October 31, 2002
PPC Click Fraud
Fake clicks are a major problem for anyone running a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign. Very few reports from PPC suppliers (eg Overture
) allow enough details to accurately register the validity of the clicks. This means the only real way to guess is through experience in conversions and traffic levels expected from any given campaign. This article is a decent starting point if you are lost and trying to find out if you are receiving fake clicks - Click Fraud - Are You A Victim?
Deeper graphical searching...
'Google is still great, but a major limitation of current search engines is that they don't allow you to refine your search to a second level and deeper. Says Groxis CEO RJ Pittman: "We don't need another search engine. What we need is a tool to make the results of the engines more useful."' - Making Online Searches More Useful.
October 30, 2002
Search Engines - Legal Issues
Search Engine Watch, with the help of a few guest writers, cover some of the legal issues SEO's ponder (hopefully).
What do Playboy and pagejacking, tarot readings and taxes all have in common? They were the subjects of ground-breaking court cases that set legal precedents for acceptable practices on the web - Legal Issues - Part One.
Is copying a web page 'fair use'? How many of your competitors' keywords or trademarks can you legally use on a web page? Recent court cases provided answers - Legal Issues - Part Two.
October 25, 2002
Off for a long weekend
It's a long weekend here in New Zealand so I'm off with a few extra days in Queenstown
for bungy jumping, white-water rafting and some paragliding. Back soon.
October 24, 2002
I like to check out this once a month, if just for general information and a bit of a laugh. The trends it shows up can get you thinking over where you should be heading for future user search terms - '...breaking news and obscure information alike, people around the world search on Google at www.google.com. With a bit of analysis, this flurry of searches often exposes interesting trends, patterns, and surprises. Google Zeitgeist - Search patterns, trends, and surprises according to Google.'
October 23, 2002
What will they think of next?
Google Compute - you can signup and donate you idle PC processing time to help 'a non-profit research project at Stanford University that is trying to understand the structure of proteins so they can develop better treatments for a number of illnesses'
October 22, 2002
Who to use for Inktomi submit?
An interesting forum discussion
covering who you should use to submit to Inktomi seems to have a resounding push towards PositionTech
. This may sound like a simple distinction but it's things like this that have been learned through hard experience. Once more proof of how useful forums can be as the editors at Search Day have recently mentioned.
Of course there's always the SubmitWolf software developed by the Trellian boys that can be used.
October 21, 2002
The evolution of the SEO...
It's refreshing to see someone writing an article on what I see as the key to search engine friendly based sites in the future. It can be summed up in a single word - 'Standards'. Spending time following the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
web standards for the internet allows for a site that is clean, usable, searchable (especially by engine BOT's) and scalable across various platforms.James Allison considers the evolution of the SEO in similar terms when Understanding the New Role of SEO Consultants
. The article provides an especially useful listing of resources for; Web Standards, Usability, Accessibility and Information Architecture.
October 18, 2002
Sick of searching with your mouse?
Google have come up with yet another interesting beta test from their 'labs'. Here you can try using the keys on your keyboard to pick and look through your search options. I must admit, I was very impressed by the ease of use and simple hand movements needed to control the search. Well done (again) Google. Google: Keyboard Shortcuts
October 14, 2002
October 10, 2002
The debate ends as Yahoo go with GoogleYahoo
have just re-arranged their search listings, merging the 'Web Matches' section (Google
sourced) with the standard Yahoo directory listings. This has massive implications for Yahoo and as yet I'm not sure exactly what Yahoo benefit from it. They will assumedly achieve a higher relevancy on standard search terms however there have been a number of complaints about spam entering the Google results from the latest update. Perhaps the main difference becomes usability for novice searchers who reportedly had difficulty finding the previous version of the 'Web Matches' search results from Yahoo. Is this the begging of the end for directory listings in general?
Here's what Yahoo detail about the change: What's changed with Yahoo! Search?
And here's how Danny Sullivan describes the changed results:
'In the new system, both Yahoo and Google results are mixed together under an entirely new "Web Matches" section. For popular queries, it is still likely that the results will be dominated by matches that come from Yahoo's human listings. These are easily identified by having a "More sites about" link that appears below their description. However, even for popular queries, it's possible that some results that only appear within Google may appear in the first page. Yahoo is using its own search algorithm to search through both its own listings and Google's listings to determine which pages to blend into the top listings.': Yahoo Renews With Google, Changes Results.
