Last Modified Header and SEO
Some speculation over what the Last-Modified header has over spidering and algos with particular regard to server side generated pages. The thread also veers nicely into what the LMH may mean if Temporal Link Analysis has a say in the issue.
Im not clear on this and it doesn't seem like anyone is that certain in the thread either ;) Does anyone have any thoughts on LMH and Search Engines?
[ WMW PAID MEMBERS LINK ]
Seems like the WebmasterWorld paid up supporters are unhappy with the noise levels in the supporters forum..
You have to be a paid up member to view the link and as it's not a thread open to the public you'll have to settle for some paraphrasing rather than quoting im afraid:
The General Gist
Too many Foo threads, stuff about kids, dogs and god knows what else. Lots of rumblings and outright complaints over the supporters forum being rendered useless by the huge amount of non-professionals in there and chit-chat nature of the forum.
One member suggests that she no longer even comes back there as all the good stuff is out in public and all the dross back in what was supposed to be a quieter, more professional oriented forum.
Trouble in the rank and file? - Actually it's nothing that new, even a year ago or more when i was in there it was virtually indistinguishable from the public side off-topic forum Foo - and the good stuff died when toolmans excellent "Confessions of an SE Spammer" thread was removed. - You can only speculate as to why that decision was taking but i dont think it takes a rocket science brain to come to a reasonable guess eh?
This story comes hot on the heels of The Dirty Little Secrets of SEO & How Information Travels blog post i made earlier in the week. Most liked it but a few got a bit irked when i politely refused to part with the goods :) but what's relevant to this are the parts that talke about private forums.
I mentioned that the paid system wasn't a great one:
There are quite a few public forums out there that have private forums - areas set aside either for the invited, or those with the cash to join. The problem as i see it, in my admittedly limited experience, is that once you start to top a certain number the information flow dries up. This kind of thing only really works if everyone trusts everyone else and if there is an answer to the scaling problem i've not heard about it, so do let me know :-)
Will Yahoo! battle Googles Adsense in contextual advertising?
I just came across this wmw thread linked above where growingdigital says:
I recently logged into my Yahoo hosting account and took a survey to determine whether or not I was interested in placing contextual ads on my site. They also mentioned a Yahoo search box. It looks like this product is still in the early stages of development for all those interested...
chit chat speculation abounds in the thread of course over how much of a threat it would be to Adsense if Y! and MSN both launched into the contextual ad frenzy we're starting to see. I hope they do do somthing like this personally, it'd be cool :-)
Interlinking Circle of Sites
So, reciprocal linking has been deader than dead for quite a while. Can circular linking and other network patterns make a difference for ranking sites now or are the engines getting just too good at spotting unnatural linking patterns and networks?
That's what's being discussed in the WPW thread linked above, jawn_tech starts out with this:
it was proposed that some sidestep reciprocal linking by creating a 'network' of sites. For example, Site A links to Site B, and B to Site C, and C to Site A. Or perhaps, the circle could/should be larger. (A,B,C,D,E,F, etc.)
Has anyone seen any new evidence where SE's acknowledged such a structure with negative consequences, or is this a legitimate linking strategy for human benefit?
It's a pretty good thread started on nov 4th but recently picked up again. Worth a look...
Anyone care to predict the future of link strategies?
Over at digitalpoint there is a small discussion going on about the virtues of Optilink a standalone desktop backlink and ranking analysis tool from Leslie Rohde.
There's not a great deal in the thread other than me giving it the thumbs up but just this morning Cyclops mentioned a very similar competitor tool called T.O.P - Really, i think at best that tool just looks frightening because of the way over the top sales pitch and the fact that the owners photo looks like prison mugshot hehe.. hope he doesnt wanna come beat me up now...
I'd highly recommend optilink, it's a good tool and Leslie was more than happy to personally help me out when i had a few install probs on my linux box - and no, that is not an aff. link up there :-)
So, discounting the online stuff (there's so much of it..) talk to me about link analysis tools that dont phone home
Internet Archive’s Web Page Snapshots Held Admissible as Evidence
The Standford Law School for Internet & Society are reporting that a US judge has ruled that Archive.org's Way Back Machine pages are admissible as evidence.
Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys rejected Polska’s assertion of hearsay, holding that the archived copies were not themselves statements susceptible to hearsay exclusion, since they merely showed what Polska had previously posted on its site. He also noted that, since Polska was seeking to suppress evidence of its own previous statements, the snapshots would not be barred even if they were hearsay. Over Polska’s objection, Judge Keys accepted an affidavit from an Internet Archive employee as sufficient to authenticate the snapshots for admissibility.
Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch provides some much needed critism of Googles double standards with regard to cloaking. You need to be a SEW paid member to read the article he references in the blog post linked above (naughty naughty danny boy!) but this little snippet pretty much spells out the point:
In summary, Google needs to change its cloaking definition to acknowledge that approved cloaking is allowed -- and it definitely needs to move forward with providing better support to ALL web site owners, rather than just some of them.
It's no secret how I feel about Googles attitude to webmasters, i think they could do far, far better but when the critism comes from the good Mr sullivan one would certainly hope it might carry enough impact to actually break through to the boys at the plex.
Here's a very small quote from that article i mentioned above:
I've written and written and written in the past about the need for Google to provide some type of webmaster services to such publishers. It's time for the standard response of "we're always thinking" or "maybe in the future" to end. Get on with it now.
Failure to do so is going to cause web site owners to lose further faith with Google, or as mentioned, simply decide they might as well do whatever makes sense.
Come on Google, you can do better than this, let's have it eh?
My Chat With Yahoo! Search & Co.
Direct from Barry Schwartz who is ringside at the WebmasterWorld Show listening as I write to Tim Mayer from Yahoo! speaking on one of the panels.
Redirect Handling By Yahoo. All this stuff should be working ok in two weeks. Redirects from one domain to another will index the "target" rather then the "source". Meta Redirects: > 1 sec treated as a 301, < 1 sec is treated as a 302. Redirects internal will keep the source as the main link. This was launched Tuesday night, and you should see stuff happening shortly. This should fix all the issues discussed in the forums.
Hosting - Unique IP's and Unique C Blocks
Nick started this with a simple premise and question
A vast majority of SEO type webmasters beleive that not only is it of benefit to have unique dedicated IP addresses for their websites but that it is also beneficial to have different C blocks on those unique IP's.
and it wandered off topic beautifully. All sorts of comments from some interesting people and a great rant in the middle from Massa before it gets back on track.
Thoughts about the PR Economy
These are some thoughts I've had recently after reading some posts about "Limited PR Theory" and the doubling of the Google index.
With the recent rise in importance of inbound links in the latest Google algorithms webmasters have begun enormous link building campaigns, adding link directories to their sites, gaining reciprocal and triangular links etc. I've been thinking more and more about how PR has become a virtual commodity which has a real monetary value. If you look at the money markets, you find that traders can make millions of dollars on minor fluctuations in prices between different currencies. If this theory is applied to the economy of PR then it is plain to see that due to the irregular updates to PR a company could exploit the same principle e.g.
Interesting reading about the WebmasterWorld conference going on now in Las Vegas.
This made my day (should make yours too Nick, since it's about your site ;) )
We then discussed ThreadWatch.org, NickW's blog, Tim loves reading it. Tim finds ThreadWatch to be more of a forum then a blog, I see his point - but I disagree. We discussed giving ThreadWatch.org a link on the left hand navigation of the Yahoo Search Blog site. I think it might happen in the near future.
Do something, it makes a short ripple - do something well, and the ripples will go on forever.
Personalisation... How change SEO, and where SE's heading?
SEO-Richard over at HighRankings has some interesting thoughts on what the roll out of Personalized SERPS will mean to the future of SEO - I tend to agree with the consensus in the thread that much of what we do now will be useless, or at least far, far harder and concentrating on the user, and your theme will become more prominent.
