Eight Result SERP

If it wasn’t enough difficult to rank on the first page of Google, with all the competition, universal search includes. Now, Google is even showing less results on some search result pages. Normally, the first 10 results on any search query are already competitive. Most SEO’s will know how the click distribution on average is allocated to the different positions, with the majority going to the top 10. With less results on the first page, it will become even more difficult to get any traffic on relevant pages if you are not the brand owner, Wikipedia or Google.

Below you see a SERP for Zhu Zhu Pets on Google.nl, where the first page only has 8 real results. The page with 8 results looks so short… There is something missing!

Google-eight-result-SERP Zhu Zhu Pets

Crop Circles The Next War in Search?

With the launch of Bing.com, the concept of everyday a new visual made it’s entrance. Microsoft has a team of people who hand pick the picture for the homepage of Bing. Interesting facts are being displayed as you hover over the picture. Today’s visual is showing a a beautiful crop field just waiting for the sun to go down and aliens to make some crop circles…

Bing Visual

With Bing announcing today their new Visual Search, they also mentioned that high school kids are setting Bing as their starting page, to see the new visual every day.

Mister Google used to have a new Doodle only on public holidays or days of important historic memorable events. Recently Google has been showing more and more Doodles on their homepage.

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The new Google Doodle: Crop circles…! Coincidence…?

What is new in Google Caffeine

Tonight, Vanessa Fox posted a nice piece on Searchengineland: Caffeine: Google’s New Search Index. Obviously I rushed to the sandbox environment and tried out a bunch of queries that I always use and probably know the rankings of the top 10 better on those keywords than I know the way to work, I thought I would compare.

As Vanessa already writes:

Undoubtedly, Google Caffeine will cause quite a kerfluffle in the web developer and search engine optimization world and many will dive in to try and figure out the changes. We’ll likely see many a speculative blog post about how best to optimize for the new infrastructure, but my guess is that it likely does what Google search does, but better. And the foundational elements of having a crawlable infrastructure and compelling content remain.

She is right. Tomorrow, if the fires of the Facebook/Friendfeed marriage has calmed down, all SEO bloggers will put all their energy in the algorithmic changes this nice cup of caffeine will bring to the G index.

Let me spoil the fun, the main difference between the “old” index and the “new” index  is revealed after the two screenshots below:

Google-SERP-Nintendo-wii-July Google-Caffeine-SERP-Nintendo-wii

 

 

Right, the difference is: 

Caffeine does not have any advertisements!

Yes, that’s right. No Paid Ads on the side of the search results. Highly likely this is not the way it’s going to roll out on the main site :)

Markov Chains readable on Splogs?

Ever wondered how a splog looks like which has real unreadable Markov Chains on it? I just found one through following the most popular searches yesterday. Like always, just follow the money, in this case the traffic, and you will find some pretty bad web spam.

imageYesterday, between all the searches around Michael Jackson’s death, one particular search query stood out for me. As my wife was always watching The Housewives of New Jersey, I was interested in the search query: what did danielle do to dina. Just check the Google trending words for June 25.

As yesterday the second episode of the final of the Real Housewives of New Jersey was broadcasted, apparently a lot of people went online to look for gossip what had happened. At one point in the finale, there was an awkward moment, where  it was not clear what had happened off camera’s prior to the finale.

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Right after the broadcast of the finale, the term went volcanic. Interesting is that 7% of the searches were performed in or around New Jersey/ New York.

Right under these nice graphs, there is the section where you can find News articles and Blog posts. I clicked on the link for the one marked with the red line around it, and came into spam heaven…

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Full with ads, you come on a blog hosted on Blogger. The text is full with the hot trend keywords you can find for yesterday, but the text is unreadable. Just have a look at this small piece of the text:

It was terrible. The forehead is broad and fine climb if he might want to tell me about it. Tell me I'm glad that I can, and where and when. of grotesque Farrah Fawcett what did Danielle do to Dina says he ta. Poor dear How he must have suffered joke was over and. His only hope lies in Horta in nature. The black warrior was the Phantom and a lot of fear.
She was revised to a corner desk found Paul Irving with. Donnell announced this vision, and I've just when I was dimpled. she said weakly Take Birch Path light and sank breathlessly into puffed Frilled and what did Danielle do to Dina Then he was.
Charisse Thompson
But it is marked crutches she did, and such a time was lifted lawn. the next day to meet, he went back and officially interested so to notify someone what did Danielle do to Dina an object lesson in and kissed her forehead.

Off course the blog is pasted all over with Google Adsense. Today, I ready a great post on SEOBook. Just read more about the Google money. An excerpt:

If the central network operators do not police their networks then eventually web users will stop trusting online advertising. That (plus pending affiliate regulation) could eventually lead to a significant thinning of competition for mindshare online. It might also push many media companies away from ad based business models to creating businesses built through actually taking money from real human customers.

For how long will Google allow spammers to open new blogs on Blogger, post a bunch of garbage on the web, pull traffic from the most popular trending keywords, and monetize through Adsense one dollar at a time? 

