I just know of Greg Jarboe by name. First I skimmed the article threadlinked above
and I thought I think he must work for a PPC management organization. On 2nd read, I think he's giving Organic SEO's a few tips i.e. sell services by showing conversion and tracking. Still not sure, but will give it a 3rd read. Although he is using SEMPO's research study in his analysis, so who really knows? Does anyone know the stats on the Sempo survey i.e. how many participated, who participated? I'll search around later for the details, but I know my dog participated succesffully in the survey.
I just read a very interesting piece for SEW subscribers that Danny Sullivan pointed out on the SEW Blog - The article is based on the "black hat / white hat" session at the recent SES Chicago
Now, im dreadfully bored with the whole thing about hats and ethics, and have resolved not to get into it (we'll see how long that lasts..) this year but it's a damn good article and well worth a read - though you do have to be a paid ($100) member to get to it. Nestled in the middle is this little exchange between Danny and Yahoo's Tim Mayer, i think you'll like it...
Tim Mayer of Yahoo Talks About Search Spamming
I have added some notes in bold to let you know who is saying what :)
If you're being entirely organic and going after "viagra," it's like taking a sword to a gunfight. You just aren't going to rank.
Did I hear right? Was that Yahoo saying spam is OK depending on the industry? No. When I followed up with Tim, he emailed me:
Yahoo does not think that spamming is OK. We are aware that spam (or over optimization) is prevalent in highly competitive categories and realize that many webmasters in these high reward categories are willing to take more risks and use spamming techniques even though they know the search engines may label their sites as spam.
I think one of the key things I brought up in the session was when I talked about where the line was between optimization and over optimization (spam). I said this may vary by industry as in very non-competitive industries, where very little optimization takes place, the line will be very conservative and there will be little room for aggressive optimization techniques. In a very competitive industry like 'texas holdem poker' where optimization is the norm, heavier optimization may be tolerated.
The Future of Wireless Networking
Here's a really quite enlightening podcast from ITConversations (threadlinked above) that provides a very neat look at the possible future for wireless networking - im listening to Gee Rittenhouse, the VP for wireless tech for Lucent talk about personalization right now and it's cool as...
Here's a snippet from the text:
The wireless industry is undergoing a transition. We see the evolution from cellular 2G to 3G standards, the migration from circuit to packet applications, and the procession of voice to data. We also see the industry incorporating new wireless access technologies such as WiFi and WiMAX. All of this is occuring in a market place where voice subscriber penatration levels in many parts of the world are saturating and there is incredible pressure to reduce network capital and operating costs.
MapQuest offers to navigate mobile users
InfoWorld report in the threadlink above on AOL owned MapQuest offering a new service to send color maps and directions direct to mobiles.
The navigation-focused Internet company, owned by America Online (AOL), unveiled the "Send to Phone" feature on Wednesday as part of its MapQuest Mobile service, priced at $3.99 a month.
To access the feature, users visit MapQuest.com from a computer, request maps and directions, and enter their mobile phone number. They can then retrieve the information through the MapQuest Mobile application on their cell phones. The MapQuest Mobile service is offered through a partnership with mobile phone application publisher Vindigo, which leverages its relationships with wireless carriers, AOL said.
So for $4 a month you needn't have to stop and ask someone for directions:
Google Receives Patent for Highlighting of Search Results
This'll put the cat amongst the pidgeons...
A system highlights search terms in documents distributed over a network. The system generates a search query that includes a search term and, in response to the search query, receives a list of one or more references to documents in the network. The system receives selection of one of the references and retrieves a document that corresponds to the selected reference. The system then highlights the search term in the retrieved document.
Doors open at biggest gadget fair
Gadget freaks all over the world will be wetting their pants with excitment over the Vegas CES that opened today. Rather than litter the recent posts list and RSS feed with dozens of CES related threads i thought i would put the ones i find interesting all in one place. Including Podcasts.
Please feel free to add reports you find interesting as comments, providing a link to the source and a relevant quote.
Kicking off at CES Vegas
We can start with this BBC report on the opening of CES. It's a nice all round intro to the whole deal.
The thrust of this year's show will be on technologies which put people in charge of multimedia content so they can store, listen to, and watch what they want on devices any time, anywhere.
