I found this interesting post from “Dr. Pete” at SEOmoz.org discussing his experience rescuing a client’s website from the vastness of Google’s supplemental index. Pete provided a great deal of detail on how he succeeded with his particular client. In this case the client was definitely in a bad state beforehand where even the most basic SEO strategies were not in place. The most basic fixes he implemented consisted of creating unique Titles and Meta Description Tags which in my opinion would definitely reduce supplemental results. Read more…
At the 2007 SES New York, Google’s Shuman Ghosemajumder responds to the question: (abbreviated) “How is it possible for Google to identify click fraud when an aggressor utilizes rotating proxies?”. Shuman responds by discussing the Clickbot A botnet case and how Google deciphered the click fraud in that situation. This video was taken during the “Auditing Paid Listings and Click Fraud Issues” seminar that took place on April 12, 2007.
This video is courtesy of the StepForth SEO Blog. Video taken by Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth SEO Services. Special thanks to Matt McGowan of Incisive Media for allowing StepForth to record this footage.
The following is coverage of the Search Engine Strategies (SES) New York presentation called “Mobile Search Optimization” by Cindy Krum of Blue Moon Works, Gregory Markel, President of Infuse Creative LLC and Rachel Pasqua, Director of Mobile Marketing at iCrossing.
This presentation provided a fascinating glimpse into the young realm of mobile site creation, compliance and optimization. I have a lot of information to work with here so to make this article a little more digestible I have broken it into two parts; one is the site creation and the second is the site optimization. Read more…
Okay, so I said it all in the title. Perhaps you need not even read this article as you may start off not believing it.
Today I read an article written by an unknown name in the SEO industry (at least unknown to me). It had a number of points focused on improving search rankings and provided a bunch of tips on how to improve the overall standings for a site. Sounds like a useful article, and for many who read it, I am sure it was – or at least seemed that way. Read more…
Transferring traffic and popularity to a new domain is a painstaking process that no one on the web appears to be immune to, or so Topix.net has realized. Topix.net is a leading news aggregation resource that has been in the news lately because they are planning to move their site from Topix.net to Topix.com after purchasing the .com for a cool million from a Canadian animation company.
The Wall Street Journal wrote this article explaining how damaging a seemingly simple process of switching from .net to .com could be for Topix LLC. The author goes on to explain such a switch is usually fraught with ranking drops while the major search engines notice and respond to the changeover. The fact that switching addresses will cause problems is not news in the SEO world; however, I thought Topix.net’s situation was a great opportunity to review what one might expect when switching domains. Read more…
After publishing last week’s article on “Yahoo Panama – Pros and Cons” I have had a few readers contact me with notable “Cons” they have experienced with the recent upgrade process. While I know I had not covered all possible negatives to Panama in my article, these items are certainly worth adding to the list.
Keyword specific URL’s
Michael wrote noting that you can’t easily manage unique URL’s per keyword. This is absolutely correct. While the ability to specify a unique URL on a per keyword basis does exist, it would be quite a hassle to apply this to any large campaign.
Google has a very straight forward system for unique URL’s. You can bring up a list of all the keywords along with a nice simple field to enter the URL’s, hit submit, and they are all done. With Yahoo, you must do this on a one-at-a-time type routine.
To have unique URL’s per keyword in Yahoo here are the steps you will need to take (starting from your “Dashboard”):
- Click on the Campaign Name
- Click on the AdGroup
- Click on the specific keyword
- This will bring you to a page with specific stats on that keyword including a chart. At this step, click the edit link near the top of the page beside “Custom URL”
- In the pop up window enter the URL for the keyword and click submit.
After these steps have been entered, you will have to wait for an editorial review before the new URL will be put to use.
While the feature is available, the process is very cumbersome. This is certainly a ‘Con’ that needs to be added to the list. Perhaps the ‘con’ should be changed to include all the changes that require far more steps than are really necessary, after all, there are quite a few of them. This seems to be a common issue with much of Yahoo Panama and I anticipate these types of things will be much more streamlined in the future.
