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The Greenpeace PageRank Lottery

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 02 June 2009 08:53

Innocent mistake or blatant manipulation?

Ok, where’s a Googler when ya need one? Can someone please page the link police to the customer service area please? I have a question….

In particular a little campaign Green Peace is running which makes some bold statements in order to purposely ‘Google Bomb’ or at least dominate the space of a particular CEO all in plain SEO-speak! There is simply NO way that this is a legitimate tactic... you tell me what U think, m'kay?

Here’s the speech (emphasis mine);

“Play for traffic

Greenpeace webpages are often #1 or #2 in web search engines like Google and Yahoo for popular environmental keywords, because people link to us about those topics. With your help we can make this webpage the first thing Kuniaki Nozoe sees when he Googles himself!

To make it more interesting for web publishers, we're linking back to all referring sites. Every month we'll pick the three best referring webpages (based on the creativity of the content, not number of referrals) to add to our featured links list.

Only the featured links get a share of the PageRank from this page, so be creative. (All the other links are included here using javascript which search engine crawlers can't read.) ”

Ok, I’ve heard of trading links before and certainly buying them; but a PageRank lottery? The wining 3 pages (out of however many play along) are to be rewarded with PageRank? WTF? I am REALLY curious as to how that plays out with Google’s TOS when I’d imagine any of use that tried this little ‘game’ would likely run afowl of the the Mighty G.


Read more... [The Greenpeace PageRank Lottery]

SEO Dojo Memberships Available

Written by David Harry   
Thursday, 07 May 2009 18:46

Come join us in the SEO Dojo

We're almost happy enough with the SEO Dojo to release it out into the wild - ALMOST - We're opening the gates once again and allowing new member registration for the next 24hrs or 50 new members (which ever comes first). --- UPDATE --- (Sorry... we're now closed again)

What is the SEO Dojo?

In case you didn't know, we started creating a private community and learning center for the seriously obsessed search geeks and those with an interest in search engine optimization. If you want you can learn more about the Dojo and the Community (from those links).


Who is the SEO Dojo for??

  • Those looking increase their SEO knowledge
  • Great for webmasters and site owners
  • Professional SEOs looking for cutting edge advice
  • It’s for people looking to interact with other SEO enthusiasts
  • For webmasters and site owners seeking advice from top professionals
  • Can be used to find cross site promotions
  • A place for agency SEOs to talk shop
  • For professional SEOs in need of a supportive environment.


Who is it NOT for?


  • Beginners as we are here to talk about more than the basics.
  • Tool obsessed search geeks that want to pay for the latest toy.
  • Forum lurkers; you need to participate to gain value.
  • Egos and rock stars; we’re all treated equally.
  • Link droppers and self promoters, that’s why it’s private :0)


Now that registration is once again closed, be sure to hook up with the SEO Geeks Newsletter for final launch dates and discounts.


the SEO Geeks Newsletter is Rocking

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 07 April 2009 17:09

Just a quick note for a Tuesday to mention that the SEO Geeks Newsletter has been going great. While likely a humble number compared to many of the big dogs in the space, but we're up over 400 subscribers so far - Who knew that many peeps cared about the geekier side of search engine optimization? Sweeeet.... I've pretty juiced about some of the feedback so far and the kinds words recieved

Thanks for the luvin

Thanks so much to those following along - I hope to keep improving it as we go! I'd also like to thank our early sponsors, IM Spring Break, Raven SEO Tools, Your Members (WP plugin from Tim Nash) and Rank Sense - if you're interested in becoming a sponsor; get in touch.

We've also been putting past editions in Dojo - see the Newsletter Archive - that should give you and idea of the goodiness we're putting out each week. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter and get your weekly SEO Geek fix!

As for the Trail, we have some coverage tomorrow on some very interesting patents on Host level Spam detection - cya then!



Matt Cutts talks about the Brandy Update

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 20:28

..erm.. I mean 'Vince's Simple Change'

Hey kids... Matt put up a vid as part of the grab bag series and focuses on the 'Brandy' update (funniest name I heard so far, going with it)

I decided to quickly transcribe it for you - First the video and then the transcription and a few thoughts...

