Matt Cutts Grab Bag

Good Q and A session over at Matt’s blog.

Couple things I didn’t like:
The very generic answer about RK. Specially if RK does represent some sort of internal PR calculation.
Rolling out Big Daddy to all the datacenters without fully addressing the supplemental issues first. Why not wait on rolling out Big Daddy across the datacenters until the issues were all fixed/tested.
No answers discussing the 301s.

My favorite comment:

>You could whitelist the IP range that Googlebot comes from in the mean time.
Do you have a listing of all the Googlebot IP addresses?
Thanks.

Yahoo Toolbar Adds del.icio.us

Yahoo just released an updated version of their toolbar.

For IE: Tabbed Browsing.
For Firefox: Bookmarks, Mail Alerts, and Anti Spy.

And the big change:

Speaking of changes, you must have heard about del.icio.us by now! People use del.icio.us ito save and share web favorites. We’ve just created a del.icio.us button for our US users. You add it to your IE or Firefox toolbar to get easy access to your del.icio.us account from anywhere on the web. If you already have toolbar installed, you can add it with a click, otherwise, find it on the Add/Edit Buttons page in the “Personal Tools” section.

Free Backlinks from Answers.com

Want a free backlink from Answers.com?

Here’s how:
1. Find a term that your website ranks top 10 in Google. The term could be competitive or non competitive, it doesn’t matter.
2. Point a link or several links to http://www.answers.com/keyword-term, http://www.answers.com/keyword+term, http://www.answers.com/topic/keyword-term, or http://www.answers.com/topic/keyword+term to get them indexed. Doesn’t matter where the links are coming from, the point is to get the Answers.com page indexed.
3. Free back link.
4. Remove the links to http://www.answers.com/keyword-term or http://www.answers.com/keyword+term if you worry about reciprocal links etc.

Some examples (Google Cache versions):
Lm Car Rental
Yahoopersonals
Personels/

What’s happening here?

Basically whenever Answers.com cannot find a match to a query, it displays the top 10 Google results with a bunch of sponsored links. Just like a scraper site. The top 10 results are displayed with clean html links.

One thing – since Answers.com works like a scraper site, you’ll notice some pages will end up in the supplemental index. Obvious search terms that have been scraped elsewhere will just end up in the supplemental index. Some of these Answers.com pages have some decent PR. For example this one is showing a PR 4.

Even more examples:
Google Search to find examples

All Answers.com pages that return Google results have a title like this:
Keyword Term: Web Search Results from Answers.com

So searching for “web search results from Answers.com” on the site:Answers.com will give you all the pages with Google results.

Warning:

This may be considered spam/blackhat etc.

Operator Standards

Why aren’t there standards for search engine advanced operators?

We’ve got three different engines, with three variations on advanced operators, with three different data sets. Why not implement some basic standards?

I’d like the site command to work the same on all engines. Not have to use workarounds. Same with the various “in” operators.

I’d like some more transparency with the link commands.

Using Advanced Search Operators

Today, Rand posted an entry about linking together search operators:

So I’m playing around with the MSN operators as per my post from last week and I stumble upon the holy grail of link searches

I’ve been doing the same types of searches over at Yahoo with the linkdomain commands for some time now, but never really tested out the MSN operators until Rand brought them up for discussion on his site.

The main benefit of using MSN over Yahoo for this is the inanchor operator. Yahoo currently doesn’t support the inanchor operator so you are partially limited.

My take on the holy grail, something like this:
inanchor:seo inbody:search inbody:engine inbody:optimization linkdomain:mattcutts.com linkdomain:seobook.com -linkdomain:seomoz.org

Then go one step further, take the domains from that list and see which ones are linked to by searchenginewatch.
site:searchenginewatch.com linkdomain:domainfromlist

Google Showing Query Specific Results for Olympians

Barry posted about how Google is showing a NBC Olympics box link to Carl Van Loan NBC athlete page for the query “loan”.

Barry noticed that other queries are not returning the Olympics box:

What bugs me is that a search on other popular U.S. Olympics Athletes do not bring up the same style result. One of the most popular U.S. Olympics stars is Apolo Anton Ohno but all you get are Google Images at the top. Another very popular U.S. athlete is Shaun White, but no special NBC Olympics box for Shaun either.

That sounded weird, so I spent a little time testing the system. Barry is right – searches for full names like “Shaun White” and “Apolo Anton Ohno” don’t show the NBC Olympics box. But one word queries for “Shaun”, “Apolo”, “Ohno”, “Van” do.

Here’s a list of some other interesting terms the NBC Olympics box is showing up for:

team, olympics, nbc, 2006, winter, torino, winter 2006, kevin, michael, ski team, snowboard, cross country skiing team (but not cross country – interesting), team sprint

Looks like NBC is using exact matching for these terms, since the NBC Olympic box doesn’t come up for many broad match terms like “NBC News” or full olympian names.

Update: Looks like someone at NBC recently added a few more terms to their campaign. Full names are now coming up with the NBC Olympic box.

Google Related Content AdLinks

Looks like Google is testing a new related content block that displays links to related content (so far news, searches, web pages). I’m assuming Google plans to allow publishers to modify the block to show links to other types of content like images, local, froogle, etc.

Garett Rogers says:

Since this doesn’t appear to show any advertisements, it is likely publishers won’t gain anything by using it — other than the satisfaction of knowing users are finding more information they are looking for. To solidify that point, the source code for the block doesn’t contain any unique identifier — required to link a website to a user account.

