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Although once I was looking out a window and I saw something neat. A car pulled up pretty fast and stopped right outside the Googleplex. Three people piled out and gathered out front in front of the sign for our building.
You realize this will only encourage those who are trying to determine your true identity don't you? LOL
I can see it now, SEOs sitting outside the Plex, mapping out windows that have s direct view to the sign.
DarrylParker, sounds like you have the makings of a frugal Googler. ;) Although I have to admit that I'm not quite that frugal. :)
I thought about mentioning the Google Dance 2002. It was a party that we threw for Search Engine Strategies attendees last year when the conference was in San Jose. But I think even then, we just danced and ate outside and didn't really do tours. :)
I think the thing that *doesnít* work well is when an SEO gives bad advice, or does things well outside quality guidelines ... the clients may have temporary trouble now.
Don't know if this is answerable GG > Off-topic to the question - on-topic to your answer.
A penalty > does it penalize the technique/tactic only or actually penalize the page and site (which are really two different things).
The best "generalized" example I can give is > tactics or techniques do not define the substance of the web site > the physical content, topics, depth, breadth and context of that site.
So does the technique/tactic become ineffective when penalized or is the page/site actually removed or lost (for lack of a better words).
Google goal is "to provide to best answers to the question" therefore I would believe the technique/tactic ineffective approach would be more beneficial to Google, the user, and even the clients of bad SEO advice.
[edited by: fathom at 7:10 am (utc) on June 12, 2003]
For me I think Google/ODP is a great partnership. The ODP is the Google of the directory world, and despite people's frustrations sometimes, it is far and above any other directory. A different class really.
I'd still love to see it hosted by Google though in the long term. It's a search facility, and really should be looked after by a search technology company.
Thanks for taking the time out. There's some good stuff in there.
Q: Is / will cloaking still be seen as bad, and furthermore is cloaking an issue for what webmaster will be punished without asking for reasons why they use it?
I have a quick question about this. I have a phpBB2 forum that puts session ID's into the url. I used one of the "hacks" available to turn off the session ID filter for googlebot, inktomi and several other search engines. Would this be considered cloaking, since the session ID is turned off for google but on for normal visitors? Reason I ask is that for many months, google successfully spidered this forum. But last month, something strange happened and google got the url wrong for my homepage - putting it inside my forum instead! My thoughts were perhaps the hiding of the session ID string from googlebot caused this problem.
If visitors see the exact same thing that Google see's, then there is nothing wrong with geting rid of the Session ID. Google hates session IDs, there for it is not cloaking when you get rid of sessions IDs, even if the visitors still get them.
The automated approach is also more objective. For months I watched my competitors dominate the top rankings in my industry. I reported the sites but no action was taken. I finally came to the conclusion that perhaps the tactics they employed where not regarded as spam by Google and I applied the same tactics in order to compete. Lets face it some areas are gray and are not specifically mentioned in Googleís guidelines. The irony is that I was eventually banned and they still dominate the top rankings. Had an automated algorithm been used, all offending sites would have been penalized instead of the unlucky ones that got reported.
GoogleGuy, Can I plead temporary insanity? Seriously, Thanks for you generosity in addressing our concerns.
Actually, we have a Secret Underground operating here in the Google News Forum. Very quietly and clandestinely, it has been flourishing right under the conspiracy theorists' noses without them ever having spotted it. ;)
GoogleGuy, regarding your response about the ODP and Google, and your other response about finding sites through links so that they have at least some degree of Page Rank, however small:
ODP, often mentioned in discussions about relevance for Google, is not only an authoritative link, but is also topically relevant because of the category structure. Should we be moving away from obsessing about Page Rank and moving more toward a more balanced approach of aligning ourselves with on-topic sites relevant to the theme of our own sites?
That's just my personal take on things though. I guess my short answer would be that it's natural that we would want our scoring to reflect the real-world things that make a site useful. In an ideal world, webmasters would only worry about making great sites for users, and Google would follow that to find the best sites that users loved, and score those useful sites highly.
There's an interesting second-order effect where spam doesn't do a site any good, but a competitor sees the spam on the site and assumes that it helped.
You're quite right there! ;) GOOD POINT!
I'm not positive that I'm a huge fan of the theming arguments that people have made--some of the most useful links I've seen are from "off-topic" sites--but I would definitely agree that it helps users to link to useful, relevant, related sites. So I could see where someday we might our scoring to reflect that in some part. If you see tons of links flowing into a site and not a single link to the rest of the web, then as a user I might scratch my head a little bit.
A user wouldn't notice a ton of links "going" to a site their on though".
I myself am a fan of "theming" or better stated a continuing growth of common topics in content.
Looking at the reverse > one could say (or infer) GG says just get links from whom ever and where ever you can... because that linkage "would be useful to someone"! :)
[edited by: fathom at 7:57 am (utc) on June 12, 2003]
Reading between the lines here suggests that perhaps google are not too far along in being able to discover "webmaster intent". Not that it is really a problem because the whole concept of descovering a sites message in areas that are not clearly marked-up with code, is on the bleeding edge of search engine R&D.
Perhaps the next generation of google alorithms would be better served by attempting to assess the usability of sites in regard to their layout consistancy etc.
> fahrner image replacement (replacing headings with images)
> css popups (submenus/popups that appear when you hover the main-nav)
I really hope you are not going to put people that use this in the same boat as spammers, because there are a lot of really respectable, well known people in the CSS/Webdev community that do this. And it really does not hurt and is just useful.
Okay, it's way past 1am my time, and I'm tuckered. Hope this was helpful to folks, and as usual I'll be around to answer questions when I can. Good night..
Itís impossible to say what the future holds in this industry, but in my mind, itís a good sign that the ODP is taking steps that will continue to improve its quality.
There are positive ways Google could help the ODP improve -- and thus provide a benefical spiral: as the ODP improves, Google's Directory will improve, and we'll all benefit.
One example would be to use your immense indexing capacity to notify the ODP of sites in ODP that are being penalised in Google for spam techniques that break ODP guidelines, e.g.
ODP editors would then have a heads-up to consider removing or recategorizing those sites.
Does Google have any plans to lend such assistance to the OPD for quality assurance?