google view cloaking, it's unclear where he got this information:

Google has no problem with quality ontopic cloaking. It is only when the content of the cloaked page is radically different from the content of the browser page.

Danny Sullivan of search engine watch also spoke about cloaking recently with regard to Googles "double standards" for publishers:

In summary, Google needs to change its cloaking definition to acknowledge that approved cloaking is allowed -- and it definitely needs to move forward with providing better support to ALL web site owners, rather than just some of them.

And previous to all of the above Ralph Teigtmeir of fantomaster, arguably the webs foremost cloaking company commented on the chances of getting busted whilst cloaking:

detecting cloaking reliably typically requires quite a bit of manpower. Sure you can pre-filter cloaking indicators automatically, e. g. by accessing and saving the site first as a search engine spider and following this visit up via some unknown IP not identified as a spider. However, simply comparing the content automatically isn't reliable: there's so many sites out there displaying dynamic content, it can be a real nightmare discerning what is actually legit by the SEs' standards and what isn't. Moreover, there's browser specific content delivery, printer-friendly pages, content delivery management systems in general, etc. etc. All this will incur massive overhead in the personnel department and, hence, will blow up costs. Considering that you'd have to cover billions of pages to weed out all cloakers, it only stands to reason that the search engines, while certainly not endorsing the practice, prefer to view cloaked sites as just so much tolerable white noise in their search results.

Hypenated Domain Names - Advanced Discussion

Thread Title: Good domain name to get high on Google Thread Url: Thread Description:

These threads are usually both boring and somewhat amateur orientated when found on the forums but it doesn't mean the subject isn't worthy of discussion. This thread over at SEW takes a more advanced look at not just ranking factors in the choice of domain name but also:

Marketing offline Branding Brand protection Type ins Browser defaults

Great stuff from the boys and girls over at SEW Forums including this from bwelford:

Another reason for buying the com is that several browsers will serve up you the .com version if you type in only the domain name without the extension.

You know you've done it right when you "own" the name on the Internet. In other words, however someone tries to find the domain name without the extension, they end up at your website. Of course if you've chosen the name right, there will be no other websites in the SERP's for a search for your domain name. However that really is tough.

Search Engines that Offer SEO Services {updated}

Thread Title: SE's now offering SEO services? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Interesting speculation on some some SE's (in lycos's case i use the term very loosely..) - namely Ask and Lycos that offer organic search optimization from the Search Guild boys and girls.

This one's been building steam since early yesterday and after checking with a few mates I've managed to confirm my thought that this isn't exactly new news. However, i cant seem to find a single thread on it either lol! So, let's have it out again shall we?

Could SE's providing SEO spell a death for the industry?

Reciprocal Links are Deader than Disco

Thread Title: Reciprocal Links Are Evil! Thread Url: Thread Description:

Yeah, I stole the title from TW member NFFC :-)

I really cant see why some seo's might still be chasing reciprocal links, most of the savvy seo's i know stopped that nonsense a year or more ago, but then i also cant understand the utterly senseless obsession some still have with PageRank...

This SEW thread looks like it might be a cracker. DBernstein kicks off with:

Ok if reciprocal links are bad and we should be trying to only get links to us how do we do that without buying them. Unless we create the most relevant site with the most bounty of beautiful content it aint going to happen. So do we all buy? Or do we develop the trading "one way" links network? Still sounds evil. We will never win when everyone buys links on these expensive networks. Once again the little guy can't win.

Any Ideas?

Fun and mayhem will surely follow as the debate kicks into gear...

High Risk SEO - Good for Long Term Sites or just Burnables?

Thread Title: 1st page of google is easy for Blackhats Thread Url: Thread Description:

Here's something we rarely see discussed in anything even approaching an adult manner: How effective are so called "black hat" techniques for long term sites?

Generally these topics devolve into name calling and silliness from the vociferous "play by the rules" crowd but it's an interesting question if you can rise above any moral/ethical debate and look at it from a clinical point of view.

The whole thread is pretty interesting even though young as yet, here's a snippet from speedle who started the thread:

Google algos to stop blackhat technques are a myth. I have proved this over the last three years. Google relies on their army of unoffical seo investigators to report blackhats. The only site I have ever had banned was when I mentioned the url here. Say no more it speaks for itself.

So, are high risk seo sites sustainable?

Blogging for Links

Thread Title: Blogs and Links Thread Url: Thread Description:

If you're none to familiar with the concept of blogging you've either had your head in a sack for the last 2yrs or maybe you just havn't considered the benefits from a commercial point of view?

This thread over at seozip has some nice pointers from Anthony Parsens and DianeV

Websites are static, and turn stale as such, thus not really having that much to link to unless your interested in the entire site, though blogs are very useful in that 90% of posts may not have relevance to one person, though 10% might, thus they link to them from their site, providing you deep links to your content, not links to your homepage. Blogs are extremely powerful for capturing links.

it's tailing off into chit-chat but im hoping to get it back on topic by going and giving my 2 pence worth :)

Wail On Google's Quirks and the Unofficial Google Response

Thread Title: Google quirks summary (all lies...) Thread Url: Thread Description:

User Wail over at SearchEngineWatch Forum threw up a post naming out 4 Quirks concerning Google and unbashingly called them "Google lies." When I first saw this post I figured that that was kind of harsh and didn't expect to see the thread go anywhere.

