Offline this week + the Davos question

My wife and I just got back from Christmas in Omaha with her family. It was both fun and cold. :) Some folks in Omaha go all out for decorating. Here’s one house that we drove by over the holidays:

Christmas in Omaha, 2007

Yes, I believe that is a full-size animatronic Santa in the window. :)

My wedding anniversary is in January, and last year my anniversary present to my wife was taking a nice trip and going completely offline for a week.

This year I’m repeating my attempt to go offline, so don’t expect any posts from me this coming week.

If you want something deep to think about while I’m gone, consider The Davos Question, which is “”What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?” I’ll post my suggestion when I’m back online. :)

Good charities?

Last year I asked what charities people like, and that was really helpful and interesting.

So I want to repeat the topic again. As I asked last year: Does anyone want to mention specific charities? Or mention other things that might not strictly be charities, but might be “good deeds” that readers would be interested in?

Tons of PubCon interviews on video and audio

If you want to get a Matt/Google/SEO video fix, you’re in luck. Interviews from PubCon are streaming in. Here are a few I’ve seen:

Audio Interviews

Stephan Spencer and I sat down and talked for about 30 minutes. You can read the interview transcript. That link also includes the MP3 if you’d prefer to listen.

I think Jay Berkowitz and I chatted just before the “Meet the Googlers Q&A” session. Download the mp3 of Jay’s podcast.

Video Interviews

I enjoyed chatting with Reachd TV to do an interview. This ten-minute interview is a great video introduction to SEO for small business owners or other people new to SEO. We also discuss how WordPress 2.3 is even more search-engine friendly than previous versions. Hat tip to Mark Jacquith for pointing out this one.

At the tail end of PubCon, I sat down to chat with Mike McDonald and Vanessa Fox. Mike also covered a few high points of the conversation.

Michael Dorausch posted a video excerpt of the search engine panel where I talked about a three-step method to build traffic to a site (Guy Kawasaki was a fun moderator). Michael also posted a partial transcript of the relevant bits.

Suresh Babu caught me in the hallway and asked me about TrustRank, how to tell if your visitors are arriving from Google Local, and what SEOs should focus on in 2008 (I think local and mobile are good ideas). He also asked me about what January 1, 1969 means to Google. Props to Robin Liss for taking the video on an unfamiliar camera at the drop of a hat.

Just for Fun

Just before playing Werewolf, someone walked up to me and pretended like he wanted to bribe me: $500,000 for a 1st place ranking. I turned him down, because no one can guarantee a #1 ranking — not even me. When he put the case down to shake my hand, we filmed a joke/blooper where I pretended to take the case and run. :) Watch the video to savor the hijinks.

There you go. If you start right now, you can listen/watch well over an hour of straight search engine optimization Q&A on audio and video. Enjoy!

Matt video: ALT attributes for images

In case you missed it, a short while ago we posted a video about how to use ALT attributes for images. I’ll include the video here, but I’ll also use this opportunity to remind everyone that you really should subscribe to the Official Google Webmaster Blog (Atom link for feedreaders). Here’s the video:

In the comments, you’ll note that Philipp Lenssen corrects me about something: “IMG” is a tag, but “ALT” and “TITLE” are attributes of the IMG tag. So referring to an “ALT tag” is a bit sloppy and incorrect. :)

Luckily, the webmaster central folks were kind enough to clarify the original post. John Mueller also made the original post even more valuable by talking about ALT and TITLE and how those attributes are slightly different. John is one of the newer voices in webmaster/SEO communication (okay, he’s been a voice for quite a while, but only joined Google a few months ago); I’m really glad that he’s joined Google. For example, you might have missed his incredibly useful meta tag reference guide that he posted not long ago. Yet another reason why you should be subscribing to the Official Google Webmaster Blog (Atom link for feedreaders). At this point, the official webmaster blog is doing Google SEO-related posts faster than I can. :)

Confirmed: ISP modifies Google home page

Lauren Weinstein alerted readers that Canadian ISP Rogers was modifying the Google home page for some of its users:

Rogers intercepts and modifies Google home page

Go over to Lauren’s blog and click on the thumbnail to see the full-size image; it may be your only chance to see the word “Yahoo!” on Google’s home page in three different places. :)

Wired managed to snag an official confirmation from the ISP that Rogers is doing this.

I don’t always agree with Lauren, but I think we agree that this is pretty uncool.

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