A screenshot from a live video feed of Matt Cutts answer Google questionsThe head of Google’s webspam prevention team, Matt Cutts was kind enough to conduct an impromptu 45 minute live Google questions and answers video chat on YouTube in September which I decided was so chalk full of content it would make a great article; it just took me a lot longer than I had expected to get done! Anyway, I tie it up with a fun ode to a future Movember Matt.

Also you can listen to some discussion on this Q&A on the Oct 3 2011 episode of SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM which I co-host with fellow SEO veteran John Carcutt; you can find the show on iTunes here.

The Prelude to the Google Q&A

Before he did the Q&A Matt wanted to cover a few points which I outline below along with direct links to the most pertinent section of the video where he explains each point; so you can hear it in his own words (and I don’t have to write them all down). After these points you will find his Q&A where my short-hand should give you the answers you need; if not you always have the video!

Pagination: Matt mentions the use of rel=next and rel=previous to aid in the improved indexation of paginated pages. This is not a light topic so he understandably does not get into great detail but watch Matt’s short explanation on pagination here.

Reconsideration Requests: Matt discusses an article by Tiffany Oberoi and Michael Wyszomierski from the Google Search Quality Team called “Reconsideration requests get more transparent“. As the title aptly describes the Google will now be much more open about whether your site has been penalized or not should you submit a reconsideration request. Here is Matt’s description of the changes to reconsideration in his own words.

Requests for Crazy Ideas: if you have “crazy ideas” for how to search which Google has not done they invite you to add your ideas on Matt’s blog where he posted a request for those ideas recently: What cool new websearch ideas should Google launch in 2012? 


Matt Cutts Answers Google Questions

NOTE: each of the linked titles below will take you directly to the relevant segment of the video – in case you want to hear it from Matt directly. Otherwise I have done my best to paraphrase his answers; a shorter version of the actual transcription. Read more…

Yesterday Google formally announced it is acquiring Motorola for $12.5 billion dollars in an effort to stem off intellectual property lawsuits from companies such as Apple, Oracle and Microsoft; here is the official investor’s notice to Google owners and here is the live blogging record from the press conference. The rest of this post will examine some of the benefits of this acquisition through related links and other external information. In a way, what you will see is my own research on this interesting move on Google’s part; I hope you find it informative.

Here is an snippet from the official investor’s notice which outlines very basically the reason for the purchase:

The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.

To get to the meat of this purchase, however, we need to consider the following snippets from the Wall Street Journal’s article on this acquisition:

Android is an example of open-source software that is designed to allow outside engineers to tinker with the way it works. While that makes Android highly customizable—companies using the software can optimize it for their devices—it also has left the operating system vulnerable to intellectual-property lawsuits.

Motorola’s patents will help Google address that weakness, which already has prompted a lawsuit by database giant Oracle Corp. Motorola, of Libertyville, Ill., holds or has applied for a total of 24,500 patents.

A version of the Motorola and Google logos in the same image

As noted above this purchase will strengthen Google’s position as a patent holder in the mobile space and hopefully thwart or minimize the legal actions against Motorola. That said, what kind of patents are of interest that would provoke such a major leap? I have little or no experience with patents (unlike search engine patent expert Bill Slawski) but it appears the following would stand out as welcome additions to the Google portfolio: Read more…

It recently came to my attention that LinkedIn has a setting activated by default allowing it to “use my name, photo in social advertising.” Below is a screenshot of this setting in my LinkedIn profile.

A screenshot of Ross Dunn's LinkedIn settings showing the default setting which allows LinkedIn to use my name and photo in social advertising

First, I should state I understand this is a means of increasing social engagement and connection-making within LinkedIn. What I find problematic is LinkedIn’s flagrant disregard for our privacy by making such a setting default. If you feel the same way, here are the steps to disable this feature in your LinkedIn account, provided in graphical form:

LinkedIn Privacy Step 1: Under your name in the top right of your account click on “Settings” Read more…

The logo for the Victoria Web Marketing MeetupIn the latest Victoria Web Marketing Meetup we chose to do a night featuring live reviews of websites owned by attendees. The idea was to answer any pressing questions for at least 3 site owners while educating (or refreshing) the rest of the Meetup crowd. It was a lot of fun and although we had fully planned for a break half way through the 2 hour session the questions just kept coming and I decided to keep up the momentum… I would like to think attendees got a lot out of it. Anyway, below are a few of the issues I noted on the reviewed sites along with some answers provided for anyone who missed the evening or wants access to the URLs mentioned. I hope you find it useful.

1. How to optimize your website for local search

In this situation the website provided a local service but did not have its address located in the footer of each page on the site. I strongly recommended updating the footer to include the name address and phone number (AKA N.A.P) for the company because it would increase the odds the site would appear in local search results on Google. I also stressed the importance of using the same formatting for the address everywhere on the site and the Internet to maximize the likelihood Google & Bing would give them credit for their address. Read more…

An image of the Google +1 button The following is a quick heads up to any designers out there who like me may wish to protect what little hair they have left from being pulled out. It turns out the Google +1 (aka “PlusOne”) button conflicts with the Javascript onMouseMove(event). This is not my cup of tea but I know our in-house programmer has a headache from this and there is a handy thread at Google for interested parties to follow who may be facing the same issue. I know John Mueller has received notice of the issue so hopefully there will be a fix soon.

