AdSense Crawler Downloads XML Sitemaps

If your site provides a Google XML Sitemap, check your server logs for entries like

2005-07-27 13:33:01
/mycutesitemap.xml
Mediapartners-Google/2.1
66.249.66.47
GET
crawl-66-249-66-47.googlebot.com

It looks like Google has launched a new phase of the Sitemaps project, and this could help targeting AdSense ads to a great degree. If AdSense gets alerted to current content changes (submitted via the sitemap’s Last Modified attribute) before the next scheduled crawl occurs (probably next month or so), it could become easier to tweak pages carrying AdSense ads.

If your Web site lacks a dynamic XML sitemap, implement this feature as soon as possible. It could increase your AdSense revenue.

Learn more about Google XML Sitemaps here.

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Google’s Own XML Sitemap Explored

While developing a Google XML Sitemap parser, I couldn’t resist to test my tool with Google’s own XML sitemap. The result is somewhat astonishing, even for a BETA software.

Parsing only the first 100 entries, I found lots of 404s (page not found), and both 301 (moved permanently) and 302 (found somewhere else) redirects. Site owners get their sitemaps declined for less invalid entries. It seems Google does not use its own XML sitemap.

View the page list parsed from Google’s Sitemap here.

Dear Google, please forgive me. I just had to publish this finding ;)

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Just Another Free Sitemap Tool Launched

FREE (Google) Sitemap Tool for Smaller Web Sites I get a lot of feedback on my Google Sitemaps Tutorial and related publications. I read the message boards and newsgroups. I’ve learned that there are lots of smaller Web sites out there, where the site owner wants to provide both a Google XML Sitemap and a HTML site map, but there are close to zero tools available to support those Web publishers. At least the suitable tools are not free of charge, respectively most low-cost content management systems don’t create both sitemap variants.

To help out those Web site owners, I’ve written a pretty simple PHP script generating dynamic Google XML Sitemaps as well as pseudo-static HTML site maps from one set of page data. Both the XML sitemap and the viewable version pull their data from a plain text file, where the site owner or Web designer adds a new a line per page after updates.

The Google XML Sitemap is a PHP script reflecting the current text files’s content on request. It writes a static HTML site map page to disk. Since Googlebot downloads XML site maps every 12 hours like a clockwork, the renderable sitemap gets refreshed at least twice per day.

The site owner or Web designer just needs to change a simple text file on updates, and after the upload Googlebot recreates the sitemaps. Ain’t that cute?

Curious? Here is the link: Simple Sitemaps 1.0 BETA

Although this free script provides a pretty simple sitemap solution, I wouldn’t use it with Web sites containing more than 100 pages. Why not? Site map pages carrying more than 100 links may devalue the links. On the average Web server my script will work with hundreds of pages, but from a SEOs point of view that’s counter productive.

Please download the script and tell me what You think. Thanks!

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Systematic Link Patterns Kill SE-Traffic

Years ago, Google started a great search engine ranking Web pages by PageRank within topical matches. Altavista was a big player, and a part of its algo ranked by weighted link popularity. Even Inktomi and a few others begun to experiment with linkpop as a ranking criteria.

Search engine optimizers and webmasters launched huge link farms, where thousands of Web sites were linking to each other. From a site owner’s point of view, those link farms, aka spider traps, ‘helped search engine crawlers to index and rank the participating sites’. For a limited period of time, Web sites participating in spider traps were crawled more frequently, and -caused by their linkpop- gained better placements on the search engine result pages.

From a search engine’s point of view, artificial linking for the sole purpose of manipulating search engine rankings is a bad thing. Their clever engineers developed link spam filters, and the engines begun to automatically penalize or even ban sites involved in systematic link patterns.

Back in 2000, removing the artificial links and asking for reinclusion worked for most of the banned sites. Nowadays it’s not that easy to get a banned domain back in the index. Savvy webmasters and serious search engine optimizers found better and honest ways to increase search engine traffic.

However, there are still a lot of link farms out there. Newbies following bad advice still join them, and get caught eventually. Spider trap operators are smart enough to save their ass, but thousands of participating newbies lose the majority of their traffic when a spider trap gets rolled up by the engines. Some spider traps even charge their participants. Google has just begun to work on a link spam network where the operator earns 46,000$ monthly for putting his customers at risk.

Stay away from any automated link exchange ’service’, it’s not worth it. Don’t trust sneaky sales pitches trying to talk you into risky link swaps. Approaches to automatically support honest link trades are limited to administrative tasks. Hire an experienced SEO Consultant for serious help on your link development.

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Another Content Thief Caught

Protect your unique content! Yesterday CopyScape alerted me to a content thief reprinting my stuff at [*]. This moron scraped a few paragraphs from my tutorial on Google Sitemaps, replaced a link to Google’s SEO page by a commercial call for action, and uploaded the plagiarism as sales pitch for his dubious and pretty useless SEO tools.

As usual, I’ve documented the case and sent it over to my lawyer. Then I thought I could do more with all the screen shots, WHOIS info etc., and developed a template for a page of evidence [*]. Now it takes me only a few minutes to publish everything others should know about a content thief. Entering a few variables and pushing a button creates a nice page documenting the copyright infringement.

