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...

McDonalds Fake Blog for SuperBowl Ads

Reports are coming in that McDonalds set up a fake blog in order to support some superbowl ad.

The originating report says:

Quote: Boo. Hiss. What's the point? No one in their right mind would believe the blog is real. So while it is not deceptive, it still stinks. The site is so very camp to begin with; the fake blog is simply trying too hard.

I suspect that McDonald's is probably already gearing up for next year's Super Bowl. Super Bowl XL? Are you kidding me? It will be a Super Size Super Bowl to be sure.

And it's true, check out the McD fake blog for another dose of "we think people are idiots" from a corporation that doesn't understand the medium.

Fun for you monday morning :)

MSN sponsors The Register

The Register, the definitive news breaking, tongue in cheek, IT website is being sponsored by MSN search.

The Register used to have a humourous tariff structure for bribes. (Hey, journos can be bought too!) I wonder how much it cost for the total rebranding El Reg has undergone?

Russell Beattie Bans Threadwatch

UPDATE: Check the end of the post for some more on this sorry tale...

Im not sure why, but it appears that "A list" Yahoo! blogger Russell Beattie has banned me from his website. I cant access it without a proxy and my comments inquiring if there is a problem have not been published or answered in email.

I did leave a long and thoughtful comment on this entry a few days back that did not agree with what Russell was saying - it wasn't rude, or in any way shape or form nasty, but it did disagree with his thoughts on the subject. The comment i spent 45 minutes writing was not published.

Is that the source of contention and the reason for being IP blocked?

What do you do with comments that do not agree with your point?

Other than a personal post to publically inquire as to what's going on with Russell there is a larger and more interesting point to all this: How do you handle posts and comments that do not agree with your view on subjects?

For my part, i love the debate - i enjoy the discussions here and at most other places where a group of people all tackle an issue or topic from differing angles and perspectives, even if they're vastly different to my own. This is a good thing. It's what makes the whole interactive discussion on blogs and forums actually worth reading, at least for me.

Exceptions With companies there might be exceptions, and with normal forum and blog comments also. Clearly if someone is simply out to discredit a company or product it's unwise to leave the comment standing, unless the misperception, if that's what it is, can be quickly and authoratively dealt with.

These topics tie in nicely with discussions we've recently had on moderating online communities and how to handle mistakes as dealing with unwanted criticism is all part and parcel of running a website with comments enabled.

ContentNext.com - One to Watch (Listen)

Thread Title: www.contentnext.com Thread Url: http://www.contentnext.com/ Thread Description:

Rafat and the team at PaidContent.org have just made public ContentNext.com for audio interviews and recordings of panels and sessions on the subject of "the economics of content".

As rafat says in his post on PC, the audio could use a little work, but there are already some good things on the site including Impact of Search Engines on the Publishing Industry from the SIIA.

Certainly one you'll want to add to my.yahoo, bloglines, my.msn or newsgator. Grab the raw feed here

Ask Jeeves buys Bloglines [update]

Thread Title: Ask Jeeves Buys Bloglines Thread Url: http://napsterization.org/stories/archives/000397.html Thread Description:

UPDATE: Jeeves have now officially announced the aquisition of bloglines. see the end of this post for the details

No, im not kidding - Ask Have just bought the number one RSS aggregator Bloglines and will be integrating it into the system next week.

Previously there had been talk from CEO Mark Fletcher about the forthcoming manifestation of a business model for Bloglines in the form of contextual ads this summer but now he becomes Ask's newest employee, starting Monday.

This is a very, very smart buy by Jeeves i think, bloglines domination of the RSS aggregator market was reported at 32% by Feedster only last month and is nearly double that of it's nearest competitor. Rafat at pc however says that Bloglines blew it with Google and Yahoo when they myopically named the service - and that this is a desperate attempt from the Butler to not be an "also ran" - this sounds more than reasonable, but it's a good move nonetheless i think...

Good stuff Jeeves, and Mark!

UPDATE: A couple of quotes from the Jeeves blog

So, what are our plans for Bloglines?

First and most importantly, our primary focus will be on building the Bloglines service to fulfill his vision for it, adding resources to their toolbox to get there faster and better.

There will be no short-term changes to Bloglines that weren't already on their roadmap. Over the long-term, Mark will now, as general manager of Bloglines for AJ, Inc., be responsible for that roadmap in the future.

