Comments

Okey doke, I think I plowed through most/all comments. I just promised myself that I wouldn’t head to bed until I was done. :) A few people assumed that I’d deleted their comments. Nope, I was just really slammed and didn’t get to approve comments since before Pubcon a couple weeks ago. When I started my blog, I approved every comment. That didn’t scale well, so now I think I require an approval for a person’s first comment, but after that they can comment without approval. I lean toward allowing people to comment even if they’re being negative, unless they’re just trolling or suggesting something that’s not anatomically possible. ;) Here’s an example of a comment that came in that I didn’t bother to approve:

Name: William Gates | E-mail: bill.gates@microsoft.com | URI: http://www.msn.com | IP: 209.x.xxx.xxx

Well Matt,
I’ve been playing around with the big 3 engines. It is pretty obvious that Google now ranks 3rd and relevance is a joke. When is Google going to get back to providing end users with relevant content? or is it about getting searchers to click on the right hand side? Update before the holidays again, nice. I guess it is all about money now for Google which is fine. Remember people have a choice and slowly you will loose market share. It may take a while but it will happen. Content is king, that’s now a joke. We are seeing graphical sites with few backlinks ranking very high, do you care to explain this? or are you going to laugh all the way to the bank?

I don’t think that the real billg would bother to stop by and post that, ya know? Anyway, I’ll try to keep up now. :)

76 Responses to Comments (Leave a comment)

  1. Stephen

    Bless you Matt.

    Have a good night.

    Some improvements already on the test DC:-

    http://64.233.179.99/search?hl=en&lr=&q=mattcutts.com&btnG=Search
    :)

    Cheers

    Stephen

  2. Peter

    “I don’t think that the real billg would bother to stop by and post that, ya know? Anyway, I’ll try to keep up now. ”

    Sorry Matt, but I don’t think that your reply was very smart. It shows a bit of an arrogance. There more people like that guy that believe that Google Results are less relevant than they used to be. Google should be careful because it wouldn’t surprise me if this group is growing.

    I don’t agree with him by the way. I do find Google’s results still the best, though I would have no problem at all if you guys would take out the supplemental results. Those really feel like an artificial way of increasing the size of the index. Often these results are pages that don’t exist anymore anyway. But perhaps you can explain what the definition is of a “supplemental result”.

    What the guy mentioned in his post, pages that seem almost empty and just have some graphics ranking much higher than pages with real content, is something I noticed too. When I look at it from a searcher point of view I tend to agree that there is not much difference in relevance between pages like that and the content rich page in position 29. But I can also understand that the SEO that is optimizing the site in position 29 feels upset because he created pages that are content rich and within the Google webmaster guidelines. Then somebody that did nothing to a page outranks him big time. It can be frustrating (and difficult to explain to webmasters,. :) )

    Anyway, it is clear that search results are an opinion so you will always have these types of comments I guess…

    Cheers (from a sunny and way too hot, Brazil),

    Peter

  3. german

    Matt,

    Just one webmaster wishing it would be true.
    I am 1st on MSN since february and they have send me less visitor than google in 1 day as I used to be on the 11th page for my most important terms and one the 1st page of the less important (yet I must admit that some searchers really did want to find me as they went through 11 pages – it gave me the feeling I deserved better).

    I am not seeing any increase in the share of MSN.

  4. Yeah, MSN has strategically less traffic than Google or Yahoo. Not small enough that people need to ignore it however. It currently keeps one of my sites afloat accounting for almost 80% of it’s traffic with a #1 rank for a semi-high traffic term.

    As for the relevancy, I don’t think the results actually matter to the users. I think it has more to do with familiarity and ease of use.

    Google beat out yahoo and altavista back in the day because it wasn’t cluttered, it was simple, and easy to use.

    Sure, all the other sites (except yahoo still) are now more simple, but that’s not going to beat Google. People don’t switch services for anything that’s “just as good”, they’ll need something better.

    To the average searcher, relevancy means nothing. I’ll be willing to wager that 1/2 of them don’t even notice.

    I’m more concerned with what Google will do once MS builds MSN search into the taskbar of the next Windows release.

    You won’t be able to convince people like my parents to open a web browser and type in google.com when they have a search bar right next to that start button.

  5. oh yeah, thanks for clearing up that “deleted comment” stuff for me.

    If I’d have known I’d get an entire blog post dedicated to it, I’d have asked some better questions lol.

  6. Hey cool Matt,

    I thought you were deleting mine. I liked this site so much it inspired me to start my own blog. I want to focus on all the Google beta services that are somewhat hidden to the public.

