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.


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

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 Although usually relevant and valuable, these descriptions at times are outdated, unrelated, and even incorrect.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




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.

Quick Google Update

Just a short Google update since there is better coverage over at SEW/SE Roundtable.

During Google’s Press Day yesterday, Google announced the release of four new products:

Google Co-op is a way for users to help us improve search. It lets people and organizations label web pages and create specialized links related to their unique expertise. Whether it’s information about a hobby, a profession, or an unusual interest, everyone can contribute to making Google search more relevant and useful for the entire community.

Google Desktop 4 gives you another way to improve search, by personalizing your desktop. New “Google Gadgets” deliver an array of information–ranging from games and media players to weather updates and news–straight to your desktop.

Google Notebook (which we’ll be launching next week) is a personal browser tool that lets you clip text, images, and links from the pages you’re searching, save clippings to an online notebook, and then share notebooks with others.

Google Trends builds on the idea behind the Google Zeitgeist, allowing you to sort through several years of Google search queries from around the world to get a general idea of everything from user preferences on ice-cream flavors to the relative popularity of politicians in their respective cities or countries.

I’ll be taking a look at Google Co-op and posting more information about it in the future.

Search Marketing Standard is Out

Just got this email from Boris Mordkovich – the Publisher of Search Marketing Standard magazine.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that after 5 months of hard work, the inaugural issue of the first and only SEM publication is now officially out.

It has been mailed to over 15,000 subscribers last week. U.S. based readers can expect it in their mailboxes this week, while International will be receiving it within the next 10 business days.

The magazine will also be distributed to all attendees of the Affiliate Summit conference in Florida in July and PubCon conference which will take place in Las Vegas in November.

Once you receive the magazine, please email me ( with your questions, comments and suggestions. We want to know what you think and your feedback is very important to us. Every single email will be read and responded to.

Thank you for your support and we hope that you will enjoy reading our Summer issue.

Best Regards,
Boris Mordkovich

I’m looking forward to getting my copy soon!

Traffic Determines Google UI Snippet Links

Update: This article discusses how Google determines the snippet links – not how Google determines what sites return snippet links. I hope that clears things up.

There’s been a bit of discussion over these snippet links over on SEM 2.0 and no one really knows how Google is determining these links. I spent some time researching the links and I believe Google is using traffic data to determine these links.

First off a bit of background for those of you that don’t know which Google UI snippets I’m talking about.

For some sites, Google exposes “useful links” from within the site. For example, Google will show extra links from Berkley’s web site for a search on “Berkley”. Matt Cutts has said before that these links are generated algorithmically.

People who know Google well will go “Cool” and move on. Other folks will ask things like “Are sites or their links selected by hand–can my site get in on this? Is money involved?” And the answer is: it’s all algorithmic. The algorithms pick the sites where this could be helpful. Of course money isn’t involved at all.

But how exactly are these snippet links being determined?

First off let’s analyze an interesting example – A search for “adidas” will return to you 4 snippet links: Style – Originals – Performance – Change Location.

This is a good case study because adidas’s homepage only contains 5 links in total and out of those 5 links, 4 are shown as a snippet link. From a user standpoint, you’d be suprised that Google did not return the shop link as a snippet link. That’s because the link is to a page ( not on the home domain,

Now let’s take a look at the Style link returned by Google. It’s actually a javascript link around an image on the homepage. Google has indexed the link and the alt text.

Interesting, so how is Google picking up the javascript link? They’d have to parse the javascript and that could potentially lead to some security issues. There’s an easier way though – Google could use toolbar data. If you are using the Google Toolbar’s advanced features, when you visit a web page, the toolbar sends Google some information including the url of the page. This data could be used to track linking data that Google’s crawler can not successfully crawl. In other words, with the Google Toolbar, you are Google’s crawler.

Could Google’s toolbar traffic be determining which links they are showing as Google snippet links?

Since you don’t have access to Google’s toolbar traffic data, you have no way of seeing what Google knows about a site’s traffic. But you can compare Alexa traffic to Google snippet links to see if there is a correlation. It’s easier to compare snippet links to Alexa traffic if the domain contains many sub domains, so I took a look at some of those domains to see if there was a pattern. Take a look at this excel sheet to see some domains that resemble Alexa traffic trends (,,,, w3c).

Best example:

Craigslist’s snippet links are a perfect match to Alexa traffic. There are some discrepancies for sites with multiple “homepages” – for example yahoo, where people may start off at different yahoo properties and thus affecting Alexa traffic data. It’s hard to tell whether or not you traveled to another page from the homepage or you started from that different page – both ways, Alexa counts that as traffic to the page. Most likely, Google is only considering traffic that originates from the homepage.

Google snippet links are most likely determined by traffic patterns. Since Google does not allow access to toolbar traffic data, there is no way to know for sure. Many site’s snippet links closely resemble Alexa traffic stats.

