What did I miss last week?

Okay, I’ve caught up on all but five feeds now. 90 posts on Search Engine Land in a week? Danny and friends, you’re killing me here. 🙂 Two of my favorite posts that I’ve seen so far show that Google is listening to feedback:
– Jeremy Zawodny complained that his Gmail spam filter wasn’t working well. Somebody from Gmail’s anti-spam team touched base with Jeremy to ask for some examples, and the performance is better now. It’s very cool that a Gmail person is on the lookout for reports of problems.
– A post from the Google Reader team made my whole day. It’s by Nick Baum, someone that I’ve enjoyed working with, and it starts out

One of the most useful aspects of feed readers is how easy they make it to keep track of industry news. Which in my case means using Google Reader to read about… Google Reader. For example, I subscribe to the Google Blogsearch for “Google Reader” (which has a feed) so I know whenever someone writes about our product.

That’s something that all teams at Google should be doing for their products. I can attest that the Google Reader team watches for feedback in the blogosphere and uses that to help decide what to do next. I believe that listening to outside feedback is part of the reason why that team is rocking out so hard lately.

Here are some of the other things that caught my eye:

– Greg Linden decided to put Findory on auto-pilot and spend more time on his health and family. I understand the decision, but I’m still sorry that Greg is pulling back. I hope he continues to blog. Not only is he a healthy voice for personalization (which I consider to be one of the biggest trends in the future of search), but his blog points out cool things like the $1M Netflix challenge to improve their personalization. Ironically, the week before I went on vacation, someone was showing me a cool feature and I told them it would be really neat to contact Findory and see if Greg was interested in trying it out.
– Wikipedia is adding nofollow to its external links. Brion Vibber announced this on a mailing list, and there’s some discussion at the bottom of this this section. The nice thing is that Brion’s email mentions “Better heuristic and manual flagging tools for URLs would of course be super,” which means that Wikipedia is open to ways that allow more trustworthy links to be “follow”-able. But for the present, I think it’s the right call: the incentive to create spammy links on Wikipedia has been massively reduced. As one SEO person commented on a forum, “Yeah, that sucks. All those hours spent spamming wikipedia, gone to waste…” 🙂 Over time, I believe Wikipedia will probably find ways to remove nofollow from links that are more trusted. If you’re interested in helping with that, see Brion’s email for how to get involved. I don’t expect this change to affect Google’s rankings very much, but it’s good to see the Wikipedia folks paying close attention to link spam (and open to refining their trust for external links).
– John Battelle pointed out that Peter Horan joined IAC as CEO of Media and Advertising. Jim Lanzone, the CEO of Ask, will report to Horan.
– People noticed that Google is showing related searches more often at the bottom of some search result pages.
– A Wired article second guesses some Yahoo decisions and execution. Among other things, it asserts that Yahoo! could have bought Google for $3 billion in 2002, and critiques the development of Panama. I personally thought that the article came off as too negative. “Why didn’t Company X buy Google back when they had the chance?” is a charge that you could level at several large companies besides Yahoo. And as someone who was in Google’s ads engineering group for a year when it was all of five people, I can tell you that writing a state-of-the-art ads serving system is hard. That’s especially true when Yahoo’s page views is measured in the billions. Ah, Valleywag finds a nice juxtaposition. Also read Yahoo’s full response to the Wired story here.
– Yet another “pay-for-blogging” (PFB) business launched, this time by Text Link Brokers. It should be clear from Google’s stance on paid text links, but if you are blogging and being paid by services like Pay Per Post, ReviewMe, or SponsoredReviews, links in those paid-for posts should be made in a way that doesn’t affect search engines. The rel=”nofollow” attribute is one way, but there are numerous other ways to do paid links that won’t affect search engines, e.g. doing an internal redirect through a url that is forbidden from crawling by robots.txt.
– Hitwise offered a market share comparison between Bloglines, Google Reader, Rojo, and other feed readers that claimed Bloglines was about 10x more popular than Google Reader. My hunch is that both AJAX and frames may be muddying the water here; I’ve mentioned that AJAX can heavily skew pageview metrics before. If the Google Reader team gets a chance to add subscriber numbers to the Feedfetcher user-agent (which may not be a trivial undertaking, since they probably share code with other groups at Google that fetch using the same bot mechanism), that would allow an apples-to-apples comparison.
– Google closed a small security hole that Tony Ruscoe found. After reading Tony’s post-mortem post, it sounds like it was closer to a proof-of-concept than a serious threat and the security team responded and fixed the problem quickly, which is good.
– Someone defaced 3-4 SEO blogs using a security hole in WordPress. My blog was on the “want to crack” list, and my logs data shows four attempts to crack my site using the “POST /blog/wp-trackback.php?tb_id=1” technique of this script. Just to be clear, in the same way that trying to infect users with viruses/trojans is considered webspam, cracking sites is a violation of our webmaster quality guidelines. This incident provides a good reminder for everyone to upgrade their WordPress, especially since:
– In bigger WordPress news, version 2.1 just came out. Here’s 10 things you might want to know about the new version. The high-order bit for me is that WordPress 2.1 introduces an autosave functionality. You can read the official 2.1 release post by Matt Mullenweg, who recently turned twenty-three. 🙂

