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Thursday, December 18th, 2003

Europe – Pay Direct w/Yahoo

Lots of folks send money home at Christmas and Yahoo has introduced a service for people with friends or family in Europe. Pay-Direct International allows people to withdraw a specified amount of cash from one the 800,000 (or so) Cirrus ATM machines networked around the world. The service is available in English at www.paydirect.yahoo.com or Spanish through www.espanol.yahoo.com.

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Thursday, December 18th, 2003

Follow Fed-Ex on Google

As far as an easy to use tool goes, Google has just given itself and the massive courier firm Fed-Ex a wonderful Christmas present with the introduction of Fed-Ex package tracking features from Google’s front page. Within two easy clicks, we were able to trace a CD-Rom being shipped to us from a client in Iowa. The same trace on the actual Fed-Ex site took four steps, cutting a significant amount time.

Try it yourself. If you have a package currently in transit through FED-Ex, go to Google and type “fedex (and your tracking number)” into the keyword window. The results are extraordinary and fast.

The Christmas/New Year holiday season is a great time to break bad habits picked up over the years. One habit I will be trying to shake this season is the habit of defaulting to Google each time I do a search. For me, it is a terrible but very real habit to automatically move to the address bar and type www.google.com when I need instant information. With the growing number of off-base results we’ve seen at Google over the past few months, I constantly wonder why I fall creature to such a habit, especially as I know there are better options out there. Read more…

Well, there is still alot of movement with Google right now. I am not sure if it is going to be positive or negative but the movement is real. Many in the SEO forums are talking about “the other shoe syndrome”, a rather fatalist outlook for a bunch of optimizers.

Again, this looks more like an experiment than a full algo shift. Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks.

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Monday, December 8th, 2003

Google Bouncing Back

Reports from WebMasterWorld have Google starting to show sites that had been hurt by the Florida Update. While we have not seen any major changes, we’ve only been at our desks for about an hour this week (pacific coast time). Will update frequently on this one.

Happy Monday. It rained all weekend. Today it is sunny. see below.

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Monday, December 8th, 2003

Monday – It's Sunny

Looks like Google took over the weather bureau as well. Too much power…

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Thursday, December 4th, 2003

Amazing Analysis, too bad it's bunk

I just heard the silliest thing. Ross the Boss is IM’ing with one of his oldest and most trusted contacts. The contact tells Ross the Boss that another SEO is claiming that use of ALT Tags and anything other than H1 and H4 tags will get you burned at the “new” Google. Read more…

Whether you are achieving top placements across the engines for all your main keywords, or are having trouble cracking the top 30, tapping into traffic generated by misspellings can sometimes be a valuable addition to your search engine marketing and paid placement campaigns. Read more…

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003

AOL Aims at Spyware

AOL is taking aim at one of the underbelly areas of the Internet, SPYWARE. Also known as scumware, spyware is often unknowingly downloaded piggybacking on other pieces of software such as file sharing software, Kazaa. Machines infected with Spyware transmit their every move to the maker of the spyware which often uses the information to serve pop-up advertising based on the topic being looked at. Bundled in AOL’s new “9.0 Optimized” package is a feature that will allow users to identify and eliminate advertising and other forms of spyware. This indicates a growing awareness among computer users and programmers who are demanding to be free from an unscrupulous industry that according to industry watchers has grown by 13% over the past 12 months.

The impact of Google’s Florida Update has not been fully realized yet but, with reports from some of our clients who have been hurt, the damage will be extensive. Literally hundreds of thousands of websites have seemingly disappeared from Google’s listings, most of whom enjoyed a Top10 placement before the massive update which started on November 16th. Like most retailers, ecommerce sites that have faded from the listings needed a good Christmas season to remain viable into the next year and many of them staked their sales plans on a their previously strong placements at Google. The fallout will be noticeable, particularly among small businesses who’s advertising options were limited by small business budgets. Small businesses, however, will not be the only companies facing an uncertain future because of the Florida Update. When the SEO community starts receiving calls from the mainstream media and people who are not clients, asking what is wrong with Google; one knows that Google itself has a problem that goes far beyond their data centers. As one of the pioneers of the web, Lee Roberts of The Web Doctor points out, “It was word-of-mouth that generated their popularity because people could find what they were looking for. Now, we only find sites with less quality content and less sites that offer what we want.” Read more…

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