Unfortunately I can’t post the template, because it works with my CMS only, but you’ll get the idea. Be creative yourself, put the thief’s name, company and personal data promitently nearby terms like ‘evil’ and ‘thief’ all over the page, including the META tags. Then link to the page and submit it to all search engines. After a while do a search for the thief and check out whether you’ve outranked the offending site. If not, consider reading a few of my articles on search engine optimizing ;)

[*] My content was removed after my outing page has been picked up by the search engines and ranked fine within a few days. Thus I’ve removed the names and links. Here is another example of an outing page: Content Theft: Tahir J. Farooque’s plagiarism at CRESOFT.COM (Cresoft Corporation)

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The Top-5 Methods to Attract Search Engine Spiders

Full sized image copyrighted © by Leech Design 2000Folks on the boards and in news groups waste man years speculating on the best bait to entrap search engine spiders.

Stop posting, listen to the ultimate advice and boost your search engine traffic to the sky within a few months. Here are the five best methods to get a Web site crawled and indexed quickly:

5 Laying out milk and cookies attracts the Googlebot sisters.
4 Creating a Google Sitemap supports the Googlebot sisters.
3 Providing RSS feeds and adding them to MyYahoo decoys Slurp.
2 Placing bold dollar signs ‘$$‘ nearby the copyright or trademark notice drives the MSN bot crazy.
1 Spreading deep inbound links all over the Internet encourages all spiders to deep and frequent crawling and fast indexing as well.

Listen, there is only one single method that counts: #1. Forget everything you’ve heard about search engine indexing. Concentrate all your efforts on publishing fresh content and acquiring related inbound links to your content pages instead.

Link out to valuable pages within the body text and ask for a backlink. Keep your outbound links up, even if you don’t get a link back. Add a page to each content page and use it to trade links on the content page’s topic. Don’t bother with home page link exchanges.

Ignore tricky ‘backdoor’ advice. There is no such thing as a backdoor to a search engine’s index. Open your front door widely for the engines by actively developing deep inbound links. Once you’re indexed and ranked fairly, fine tune your search engine spider support. Best of luck.

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Revamping Framed Web Sites

Phoenix posted a great tip at SEO Roundtable:
Creating a Framed Site Without The Drawbacks to SEO

With regard to search engine crawling and indexing, frames are the SEO’s nightmare. Some brilliant people have taken the time to develop a CSS solution for fixed site navigation, examples:
http://www.stunicholls.myby.co.uk/layouts/frame.html
http://jfy.homeunix.net/misc/example.html

Here is the tutorial:
http://www.webreference.com/html/tutorial24/
Summary: “HTML Frames have been used so far on the Web to provide sections of a Web page that scroll independantly of each other, but they cause a lot of hassle, making linking difficult and breaking the consistency of our documents. CSS fixed positioning helps us work around this by positioning parts of one document relative to the viewport. The overflow property can be used to control their scrolling appropriately. By being careful about how you position these elements, you can have your layout fall back to the default rendering on Navigator 4 and Internet Explorer, making this technique useable in a production environment.”

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Unbelievable Search Engine Market Shares

Brett Tabke posted the quarterly stats on numbers of search queries:

Google: 5.65 billion U.S. queries 37.6 percent market share
Yahoo: 4.65 billion U.S. queries 30.4 percent market share
MSN: 2.39 billion U.S. queries 15.6 percent market share
AOL/Time Warner: 1.41 billion U.S. queries 9.2 percent market share
Ask Jeeves: 0.93 billion U.S. queries 6.1 percent market share

#2’s figures being that close to #1 leads me to the conclusion, that Yahoo! and most probably also MSN? are performing some one handed statistic tuning by searching themselves.

Google delivers more than 50 percent of all referrers, that percentage includes each and every link an Internet user clicks on any Web site, not only searches.

If !&? don’t send their searching users to a NUL device, all traffic landing stats prove that the above number of search queries is plain false.

However, to understand stats one should be a statistician, or a liar. My conclusion could be totally wrong, since what do I know about stats? The same goes for the astonished and confused posters in that WMW thread.

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Do I need a Vioxx Attorney?

VIOXX CLAIMSSuffering on presumed medication aftereffects myself, I’ve a slight interest in the topic and got alerted to a thread on expensive PPC keywords like vioxx over at SEW.

Lawyers bidding $40+ per click on vioxx attorney or mesothelioma reminds me where we live. So do I need a vioxx attorney? For sure not. I just avoid pills and intoxicated lawyers.



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Fight shy of the Google-Update-Hysteria

A post by Aaron Wall about his interview of Dan Theis pointed me to a great paper: How to prosper with the new Google.

I’ve just scanned it, but I’ll print it out and read it in the bath tub later on. That means a lot, because the bath tub is my holy place where I’m safe from crying kids and beeping computers as well.

It seems to me that this 17 pages packed with outstanding analyzes and good advice make all the monster threads on Google updates obsolete. Actually, they are obsolete by itself, because posting in these threads requires an IQ way below a toast, but that’s another story.

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