Archived posts from the 'Folks' Category

Sorry Aaron Wall - I fucked up

I am sorry, Aaron WallMy somewhat sarcastic post “Avoiding the well known #4 penalty“, where I joked about a possible Google #6 filter and criticized the SEO/Webmaster community for invalid methods of dealing with SERP anomalies, reads like “Aaron Wall is a clueless douche-bag”. Of course that’s not true, I never thought that, and I apologize for damaging Aaron’s reputation so thoughtlessly.

To express that I believe Aaron is a smart and very nice guy, I link to his related great post about things SEOs can learn from search engine bugs and glitches:

Do You Care About Google Glitches?     Excerpt:

Glitches reveal engineer intent. And they do it early enough that you have time to change your strategy before your site is permanently filtered or banned. When you get to Google’s size, market share, and have that much data, glitches usually mean something.

To make my point clear: calling a SERP anomaly a filter or penalty unless its intents and causes are properly analyzed, and this analyze is backed up with a reasonable data set, is as thoughtlessly as damaging a fellow SEOs reputation in a way that someone new to the field reading my post and/or comments at Sphinn must think that I’m poking Aaron, although I’m just sick of the almost daily WMW penalty inventions (WMW members –not Aaron!– invented the “Google position #6 penalty / filter” term). The sole reason for mentioning Aaron in my post was that his post (also read this one) triggered a great discussion at Sphinn that I’ve cited in parts.



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Avoiding the well known #4 SERP-hero-penalty …

Seb the red claw… I just have to link to North South Media’s neat collection of Search Action Figures.

Paul pretty much dislikes folks who don’t link to him, so Danny Sullivan and Rand Fishkin are well advised to drop a link every now and then, and David Naylor better gives him an interview slot asap. ;)

Google’s numbered “penalties”, esp. #6

As for numeric penalties in general … repeat("Sigh", ) … enjoy this brains trust moderated by Marty Weintraub (unauthorized):

Marty: Folks, please welcome Aaron Wall, who recently got his #6 penalty removed!

Audience: clap(26) sphinn(26)

The Gypsy: Sorry Marty but come on… this is complete BS and there is NO freakin #6 filter just like the magical minus 90…900 bla bla bla. These anomalies NEVER have any real consensus on a large enough data set to even be considered a viable theory.

A Red Crab: As long as Bill can’t find a plus|minus-n-raise|penalty patent, or at least a white paper or so leaked out from Google, or for all I care a study that provides proof instead of weird assumptions based on claims of webmasters jumping on todays popular WMW band wagon that aren’t plausible nor verifiable, such beasts don’t exist. There are unexplained effects that might look like a pattern, but in most cases it makes no sense to gather a few examples coming with similarities because we’ll never reach the critical mass of anomalies to discuss a theory worth more than a thumbs-down click.

Marty: Maybe Aaron is joking. Maybe he thinks he has invented the next light bulb.

Gamermk: Aaron is grasping at straws on this one.

Barry Welford: I would like this topic to be seen by many.

Audience: clap(29) sphinn(29)

The Gypsy: It is just some people that have DECIDED on an end result and trying to make various hypothesis fit the situation (you know, like tobacco lobby scientists)… this is simply bad form IMO.

Danny Sullivan: Well, I’ve personally seen this weirdness. Pages that I absolutely thought “what on earth is that doing at six” rather than at the top of the page. Not four, not seven — six. It was freaking weird for several different searches. Nothing competitive, either.

I don’t know that sixth was actually some magic number. Personally, I’ve felt like there’s some glitch or problem with Google’s ranking that has prevented the most authorative page in some instances from being at the top. But something was going on.

Remember, there’s no sandbox, either. We got that for months and months, until eventually it was acknowledge that there were a range of filters that might produce a “sandbox like” effect.

The biggest problem I find with these types of theories is they often start with a specific example, sometimes that can be replicated, then they become a catch-all. Not ranking. Oh, it’s the sandbox. Well no — not if you were an established site, it wasn’t. The sandbox was typicaly something that hit brand new sites. But it became a common excuse for anything, producing confusion.

