On Friday we reported on a strange post at Dave Winers site that said:
Last night I got an email from someone I've been wanting to hear from for a long time. There's a problem on the Internet, a big one, that only one entity can solve. The email outlined the solution and asked what I thought of it, and asked me not to say what it is publicly.
He went on to say that he had implemented the idea on one of his sites. Well, Simon Willison thinks he may have discovered what this is...
Google to Quash Comment Spam
Originally i had followed Todd at GeekCentral's surmise that the mystery email was from either Steve Jobs or Bill Gates - but Simon has spotted this on Dave's Bloggercon site. Check out the comments link and view the source!
<a href="someblogsite.com" rel="nofollow">
Which, if Simon is correct in saying:
Google are soon to announce that they won't be calculating PageRank for links with a rel="nofollow" attribute. Finally, an official way of fighting the economics of comment spam by denying PageRank on user-submitted link content.
would eventually have some effect on comment spam as a technique for rankings.
If true, would it solve the comment spam issue?
I think not. There are many reasons why this would not work. In fact, we have talked about the solutions available a lot in recent months and i hold to my original point: You need to stop automated commenting - not deincentivize it!
Andrew Goodman has this to say on his SEM2 Google Groups list
"Be it resolved that the SEO tactic of pursuing a linking 'campaign'
ain't what it used to be. Be it further resolved that if I were asked
to undertake such a campaign for a client, I'd opt for having Itchy
lower me into a bath of acid, followed by playing 80's electropop on my
prone skeleton like it were an electric xylophone, before I took on
The list thread goes on to talk about how it is pointless and/or damaging because of "reciprocal link filters" in Google and how they fall into deminishing returns.
As far as I can see getting lots of great links are paramount? The only ranking I can manage with on page factors alone are ones where nobody else have links either, but even then I never launch a site without at least one link from one of my existing sites to get the bugger indexed. In a competitive market there can't be enough directories to submit to compete with sites that don't care where they get their links and I can't see him doing the blog comment thing .. so how does he rank?
How much weight do you give the alleged "recip link filter"? Outside of directories and wiki/blog comments, where do you get your links?
On a slightly related note, the only advice or recommendation I have been given regarding the "google sandbox" (or what WMW seem to call the "deep freeze" or "non-existant mythical filter" depending on who you read ) is to get a link from an authority. If your site is purely to sell a product, how can you do identify an authority and get a link off them without some sort of payment or reciprocal arrangement?
It seems to me reciprocal linking is what TBL had in mind for the web before Google was thought of, it would seem a shame to me if they penalised sites that do so :O(
Why I Have Asked Bloglines To Remove My Site From Its 'Service'
Scoble points out a row brewing over RSS aggregator Bloglines and Russ Beattie widens the debate into search engines aswell.
Lawyer gets Shirty over Bloglines
Martin Schwimmer, a lawyer who runs Trademark Blog said on Friday:
It was brought to my attention that a website named Bloglines was reproducing the Trademark Blog, surrounding it with its own frame, stripping the page of my contact info. It identifies itself as a news aggregator. It is not authorized to reproduce my content nor to change the appearance of my pages, which it does.
I create content in part to promote my law firm, which I cannot do effectively if my contact info is removed. I do not participate in targeted advertising programs because the majority of advertisers that target the keyword 'trademark' are competitors. I cannot prevent such advertising when my page is reproduced and 'framed' by a third party.
Martins site was (it does not say this now) licensed under the Creative Commons which essentially means that you can quote from it or copy the posts for non commercial use provided attribution is given.
This to me seems like a fair point. Not one I'd feel necessary to follow or support but a fair point nonetheless. Russ Beattie disagrees:
So yeah, I think this guy Martin Schwimmer is a anal-retentive pinhead
The Gillmor Gang with guest Adam Bosworth
Dust off your headphones and settle back for a pretty interesting listen from the Gilmor Gang with special Guest Adam Bosworth of recent open source scandal fame. See the threadlink above for the mp3 stream. He's an interestin fella...
Adam Bosworth, now Google's VP of Engineering, joins The Gang this week to discuss his vision for the future of search architecture. "How do you handle data that's much less known up front and where the query is by relevance?" Adam asks. Most of today's databases are built on the relational model, but most of today's queries are not. Instead they're looking for keyword precision, location and semantic context -- not a textual or numeric match. The relational model is designed for use when both the data and the queries can be anticipated, but in today's world, neither are typically known in advance.
