Hot Linux Virgin Action

Thread Title: Linux Virgins Thread Url: http://www.linuxvirgin.info Thread Description:

OMG, this is waaay too funny! Gizmodo point out Linux Virgin - a site where, you can follow the progress of two charming young ladies as they attempt to set up a linux box whilst losing their clothes...

Clearly open source marketing at it's best and as Gizmodo said:

Ooh, that's right—just a little more thermal paste right there. Yeah, right on the proc.

Very, very funny :-)

Designing Sites for Teens

Thread Title: What Websites Do to Turn On Teens Thread Url: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,66514,00.html Thread Description:

I've never built a site with Teens in mind but knowing that some of you have this might be of interest: Wired are talking about what visual and interactive elements sites should pay attention to in order to capture a younger audience. Content aside, some of the things the story has to say are pretty interesting:

Nielsen explained that the best interactive elements include message boards, polls, quizzes, the ability to ask questions of experts, and tools that let teens construct their own web pages.

Another element teens find attractive is the use of photographs and images that relieve text of the burden of communicating ideas, but that don't weigh down a page. And while adults don't like cluttered web pages or too much writing either, he added, they are significantly more tolerant of a heavier text-to-images ratio.

Teens are also much less willing than adults to stick around websites with useful content but poor presentation, Nielsen said.

The report they're talking about (which i couldn't locate?) is the one that sparked all the pants wetting excitement about teens not being as savvy as adults on the web - well forgive me if i pay that only passing mention, it's boring as hell and patently obvious to boot.

If you have built sites for the teen market, do tell us about your experiences...

Semantics - A Larger Role in the new Google Algorithm

or is the latest update with Google proof of genetic relationships in full force?

I've been quite open in my thoughts about knoll peaks and how use of deoxyribonucleic acid is being used to identify web sites and relationships between them. I've also shown how that same thoughts process when used with social demographics and neck colour can be used to help tailor results for a search engine user. Follow the title link for more...

Puzzling the Google DIrection by it's Aquisitions

Thread Title: Google Acquisitions Thread Url: http://ifindkarma.typepad.com/relax/2004/10/google_acquisit.html Thread Description:

For those that like to do puzzles, maybe you can fathom out the GOOG gameplan by looking at their aquisitions over the last 4yrs - a neat summary provided by Adam Rifkin here:

2/2001: Deja 9/2001: Outride 2/2003: Pyra Labs 4/2003: Neotonic Software 4/2003: Applied Semantics 9/2003: Kaltix 10/2003: Sprinks 10/2003: Genius Labs 4/2004: Ignite Logic 6/2004: Baidu 7/2004: Picasa 10/2004: Keyhole

Buggered if i can work it out heh. Google, just what is it that you want to be?

Paid Search to start the Real Browser Wars

Thread Title: MSN Search will bring in dollars even if it's not No. 1 Thread Url: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/210941_msftnotebook07.html Thread Description:

Seattlepi has a good piece on M$ ad revenue - worthy of a read. What got my attention just a little more tuned was Jupiters Joe Wilcox's comments on Microsoft Monitor however:

But I'll add something else. I see paid search as a potential catalyst to rekindling a real browser war. I don't see as coincidence the sudden interest on numerous fronts with bulking up Web browsers. Sure, people fume over so-called Internet Explorer security problems, and I'll stand first in line chiding Microsoft over taking so longer to make pop-up blocking a part of the the browser. But there's more going here than just people looking to chuck IE for some other browser, simply because of perceived security problems. Savvy browser vendors have got to recognize the huge revenue opportunity of paid search, from which the browser is one of the major launching pads.

I could see lots of revenue opportunities for Firefox or the new Netscape prototype around paid search. Netscape is more obvious because of AOL, but there's no reason third parties couldn't tap into the paid-search piggybank through Firefox add ons and affiliate relationships. The plethora of available already-available Firefox add ons gives some pretty good perspective.

Nice to link to MM, i've been reading for a little while now, it's a great site Joe...

phpBB Hacked - Developers Locked Out

Thread Title: phpBB Site Cracked, Developers Locked Out Thread Url: http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2005/02/08/phpbb_site_cracked_developers_locked_out.html Thread Description:

Whoooah... as if recent phpBB problems and vulnerabilities weren't bad enough it now looks like the main server and one of the largest web communities on the net (about 150,000 support forum users) has been hacked via Awstats.