Brand Awareness Just Got More Expensive
The following comment was posted to our blog by ‘Paul’:
“On the CON list, you overlooked the adverse affect to brand advertisers who want to promote something unrelated to the search to create some buzz, awareness, or association with their brand (i.e. Jeep bidding on terms like “beetle” or “bug” to coincide with their ad campaign). The quality score, while beneficial to most, means those advertisers have to spend more to appear prominently where their ad is not relevant.”
I have to say I both agree and disagree with this. First, yes, this is certainly a big ‘con’ for any advertiser that fits into this category, no question about it. This has also been a reality for AdWords advertisers for some time now, and it makes sense that Yahoo would follow suit. If you want to bid on seemingly irrelevant phrases and have your ad appear, things just got much, much, more expensive for you. That said this is also a ‘pro’ in terms of relevant topical advertisements.
By having irrelevant ads essentially cost more, it can have the reverse impact on relevant ads. By driving irrelevant ads lower in the results, it will in a sense create less competition for relevant ads making the top ranking spots less expensive. Under the new algorithm Volkswagen could secure the rank for “beetle” at a lower cost than Jeep, and would have the potential to outrank Jeep regardless of bid strictly due to relevance.
From the perspective of advertisers trying to build awareness by bidding on popular, yet irrelevant terms, this is certainly a ‘con’, but from the perspective of the majority of advertisers, I would have to slide this over to the ‘pro’ category.
Note: I also want to say that for these purposes “irrelevant” refers to a key phrase not directly related to the destination URL. I do understand that while on the surface, a phrase may appear irrelevant, however, when considering target demographics, may make considerable sense.
Yahoo Not Prepared for the Upgrading of Very Large Accounts
I had an interesting letter from a Yahoo advertiser who had very big problems with the new Yahoo Upgrade.
With an annual advertising budget on Yahoo of between $150,000 and $250,000, he found the upgrade to be a complete nightmare.
Under the old system he was running hundreds of ads using thousands of keywords. Many of the keywords were geographic in nature very specific to the ad copy and categories being used. After the upgrade was complete, the account was a complete and total disaster. “Thousands of keywords and ads had been jumbled into completely nonsensical categories, all created by Yahoo.”
Not only were the keywords moved into inappropriate groups, but much of his ad language had also been altered. He estimated that this colossal rat’s nest it would take upwards of 80 hours to correct. As a result he did what any level headed advertiser would do, and called Yahoo.
While Yahoo certainly felt sorry for him and could sympathize, they did nothing to help solve the problem. Yahoo simply suggested that he do all the footwork himself to bring things back in order. For an advertiser with a monthly spend in excess of $15,000, he felt this was plenty of money for Yahoo to assign someone to sort this out for him. I for one agree completely.
After he started the process of re-organizing from scratch, ads which were previously approved were suddenly being disapproved. He called Yahoo again. After being passed off from one agent to another finally he reached someone who told him the ads were in fact running (which they were not), and that no one could tell him what the problem was other than it being a “computer glitch.”
Ultimately, to make a long story short, Yahoo has lost one good and high spending advertiser.
Panama Browser and Validation Issues
Susan wrote in with a few ‘cons’ that may cause smaller scale problems for some advertisers, but problems never the less.
The first is with browser compatibility. Now I don’t use any of these so I will have to take her word for it, but apparently Panama has some functionality issues when accessed using Safari, some older browsers, and is not at all compatible with Mac classic browsers.
She also noted that some of the problems with Panama and access via older browsers is due to the html itself. A W3C Validation check of the new sign in page shows items that are a miss, the most obvious being a lack of declaration of the doctype. While this is an issue common with an incredible number of websites out there, I am surprised to see it with a company such as Yahoo.
After signing on and noticing errors, Susan went on to check her browser error logs and found the following:
HTML error (5/16): The DOCTYPE declaration is missing.
HTML error (231/12): Illegal character ³/² in tag.
HTML error (237/25): Illegal character ³/² in tag.
HTML error (243/146): Illegal character ³/² in tag.
HTML error (249/73): Illegal character ³/² in tag.
HTML error (323/11): Illegal character ³/² in tag.
HTML error (345/15): Illegal character ³/² in tag.