Adam suggests that the same divide-and-conquer architectures used to make web servers more scalable could be used in search. He envisions data routers that will know which back-end servers have which knowledge and will query servers asynchronously according to the liklihood of getting the best results.
I started listening to this very late last night but missed who the Google guy was heh.. just saw Scoble post this though so thanks!
While the Yahoo Buzz Report isn't my top source for "what's hot" it's interesting enough to be in my RSS feeds. In this weeks article the subject is how "prom" related searches are on the rise. Some of the results I found not lacking were
Cheap Prom Dresses
Hair Up Dos
2005 Prom Dresses
IMHO those results are pretty crappy. Seems to be filled with adsesnse-centric sites, ebay, and a couple crappy directories. If it's a case of the news guys having the intestinal fortitude to show that stuff, in effort to get it fixed it's one thing. However if nobody actually clicks and takes a look, well that's a whole different ballgame.
Linux Kernel To Be Re-Written To Counter Microsoft FUD
Stick that in yer pipe and smoke it Billy boy!
IBM, Intel, the Open Source Development Labs, and other industry lights are planning to announce that a consortium has been created that will rewrite the components in the Linux kernel that have been alleged tread on other people's IP - or at least the 27 Microsoft patents that Linux is supposed to infringe. The aim? To rob Microsoft of the ability to scare customers off of Linux by saying that the operating system is a patent infringer, informed sources say. "Operation Open Gates" as they are calling it is reportedly going to be unveiled on January 25.
Threadwatch member stuntdubl has an interesting take on this clickz article about how Wal-Mart are going after their own bad publicity using Search to counter critics. From the clickz piece:
Wal-Mart is answering critics of its labor policies with an extensive print ad campaign that points people to newly launched Web site walmartfacts.com. The effort is accompanied by a paid search campaign on Yahoo!'s Overture.
"For too long, others have had free rein to say things about our company that just aren't true," said Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott in a statement. "Our associates are tired of it and we've decided it's time to draw our own line in the sand."
It's kind of scary when the corporate folks get a hold of an internet marketing consultant and actually listen to them. Someone must have showed the CEO the horrible publicity that Wal-mart bashing websites are providing them with. So apparantely they are goin' after some of the negative serps with a search engine optimization counter offensive. This makes me want to coin a new phrase - Information arms race. Sounds cool, huh?
Well, yeah it is dude :)
We recently had that knob Ken Lay ex of Enron buying up adwords to whine his story to the world also.
Looks like Search, paid or not, is becoming a PR battleground...
Last night I got an email
Dave Winer is in contact with either Bill Gates or Steve Jobs according to Todd
- he won't say who but the surmise is an understandable one right?
Last night I got an email from someone I've been wanting to hear from for a long time. There's a problem on the Internet, a big one, that only one entity can solve. The email outlined the solution and asked what I thought of it, and asked me not to say what it is publicly. I can live with that. I just want to mark this moment. A milestone. Real cooperation. I immediately implemented the feature on one of my sites. The same message was sent to a bunch of other people by the same person. I hope they did the same. When this is announced users everywhere will smile
Apparently eBay store sellers are going nuts over some increases in fees due to kick in on the Feb 18th
Among other things, the cost of a monthly subscription for a basic eBay Store will go up 60 percent to $15.95. The cost of 10-day listings will double to 40 cents, and final value fees that are assessed when a sale closes also will rise.
Sellers complained that the fee increases will take a bigger chunk of their sales take. Some said it may force them to raise their own prices amid a weak economy, and others asked for feedback on other companies, such as Overstock.com, that may be alternatives to eBay.
There are about 35 Newspapers in the US that currently charge for their content - among them the Wall Street Journal. This strikes me, and from what i read around the web, many many others as a fundamentally wrong approach. The WSJ is a no go zone for me, i wont link to it becuase not everyone here will have a paid subscription and i can find good stuff elsewhere. Follow the title link above for the full post.
Maybe a wave of Google exploits to come out of the wood work.
Remember kids, always use a condom, if you don't, you might catch Clusty or Filangy!
What goes through these peoples minds?
from the Battelle's site threadlinked above:
a Nutch-based personal search engine that watches where you go and creates your own web index of sites you've seen (and incorporates general web search as well). It's still in early beta, you have to sign up to use it.
MSN Search To Gain New Technology Feb. 1
Well, i caught the rumour that MSN would be taking its beta search to the public side on Feb 1st at the SEW forums and now Danny Suillivan has added some substance to it by cobbling together a few of the clues in his blog post threadlinked above.
Running before they can Walk?
