Archives for December 2005

Happy ho-ho-holidays!

I’m flying out this morning to warm, sunny cold, snowy Omaha for the next few days. I would say something like “any Nebraska webmasters want to get together to talk SEO?” except I’m only gonna be there for a short time, and I’ve heard that if you actually do something silly like walk outside your house in Nebraska in the wintertime, you turn into a Matt-sicle in about 10 minutes flat. SEJ hasn’t announced any blog awards that I’m up for yet (Notice how they are drawing out the process? Announcing over multiple days like the Nobel Prize does? Smart, very smart.). So I’ll be sleeping on a plane to Omaha, with visions of “Most likely to flame a spammer” awards dancing in my head.

I hope everyone has good holidays!


I’m one of several Googlers who answer questions online and sometimes for the press. I usually handle questions about webmasters or SEO, so in those areas I’m more likely to make sense and less likely to say something stupid. If I post something here that you find helpful as you build or manage your web presence, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

Q: Heh. Did you get a talking to?
A: No, I haven’t. Hopefully I never will.

Q: Why are you doing this now?
A: Just in case. If I say something stupid in the future, it’s better to be able to point out that the stupidity is mine, and mine alone. My stupidity! You can’t have it! 🙂

Eco-Friendly SEO

Bobbie Johnson write a fun piece for the Guardian, in which he tries to optimize for a phrase that doesn’t exist much on the web: eco-friendly flip-flops. SkepticalMatt wants to point out that while [eco-friendly flip-flops] has 11,700 results, there are currently less than ten unique results for the actual phrase [“eco-friendly flip-flops”], and four of those are related to this experiment, so this niche isn’t ultra-competitive. 🙂 But HolidayMatt just wishes Bobbie well with his non-existent product that features “zero harmful emissions” (does foot-stinkiness count as a harmful emission?).

P.S. I’m totally going to pwn the SkepticalMatt niche. w00t!

Sitemaps with www vs. non-www

(Just a quickie post.)

The more I see from the Sitemaps team, the more I like them. 🙂 Here’s a good post from the Sitemaps blog about viewing stats for both www and non-www versions of a site, including a pointer to this support answer about consolidating such sites together.

The only thing I’d add to that answer is one recommendation: check your internal links and to make sure that they’re consistent (either all to www or all to non-www). That will also help search engines pick the root page that you prefer.

The Little 301 That Could

Nelson Minar, another Google employee, recently moved his site with a 301. I’ve heard reports of problems moving a site with 301s, so I’m glad it worked fine for him.

Let’s see, where are we? Jagger wrapped up by about November 18th. I tried to impress on folks at Google that to the extent possible, you don’t want to make major shake-ups to the index during the holiday shopping season, so people should either launch their changes relatively early (e.g. like Jagger), or try to hold off until after the holiday season is winding down. Sometimes you don’t really have a choice because something is ready to go, but post-Jagger I think things were pretty quiet in the index this past month.

We’re getting closer to calling for feedback on, but I probably won’t ask for reactions for another week or two. Right now that datacenter isn’t serving traffic 100% of the time as people pull it out of the rotation from time to time to tune things up under the hood. That data center has some infrastructure that I think in time will work better for canonicalization and redirects. We also recently improved site: to show slightly more logical urls as well.

Update: We’ve opened up feedback on the Bigdaddy data center, but the preferred location is Edited the post to reflect that.