The developers have been locked out and cannot access the server even in single user mode according to the netcraft report threadlinked above.

Bad news...

About.com for Sale - Major Search Firms and NYT Bidding for it

Thread Title: About.com, Primedia's Web Venture, Is for Sale Thread Url: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/08/technology/08deal.html Thread Description:

Yep, About.com is up for grabs and the bidding ends today - cost? $350 - $500 Million

Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and NYT are all bidding for the About property.

More as it happens...

Google Maps goes Live

Thread Title: Google Maps Goes Live Thread Url: http://maps.google.com/ Thread Description:

Google Maps is out in, yeah! you guesed it... BETA!

As zawodny points out this is probably the end of the road for MapQuest

Not being either a driver or an american, im gonna find it a bit tough comparing Google Maps to Yahoo Maps but the addition of live traffic reports to Yahoo's offering puts them a cut ahead i'd say.

Would anyone care to compare the two services?

There's no Escape - Google got Images in the SERPS

Thread Title: Google Pictures Better Search Results Thread Url: http://www.betanews.com/article/Google_Pictures_Better_Search_Results/1107821987 Thread Description:

Lots of blog posts around on this but i really can't be arsed to link to them all so we'll have the nice folks at BetaNews provide a snippet :)

Today, Google announced that its image search property's index has swelled to over 1.1 billion pictures from sources worldwide. Before long, the images themselves will be displayed against the traditional backdrop of aggregated search results contributing what Google refers to as "Image Results."

Once Images Results are integrated into Google's main Web search, queries such as "sun sets" will invoke thumbnail images that are linked directly to the image library. Thumbnails will be placed prominently on top of search results

Im not keen on this at all at first thought, but im willing to give it a little time before damning it to an ever growing list of things that annoy me... (top of that list right now is the fact that i cant find any queries that produce bloody images..)

SEO Sites Taking a Whack in the latest Google Update

I've been getting reports in about this all day today, im not going to name names as i really don't want to draw attention to the victim sites but at least 8 well known SEO sites have been hit hard by the latest Google update.

The key question is, is this part of the overall update and they just happen to be about SEO or is this because they are SEO sites?

The antagony between Google and Search Marketers is well known, so are they taking a direct hand in knobbling SEO sites?

What do you think and what are you seeing out there?

Kuro5hin Discover Google Hijacking - Bless 'em...

Thread Title: Google and the Mysterious Case of the 1969 Pagejackers Thread Url: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/2/5/183516/0997 Thread Description:

Kuro5hin discover the old 302 Hijack thing - if your not familiar, it's where one site can hijack anothers listing in Google by design, or more often than not, by accident. The Kur5 threads comments are worth their weight in gold, really, go check 'em out it's hillarious - bless 'em heh...

We've talked about it alot here at Threadwatch, though it was a little while back now, but, the problem still persists and Google either:

Do not think hijacking is a problem Do not think hijacking is a priority Couldn't care less about hijacking, buy Adwords!

and here's some previous discussions here at Threadwatch:

Google grants Amnesty for Spammers to Help Fix Glitch Hijacking A Google Listing - Testing Googles Secret Flaw Google & Hijacking - Fix it or have it Explode on the Forums

And in a recent case here in Denmark, Shell get screwed by Incompetent SEO - it wasn't a 302 hijack, but the results were the same - the Danish seo frim used META refresh to try and do a little mild blackhat naughtiness with Shell.dk and ended up shooting themselves and Shell in the feet.

DaveN has said before that if they don't fix this shit it might be worth ensuring that all the webmaster crowd know about it and force the issue that way - a lot of websites get hurt by Hijacking. - Dave, i think it may be time....

Google's Sandbox and Tinfoil Hat Theories

Thread Title: Compilation of Anti-Sandbox Tactics Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=3984 Thread Description:

We've not talked about Google's sandbox in a while - for the most part, there seems little point, but the threadlink above (at sew) does raise some stuff worth looking at.

It's astonishing just how many tinfoil hat theories there are out there on Google Sandbox effect on new sites and to be frank, most of the thread is full of pretty wild claims and guesses. No crime there, you cant do much else with Sandbox other than guess at it, for every claim of "this works!" there is a counter claim from another site owner who tried it.

