Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Danny Sullivan Will Eat Himself

It was big news when the "Google Will Eat Itself" project surfaced some time ago. The basic premise, if we understand it (and it's quite possible we don't) is that the GWEI site will use Adsense revenue to purchase shares of Google stock, thus using Google to eventually finance GWEI's purchase of Google. Google, in effect, eats itself.

Just this morning, we uncovered a shocking new version of this premise -- one designed to undo our unquestioned industry leader, Danny Sullivan. It appears the usual suspects are not only involved, but engineered the entire scheme. Let's hope the evil minds behind this cabal are shamed into submission with this outing.

Monday, June 27, 2005

new domains: 302 or 301 redirect?

We're a little surprised that no one has brought up the most recent High Rankings Newsletter, in which Scottie Claiborne decides that when migrating to a new domain, a 302 followed by an eventual 301 redirect is the new way to go:
Conventional wisdom will tell you to redirect the old domain to the new domain using a 301 "permanently moved" response ...

However, if you follow this usually accurate advice, you'll find the new pages do not automatically assume the positions of the old ones in Google...they will remain off the chart. Even though you are telling Google that this site is exactly the same as the old one, the aging filter will still apply. This doesn't seem like the best strategy, as your site will remain in oblivion until it ages properly.

...By using a 302 "temporarily moved" response instead of a 301, the original URL will remain in Google's index, and maintain its position as if the page were still there.

...Once the new domain has properly aged, go back and change the 302-temporary redirect to a 301-permanent redirect.
We're not necessarily saying this is good or bad advice. But it does represent a tectonic shift in characterizing the sanctioned way that a domain rollover is supposed to take place, as noted in more than a few articles and threads - such as this, this, and this. Oh, and this. And from official engines' webmaster guidelines, such as Google's. And Yahoo's. And if all else fails, maybe even an issue of High Rankings Advisor from earlier this year.

If 302 is this season's 301, then by all means, let's hit the catwalk. But a lot of companies lose a lot of sleep making sure they do things like this the "right" way, and an article redefining "right" needs to have a bit more emphasis on evidence and validation from actual engine reps. Have any engines officially weighed in on this?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

wikipedia and SEO: strange bedfellows

Now this is just plain fun: The "Talk" section of Wikipedia's entry on Search Engine Optimization. What could be more entertaining than watching the blue-haired, ruler-thumping uber-grammarians of Wiki meet the urine-soaked, medallion-wearing lounge lizards of SEO?

Of special interest is the Q&A that ensued when one opinionated chap decided to take Wiki's section on Search Engine Optimization and change its title to Searchability Optimization. When asked to kindly describe his rationale, he replied simply,
Basic english. I strongly care that the term be corrected. the search engine itself is not being optimized. The pages ... are being optimized.
We couldn't agree more. In fact, just recently we attended a college graduation and were horrified to find that it wasn't the college that was graduating, as the name seemed to promise, but instead, a sordid collection of slothful youth!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

yahoo news beats google news as earth trembles

Gary Price over at Search Engine Watch already noted on Monday about how Yahoo News scooped Google News in the Jacko trial results.

Last night, Yahoo did it again - this time with the California earthquake. The following picture shows Yahoo's early reporting of the quake:

While over at G News, it appears no such sleuthing took place:

It's like they're not even trying anymore...

note: yes counselor, it's a joke.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

SEO and the FUDD Factor

The last six months have taught the SEO industry a great deal. First, many webmasters have found that taking Allegra and washing it down with bourbon can have some devastating effects - so bad, in fact, that no matter how great you think you are, you might wake up one day and be completely unable to find yourself. And that can make you vewy, vewy angwy.

Is there a sandbox or not? Do scraper sites negatively affect the original? Questions like these, and our natural desire to create answers where answers are not forthcoming, can cause us to second guess even the simplest techniques.

In honor of Google's own Elmer implementation, we've decided to call this the era of ELMER FUDD:

Engines Limiting Meaningful Elucidation, Resulting in Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, and Drama

And beware of rabbits dressed as barbers.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

more google rater hub SECRETS REVEALED!

You already know the basics. In its quest to test its SERP relevancy on humans, Google hires the closest thing to humans it can find: college students. But that's only the beginning. Most of the real story here is buried in the forums, where members let their guards down and leak some of the most groundbreaking information imaginable. That's the real 411 on Google Eval.

This this page at Webmasterworld, for example. Here's just a sampling of what we find when we look past the "big" story and hone in on the treasure buried in Brett Tabke's confessional.
  • Henk van Ess's real name is Henk van Ess.
  • Henk van Ess is neither a German nor a Nazi, but he does seem quite dictatorial about fact-checking.
  • Hank joined WebmasterWorld a long time ago, although the person who accused him of being Mr. Hess (perhaps not the Mr. Hess, we're not sure) joined WebmasterWorld a year before Henk did.
  • Henk would prefer that we focus on the content, not on him.
We're sure you would, Henk. We're sure you would...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

top secret google relevancy system revealed!

Turns out Google's secret relevancy weapon, like Soylent Green, is people.

(Note to Google: Remember, college students say they'll work hard, but sometimes they just take your money and never finish painting your house!)