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Friday, August 10th, 2007

Recommended Reading this Friday

Here are a few articles I came across today that I felt would add some richness to your Friday:

  • Interview with Google’s Sep Kamvar, Lead Software Engineer for Personalization
    Are you curious how Google’s drive toward personalization might affect your privacy or the quality of search results? This short interview might answer some questions you have.
    >> thanks for the tip from the blog “Geeking With Greg
  • doMobi: Growth in the .mobi mobile web is undisputed in this post. Skip to the bottom if you just want that facts ma’am.Huge kudos to James Pearce and the gang; I am a big fan of the .mobi concept and frankly the great support and awareness the .mobi squad brings to the mobile revolution.
  • Matt Cutts published a blog posting with Whitehat SEO Tips for Bloggers. I haven’t read it all yet but by nature these posts are often interesting.
  • Listen Up (Why your customer’s native tongue matters)“: Marketer Drew McLellan explains that for sales content to be effective you need to make sure your content is written in a fashion similar to how your customers speak.

All the best and I hope you all have a great weekend wherever you are. – Ross Dunn

This week the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog announced an addition to Google’s spam reporting form for people to report sites that appear to be buying paid links in order to influence search engine rankings. This addition ties in with Matt Cutt’s none-too-subtle warning at a recent SMX Advanced interview with Danny Sullivan. Matt essentially reinforced to the audience that buying links is against Google’s guidelines and that those who are buying links may feel the heat soon as Google tries to patch this chink in its armor (see the video below).

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Kinderstart, Google Update

Tuesday, Matt Cutts posted a status update for the KinderStart / Google lawsuit filed by KinderStart more than a year ago. The judge in the KinderStart cases granted Google’s motion to dismiss without leave to amend.

“The instant case has been intensively litigated for more than eleven months. Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that there is no reasonable likelihood that KinderStart will cure the defects in the SAC [second amended complaint] by further amendment. Accordingly, the motion to dismiss will be granted without leave to amend.”

The judge ruled that KinderStart will be responsible for some of Google’s legal fees, a practice common with frivolous lawsuits.

Last year KinderStart accused Google of “downgrading” its search-ranking without reason or warning.

Google engineer Matt Cutts wrote an extensive post describing Google’s response to a website that had undoubtedly been hacked. If you are at all curious as to what would happen to your website rankings on Google should it be hacked please read this post – it is an excellent read and comforting in my book. Read more…

In a recent interview with Matt Cutts (a popular software engineer from Google that handles Spam) on WebmasterRadio Matt noted that Google has run across a few sites that had been hacked and in a manner that wasn’t immediately apparent to the site owners. Jim Hedger wrote an article which summed up the entire interview and I highly recommend the read. For the purposes of this posting, however, I want to focus on how to determine whether your site has been hacked. Read more…

Where better to get SEO tips than Google Engineer Matt Cutts? Matt’s blog is certainly no secret in the world of SEO but he is starting to offer his sage advice using a method that offers a refreshing break from reading blog postings; video. Last week Matt posted some answers to common SEO questions using Google Video. Check out Matt’s blog posting where he offers tips on:

The videos are Matt’s ‘beta’ launch of this form of update but I think he did a pretty decent job for the first time out. I hope you enjoy them. I urge you to leave a comment on his post – he is positively itching for feedback I am sure. :-)

PS. I was practically pressing “POST” on this blog when I noticed that Matt had, just 30 minutes ago posted another set of live SEO answers. Enjoy!

Well I promised to keep you up to date on whether the Google code that was stumbled upon was real or not. Matt Cutts (a senior Google engineer) has confirmed that this was real and that “steps have been taken” to ensure this kind of information does not reappear.

Here is a permalink to Matt’s blog entry that discusses this:

And just in case you feel like a trip down memory lane, here is the blog post that started this:

Sometime around January or February, a number of webmasters began to notice that Google had somehow “lost” huge portions of their websites. Reference to their sites, generally to the index pages and a seemingly random selection of internal pages existed in Google listings but pages that once drove sizable amounts of traffic appeared to vanish into the ether. As February rolled into March, more reports were posted to blogs and forums by frustrated webmasters who started to notice the number of pages from their sites had declined, significantly, in Google’s index. Read more…

Earlier today, Threadwatch posted reference to a note from “The People’s Cube“, noting that the anti-marxist parody site has been delisted from the Google Index.

The open letter starts with the salutation, “Dear comrades at Google”, a signal it was written by a card-carrying member of the tin-foil hat brigade, and goes on to suggest Google purposefully purged the site due to its criticism of Google’s cooperation with Chinese Government censors. Read more…

Something interesting is happening at the Googleplex. Just a week after publicly slapping BMW for using cloaking and doorway techniques, Google has confirmed a much larger penalty it applied in 2004 against what was once one of the largest SEO firms in the world, Traffic Power. When an SEO firm gets its own site banned from Google it is somewhat interesting but not terribly newsworthy. It becomes an enormous story when that firm’s client list is banned from the index.

About eighteen months ago, Google assigned a penalty against Las Vegas based Traffic Power setting off a chain of events that continue to affect the SEO community to this day. Read more…