Shak Resigns as Moderator at WMW

Thread Title: PPC and Online Advertising Guru Shak resigns at WMW Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum81/3986.htm Thread Description:

What can I say? It's sad to yet another very good friend leave the community where so many relationships have be formed over the years.

Neither Google, WebmasterWorld or I am the same as we were a few years back. change is guaranteed and is a good thing (imo)

Knowing Shak, I'm certain that was the right thing to do. Maybe he'll find a new home here at TW? :)

Stay in touch will ya?!

Has the Sandbox been Cracked?

Thread Title: Google Sandbox: solved? Thread Url: http://www.platinax.co.uk/news/archives/2004/12/google_sandbox.html Thread Description:

Brian over at Platinax thinks he may have solved the riddle to sandboxing - Im not convinced, but then to be fair, neither is he :)

It's a long, detailed post that essentially boils down to this: High PR links from a wide range of IP addresses will avoid sandbox.

Ultimately, the issue becomes one of considered linking, and attempting to get links on pages according to PageRank value, rather than sheer numbers - or even topic - first.

This, of course, is precisely what Google wishes to frustrate - so until we can reliably gauge PageRank values of specified pages, then it's going to have to be for webmasters to gauge the value of pages for linking purposes based on a combined judgement of old PageRank data - along with some common sense and creative thinking.

Is the Google Sandbox solved by this hypothesis? I'm not convined it would be wise to claim so - but I do suggest the idea to the wider SEO community as some way to explaining what is actually going on, in a way that makes sense to all SEOs when we use the term "Google Sandbox" and "sandboxing".

As im not a techie seo i'll rely on the good boys and girls at Threadwatch to voice their opinions on this one, go have a read then please tell me what you think?

Google grants Amnesty for Spammers to Help Fix Glitch

Thread Title: Let's Test Hijacking A Google Listing Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showpost.php?p=25241&postcount=51 Thread Description:

In a surprise move on the SEW forums Googles unofficial representative and Threadwatch member GoogleGuy, a well known figure on some of the bigger search marketing forums has granted Amnesty to Spammers in order to get help.

Google have called for examples of the now infamous Google Results Hijacking scandal that has been buzzing through the Search community this week and last. In a thread where members have tried to get help with this problem the unnamed Google search engineer said:

I'll promise that no spam-related action will be taken based on the reports. If months later, the domain comes up for review for an unrelated reason, then that's a different matter, but I'll instruct whoever collects the feedback to only use it to check out how we pick canonical pages.

The reason for the amnesty is due to the fact that when GG called for examples of the hijack problem none were forthcoming - the technique is known to but a few and is being used almost exclusively in highly competitive categories such as pharma and casino. Nobody in that industry plays by googles guidelines as to do so would be a waste of time in such a cut throat environment.

The results of a page hijacking involve the victim site's position in Google being taken over by another competing site through use of 302 redirects and meta refreshes.

We will update you the story unfolds.

MSN Spaces is Live - The End of Blogging as we Know it?

Thread Title: MSN Spaces will make blogs communication tools Thread Url: http://forrester.typepad.com/charleneli/2004/12/msn_spaces_will.html Thread Description:

MSN's new blog service has launched whilst I was sleeping and although it seems you're kind of stuck with their templates I must say it looks pretty damn slick..

I set up a Test Blog for Threadwatch! - please go spam the comments, i want to test it out some more. Does anyone know if this integrates with Messenger in any way?

Forresters Charlene Li has all the details and some interesting commentary on what this will mean:

Notice a trend here? There’s heavy integration of Spaces into the whole MSN communication suite of email and instant messaging. I think this is very smart, especially as MSN hopes to attract a new audience group to blogging. The next wave of bloggers is going to look very different from today’s blogger – their motivation will be on sharing experiences rather than having a place for their ideas and opinions. The integration puts the blog in context of other communications, such as email and IM. If you’re about to email me, you’ll see my latest post/photo – instant context setting and traffic generation to my blog. If you mention the blog posts in an email/IM, I’ll have even more incentive to keep blogging. That integration distinguishes MSN Spaces from other services like Lycos’

Now blogging is going to seriously hit the mainstream and we will indeed see blogs used for an entirely different purpose - to me it's all good, but I can hear the beginnings of outrage out there in the jungle as blogging is opened to the MSN'ing hordes...

