Are Directories the new FFL?
Funny i should happen across this at SearchGuild, i've been meaning to write somthing similar somewhere for a few weeks...
I mean, really, what the hell is it with this crap? - every tom dick and sally has a damn directory and the forums are littered with webmasters offering free inclusion into this directory or another...
Back when link pop first got started, Free For all Links FFL sites became all the rage. Then the search engines started filtering them out then they pretty much died from the SEO cannon.
So now directories are springing up faster than ever, riding the current internet bubble and insatiable demand for links.
Are directories going to become the next FFL and get filtered? Can they be filtered? Should they be filtered?
I tend to think yes, they'll either get filtered or whacked, one way or another this madness will probably end with a swift kick in the nuts from the search engines. Most of these things are poorly thought out and badly executed.
I dont do much technical research, but i listen to those that do and word on the cyberstreet has it that these kinds of poor mans links are already being discounted...
Forum admin JohnScott at V7N points out a facinating study on page layout and design and the way people read.
There's an enormous amount to be learned from this study but Poynter Institute who are responsible for the Eyetrack 3 research do point out that Eyetrack is not a solution:
Fundamentally, however, the Eyetrack results are just one more tool to help journalists do their jobs better.
Here are a couple of choice quotes to whet you appetite:
While testing our participants' eye movements across several news homepage designs, Eyetrack III researchers noticed a common pattern: The eyes most often fixated first in the upper left of the page, then hovered in that area before going left to right. Only after perusing the top portion of the page for some time did their eyes explore further down the page.
Dominant headlines most often draw the eye first upon entering the page -- especially when they are in the upper left, and most often (but not always) when in the upper right. Photographs, contrary to what you might expect (and contrary to findings of 1990 Poynter eyetracking research on print newspapers), aren't typically the entry point to a homepage. Text rules on the PC screen -- both in order viewed and in overall time spent looking at it.
There's a wealth of useful and facinating data here, make some coffee, set aside a good hour and go read it...
Acording to oilman Matt Cutts - aka GoogleGuy has not been his usual chatty self at WebmasterWorld since a little before the IPO.
GG, has resurfaced at SEW Forums in the thread linked above. Famous for his PR skills (public relations) and consumate manipulation of public opinion of SPAM, Cutts (if it is the same guy of course..) appears to have come out of hiding.. (he's also famous for engineering the safe search filter at G but hey, that's not nearly as much fun ;-)
Jerry's Take On What's Next in Search
Search as a problem is still far from being solved. The user is in the driver's seat: they want an experience that is increasingly personal, more relevant, and ties into their task more integrally. Search is just a way to get that integrated experience, but it's all about what the users want - when they want it, how they want it, and who they want it from.
Jeremy hit on it in a recent blog entry; we have to "make search more relevant and personal." Those two things are the natural progression for search and they are tightly connected to our concept of seamless integration. Search has to reach a higher bar: it has to enhance the user's life on a daily basis. Integration of search, community, personalization and content builds the foundation for relevancy in people's lives.
Once you get past the quite amusing observations that PR Prowler has a toolbar PR of 4! You can find some nice honest sounding member reviews of the product.
The thread started a couple of months ago and is still active, if your looking for a PR tool to find link partners I hear it's not bad, but do check out the thread..
This, from SEOChat member keitht
I second that motion. Worth my hard earned bucks, it basically does what it says. My only beef is that it seems to freeze when you try and give it much higher than the stock 1000 URL's to retrieve. I can't say this for sure is a bug as I haven't tried on any other machines, but given the simplicity of the program i'd be shocked if it was actually choking because of my system. It basically just runs halfway up the process bar and won't retrieve any more URL's in numbers like 20,000.
I thought this was interesting, especially in the context of link building and for those who purchase links based on the color of the greenbar.
The thread discusses a site that cloaked for Google and 301'ed requests from Googlebot back to Google.com...come the ToolBar update the sneaky old so and so's home page went PR 10. The cache is a bit of a giveaway as it shows the Google home page, plus all the backlinks are from, yup Google.com
Something to consider in any future link purchasing endeavours. Caveat Emptor!
Mary Meeker Smells the Yahoo Money in Syndication
Jeremey Zowodny talks about a Market Watch story on blogs, money, syndication and Yahoo!
In a new research report, Mary Meeker writes that the inclusion of syndicated news feeds -- known as RSS, as in "rich site summary" or "really simple syndication" -- in Yahoo's My Yahoo page is playing a key role in driving blog readership and RSS usage. More readers translate into more advertising revenue opportunities, she reasons.
Yahoo Search, Now on Your Cell Phone
Y! have just launched their Y! Moble Search service. Along with a few other goodies.
The Mobile version of Yahoo! Local shares data with the on-line version. So not only can you use ratings to find the plumber with the best service or the best pizza place, your personal preferences will follow you onto your cell phone. Save a location on Yahoo! Local and it'll show up on your mobile to
Spam Finds it's Way to RSS Feeds?
Andy Beal reports finding spam in his rss aggregator. It's enevitable of course but it's really quite astonishing that this isnt more of a problem already. You can do amazing things with RSS - all manner of SEO related techniques and skullduggery but the general "hit as many as you can with somthing stupid" approach to UCE will not be welcome.
Personally i love good spam, it's a shame that most that practice it are unskilled monkeys.
Targetting Local Search
WMW moderator pageoneresults gives a practical example of some of the basic on site ways in which one can target local search. It's a good post on it's own, but at the time of writing, it's on it's own! - Let's hope some others pick up the thread, it's an interesting subject if you work for clients with limited distribution/sales areas.
One of the very first issues we needed to address were all of those visitors
finding the client using general search terms and not refining their search to
their local area. It's great to have the #1 position for a money term but,
only if it brings an ROI. In some instances, it can have a negative impact as
the company will now receive requests from consumers that they cannot service.
What do you do in a situation like that?
Added: Dont miss the first comment on this post. Adgooroo have kindly offered a discount to Threadwatch readers on top of the free month's trial.
You'll have to be the judge of this one, i know very little of adwords. The feature list looks rather impressive...
AdGooroo can answer a variety of strategic marketing questions, such as:
* Where, when, and how much are my competitors advertising?
* What new competitors are entering my industry?
* What new campaigns have my clients, prospects, or competitors launched in the past week?
* What keywords are my competitors targeting?
* How am I positioned relative to my competitors on my most profitable keywords?
* Are any of my competitors making unauthorized use of my trademarks?
* How have my competitors changed their ad copy over time?
* How does my campaign compare to my top competitor’s?
Specific features include:
* Historical archive of competitors' ads
* Trademark infringement search
* Industry map
* Detailed Keyword map
* Detailed analysis of competitors' campaigns
* Compare two campaigns in a side-by-side fashion
* Diagnose "unhealthy" keywords and get recommendations on how to correct them.
Link Deep or Link Shallow - Can deeper external links help you out?
SEOChat member and Threadwatch regular randfish starts a mostly speculative debate on the benefits to be gained from large numbers of inbound deeplinks. The thread also covers outbound deep links.
I see two good arguments for why linking deep could be more beneficial than linking to the the homepage. First, it's logical to assume that a site with many links to its internal pages has good content (otherwise, why would links be pointing there) and it seems more 'natural' and 'organic'. Second, the boost to secondary pages will still provide the site with same overall PR amount if proper internal linking is conducted & hilltop algo could easily be tweaked by Google to include 'expert documents' helping to form an 'authority site'.
If this interests you and you missed this thread about calculating your deep link ratio then check it out while your at it..