Jim Boykin: I’ll jump in and say I truely believe in the 6 filter. I’ve seen it. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it happen to a few sites.

Audience: clap(31) sphinn(31)

A Red Crab: Such terms tend to become a life of their own, IOW an excuse for nearly every way a Webmaster can fuck up rankings. Of course Google’s query engine has thresholds (yellow cards or whatever they call them) that don’t allow some sites to rank above a particular position, but that’s a symtom that doesn’t allow back-references to a particular cause, or causes. It’s speculation as long as we don’t know more.

IncrediBill: I definitely believe it’s some sort of filter or algo tweak but it’s certainly not a penalty which is why I scoff at calling it such. One morning you wake up and Matt has turned all the dials to the left and suddenly some criteria bumps you UP or DOWN. Sites have been going up and down in Google SERPs for years, nothing new or shocking about that and this too will have some obvious cause and effect that could probably be identified if people weren’t using the shotgun approach at changing their site

G1smd: By the time anyone works anything out with Google, they will already be in the process of moving the goalposts to another country.

Slightly Shady SEO: The #6 filter is a fallacy.

Old School: It certainly occured but only affected certain sites.

Danny Sullivan: Perhaps it would have been better called a -5 penalty. Consider. Say Google for some reason sees a domain but decides good, but not sure if I trust it. Assign a -5 to it, and that might knock some things off the first page of results, right?

Look — it could all be coincidence, and it certainly might not necessarily be a penalty. But it was weird to see pages that for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t be at 1, showing up at 6.

Slightly Shady SEO: That seems like a completely bizarre penalty. Not Google’s style. When they’ve penalized anything in the past, it hasn’t been a “well, I guess you can stay on the frontpage” penalty. It’s been a smackdown to prove a point.

Matt Cutts: Hmm. I’m not aware of anything that would exhibit that sort of behavior.

Audience: Ugh … oohhhh … you weren’t aware of the sandbox, either!

Danny Sullivan: Remember, there’s no sandbox, either. We got that for months and months, until eventually it was acknowledge that there were a range of filters that might produce a “sandbox like” effect.

Audience: Bah, humbug! We so want to believe in our lame excuses …

Tedster: I’m not happy with the current level of analysis, however, and definitely looking for more ideas.

Audience: clap(40) sphinn(40)


Of course the panel above is fictional, respectively assembled from snippets which in some cases change the message when you read them in their context. So please follow the links.

I wouldn’t go that far to say there’s no such thing as a fair amount of Web pages that deserve a #1 spot on Google’s SERPs, but rank #6 for unknown reasons (perhaps link monkey business, staleness, PageRank flow in disarray, anchor text repetitions, …). There’s something worth investigating.

However, I think that labelling a discussion of glitches or maybe filters that don’t behave based on a way too tiny dataset “#6 penalty” leads to the lame excuse for literally anything phenomenon.

Folks who don’t follow the various threads closely enough to spot the highly speculative character of the beast, will take it as fact and switch to winter sleep mode instead of enhancing their stuff like Aaron did. I can’t wait for the first “How to escape the Google -5 penalty” SEO tutorial telling the great unwashed that a “+5″ revisit-after meta tag will heal it.



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Internet marketing is one big popularity contest, and that’s not a good thing

SMO - Social Media OptimizationThis is a guest post by Tanner Christensen.

What are you doing to make Internet marketing a better industry to be a part of? As it sits now: Internet marketing is one big popularity contest, and that’s not a good thing. Internet marketers are making it nearly impossible for the average person to find valuable content.

The real online content providers - the websites who deserve all of your attention - are becoming harder and harder to discover because of Internet marketers like us. Though Internet marketers - both you and I - can’t really be blamed, our job is all about getting attention. The more attention we get for our website(s), the more popular our website(s) become, the more money we can make.

