Let me start by prefacing this post with the obligatory this is my personal opinion.
I am not Satisfied with the current forum offerings
Im a member of many seo / webmaster forums and none of them are providing me with what i feel i need at the moment. Possibly my needs could not be met, they're more than a little demanding of even the best of the bunch but, i can't help feeling a little let down by what's currently on offer for people like me that want to talk shop in a safe, pleasent environment. Follow the title link above for the full post.
1st page of google is easy for Blackhats
Here's something we rarely see discussed in anything even approaching an adult manner: How effective are so called "black hat" techniques for long term sites?
Generally these topics devolve into name calling and silliness from the vociferous "play by the rules" crowd but it's an interesting question if you can rise above any moral/ethical debate and look at it from a clinical point of view.
The whole thread is pretty interesting even though young as yet, here's a snippet from speedle who started the thread:
Google algos to stop blackhat technques are a myth. I have proved this over the last three years.
Google relies on their army of unoffical seo investigators to report blackhats.
The only site I have ever had banned was when I mentioned the url here.
Say no more it speaks for itself.
Blogs and Links
If you're none to familiar with the concept of blogging you've either had your head in a sack for the last 2yrs or maybe you just havn't considered the benefits from a commercial point of view?
This thread over at seozip has some nice pointers from Anthony Parsens and DianeV
Websites are static, and turn stale as such, thus not really having that much to link to unless your interested in the entire site, though blogs are very useful in that 90% of posts may not have relevance to one person, though 10% might, thus they link to them from their site, providing you deep links to your content, not links to your homepage. Blogs are extremely powerful for capturing links.
it's tailing off into chit-chat but im hoping to get it back on topic by going and giving my 2 pence worth :)
Wow, sorry the weekly roundup is late folks, first time i've forgotten it :) Was having too much fun with the new member blogging system Well, let's get straight into it shall we? - Here's the weeks best of the best search marketing threads with news and mayhem posts largely filtered out. Follow the title link above for the full list.
JohnScott over at V7N is talking about an interesting clause in the PayPal agreement which essentially covers chargebacks, there are some particularly intriguing arguments in the thread but what it boils down to is you get charged $10 if someone lies to paypal - sounds a might iffy to me and John certainly thinks so:
How does PayPal suppose that we are to avoid it? PayPal is the one who knows the credit card number, the address associated with the credit card, the three digits on the back of the credit card, etc. By being a payment processor, I'd think they were be in the ideal position to assess the legitimacy of a credit card purchase.
They always come through as "un-authorized", so it's not a matter of the customer asking for a refund. It's a matter of the customer lying to PayPal and saying he didn't use his account to submit.
Buyer Complaint Process Requirements
In order for a transaction to be eligible for Buyer Complaint Process review:
* You must have used PayPal to pay for your purchase.
* You must not have received the item that you purchased.
* You must file a claim within 30 days of payment.
* Your purchase must be a tangible item. Services and intangible items, such as emailed recipes and e-books, are not covered.
According to that, a person who submits to BlueFind isn't even eligible to complain to PayPal about it. It isn't a tangible item.
And, if a dork wanted a refund they could just ask me to refund them and remove the listing. I've refunded payments on many occasions when the submitter wanted to be listed in a category that wasn't suitable for the site.
Apparently this is from his directory submissions where one charming individual keeps deciding that he didnt really make those submissions..
Implementing A Forum, Advantages of implementing a forum
Running a forum on your ecom site or thinking about starting a community to increase visitors and sales? - This thread over at HighRankings has some pretty good stuff to offer for anyone that's considering building a community for whatever reason.
JeffSmith NH is pretty new to this judging by his list of questions. One of those questions includes:
Other than the obvious benefit of adding a valuable service to clients, what are the advantages and disadvantages of implementing a forum? How does the forum impact SEO?
Following on are some great general tips and strategies for bootstrapping a community and maintaining a forum. There are lots of good posts but i'll quote you Renegade Master to give you an appetizer for this topic:
1) If your site has a topic for users to discuss, then it will be used. Product based forums will generally be drop-in/drop-out, a theme will guarantee returns.
2) Building loyalty when there is little activity will be tough, it's at this stage you'll have lots of work to do. You could try to be a little controversial, to encourage discussion, and get people returning to see replies to their posts and others to view the latest replies.
3) You will probably have many more browsers to posters. I haven't worked out a method for convertersion, let me know if you do. You could have a newby category for people to test posting and see how it works.
4) You should try to make the forum easy to use, have functions that show all posts since last login or last refresh. Allow users to unsubscribe from some categories they are not interested in.
