How The MS/Bing/Yahoo Deal Changes SEO

How The MS/Bing/Yahoo Deal Changes SEO:

It doesn’t.

I mean, once they get it all done, there will be:

  1. One less spider crawling the web, reducing power and bandwidth needs of the web, and helping to combat global climate change. Not sure how much carbon the Yahoo bots were putting into the air, but it’s probably more than all the gas-guzzling Hummers in service today.
  2. One less place for the rank checkers to check their rankings. Not that this will stop anyone – you will still check your rankings at Yahoo and MSN and Live and Bing, just like you still check them at AOL and Google. Stop checking so much – it’s good for the environment.
  3. Plenty of laid-off or otherwise severed search engineers and the like, so that every big SEO firm can hire one, and pretend that they now have some special insight into Google. If they work from home, that’s one less Hummer cranking out carbon on the Bayshore Freeway. Not that it matters once it gets repossessed.

So, although your SEO action item list is zero, at least Microsoft and Yahoo are doing their part to combat global climate change.

Now, you can do your part. No more “how this deal changes SEO” posts are needed. Save the electrons – who knows when we will need them.

We’ll talk more soon.

PS – the rest of the stuff for my video studio arrives today. LLTV is coming soon.

SEO Fast Start – 2009 Edition Released!

After many edits, re-edits, changes, un-changing the changes, well… you get the idea… I am happy to present the 2009 edition of SEO Fast Start – grab it from the download page!

Minor changes in the Keyword Strategy chapter. Significant updates in the Site Structure chapter.

I will be doing a free webinar this Wednesday evening to discuss the changes – get on the SEO Fast Start newsletter/mailing list to get an invite.

Thanks for reading!


Google's "Operation BENDOVER" Exposed – Nofollow & PageRank Sculpting

“When you have ruled out the possible, whatever remains, however horrifying, will be more entertaining.”

Matt Cutts made some comments about PageRank sculpting in general, and Google’s handling of the nofollow attribute on internal links, last week at SMX Advanced in Seattle. Here is my report on those events, and my conclusion about the shocking truth behind the “smoke and mirrors.”

Click play to learn the truth about Matt Cutts, PageRank sculpting and nofollow:

Here’s a link Leslie Rohde’s less entertaining but more informative review of the matter. I apologize to everyone. I think the “Scenario #3″ Leslie describes is actually quite plausible.

It’s also quite possible that there’s something to the “null hypothesis” description from Barry Welford.

P.S. If anyone doesn’t get the joke, it’s probably my fault.


Update from Matt – doesn’t add total clarity at first: But the comments he added seem to indicate that Leslie’s scenario (it doesn’t evaporate, it goes off to the rest of the index) nailed it.


Seriously… if you’re trying to “sculpt” PageRank don’t bother using nofollow.


In honor of the iPad and how much that rocks, now using Google’s cool HTML5 video code to support “all” video-capable browsers (I hope… tested in IE8, Chrome, Safari, Firefox) – Firefox people, you’re still getting Flash video because I am *not* going to do Ogg Theora versions of every video. Tell ‘em to license H.264 like everyone else, ok?

My Link Building Course for 2009: "Link Liberation"

Hello, dear readers… since the cat is out of the bag, I may as well post about this. If you recall, a few weeks back I asked for some input on my new link building course (thanks), and I haven’t followed up with you since.

I wasn’t trying to hold out on you, but I wanted to wait until I got back from SMX Advanced in Seattle. I was there all last week to kiss hands, shake babies, and give a little talk about search engine marketing. Great event, by the way.

Anyway, while I was gone, the folks at StomperNet sent out a link to my little “teaser video” for the new course. They had an opening in their schedule, they wanted to mail out the link, and I said okay.

So, I am sorry if you didn’t hear it from me first, but yes – I am doing a link building training program, and it’s called Link Liberation.

I know you’re probably pretty busy, so here are the bullet points:

  • Go watch the teaser video first at:
  • The video is about some new link building strategies & tactics that I’ve been using with a handful of my students.
  • If you want more info, you can click the link on that page for the “blueprint” video and companion report, OR you can join the Link Liberation mailing list. You can also join after checking out the bonus video & companion PDF report.