  7. Matt,
    I would have to highly disagree with that guys post. I think Google’s results get better and less spammy with every update. After the last Yahoo! update, I saw a huge influx of spam come into their top 10 results, pages that were just default OsCommerce pages, landing pages, and just general scraper type sites. Sites that are actually relevant for your search were dropped to lower in the first page or even completely dropped out of the results. I, though noone important ;), think Google is doing a great job with relevance. The last update saw us drop to #8 from #1 for some of our most valuble keywords, but, the sites above us are truly just more relevant. This told me to work harder for relevance and quit worrying so much about ranking. As far as MSN goes, I don’t consider it a “big player” yet because I can get a page ranking very well in less the two weeks, I should NOT be able to do that. If I can manipulate the rankings that quickly you have serious flaws in your algo.
    Another thing that cracks me up about this type of post is that the people who say these kinda things are the ones who are either to lazy or not willing to follow the guidelines set forth in Google’s webmasters page. These are people who want you guys to go back to the ways of hidden or partially hidden text, keyword stuffing, and allowing link farms so they can make a quick buck.

    Jason

  8. I know he’s a college dropout and all, but I think Bill knows how to spell “lose”.

  9. Peter, I’d disagree with the arrogance of the remark. Personally, what I find arrogant is the way in which “Bill Gates” decided to post something to a Google engineer’s blog in the manner in which he did, thinking it was actually going to make any difference whatsoever.

    Come on, Billy. Did you really think that was going to work? I think you’re starting to “loose” your mind.

    And if Matt doesn’t say anything, he’s wasting his time deleting things like that from his blog, time he could be using to inform us of changes to the algo, spam techniques to avoid, things that may and usually do help others.

    The Real Ryan: I respectfully beg to differ on the relevancy issue. I know many people who have little to no tech savvy whatsoever who make comments every day on “MSN didn’t show me anything to do with such and such a topic in the first four pages of results” or “why does Google let these pages in with the words repeated and no content?”, etc. and so on.

    Personally, I’m not 100% satisfied with the relevancy algorithm of any of the big 3 engines. There are weaknesses and flaws in all of them.

    But…I also realize that the issues I have with relevancy are ones that either I’m partly responsible for, or ones that are not all that easy to solve. For example:

    Spam. Keyword stuffers and doorway pages and redirects, oh my! There are a ton of these in all three engines, and while Google has been getting better and better at removing them, they still are there in large numbers.

    But this is partly my fault since I’ve never bothered to report them (something I’ve made pains to correct in the last few weeks, as well as telling my clients to do the same).

    Artificial IBL generation, and its subset, web designers who put their backlinks on their clients’ sites. This one irritates me to no end because it hurts the client in question while boosting the SERP ranking and IBL count of the designer.

    For my keyphrase, all but two of the sites that are higher than mine have IBLs from their own clients’ sites. I wouldn’t necessarily mind if the companies outranked me on the strength of their own search engine optimization, but not on the backs of people they’re commissioned to work for. That’s like the ad agency who designed a Ford commercial sticking their logo in the bottom right corner of it. It doesn’t happen there. Why does it happen here?

    This isn’t something I expect Google to deal with immediately, if ever. Again, there are too many variants of the “Powered By (such and such)” and “Designed by So and So”, and in many cases “copyright 2005 Some Design Company” for Google et. al to tackle in one shot.

    As far as finding what I want is concerned, I’ve never really had all that much of a problem that way. Then again, I’m not one to put in generic phrases. I put in model numbers when I’m looking for product docs, error messages and codes when I’m trying to diagnose a hardware or software problem, and long phrases to find specific things (often in quotes). As long as the information is there that I want and I can’t immediately tell that someone’s trying to manipulate the engine to get it there, that’s good enough for me.

  10. By the way, Matt, unrelated-to-anything question:

    I stumbled upon another site that uses the exact same layout as yours. I’m not familiar with WordPress at all, though, so I’m not sure if it’s just a generic WordPress template that you use or if someone managed to rip off your layout.

    It’s at voice over pro . net (sans spaces) if you want to see it.

  11. Armen

    Hi Matt,

    I just wanted to bring this important issue to your attention.

    Please go to Google and search for “Affordable Health Insurance”

    The results on the third page
    http://www.google.com/search?q=affordable+health+insurance&hl=en&lr=&start=20&sa=N

    Show a site, which is a 404 error. It has been like this already more than a month.

    Thanks.

  12. Brian

    Armen, the page has “404 error” as a title, but if you use a http headers/status code checker, you’ll see that the site returns a 206 error. Google is probably doing the right thing with this result.

    Time to brush up on your knowledge if you are, in fact, attempting to do SEO :)

  13. rob

    Hi Matt

    On the subject of comments, is there a time limit on the captcha thing?

    I posted a shed load of text earlier in response to another post, went to make a cup of tea, phone rang, I yacked for 20 minutes, went back to finish my post on the laptop, hit the submit button only to receive a message about entering the right security code. I hits the back button and, pow! My fantabulous piece of humour laced invective was um..gone!

    Kinda sucked.

    How bout a little javascript ala onClick=”return confirm(‘Check that captcha dude, better still copy all that text to your clipboard, just in case it goes skew whiff.’)”

  14. Brad

    While the language of the post from “William Gates” may have been somewhat egregious, the underlying thrust of the post should not be arrogantly brushed aside. Most reasonable SEO’s can agree the obervation does hold some amount of truth. Which brings us to the ultimate axiom … Google doesnt care much of SEO’s opinion of the organic SERPs, for a good reason. The SEO who is not an AdWords customer is not contributing to Google’s bottom line.

