I found a synopsis of a talk that a Google employee named Marissa Mayer gave. It was very interesting. There were lots of neat facts I had not heard before. Here are the ones I think could actually be useful.
Google makes changes small-and-often. They will sometimes trial a
particular feature with a set of users from a given network subnet; for
example Excite@Home users often get to see new features. They aren’t
told of this, just presented with the new UI and observed how they use
They use the 20% / 5% rules. If at least 20% of people use a feature,
then it will be included. At least 5% of people need to use a
particular search preference before it will make it into the ‘Advanced
They have found in user testing, that a small number of people are very
typical of the larger user base. They run labs continually and always
monitoring how people use a page of results.
I have been reading posts in forums where people are scared to death of getting a penalty from submitting to a bunch of free directories. Some even say that it is bad to submit to any free directories other than a few select high PR ones. This is complete nonsense. Read more…
I blogged about this a while back but did not have the readership that I do now so I thought I would bring it up again because it bears repeating. eWhisper a friend of mine made a suggestion at webmasterworld 2 years ago.
Sometimes, I buy the ‘seo’ terms (allinurl:example.com, link:example.com, etc) to see how active some of my competitors are in checking their links and SEOing their sites.
Knowing which ones are very active, and which ones don’t fret about these searches can help in determining which competitors to keep an eye on, as well as looking for sudden spikes in these queries.
You can use this for many other things. It is a way to keep track of unique terms that you know only certain people would type in. Nobody has to click on the ad they just have to type it in. You will see an impression in your adwords account. You can even have some fun with somebody by using ad text that says something like “George I’m watching you”. You can also do the same thing with other PPC networks.
I just found out that when you pause a campaign in Google Adwords your content network is not paused for 2 days. Google confirms this to be a bug and are working on it.
I wrote a few weeks ago that Google was devaluing Wikipedia in the SERPS. ( “Google and Wikipedia seem to be having a lovers spat”). At the time I could only see the results on some test data center that Google likes to serve me every so often. Well now I am actually seeing it on actual datacenters that I know the IP of. These datacenters seem to have an index update on them.
Yesterday Google made it to some posts in the SEO world with their Valentines day logo. I did not think much about it. We are always talking about what Google is doing. Today I was on CNN.com and saw a link to a Time Magazine article titled What Was Google Thinking?. This made me wonder if Google did this to get extra attention. Remember link bait is not just for search rank. Link Bait is a way to get links that bring traffic as well. It is also a way to get type in traffic. All somebody has to do is mention your name or company name. People will type it in Google and find you. This is why it is important to rank for you name or company name.
Link Bait is not new by any means. People have been doing things to get attention for years. Like in Hollywood the phrase has always been “any publicity is good publicity”. Actually Guerilla Marketing is the same thing really.
I was just reading over at Googleblog that the Google toolbar 3 is out of Beta. The big feature they mentioned is that you can open your documents and spreadsheets directly in Google Docs & Spreadsheets. They also mention that it is available in 12 new languages.
They released the new firefox tool bar and Google Docs & Spreadsheets in 12 new languages.
French, Italian, German, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Polish, Dutch, Portuguese (Brazil)
If you don’t have Firefox yet you can get here.
Over at Googleblog they are talking about how people are created web mashups for the blind. One of the most interesting ones they mention is a website that offers a way to access Google Calendar from a phone or using skype. I’m going to try that out.
Wikipedia has been in the news a lot lately because it put the nofollow tag on certain links posted by authors. Well I think that is not enough. I think they need to exclude their whole site from the search engines and every page needs to load a warning first or the site needs to just shut down. I think Wikipedia was a good idea before the whole world knew about it. The problem with the idea of a WiKi encyclopedia is that you canâ€™t trust it. The founder of Wikipedia says that he gets about 10 e-mail messages a week from students who complain that Wikipedia has earned them fail grades. Read more…
I spoke about the rel=”nofollow” tag a while back and thought I would talk about other bloggers using it. Many SEO blogs are still using rel=”nofollow”. I understand why Matt Cutts uses it. He works for the company that is trying to convince bloggers Google is trying to do something for them. But why are all the major SEOâ€™s using it. They either use it or flat out donâ€™t allow urlâ€™s or have some fancy redirect to do the same thing. Some even have posts about how stupid and useless nofloow is. rel=”nofollow” is not the solution. What they need to do is install proper spam detection like spamkarma and there are many good CAPTCHA programs out there. I know many of these people and they all to this day complain about comment spam. SEOMoz even made a big deal about how they use rel=”nofollow” because some of their commenter’s were linking to bad sites. It is funny that all they were worried about was what Google thought of them linking to these bad sites and not their readers. We still have to see these bad links. Obviously the rel=”nofollow” has not helped them at all. It is very simple to take off of your blog. There are at least 2 plugins that work great for WordPress. (plugin1, plugin2) If you guys are reading this please install one of these.
Here is a list of people that still show rel=”nofollow” or some other method to not link to people like redirects. The ones with *â€™s are the ones that have spoken out against rel=”nofollow”. Not all of these are SEO blogs some are blog written by SEOâ€™s on some other subject.
This is not a comprehensive list.
Google seems to be devaluing Wikipedia. I hope Google is finally turning down the knobs on Wikipedia. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, is set to launch an internet search engine with amazon.com that he hopes will become a rival to Google and Yahoo that he announced back in December.
There were just too many terms where Wikipedia would beat out sites that should be number one just because Google thinks it is the authority on everything. Wikipedia still ranks for a lot of terms but I think Google is finally taking away their cart blanche on ranking. This could be one of Googleâ€™s hiccups where they went back to some old algo or to some backup algo or some test. I hope it is not. Wikipedia should rank for some terms when people have linked to it but there is no reason for them to rank for terms when that page has no back links at all and is beating out sites that have all the right stuff to rank higher.
I only have one example and I would rather not disclose it and everybody I asked said they have seen the same thing but did not disclose their terms either. Let me know if you have any good examples I could use. From what I can tell Wikipedia has lost ground on pages that have no back links at all.
The results I’m getting are from some secret Google data center that I can’t access via ip. I can only get it from www.google.com. I wonder if it is some test server. I hope it is something that will go live.