Now, if you are interested in joining this training program, or just hearing more about it, then I strongly encourage you to get on the mailing list – because there’s some information I will only send if you “raise your hand,” so to speak, and ask for it.

If you are certain that you want to join this training program, then definitely – get on the Link Liberation mailing list, so you can get the notification to sign up early. Space is going to be tight, and I don’t want you, as a long time reader, to miss out.

Joining the Link Liberation list will NOT get you bombarded with double the emails – but if you don’t get on that list, then I am going to assume you aren’t especially interested in learning about link building from me right now.

I won’t take it personally, not everyone needs this information.

Thanks for your kind attention. ;-)

Dan Thies
a.k.a. “The Link Liberator” (just trying it on…)

P.S. Yes, I am going to charge for this – but as you will see in the report, you can get a “sample” before we close the doors. (The price will be the same as the 2006 Link Building Clinic – just $795 – with a better format and more “stuff”)

SMX: matt cutts, nofollow, 'pagerank sculpting' and hype from the waterfront…

I’m sitting here on the waterfront in Seattle. SMX Advanced ’09 is over. One of the best search marketing focused events I’ve ever attended. But the “news” from the event is mostly about some stuff Matt Cutts said during “Q&A” at the ‘canonical tag’ session.

I was present, to moderate the audience Q&A. There really wasn’t much of that, because the panelists pretty much did all the talking, or arguing, howerer you want to put it. It was interesting, to be sure.

Matt appears to have come in to bail out Maile Ohye, who had said some stuff that didn’t really match up with the Google party line, like saying that rel=nofollow should only be used to mean that you don’t vouch for the link. After coming and saying that he supported everything she said (which I don’t think he could have even heard), Matt responded to a question about pagination links, didn’t actually know what kind of pagination links they were talking about, and said basically that nofollow might not work like people expect for sculpting PageRank. And, some other stuff which many folks have attempted to reconstruct.

First of all, the idea that ‘sculpting’ – especially the kind of radical sculpting that was being discussed – is not going to work like people expect, isn’t really news. Second, Matt didn’t really say anything especially clear, either in this panel or the “You&A.”

Hopefully someone from Google will add some true clarity to this soon, but for now, relax and don’t buy all the hype.

  1. If Google really has radically changed the way nofollow and PageRank are handled, they didn’t do it overnight – that’s major development work. Months.
  2. As recently as April 23, Matt had a platform to actually ‘announce’ something like this but didn’t. Didn’t say, ‘but don’t bother because we have a major change in the works.’ He said, as he’s often said, as I have too, as many others have, that spending a bunch of time trying to “sculpt” PageRank should be way way way down the to-do list.
  3. Until someone says something definitive, what you are hearing is people who speculated being interpreted by others, and… you know what? That’s not news. That’s the blogosphere, and Twit-o-sphere, doing what they do.

A lot of questions were raised by that panel – like whether robots.txt even works, if you want to believe everything that was said, and put the wrong context around it. But it’s a beautiful sunny day.

We’ll talk more later. I’m going to go say goodbye to the seals in the marina.

Update from Matt – doesn’t add much clarity:

Well, enough clarity in the comments there, for me to say that Leslie Rohde nailed it.

Redoing My Link Building Course – Need Your Help

When I offered my first online link building course in 2005, I was expecting it to be pretty popular, but it turns out that I *badly* underestimated the demand.

In fact, it was a runaway success.

Almost as soon one 8-week course finished, another group would come in and sell out the next session. It took 7 months for things to calm down.

Since then, thousands of people have seen the “best of” videos – but nobody has been able to get the entire course.

I get asked about it all the time – “Dan, when are you going to do another link building class?”

Well, after months of preparation, I am ready to do another one – but I want to make sure that I’m not leaving anything out.

One of the students back in 2006 said I’d “put together all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle” for them, and I wouldn’t want to do any less this time around.

Please help me out if you can spare a few minutes. In return, I’ll make it worth your while. (Hint!)

All you have to do is post your comments below – on the biggest questions, problems, and challenges you have with link building.

Speaking @ SMX Advanced on June 3

I’m speaking at SMX Advanced
It’s been a while since I’ve spoken at a search marketing conference. Like, a couple years I think. But I am coming out of the “shell” at SMX Advanced to talk about advanced pay-per-click strategies for the “Amazing PPC Tactics” session.