I’m sure there will be other things I missed, but those were the most interesting to me as I was catching up.

66 Responses to What did I miss last week? (Leave a comment)

  1. Matt

    See you not going to bed yet. Shouldn’t we be more careful that she suddenly wakes up smelling the coffee 🙂

    “Over time, I believe Wikipedia will probably find ways to remove nofollow from links that are more trusted. If you’re interested in helping with that, see Brion’s email for how to get involved. I don’t expect this change to affect Google’s rankings very much, but it’s good to see the Wikipedia folks paying close attention to link spam (and open to refining their trust for external links).”

    Would you be kind to elaborate more on that part. Should we understand that the presence or absence of rel=nofollow has no effect on GOOG’s ranking?


  2. Yes, You forgot something VERY important.

    Thousands of websites (pages) drop in Google, you can read webmasterworld. This is important to us know what is happening.

    Best regards,

  3. Glad to see your site wasn’t cracked. Having helped one of the compromised sites get back online, I can say that it wasn’t too nice to see someone sneak in and get access to a site’s database, even if was only a small portion…

  4. I don’t think that adding a no-follow will help to stop spam. In blogs the no-follow parameter is present but spam is going to increase daily anyway.
    It, at least, will help Google ranking, nothing else.
    My two cents,

  5. Hey Mike, would you have noticed if the cracker had just added a hidden link to the templates? How many vulnerable wordpress installations are still out there … imagine if someone were to sneak in, update the template with a hidden link behind an image and sneak out again… easy to do, a lot of potential links.

    Website owners need to take the risk of getting hacked for SEO seriously. Adding a list of pills and porn links to a site will get noticed – at least by Google :D, but adding a cycling affiliate shop link to a private blog most likely won’t. The same goes for all those XSS tricks, only “fixing” the template is going to be much harder to spot.

    I’m not giving people stupid ideas, they have them already, it’s already happening, it’s been happening for years now. Webmasters need a heads-up that this kind of thing is a problem and that they need to be prepared for it.

  6. Are we to beleive that Google will be collecting personal data to serve more targeted SERPS. If so, is this not a breach of personal privacy? I suspect, knowing Google, that legally it is not. But morally…. hum.

  7. With the gmail problems, are you saying that Google has worked out how to deal with image spam? I like gmail but judging from the last few weeks it seems more like than an individual success than a fix overall

  8. Hi Matt,

    re: ‘Yet another “pay-for-blogging” (PFB) …links in those paid-for posts should be made in a way that doesn’t affect search engines’.