To quote “Fine Art America” who started the support thread at Google Webmaster Central, this is the issue: Read more…

Learn how to create a list of links that are benefiting your competitors so you can obtain them as well. This competitor analysis tutorial focuses on the incoming links portion of offsite SEO competitor analysis. Taught by search engine optimization (SEO) industry veteran Ross Dunn (of WebmasterRadio.FM’s SEO 101 Radio Show) this tutorial will provide you with the tools and tactics you need to improve your competitiveness in search engine rankings.

Elements of this analysis include: how to find your competitors backlinks, how to determine why your competitor is succeeding online (from an offsite perspective), how to check if your competitor is spamming Google, how to beat whois privacy protection (legally), how to conduct a link popularity analysis, and much more.
Read more…

It is not often I jump on our blog and tell people to read another blog but this is a worthwhile exception! Ekatarina Walter, a social media strategist at Intel, An image of a thumbs up and thumbs down relating to Facebook's "liking" process.wrote an article for Mashable (an amazing blog if you don’t know of it already) discussing the top 10 tips for posting on your Brand’s Facebook page. If you have any interest in using Facebook for your company or you are using it but you feel a bit in the dark (most of us do) then you really need to read this! The 10 Tips for Posting on Your Brand’s Facebook Page

On a side note, I don’t post links on the blog like this very often but I do share great articles I find online all of the time using my StumbleUpon account (a WIDE range of articles) and my Twitter account (@RossDunn) where I link to more web marketing related content.

a picture of a man making the shape of the letter L with his hand for "Loser" and the rest of the picture says "Comment Spam"

Every day simpletons who think they are very clever visit our web site marketing blog and post completely useless, and often amusing comments. Their goal is to get links back to their website (or their clients) by making the post look personalized and legitimate. Sadly, they are almost always painfully daft, nonsensical, grammatically retarded posts. What is even worse is if they had half a clue they would have discovered our blog comment area blocks all outgoing links; thus they are wasting their time to start with. Anyway, over the past year I thought it would be fun to collect some of the best postings before I nuked them from our database and here is a selection of the 10 best.

WARNING: Reading this article may cause impairment of mental ability!

StepForth’s “Top 10 Most Rediculous Spam Comments Received” may be associated with fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or blurred vision. Please exercise caution or avoid operating machinery, including automobiles, following the visual digestion of this article.
>> Minor List of Side Effects

# 1. I wish I remembered which article this was sourced from. Whatever it was, it clearly had relevance.

“Blog looks really good mate, keep it up! I keep shedding the pounds thanks to information like this and my studies on resveratrol.”

Read more…

I got your attention with that title didn’t I!? No, it isn’t actually a book I wrote… I wish! That said, it is a great book I just bought from Marketing Sherpa and I am really looking forward to reading it.

The Marketing Sherpa LogoAlthough I have been practicing web marketing for 14 years I have absolutely no illusions that I know everything (far from it). As a result, I read content from my web marketing peers as often as I can and I try to pick up Marketing Sherpa handbooks and guides occasionally to see what marketing strategies I may be missing; Marketing Sherpa truly rocks!

An image of the 2011 B2B Marketing Advanced Practices HandbookIt is on that note I thought I would share this great deal on the 2011 B2B Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook by Marketing Sherpa (a mouthful indeed!). The book will be released on March 1st but it is available right now for preorder at a significant $100 discount (down to $247 in digital format) which I couldn’t ignore. So, if you are like me and like to keep up on the best of the best techniques check it out!

Full disclosure: I am trying to cut my costs even more by advertising this with my affiliate code but can you blame me!?

Keep in mind they guarantee your satisfaction for this purchase 100% and I can’t imagine you not being happy with it – I have never returned one!

Here is what the 2011 B2B Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook by Marketing Sherpa includes: Read more…

If you have any connection to the online marketing space then you know MySpace has been on the way out for a couple of years now. Well, apparently the situation is far worse than popularly known! The following graphic is from the Silicon Alley Insider shows how the once mighty Facebook competitor has crumbled:

A chart showing the dramatic decline of MySpace visitors over the past 12 months.

The Rise and Fall of MySpace in the News

The Original MySpace LogoHere is a list of articles depicting MySpace’s rise as the sweetheart of social media to where it is now; it actually starts in 2003 but I thought some peeks at the former MySpace occupants starting in 1997 would be good for a smile or two. I have to say this social property has sure had its ups and downs!

1997 (yes, really!)

January 17th, 2007: Courtesy of Web.Archive.org, here is possibly the original owner of MySpace.com… sexy site!! 😉


May 10th, 2000: The online storage company, MySpace.com


June 7th, 2001: “In Web Storage World, No Space at Myspace

ON Sunday at 8 p.m., Myspace .com disappeared. Typing in its Web address yields only an error message.

Since more and more commercial Web sites have the life span of fruit flies, that would not usually be news. But when Myspace.com, an online storage locker, bolted its virtual doors, it also deleted an untold number of files stashed there free by its registered users, which the company says numbered 7.5 million as of last week. (read on)


August 31, 2003: The MySpace phenomenon began… this is the earliest image of the MySpace launch.


July 19th, 2005: “News Corp.’s Place in MySpace

In less than two years, MySpace has emerged as one of the hottest sites on the Web. It has more page views than Google (GOOG ). And with 22 million members, and a growth rate of 2 million a month, it stands to rival MSN (MSFT ), Yahoo! (YHOO ) and AOL (TWX ) as one of the major destinations on the Web.

Read more…