Google Decides To Slow Down Search Results And Cloak Their New Tracking URLS

Today over at ReadWriteWeb Sarah Perez wrote an article on how Google was gaining ground on their share of the search market. In the article she talked about the latest buzz from Google Analytics blog having to do with changes to the way Google.com handles clicks in their serps, which were a implemented as result of what Google would break in analytics packages by implementing AJAX driven search results. She notes that even though the speed benefit Google gains from going AJAX would be minimal on a per-search basis, when multiplied by the millions of searches performed every day it would eventually add up to more of a market share for them.

Although a change to AJAX technology would only make searches milliseconds faster, those milliseconds add up, allowing people to do more searches, faster. And that would let Google grow even more, eating up percentage points along the way. – Sarah Perez

However, what was missed by many

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Google Tries Too Hard To Appear Useful, Starts Making Up New Words

The Google Search feature that Google calls “Spell Checker” can be very handy at times. You know the one I mean… you type something hastily in the box, manage to inadvertently slip in a typo or two, and Google, very helpfully, asks you “Did you mean: {some other word}”. Aside from putting a dent in the revenue for all of those SEO’s who are cleverly banking on people making common typos, most people (like myself) probably

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How To Remove Your Website From Linkscape *Without* An SEOmoz Meta Tag

You do have rights to your content. Over the past couple of weeks, one of the biggest concerns about SEOmoz’s new Linkscape tool (which I recently blogged about in reference to the bots that Rand refuses to identify, and then again due to suspicious additions of a phantom 7 billion pages to one of his index sources) has been the complete lack of a method available for someone to remove their data from the tool. Assuming that all of the hints Rand has been so “subtly” dropping are accurate, and the one bot that they do actually have control over is in fact DotBot, then from the beginning the data was collected under false pretenses. The DotBot website clearly states

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My Friend Donna Fontenot Sure Is, Well… Different…

Louisiana Donna is definitely one of my bestest friends. She gets me, we think alike, and when I get stuck on an issue she’s always there to help me, even if it’s just moral support (although usually it’s in the form of information I need when my brain is just plain overloaded). I love her to death. Thing is, Donna is from Louisiana, and they don’t always do things in those parts in a way that I would call, um… normal.

For example, just today, Donna and I had the following conversation:

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