    There are models / companies that pay bloggers for writing neutral articles – same model in a lot of traditional media companies where the industry pays for editorial specials.

    Or where a publishing company hires a blogger (or several bloggers) to write about certain topics, companies, products.

    Should we avoid linking to the company websites at all ?

    It is not easy to write about Vista without linking to the downloads, the forums, the product detail pages etc. – and from my point of view it doesn’t make sense to NOT link… only because some spammers use the same technique.

    I am happy that Wikipedia stops link spamming this way, it makes it much easier for real content providers to add their usefull links (without getting deleted within seconds because of the spam dilemma).


  9. “Should we understand that the presence or absence of rel=nofollow has no effect on GOOG’s ranking?”

    Harith, I’m guessing Matt meant that Wikipedia’s outbound links weren’t passing much link juice to begin with.

  10. Welcome back!

    > but if you are blogging and being paid by services like Pay Per
    > Post, ReviewMe, or SponsoredReviews, links in those paid-for
    > posts should be made in a way that doesn’t affect search engines.
    > The rel=”nofollow” attribute is one way

    Nofollow was originally announced to be used (quote Google*) “anywhere that users can add links by themselves, including within comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists”. When did that change to include webmaster-selected ads, Matt?

    * http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/01/preventing-comment-spam.html

    > After reading Tony’s post-mortem post, it sounds like it
    > was closer to a proof-of-concept than a serious threat

    Agreed — because Tony is whitehat, it was only a proof of concept. If Tony were blackhat, it would have been a serious threat. Earth needs more people like Tony 🙂

  11. Hi Phillip, Not sure where you are getting that, but I thought Matt and Google from day one do ‘not’ wish to give any boost to anyone who “buys” a link of “any” kind. Why would they? How hard is it to buy a link, whether it’s a pay per post in a blog link or any other kind of link?

    I find it hilarious that text link brokers is now doing this. “Performancing” tried and failed. The main reason is that this pay for post stuff is mostly to do with Google and we all know it. The crying about Google saying to use nofollow on ALL paid links is not something new. Afterall; if you sell links on your website, are you not selling them for the targeted visitors your site will send to your advertisers? If not, why not? …… I know that answer. 🙂

  12. I was just over at SEL and Danny’s post about Google Feeds. I clicked on SEL’s Blog Search example and found this: http://www.revenuesource.com/seo-sem/10529-what-did-i-miss-last-week.html

    Talk about deja vu.

  13. Wikipedia adding nofollow will not have a major effect on Google’s search results ?

    Can we take this as a fast track lesson on how Google sees linking patterns, and linking pattern changes ? How there’s no difference from this point of view beteween let’s say… ten million outbound links and ten million outbound links with nofollow ?

    Or HOW will it not affect the search results ?

    I can understand your anti-spam point of view, no, make it I cheer for you Matt, but this isn’t just about the people who edited those links onto Wikipedia and their website pageranks… who cares about that, Wikipedia is sending interested visitors to sites on topic anyways. The rest is edited out whatever these people do. No, what I’m interested in is Wikipedia itself.

    Wiki pages being ranked well or not.

  14. Mike,
    Thats freaky … are there any more details available under the SEO_BLOGS member with 269 posts? I didnt feel like registering.

  15. _____________________________
    Here are two more SEO news items –
    and obviously,…
    these Google policy changes were a result of SearchEnginesWeb tenacious postings over the past year

    . 😀 http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/007207.html

    . 😀 searchengineland.com/070116-150355.php

    Read the Yahoo Blog to see what was accomplished THERE!!!

  16. Jason

    I’ve no idea. I’m not registering either but you can view other posts by by SEO_BLOGS and there are feedburner links to many of the original articles. I guess SEO_BLOGS is an accurate description 🙂

  17. All the link buyers and thin affiliates are complaining over at webmaster world. It would be nice if you wrote something up about this real quick and googles stance on this. I guess I am getting tired of all the people whining over there. Anyone know of a good Webmaster Blog/Message board where people do not whine so much but talk about real issues and ideas?