Then the thread got a post from dannysullivan who added Zawodny's blog entry Lies Google Tells Me and his own personal favorite Google wailing.

Any thread Mr. Sullivan posts on of course gets everyones interest (3 brownie points or one free link please) but I sure didn't expect GoogleGuy to appear and grace the thread with his presence let alone address all of Wail's wailing.

Of course I added my two bits to the thread with a technical PR (PageRank) question about how the Google Direction PR and the Toolbar PR scales relate. GoogleGuy let it out of the bag in his answer to Wail that the two scales... well you will have to just go and read it yourself.

Getting Listed in Google Local Search

Thread Title: How to get listed in Google Local results Thread Url: Thread Description:

The first 4 or 5 posts in this seochat thread are a bit silly but it's shaping up nicely starting at around msg 7 - dseerveld says:

This issue is very important to me. I run a regional wildlife removal business. I worked hard on SEO to get the top spots for any regional searches in my area for terms such as "animal control" or "pest control". I got those spots, and everything was great.

....then Google introduces its local feature. Suddenly my top search engine listing is usurped by that stupid local listings section ahead of it ....and my competitors, who don't even have websites and have no clue what SEO is, are suddenly listed ahead of me in Google! Outrageous!

Much speculation about yellow pages listings, mapquest and all other manner of possible factors follow. Im not certain at all on this so perhaps someone in the know could fill in some blanks?

Related: Targeting Local Search

Regardless of not reaching a conclusion it's turning out to be a damn good read, thanks seochatters!

Last Modified Header - Any Influence on SEO Work?

Thread Title: Last Modified Header and SEO Thread Url: Thread Description:

Some speculation over what the Last-Modified header has over spidering and algos with particular regard to server side generated pages. The thread also veers nicely into what the LMH may mean if Temporal Link Analysis has a say in the issue.

Im not clear on this and it doesn't seem like anyone is that certain in the thread either ;) Does anyone have any thoughts on LMH and Search Engines?

Google Goes on Record Concerning The link: Command

Thread Title: Google Says Not Reporting All Backlinks : ) Thread Url: Thread Description:

This was just a simple thread not worth noting until GoogleGuy an Unofficial Representative from Google dropped in and blessed it with his comments. It was orginally started by yours truly in responce to a post at Search Engine Roundtable where rustybrick reported that Magnus Sandberg from Google make a statement that was reported as "Google says they are not reporting all your links back to your site. So think before using it." It ended up that this may not of been what was said.

While most, if not all, SEO types know that the link: command doesn't show all links, Google Web Search Features page under the Who Links To You? heading states some thing quite different.

The query link:siteURL shows you all the pages that point to that URL. For example, will show you all the pages that point to Google's home page.

GoogleGuy's comments were as follows:

Google doesn't return all backlinks in response to a link: command. In the ancient days, it was because there was a finite amount of storage space on the machines that served link: requests. So we only kept the backlinks for the top N pages. Later as we moved to a different indexing system, we kept backlinks for the top M% of pages. This was helpful for important pages, but it meant that Mom and Pop sites with lower PageRank wouldn't have as good a chance to see their backlinks.

At last we have a link where Google (even if it is an Unofficial Representative) has gone on record stating what we all knew all along. Now if their webmaster will just update the erroneous statement on their site!

Circular Linking - Network Detection & Link Pattern Analysis

Thread Title: Interlinking Circle of Sites Thread Url: Thread Description:

So, reciprocal linking has been deader than dead for quite a while. Can circular linking and other network patterns make a difference for ranking sites now or are the engines getting just too good at spotting unnatural linking patterns and networks?

That's what's being discussed in the WPW thread linked above, jawn_tech starts out with this:

it was proposed that some sidestep reciprocal linking by creating a 'network' of sites. For example, Site A links to Site B, and B to Site C, and C to Site A. Or perhaps, the circle could/should be larger. (A,B,C,D,E,F, etc.)

Has anyone seen any new evidence where SE's acknowledged such a structure with negative consequences, or is this a legitimate linking strategy for human benefit?

It's a pretty good thread started on nov 4th but recently picked up again. Worth a look...

Anyone care to predict the future of link strategies?

Optilink and Other Link Analysis Tools

Thread Title: optilink Thread Url: Thread Description:

Over at digitalpoint there is a small discussion going on about the virtues of Optilink a standalone desktop backlink and ranking analysis tool from Leslie Rohde.

There's not a great deal in the thread other than me giving it the thumbs up but just this morning Cyclops mentioned a very similar competitor tool called T.O.P - Really, i think at best that tool just looks frightening because of the way over the top sales pitch and the fact that the owners photo looks like prison mugshot hehe.. hope he doesnt wanna come beat me up now...

I'd highly recommend optilink, it's a good tool and Leslie was more than happy to personally help me out when i had a few install probs on my linux box - and no, that is not an aff. link up there :-)

So, discounting the online stuff (there's so much of it..) talk to me about link analysis tools that dont phone home

What are you using, and why?