Trying to Matter

Even when thoughts remain silent or confused, I’m still left with a persistent inner tug, to try and do something that matters.

It isn’t verbal, and it doesn’t come with instructions; I’m not even sure what mattering looks like exactly. But it’s a hard feeling to ignore. When I’m reading the news, or fixing a software bug, or designing a logo, or writing an email, the questions return… does this matter? Could it matter? What would matter?

I rarely have answers. I try to make sense of my actions, to visualize their consequence in the world, but paths of cause and effect are complex, my vision is limited, and no matter how much you learn, much of the world is inherently unpredictable.

So the most I can ever really say I’m doing, is trying.

To matter.

I hope that’s enough.

From Matt Huebert.

Testing Link Depth: Updated

Let’s see how a couple links affect crawl depth. Ignore test please.

Capture picture-perfect memories with digital cameras designed to meet your needs. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a pro. Digital Cameras: Here.

Shop the hottest styles and trends in women’s clothing, including shoes, swimwear, perfect wear-to-work looks and accessories. Women’s Clothing: Here.

Update me Google.

NOTE: Cached HP cached on (1/27). Individual post cached on (1/27).

Added the below on 1/28.

Testing a previously uncached URL (1/28): Compare prices from other stores.

Testing a previously uncached URL (1/28) Dell Alienware M11X.

Testing a previously uncached URL (2/4) Compare prices from other stores.

Testing a previously uncached URL (2/7) Compare prices from other stores.

CRAWL ME

Testing a new URL (2/15) Crawl this and this. Let’s see if some additional links and content going to a new URL does anything. Test. Test. Ignore. Thanks.

Google Caffeine

The new Google sandbox has been out for a couple days now and I’m seeing a ton of spammy results.

Google turned up the domain authority way up in the new sandbox. Some on page stuff looks like it got tweaked higher too.

Update: Looks like topical relevancy got tweaked up also. One of our subdomains started ranking a lot better in caffeine vs live.

More notes:

  • Exact Domains = Win
  • Better semantic relationship detection
  • Unique domain links stronger
  • Universal search getting less prominence
  • Faster indexing
  • Time based results dropping faster

Update: Looks like results are starting to roll out. You’ll know if you see results that have been indexed within a couple minutes of going live.

Testing how Google is reacting to faster updates and refreshed content. As more and more factors are temporal based, Google is going to continue to favor relevant content that has been recently updated (it could be content update, backlink updates, or query rate changes).

Looks like Google still hasn’t released Caffeine live across the board. I’d expect to see some big announcement on the official blog when they do.

Update: Haiti & Google – http://www.google.com/relief/haitiearthquake/

Update: So while there hasn’t been announcement about Caffeine yet, I’m seeing new page updates within 5 minutes on Google’s end. Fastest I’ve seen is 30 seconds (not including real-time which is a totally different thing). If you’ve been noticing a trend of small short updates, I’m testing something. Ignore me. Nothing going on here. Really nothing going on here.

Mayor Bloomberg Getting into the SEO Game

Sounds like Mayor Bloomberg is getting read to SEO up NYC.gov:

The Mayor also announced that the City is working with Google to use Google search patterns to better understand the usage of NYC.gov and ultimately improve site content. By analyzing trends for New York City-related searches made by Google users, the City will tailor content to user preferences and improve costumer service.

Source: New York Future Initiative

Google Wave

First time i’ve been excited about a Google product in a long time. Hope this is gmail^10.

Here’s how it works: In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use “playback” to rewind the wave and see how it evolved.

Source: Google Wave @ Google Blog

Testing

Testing – my blog was down for a couple days. I’m trying to work out the kinks with hosting and domain registration. I should of transfered my domain over to moniker =/.

Google Responds To Landing Page Review Requests

Hints from Google on how to improve your AdWords landing pages:

From Digitalpoint:

We don’t typically give recommendations about what to change/add as we can’t guarantee it will help improve your site quality score. That said, you may consider adding content such as:
- more information about what distinguishes your service service and how you provide the best solution.
- information for home buyers – things to consider, how to pick a real estate agent
- information about real estate – median home value, common issues to watch out for (like termites or mold), etc.