  18. >the incentive to create spammy links on Wikipedia has been massively reduced

    people are still chasing links … man that’s so 5 minutes ago … people should really be spamming for relevant traffic, which is immune to misused tags.

  19. Wow – a link from the great Matt Cutts. 🙂

    Thanks, Matt.

  20. Matt, I would also love to hear some more about how you think the “nofollow” addition to Wikipedia will affect Google’s rankings. Did Wikipedia links have some special treatment in the algorithm previously? I don’t think denying or confirming whether it did would reveal any secrets. If it did, then clearly this change should have no impact at all, which should be the preferred result as it comes to SERPs, since this single decision by Jimmy Wales hasn’t really suddenly changed the web in a day.

    I own reference sites, which naturally were cited much more by Wikipedia’s editors compared to commercial sites. If this change does have an effect, I expect commercial sites to gain and reference sites to lose overall. Before somebody assumes that my sites are spam – none of the Wikipedia links were added by us, the content cost over a million dollars, and they also have other unsolicited links from .gov and .edu sites.

    I would really hope that Wikipedia admins develop some better ways of flagging links with “nofollow” then the current wholesale change. Whether it is stable versions or some algorithmic way of removing “nofollow” (ex. after they survive several edits and some period of time), it would still be better than the current solution.

  21. I didn’t see you mention the cob-web.org BUG(?) at all.
    Is this a duplicate content problem with sites? It sure seems that it COULD be when they have sites looking like this: http://www.google.com.cob-web.org:8888 and when your AdSense code server has the cob-web.org added to it in the code.
    Please have a look at it and tell us if it is a problem or not!

  22. Thanks JohnMu. I am going to join that one.

  23. It helps with SERPs, but doesn’t do anything for preventing spam. Nofollow did nothing to stop comment spam.

    Once you have automated spam generation tools in place, why not keep spamming? Eyeballs is still eyeballs, and wikipedia entries get traffic.


  24. Also v7N launched a paid lin bloggin service why do people not get it. Now genuine worthwhile comments on a blog with a link that deserves to be there will get creamed in the cull to stop these linkabators who refuse to accept that the opportunity to make millions selling links is over.

  25. I have seen alot of abuse with the no follow tag lately. Its funny how people think they will still trick google.

    Abuse I have seen is:

    1.Affiliate linking
    2.Link Exchanges
    3.Deceptive content
    4.Pages stuffed with irrelevant text and thousands of keywords
    5.Three/Four/Five way linking schemes
    6.Deceptive doorway pages

    Just because google does not follow the links does not mean they do not look at the pages or know of the pages that are blocked by the no follow. Google probally still uses the no follow links in some sort of scoring and still looks for shady types of webmasters.

  26. Excuse my ignorance but shouldn’t the rel=nofollw mean to robots NOT to follow the link, NOT to index, Not give this link any value at all?

  27. Its not about the value of the link. Google might have already crawled the page that you have linked to. What I am saying, is that people think that this is the magic pill for google not to see their sites linking to bad neighbor hoods or something shady is going on.

  28. Doug Heil said:

    I find it hilarious that text link brokers is now doing this. “Performancing” tried and failed.

    And interesting trend eh?


    Extremely Bored

  29. Matt, one biggy you missed, Goog forget to rereg their .de domain

    oops 🙂

  30. S.E.W., what are you taking undeserved credit for this time?

    On second thought, don’t explain it. I don’t feel like reading bold, italics, and third-person narratives (by the way, only The Rock and Multi-Worded Adam get to do those.)

    Matt, there’s a backhanded hint there. 😉

  31. will you be pressing charges against the person try to hack into your site Matt?

  32. I’m still wondering what’s going on with GOOGLE lowercasing titles. Is this some sort of new trend. Are we going to see MSN doing it soon?

