Google Re-initiates Testing of AJAX SERP’s With Faulty Proposed Fix

Last month I blogged about the fact that I had noticed that Google was playing around with delivering the SERP’s via AJAX. I pointed out that due to the way that referrers work, using AJAX to generate the pages would cause all traffic coming from Google to look like it was coming from Google’s homepage instead of from a search. This means in turn that analytics packages, including Google Analytics, would no longer be able to track what keywords searched on in Google were sending traffic to the webmaster’s websites. There was a bit of a buzz about it, and Google seemed to stop the testing shortly thereafter. Google’s only reply on the subject was “sometimes we test stuff”, to point to a post from three years ago that also said, “sometimes we test stuff”, to say that they didn’t intend to break referrer tracking, and that was it.

Shortly thereafter, the tests

Read moreGoogle Re-initiates Testing of AJAX SERP’s With Faulty Proposed Fix

Robert Scoble Chews Out Lisa Barone’s Ass For Taking His Name In Vain – WTF?

Tonight Robert ‘I Am Thy Lord And Thou Shalt Kneel, Bitches!’ Scoble, a blogger who has some claim to internet fame through his blog Scobleizer, decided that the title of “technical evangelist” that has been often attributed him simply wasn’t enough, and that deity is apparently more fitting.

Lisa Barone wrote a piece talking about personal brands and false idols on the web. In it she wrote the following paragraph:

Don’t support personal brands built on smoke and mirrors. Make people work for the brands they’re trying to create. Don’t let them scoble their way in. Don’t accept that someone is important just because they act like they are or someone told you they were.

Apparently Robert is the ultra sensitive type, and didn’t take too kindly

Read moreRobert Scoble Chews Out Lisa Barone’s Ass For Taking His Name In Vain – WTF?

Is Digg Trying To Tell Me Something?

As far as CAPTCHA’s go, I think that the one that Digg.com uses for story submissions is fairly reasonable. It’s monochrome, decent contrast, and doesn’t try and get too fancy with out of focus characters or exotic fonts. Of course I have a preference for my own PuzzCAPTCHA as far as usability goes, but for mainstream CAPTCHA’s I think Digg’s in intelligently done.

Maybe a little too intelligently, actually. I think that it might be trying to send me messages. I logged in to submit

Read moreIs Digg Trying To Tell Me Something?

Digg Allows Image Ads Embedded With Hidden Subliminal Messages

I was looking through Digg the other day, when this image ad caught my eye for some reason. Something about it caught my attention, and I wasn’t quite sure what it was, so I took a closer look at it. It was subtle, and hard to figure out at first. The copy on the ad itself was unremarkable, and went like this:

FLASH NEWS: Pam Scott, N.Y., made $1,000,000 on FOREX!

19 y.o. housewife, using $99 Autotrading program-robot, made $1 million in only 2 weeks! READ FULL STORY..

The copy itself was bad enough to make me simply ignore

Read moreDigg Allows Image Ads Embedded With Hidden Subliminal Messages

What Will *Really* Break If Google Switches To AJAX…?

On Friday I wrote a piece on how it looked like Google was testing AJAX results in the main serps. Some discussion followed as to whether, if this change were to become a widespread permanent one, this would affect Firefox plugins that existed (definitely some existing ones would stop working), break some of the rank checking tools out there (they would have to be re-written I’m sure), and even some people asking if it would thwart serps scrapers from using serps for auto page generation (not for long, no).

While those things would definitely be affected in at least the short term, there is a much greater impact from Google switching to AJAX. All of the issues mentioned involve a very small subset of the webmastering community. What actually breaks if Google makes this switchover, and is in fact broken during any testing they are doing, is much more widespread. Every single

Read moreWhat Will *Really* Break If Google Switches To AJAX…?

Google Web Search Goes Completely AJAX

Yes, I know… Google has been offering AJAX driven results through the API and other services for ages, but now they have rolled that out to the main Google Search. It appears to be only on Google US (I tried manually switching to Google UK, and it redirected me from the AjAX version to a static HTML page), but that of course could change in the future.

I noticed this as soon as I started searching for stuff today, from almost the first query I typed in. When I looked at the url, instead of seeing the normal /search?= at the beginning:

Normal Google search url

I found myself looking at this:

Read moreGoogle Web Search Goes Completely AJAX

SERPs Scrapers, Rejoice! Matt Cutts Endorses Indexing Of Search Results In Google!

That’s right… today Matt Cutts completely reversed his opinion on pages indexed in Google that are nothing more than copies of auto-generated snippets.

Back in March of 2007, Matt discussed search results within search results, and Google’s dislike for them:

In general, we’ve seen that users usually don’t want to see search results (or copies of websites via proxies) in their search results. Proxied copies of websites and search results that don’t add much value already fall under our quality guidelines (e.g. “Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.” and “Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches…”), so Google does take action to reduce the impact of those pages in our index.

But just to close the loop on the original question on that thread and clarify that Google reserves the right to reduce the impact of search results and proxied copies of web sites on users, Vanessa also had someone add a line to the quality guidelines page. The new webmaster guideline that you’ll see on that page says “Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don’t add much value for users coming from search engines.” – Matt Cutts

Now, while the Google Webmaster Guidelines still specifically instruct webmasters to

Read moreSERPs Scrapers, Rejoice! Matt Cutts Endorses Indexing Of Search Results In Google!

My Blog Hacked, Yet Again – WordPress 2.6.5 Vulnerability / Exploit?

Busted WordPress security. Again, I’ve been hacked. Well, not me personally… I wear the most up to date tinfoil attire, I assure you, and no one is getting into my head… but my blog was. This time I was running WordPress 2.6.5 when it happened.

Those who know me know that I always prefer to do manual upgrades, wiping everything out and starting over completely fresh each time, whether I have been hacked or not. This way if there was an intrusion it should still clean the hack out completely, even if I don’t know it’s there. As it happens, when I upgraded to 2.6.5 from 2.6.2 I did not do this. I merely upgraded the 2 files involved in the security portion of the WP 2.6.5 upgrade (which were wp-includes/feed.php and wp-includes/version.php). However,

Read moreMy Blog Hacked, Yet Again – WordPress 2.6.5 Vulnerability / Exploit?

How To Find The Best Free Image/Photo/Graphics Downloads For Your Blog Posts

Smile! Adding images to your blog posts can make them much more visually appealing to your readers. This in turn can increase the likelihood that someone will link to that post or subscribe to your feed, which will of course in the long run help to improve your rankings and traffic. The internet is chock full of images, many of which will fit perfectly with that blog post or article that you are writing. The problem is, however, finding images that are both high quality and that you are actually allowed to use.

The Problems

Two internet no-no’s that beginner web publishers often perform, many times without even realizing that they are doing anything wrong,

Read moreHow To Find The Best Free Image/Photo/Graphics Downloads For Your Blog Posts

Matt Cutts, If This Paid Link Were A Snake It Would Have Bitten You In The Ass

PageRank for sale. Wednesday TechCrunch posted an article about a new ad product launched by MediaWhiz. The name of the product is InLinks, and it involves people being able to purchase anchor rich text links embedded into content in a way that is supposed to give it a “natural” feel. Michael Arrington called the product “insidious”. His whole take on it was that these new paid links would “be hard for Google to detect”. Quite a bit of discussion followed, sparked in large part by the fact that Matt Cutts chimed in on the matter. What no one seemed to notice, however,

Read moreMatt Cutts, If This Paid Link Were A Snake It Would Have Bitten You In The Ass