Archives for June 2005

Tips for SEO clients

Shari Thurow posts some excellent insight on what companies should understand when working with a SEO firm. These suggestions are useful for the interactive agency community. Some of the points she makes as a result of interviewing industry SEO experts include (my comments added):

“You’ll have to change your Web site. Accept this fact before contacting us.”
We now include this in our contracts.

“Your site has no more right to high rankings than anyone else’s, regardless of your standing in the field or your brand’s renown.”
Ego drives a lot of companies searching for assistance with SEO. We stay clear of companies without a realistic self-perception.

What’s up with Microsoft Wallop?

The Social Computing Group at Microsoft Research has been working on something interesting called Wallop for quite a while. Still in beta with a small number of testers, Wallop offers photo sharing, blog, and social networking. Very much like Yahoo! 360 but the interface is a whole lot different.

“Wallop is a research project of the Social Computing Group at Microsoft Research, exploring how people share media and build conversations in the context of social networks. We are currently conducting a small, real world trial of Wallop with small friendship groups. Therefore, membership in Wallop is limited to study participants until the trial is over.”

Wallop was introduced in 2003 at the Professional Developers Conference Wallop may have been ahead of it’s time. Here are articles from Microsoft Watch and Wired including screen shots and an interview with Microsoft social computing group researcher Lili Cheng.

MSN v3.0

MSN web blog mentioned today that version 3 of was made live. Scoble mentioned something on Friday also. You’re supposed to take a quiz to see the actual interface, presumably using MSN search to find the answers. I think that’s an odd decision actually. Why create an obstacle (even though it’s minor) to viewing something you’re announcing?

This 3rd iteration is definitely an improvement. What’s kind of cool is that when you click on any link, a window hovers over the “dashboard” so you can still see what’s behind. I am guessing it’s Ajax that’s enabling that feature – cool. It’s still not Bloglines by any means, but it’s great to see MSN making progress.

Google Targets BtoB

Google recently engaged in a study with Millward Brown that polled 900 respondents to show how search advertising is more effective than ads in trade magazines and other traditional business-to-business media according to AdWeek’s IQ Interactive.

Findings of the poll:

  • Search engines were used 30% more frequently than trade periodicals in the research phase of the buying cycle
  • Search engines were used 21% more frequently than the b-to-b press in the consideration phase
  • Search engines were used 62% more in the final purchase phase

Google now shows AdWords ads on business publications including VNU, Reed Business, Hanley Wood and Ziff Davis Media.

Google updates papers and webmaster guidelines

Have lots of time on your hands and want to learn more about how Google works? Read these Publications related to Google technology

As alluded to in the recent Webmaster World “Questions for GoogleGuy” thread, Google has updated its webmaster guidelines via SEW Blog

  • Have other relevant sites link to yours.
  • Submit a sitemap as part of our Google Sitemaps (Beta) project. Google Sitemaps uses your sitemap to learn about the structure of your site and to increase our coverage of your webpages.
  • Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites.

Looks like relevant links are pretty important. Always a good reference, check out Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Google Inclusion Program – Google Sitemaps

Maybe it’s not a guaranteed inclusion program, but Google has launched a new experimental service that will work with the regular crawl to add web pages to it’s index.

Details available on:

Details from Google:

Google Sitemaps is an easy way for you to help improve your coverage in the Google index. It’s a collaborative crawling system that enables you to communicate directly with Google to keep us informed of all your web pages, and when you make changes to these pages.

With Google Sitemaps you get:

The Search Engine Marketing Kit

Anyone in the SEO industry has most likely heard of the new search engine marketing book by search marketing veteran, Dan Thies of SEO Research Labs. However there’s a lot of newbies out there and search marketing is growing fast.

I’ve had a loooong time to review the book and here are my thoughts:

Published through SitePoint books, this comprehensive 300 page book and accompanying CD offer a wealth of useful information to both newcomers and seasoned search engine marketing professionals.

The book covers the gamut of topics for marketing through search engines including:

  • Understanding how search engines work
  • Basic and advanced SEO
  • Search engine friendly web design
  • Pay per click and paid inclusion

GoogleGuy Answers Google Bourbon Update Questions

Brett Tabke of Webmaster World has set up a “Questions for GoogleGuy” thread for webmasters to ask questions concerning the current Google “Bourbon” update.

GoogleGuy responds to many questions in the thread, too many to list here. I highly suggest you take a look.

However, I can’t resist a few interesting comments:

I’ve been aching for a long time to mention somewhere official that sites shouldn’t use “&id=” as a parameter if they want maximal Googlebot crawlage

“we only export new visible PageRanks every 3-4 months or so”

I recommend absolute links instead of relative links, because there’s less chance for a spider (not just Google, but any spider) to get confused.

“My opinion is that spam is getting hit faster, and that for the rest of this year, it will continue to get harder to spam.”

Google Rater Hub – Search Quality Program

Henk van Ess’s Search Bistro was slashdotted in it’s first post today. He includes information of Google’s search results quality program at in a post called, Google Secret Lab

There’s a flash movie showing some screen shots along with a link to a rater job description at

To be honest, there’s nothing really that exciting here, other than it’s not readily available information. The fact that Google has people checking search results along with algorithm updates is a good thing.

This was also mentioned on Threadwatch

Yahoo and Google Search Engine Updates

Yahoo and Google are making updates.

Yahoo! – Big Yahoo! SERP Update Reported
“I tend to believe that this is not the real update and that we can expect something larger in the next two to three weeks. But I can be wrong.” via

Google – Update Bourbon is not over!
“According to Googleguy over on WMW, Here’s the advice that I’d give now: take a break from checking ranks for several more days. Bourbon includes something like 3.5 improvements in search quality, and I believe that only a couple are out so far. The 0.5 will go out in a day or so, and the last major change should roll out over the next week or so. Then there will still be some minor changes after that as well. So my “weather report” along the lines of would be a recommendation that rankings may still change somewhat over the next several days. ” via SEO Scoop

Favorite SEO Blogs

Rand at SEOMoz has posted a poll regarding favorite SEO Blogs on SEOChat.

Some of the top resources in the SEO industry are included in this and somehow, Online Marketing Blog got in there! Thanks Rand!!

Here’s the list of SEO blogs for voting. I’ve added some additional information on each: – Dazzlin Donna, performs SEO on her own sites and her blog offers excellent insight into a SEO practioner. Practical observations and tools are offered daily. – Andy Beal, VP Marketing for giant SEO firm, KeywordRanking. This blog focuses on SEO news of the day. – Barry Schwartz, President of RustyBrick Web Dev firm, and all around happenin guy when it comes to SEO. A moderator at several SEO forums, Barry covers SEO news, practical tools and observations and tracks notable threads from SEO forums.