  33. Matt: Since you’re on the pirate’s list you may want to consider protecting your wp-admin folder. I blogged about how to use .htaccess to only allow access by IP (as that works well for me).. I noticed that… ahem… yours isn’t protected yet 😉

  34. Matt,

    Please throw some light on end of page penalty as we at WMW discussing lot with no answer at all. We do care for our future client and its media Google but google is throwing the nice result out of the SERP to the last position in SERP. These sites are authoritive site and lots of good content. Please give some clue, my bread winning site is at the bottom of result. Please matt give us some thought so that we can correct any problem which may googlebot or the ranking program facing with our site. Please….

  35. Thanks Pittbug, also do not think that it is limited to just redirecting your site to an “I’m the coolest hacker in the free world” website.

    Last week I found myself ranking for all kinds of pills and porn. The hacker had installed a mini site in a subfolder in my wordpress “smilies” folder. He/she was linking to it from free blogger and free wordpress to rank for these things then redirecting the traffic to a phoney spam search engine. This brings SEO and hacking closer together which is not good PR for SEO.

    This hacker was ranking for things that other SEOs can only dream about and doing well in the few moments before he was reported and fried. Think of how many WordPress blogs out there will never be updated and are open to this new hacking/seo combine threat. Scary!

  36. Yahoo Panama: multiple years, hundreds of developers, hundreds of thousands of engineering manhours. Massive, massive, massive.


    “…as someone who was in Google’s ads engineering group for a year when it was all of five people, I can tell you that writing a state-of-the-art ads serving system is hard.”

    Five engineers? Matt, was this gentle dig about the relative productivity of Y vs. G engineers? For how long was G ads engineering team so small?

    Just curious —


  37. Now if someone would just fix Google search so it didn’t ignore the words I tell it to exclude so frequently. I can understand how words might appear on a page if it was updated since Google last scanned it, but when I say exclude a word and it’s included and highlighted all over the Google page of search results…. come on guys, give me what I ask for, not what you think I want.

    While I’m at it, why is it that when this happens the page in question almost always has Google ads on it?

  38. Matt – FYI that congoo no index tag site lauched a news channel which I thought was interesting. It looks googlish in one way but different enough: http://news.congoo.com

    I saw this on search engine journal

  39. A blog called Contrary Thought talked about Googles biggest competition being from what it thinks will be many small specialized search engines catering to all the niche areas of the web. What does Google think of as its biggest future competition?

  40. Yahoogle, glad they didn’t buy when they had the chance – the new name would suck.

  41. While I’m glad that Jeremy Zawodny was able to get help quickly from Google, my experience with Google’s (in particular Gmail’s) technical support has been less than stellar. If I get a response at all, it’s usually: “Thanks for a report of your problem, we’ll look into it.” My experience with other teams at Google has been slightly better, but when you have such poor customer service with Gmail, it doesn’t make me confident of getting good customer service if I ever paid for a service from Google and had a problem. I realize that your services are free, but, when emailing technical support for other free email providers, I usually get a more personal response.

  42. I just noticed today that if you search for an address, a link to Google Maps no longer appears first. So if you search for something like [5th Ave New York City, NJ], you have to click on the Maps button to get the map instead of it letting you know in the main SERPs this exists and giving you a nice convenient link.

    I know last week at some point Google stopped putting links to Yahoo, Mapquest, but now nothing? Any idea what happened?

  43. Harith/JT, I was referring to the specific situation of Wikipedia adding nofollow links.

    Jacques, I didn’t see many (any) instances where people listed the specific site that they were talking about. In general, my advice would be that if you think you have a spam-related penalty, to take a fresh look at the site (maybe enlist someone else to provide feedback), and when you believe the site is clean, do a reinclusion request.

    Mike Papageorge, when I was an undergrad I once had someone get my password and delete all the files in my account. I agree that it leaves you with a sick feeling inside.