As is always the case with conference sessions – I have to cram a whole bunch of content into a very short speaking slot, because there will be 3 or 4 other people there dishing out killer PPC tactics as fast as they can.

For a StomperNet Live event, where I usually get to deliver 75-90 minutes to several hundred people, it’s easy to prepare a presentation. I don’t know if it was Mark Twain or not – somebody put it better than I can once upon a time – but the shortest presentations require the greatest preparation.

Too bad that doesn’t apply to Twitter posts. Anyway, I could use a little help from my readers in narrowing down (or broadening if necessary) the scope of this presentation.

I’d love to hear your suggestions on topics, or knotty PPC problems that could really use an amazing tactical solution, in the comments below.

Digg THIS, Digg.

The DiggBar.

Not much to say about this lame idea, that hasn’t already been said, except this.

If you don’t like what Digg is doing:

Stop Using Digg.

I did. It was easy to stop using Digg, easy to stop reading whatever they think is important, and simple to withdraw all support.

The Digg button is removed from my blog.

Rather than try to block this one lame framing scheme, Framebusting code has been on my site for ages – there’s no reason anyone needs to frame my site without my permission.


P.S. Anyone who would like permission to frame my content should submit their requests via the Home Office at the North Pole.

How Much Is Newsmax Spending On PPC?

With all the pundits talking about how much money Barack Obama has raised and spent during the general election campaign, all the hubbub about his decision to opt out of public financing, etc. – I have wondered why so little talk about the right-wing money machine. You know, the organizations (including the Republican National Committee) that pumped untold millions into supporting George W. Bush against Al Gore and John Kerry.

Nobody mentions the little fact that if Obama had accepted public financing, he would have been outspent as badly as Kerry, or worse. That’s because although the candidates have equal public money to spend, social conservatives* and other interests behind the right wing will spend like crazy to keep their friends in power. Campaign finance “reforms,” championed by John McCain and others, didn’t reform the system – they just changed the game.

But we all know that. Right?

If you follow the campaign online, you’ve probably seen about 18 gazillion image ads run by “,” asking questions like “Can Obama Win?” If you click one (I encourage you to do so, for research purposes), there’s a multi-question “poll,” followed by an email opt-in box. If you subscribe, you’ll begin receiving “news” updates via email. The “news” you’ll receive is slanted so far to the right that it makes FOX News look like, well, real news.

These ads have been running throughout the campaign. Any site with election news that carries Adsense or YPN ads is likely to be littered with them.

Is Newsmax’s spending on behalf of the McCain campaign subject to any sort of limits? Of course not – nor should it be – I don’t see how any spending limitation squares with the 1st amendment… but I do wonder how much cash Newsmax and others are pouring into this thing.

Whether you’re a pathetic tool of the vast right wing conspiracy, a pathetic tool of the vast left wing conspiracy, or just an ordinary citizen trying to make the best decision on election day, know this:

John McCain and his supporters are whining about Obama’s decision for one reason only. They’re upset about losing the huge money advantage they’ve had in previous election cycles. They can’t “Swift Boat” their way to victory. I don’t remember any of them complaining about the “unprecedented” money being spent on Bush’s behalf in 2004. The shoe was on the other foot back then.

Democrat or Republican, you can count on politicians to be outraged at the amount of money being spent, when they are at a disadvantage in a given race.

Sorry for the rant.

No, I’m not.

* Are there any fiscal conservatives left in the Republican Party? If so, why? They don’t even try to balance the budget – jeez, the Democrats managed to do that under Clinton. Isn’t it time we had a party of our own?

WordPress WYSIWYG Editor "Nofollow Links" Plug-In

Stompernet member Jim MacKay has come up with a neat little plug-in to allow nofollow on individual links in WordPress posts. In the WYSIWYG editor for posts, it adds a checkbox to the dialog box on the “insert link” button. There are other ways to do this, but Jim’s plug-in looks like a nice time saver for those who frequently link to sites that don’t deserve any link love.

Now that Semiologic is once again stable and great (serious credit to Denis & the new team for an excellent job), I’ll be testing Jim’s plugin a bit. If you try it out, I’d like to hear your comments here as well.