Apart from a couple of little workarounds known to many seo's but kept pretty closely guarded the one thing that stands out for me as being solid advice is what I,Brian has to say on some of this stuff.

The most likely solution? From memory, Brians general points could be summed up as: Anchor text and links - get lots of widely varied anchor text and work on your on-page factors for actuall targeted keywords - and make sure those links are coming in from a very wide variety of IP ranges.

But wait! Maybe it's over... erm... im also starting to see some very wild claims that sandbox is actually finshed - that's not what im getting from those in the know at all, so i wouldn't go jumping for joy just yet. My personal belief is that Google have a problem they cannot solve, at least yet. Every month this goes on though, and new sites are not being found in their results makes Google just that little more less relevant - which is not good for a search engine.

I haven't personally had to deal with Sandbox so i can only comment on what seems to make sense to me and from what i hear from those i trust to know their stuff. Having said that, it's an huge issue for many, so feel free to rip apart my assertion that Brian is on the money, or validate it.

Travel Affiliates - What's the deal with Kayak.com?

Thread Title: Kayak.com Launches Beta of Ad Bidding Engine Thread Url: http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3469141 Thread Description:

I see Kayak.com have rolled out with a ppc bid engine for their new site:

Travel-search player Kayak.com is expected to launch a beta of its self-service auction-based bidding environment for hotel and airline advertisers today. The debut of the CPC ad tool comes in conjunction with the official consumer launch of the site itself.

Hotel chains and individual hoteliers can bid to appear higher in results when Kayak users search for accommodations options. Paid results are displayed with a "K" symbol to inform users the hotel displayed is an advertiser. Hotel marketers can tailor bids so their results appear higher for certain stays, lengths of stays, particular markets, or specific hotel brands

So what's the deal with them, does anyone have a little more info on Kayak?

Does the Google Bubble make you Nervous?

Thread Title: Google Makes Buckets of Money, I Get Nervous Thread Url: http://www.researchbuzz.org/google_makes_buckets_of_money_i_get_nervous_.shtml Thread Description:

Well, it certainly makes Tara over at ResearchBuzz nervous. She can't stop thinking about 1999 and how it could all go horribly wrong again. She ends with some good questions:

I have questions about Google that I don't know if anyone can answer; but they're keeping me up at night while I watch the stock:

1) Where's Everyone Else? -- C'mon, the bandwagon is one of the basic structures of the Internet. Where's Yahoo's ad network for content publishers? How about MSN? It's been obvious for a while now that Google's making serious money out of their text advertising, and more as it goes beyond their Web site. Where are the other competitors?

2) What Happens When They Show Up? -- Can anyone displace Google's AdSense?

3) What About Snidely Whiplash? -- Click fraud is a real concern especially when so much revenue is coming out of one place. Can bad guys doing click fraud put a dent in Google's revenue? How much can they disrupt the supply/demand market of text advertising?

4) When does Google stop being a search company? -- They started with a search engine, and now they're into mail and photo organizing and blogging and text ads. When does Google stop being a search company, if ever, and is that good or bad?

Some very good questions.

How to Write an Offline Press Release

Thread Title: 29 Points to Creating an Effective Press Release Thread Url: http://www.commpiled.com/more.php?id=89_0_1_0_M Thread Description:

Jeffrey Dobkin has a good primer of "29 tips" for writing offline press releases at the threadlinked post above. We continue to see huge amounts of stuff on online PR's bandied around the web and have written about them here on numerous occasions so it's nice to remember that whilst print is on a gentle but accelerating decline there are still enormous amounts of folks to promote to through magazines, papers etc.

Good stuff and worthy of a bookmark i thought. Does anyone here do much offline marketing of this nature? And if so, do tell...

Forget 64bit - Check out the Super Brain Chip

Thread Title: IBM, Sony, Toshiba to reveal ‘superbrain chip’ Thread Url: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/6b31ebfe-786b-11d9-9961-00000e2511c8.html Thread Description:

Dont you just love this stuff? Im still running on an Athlon XP - Sheeesh!

Advance reports suggest the chip is significantly more powerful and versatile than the next generation of micro-processors announced by the consortium's competitors, Intel and AMD.

The two leading chipmakers are just moving from 32-bit to 64-bit computing and to dual-core processors essentially two “brains” on a single chip.Cell is understood to have at least four cores and be significantly faster than Intel and AMD chips.

