Archives for July 2006

Do you know the way to SES San Jose 2006?

Joe Morin has posted the official party list for Search Engine Strategies (SES) 2006 in San Jose. That includes Google Dance V at the Googleplex, which all SES attendees are invited to. It’s a great chance to see the Googleplex and enjoy music, food, drinks, and talking with Googlers.

At the conference itself, Danny Sullivan and Google CEO Eric Schmidt will sit down to talk at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 9th:

Google CEO Eric Schmidt talks with Search Engine Watch editor-in-chief Danny Sullivan about how the search leader is growing and dealing with challenges and issues in search.

Then at 11 a.m. that same day, I’ll be on a “Speaking Unofficially: Search Engine Bloggers” panel. Those are fun because it’s pretty much all Q&A, so I can leave my PowerPoint at the door. I may do some other sessions too, but San Jose is a great time to rotate in new Googlers and let them soak in the experience of chatting with webmasters, advertisers, publishers, and users.

I love the San Jose conference because I can talk to webmasters until late, then drive home and sleep in my own bed. 🙂 Who here will be at SES San Jose? I’d love to meet a few new folks this year.

Update: This always happens. As I get closer to a conference, I’m like “Oh, I forgot I promised I’d be on that panel.” So I’m planning on being at the Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues session on Tuesday, August 8th, at 11:15 a.m. On the plus side, I’ll just be there for Q&A (no PowerPoint again! woohoo!), and I’ll get to sit next to Tim Converse, the Yahoo! analogue of my webspam self. On the minus side, I won’t get to listen in on the Blog & Feed Search SEO or Search Arbitrage panels.

Independent report on invalid clicks released

Seems like a good time to remind people of my disclaimer, because this post is purely my opinion.

Normally, reading court documents is nearly the last thing I would want to do on a Saturday. But if you’re a search engine geek like me, you’ll find the PDFs linked from this Google Blog post interesting:

I enjoyed both. The first document discusses the proposed $90 million settlement. One excerpt:

Similarly, the California attorneys’ repeated statements to the media–and to this Court–that the $90 million settlement fund will cover “only 0.5% of the damages” is not only egregiously false, it is absurd. The California attorneys take the position that the “damages” are 200 times $90 million, or $18 billion, which is more revenue than Google has received in its entire existence. There is no conceivable theory under which anything close to all of Google’s revenue–let alone more than all of Google’s total revenue–could be attributed to invalid clicks.

The second document is from an independent expert. Dr. Tuzhilin discusses Google’s detection of invalid clicks:

I have been asked to evaluate Google’s invalid click detection efforts and to conclude whether these efforts are reasonable or not. As a part of this evaluation, I have visited Google’s campus three times, examined various internal documents, interviewed several Google’s employees, have seen different demos of their invalid click inspection system, and examined internal reports and charts showing various aspects of performance of Google’s invalid click detection system.

For example, page 17 talks about why Google prefers the term invalid clicks to click fraud. I think most search engine optimization (SEO) folks would enjoy reading both documents. Whether to do it on a Saturday or not is your call, of course. 🙂

P.S. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions for what people want to hear me talk about in the future. It helps me a lot, and gave me several ideas for future topics to write about.

Update: I thought I’d add a few extra pointers here. If you haven’t read the full 47 page report at this point, you’re probably not going to. If that’s the case, you should read Danny’s “Cliff Notes” summary of the report. It’s much shorter than 47 pages. Danny covers the report in a level of detail that you normally only see for subscribing members of Search Engine Watch.

Also, I just saw CNET’s article noting that Google is going to offer click fraud stats to advertisers:

Now advertisers will be able to see the number of invalid clicks Google found, as well as what percentage that represents of total clicks registered, said Shuman Ghosemajumder, business product manager for trust and safety at Google. …. Under the new system, AdWords customers will be able to see data on invalid clicks on a daily basis or beyond, going back to the beginning of the year, he said.

I think it’s great if Google starts showing data like this.

Update: Aha, I should have waited a few more minutes. There’s an official blog post up on the AdWords Blog, and it includes a screenshot of the UI. Check out the post.

Which direction next?

Which would you prefer: more SEO 101-type posts that explain how I would organize and optimize a site that’s just starting out? Or more super-duper power SEO posts that talk about how you can use the translation proxy to check for cloaking, or that talk about the SEO controversy du jour?

Heading back to the valley

I was out of town Monday through today for a family reunion in New Jersey. It’ll still take me a day or two to catch up on email; I’m sitting in the Philadelphia airport right now. But I couldn’t pass up the chance to see family and get an authentic New Jersey hoagie. 🙂

Google supports META NOODP tag

Vanessa Fox notes over on the Sitemaps blog that Google now supports the META NOODP tag. What does this tag do? In some circumstances, Google uses descriptions from the Open Directory Project as the title and snippet for a web result; this tag lets you opt out of the ODP title and description.

For example, if you look at this page, someone added an entry for my blog in the action-packed “Computers: Internet: Searching: Search Engines: Google: News and Media: Weblogs” category:

Matt Cutts – A Google employee gives insight into the company, search engine index updates and SEO issues.

So if you did a search for [matt cutts], you would see something that looks like this:

My snippet with an ODP entry

Just for fun, I added

<meta name=”robots” content=”noodp”>

to see the tag in practice. And recently, the snippet for the search changed to look like this:

My snippet using the nodp

I wasn’t checking every day, but I think it took about 3-4 days after my page was crawled for this change to show up. From Danny’s original “25 Things I Hate About Google” post, this was an item that I’d seen several complaints about, so thanks to the Googlers who added this option.