But because of the recent surge of interest in Internet marketing and search engine optimization, websites that focus on providing content - rather than getting attention - are being ignored. And because these content-focused websites are being cast into the shadows of attention-focused websites, they too are jumping on the Internet marketing popularity contest bandwagon.

Even though every webmaster and his or her mother is jumping on the bandwagon, it’s not accurate to say that Internet marketers are making all less-important, less-helpful, and less-useful websites more popular than really helpful website, but there is definitely the possibility of real news and information being masked by attention-seeking content.

So what do we do? What do Internet marketers and search engine optimizers do to make sure that the Internet popularity contest doesn’t become a contest of lies and attention-seeking tactics; but rather a contest of quality, helpful, interesting, important, groundbreaking content?

The first step is to become a part of the online community. I’m not talking about the Internet marketing community - it’s biased in a lot of ways. I’m talking about the real online communities. Doing so will help create a universal feeling of online morals; or what’s good information and what is bad information.

And discovering where the real helpful and important websites are online will help Internet marketers such as ourselves learn where the websites we work with really should be ranked.

Sure, there are still those people who don’t care about quality of content and only care about the all-mighty dollar sign. But poor-content will eventually catch up with them, when websites that really deserve attention in the online popularity contest are lost in the fold and the dollar sign loses it’s value.

Tanner is a Web specialist and designer who writes helpful, inspiring, and creative internet-related articles. A while ago I’ve contributed an article to his blog Internet Hunger: The anatomy of a debunking post. I think “can agessive SMO tactics push crap on the long haul” would be an interesting, and related discussion. I mean, search engines evolve too, not only in Web search, so kinda fair rankings of well linked crap as well as good stuff not on the SM radar might be possible to some extent.



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

A Monday’s topic conglomerate

I’m writing a longish post on how to never fuck up redirects again, stay tuned. If you want me to babble about a particular topic related to 301/302/307 redirects, please submit it in the comments or drop me a message. Although I’m busy with this article and other not so important tasks like real work, I’d like to mention a few things.

Lucia made a plugin from my WordPress URL canonicalization bugfix. Neat. :)

Marty wants all of us to link to the NYC Search Marketers’ Party During SMX to Beat Lymphoma on October, 15, 2007. If you’re in NY next week, then please donate $40 at the door to help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fight cancer, and enjoy three hours of open bar partying with fellow social internet marketers. I wasn’t tagged yet in this meme, but I spotted Marty’s call for action at Sphinn and added the link to my sidebar. I’m tagging John, John, and John.

David tagged me with a Google Sandbox meme asking for a wish. Well, I wish my darn rheumatism would allow me to play beach volleyball in the canonical sandbox over at the Googleplex. Because that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, I’d be happy with a GWC tool reporting incoming anchor text by landing page, inbound links ordered by importance, not commonness. Well, with this meme I can’t tag a Googler again, so I forward the question to Ralph, Mark and Richard.

After a painful long abstinence, tonight I’ve got a babysitter, so I can grab a few pints of Guinness in my favorite pub. Cheers.



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Share Your Sphinn Love!

Sphinn RockstarsDonna started a meme with a very much appreciated compliment - Thanks Donna! Like me she discovered a lot of “new” folks at Sphinn and enjoyed their interesting blogs.

Savoring Sphinn comes with a duty Donna thinks, so she appeals to share the love. She’s right. All of us benefit from Sphinn love, it’s only fair to spread it a little. However, picking only three people I’d never have come accross without Danny’s newest donation to the Internet marketing community is a tough task. Hence I wrote a long numbered list and diced. Alea iacta est. Here are three of the many nice people I met at Sphinn:

Hamlet Batista Tadeusz Szewczyk Tinu Abayomi-Paul
Hamlet Batista Tadeusz Szewczyk Tinu Abayomi-Paul
Blog Blog Blog
Feed Feed Feed
A post I like A post I like A post I like

To those who didn’t make it on this list: That’s just kismet, not bad karma! I bet you’ll appear in someone’s share the sphinn love post in no time.