Google snippet links do not return links outside of the home domain.
Google snippet links do not have to be from a text link, it can be an image link or even a javascript link.
Google snippet link text can be determined from an image’s alt text.
Google snippet links can be subdomains of the home domain.
Google snippet links are not determined by PageRank.
Google snippet links are displayed for the top result for a “brand” search or “domain” search. (For example, “zappos” and “zappos shoes”)

Google Calendar

If you haven’t checked it yet – Google Calendar. You can manage multiple calendars and share calendars or events. I like the clean UI and the search functions. I can already tell that I’ll be using this over Outlook’s calendar. Google has made it real easy for you to switch since Google Calendar allows you to import event information in iCal or CSV (MS Outlook) format.

In addition to the basic calendar features, Google Calendar also includes an Agenda view, repeating events, and reminders.

My favorite feature is the SMS notification – you can setup Google Calendar to remind you of events by text message. If you don’t want to be notified on your cell, you can use the default email option.

Here’s a sample shared event. Reminds me of Upcoming’s badge and event system.

Quick rundown of the features:

Calendar Sharing: Set up a calendar for your company softball team, and share it with the whole roster. (Your shortstop will never forget about practice again.) Or share with friends and family so you can view each other’s schedules side by side.

Invitations: Create event invitations, send them to friends, and keep track of people’s responses and comments, all in one place. Your friends can receive your invitation and post responses even if they don’t use Google Calendar themselves.

Quick Add: Click anywhere on your calendar where an event belongs (or use the Quick Add link), and start typing. Google Calendar understands whole phrases like “Brunch with mom at Java Cafe 11am on Saturday,” and will pop new events right into your agenda.

Gmail Integration: Add your friend’s Super Bowl party to your calendar without ever leaving your Gmail inbox. Gmail now recognizes events mentioned in emails.

Search: Find the date of the Baxter family BBQ (you knew it was sometime this summer). Or, search public calendars to discover new events you’re interested in and add them to your own calendar.

Mobile Access: Receive event reminders and notifications on your mobile phone.

Event Publishing: Share your organization’s events with the world.

New AdWords Feature

From SEW Forums:

We have a new option within Adwords. See below. Ultimately, you can try and determine the position of specific keywords within an account. If you go into Edit Settings you can activate this for each or all the campaigns and then decide at KW level.

Position preference lets you tell Google where you would prefer your ad to show among all the AdWords ads on a given page.

Whenever you run a keyword-targeted ad, your ad is assigned a position (or rank) based on your cost-per-click (CPC) bid, your keyword’s Quality Score, and other relevant factors. There may be dozens of positions available for a given keyword, spread over several pages of search results.

If you find that your ad gets the best results when it is ranked (for
example) third or fourth among all AdWords ads, you can set a position preference for those spots. AdWords will then try to show your ad whenever it is ranked third or fourth, and avoid showing it when it is ranked higher or lower. If your ad is ranked higher than third for a given keyword, the system will automatically try to lower your bid to place your ad in your preferred position.

You can request that your ad be shown only when it is:

* Higher than a given position (such as above 7)
* Lower than a given position (such as below 4)
* Within a range of positions (such as from 2-8).
* In a single exact position (such as position 2).

You can choose any positions between 1 and 10+ (that is, 10 or any larger number). Separate position preferences can be set for any or all of the keywords in your campaign.

Please note that position preference does not mean that your ad will always appear in the position you specify. The usual AdWords ranking and relevance rules apply. If your ad doesn’t qualify for position #1, setting a position preference of 1 will not move it there. Position preference simply means AdWords will try to show your ad whenever it is ranked in your preferred position, and to avoid showing it when it is not.

Position preference also does not affect the overall placement of AdWords ad units on the left, right, top or bottom of a given page. It only affects your ranking relative to other ads across those units.

Position preferences are not guaranteed. Your ad may still appear in other positions, though we will make every effort to display your ad where you prefer. Once you set new position preferences, it may take a few days for the AdWords system to begin delivering your ad according to those preferences.

Finally, let us note that setting a position preference can sharply reduce the number of impressions and clicks you receive for that keyword. Targeting just one or two positions means your ad will not show at times when it otherwise might have. We encourage you to choose as broad a range of positions are you are comfortable with.

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?

Free Backlinks from

Want a free backlink from

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,,, or to get them indexed. Doesn’t matter where the links are coming from, the point is to get the page indexed.
3. Free back link.
4. Remove the links to or if you worry about reciprocal links etc.

Some examples (Google Cache versions):
Lm Car Rental

What’s happening here?

Basically whenever 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 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 pages have some decent PR. For example this one is showing a PR 4.

Even more examples:
Google Search to find examples

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

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


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

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