When every SERP is unique to the searcher, how can you optimise for the SERPS? I would have thought initially by blindly following recieved wisdom, which currently is links etc. but might soon be semantics, and then after that might be something else. The number of variables related to a succesful placement in the SERPS is probably going to increase, and the feedback on how succesful your strategy has been will probably decrease. You won't be able to make an educated guess as to whether or not it's the links or the keywords or the authority of your site or whatever whatever that has brought the searcher to you because there'll be a thousand different SERPS.
Of course focusing on the user goes hand in hand with seo right now. If we're unable to backward engineer the serps so effectively as we are now and unable to see from the results pages what methods are working due to the varied way in which individuals use personalized search though, it'll surely mean a heavy shift in emphasis for most seos.
The Mobile Web
As i mentioned yesterday in: this aggregation & SEO thread, the nature of the way search marketers operate is about to change. And in light of that thread and this, it does seem to be time to start thinking and planning ahead for the future.
Russell Beattie posted an interesting essay on the Mobile Web - see the threadlink above - about how, in the not so distant future, accessing content sources via your mobile phone or wireless app will not be the hit and miss affair that it is now. He advocates a move to XHTML Basic as the best move for publishers to ensure that their websites are accessible via the Mobile Web though any XHTML standard would undoubtably work.
Although I agree with his hope that the MW will move towards that goal, as it's clearly the most sensible option for both the MW itself and for publishers such as us, i do fear that there's a large amount of wishful thinking in his prediction. I cant help thinking that we'll see the same kind of proprietory standards mess we had back when the WWW was young.
Here's a snippet to whet your appetite - foward thinkers should be reading this stuff :-)
there's going to be a point in the not so distant horizon, when most people are accessing the internet from their mobile phones, rather than from PCs. it's a fact. Businesses are realizing this and retooling for this new mobile world already. Manufacturers are making efforts to standardize on open specs (XHTML, SVG, etc.) and improve screen resolution (QVGA 320x240 will probably be the sweet spot) and websites are starting to embrace web standards as well. There's this vanishing point in the horizon when all these parallel lines converge, and I think that's where the mobile web is heading.
Home Alone? How Content Aggregators Change Navigation and Control of Content
As search marketers we often if not always think of ourselves as being at the forefront of technology and technique both. Are we really though?
Not a day goes by where you dont see questions about meta tags, huge debates about miniscule differences in toolbar PR vs drectory PR, etc etc. The fabric of the web, the way we architect our information and the way we find content is all changing. Slowly for now to be sure, but it is changing and I think we're likely to see a snowball effect as the concept of distributed navigation proliferates through use of aggregators and how those aggregators develop over time.
This article at Digital Web Magazine takes a thought provoking, inspiring and forward looking view of what aggregation will mean to designers, content providers, information architects and search marketers over the next few years. If you're not up to speed, then this is an absolute must read!
Aggregators are promoting a shift in the control of content. They’re challenging the idea that we as designers control public access to information in our domains, that users must view things in the way we prescribe, and that our hierarchy is best to present our content. This change is also suggesting that we need the help of others to market our own ideas. It is plausible that another’s approach to our information may be working better than our own.
Different aggregator types will affect our design as well. The field of search engine optimization is growing fast. However, the way humans aggregate content is hardly discoverable like it is in machine aggregators. This means we’ll have to come up with new strategies to get our content aggregated by the people who can help drive visitors to our sites. For bloggers this is already becoming a part of daily routine, often characterized (unfortunately) by superficial comments on someone else’s blog written primarily to garner click-throughs.
Isn't Ppc Really The End Of The Line?
If you're selling competitive stuff like herbal products and only have a small site, is it worthwhile to even bother with regular SEO?
Torka has a great response which in part says:
I guess it depends on how long you plan to be in business. If you're talking about a business plan that spans years, a few months to get better "free" search engine ranking is a drop in the bucket. If, on the other hand, the business plan is for a "quick hit" followed by an equally quick exit, then PPC is definitely the only way to go.