Building a Metadata Based Website as Opposed to Traditional CMS System

Thread Title: Building a Metadata Based Website as Opposed to Traditional CMS System Thread Url: http://www.boxesandarrows.com/archives/building_a_metadatabased_website.php Thread Description:

A real nose bleed job if ever i tried to read one at 1am when i really should be tucked up in bed. This lengthy article serves as both an introduction and tutorial in metadata based IA and site design. Not everyones cup of tea for sure but an interesting read for some Threadwatchers i reckon. Enjoy...

How Much Money in Search?

Thread Title: How Much Money in Search? Thread Url: http://www.siliconbeat.com/entries/2004/11/29/snap_the_future_of_transparency.html Thread Description:

"We caught up with Bill Gross earlier this month to see how his interesting new search engine is coming along. Gross unveiled Snap at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco in early October ....

- They've served 2.6 million searches since they first launched. - They made $55.88 yesterday. - They have 1,235 advertisers. - And they had 624 clicks on ads yesterday that generated revenue."

That's not a typo, yes that really is $55.88.

Google Pagerank for entertainment purposes only?

Thread Title: Google Pagerank for entertainment purposes only?!?! Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=3054 Thread Description:

I know Google PR has been pretty wonky now more than ever, but for entertainment purposes only? This comes from a thread over as SEW

"The PageRank that is displayed in the Google Toolbar is for entertainment purposes only. Due to repeated attempts by hackers to access this data, Google updates the PageRank data very infrequently because is it not secure. On average, the PR that is displayed in the Google Toolbar is several months old. If the toolbar is showing a PR of zero, this is because the user is visiting a new URL that hasn't been updated in the last update. The PR that is displayed by the Google Toolbar is not the same PR that is used to rank the webpage results so there is no need to be concerned if your PR is displayed as zero. If a site is showing up in the search results, it doesn't not have a real PR of zero, the Toolbar is just out of date"

PPC Journalism - A New Model for Content Creation and Decision?

Thread Title: In Chile, instant Web feedback creates the next day's paper Thread Url: http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1201/p01s04-woam.html Thread Description:

In Chile there's a big media buzz over a 100yr old boring middle of the road newspaper that has been using click stats to determine what the following days edition will contain. THe LUN is currently Chile's most popular paper.

Essentially, clicks are counted per story and the what proves most popular helps decide the next days topics. Clearly any intellectual or stimulating content goes right out of the window with such a system as it quickly devolves to the lowest common denominator - in a week where world leaders gathered in Santiago for a trade meeting the newspapers ( http://www.lun.com ) readers were reading about what Colin Powell had for dinner and about a scantily clad waitress.

Sounds okay to me...

Pop media driven by the people, pretty neat idea i think though the paper insists it's not a tabloid. Story came in via techdirt

Google News Bombs Again: Bush Arrested for War Crimes

Thread Title: Google News: Bush Arrested Thread Url: http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2004_12_01_index.html#110192063491930684 Thread Description:

G blogoscoped have some screenshots of a new Google News Bomb featuring Pres. Bush arrested for war crimes...

This broadcast was bought to you by Algorithmic News! - It's not our fault!

The Future of Information Architecture - PDF

Thread Title: Where is IA headed? Thread Url: http://www.digital-web.com/extras/futureia113004.pdf Thread Description:

Christine Woodtke has a cool presentation titled "Where is IA headed?" threadlinked above.

Dont panic, it's all in bite sized little chunks with big writing and pictures! - scared the crap out of me to start but I really enjoyed it :)

It takes a look at all manner of things, kind of like a guided tour of past present and future with short but specific bytes of info on SE's like Clusty and ASK and Google.

Link via DWM

Forum Profile Spamming and How to Stop it

Thread Title: spammers registering Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum103/258.htm Thread Description:

Profile spamming, the act of signing up usernames at forums for the sole purpose of gaining the benefit of a link to your website from the profile your new account generates can be a big problem. Anyone that's run even a small forum for some time will tell you it can be a real pain in the arse.