Webmasters and SEO's are already either jumping for joy or screaming in anger over the changes.
October 9, 2002
Search Engine Standards, Please!
I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Heather Llyod-Martin at the Sydney SES Conference earlier this year and was impressed with her 'follow the basics' (that's my term for it) copy writing and search engine optimisation techniques.
Search standards and what is 'ethical seo' (or even if that term should be used at all) is a hot topic among SEO's. On every search engine forum on the web you'll find a detailed discussion of this topic with sometimes heated debates. In general the industry is looking for ways to stop 'search engine spam' and draw some lines in the sand to mark those who go too far. Here Heather writes a good article on Search Engine Standards, detailing the discussions from a panel at a recent conference.
October 8, 2002
Yahoo are about to announce their quarterly reported earnings this week. Speculation over the report continues with Reuters
seeing Yahoo as possibly being 'the media company that pulled off a turnaround in one of the toughest business climates in years'
. Yahoo's last report was its first quarterly profit in seven quarters with some predicting a turnaround as high as ten percent for this report.
October 7, 2002
Charting the Seas of Search
Search Engine Watch editor Danny Sullivan puts together yet another useful resource in the form of an updated search engine power chart: Who Powers Whom? Search Providers Chart
Geo-targeted searching from New Zealand
Shifting focus a bit to your needs as a searcher, how are you going to 'get the best out of your search'? From a New Zealand perspective (I would guess this also applies to other non-US based searchers as well) searching online can become quite a skill when learning how to sift through pages of irrelevant results. Stephan Spencer (Netconcepts.com) gives some good tips on the advanced search features available in Google to help you narrow your focus.
October 4, 2002
Overture Gets a Standing O
From the pages of Buisness 2.0:'Overture has recorded four profitable quarters in a row, and in the first two quarters of 2002, it already has pulled in more revenues ($295.3 million) than it did all of last year'
( Overture Gets a Standing O
I like this take where 'It would be fair to say that if Overture warrants a standing ovation for its performance this year, the Google Adword Select should be given a Purple Heart.'
Where are all your searchers going?
Search Engine Watch have (in association with Nielsen//Net Ratings) put together a fine set of statistics for search engine usage. Both 'Audience Reach' and 'Time Spent' on the sites are shown; see Search Engine Ratings
(thanks to Dave at Searchengineblog.com for the link).
October 3, 2002
Open Directory Project unavailable
The Open Directory Project (dmoz.org
- the irony of linking to a site known to be unavailable is not lost on us) are apparently going through some server updates which has left them offline for a few days now. Some webmasters have started questioning whether this is now a regular occurance given access problems at dmoz.org over the past few months.
ODP provides the directory listings for Google, Netscape, AOL and a number of other search services so the results are still available if you are looking for them.
October 2, 2002
Visual Basic Google API Rank Checker Program
An innovative programmer posting on Webmaster World ('aspdesigner'), has put together detailed instructions (and the source code) for a 'Rank Checker Program' using the Google API that was released earlier this year. The instructions and details are geared towards programmers with a working knowledge of Visual Basic.
This is a great step in the right direction for SEO services who are looking for ways to check Google rankings without as much fear of being cut off by Google for doing so. 'GoogleGuy' (a staff member from Google and regular poster on the boards) agreed that this would be a much more preferable way to check Google ranks. Hopefully someone else will jump on the API programming bandwagon and develop a more general, user-friendly system that can be used (see the relevant forum on Webmaster World).
October 1, 2002
Overture, MSN extend search pact'Overture will continue to provide search services to Microsoft's MSN through 2004, the companies said Monday.'
Wisenut Re-launched. Where does Zeal fit in?Wisenut
has been re-launched by Looksmart. The crawler based search engine was purchased earlier this year by Looksmart amid questions as to what a directory based service was going to do with a crawler engine. Looksmart are reported
to be ready to announce new partnerships and customers later this month. I look forward to hearing how this fits in with Looksmart's Zeal
directory and what the volunteer editors think of it.
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