    Allan Stewart, it’s not clear what you’re referring to. I believe everything Google does privacy-wise is covered under our privacy policy though, so people can read that. I believe that we do a better job with user privacy than other search engines.

    Remo, I haven’t talked to the Gmail spam team about image spam, so I don’t know how they’re doing on that. On my non-work Gmail account, I’ve only gotten 3 spam messages in January that got through the spam filters. Anecdotal evidence isn’t that valuable though, as you note.

    wingthom, I’d feel free to link to websites like you mention, but the rule-of-thumb to use is “If you’re being paid to write a blog post, you should use nofollow or some similar technique so that the links in that post don’t affect search engines.”

    Philipp, my intention was always to provide a machine-readable mechanism for webmasters. The post back then concentrated on blog spam, but specifically mentioned referrers, guestbooks, etc. so that people would realize that it was a general mechanism. Also, I thought about how to describe the security hole. I agree that it was a really clever approach. But two things made me describe it as more limited in scope: 1) there weren’t that many places on google that would point to ghs.google.com by default and 2) you had to convince someone into visiting the sneaky blog. I hope I didn’t come off as trivializing Tony’s find. I’m glad that he reported it, and I’m grateful for all the Google experts like Tony and Haochi who help us find and close corner cases like this.

    Mike Empuria, wasn’t that nice of someone to join that forum on my behalf? 😉

    SearcH EngineS WeB, now imagine how much more traction you would have gotten if you didn’t use bold/italics as much? 🙂

    Aaron Brazell, absolutely. I saw your post before MattM’s official post was out and really enjoyed it. After Ella (WordPress 2.1) officially came out, I wanted to give you credit for the early good write-up. 🙂

    George, I’ll check out cob-web.org. Man, that’s a slow site.

    Fionn, I have a funny story to tell about a related subject. I’ll try to write it up.

    Jason Duke, such minor events add spice to one’s week, eh? 🙂

    Tricia, I believe my efforts would be better spent investigating to find their sites, seeing if they’re in AdSense, etc. As I mentioned, cracking sites is a violation of our guidelines, and serves as a reason to be dropped from AdSense, to have websites removed from our index, etc.

    Pittbug, I read your article and thought about it, but I come in from a, shall we say, varied set of IPs. 😉 I may still reconsider and do this though.

    Alan Rimm-Kaufman, no disrespect to Yahoo was intended — sorry if it came across that way. I just meant that writing a good ads system is hard. The time I was referring to was back in 2000 when Google was less than 100 people, so the Google system that I was referring to was more like the proto-Ur ads system that is several generations behind our current system.

    Thomas, care to give an example?

    Paul Nangle, the nice thing about working at Google is that we’ve never been short of competition. That’s healthy because it keeps us on our toes and motivates us to stay focused on what our users want.

    Douglas, I imagine that it’s tough trying to support millions of users and do it well. Sorry that you didn’t have the best experience getting a reply. 🙁

  44. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for response, please read around Webmasterworld.com, o digitalpoint.com, there are many post and webmasters talking about this problem, they have authority sites with thousands of pages, white hat, old sites, etc etc this is not just my website. Here on your blog Ron Gupta talk about. Is there any Google Dance, Google is updating something? This is not very normal.

    Thanks very much for your time!!!

  45. Hi Matt,

    I think of the 3 biggies – Google’s cust service (at least adwords side as that’s the most experience I’ve had) is EXCELLENT – everyone is on the same page – they give the exact same answer. Call Yahoo – 4 different answers from 4 different people, they tell you things you KNOW are not true…it’s terrible. I havent ever gotten through to AdCenter’s cust service….just lots of holding….

    We have had new clients with some google penalties – we fixed them and put in a reinclusion request and things went back to “normal” within a month. I think that’s pretty good, and it made us look like SEM gods in our customer’s eyes!

    Pass on some kudos from us at Blizzard to the Googlers!
    Thanks for keeping us updated and in the loop!