Over at wmw they're discussing ways to thwart the spammers in phpBB - Some outstandign links to mods for the phpBB system and advice from Threadwatch members encyclo and Jenstar - this from Jenstar:

There is a phpbb mod which temporarily disables the website URL field, and if a bot tries to enter something into that form field, it bans the IP and username. The bot doesn't "view" the page and assumes the website url field must be there when it sends the registration information to the server. However, a real visitor would see no form field for website, and instead a note about it becoming active after registration is confirmed.

Good stuff for community admins...

Doug Heil & Jill Whalen in White Hat Death Match

Thread Title: Another Agency Promising Top Positions, How do they plan to achieve this? Thread Url: http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=11118 Thread Description:

Doug Heil has shown up in a thread over at HR to out do himself in the whiney white knight role he loves to parade around the forums. It's just another of those "this company is promising no.1 spots" threads but the fun is in the debate between Doug and Threadwatch member Jill.

She's currently slapping him about whilst allowing him all the rope he requires to hang himself. He does a fine job without to much rope usually but this is exceptional form from the zealot like Doug.

He's upset becuase jill wont allow the posting ("outing") of specific companies on her forum - damn good policy if you ask me.

Doug enters the thread:

hmm. I come in here to read the "spam" threads just ever so often, and see that "another" traffic power type company is blatantly misleading the industry and ALL people new to the internet, but only to see that this said company cannot be shown to the world?

a couple of posts later

Yes, I know what your rules are. Thanks!

So you would rather wait until this company rips off as many webmasters as they can? And then get banned by Google, and only then will you "post" the company name?

Followed by a bitch slap

You are welcome not to like our rules here, Doug. I didn't like your rules of outing spammers, which is one reason I left your forum.

Feel free to post only in forums where you agree with the rules, that's pretty much what I do.

Eeeeeeow! I didnt know she had it in her! :-)

Get on over their and have a peek, it's killer funny on a dreary wednesday afternoon...

hat tip to jill...

Are Search Engines Pushing Webmasters to Produce Poor Sites?

Thread Title: I want to give them content but they wont have it. Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=3032 Thread Description:

Threadwatch member ukgimp raises some interesting debate over at SEW:

Here is my reasoning. I have spent good amounts of cash on decent content and pretty pictures but Google dont want it!

What do they want, well to me is seems like useless API scraped cack mixed in with paid results. Plus other argy bargey that a handfull of serious people know about

Sandbox discussion aside there are people out there that can create monsters than rank for lots. They may only last a month, but they do OK out of it the unleash another beast.

The thread centers around the fact that it seems, at least to some, that to get good listings you have to break "the rules" and worse, produce sub-standard websites.

I think it makes sense for Google and other SE's to slowly push new sites into a corner - just look at the sandbox fiasco. Some webmasters forget that the business of a search engine, is to make money - They do that by selling adwords and premium listings so are we fighting a losing battle by producing clean, easy to use, information rich websites or what?

Paying for Online Content - Poor Figures and Dismal Future

Thread Title: The right price for cyberspace Thread Url: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/0b1c4400-433f-11d9-bea1-00000e2511c8.html Thread Description:

Every now and again you hear rumbles of "the free web cannot last" and the like from somewhere or another, it's become a regular part of the underlying debate on the internet itself.

The struggle to fleece consumers continues though despite seriously shite figures from the first half of this year. This FT report comes in via PC and makes for a good read. The upside of paid content is the emergence and almost certain boom in mobile content delivery - subscribers are used to paying for starters and carriers are adept at sneaking costs and profit margins in as "usage costs".

More Approved Cloaking at Google

Thread Title: Working With Google Scholar -- And More Approved Cloaking Thread Url: http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/041201-063855 Thread Description:

Danny Sullivan has a great piece on a pet topic of his, "google and approved cloaking" - it's pet topic of mine too :)

This was lifted from this Google Scholar piece over at the new G Scholar blog.