  15. nor is the SEO a “typical” customer.

    A “typical” searcher knows nothing of SEO, and barely (if at all) distinguishes the fact that there is a difference between paid and organic listings. Just look at the latest issue of reader’s digest. There is an article by a well known author who gets upset because the first result for her name (which is a paid result if you do the search) isn’t her website.

    I’d wager that google is more concerned with the typical user’s opinion versus the SEO’s opinion of the results.

  16. Wow, all these updates have weakened Peter a bit, hang in there dude. :-)

    Adam said, “I stumbled upon another site that uses the exact same layout as yours. I’m not familiar with WordPress at all, though, so I’m not sure if it’s just a generic WordPress template that you use or if someone managed to rip off your layout”.

    Mr. Adam,

    Matt uses a template called “almost spring” offered by one of many great people in the WordPress community. See for yourself ( http://demo.beccary.com/ ) Let’s stop being so ready to tattle-tale on people mmkay?

    And Matt, I do not see a credit to the designer of this template, hehe -> it must be either not required or you sent the guy a few dollars? ;)

    Ceerio mates,

    -AP

  17. Dave Anderson

    I thought Bill’s email address was billg, not bill.gates. It wouldn’t surprise me if they put in an alias, but I doubt that he would fill in an alias insead of the much shorter version that he has used for decades.

  18. Matt,
    Enjoyed meeting you at Pubcon. You do a nice job of putting a friendly face on a very big company. Thanks for taking the time to listen to our Jagger1 problem and take my card in the informal session in the breakroom on Weds morning. (we’re the content site [stretcher.com] that lost 90% of our Google referrals with Jagger1 even though we haven’t been doing any intentional SEO) If you or your experts determine what the problem is we’d sure like to hear about it. Even though we don’t have a product to sell, we like to think that our site helps people save money and we like to reach as many of them as possible.
    Gary Foreman
    Stretcher.com

  19. Matt, with all the posting your blog is beginning to look and feel like WebmasterWorld. Now that Brett’s knocked WMW out of Google you may become the world wide watering hole for SEO. Hey – was that the secret Google plan after all?

  20. Russell

    While we talking about Gates, What a joke with his comment “Gates Sees MSN Passing Google In Relevance”. He is delirious. Take a look at the most important major keyword in my business “labels” and see this junk site coming up No 1: http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=labels&FORM=MSNH&srch_type=0

  21. Hi Matt,

    I was hoping you could maybe comment on this or even make a blog entry. Is there some really weird stuff going on with google cache right now? I am seeing LESS results for site:asite.ext then for site:asite.ext copyright (or any word that appears on each page)

    On top of that i am seeing very old cache dates, I am also seeing cananical problems where cached page for http://asite.ext is there but nothing for http://www.asite.ext (and its old cache date for home page).

    Just really bizarre stuff! The URI I filled out in this comment is a case and point site of this happening (didn’t want to enter the actual url here so no one thinks I am spamming url’s for IBL :p)

    If you could make any comment/response to this I’d be eternally grateful and I know MANY webmasters are experiencing this oddity and I could post it in forums or a link to the actual response if it has its own URL.

    Again, thanks in advance for your support and time.

    Glenn

  22. Ben

    Mat,

    I know it’s off-topic, but if someone wants to sell advertising space on their website that links directly to the advertisor (ie, a text link), what is the ‘Google won’t mind’ way to do so?

    My busiest site is nearly finished being setup to allow 6 text links per page, with no site-wide links available. I will be personally monitoring the relevance and appropriateness of the advertisements.

    Are there any foreseeable Google-flavoured repercussions for doing this and if so, how may I avoid them without javascripting (which I want to avoid for a few reasons including Adblock etc).

    Also, how about you blog some time on Google’s thoughts on ad blocking? It’s a relevant topic now that Google is openly supporting/pushing Firefox I think.

    The Firefox extension Adblock (specifically FilterSet.G) are aimed directly at blocking ads including Google’s “cash cow”. Adblock Plus can actually be configured to fraudulently count the impression without displaying the advertisement (a deliberate move from the author).
    http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?p=1469502&sid=b6584b4ead1e58862398bbb2a9ec7022#1469502

  23. Ben

    I should clarify:

    By textlink I mean a heading which is the link and a sentence about it. I don’t mean ‘stuffed down under the footer’ stuff, I’m implementing it like an AdSense skyscraper, down the right hand side of the pages.

  24. Matt – I would like to know how google search spiders react to vBulletin forum software. There is alot of speculation, and in fact people attempting to sell vBulletin modifications which do a mod rewrite. Its my belief that such things are unecessary and that Google spiders and indexes vBulletin Forum software just fine.

    Could you shed some light please?

    Joeychgo
    http://www.vbwebmaster.com

  25. Matt

    rob, a fair point but I’m not sure how to fix the timeout without mucking around a lot. I use the sessionsaver extension and it does a good job of preserving stuff that you type into textareas. It’s definitely lowered my blood pressure.