To you three: Get out your sphinn love post and choose three sphinners writing a feed-worthy blog, preferably people not yet featured elsewhere. I’ve subscribed to a couple feeds of blogs discovered at Sphinn, and so did you. There’s so much great stuff at Sphinn that you’re spoilt for choice.



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Ego food from John’s barbecue

JohnMu grilled me ;)

Check out his folks bin frequently for readable Webmaster interviews.

Thanks John, it was fun :)



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

The Vanessa Fox Memorial

I was quite shocked when Vanessa told me that she’s leaving Google to join Zillow. That’s a big loss for Google, and a big loss for the Webmaster/SEO community relying on Google. And that’s a great enrichment for Zillow. I’m dead sure they can’t really imagine how lucky they are. And they better treat her very well, or Vanessa’s admirers will launch a firestorm which Rommel, Guderian, et al couldn’t have dreamed of when they’ve invented the blitz. Yep, at first sight that was sad news.

But it’s good news for Vanessa, she’s excited of “an all-new opportunity to work on the unique challenges of the vertical and local search space at Zillow”. I wish her all the best at Zillow and I hope that this challenge will not morph her into an always too tired caffeine junky (again) ;)

Back in 2005/2006 when I interviewed Vanessa on her pet sitemaps, her blogger profile said “technical writer in Kirkland” (from my POV an understatement), now she leaves Google as a prominent product manager, well known and loved by colleagues, SEOs and Webmasters around the globe. She created the Vanessa Fox Memorial aka “Google Webmaster Central” and handed her baby over to a great team she gathered and trained to make sure that Google’s opening to Webmasters evolves further. Regardless her unclimbable mount email Vanessa was always there to help, fix and clarify things, and open to suggestions even on minor details. She’s a gem, an admirable geek, a tough and lovably ideal of a Googler, and now a Zillower. Again, all the best, keep in touch, and

Thank You Vanessa!



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

5 Reasons why I blog

So since Matt Cutts tagged by Vanessa Fox cat-tagged me 5 times ;) I add my piece.

    Napping cats don't listen
  1. Well, I’ve started this blog because every dog and his grandpa blogs, but the actual reason was, that I couldn’t convince my beloved old cat listening my rants any more. Sadly my old comrade died years ago in the age of 15, leaving alone a gang of two legged monsters rampage in house and garden.
  2. Since then I’ve used my blogs for kidding, bollocks, and other stuff not suitable for more or less static sites where I publish more seriously. However, I’ve scraped some wholehearted posts from the blog to put them on the consulting platform, because this site is way more popular. Vice versa I’ve blogged announced my other articles and projects here. This blog is somewhat a playground to test the waters and concurrently a speaking tube. I still find it difficult to do that with another platform, the timely character of blogging perfectly allows burying of half-baked things.
  3. Every now and then I write an open letter to Google, for example my series of pleas to revamp rel=nofollow. Perhaps a googler is listening ;)
    Also, a blog is a neat instrument to get the attention of folks who don’t seem to listen.
  4. Frankly I like to share ideas and knowledge. Blogging is the perfect platform to raise rumors or myths too. Also, writing helps me to structure my thoughts, this works even better in a foreign language.
  5. Last but not least I use my blog as reference. While providing Google user support sometimes I just drop a link, particulary as answer to repetitive questions. By the way Google’s Webmaster Forum is a nice place to chase SEO tidbits straight from the horse’s mouth.

Although I admit I’ve somewhat tag-baited my way in here, I’m tagging you:
Thu Tu
John Müller
John Honeck
Jim Boykin
Gurtie & Chris



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Che Guevara of Search

I just can’t step away from the keyboard … who’s this well known guy?
Che Guevara

Tags: ()



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Ego Food @ Aaron Pratt’s SeoBuzzBox

Aaron Pratt from SEO Buzz Box kindly gave me the opportunity to please my ego by talking about SEO, Google Sitemaps, online consulting, and Guinness. Thank you Aaron for this interview.



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments