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New York Times Article About Google
The article mentions WebmasterWorld.com
DanG82

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 8:42 am on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I just came across an article online from today's New York Times about Google that specifically mentions this site. Sorry if this has already been posted. I'm fairly new here, but I looked all around the board and didn't see it.

---

Sites Become Dependent on Google
By DAVID F. GALLAGHER

New York Times Article About Google [nytimes.com]

---

--DanG

 

Beachboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 8:51 am on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hello Dan, welcome to WebmasterWorld. Good find, thanks for the article referral!

Marcia

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 9:23 am on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Two of our steady, long time members are the ones that they interviewed.

jackofalltrades



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 10:25 am on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Intersting article.

A lot of graphical ads al over the place though. No different than a regular newspaper article then! :)

Im off now to practice my black art...where did i put that chickens head? ;)

JOAT

jackofalltrades



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 11:15 am on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yeh...gives an insight into how SEO is veiwed by, well, anyone who doesnt know what SEO is. :)

Suggests a mysterious, powerful and possible evil entity, doesnt it?

Small marketing point:

You notice they had loads of URLs in their text that werent active? And the ones that were (linking to company profiles) took you to their signup page.

Personally i prefer the BBCs style of added a related links tool at the top right of the article. I like to be able to link to sites. Its a bare minimum for a website really! ;)

Interestingly, one of the points of the article was that you could go for free listings or paid ads - a marketing tool. Newspapers have offered this service for years, and press officers in orgs have optimised press releases for them.

SEOs are press officers for the web! ;)

JOAT

troels nybo nielsen

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 11:26 am on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

> black art

At least once I have seen that term (or rather the litteral danish translation of it: sort kunst) used as a name for book printing. I guess that would go for newspaper printing too.

> SEOs are press officers for the web!

Good point.

Newspapers always have been suspicious of the web.

Troels

digitalghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 11:28 am on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

David Gallagher follows the engines pretty closely and it seems he follows the forums that discuss Google as well. He was digging around last summer asking about Google and link farms. This piece is a bit more on the positive side. I liked the reference to "dark arts". I think a good number of people perceive SEO that way, especially if they have a site that's been in the cellar for a year or so and then suddenly they are on page one. It would seem a bit mysterious.

There are so many people that have sites that have no clue about optimization, then one day they find a site like this one and the walk down that long, dark traffic-free hall is over. :)

With frequent indexing and inclusion, it's possible to turn a site around in a month or two, and for some, I'm sure that seems like magic.

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 12:11 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

hehe ... just checked my log files and was scratching my head trying to figure out why a particular search term was suddenly showing up in my log files as a popular key phrase when it never had before? Then I rec'd a sticky from Marcia with a link to the article!

Now I know why! (Cut it out you guys, you are skewing my keyword phrase results!)

The article could have been much more in depth. The reporter's questions certainly were. He failed to mention that I said I didn't think Google owed anyone a living and that the main reason I was working on two new websites to include additional small niche market categories closely related to my business is because it just makes sense for me to expand the business. Its time to do it.

The fact that I also said I wanted some sort of a fall back plan "just in case" my site got booted from the search engine for some kind of technical glitch, algo change or whatever ... seems to be the focus. I'm a little disappointed in the tone of the article, my answers were much more positive in respect to Google than what appears ... and who is "Diane"?

Oh well! :)

[edited by: Liane at 12:17 pm (utc) on Dec. 9, 2002]

DaveN

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 12:15 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

liane, and NO backlink.

DaveN

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 12:19 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yeah ... you noticed that too huh. :( I knew I should have kept my anonimity!)

Marcos

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 12:30 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Liane,

>my answers were much more positive in respect to Google
>than what appears ...

May be too positive, I would say. In any case, the reporters are getting it very fast, they see what is going on, and are much more critical towars Google than you are, probably. After all, that's the job of the press, isnt it?

in any case, nice one.

[edited by: Marcos at 12:44 pm (utc) on Dec. 9, 2002]

lazerzubb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 12:33 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Liane, even though it's not a hyperlink it will help your ranking, google uses text in case of URL for ranking too.

And i think you will get more visitors from the article only that you will do from what a search engine produces in a week (that has been the case when newspapers have refered to websites that i have)

jackofalltrades



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 12:40 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Liane

Did they contact you about the article, or did u contact them?

Need to get myself in a few articles for a couple of sites... ;)

Shame about the links though...it strange for them to do that.

Why have an URL on a page if its not going to be active...users will still leave to go to the site if they want...it just makes it more complicated for them to do so.

My 2c! :)

Nice one Liane!

JOAT

troels nybo nielsen

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 12:55 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

JOAT

> Why have an URL on a page if its not going to be active.

Newspapers with websites do not want you to leave that website. The idea is completely contrary to their philosophy.

> ..users will still leave to go to the site if they want.

Newspapers do not know that.

> ..it just makes it more complicated for them to do so.

Newspapers do not care if life is complicated for people who leave their websites.

Liane,
welcome in the club of people disappointed with jounalists making strange things out of their words. You did well though.

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 1:00 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

it will help your ranking, google uses text in case of URL for ranking too.

I was really only hoping for more last minute business before Christmas ... but I guess a rankings boost wouldn't be a bad thing either! Hopefully people know how to cut and paste.

Did they contact you about the article, or did u contact them?

David contacted me through WebmasterWorld sticky mail. (Thanks again Brett for, well ...everything!) :)

welcome in the club of people disappointed with jounalists making strange things out of their words. You did well though.

Well ... I think he has painted a much darker perspective than what I would have presented, his title in particular, but I suppose any "free advertising" is good advertising! New York Times ... not bad! Really could have used that link though!

chiyo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 1:44 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Journalists always put an unexpected spin on what you say in my experience, so I can understand your reactions Liane! They leave out what YOU think are the most important points and sub editors sometimes mangle it too.

From my reading of it, overall I thought it was a nicely researched article, and explained some of the issues well to their audience who would know little of the internal workings of search engines and SEO.

cjtripnewton

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 2:42 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've been around newspaper folks my whole life. Here's a 2 cent tip that should save everyone some frustration should you ever be interviewed:

Instead of treating an interview like an interview, treat it like a conversation or dialoge between teacher and student (you're the teacher). That way you will have the proper mindset to deal with the student (the reporter) who is seeking your expertise. Ask the reporter to repeat back to you in summary what you've said and then take time to clarify.

After the conversation is over, send the reporter a written summary - they'll appreciate it and they'll have an easier time sticking with the story as opposed to their predetermined take on the story.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 2:54 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

It isn't a bad article, but if you read it without knowing anything about Google, you'd probably assume that Google is just an e-commerce search engine.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 3:02 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting tidbit from the article:

Only about 15 percent of consumers used a search engine to locate their most recent online purchase, according to Carrie A. Johnson, a senior analyst at Forrester Research.

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 3:40 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Only about 15 percent of consumers used a search engine to locate their most recent online purchase, according to Carrie A. Johnson, a senior analyst at Forrester Research.

That quote interested me as well. I just did a very quick survey of 23 people who are currently enjoying brunch at the restaurant next door and asked if they ever bought things online and if so, how did they find the site they bought from?

9 said they had bought online and shopped online on a regular basis using search engines to find what they were looking for. 5 of the 9 used Google to find the site they purchased from. 1 used MSN, 1 used Yahoo and 2 couldn't remember how they got to the site but thought they got there from articles read online.

Of the remaining 14 people surveyed, 5 said they had never bought anything online but use search engines all the time to research things they intend to purchase, 2 said they had found the URL's in magazine ads, 3 said they got the URL from a relative or friend and 4 said they didn't own a computer ... (that astonishes me)!

Obviously, this very small survey is not (by any stretch) an accurate representation, but IMHO, I think search engines are more important than what the article indicates.

but if you read it without knowing anything about Google, you'd probably assume that Google is just an e-commerce search engine.

Very good point Europeforvisitors! The article was certainly slanted that way.

nancyb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 4:41 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks, Marcia. I knew it was coming out, supposed to be last Monday but David told me they ran out of space.

David actually interview me last summer for another article he wrote for the Times. Mention of me didn't make it into that one though. This time we spoke twice. I also was a little more positive about Google in that I realized they did have to control spam. Just wished they could find a way to be more responsive to the small webmaster they ended up penalizing. I told him that GG told me last February (in a WebmasterWorld thread) that my site did not have a penalty. This was inacurate because I had gone from a PR5 to PR0 for many months. Repeated posts for clarification/help resulted in no further response.

Overall, I am pleased with the article. Guess I should just have allowed him to include my website URL, but was/am still fearful of Google. Guess my name + jeweler + Cincinnati makes it easy enough to find since my log files show similar queries today :)

GoogleGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 5:20 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I liked the article. Interesting that both Liane and nancyb said they were more positive on Google than really came through in the story. :) David Gallagher is pretty savvy about search engines though; his article about DMCA several months ago for the NYT did a better job of raising the relevant issues than any other article I've seen (my personal take).

nancyb, you didn't tell me last time that you did both rank checking and the LT link exchange. ;) No worries, I'll check it out though. Part of the reason we revamped our webmaster section recently was to make it easier to find guidelines about what works and doesn't work with Google.

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 5:55 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey! David or the webmaster for NYT must be reading this thread ... my name is now spelled correctly. :) Many thanks!

And GG, just in case you thought my comments about speaking very favourably about Google were somehow only for the purpose of this thread, I'm sure David will back me up. He even commented on it and seemed a little surprised by some of my pro Google answers. Google rocks and since I thanked Brett earlier, I should also thank you for all your help and advice provided at WebmasterWorld.

I have built my site around all the advice offered here and it has worked for me!

nancyb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 6:02 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

GG - No, I didn't tell you because I didn't have a clue what the problem was way back then. I just asked about my penalty. I've been out of link farms and away from rank checkers for a very long time - since I learned, here at WebmasterWorld, that it was verboten.

I keep finding entries in my logs (including today!) where googlebot tries to access an old link farm file. Ms. Googlebot always gets a 404 for this file and it was deleted from my site almost two years ago. The link to this file is still on another site, but my many requests to the webmaster to have the link removed have not been answered.

Thanks, GG.
<added>Actually I got out of link farms at the same time Brett took down Buddy links because it was being abused </added>

GoogleGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 6:15 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Good to know, nancyb. I'll doublecheck to make sure your site is fine.

Liane, no worries, I'm glad that you're doing well in Google.

I'm going to spend some time thinking about what Google can do to be more proactive/responsive with webmasters. We do a pretty good job already, but I'd like us to do better.

nancyb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 6:33 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

GG, thanks for taking another look!

As has been suggested before, I would gladly have paid to have Google check my site for indiscretions ;) I know that could be a whole bag of worms for Google, but perhaps even software could be written to automatically check when a fee was paid. Then, if the indiscretions were no longer employed on the site, it could be reprieved within a couple months. If the offending site commited more offenses, the same or different, Google could assume the spam was intended and ignore further inquiries - even fee paid.

Liane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 6:41 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

The power of the press!

I just rec'd an e:mail from an old customer commenting on the article in the NYT. Pretty cool.

But ... not two minutes ago, I rec'd a phone call from an e:mail spammer wanting me to sign up for a free trial to send out mass e:mails to those 3,000 hits per day on my site. All I had to do was set up a newsletter page and he'd do the rest.

Man oh man, did he pick the wrong person to call about bloody spam!

[added] He just sent a follow up e:mail ... just in case I change my mind. Yeah right, like that will happen this century!

davidfg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 7:28 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I think I sent personal notes to everyone who helped me out with the story, but I may have lost some stickymail.

I can confirm that Liane is a big Google fan. (I would be too if it sent me that many customers!)

If you think the fine people at NYTimes.com ought to be turning URLs in articles into live links, you can let them know here [nytimes.com].

This is always an interesting forum. Keep it up!

nancyb

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 7:34 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, I haven't had any email spammers call me, TG, but one of the Cincinnati newspapers called me about the NYT article and wants to run something about me because of it. Wheeeeeeeeeee :) :) :)

Allergic

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 7566 posted 7:38 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

That's the other side of sucess Liane :-)

I don't agree with that part of the article :

Only about 15 percent of consumers used a search engine to locate their most recent online purchase, according to Carrie A. Johnson, a senior analyst at Forrester Research.

For primary goods over 200$ about 75% of consumers used a search engine to locate it. But around 25 to 30% of thoses will purchase it online and the others one will go to the brick & mortar store.

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