    Joeychgo, off-hand I’m not sure, but I thought we did a pretty good job of crawling vBulletin software without needing any extra software. If a bulletin board piece of software can respond to a request without a session ID, I think our bot is normally smart enough to try stripping off the session ID for most common bulletin board software.

    Peter, I’m sensitive the negative emotion expressed in that comment, but wrapping it up as if it came from Bill Gates seemed like more of a troll to me. I don’t mind negative comments, but the best comments are signed by a real person and/or constructive. The sort of things that I don’t bother to approve are typically stuff like
    “Name: GG | E-mail: fdgf@sfdsdf.com | URI: | IP: 69.246.65.40

    GG likes to get DP’d.”

    Actually, looking over the history, I’ve approved the vast majority of comments though.

  26. lol, all I wanted to do was vent a little not start a whole new thread. I do love Google, but it is a love hate thing. Jagger has cleaned up alot of the serps, keep up the good work.
    Will G

  27. HOW DARE you critisize my oscar caliber performance in “Elektra” and then delete posts that are obviously not from the author! You arrogant Googlehead!

  28. Kelly Jones

    Actually Matt, I think you did remove my post showing the REALLY spammy results on Google for “American Heritage Cabinets” — it was off topic though so I understand.

    That said, I’d like to suggest a couple improvements to your blog, if you don’t mind.

    1. Once I read the beginning of a thread, I’m only really interested in that thread if you come back and comment. It would be great if we could see the an indicator at the top of the thread of the number of times you’ve posted and the dates (hyperlinked of course!).

    2. Likewise, a summary of just your comments hyperlinked to the thread would be an easy way to navigate.

    Thanks again for the blog!

    KJ

  29. oh well…Yahoo is my homepage cause I check it for email and Google is my search page since I am used to it and if I want to find something like porn, I check the newsgroups cause why bother with the spammed out engines…hehe

  30. well, and PS groups.google.com is pretty useful too.

  31. oojee

    Matt,

    I won’t suck up to you, reading the comments in this thread it seems like you’ve more than enough :)

    “Peter, I’m sensitive the negative emotion expressed in that comment”

    Perhaps you could explain why the google updates that happen just prior to the christmas shopping period each year appear to be about shafting sites so that they are forced to buy adwords if they want to make a profit during the most profitable time of the year?

    I would love to hear a good explanation which restores my faith in Google not being a corrupt greedy corporation, though 2 years in a row?? and Google making more money that way, please explain why we shouldn’t see Google as being corrupt/trying to screw webmasters over so they buy adwords.

    Don’t worry I’m not complaining because my sites have been demoted (I’m not in the business of selling christmas presents). It just stands out as being obviously corrupt.

    On the topic of captcha’s… this is my fourth attempt at getting this message posted.

  32. Gary All

    I have to agreed with results are getting worse.
    example
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=florida+real+estate&btnG=Search

    If you look through you will only see 2 realtors listed.
    Many searches you now need to dig deep to find good results.
    You can compare all day, if you compare msn, yahoo to google. google always comes in last as far as relevancy. For obsure searches it works fine. With all the filters there is no way you can be relevan and up to date.

  33. That’s a great example of seeing too many results having the query in bold in the title, snippet and url…kind of seems it would be easy to flag that as “needs work to be more relevent”.

  34. Hey Matt…write this on your “things to do” list:

    Too much text in bold = spammy results

  35. Hi Matt – wow I have been so busy setting up a blog for our site – I see you have been swamped!! This blog of yours will soon become a full time job I reckon. You need tie to play too. Anyway I started our blog
    http://www.indigoguide.com/notes/

  36. Hey matt,

    So whats going on with PR and BLs lately? I noticed a few changes in limited DCs yesterday and now they are about half affected.

    These numbers seem to be pre Jagger update.
    Any news or update on whats going on?

    -Scott

  37. Gary All

    Another
    example of non relevant results
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=hawaii+mortgage&btnG=Google+Search

    not one local mortgage company is listed compared to MSn which has about 10.
    let’s face it where is the beef?

  38. Aaron,

    I can understand where you’re coming from, but it wasn’t my intention to rat someone else out. That’s why I indicated that I wasn’t sure if it was someone’s template that was predesigned or Matt had done his own work and it got taken from him.

    If someone had done that to me (and people have), I’d want someone to tell me and I act in kind vice versa.

    Russell: I can’t complain about MSN right now. I’ve been #1 in my keyphrase for the last 2 years, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s great relevance. Hey Matt, can ya make that happen for me on Google too? :D

    Actually, Kelly may be on to something. What I’d like to see is a way to look at the new comments that were made since either the last time I visited or the last time I posted. (I suspect the latter would be a lot easier.)

  39. Man…those results are dripping with bold text ;-) But, then again, what do you think would be the best results for “Hawaii Mortgage”? I think informative sites not trying to sell me anything….perfect world, I guess. Or maybe the guy with the best rate, but that doesn’t help if I’m doing a school project.

