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:
If you are like me, then you probably link your header images to your homepage. It is natural behavior these days to click on the header of a page and expect to be taken back to the beginning. However, a recent experiment I conducted over on SEO Refugee, and a comment by Wit, has me rethinking that particular habit.
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).
So, in the wake of Rand screwing up yet again, a bright shining ray of hope has at last emerged. No more must we webmasters huddle in fear of Google spanking us for doing what we have full right to do anyways. No more will people like Michael Gray, Rae Hoffman, or Andy Beard need to worry their little ole heads about the issue of Google trying to dictate how we can or cannot monetize our websites. Finally, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief, and stop worrying about it once and for all!