This seems way to early to me. I haven't played around with it much personally but i hear an awful lot that suggests it's nowhere near ready for public consumption. Still, this would fit with the way M$ release their software right? Knock it out early, patch it when the complaints start to come in...
SE's have to Return to Directories and Hand Checking
So it is now obvious everyone will soon be autogenerating content and auto link building. What do the search engines do to keep their indexs clean and with good quality? Hand checking!
If I go to google and search on "viagra" let us be honest what I should be seeing are:
the largest sellers (not affiliates)
some quality research papers from established sources
How do google make this happen? Hand checks.
I propose that soon, if it is not already been done, the se's will have teams of people who's jobs it is is to investigate an industry and make sure that the major players all show up for the main searches in an arena. For 5 term searches let the rest fight it out.
I've been sitting on this for a while, but with all the recent hoohah about directories and the enormous proliferation of the directory as a half baked scheme to attract links or throw out an ill conceived biz model the timing just hasn't seemed right.
The timing will probably never be right though - remember, links are BAD!
Peter of SearchEngineBlog reads here so im hoping he'll spot this and come answer a few rough but well intentioned questions from yours truly and any of the good boys and girls at Threadwatch who want to chime in.
Why another directory?
What's different about this one?
What have you done to avoid indexing pitfalls suffered by other directories recently?
The term rubber stamped, in the US can mean "to pass without inspection" and has connotations of footprints and tracks - is this not a poor choice for a directory name?
When and how will this be actively promoted?
There, that should give you sweaty palms for a bit Peter :) it's friday afterall so instead of lounging around and posting to the RubberStamped blog you can tell us a bit more about the new project...
Today i find out that Technorati have started using tags in the same style as Flickr and del.icio.us
For those not in the know, tags are HOT right now, in fact, im thinking my way through a tag based project right now :) The idea is that rather than defining categories for users to post to, as we have here (see left menu), you allow users to input the categories they feel an entry should be filed under themselves. The common way of using that data is to allow popular tags (say 'marketing') that attract a lot of post (ie, alot of people all tag their posts with the same word) to float to the top or otherwise stand out and unpopular tags to sink to the bottom.
If you think about it, it's kind of cool. It means that when searching a system that uses tags for a particular topic, as most people would say 'marketing' rather than 'mktg' for example, the former is easier to find - but as people may well post entries under the shortened name, that can still be found also - but contains fewer entries.
Tagging Posts for Technorati
If you blog, or are otherwise included in the Technorati engine then all you have to do in order to tag an item is add a little link to your post as explained here However, if you use software that supports categories such like Movable Type, WordPress, TypePad then you dont need to do a thing - the system will use your categories as the tags.
Technorati's system is backfilled by the del.icio.us social bookmarking data and photos are provided by flickr - if you've not heard of this taxonomy method before, it's time to start having a little think about it. It's HOT and there are some very interesting possibilities for search marketers.
Google: No penalty for stock options, Playboy chat
Phew... Larry and Sergey must have had sweaty palms over this one eh?
Google has settled with federal and state regulators over allegations the company violated securities laws in the handling of its stock options.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also confirmed Thursday that it will not proceed with any enforcement action against Google over a high-profile interview with company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in Playboy magazine before they filed for their initial public offering. Companies are prohibited from promoting their companies before going public.
WPP eyes world domination with search marketing arm
“In recent months there has been a definite consolidation and globalisation of the market, and mSearch is ideally placed to take the leadership”
We've talked about agencies and search marketing consolidation quite a bit here at Threadwatch - and I've been fortelling the death of the small seo for some time (yeah yeah, i know there will always be room for sharp players...) - Now, we see Danny Sullivan point to the Revolution story threadlinked above that talks about WPP entering the search fray with 47 planned offices around the world centering on search marketing domination:
The agency is to be known as mSearch and already counts companies such as IBM, Ford and Sony as clients. It has been formed by rebranding AdvancePositions.com, which was founded in 1998 and acquired by WPP in 2000 to form part of OgilvyOne. MSearch will fall into the mOne division, which was formed by the merger of the interactive divisions of MindShare and OgilvyOne in July 2003. Richard Collins, former CEO of mOne, takes the role of worldwide CEO of mSearch, and Mike Chowney, who was managing director of AdvancePositions.com, has been named head of international at mSearch.
This is only the tip of the iceberg IMO and despite the stagnation of the search sparkle as told by Threadwatch members, Search is still big business and will clearly remain so for some time to come.
The big boys are moving in, who get's to move out?