True, the source code doesn’t contain any unique identifier – but that doesn’t mean the public version won’t. Right now the outbound links from the content block do carry a client id. So Google is tracking where the visitors are coming from.

Web Page Link:

http://www.googlesyndication.com/relcontent/pageclick?

client=ca-rlu-vivi-ro-468x60_rc
&source=rlu&url=http://www.vivi.ro/blog/?p=182
&type=0&redir_url=http://romanian.joelonsoftware.com/

News Link:

http://www.googlesyndication.com/relcontent/pageclick?

client=ca-rlu-vivi-ro-468x60_rc
&source=rlu
&url=http://www.vivi.ro/blog/?p=182
&type=1
&redir_url=http://www.zf.ro/articole/Brokerii-nu-vad-motive-de-optimism-80250.html

Search Link:

http://www.googlesyndication.com/relcontent/searchclick?

client=ca-rlu-vivi-ro-468x60_rc
&type=2
&redir_url=http://www.google.com/search%3Frcu%3D2RLU%26hl%3Dro%26q%3DBANCURI

Example Script Include:
<script type=”text/javascript” language=”JavaScript”>
<!–
google_rc = new Object();
google_rc['width'] = 468;
google_rc['height'] = 60;
google_rc['modules'] = ['news','searches','pages'];
google_rc['color_line'] = ’336699′;
google_rc['color_link'] = ’0000ee’;
google_rc['color_bg'] = ‘ffffff’;
google_rc['color_text'] = ’000000′;
google_rc['color_source'] = ’6f6f6f’;
google_rc['color_header'] = ‘c6ddf4′;
google_rc['color_footer'] = ‘eeeeee’;
//–>
</script>
<script type=”text/javascript” language=”JavaScript” src=”http://www.googlesyndication.com/relcontent/show_rc.js”></script>

You’ll notice that you can choose which modules to display for the related content block.

Free Link Tips

Tired of directory and article submissions? Here are some tips for getting quality free links to your websites.

1. Profile Pages

Profile pages are essentially pre-sell pages. The links come from keyword rich pages (since you provide the content) and these links can include deep links. Depending on how the profile page is setup, the links may be located in the editorial block.

For example, both MySpace and Squidoo offer great profile pages. These profile pages are located one level off from the main domain. You can place multiple links within a large amount of text.

MySpace

Every account as MySpace has access to a profile page. Take a look at an example profile. Here you can see a decent amount of text with links sprinkled in the content, along with some nice anchor text.

Squidoo

Squidoo is even better. In addition to a profile section, Squidoo allows you to create individual topic pages called Lenses. Each of these lenses can be topic specific and include multiple links. Think of Squidoo lenses as hosted information pages. Here’s a quick example of a lense. Squidoo plans to share revenue with its lensemasters in the future.

2. Real Time Aggregators

Real time aggregators like memeorandum and megite are great for keeping updated with the latest news. From a SEO standpoint, sites like these represent a great vehicle for free links – provided you take the time to figure out how these sites rank.

Washington Post Trackbacks

The Washington Post supports trackbacks on many of their blogs. Similar to other trackback systems, they’ll toss you a link if you send them a trackback. With the immense number of blogs/content over at the Washington Post, you’ll find it fairly easy to come up with a blog post that is worth linking to. For example this one. (As opposed to straight out trackback spamming)

Memeorandum / Megite.com / Tailrank /Chuquet

These sites are real time aggregators – all run on different algorithms so you’ll have to take the time to figure out what works for you. A general tip, once you are in the system you can rehash whatever is on the front page and typically get a link.

Here’s a hint:

Megite works as the following:

Input:

a bunch of keywords, or a list of news or blog sites for a category

Process:

step 1) The sytem uses those keywords or the list to find more blogs or news site from the web. We called it data mining or auto discovery.

step 2) Some magic algorithm and ranking are used to discover the relevent and important blog posts or news.

step 3) learn from the discovered news and posts and infer more blogs and news site, then back to step 2) or output the intermedia results and push them to Megite web site.

3. Hosted Content

In addition to the big hosted blog sites like blogger, typepad, and wordpress.com – you can tap into other hosted content sites for links.

Gather.com

Gather.com is like an article repository that shares revenue with its authors. Here is an example Gather.com article.

The bonus with all these sites is that the better your content is, the better results you get. Better links, more natural traffic and in the case of Gather.com and Squidoo some extra cash too.

New AdSense Layout and Features

From the AdSense blog:

You can now access all AdSense products from the AdSense Setup tab within your account — edit your color palettes, get code snippets, access your channels, and more. As we add even more products and features, they’ll all share a consistent style to keep AdSense easy to use. For example, try out the new AdSense for content color picker for choosing and customizing new color palettes on the fly. Explore the link unit wizard with its new live preview feature and expanded explanations of this unique advertising option. These are just a couple of the many features we’re planning to offer, so keep an eye out for new options soon.

The new AdSense tab makes it easier to get started with AdSense – setting up AdSense code is split up into logical steps and the overall layout is less cluttered. Overall the changes are minor, but help improve the user experience. The live preview feature is good for getting an idea of how an AdSense block will look.

Couple new reporting features are being added:

We now offer more detailed reports about the type of ad targeting you’re displaying on your pages. See how much of your traffic is viewing site-targeted CPM ads and how much is viewing contextually-targeted CPC ads. To view separate reports for contexual targeting and site targeting, visit your Advanced Reports page. From there, choose AdSense for content as the product, select to show data by individual ad unit, and click the checkbox marked Show data by targeting type – contextual or site. Then generate a report as usual.

Reports for referrals are also being added.