About 120,000 people are expected to attend the trade show which stretches over more than 1.5 million square feet.
Highlights will include the latest trends in digital imaging, storage technologies, thinner flat screen and high-definition TVs, wireless and portable technologies, gaming, and broadband technologies.
The show also includes several speeches from key technology companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard among others.
List of Links to Good Coverage - Comments Contain Quotes and Details...
PaidContent on Orb Networks
Good overview from The Ledger
USAToday launches a CES blog via MP
SEO Spam Cop
Interesting series of articles on ClickZ by P.J. Fusco on identifying questionable SEO tactics, etc. Seems to take pride in having fired SEM firms.
It's often irritating to me when people take the high road just to distinguish themselves, but there are many very good points brought out in this article. It would be nice (and more compelling) to see more specifics on search performance improvement after the "SEO spam" tactics were removed and the "right" tactics implemented.
Comment Spam? How About An Ignore Tag? How About An Indexing Summit!
Danny Sullivan posts some proposed solutions to comment spam and links to a number of other proposals and discussions including the one we had on solving comment spam a few weeks back.
Danny suggests that it's the search engines responsibility (or at least implies) and proposes a exclusion tag that would tell a search engine not to index certain portions of a page:
To me, the solution seems simple. Why not give designers a tag telling search engines to ignore portions of a web page? Or better yet, how about a coordinated summit among search engines and webmasters to advance the state of site indexing overall?
To me, this is the wrong way to go about it, for several reasons:
Why should genuine comments be ignored by search engines?
This is what would happen if you roped off portions of the page and told search engines not to include the links - firstly, the people commenting and adding value to the page should get all the benefit of a link to their website IMO - this is what the internet is all about and what the various link algos are partly about: Accrediting value where due. You could argue that maybe just the links wouldn't count but the content of the comments would be indexed but it still leaves that problem accreditation which i think is important.
Search Engine Adoption: It just aint that simple!
I cant imagine all of the search engines either agreeing to such a solution or implementing it any time soon, can you? It just doesn't work like that so for a start we have a potentially huge delay in implementation assuming that all parties agreed anyway. If only one of the major players did not agree, comment spam would still be an excellent, cheap method of gaining traffic rendering the solution useless.
Blog Vendor Adoption: It just ain't that simple!
Pretty much the same as above for this reason against such an idea. You would have to get all of the major vendors to agree on a standard, and these things take time. Then you would have to implement it on new releases of the software, provide patches for older versions and set up support channels for all of that. To be fair though, some of the things i proposed in the above linked post have exactly the same problems at this point - there really isn't a simple, quick, killer answer on the table or anywhere near it.
Information flows too slowly
There are people that call themselves search engine optimizers that are out there on forums right now talking about optimizing their META tags - with me? It would just take far too long for this information to filter down to the lowers tiers of the SEO knowledge base.
The Solution Lies with Blog Software Vendors
For the above reasons i think that the solution to blog spam rests with the software guys, there's going to be just too much collateral damage if the search engines start excluding comments, or devaluing links from comments and it simply is not a viable solution in the real world.
The Cultural Divide Between LiveJournal and Six Apart
With the news of Six Apart's move to buy Live Journal comes an interesting piece from Danah Boyd on the cultural differences of the two blogging communities.
Jump inside LJ culture. People who use LJ talk about their LJs, not their blogs. They mock bloggers who want to be pundits, journalists, experts. In essence, they mock the culture of bloggers that use Six Apart's tools. During interviews with LJ/Xanga folks, i've been told that MovableType is for people with no friends, people who just talk to be heard, people who are trying too hard.
LJ folks don't see LJ as a tool, but a community. Bloggers may see the ethereal blogosphere as their community, but for LJers, it's all about LJ. Aside from the ubergeek LJers, LJers don't read non-LJs even though syndication is available. They post for their friends, comment excessively and constantly moderate who should have access to what.