  46. Oh, SearchEnginesWeb usually does NOT post twice in the same thread…..BUT Really !…REALLY!!

    …THE Entire Point is being MISSED!

    SearchEnginesWeb accomplished what NO ONE was able to do – or even cared to do. 🙁

    No one at Google care enough to advocate for anyone else but themselves (what’s in it for me? How does it help MY career)

    Why would someone risk their career or the karma – by saying the things that SearchEnginesWeb said – to their superiors????? 😮

    Why would anyone take the abuse and continuous nasty comments that SearchEnginesWeb took FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR 😕

    Why would anyone put up with having all their posts deleted, …DELETED 😮

    Did SearchEnginesWeb get any compensation for all this hard work 😕

    Did Google or This Blog even bother to give SearchEnginesWeb a NOFOLLOW link, or even a ‘Thank you’ 😕

    This Helped Google.

    Everyone – includingYahoo & Microsoft and IBM has flaws. If an environment exists that stifles communication because of ostracization and bruised egos – then ultimately, the company suffers. Someone else will ultimately come along and fill any void.

    Why did ALTAVISTA or AllTheWeb die instead of becoming the next Google??
    Why was Yahoo getting the same search share a few years ago, that Google has NOW?
    And MSN …Oh My God …MSN!

    Regardless of what you may think or feel – no one can deny Google & this blog is better off having had SearchEnginesWeb participate.

    Let SearchEnginesWeb help you. Won’t you please let SearchEnginesWeb help you.

  47. Wonder what Google search would do if everyone started using the nofollow tag?

  48. Thanks Matt for the rule of thumb, we will forward it to our blogger network.

  49. SearchEnginesWeb why are you so bitter?


    And you won’t have to worry so much about what Matt thinks or not thinks about you. You are not here to save Google. If they need you they will call you and pay you. Until then, get a job.

  50. German

    “SearchEnginesWeb why are you so bitter?
    GET A JOB”


    With all those capital/italic/bold “script” who would be willing to employ him/her?

    No offense intended, SEW 🙂

  51. Harith,

    I don’t know. I just think he has too much time if he is worrying about Google’s fate.

    Maybe he should work for Microsoft PR agency (if he wants to prove everybody that Google is so bad).

    It is none of my concern, actually. His comments are fun enough to get him noticed, though. If he thinks Google is heading the wrong path because his page is not ranking, he should keep that for himself and help the competition ranking his page getting more share of the market.

    Optimisation is in the end getting a rank in all search engines so I am not worrying about the fate of the one or the other.

  52. Just checking in to see if you found out anything about the cob-web.org problem. IS it a problem? Have sites got duplicate content penalties bacause of that site? Should cob-web “sites” show up in SERP’s and above the real site? Should cob-web URL’s even show up in SERP’s when it is a cache server? Slow site, huh? Guess the University need to buy better servers.

  53. You missed the google.de domain going a miss for a few hours


    amazing how nothing is learnt from this!

  54. The change to “no-follow” will be helpful and I hope well announced. I spend most of my editing time deleting links added by my competitors. Hey, if I can’t have one, they certainly are not going to get one!

    Ted Z.

  55. Google perfers red Hawaiian dresses

    Matt, now I have proof lol I was adding a new product line, paying extra attention to making sure the individule pages were on topic and ran them up. Then like a bolt of lightning hitting the frankenstine monster they sprung to life, well all but one. Yep, the G filters (which I really am a fan of, seriously) apparently saw the blue Hawaiian dresses and was forced to make a choice, whareas we determined Google perfers red Hawaiian dresses.

    But what I did not understand was why it got instantly shoved into the SI, arent URLs given a chance to gain some momentum any more? Peggy says I assed it up and its my fault that she cant have blue Hawaiian dresses in the RI. Im stuck with a boatload of blue Hawaiain dresses and one unhappy women. Nothing like the wifes wrath, any ideas? Even Gyspsy was without comment


  56. Hi Matt !

    I agree with Jacques !