Vintage 1890’s Levi’s Jeans 201

One of the oldest Vintage Denim Jeans, can you believe this. I found this blog post on eBay Blogs about a seller who was asking his readers if he would sell the pair of original Levi’s Jeans on eBay, and for how much.

Original vintage Levi 201 jeans dated 1890-1901

Vintage 1890's Levi's Jeans 201 Hello,
We have consigned this pair of vintage Levi 201 denim blue jeans that we are going to list on eBay and would welcome any Ideas or comments on them.
The jeans were uncovered in an old miners cabin here in Montana and have been dated between 1890 and 1901 by the rivets on the jeans.
There was gold in the watch pocket of the blue jeans and has been saved in a vial, do you think we should include it in the auction? there is also the miners diaries and a couple of shaker boxes too.
The condition of the jeans are in pretty good shape for the age of them and the fact that a gold miner wore them. all the buttons are there. they are just like the 501's button fly jeans. the old miner patched the the jeans in a couple of spots and there is a fairly large rip along the back seat of the pants which could be restored.
Do you think there will be any interest for possibly one of the oldest pairs of Levi 201 jeans here on eBay??

I really am wondering for how much the Jeans sold. I hope the seller made a lot of money, and that Levi’s bought the Jeans. It would fit perfectly in the Levi’s museum in San Francisco.

Update: The Jeans sold for more than $36.000 on eBay!

BTW> I can’t believe this is the first eBay listing for the keyword Levi Jeans in Google on #47! There must be more Levi’s Jeans being sold on eBay…

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Interesting to see the related searches at eBay, in blue in the image above here, are different than the related searches on Google. Related searches on eBay are:

  1. vintage 501
  2. levis
  3. levis 501
  4. javascript (????)
  5. buco leather
  6. mens levis jeans
  7. levis jeans 501
  8. levis jeans womens

The Google related searches, as displayed in the image below, show different user intend.

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  1. cheap Levi Jeans
  2. Levi Jeans history
  3. Levi Jeans sale
  4. white Levi Jeans
  5. Levi Strauss outlet

Tag cloud indexed

Just a couple of hours after I posted about the slow indexing of a Tagcloud, Googlebot refreshed the content of the merchandizing page. The Google index even displays a much better sniplet at the moment, as if I really would like to rank with that page! I could have implemented a no-index tag in the header, but I don’t really trust the tag!

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And the new cache version clearly shows the updated time of the cache:

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Now all we can do is wait untill the rankings are updated to see any results!

Crawl frequency of Googlebot

How long do you have to wait until Googlebot comes to pick up your new content. It probably depends if you are a well established site, or if you use Sitemaps to ping the crawler there is new content to be found.

As I’m working on a little experiment to rank a couple of pages on specific keywords, I’m just going to drop the link to my tagcloud over here: eBay Tagcloud.

Currently the cashed version still looks the same as before:

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Hopefully Googlebot is coming to this post ASAP to pick up that juicy link!

Google ads more personalized links into SERP’s

Google is now inserting even more personalized results into the real estate of the first result; prior visited pages within the domain. just see the screenshot for my search on eBay:

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The interesting thing about these extra links is, they all go to a Google page where the redirect is explained:

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Why is this interesting? I thought this is a really bad user experience.

What’s even more interesting, is that these links are visited by me, not through clicking on a link in Google Search index! I know for sure that I visited the DVD lot – find DVD Lot items for Sale on eBay! through a different browse path through the eBay site, rather than a search on Google.

This is important for the following reason: We already know that the search history is recorded by Google. We already know that browse behavior is recorded by Google.

From the Google Web history Privacy Notice (mark up by me):

  • Web History records information about the web pages you visit and your activity on Google, including your search queries, the results you click on, and the date and time of your searches in order to improve your search experience and display your web activity. Over time, the service may also use additional information about your activity on Google or other information you provide us in order to deliver a more personalized experience.

Web History uses the information described above to give you a more personalized search experience. This information will be securely transmitted to Google's servers and stored in association with your Google Account information in order to provide the service.

This is the first time I see the browse data being used in how the SERP’s are constructed to display more personalized results/browse history. Anybody seen this before?

So what’s next? Toolbar information that alters the whole index to show you a more personalized results set on the SERP?

Bend Over for Knol & Dummies

Would you like to get ripped off by Google Knol and Dummies? Sounds like Revenge of The Nerds doesn't it? So what would you think of this; you can win a $1000 with the Knol dummies contest. Yes, that's right, Google will be paying you for writing the best how to content on a Google Knol.

Dummies.com is known for simple, concise how-to content. Knol is one of the easiest and most powerful tools for sharing knowledge online. Now we've teamed up to give you the chance to write a how-to article about something you're particularly good at ? and just maybe become famous (and even a little bit richer) in the process.

To enter the contest, simply click the button and begin creating your own how-to knol about whatever subject you know best.

In any case, you know that you will be giving away your best content in this contest for only a mere chance on $1000. You bet that the Big G will make much more of your efforts with placing ads around it, selling the content to Dummies.com and printing books about how smart you really are. Except your name won't be on the cover!