From WebmasterWorld:

1. Not enought content.
There was only one opt-in email form and 1 page of text about why you should opt in, what you’ll get and a few tidbits about privacy.
2. The website needed a complete privacy policy on a new page as what was there was not detailed enough.
3. There was no contact us page.
4. There were no external links to other related and useful webpages.

Search Marketing Standard – Issue 2



Boris Mordkovich, Publisher of Search Marketing Standard, emailed me today letting me know that the 2nd issue of Search Marketing Standard is hitting the printers within a week and will be out in August.

The first issue contained less content than most expected, but this upcoming issue will be significantly larger.

Boris:

This time, it will be 30% larger than its predecessor and will contain more intermediate to advanced material as our readers have requested.

Leaving the Firm

I recently left Search Engine Optimization Inc. to pursue new opportunities. For the past several weeks I’ve been making the transition from client to in-house work. I joined Search Engine Optimization Inc. in January 2005 excited about search marketing and working for a large firm. Almost a year and a half later my excitement for the search marketing industry is still high, but it’s time for a change.

The firm has accomplished a lot in past year and half, growing rapidly in terms of services and employees. Originally a purely SEO firm, Search Engine Optimization Inc. is now offering pay per click management, copywriting, and optimized press releases. Even though the firm has been through several public snafus, the team at Search Engine Optimization Inc. is still going strong.

I’m leaving on good terms and I wish everyone at Search Engine Optimization, Inc the best.

So what’s next? I’ve joined Shopzilla‘s SEO team in a strategic role. I’m helping drive natural traffic to Shopzilla’s local and international web properties. I am excited to be part of a very strong SEO team that is competing with some of the best corporate SEO teams (Amazon / Ebay).

Shopzilla is a shopping search engine that provides users with a powerful and easy way to search through more than 30 million products from more than 60 thousand stores. In addition, Shopzilla also features price comparison tools with BizRate (operated by Shopzilla) reviews.

Shopzilla powers shopping search for many large web properties like AOL and Lycos.

I’ll continue to keep blogging and sharing with the community. Lately my posting rate has plummeted due to the job changes and my trip. But now that I’m back and settled, expect to see more posts in the near future.

Changes

Been a real slow posting month due to some changes and planning for my trip. I’m headed off to Thailand tommorow. Will update the blog with the recent changes when I get back.

MSN Allowing Webmasters to Opt Out of ODP Descriptions

For some time now, search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN have been using ODP (Dmoz) descriptions for search engine results descriptions. These descriptions are supplied by human editors overseeing the ODP. Although usually relevant and valuable, these descriptions at times are outdated, unrelated, and even incorrect.

Webmasters have been asking for a way to opt out of these ODP search engine results descriptions and MSN is the first engine to offer a solution.

So what we did was introduce a new option at the page level – a robots meta tag – that tells the MSN search bot not to use the DMOZ site snippet. This is something that only can be done at Web page level, by a webmaster, and is not done as part of the robot.txt file.

So in your Web page you’d put

<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOODP”>

or

<META NAME=”msnbot” CONTENT=”NOODP”>

Once MSN’s crawler revisits your page, you should see the changes reflected in the search results.

So far MSN is the only engine to recognize the tag, but hopefully the other engines will follow MSN’s example.

Behind the New Yahoo Homepage

Following the launch of Yahoo’s new homepage design, the Yahoo UI team discusses the patterns behind the homepage and the technology that powers the new interface.

From the Yahoo UI Blog:

This principle captures the idea that every piece of logical content does not have to be on a different page. Instead when we design a content page, especially a home page, we should consider how we can expand the user’s virtual space. In many ways this is similar to creating a play. At any given time the view on the stage is only a small part of the action. The backstage, props, and other actors are all being prepared for the next scene. A home page can provide ways to allow a user to take a “sneak peek” at additional content and essentially “open up” the page space.

This is just what the new Yahoo! home page has done.