    Hey, and while we are at it…it sometimes seems like 50% of the comments here are really not relevant…you got to put up a “when will I get reindexed” board…or better yet send them all to /dev/null

  40. Understood Adam, no problem. :)

  41. Matt

    Gary, if you think MSN has better results for queries like [hawaii mortgage], I respect your opinion. I tried it and the number one result on MSN was hawaii-mortgage.info. The first paragraph says this:
    “Start the Hawaii Mortgage process off right, call us today. At {{wordlink}} We can get you information, check rates, plus learn about refinancing your current or brand-new mo rtgage. Useful and main objective info can be obtained by one uninvolved inquire call. Save time and riches to the top Hawaii Mortgage. If you are thinking of purchasing you drea m home, phone us firstt. {{keword}} programs convenient to conform to your needs”

    Note the use of {{wordlink}} and {{keword}}; this site looks like it was generated from a template, and the person didn’t bother to actually substitute the keyword phrases. Also typos like “mo rtgage” and “drea m home” and “firstt” didn’t inspire confidence in me. Google’s #1 result lists 40+ Hawaiian sources of mortgages, their contact phone numbers, and their rates that are current as of today.

    Different people will always have different perceptions about which results are better for a query. If people prefer MSN or Yahoo or Gigablast or whatever, I respect that. But if people have negative opinions on Google, I’d prefer that they either phrase those opinions constructively, or at least not pretend to be Bill Gates. :)

  42. I think the difference in opinion on which search engine is better is sometimes tainted (or biased?).

    I have people say to me “Google never puts my site on the front page – therefore I use MSN”. They believe they are the ultimate resource on whatever the keyword is. Sometimes this is not the case.

    I don’t want to start flaming or whatever however sometimes there are 10 better sites than yours. Sometimes there are 100.

    Google has on times been very kind to me. Other times its treated me like I walked in to its house on xmas eve and taken a dump on its presents. I still use it for the majority of my search needs. If it doesn’t provide fruitful results then I know that there are alternatives out there that maybe be more sucessful. We all know that on occassions google can get it wrong. I don’t worry about that. I worry more about if it ever gets it right everytime…… what will they do next? :o)

  43. german

    We all like to see ourself in front, it’s good for the ego.

    Personally I am not relying on the search engines for a living (until last year I had a framed site from wich google onle indexed “your site does not support frames…”) and I still got clients. The french version of my site is fully URL-only and I still get mails from France.

    If google likes my page, that’s nice but my best clients are the one who had been sent to me from other satisfied clients. You don’t have to negociate, don’t have to tell them how good you are. They come to you already believing it and accept whatever you asked for as long as they can afford it. Isn’t it a great feeling?

    I am using google because at the moment it has the biggest index for obscure terms on which I had to work. If I don’t find any, I don’t find any on MSN either. I don’t care about spam for these terms as long as I find for what I need (and I am happy to find something because sometimes the terms are so obscure that even google finds only 2-3 pages).

    Go for it google. MSN or the others have to prove me right first.

  44. taken from forums.seochat.com
    ————————–
    KNOW YOUR ENEMY! Google & Yahoo is the enemy!

    They scrape our content, list it any way they want, place ads around it to make HUGE profits. And they change the rules as they go along, yet we are the bad guys???
    ————————-

  45. Brian

    Yaaqui,

    That viewpoint was created by scraper spammers to make themselves feel better about diverting clicks to earn revenue, which may line their pockets for some pennies but which wastes the time of the vast majority of people who encounter them. Mine included.

    That argument presumes that Google, Yahoo, and MSN’s ranking of websites is completely random, that no value is added by the ranking. When in fact, the opposite is true, they are providing a mammoth amount of added value–I can’t even begin to articulate how much Google and Yahoo have changed my life.

    If the scrapers want to try to create some value instead of mucking things up–find some VC funding and best of luck.

    Repeat:
    Search engines: value add
    Scrapers: value subtract

  46. rob Said,

    November 30, 2005 @ 10:10 am

    Hi Matt

    On the subject of comments, is there a time limit on the captcha thing?
    ——————
    I have to chime in on this, I have had it happen several times, and it is quite anoying. I do understand the need for such things, but perhaps there is a setting that could be tweaked or something..
    I have lost a post or two over the months, but I try to remember to highlight – copy my post for fear of losing to the captcha thing…
    Now I am starting to reload the page before posting, in the past when the captch thing would not work (even when typing the appropriate letters twice) , I had to reload the page in order to get a new code to type.

  47. James

    Hey Matt,

    I’ve been trying to help Google by reporting spam, however, it seems as if reports are being ignored or processed by a machine rather than human…
    At the page http://www.google.com/search?q=gift+wrap if you look at the second result (starts with an innis…), the guy employs some nice cloaking script. However, even though it’s been reported several times (with and without the Jagger kw) no action has been taken.
    I might be wrong and the site is legit, however, if it is, I’d like to know so I can set my site up in the same mannet.

    Thanks

  48. Mike

    I admire you Matt, not for deleting that post, but for reading through all the other nonsensical rumblings here. So many people forget that without Google they will be still chasing banks and relatives for borrowed money to open a corner shop and pray for customers.

