University Site SPAM

Bill Slawski recently did a great post about University SPAM. He tried some smart queries that exposed how it is taking place: - viagra - cialis As you can see if you look at these queries, there is a lot of spam happening on university sites. What happens is that they have message boards that have been up on them for a long period of time, and people are manipulating these boards to their advantage. There are so many of these opportunities out there, you can see why people keep ... Read More >

10 Guidelines on How to Ask for a Link

Last week I did a post on Search Engine Watch about 11 guidelines for pursuing authoritative links. This post on SEW provides an overview about pursuing the highest value links from sites as part of a long campaign. And this is a great approach to pursuing links. However, there are other times when you do start the dialog with a site by simply asking for the link. I am not talking about those dreaded link swap request emails that we all get. I am talking about an email to tell another site owner about ... Read More >

301 redirects Resolve in Two Weeks in Google

A thread over in the Google Webmaster Groups talks about the Google Sandbox, and about 301 redirects. In this thread, Adam Lasnik jumps in and sets some expectations on the handling of 301 redirects, and also does some myth breaking. Here is what Adam has to say: 1) There's no universal/intentional sandbox. But, as Matt has noted and MRG has quoted (hey, that kinda rhymes), there are algorithms which have a sandbox-like effect on some sites. 2) 301s pass PR and related signals appropriately. Usually ... Read More >

Google Spam Cops Still Need Help

Aaron Pratt has been doing some great stuff in terms of monitoring spam activity lately. His latest post is: What's hot in Google Gaming this year? This post calls out a post by David Dugdale titled: Consumer Source Interactive Owns Atlanta. There are still many cases where site owners succeed in gaming Google and continue to get listed for 5 or so listings in the top 10, even if they all the sites in question have the same Whois. It's facscinating stuff. We talked about this a bit in our post: Are ... Read More >

Just Exactly What is a Unique Visitor?

What's the difference between a unique visitor and a user? This post will outline the basics. Many people make the mistake of equating the two, and there are some substantial differences. First let's look at how a web analytics package measures a visitor. The first step is to cookie the machine when a user visits it. Once the cookie is set, that machine is considered a unique visitor. Whether or not that person is considered a unique visitor the next time they visit a site depends on the time ... Read More >

SEO and Analytics Podcast Series

Today we officially launch our new Podcast series. Our first Podcast is a discussion about competitive intelligence tools with Avinash Kaushik, the publisher of the Occam's Razor blog, one of the most widely read blog in the Web Analytics world. In particular, we focus on Competitive Intelligence tools. Avinash is obviously passionate about analytics in general, and the role that competitive intelligence plays in your analytics strategy, and it shows. In our interview he talks about Hitwise, ComScore, ... Read More >

Identifying Poor Quality Sites

WebmasterWorld has a nice thread going about 25 signals of crappy sites. Fribble starts the thread with the notion that we spend a lot of time looking for signals of quality. But it's also useful to look at the inverse. It's a pretty good list, and forum members chip in a few other good ideas. Being aware of these signals can be useful when you are evaluating the merits of web sites for partnering with them. If a site has too may of these negative signals, it may not be worth the trouble to pursue ... Read More >

Why Wikipedia links are still valuable

As we have all heard, Wikipedia has placed "nofollow" tags on their outbound links. This was greeted with a fair amount of dismay by the SEO and Webmaster world at large, as well it should have been. But it turns out that Wikipedia links still have great value. Why? Because other people go to Wikipedia pages and then link to the sites that Wikipedia links to. In a non-scientific examination of some of the sites we work with, we have seen Wikipedia links result in a significant number of additional ... Read More >

Writing for Search Engine Watch

I am pleased to announce that I now have a role as a blogger for the staff at Search Engine Watch. You can see the announcement here. I will continue to put new articles and blog posts on this site as well, as I enjoy doing so. On SEW, I will cover 3 major vertical markets: Link Building Vertical Search Web Analytics All these topics are personal passions, and I look forward to serving the SEW community. ... Read More >

The 4 Best Things in the new Link Capabilities from Google

The SEO world has been abuzz with the announcement of "accurate" link information from Google. This is, in fact, really good news for webmasters. If you care about building traffic to your site, you care about links. And having the tools to find out when you have new links is very good news indeed. It just makes our job easier. There are a few things worth commenting on, with regard to this new tool: The link counts are less than those shown on Yahoo's Site Explorer. A quick check today shows ... Read More >