Relevance, Discoverability, and Crawlability

I hate to blog about bloggers blogging about blogging… but sometimes someone does write something in that "BBAB" line that’s worth mentionining. For example, Vanessa Fox…. with an excellent 4-post series that takes you above the SEO fray, to consider relevance, discoverability, and crawlability. Most of the specific examples are going to have more relevance to bloggers than others – it was written for bloggers. After years of screaming in the woods about relevance, it’s nice to see someone who gets it, or at least sort of does.

Google Proxy Hacking: How A Third Party Can Remove Your Site From Google SERPs

In June of 2006, while working to resolve some indexing issues for a client, I discovered a bug in Google’s algorithm that allowed 3rd parties to literally hack a web page out of Google’s index and search results. I notified a contact at Google soon after, once I managed to confirm that what we thought we were seeing was really happening.

The problem still exists today, so I am making this public in the hope that it will spur some action.

I have sat on this information for more than a year now. A good friend has allowed his reputation to suffer, rather than disclose what we knew. I continue to see web sites that are affected by this issue. After giving Google more than a year to resolve the issue, I have decided that the only way to spur them to action is to publish what I know.

Disclaimer: What you’re about to read is as accurate as it can be, given the fact that I do not work at Google, and have no access to inside information. It’s also potentially disruptive to the organic results at Google, until they fix the problem. I hope that publishing this information is for the greater good, but I can’t control what others do with it, or how Google responds.

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Clearing The Air On "The Long Tail?"

In a post last week, I discussed a certain Internet Marketer’s use of "straw man" arguments to debunk the "myth" of the long tail. Well, we have a bit more clarity this week.Since they apparently didn’t get my emails about this last week, you can imagine my surprise when they thought enough of li’l old me, to fire back with a new video.

Now in this video, while ignoring most of what I said last week (controversy sells!), Nancy is kind enough to clear up what she means when she talks about long tail keyword strategy. The straw man looks pretty much like I thought it did – the strategy that Nancy is debunking goes something like this:

  1. Identify thousands of search terms that generate as little targeted traffic as possible
  2. Build thousands of web pages to "target" these low-volume search terms

Nancy says that this kind of strategy is really dumb, and a terrible waste of time. Well, once again, I just have to say: "DUH!" Who in the world would tell you to go and do something like that? What kind of crazy "strategy" is that?? I mean, you’d have to be a complete…

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Ch-Ch-Changes… For The Better?

Our Community Is Strong!

SEO Fast Start 2007 has been out for 2 full months now… and our community has grown a lot. These are exciting times for me… but I still look at the portal, and the new subscriber numbers, and say… "is that the best we can do?" And the answer is clear – we can do a lot better. We can grow a lot faster. But I need to do my part.

SEOFS 1.0: A Good Experiment – With Conclusive Results

The diagram below represents what I call "version 1.0" of the SEO Fast Start web site.

 seofs1snap.png

As you can see, the "home page" of the SEOFastStart.com domain has been a short "sales letter" to promote opt-in registration to receive SEO Fast Start. Those who opt in get access to SEO Fast Start and subscriber bonuses through my newsletter.

Even with testing & tweaking, the response rate on that page hasn’t been great. The support portal hasn’t remained a "members only" area, because I don’t want to put up a login wall, and people are linking in. Hey, it’s the web, that’s what we do!

This is, to be honest, about what I expected… but it’s important to me to get people registered so they can get updates. While the core strategies of SEO don’t really change much over time, a lot of important tactical details really do move at a faster pace, and those who aren’t well informed often make major mistakes.

The Definition Of Insanity: "Continuing to do the same thing, while expecting different results."

 I want to get different (better) results, so I need to make some changes… and here’s the plan for version 2.0:

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WordPress Plugins & Tutorials – Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine is a great blog – so many places I could link to there, it’s not even funny. But as a recent convert to WordPress, the most important destination for me the past month or so has been this post, where they just opened it up for everyone to post the best and most useful plugins and tutorials for WordPress. Don’t just read the list in the post, check out the comments. I found a whole bunch of useful stuff.

Keyword Strategy: "Long Tail" Myth & Reality

Is The Long Tail A Myth?

I get a lot of email from internet marketers… it’s a job-related hazard. As a result, I get a lot of email "newsletters" that are nothing more than one offer after another. One sales pitch after another. So much hype, so much junk… but every now and then someone sends me something that at least makes me think a bit.

Internet Marketer Mike Long (who I suppose I can’t really call a friend since he doesn’t return my calls any more) sent me a short video clip containing an interview with an acquaintance of ours from Stompernet. In the video, our friend "debunks" the idea of the Long Tail, by embracing some common misconceptions about the whole thing. For example, she refers to Chris Anderson’s book as being about search… which it’s not.

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Google "Hides" The Supplemental Index

We knew it was coming. Rumors have been flying for weeks… and here it is:

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2007/07/supplemental-goes-mainstream.html

Google has decided to stop showing the "Supplemental Result" label on search results… because the SI is changing to the point where it’s no longer useful or relevant to label search results.

For now, the hack that SEOFS member Mike Belasco posted last week still works – do a site: search on Google like this:
site:www.domain.com/&
Just add slash/ampersand and, voila, there are your supplemental pages – without the label of course.