    I can only hope that Google’s expansion and added value products don’t undermine the constant development of its search engine, that sits at the core of the Google identity.

    I also do believe that if Google wants to stay true to its word it needs to look at websites such as about.com and every other irrelevant giant on the web (finance, travel, property) that wants to rank No1 for every keyword on the planet and put a stop to their appetite.

    This is a great responsibility as Google is becoming almost synonymous with the World Wide Web.

  49. That is really funny.

    I heard that Bill Gates has to have over 30 lawyers approve every emails he sends.

  50. rob

    > session saver extension…

    Yes, my broken HP machine has FF and all the various accoutrements. Currently using an old dell notebook here, ie6. (Insert too lazy to install FF excuse)

    I hear what ur saying on the muckabout-with-code-front. Can get a little icky buggering around and hacking these things, especially when you’ve a zillion and one other pressing engagements.

    I hacked a drupal install some time back, only to perform a subsequent upgrade, whereby I was silly enough to forget about my various mods, and promptly overwrote them all!

    Not good.

  51. It’s ok to me if there are 10 or 100 sites better than mine. The problem is when I do nothing and Google simply stops showing it in results. Let’s say I add a site-wide link to my homepage in my site. Can I be punished because I get 400 links (my internal pages) more in one day?

    And what about it’s “allinanchor” measure? You talk to a SEO and he says “your allinanchor is not good for this term”. But, what’s exactly that means? Do I have too many sites linking to me using the same terms? Or too little?

    Thank you.

  52. Hey Matt -

    Can u do something about all the trackback spammers please? It’s starting to really make you guys look bad.

    Steve

  53. just go and dump all the search terms with the word “mortgage” in it because it must be spam anyway

    yeah man, and in terms of knowing your enemy…you don’t need search engines to get good traffic…that’s what people have to understand…lots of other constructive ways to get people to visit your site

  54. so maybe that means your enemy is you believing you need SE traffic to make your site happen

  55. Gary All

    Matt
    My point was that it would be nice to see some local companies coming up on the results, besides national companies and directories. Everyone already knows all the big national companies. We use Search engines to find the small local companies, but google has given these companies up. Forcing them to use adwords to advertise. But as you said if you want relevant results use gigablast, msn or yahoo what ever works for you. That is a bad aditude.
    I used to only use Google in the past, but Google is forcing many people away….
    Many times on a search on Google you will get the same website over and over again on 1-20 pages. It would be more relevant to replace all those pages with new sites.

  56. stan

    Matt,
    I have been looking at Google for a long time (as many people in the world) and I can see that the results are comparatively relevant. However there is something which surprise me and I would like to hear your comments on this if it is possible: I have seen real estate site, with appr.1500 Porn back links (back links from Porn sites), and the mentioned site is very high ranked in Google (in top 10!) for a long time. Well, if Google itself was not explained that the back links are in fact votes to the site I would not made this note. But this one is not logic and at least shows that there is obvious will to reach the first place without proofing the quality and relevancy of the content. I personally would doubt in this result.

  57. Well, unlike Yahoo and MSN, Google’s made its fortunes purely in the search engine business, although they may end up being something like NBC or AT&T one day. In my experience, Google is still the king, not the content… So, you should spend some time outsmarting the king, it pays off.

  58. Hi Matt
    Couple of quick questions:
    1. do you not find it irritating the amount of stupid comments and bitching you get on here, “my site is not in the top ten no more, this site ranks better when my content is better, yahoo/msn list my site higher so I’m going to use then and my personal fav is when they try and point out what their competitors are doing so they can try and get them busted?
    2. How likely is it that Google will produce a list of certified SEO Company’s in the future? It may stop a lot of people getting ripped off.
    3. when designing a website for a client does it really effect that sites ranking if it links back to the designer? I would assume you actually doing them some good if you are linking to there site from your portfolio.

    And in response to some of them dumb posts:
    Any idiot can get there site listed on MSN and yahoo in the top ten, the reason is because their spam controls are not up to power with Google so if you crying that Google list you on page 100 and MSN list you on page 1 then in my option your doing something you shouldn’t, maybe you should try optimizing the site for your customer and not the search engines that seems to work for us.

    And for all them people complaining that graphical sites are listing higher than their text only keyword flooded word docs that they call websites, one of the reasons Google is the best search engine it because it doesn’t only read text it also reads image text, flash and alt text which in my options (and the consumers) this makes for a prettier web.

  59. I don’t think the real Bill Gates would write something like that.

  60. How does replacing pages that traditionally rank and have ranked for a given keyword/phrase make the newer sites more relevant? If they’re that relevant, then they’ll show up.

    Not only that, there seems to be this idea that somehow a new site shouldn’t be “in the sandbox” for keywords and phrases that other website owners/webmasters/SEO companies have spent days, months, and years working to gain ranking for.

    With all due respect to those who think that way, it’s just plain wrong. Think about it…if you own a mom-and-pop book store in Craters of the Moon, Idaho, should you be taking on amazon.com as far as being able to reach the public? No. Economics of scale indicate that amazon.com will be a lot more likely to serve a lot more customers than the mom-and-pop will, and the SE ranking behaviours reflect this pretty well.