The second issue was to ensure that the crawler got the full text so they could work their on the full content rather than just the titles and abstracts. A bit of sleight-of-hand at our end ensured that the crawler got what it needed but with the URLs in the Google index being a suitable entry point for an end user.

Sleight of hand indeed...

Danny goes into all the detail you need, get on over there and check it out...

Streaming Mobile Video hits UK 3G Scene

Thread Title: Video on Demand on 3G Launch Thread Url: http://www.mobile-weblog.com/archives/video_on_demand_on_3g_launch.html Thread Description:

MXTelecom are to provide a Video Gateway for 3G phone services in the UK - Russell over at the mobile weblog linked above has some interesting thoughts regarding video delivery and what it might mean to adult content providers.

Essentially, what if the phone sex you call for has a great voice but looks like a bag of sick? or vice versa - quite funny but a damn good point too.

Trashing Competitors via their Comments System

Thread Title: Campaign of criticism on Web Design from Scratch Thread Url: http://www.cre8asiteforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=18856 Thread Description:

Scenario: You set up your business site listing services you offer and you enable user comments - Along comes either a competitor or someone with an axe to grind with you and starts trashing you, your company and your services using your own website.

Some would say it's a stupid move to enable comments at all, Kim Krause certainly doesnt think it wise:

Ben, isn't allowing comments (uncensored) on a services page a little like shooting yourself in the foot?

For myself, I've come to regard comments as an excuse to trash people and spread hatred. It's a free pass and it's just too easy for people to use them to get away with things they might not say to people in person - face to face. When comments become weapons, they lose their worth in my eyes.

Having had a fun time with this particular member of cre8asiteforums when i dared critisize his website in a "review my site" thread I'd say he's being a little over-dramatic but it does pose some interesting questions:

Does opening up your products or services to public debate help or hinder? Is it adding value or creating a PR nightmare?

Personally im all in favor but with the caveat of "with moderation" - you can't stop people from criticizing if you open yourself up to it and invite it of course but you can weed out the obvious trolls.

Commenting on products/services - What do you think?

Lycos's Anit Spam DDoS Site Hacked!

Thread Title: Lycos Anti-Spam Site Compromised Thread Url: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/12/01/0250244&from=rss Thread Description:

Slashdot bring word of the now infamous Lycos DDos Attack Site being hacked.

Attempting to download the screen saver from lycos results in this message 'Yes, attacking spammers is wrong, you know this, you shouldn't be doing it. Your ip address and request have been logged and will be reported to your ISP for further action.'

Made my morning, i cant seem to reach the site so maybe they're being DDoS attacked aswell? LMFAO! Of course it may be that there server just isnt up to being slashdotted but either way it's a killer funny story - thankyou SD

Social Media used in Knowledge Mgt for Businesses

Thread Title: venue A/Razorfish uses blogs & social networks for internal collaboration Thread Url: http://forrester.typepad.com/charleneli/2004/11/avenue_arazorfi.html Thread Description:

Forresters Charlene Li has an interesting post about how AA/Razorfish use blogs and social media for knowledge management, peer review and team collaboration.

"Forrester envisions a day when new employees on their first day will be handed a sheet of paper with their phone number, email address — and a URL for their blog. The company would give all of its employees a personal internal blog where they could provide project updates, trip reports, and market intelligence — anything that they think others should know about the work that they are doing. This information could then be tied into the company's VoIP phone system — for internal calls, the caller's photo, title, bio, and a link to his blog would appear on the computer screen. The blog content would give context and background for the call, making it unnecessary to send extra emails or to have extensive discussions about a project."

CiteULike - White Paper Cite Search & RSS

Thread Title: CiteULike Tracks Favorite Citations Thread Url: http://www.researchbuzz.org/archives/002185.shtml Thread Description:

Research buzz have a piece on CiteULike. An application that allows you to track white papers and who cites them by tag, author, user and more.

Once you've set up a watchlist you can grab the RSS at the bottom of the page and add it to bloglines or your favorite desktop aggregator.

It looks superb but only time will tell as i track my list via rss - search geeks will want to check out the favorite tags menu on the right and hit the search, algos etc links to build a good list.

Nice catch Tara!