Motivational & Inspirational Books for Web Marketers

Thread Title: Motivational Books / Quotes Thread Url: http://http://www.threadwatch.org/node/1342 Thread Description:

In this blog Effective Offline Marketing the discussion started off about ways to promote your website but several of the posts contained recommendations for good books about sales and marketing.

I thought it would be nice to discuss here what books and quotes people find inspiring. Working in this industry we are at the cutting-edge of technology. Beings geeks we try to automate everything. The Internet permeates our whole lives. Yet, however, high-tech the rest of my life I still believe there is no substitute for a good book. This industry probably has more ups and downs the most. You need to stay positive throughout. A good, inspirational book is as much a part of my kit as my laptop. It would be good to hear what book and quotes keep you guys going when Google kills all your sites!!

Suggestions:

Dot.con - John Cassidy (what NOT to do) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey The Perfect Store: Inside eBay - Adam Cohen (some good ideas for business growth) Awaken the Giant Within - Anthony Robbins Unlimited Power - Anthony Robbins How to Win Frieds and Influence People - Dale Carnegie (still relevant today) The Beermat Entrepreneur - Mike Southon Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time - Howard Schultz

Favourite motivational book:

Think and Grow Rich - Napolean Hill (the old ones are the best. This book is as relevant today as when it was first published in the 1930's)

Google Charged with Trademark Counterfeiting in French Court

Thread Title: Google loses trademark case in France Thread Url: http://news.com.com/Google+loses+trademark+case+in+France/2100-1030_3-5564118.html?part=rss&tag=5564118&subj=news.1030.20 Thread Description:

Cnet are reporting that Google has lost it's case with Louis Vuitton - They were charged with trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition and misleading advertising on Friday by the Paris District Court and orderd to pay $257,430:

The ruling comes on the heels of another French court order against Google, in a case brought by European chain Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts. In that lawsuit, the court said Google infringed on Le Meridien's trademarks by allowing the hotel chain's rivals to bid on keywords of its name and then appear prominently in those related search results.

Both lawsuits have hinged on Google's signature keyword-advertising system, Adwords, which pairs text ads with related search results. For example, a Nike ad appears after a search for running shoes. Through the system, Google allows marketers to bid for such search-related keywords, including common branded and trademarked terms.

The negative rulings could hamper the company's advertising practices--at least in Western Europe, where the courts have been favorable to trademark owners. Google derives the lion's share of its revenue from online advertising.

Seems the French at least are less tolerant of Google's controversial trademark practices...

SPAM e-mails cost US $22 billion annually.

Thread Title: National Survey Finds 22.9 Million Hours a Week Wasted on Spam Thread Url: http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/ntrs/ Thread Description:

Findings from the 2004 NTRS, an annual survey that tracks U.S. consumers’ technology opinions and behaviors, indicate that online users in the United States spend an average of three minutes deleting spam each day they check e-mail. Aggregating their usage across the 169.4 million online adults in the United States, this equals 22.9 million hours a week, or $21.58 billion annually when based on the average working wage.

My main email box gets so much spam it isn't even worth checking anymore. Literally 500+ spams a day.

And yet, I still like the fact there isn't a lot of government legislation on 'the internet' as a whole.

Could Verisign Effectively Knobble ActiveX Spyware Installs?

Thread Title: Benjamin EdelmanHow VeriSign Could Stop Drive-By Downloads Thread Url: http://www.benedelman.org/news/020305-1.html Thread Description:

There's an interesting proposition threadlinked above that says, in short, that if versign were to excercise its right to revoke the digital certificates issued to spyware vendors pushing dodgy "drive by" installs.

Even though Microsoft can't (or won't) fully fix this problem, VeriSign can. Before an ActiveX popup can install software onto a user's computer, the installer's "CAB file" must be validated by its digital signature. If the signature is valid, the user's web browser shows the ActiveX popup, inviting a user to install the specified software. But if the signature is invalid, missing, or revoked, the user doesn't get the popup and doesn't risk software installation.

There's a lot of info in the post above but it would take someone with a far greater knowledge of this stuff than I to work out if Benjamin Edelman's solution would hold water.

From reading it though, it certainly seems it might...