  61. german

    Adam,

    and what do you think of mom and pop site taking the first places?
    I am not competing with Amazon but with other mom and pop sites as well as directories with paid entry.

    Why do you think I should not appear before the directories.
    And as for any work to gain any ranking, I am sorry but I am not seeing any optimization work except for the black hat, doorway and paid link work.
    I am offering much more than these other mom and pop sites and I can prove it to you should you be interested in it.

  62. You mean this Bill Gates or the one that’s been talked about here? ;)

    I don’t think the email came from him, but I’m only 97% sure :)

    Mike

  63. german

    Adam,

    Falls you don’t believe me, here it is how it look like:
    1. Black hat site (corresponding white hat site can be found under name of the company. de or .com (if i remember well)
    2. Big company with the money to hire a seo to buy links the whole day and uses his 3 or 4 other miror sites to push up this one.
    3. OK
    4. Mom and pop not offering much and pushed through DMOZ link. No sign of SEO except from link from SEO forum.
    5. OK
    6. Mom and pop site with bought link (or exchanges through a duplicate site from which I know that it exists but don’t have the URL)
    7. directory
    8.directory
    9. I can’t say much. I know the webmaster :-)
    10. directory
    11. directory
    12. nice site
    13. directory
    14. directory
    15 spam site (the amount of page number not normal, I suspect doorways)
    16. One page about the keyword title and 3 e-mails as content
    17. Me (may not stay long) – as of jagger 3. Any comment would be biased. I am happy there.
    18. directory
    19. forum
    20. directory.

    Would it be too much to asked not to have been sent to nowhere land?
    The sandbox was not necessary.

  64. I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with a directory showing up first either. A directory quite often lists more stores that are of at least some relevance, and if you’re smart, that would include your own. If you can’t make first page, at least ride on the coattails of a directory that does.

    As far as the #1 and #15 sites go, have you reported them? And if so, were you able to do so and establish proof of black hat? If you did, and nothing happened, then I can see your point. Mind you, you need to allow a lot of time for Google to act as they tend to nail large groups of spammers rather than individuals and there are an almost infinitesmal amount of ways in which spammers will attempt to cheat the engines.

    #2: Not sure what you mean by “uses his 3-4 other mirror sites to push up this one”.

    #4: It’s a bitch to get into DMOZ. Unless they know (or are) an editor with vested interests, the site probably deserves to be there. Mind you, if their only obvious link is a DMOZ link and the term is competitive (which still hasn’t been shown) then I can possibly see your point.

    The rest I can’t really comment on without seeing the keyphrase in question and the SERPs.

    Besides, what you may think is wrong may not be what the engine thinks is wrong. A classic example would be my keyphrase:

    http://www.google.ca/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=DVXA,DVXA:2005-04,DVXA:en&q=Toronto+web+design

    My site (adamwebdesign.ca) is #12 in this particular set of SERPs. Because I’m a web designer, I compete with other web designers for a phrase, thereby making the game a lot more competitive.

    Now…in the case of the competitors above me, all but 2 (marketingtool.com and torweb.com) have gained IBLs from their own clients’ sites, sites that they were commissioned to develop. Not only does it boost their own ranking, but it damages their clients’ rankings in the process.

    The site above mine (n49interactive.com) has developed a network of 54 cross-linked .ca domain names with another 89 (I think) in development. (Yes, I did report this.)

    The sites are all topically relevant in that they are all, for the most part, Toronto-based web design companies. They just used a tactic I don’t agree with to gain their ranking.

    Do I think that it’s fair? No. But is it something that all three engines accept? Yes. So I in turn have to accept that as well.

    So…if I want to rank higher, I need to develop a site that will allow me to put a backlink to my own site and thus push it up in the rankings. The difference between what I’m doing with my site (under development) and my competitors’ is that mine will be built by me and for me. That way, I’m not cheating any of my clients.

  65. german

    Adam,

    I am not going to enter myself in these directories. I am not going to pay to see this page coming up before mine.

    1 and 15 have been reported. It was on my first post here, actually. Still there.
    I think matt knows about it and I can’t do more. I read on WMW that he takes time to deal with big spammy network and it is one so I think either it will be later or never. Reporting once more won’t change anything.
    15 has 172 000 pages (my sector is not selling products). Most of the sites of my business have 15-30, mine and another one may be one of the biggest of the sector with about 100-150 pages. All pages I saw had little content, 1-2 lines on it. I don’t know if if is black hat to have many pages about everything in the word but little relevant text. I don’t care, I am already over this one.

    The one pushing his sites has a network of site. He is exchanging links with everything from health insurance to mortgage to web design. The link partner are linking to his site, he is linking from huge directories on these sites or other that the SEO owns( 3 way link farm more or less). He redisigned the site and targeted another keyword. He is however bombing this site with links for my keyword (the word is not once mentionned on the text or internal links). Again, a company in my sector having 2000 links from google, seeing that he is not even offering a glossary or anything interesting not normal (the site 3 about 3 years old).