HTML error (352/16): Illegal character ³/² in tag.
CSS Error (49/135): Unknown CSS property ³zoom².
CSS Error (79/77): Unknown CSS property ³zoom².
CSS Error (105/9): Unknown CSS property ³opacity².
CSS Error (114/9): Unknown CSS property ³opacity².
The server’s certificate chain is incomplete and the signers are not registered
“The certificate on the server has expired”
A script on this page failed to execute. This may keep this page from functioning properly.Statement on line 11632: Expression did not evaluate to a function object:0.addevevtlistner
Now I have to be honest – this goes beyond my level of expertise, however, it is still surprising to me for a site with such a large budget, name, and many months of testing. I would personally expect issues such as these to have been dealt with prior to launch. Perhaps solving these items will allow a wider array of browsers to function properly with Panama.
I am very curious to hear more comments on the new Yahoo Panama. Not only would I love to hear specific ‘cons’, I would also like to hear the ‘pros’. While I do not argue that this new system is certainly with its flaws, I see it overall, as being a positive step. What are your opinions? Please email them to me at email@example.com. I would love to write another article on the many positive experiences encountered by our readers; after all, there are two sides to every story.
Yahoo has revamped its paid inclusion program and it appears to be the forefront of a push to revitalize this archaic submission format. More on the history of paid inclusion and my opinion later, for now let us review the changes.
What Does it Cost to Submit to Yahoo?
The price to submit a URL is $49 which guarantees (for sites that are accepted):
- Addition to a database of sites “that powers algorithmic search results for Yahoo! and other major web portals such as AltaVista and AlltheWeb.”
- URLs are refreshed (essentially re-indexed) on a 7 business day rotation.
- Access to a new personalized reporting centre that provides:
- top 10 click through information itemized by the keyword clicked (see sample here)
- trend charting which provides a visual reference for ups and downs in traffic
- best practices SEO information Read more…
Complete Question: “How about duplicate content for resellers where the manufacturer or producer of a product describes a product with technical details and so on. Do I have to rewrite text, create my own descriptions? Or is Google able to recognize that i have to use the original text from the manufacturer and not to punish me?”
Answer: Google has a powerful algorithm that may be able to determine “right” or “wrong” duplicate content. That said, I would not rely on it. In this scenario I would rewrite the product descriptions wherever possible and improve the optimization of each description while I was at it. After all, many default descriptions are boring and less than ideal for rankings anyway.
But allow me to remind you of one thing… If you are talking about a shopping cart system where you have thousands of widgets and they all appear using similar text then DO NOT be overly concerned about this duplicate content; it is not a threat to your rankings. Yes it is usually ideal to have unique content but in this case just concern yourself with balancing this duplicate content with added value within the rest of the site. You can do this by adding unique pages dedicated to each widget. These pages can be created whatever unique content you want (diagrams, specs, reviews, etc.) but they ultimately serve to introduce a particular widget to users (and search engines) while providing direct links to the appropriate section of the cart.
Answer: Excellent question. The fact is there are a few ways to ensure you are chosen as the primary content provider. The best option is to require that all who syndicate your content provides a inline text link directly to your original posting of the article. For example they would say something like this at the end of the article included in a link: “SEO Answers #15 by Ross Dunn”. This way everyone who repost’s your article is sourcing your content as the original.
If you do not source the original release in this manner the website who publishes your article and gets the most attention for it (via links or publicity measurable by Google) will have a better chance of being chosen as the original content provider.
In conclusion, unless you strictly enforce your ownership to the article you may not get the final credit when Google is forced to guess who published it first.
For more info here is an article on article syndication content duplication I recently wrote.
This SEO answer is a follow-up to a common question I received from my recent article “The Most Common Reason for Dropped Rankings: Duplication“.
To be as clear as possible with my answer I am going to break it down into two sections: one for those who syndicate their own content and the other for those who publish syndicated content.
Please keep in mind, however, duplicate content is not an exact science or anything close to that. As I wrote this article, I often imagined exceptions where a penalty would or would not take place. That said the following answers are based on what my experience dictates to be the most common scenarios. Read more…