Has anyone gone 64 bit yet? Im planning to for my next PC but with Linux, anythng that new needs a fair bit of research before shelling out a bucket load of $$$'s....

Google under Fire for Orkut Hate Sites

Thread Title: Hate Messages on Google Site Draw Concern Thread Url: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/07/technology/07orkut.html?ex=1265518800&en=0a553b10ff5c8209&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland Thread Description:

Google have come under fire in the above threadlinked NYT article about a rash of "Hate Sites" on Orkut - the invite only social network community. What's more though is that these sites, that typically advocate hate and violence on the subjects of race, religion and sexuality specifically break the Orkut TOS.

The hatemongering is fast becoming an embarrassment for Google, the world's most popular search engine, particularly because the company has adopted "don't be evil" as its motto. The potential for tarnishing Google's gold-plated brand name also underscores the risks the company faces as it expands into new Internet businesses in which it has less experience.

and

Despite the company's stated policies, Orkut users - who are allowed to participate only if invited by a current member - can join the 2,300 people who already belong to an "I Hate Queens, Faggots and Gays" group, created in August by a Brazilian Orkut member. When setting up the community, the group's founder described it as a forum for Portuguese-speaking people to "show your indignation and make jokes" about a "type of person" who "is gaining in society." Because access to the Orkut site requires membership, general Internet users cannot stumble accidentally onto these groups.

I gave up with Orkut after only a few weeks on it, i guess im just not social enough for that kind of malarkey but man, if this stuff is going on to the degree that Gary Rivlin at NYT claims then surely it has to stop - and it' begs the question, why has it not stopped?

Bulk Checking Overture for Keyword Sets

Thread Title: Overture Keyword Selector Thread Url: http://www.combatstocks.com/overture-seo-tool/overture-keyword-submit.cfm Thread Description:

Danny points to a nice home built tool for checking sets of keywords in one go on Overture. I find it hard to believe that this has not been done before though? If you know of any others, put them in the comments...

As always, im a little wary of hosted tools of any sort - particularly SEO hosted tools - but it *is* nice...

What Linking is all About

Thread Title: What Links Are All About Thread Url: http://www.dgsdesk.com/index.php?p=26 Thread Description:

DG has some good comments on a post i made here - That was just a passing comment but what DG has to say is interesting stuff, which i fully agree with:

Search engines first reduced the dependency on links for web navigation, then in a cruel twist, made links little more than capital. Since then I’ve seen the value of links become inflated, and now I think we’re headed back to a web economy in which links are becoming worthless. At least the variety of links that are prevalent are nearly worthless. We don’t trust in the value of the currency any longer.

We’re inundated with links to sites about diet pills, calling cards and poker. Instead of banner blindness, we’re becoming link blind. The search engines don’t trust the links either, now that they’ve had a hand in inflating their importance they’re forced to come up with solutions to devalue the importance they’ve placed on them. So we end up with odd solutions to problems like comment spam.

So, linking for the user eh? That may be a novel concept for some heh... but IMO it's not bad advice at all.

Linking for Users - Really?

Sure, why not? Here's a few questions to get this wagon rollin' as it's an interesting subject near and dear to all of our hearts:

Should you link only for users? Have Search engines effectively ruined the internet with their reliance on links?

For me, as always, it's "horses for courses" - on a site like this then sure, link for users and link for users only - it's the only strategy that makes sense. On other types of sites though, im linking for SE's only, the users will be seemlessly passed on to wherever i need them to be...

Good stuff from Dean and nice to get a chance to introduce his new blog :-)

The TrustRank Algorithm - Sounds like PageRank with Knobs on

Thread Title: TrustRank Algorithm Thread Url: http://www.seobook.com/archives/000661.shtml Thread Description:

There's a new white paper out that outlines the TrustRank [pdf] algorithm that some of you will find interesting no doubt.

It's written by Zoltan Gyongyi, Hector Garcia-Molina, and Jan Pederson

Here's a quote:

Human editors help search engines combat search engine spam, but reviewing all content is impractical. TrustRank places a core vote of trust on a seed set of reviewed sites to help search engines identify pages that would be considered useful from pages that would be considered spam. This trust is attenuated to other sites through links from the seed sites.

To me, that sounds like pagerank with knobs on, and just as simple to game - but then im not a harvard doc right? heh..

If the technically inclined would care to give their opinions on the paper it would be cool...