    There are tons of sites that actually dissappeared form SERP’s in last month. I believe that there are some spammy sites belong all these, but many guys with 10 + old sites that were ranking for years on the Top of SERP’s reported 90 % of Google traffic drop.

    I know that Google is updating its data and changing ranks on daily basis, but this December dropps are just something that doesnt look like sime minor, usual changes.

    Sites are falling so hard as from #1 to #500 or deeper..

    And those fluctuations were biggest on 27.12, 3.1, 14.1, 15.1

    On 15.1 , sites that have dropped on Xmas or later, came back for 5 hours and ranked egsactly as theye ranked before, but after 5 hours those sites dissappeared again.

    I understand you cant tell us your algo or ranking methods, but some slight word about this situation would be great help.
    I just came to situation that I dont know if I really have a interest to work on some of my sites ( only one survived these ” dance” or whatever it is ) cause I have lost 80 % of traffic and 70 % of revenue.

  57. I haven’t talked to the Gmail spam team about image spam, so I don’t know how they’re doing on that

    Badly 🙂 re directing from another a/c with my host which gets a lot of spam. Had been using Gmail as a filter,

    Have been reading up a lot on the new spam wave so is not bothering me at the moment as my understanding of image spam is a lot more complicated to address than before

  58. I love how you’ve managed to squeeze an entire week’s worth of news into one tidy post, and I don’t think you’ve missed much at all.

    I think you just might need to take more vacations, so these week-in-review posts become more prevalent 🙂

  59. Google buys Yahoo!

  60. SearchEnginesWeb why are you so bitter?


    And you won’t have to worry so much about what Matt thinks or not thinks about you. You are not here to save Google. If they need you they will call you and pay you. Until then, get a job.

    German, I was going to give you some major props for being so blunt and in-your-face (I like that!) but then I realized you made one very minor, but fatal mistake:

    The world doesn’t need another clueless person in the workforce.

    Think about it…if SEW got a job, what would happen to the poor unfortunate soul(s) that hired him? Baaaaaaaaaaaaaa-WHOOSH! Business in the toilet with a great big Ferguson flush (let’s see who gets that obscure reference.)

    So let’s not subject any misguided, unfortunate people to SEW until he gets a clue first.

    When’s that coming, SEW? When is SearchEnginesWeB finally going to realize that bold, italics, and egomaniacal third-person narrative rants don’t accomplish bugger all?

  61. On a related note, please deal with this guy who is ripping your content.

  62. Matt,

    I am still a bit confused at what exactly Google is looking for when it comes to reporting paid links. In your post here, you mention this blog: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/sponsoredreviewscom-joining-paid-review-services/4263/

    The blog post talks about a company who specifically offers to broker text links on high PR sites.

    On that blog, on the right hand side is an area with a heading “Journal Sponsors.” The blog has 6 image links with an invitation to advertise on the Journal at the bottom of that section.

    When you visit that page, it says:

    For only $1,000 per month your graphic ad will be shown in the Search Engine Journal sponsor marketplace that you see in the top of the right sidebar. All ads are linked to the advertiser along with optional text link accompanying the ad.

    I did not see the rel=nofollow attribute on the links and the links did not redirect me through a different page. They are paid advertisements/links from this site.

    Specifically, why would this blog be “allowed” by Google to sell these links? What is different about these than say a Pay-for-Blogging site that sells on-topic authorship? Example: http://www.bugdugle.com

    To be an author there, you would have to pay $100 per month.

    Your comments are welcome and I look forward to hearing your reply.


    Bill Nixon

  63. Hi Matt.

    I think using “nofollow” tag is the best way to solve those linking problems so your links will be useless for the spammers, Thank you for sharing.

  64. thnxxx

  65. But if everyone went to the no-follow tag how would that work for the Google search? Granted it might very well cut down on the spam junkets, but really?