Sweden joins Second Life

Now this is really cool. According to Yahoo News, Sweden plans to open an embassy in the virtual world of Second Life. For those of you who are not familiar with it Second Life has more than 3 million "inhabitants". We first blogged about Second Life in December after SES in Chicago. The success of this VR world is an incredibly important development on the web. It proves that people will embrace Virtual Reality, even in relatively simple forms. Wait until VR worlds become truly immersive. Second ... Read More >

Dennis Mortensen on Analytics and Click Fraud

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis Mortensen of IndexTools. IndexTools is an analytics vendor based in Hungary. We are currently evaluating their tool as part of a study we are doing comparing 6 different analytics packages. Dennis has been heavily involved in the analytics business since 1996. Back then the model was one of manually analyzing log file data and manually reporting findings to clients. It's a funny thing, really. Given how far the analytics business has come, not much ... Read More >

Are you below the radar?

Are you underneath the radar? Do you plan to stay there? This is a really good question to ask when you are thinking about your SEO strategy. Let me talk a little bit about why. I was talking to a friend of mine earlier today. He is doing the webmaster work for a local day care center on a volunteer basis. This friend is pretty SEO aware, so it stunned him when he saw that one of his day care center's competitors was using a massive amount of hidden text on their site. Not through any fancy CSS ... Read More >

Increase the number of pages Yahoo indexes on your site

Recently we had the chance to speak with Tim Mayer about Yahoo's Search Builder product. Search Builder is the vertical search engine offering from Yahoo, that competes with products such as Google Custom Search Engines, Live Search Macros, and Eurekster. In the discussion, Tim reveals that sites that use Search Builder on their site may well increase the number of pages on their site that get indexed by Yahoo. It amazes me that there has not been more play regarding this point. It seems to me that I ... Read More >

High Quality Relevant Links and the Trust Box

I have seen two great posts about link building in the past few days. One of these is by Jim Boykin on the limitations of link bait, and the other is by Eric Ward at the Search Engine Land blog about the "Circle of Trust". Jim focuses on the importance of getting high quality links from relevant authority sites. Doing this takes more than sending out a link request email. It involves what my generation used to call "business development". You build relationships first, and the links come later. You ... Read More >

Yahoo Not Showing Site Titles as Search Result Titles

Over at Webmasterworld, they are discussing a situation where Yahoo is not always using the a web page's title tag as the title it shows in it's search results. Barry Schwartz also provides some good data on this situation at Search Engine Land. It's quite easy to spot. Once you do a search, if you see a result that is all in lower case, it's likely that you have found an example. Here is the page that Yahoo shows when you search on "Custom Search Engines" As you can see the 2nd and 3rd results ... Read More >

Domain Age and Rankings

Barry Schwartz picked up on a thread over at WebMasterWorld. The thread was started by Brett Tabke, and discusses the affect of domain age on search engine rankings. In it Brett suggests that it's a top 5 or top 10 factor in rankings. That's lofty territory! However, I can confirm from my own experience that domain age is a major factor. I know of sites that seem to be absolutely squatting in the number 1 position on major search term results when the links and content they have just don't seem to ... Read More >

Interview with Urchin Founder, Brett Crosby

We recently had the opportunity to talk analytics with Google's Brett Crosby. Brett was one of the founders or Urchin, the company Google acquired, and whose software they rebranded as Google Analytics. Brett emphasized that Google's approach to analytics is to focus on easy deployment and ease of use, with an analytics package that meets the needs of many webmasters. In addition, being part of Google provides Google Analytics with a high level of scalability. This is the first of a series of ... Read More >

Basic Tip for Getting High Value Links

Here is a nice post from Jennifer Laycock about Link Building as Relationship Building. Jennifer uses a personal experience as an example. The example features a woman who contacted her and built a relationship before asking for anything. This is right on the money. Here is a simple summary of the process: Focus on high value links Build a relationship first Let the link flow from the relationship Basically, this is about focusing on the relationships that mean the most to your business, and ... Read More >

Page Rank Update Underway

Matt Cutts has confirmed that there is a Google Page Rank update underway. In addition, data returned by site:, link:, and info: commands are being updated as well. As always, please bear in mind that Page Rank has very little influence on rankings. It's most inportant impact is that it determines the crawl depth and frequency of crawls for your site. Of course, these are still pretty important things. A better way to think about ranking is in terms of "Search Query Specific Page Rank". In other ... Read More >