From Google to specific video point - Very Cool Tech

Thread Title: Vodium: Linking from Google result to a particular point in a video Thread Url: http://weblogs.jupiterresearch.com/analysts/stein/archives/006361.html Thread Description:

This is actually very impressive.

Try this:

Do a search on Google for the phrase "innovation-based cultures"

Now, click on the first result. The listing should be "NICK VALERY Our next session is on the innovators themselves. Who ..."

That should take you to a page, which opens a window. In that window, you'll see a video of a presentation (along with synched-slides and a rolling transcript). The spot in the video to which you are taken is not the beginning of the video, but rather (and this is the cool part), the spot in the video in which the phrase "innovation-based cultures" is said. This trick would work with any phrase in the text. It's just that this result scores #1 for that unique phrase.

his is the handiwork of a company called Vodium and it definitely points to a compelling future. This is not the result of Google's video search. It's the result of Vodium's ability to make the transcript of a speech indexable and linked to the video itself.

I am not sure, however, if Vodium is partnered with Google to do this. Does anyone know?

Is Google Responsible for Ruining the Internet?

I was just sitting here drinking my coffee and I had a thought. Far from making sense of the web as they purport to do, Google is single handedly turning it into a bloated disaster zone.

First they spouted the content mantra. Webmasters diligenlty pumed out millions of pages to satisfy the hungry cralwers.

Then they started the anchor text numbers game. People then went out and built millions of sites especially to promote their other pages.

Now we have adsense. Pages are now being made from crap especially to make as many adsense impressions as possible.

Add to that buying pagerank, blog and guestbook spamming (all due to Google's algorythms) and the rest and I wonder if it's a master plan to take down the net :)

Rackspace bans Yahoo!

Thread Title: Rackspace hates Yahoo? Or Vice Versa? Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=4030 Thread Description:

How funny is THAT? - Well, not very funny at all for anyone hosted on Rackspace i guess..

Yahoo's Tim Mayer said:

A customer of a hosting company like rackspace may have a customer that is being hit by our crawler and not realize who it is so they report the IP to rackspace or another provider and they block the IP at the router level. This would cause other SE to have access and for us not to have access.

Muppets...

via barry

Gates + Windows = Interoperability?

Thread Title: Building Software That Is Interoperable By Design Thread Url: http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/execmail/2005/02-03interoperability.asp Thread Description:

Bill Gates has issued a letter to Microsoft customers that outlines an intention to design it's software with interoperability in mind, primarily in the form of XML

Simply put, interoperability is a proven approach for dealing with the diversity and heterogeneity of the marketplace. Today I want to focus on two major thrusts of Microsoft’s product interoperability strategy: First, we continue to support customers’ needs for software that works well with what they have today. Second, we are working with the industry to define a new generation of software and Web services based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML), which enables software to efficiently share information and opens the door to a greater degree of "interoperability by design" across many different kinds of software. Our goal is to harness all the power inherent in modern (and not so modern) business software, and enable them to work together so that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We want to further eliminate friction among heterogeneous architectures and applications without compromising their distinctive underlying capabilities.

and from beta news

"I think Microsoft is premature trumpeting the open-format messaging. And to be clear, by any definition typically applied to file formats, Office isn't open," Jupiter Research senior analyst Joe Wilcox told BetaNews.

But Gates made clear in his letter that interoperability does not equate to open source. He said that interoperability is about how different software systems work together, regardless of licensing and development. Gates claimed that open source could actually have a detrimental effect on making software interoperable.

The comments in the Beta news piece are not kind - much talk of FUD heh...

Time Warner - 5 Million Shares in Google

Thread Title: Time-Warner Owns More than 5 Million Shares of Google Thread Url: http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/050204-100243 Thread Description:

Bearing in mind all of the talk about Yahoo being a media company and Google being a tech firm and how that relates to predicted market share and growth for both companies it's interesting to note that Time Warner own 5 Million shares in Google.

Find the SEC filing here and see this Cnet report also

Making the Perfect Geek Curry

Ok, so a little Friday FOO is in order :-)

Im going shopping for Curry tomorrow, and wanted to pick the collective brains of the Threadwatch boys and girls over general curry making. For my contribution, i give you... Follow the title link for the full post...