5) I also think having less buttons and clutter is a good design, the design used at UKClimbing is good.
6) Allow some level of personalisation such as nicknames and profiles.
The general consensus runs along the lines of it's damn hard work but can potentially reap large rewards.
Pornographer sues Google on 12 grounds
Seems that Google may be in hot water for Copyright infringement - a porn mag (http:/*/www.perfect10.com/) is claiming this and unfair competition over use of their images by Google. We talked about copyright and search engines just last week. and in that thread Woz said:
Basically the SEs are working in reverse to copyright law and often cross the line IMO. My prediction is that one day there will be a major court action which will shake up the SE business big time.
Here's a couple of quotes from John Palfrey's blog (threadlinked above):
A pornography publisher, Perfect 10 -- I'm sure you could find it if even I don't link to it! -- filed suit in federal district court in California against Google and 100 does yesterday on Friday, November 19, 2004, according to the complaint (I have redacted the complaint to remove pages 36 - 54, which include graphic images). Perfect 10's 12 claims listed in the complaint include alleged infringements of copyright, trademark, and right of publicity as well as unfair competition.
In short, Perfect 10 says: Google is profiting -- a lot -- from the bad acts of others and they should stop doing it and pay us for what they've done. Unpack the logic and it gets tortured pretty quickly (I'm sure Perfect 10 has *never* gotten any of its purported 100,000 unique visitors per month from Google nor have any of them paid the $25.50 per month for access), but the gist of their argument is plain. I suspect that Perfect 10 will not be the last to go after Google's riches with such a series of claims.
and some more from this Red Herring story
Most of the violations alleged by Perfect 10 are copyright claims. The suit states that Google’s search results pull up photos of nude female models that belong to Perfect 10. These search results, according to the suit, constitute an infringement. Google’s search picks up the photos from other Internet locations, which are described in the lawsuit as “stolen content sites,” or web sites that steal images and allow Internet users to avoid paying subscription or membership fees for members-only pornography web sites. Perfect10.com charges $25.50 per month and counts 100,000 visitors per month.
The beginnings of a nice thread about the new directory list site from Anthony Parsens - It's a killer site already and im betting it'll be an enormous success with all the directory whores among the seo crowd...
But the best part I like was the downloadble Excel file.
Of course it would be terribly bad form for me to say that i gave him that download idea so i wont.. heh! :-)
How to get listed in Google Local results
The first 4 or 5 posts in this seochat thread are a bit silly but it's shaping up nicely starting at around msg 7 - dseerveld says:
This issue is very important to me. I run a regional wildlife removal business. I worked hard on SEO to get the top spots for any regional searches in my area for terms such as "animal control" or "pest control". I got those spots, and everything was great.
....then Google introduces its local feature. Suddenly my top search engine listing is usurped by that stupid local listings section ahead of it ....and my competitors, who don't even have websites and have no clue what SEO is, are suddenly listed ahead of me in Google! Outrageous!
Much speculation about yellow pages listings, mapquest and all other manner of possible factors follow. Im not certain at all on this so perhaps someone in the know could fill in some blanks?
Related: Targeting Local Search
Regardless of not reaching a conclusion it's turning out to be a damn good read, thanks seochatters!
Yahoo RSS Intentions Are No Secret
Jeremy Zawodny posts in response to a rather silly piece over at WPW - I'd like to use that as an excuse to ask what Yahoo's plans are exactly? - roughly would do in fact...
From the blog post linked above:
As I've said before, we're helping to take RSS mainstream. Not only do we produce hundreds of thousands of RSS feeds, we've given literally millions of users access to syndicated content via My Yahoo. And we're not stopping there.
Im very keen on RSS as some know, and Y!'s efforts so far are pretty impressive I think. We mentioned yahoo being serious about RSS and i've played with their RSS feeds from Yahoo advanced news searches but although Jeremy says their intentions are clear, there only really clear that they have intentions right? heh....
So come on Y! - What are you planning?
I'd love to see Yahoo contextual ads for RSS feeds for example, perhaps some kind of Y! aggregator, i'd like a special page like bloglines for my feeds (the my yahoo stuff leaves a lot to be desired)
Its a good subject, really more business 101 than www 101 but enlightend by;
"As a whole, most e-commerce customers don't return products, but feel that the ABILITY to do so is vital. It's like a buffet... nobody ever eats $10 worth of food, but they like that they could if they wanted to."
Deab has a great point too, turn a legal obligation into a selling point. [I believe our American comrades would call that a win-win scenario].
Last Modified Header and SEO
Some speculation over what the Last-Modified header has over spidering and algos with particular regard to server side generated pages. The thread also veers nicely into what the LMH may mean if Temporal Link Analysis has a say in the issue.
Im not clear on this and it doesn't seem like anyone is that certain in the thread either ;) Does anyone have any thoughts on LMH and Search Engines?
[ WMW PAID MEMBERS LINK ]
Seems like the WebmasterWorld paid up supporters are unhappy with the noise levels in the supporters forum..
You have to be a paid up member to view the link and as it's not a thread open to the public you'll have to settle for some paraphrasing rather than quoting im afraid:
The General Gist
Too many Foo threads, stuff about kids, dogs and god knows what else. Lots of rumblings and outright complaints over the supporters forum being rendered useless by the huge amount of non-professionals in there and chit-chat nature of the forum.
One member suggests that she no longer even comes back there as all the good stuff is out in public and all the dross back in what was supposed to be a quieter, more professional oriented forum.
Trouble in the rank and file? - Actually it's nothing that new, even a year ago or more when i was in there it was virtually indistinguishable from the public side off-topic forum Foo - and the good stuff died when toolmans excellent "Confessions of an SE Spammer" thread was removed. - You can only speculate as to why that decision was taking but i dont think it takes a rocket science brain to come to a reasonable guess eh?
This story comes hot on the heels of The Dirty Little Secrets of SEO & How Information Travels blog post i made earlier in the week. Most liked it but a few got a bit irked when i politely refused to part with the goods :) but what's relevant to this are the parts that talke about private forums.
I mentioned that the paid system wasn't a great one:
There are quite a few public forums out there that have private forums - areas set aside either for the invited, or those with the cash to join. The problem as i see it, in my admittedly limited experience, is that once you start to top a certain number the information flow dries up. This kind of thing only really works if everyone trusts everyone else and if there is an answer to the scaling problem i've not heard about it, so do let me know :-)
Will Yahoo! battle Googles Adsense in contextual advertising?
I just came across this wmw thread linked above where growingdigital says:
I recently logged into my Yahoo hosting account and took a survey to determine whether or not I was interested in placing contextual ads on my site. They also mentioned a Yahoo search box. It looks like this product is still in the early stages of development for all those interested...
chit chat speculation abounds in the thread of course over how much of a threat it would be to Adsense if Y! and MSN both launched into the contextual ad frenzy we're starting to see. I hope they do do somthing like this personally, it'd be cool :-)
Interlinking Circle of Sites
So, reciprocal linking has been deader than dead for quite a while. Can circular linking and other network patterns make a difference for ranking sites now or are the engines getting just too good at spotting unnatural linking patterns and networks?
That's what's being discussed in the WPW thread linked above, jawn_tech starts out with this:
it was proposed that some sidestep reciprocal linking by creating a 'network' of sites. For example, Site A links to Site B, and B to Site C, and C to Site A. Or perhaps, the circle could/should be larger. (A,B,C,D,E,F, etc.)
Has anyone seen any new evidence where SE's acknowledged such a structure with negative consequences, or is this a legitimate linking strategy for human benefit?
It's a pretty good thread started on nov 4th but recently picked up again. Worth a look...
Anyone care to predict the future of link strategies?
Over at digitalpoint there is a small discussion going on about the virtues of Optilink a standalone desktop backlink and ranking analysis tool from Leslie Rohde.
There's not a great deal in the thread other than me giving it the thumbs up but just this morning Cyclops mentioned a very similar competitor tool called T.O.P - Really, i think at best that tool just looks frightening because of the way over the top sales pitch and the fact that the owners photo looks like prison mugshot hehe.. hope he doesnt wanna come beat me up now...
I'd highly recommend optilink, it's a good tool and Leslie was more than happy to personally help me out when i had a few install probs on my linux box - and no, that is not an aff. link up there :-)
So, discounting the online stuff (there's so much of it..) talk to me about link analysis tools that dont phone home
Internet Archive’s Web Page Snapshots Held Admissible as Evidence
The Standford Law School for Internet & Society are reporting that a US judge has ruled that Archive.org's Way Back Machine pages are admissible as evidence.
Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys rejected Polska’s assertion of hearsay, holding that the archived copies were not themselves statements susceptible to hearsay exclusion, since they merely showed what Polska had previously posted on its site. He also noted that, since Polska was seeking to suppress evidence of its own previous statements, the snapshots would not be barred even if they were hearsay. Over Polska’s objection, Judge Keys accepted an affidavit from an Internet Archive employee as sufficient to authenticate the snapshots for admissibility.