Donna wrote a piece today entitled, “Less PageRank Floating Around In SEO Niche“. The post was based around a comment Matt Cutts made on SEOmoz having to do with the fact that certain sites seeing lower PageRank had to do with the fact that “there’s less PageRank flowing around in some areas (e.g. search and SEO)” and not that those sites had been penalized. Her conclusion from Matt’s statement is that she thinks most people were wrong about the recent visible PageRank penalties being just visible, and that the the penalties were probably also behind there being “less PageRank” in the SEO niche.
One of the sites I own happens to involve electronic poetry. On that site, on the bottom of the pages, I incorporated a news feed. Nothing fancy, just shows a few stories, their headlines, links, and brief snippets. Occasionally, for news stories with very few results, someone will stumble across my site when researching the topic. The site doesn’t have a ton of ranking power, and it is in no way optimized around the content of the news stories. They are just there to give the readers access to more sites to browse through, should they want to.
Occasionally, I will get an email from someone relatively new to the internet, wondering why my site shows on a search for the title of a poem they wrote, or a speaking engagement they performed at, but they do not see anything about it on the page. I will write these people back, explaining that they need to look at the cache of the page, since the news feed is of course dynamic, and the stories indexed when Google went there are usually not the same ones that are there days later. Most say thank you, and wind up understanding just a wee bit more about the internet.
All of them are for the most part just curious, knowing that they don’t know that much about the internet, and all of them are generally speaking quite polite. Until, that is, this peach involved with some obscure work, “Teesway One Nine Nine”.
A quick update to the Microsoft Rogue Bot Fiasco. It looks like now they have correctly DNS’d the IP range that they are sending these bogus requests from. Previously, all of the IP’s (which I first mentioned were all coming from the 65.55.165.* block) reverse DNS’d to names such as bl2sch1081901.phx.gbl. They have apparently changed this, so the IP’s are more readily identifiable as coming from Microsoft, reverse DNS’ing to the Live.com domain, eg. livebot-65-55-165-99.search.live.com.
I have blogged in the past about how annoying Rand Fishkin’s tactic of avoiding direct questions by obfuscation is. It especially irks me because in order to work it relies on taking advantage of people’s low attention spans, and in making the conversation too painful for most to bear. Often times pursuing winning an argument with someone using those tactics runs the risk of appearing obsessive, since doing so involves repeating the same questions over and over, and to let it go is to allow the other person to appear to win.
It is a politicians trick, not one to be used in polite conversation, and it is inherently slimy. Verbally wrestling with someone who uses it to answer questions that would otherwise make them look bad can leave one with an unwashed, unwholesome feeling, and I personally much prefer to debate with someone who can simply show me that I am wrong.
A few months back I discovered that I was being hit with massive amounts of referrer spam. It was a little odd, because the phrases weren’t made to look like I had links coming from some sleazy little viagra or porn site… no, these were made to look like I was ranking for all kinds of spammy phrases on MSN Search. This confused me, since historically referrer search only benefits the site that is made to look like the traffic is coming from. I couldn’t understand why someone would want to make it look like MSN was spamming my logs.
What never occurred to me, of course, was that my logs were actually being spammed by Microsoft itself. As it turns out, they were.
Wiktionary defines “disconcerting” as: tending to cause discomfort, uneasiness or alarm; unsettling; troubling; upsetting.
There. Don’t you feel smarter already? 😀
Now, on a COMPLETELY UNRELATED NOTE…
Or, I guess more to the point would be, who’s the dumbass that didn’t follow up the report by manually checking before applying the penalty? I mean, c’mon now… you guys aren’t going to going to try and still claim that this whole mess is about penalties, after screwing up the PageRank of a company you actually own, are you…?
(Dammit, just before my TLA on the homepage was supposed to go live, too!)
Well, I’m not gonna blame THIS one on Rand! 😀
Back on October 9th, I blogged about a test I performed that demonstrated only the first link on a given page will count as far as ranking purposes go. In the thread where the test originated, pops (of TOONRefugee cartoon blog) asked what would happen if the first link were nofollowed. Since I had no clue, I decided to test that as well. Similar test as before, but checking the use of rel=”nofollow” on the initial link, and adding in a third link as a control:
At least, not in the way most people seem to think. That’s just not the way it looks to me. This is probably the 4th or 5th time now I’ve seen the recent Rand fiasco speculated upon as being typical link bait (very nice read Li, by the way). Personally I thought the motivation behind this whole thing would have been more apparent, but I guess not.
Why don’t you out the sites you advised to purchase links? I mean, you clearly stated:
I’ve encouraged some of our clients to purchase links in the past and I suspect I’ll do so in the future (though we generally try to be extremely careful about it).