As expected, he states that they aren't so much targeting brands as only certain elements were tweaked that gives this appearance. He also reiterates that it's only in certain query spaces that this is happening.

"Inside of Google, at least inside the search ranking team, we don't really think about brands. We think about words like 'trust' 'authority' 'reputation' 'PageRank' 'high quality'.

The Google philosophy on search results has been the same, pretty much forever, is that somebody comes to Google and types in X, we want to return high quality information about X. And sometimes that's a brand search, sometimes that's an informational search, sometimes it's navigational, sometimes it's transactional."

"First off, YES, Google has made a change in our rankings, it's one of over 3-400 we make very year. So, I wouldn't call it an 'update', I would call it a simple change. If you have to refer to it, one of the people that did a lot of work on it, his name is Vince. This particular change, we talk about it as 'Vince's change' within the Googleplex.

I wouldn't really call it an update, but there has been a change in how we do some rankings. It doesn't affect a vast majority of queries, it's more likely, and most people haven't noticed it. I mean Aaron talked about it and I think even before that people at WebMasterWorld were talking about it. But it affects a relatively small number of queries, it's not like it affects a ton of long-tail queries or anything like that.

I don't think of it as putting more weight on brands. We don't really think about 'brands' in search quality that much. For example if you type 'eclipse', if Google were really focused on brands we'd return 'Mitsubishi Eclipse' at number one, or something like that.

And if you actually GO to Google and type in 'eclipse', we've got cause there's a development environment. We've got Nasa's eclipse website, and then there are some commercial results. For example, 'eclipse' is the name of that book in the Twilight series, so we've got a page from Amazon.

It's not that we always try to return brands. We try to return whatever we think the best results are for users. So, the net upshot of this change is pretty simple, we try to return high quality results. We think about trust, reputation, authority, PageRank and so what you should be doing doesn't change. Try to make a great site, try to make it the site that is sooo fantastic that you become an authority in your niche.

And it doesn't have to be a big nice. It doesn't have to be a huge, well known, key word. It can still be a smaller niche, that's the thing people are going to want to link to, that they'll talk about, the sort of things people really enjoy. Those are the sort of sites, the experts, that we want to bring back"

Brandy Update or is it Vince?


For me... I am still seeing talk of 'query types' and 'authority' here. Sure, we really aren't learning a helluva lot beyond what we did already, I just can't shake the feeling that this is 'trust' and query dependent related.

My main candidates at this point;

1. Trust factors such as domain age
2. TrustRank type concepts (linkage)
3. Query analysis (navigational, transactional)and query context

Other items that hold potential

1. Personalized PageRank (clustering)
2. Named entities concepts (and semantic relations)
3. Historical factors (including link velocity)

So, what did YOU make of it? Wonderfully crafter political prose? Or are there nuggets in the statement that tell us anything more than we knew already?


A Search geeks guide to Google brand bias

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 02 March 2009 08:51

More reasons for SEOs to learn about IR

The recent buzz around the SEO space is the (poorly termed) ‘Google brand algo’ which has been more than a little strange. As usual the blog regurgitators are talking in circles, donning tin foil hats and otherwise missing the mark as far as what is happening (some wild theories out there).

Now, I am (obviously) not disputing the recent changes that took place as even Matt, in his usual way, stated there are adaptations that could be producing such an effect (reminds me of the sandbox). That doesn’t bother me. And to be honest, Aaron’s assessment is fine as well, though a little over-the-top, tin foil hat flavouring for me. He terms it as an algo update; which works fine.

My bitch, (as always) is how some SEOs are now talking about the ‘brand algo’ and theories on what is causing the effect (one person even asked if ‘bounce rates’ were the cause *#$&@ ) which does little to make us look like we know much about search engines beyond how to spell the words. I have already seen more than a few ‘new Google brand algo’ type posts popping up around the blogosphere. Beyond those making up theories as they go, others are using the evil empire corporate agenda angle...also flawed. Please people… stop that would ya?

Does Google have a brand bias?


Read more... [A Search geeks guide to Google brand bias]
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