    DMOZ: I am the editor for my own keyword so I am in DMOZ. The title and description for my site has been edited by my meta editor (I don’t like it much especially since google is taking the description from DMOZ but to be fair to the others I am not changing it) so that I don’t include keywords, so I am verrry careful in my catefory that nobody gets keyword to until really necessary. I of course changed the title last year. One year later, the site has lost some ground (and still loosing) so I am confident I will take the place someday. My knowledge of my sector and the DMOZ category lets me know when there is a spammy duplicate site.

    Oh, I forgot so say, in my sector, some competitors are hiding their link under the copyright sentence of the client web site so web designer are not the only one playing with the clients sites. It seems however not be helping much the sites of my sector (not related sites?)

    I see adding content as a way of getting higher. I have allinanchor 4 behind the 1 spammy site, the site with bought and exchanged links and the one with the old DMOZ title in DMOZ clones. I will get first, just like I am on yahoo, altavista, MSN, aol and any other search engines I think of (any that don’t have a link aging delay). I don’t need many more links, but just to say it was fair to send me to the sandox because the other sites have not yet dicovered SEO and I did is not fair.

  66. german

    OK,

    For the one who maybe went from this page to my site using the search term in google “what is actually altavista ?”, I may say it is actually “atlavista”, the first search engine I had been using until back in 1998 I discovered google and which is still sending me visitors.

    Altavista is so because I am misspelling it ever since I have been using it (maybe the sound tl is not so common in my language) and has definitely nothing to do with my site (and one proof more you can still find me without ever quoting my site).

  67. Hi Matt,

    Some feedback regarding Geo location IP filtering.

    Market forces dictates that websites will be hosted in countries where hosting costs are the lowest. At the moment, in order to be seen on the global SERPS, you need to type in “keyword country name” (and splash your country name all over your website, title, keyword, h1) .

    This is a workaround, but not ideal. May I suggest a meta tag where you can say CountryName=”countryname”? A fair amount of potential visitors are lost because they go to the Google country spesific search option.

    As far as I know, even buying a country spesific domain doesn’t help, if the site is based overseas. It’s just not displayed in the local geo SERPS.

    Maybe this issue has been debated till death, I don’t know but would appreciate some feedback about what Google thinks. To me it is the chicken and egg senario, Google want the users to get relevant rearch results, but google must also empower the content provider to affort to provide the content.

    I’d be interested to know just on country domain how many domains actually are hosted outside “their” countries. That doesn’t even count the non-country spesific domains.

    My bet is that specially third-world countries (like mine) more often than not host their website offshore due to cost. On the other side, we host call centres for you, but thats another story!

    Regards.

  68. I agree with matt about hawaii mortages. Google is good due to fact even if you have a domain name hawaii-mortages it doesnt mean that you’ll be the first to appear. This would mean and give too much value to domain names even thought it is still important.

    PS: Was that Bill Gates? :D

  69. will google continue to work on the “canonicalization” problem that exists with the current updates?

  70. Some places above it has been said that a developer who places links on his customer’s sites back to his own site lowers the ranking of his customer’s sites. Why is that?

    Not that I have a lot of customer sites, but I have been doing that without knowing it might be a problem. (Mind you, none of these sites, my customer’s or my own, have enough exposure to show up in a search so any damage may be non-existent, but I still don’t want to do something that might be counter productive.) Thanks.

  71. Smokey

    Matt,
    it’s cool you “respect” everyone’s opinion and can accept “fair” criticism however I am not satisfied with your posts regarding google indexing. I have been very patient and even received an email stating everything looked good with my site and just wait. Yes, when radical changes happen I wish I had a crystal ball to glean some insight into what I am doing “wrong” or what went wrong. Why isn’t google more open to webmasters? I am not naive. I know people can be cut throat and take advantage of a system however I feel more open communication between google and webmasters is crucial.
    Smokey

  72. I have submitted a spam report for over one year on a particular site with no action from Google – the site is number one for the particular search phrase. I authenticated my site to prove to Google
    that the complaint was coming from a registered user – still this black hat website with cloaked and hidden text on top and bottom is still beating me on the google results taking revenue away each day.

    Since google is not responding to the spam report, or my authenticated complaint – are there any other optios other than to keep submitting and hope a google evaluator will read my complaint.

  73. Jim Korchinski,

    What is the site you are talking about?

    Many times webmasters use “if” statements in PHP to detemine if it’s a Googlebot and then they’ll display different content. To see this, try using Google’s cache feature.

  74. Jim, you can`t put a report on any cloaking website. It`s a job for crowler and search engines algoritm (future version)…
    From other side – get push to your own site to go higher in web ranking, even (or ecpecially) if competitor try to do it in a wrong way…

  75. Ha ha…

    BILL GATES…lol…that guy is such a pest!

  76. Sorry to say, but I didn’t get this part of the post.
    “or is it about getting searchers to click on the right hand side?”
    What is it about?

    Ahh… ok…ok…ok… Got it.
    But is it the truth ;)

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