While you cannot generalize about LJers, a vast majority of them are engaged in acts of resistance regularly (think: subcultures, activists, youth rebels, etc.). They value LJ because it values them. They value LJ because it is a tool of resistance, an act of going against mainstream and representing those already marginalized by society - the geeks, freaks and queers among us. They don't want to be mainstream. They don't want their parents/authorities/oppressors using the same service. At the same time, LJ provides shelter, support, community. When someone threatens to commit suicide, LJ doesn't throw up its hand and scream "not my problem." There are folks who actually work to help friends help each other. They're not just an anonymous service - they care.
While many bloggers love to talk about LJ with disdain, as a low-brow version of the culture, i adore LJ from the bottom of my heart and i'm truly concerned that LJ's culture will be corrupted by an acquisition. It is not like any other blogging service and the needs that it serves are fundamentally different. I understand that Brad would gain much from selling, but it breaks my heart all the same. I can totally understand what he will gain, what Six Apart will gain... but what will LJ folks gain?
Orb Networks the company that recently launched a product that can stream all of your media, including TV, video, music et al to your handset have announced a partnership with Creative.
"We're extremely excited to work with Creative," said James Behrens, CEO, Orb Networks. "Creative is driving digital entertainment on the PC, and Orb shares that vision. Now, with the combination of our solutions, we can provide an even better product to the consumers. It's wonderful for all consumers to be able to expand the capabilities of their digital tools and toys. What you can use at home, you can now spontaneously access on the road including the ability to see into your home on virtually any mobile device using your webcam."
Looks like Orb, which i have to tag as a very exciting startup is picking up some speed.
Mobile and Open: A Manifesto
Howard Rheingold puts forth a vision, threadlinked above, of how mobile should be, for all to benefit from the rise of the mobile web. How it will be is probably far different but it's an interesting read and a commendable attempt to influence the thinking of those that are defining the medium:
Only a cockeyed optimist would forecast an open, user-driven, entrepreneurial future for the mobile Internet. This should not prevent us from trying, however. Sometimes, envisioning the way things ought to be can inspire people to work at making it that way. That's what manifestos are for.
Google on 60 Minutes
You can grab the whole video and stream it at the threadlink above. I have a question for the americans if i may: Is it normal for the presenter of such a show to talk to the audience as though they were children?
Woot, Here It Is
Woot.com is a word of mouth marketing buzz bomb of simplicity and gimmick, and it's making a STACK
The all-things craze hit ecommerce too, and Amazon went from selling books to hawking everything from Stairmasters to BBQs. But now, an ecommerce site is gaining ground by following Google's go simple strategy, and if its early revenue numbers are any indication, it's found a winning strategy.
The site is called Woot, and offers visitors a simple choice: It sells one item, usually something electronics-related, for one day. At midnight central time the new product is announced, and usually within a few hours, it's sold out.
So, is going as simple as possible the best way forward for Ecom sites? It's certainly an approach that has worked for Google in Search and there is a lot to be said for simpicity i think...
UPDATED for Danny's benefit: As well as the widely reported outage in the US, there are widespread reports circling the blogosphere right now including SEW Blog of a slightly longer outage in Australia
Reports are coming in that the West coast and Alaska are a Goolge Free Zone right now - please confirm / deny stating where you are and what you see....
Added: All seems well now, but when Google goes offline, even for a few minutes my AIM starts lighting up like a xmas tree heh...
Mobile equipped ski jackets are just about the only thing that would pursuade me to buy a motorola. Plus a bonus of proper amounts of music through the same headphones.
Now if they could geotarget the ringtone advertising for cheap gluwhein, send me text vouchers for beer at the local bar, and put the pockets somewhere I definately won't land on them I'm a guaranteed early adopter :)
Microsoft Readies 'A1' Security Subscription Service
No, don't laugh, it's true...
Mary Jo Foley reports in the threadlink above that M$ are "rumoured" to be prepping for a fee-based anti-spyware and anti-virus solution according to loose tongued developers:
Publicly, Microsoft continues to be cagey about packaging and pricing plans for its anti-spyware and anti-virus solutions. But privately, Microsoft has begun informing partners of its plans for a security subscription service code-named "A1," according to developers who requested anonymity.
It's Like Google Suggest, Only As A Dictionary
Now this is cool, type in words and have the text box suggest completions of your partial text based on dictionary terms. Copywriters may get a lot out of this and it's certainly going in the Nick W toolbox!