Really? So what about Don't Be Evil? Oh that, the don't be evil mantra only counts in the circumstances you should not be evil to Google!

Knol Contest Terms & Conditions

So let's have a closer look at the contest terms:

The "Knol For Dummies.com Contest" (the "Contest") encourages entrants to share their knowledge of a particular subject by creating an article on that subject on knol.google.com and submitting it into the contest.  "Knols" refer to individual essays or articles submitted using the Knol Service.

The grand Prize

The prizes are for real. Who wouldn't want to win a $1,000 in cash. Especially in this economy, everybody can use a little bid extra cash!

One (1) Grand Prize: A check for $1,000 and the opportunity to have winners article published on the "For Dummies" web site (www.dummies.com). Four (4) First Prizes: the opportunity to have First Prize Winners? article published on the "For Dummies" web site (www.dummies.com).

What happens to your content?

So what happens to your submission? You guessed right, for the small amount of just $1,000, you will give up all the rights of the content you have worked on. It will be republished on the Google Knols, probably will be used in the Dummies books, and might even become a document in Google Book search after all.

By participating in this Contest, you agree and hereby grant the Sponsors permission to use, copy, modify and make available your submission to the public for any purpose, such as, but not limited to, press and media communications, without further compensation to you. You also agree to participate in any media or promotional activity regarding the Contest. If you are a winner, you agree that the Sponsors may use your name and likeness to administer and promote the Contest and to conduct media interviews and promotional events, unless prohibited by law.

Oh, and by the way, the lucky winner will have the awesome chance of winning to spend more time in useless interviews, or even worse travel to headquarters in Mountain View for any ridiculous meetings, without getting any compensation for your time and effort!

The Losers really Lose

Well all this is great, the winner will get a 1,000 bucks and maybe some fancy interview on Google's headquarter or other 10 minutes of fame. But for the losers, they are really losers, as they not only get no money, they also have just given up all the rights on their expertise:

Each Entrant understands and acknowledges that the Contest Entities have wide access to ideas, stories, designs, and other literary materials, and that new ideas are constantly being submitted to it or being developed by their own employees. Each Entrant also acknowledges that many ideas or stories may be competitive with, similar to, or identical to the Entry and/or each other in theme, idea, plot, format, or other respects. Each Entrant acknowledges and agrees that such Entrant will not be entitled to any compensation as a result of Contest Entities' use of any such similar or identical material that has or may come to Contest Entities, or any of them, from other sources. Each Entrant acknowledges and agrees that the Contest Entities do not now and shall not have in the future any duty or liability, direct or indirect, vicarious, contributory, or otherwise, with respect to the infringement or protection of the Entrant's copyright in and to the submission. Finally, each Entrant acknowledges that, with respect to any claim by Entrant relating to or arising out of any Contest Entities' actual or alleged exploitation or use of any submission or other material submitted in connection with the Contest, the damage, if any, thereby caused to the applicable Entrant will not be irreparable or otherwise sufficient to entitle such Entrant to seek injunctive or other equitable relief or in any way enjoin the production, distribution, exhibition, or other exploitation of any program, web site, advertising, materials or other thing based on or allegedly based on the Entry, and Entrant's rights and remedies in any such event shall be strictly limited to the right to recover damages, if any, in an action at law.

The above passage out of the T&C's of the contest just state that you will give up all the rights on your work, even if you don't win! Dummies and/or Google will have the right to publish your work or similar work that is based on the same thinking or ideas. You have given up all the rights to get compensated for the work!

Fair or Unfair

Now, this does not sound like a good and fair contest to me. I would never participate in a contest like this, and I doubt that other experts who take the time to read through the specific rules of the contest would sign on to this. But the sad part of the Internet is that the majority of people agreeing to terms & conditions online do not read the small text of the agreement they enter in.

Companies make use of this, thankful for all the free bee's they get handed on a silver platter. It's the responsibility of the individual to know in what kind of agreement they enter. Everybody who would like to participate is able and should read the details of the agreement of the contest.

The question really is; Is paying people less than minimum wage for hard work ethical enough to keep carry the Don't Be Evil mantra? Or shall we just say, Hey we rip-off people but are willing to throw you a bone here and there!

And as a last comment; the copyrighted footer disclaimer is too funny.

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So would this mean that this post is violating these terms, or as it is 2009, the terms are just from the past? We will see, the just limited parts I used to make a point here are being used in the light of fair use!

Google Fast With Updating The Whitehouse Cache Version

Just a couple of moments after the Whitehouse website was changed into the Barack Obama website.

It’s funny how people discuss the change on Twitter:

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A search for Whitehouse is bringing back the right sniplet:

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Only a search for President of the United States should still be updated. Google already updated their Cache version, but the sniplet in the SERP’s still say it’s GW Bush who is president.

 

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As seen by more twitterers:

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It can still take some time to have it updated for all users:

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For me, sometimes it takes weeks to have a page updated again. I guess that Google updated this one manually…Just to make sure everything was showing the right information.