Effective Offline Marketing

I'm interested to hear what methods of offline marketing people have found effective in promoting their websites. A lot of people who have become successful through SEM and have a bit of cash in their pocket are now realising that 'branding' and building real sites and real businesses is the way to go (as well as doing a little bit of blackhat on the side to keep the funds coming in obviously!)

It would be interesting to hear about the more unusual and non-mainstream methods of marketing that people might not be aware of. For instance, I read a book recently that discussed 'Undercover Marketing'. This medium involves using actors to stage situations whereby people overhear another group of people praising a particular company or product. For instance, a group of hikers are out walking, another group of hikers approach from the opposite direction. They are talking animatedly about this great new brand of walking shoes that are the best they've ever had. Obviously, things we overhear like that are more likely to sway our decision making process than obvious advertising directed at us. Another example of this is the story that Amazon paid lots of concierges in apartment complexes to leave Amazon boxes in the hallway in the morning. The supposition of the tenants passing these every morning is that this company must be good because lots of people in my apartment block are buying from them.

I quite liked these two examples and I thought they could work well to promote websites. Interested to hear from other people what forms of offline marketing they find effective.

How to Handle Mistakes

Thread Title: Defending the Mistake Thread Url: http://blogbusinessworld.blogspot.com/2005/02/defending-mistake.html Thread Description:

When a company makes a mistake, there is almost always one option that is taken: The wrong option.

Defending the mistake, despite everybody knowing a mistake was made is bad news. It breeds mistrust, and creates a serious "them and us" feeling amongst those that have to live with the consequences of the mistake.

The worst part of the defending the error problem is everyone knows that a mistake was made. Well, everyone but the decision maker, who refuses to acknowledge the problem at all.

Since the decision maker is often the business owner, there is little the other people affected by the bad choice can do, to help with the problem. They can try to offer suggestions, advice, and cost effective alternatives, but those ideas are often flatly rejected in many cases.

Personally i've nothing but respect for any company i deal with when, inevitably they make a mistake but, deal with it swiftly, professionally and apologise for it. It just goes to prove that not only are they human, but also that in a crisis, i can depend on them to sort it out.

Dealing with Mistakes Publically

Why not turn a mistake into an opportunity? There really is no need for a mistake (barring loss of life etc..) to be a total disaster - especially online. If you're seen to act upon the problem quickly, professionally and to the injured parties satisfaction publically then IMO it can only do your business good. Some thoughts on ways to do this:

Enable comments on product sections - and monitor them! Intall a forum for customer support - and man it! Issue a public notice on the website about the mistake, and again, enable comments and answer them..

Why don't people get this? To err is human, to admit error and handle it correctly and publically is a marketing & PR opportunity

original post found via Seth

WebmasterWorld Register Threadwatch.net - The Saga so far...

Thread Title: www.threadwatch.net Thread Url: http://www.threadwatch.net Thread Description:

This post has now been altered to reflect subsequent developments.

On Friday, I discovered that Brett Tabke, the owner of WebmasterWord had registered the domain Threadwatch.net

Brett has since posted in the comments of this post as NeoSeo stating that he only registered the domain to pass it along to me:

Were did you want that domain name xfered too Nick?

It was mentioned on wmw that it was not owned - so I imedicatly grabbed it to save for you.

fyi: I've done the same for: searchengineforums.org/net/info/biz searchenginewatch/org/net/biz/co.uk/ wired.au/ and about 50 other top domains names. I've never made a penny off any of them - lost alot of money doing it.

Someone did the same for me about 5 years back and I vowed that if I saw expired domain names come up, I would save them if I knew the person and give them to them. All I ask is that you pass along the idea to someone else.

I also recieved an email to the same affect: Asking me to make a transfer request so that Brett could authorize it. I've attempted to do this twice but the domain is locked.

At present, the whois information reads as follows:

Registrant: WebmasterWorld Inc (THREADWATCH-NET-DOM) 3801 cap tx hwy e240-181 Austin, TX 78746 usa [removed some phone numbers etc]

Domain Name: THREADWATCH.NET Status: PROTECTED

Awaiting the outcome

Although the intention has been said to be simply to pass the domain on to me, this has not happened yet. It shouldn't mean there is anything funny going on, as im sure Brett has other things to do during the weekend than mess around with domain names - which does beg the question, why register it at all however - So, for the moment im waiting for one of several possible outcomes: