Monthly Archives: April 2008

A few weeks ago Google launched a new feature intended to provide users with whois data in Google's main SERPs. By entering a query like "whois google.com" users are returned new whois data including creation and expiration dates in Google's main results. In addition to the new feature, Google provides users the option for more information via "Whois record for google.com" link which resolves to domaintools.com. After linking directly from Google's main search results to domaintools.com, users are greeted with various details about the domain including website title, description and even an "SEO Score" provided by domaintoools.com.

After linking from Google's main SERP to domaintools.com you might notice, there are lots of ads provided by Google. If you look closely, right along side those Google ads you'll find paid links passing PageRank at domaintools.com. Paid links passing PageRank are a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines and grounds for being banned from Google. In this case Google is linking to pages with paid links passing PageRank!

Here is an example using the cached text version of the domaintools.com landing page linked to by Google for the query "whois google.com" http://209.85.165.104/search?.... In it you'll notice http://vpslink.com... is a paid link passing PageRank. As I mentioned at SearchEngineWatch.com the paid link domain ranks #1 for the keyword term used in it's ALT anchor text at domaintools.com and linked to by the Google Whois feature.

If you would like more information about paid ads at domaintools.com and have $10k per month, click on the "Sponsor us" link to the right of the Google search box. I've not seen many banner ad landing pages with a PR of 6!

- beu

UPDATE: - In response to this post being picked up by blogoscoped.com, Matt Cutts (Head of Google Web Spam Team) confirmed earlier today that DomainTools.com is now in compliance with Google's Webmaster Guidelines. DomainTools is now blocking ads with paid links passing PageRank via robots.txt. Sincere and special thanks to Matt, Google and DomainTools.com for swiftly resolving this issue!

- beu

The Foundation for the Future, an organization responsible for raising private funds for Menlo-Atherton High School is offering an "insider's look" at Google. This "priceless" opportunity is currently up for auction over on Ebay for $265.00! As of this post, there are 15 bids for the two and a half hour "D1 Private Tour for 2 people" at Google's Mountain View campus but, bidding doesn't end until April 20, 2008 at 21:00 PDT.

The D1 Private Google Tour for 2 is described as being "an insider's look at the "best place to work"!" The 2 1/2 hour Googlelicous tour also includes lunch for the auction's winner and a friend at Google's own Charlie's Place Cafe. Dates are open for weekdays before July 31, 2008. If you want to checkout Google you'll need a PayPal account! : )

- beu

I think this "SEO" trademark debate is silly and total garbage, here is why:

1. "SEO" is an abbreviation for "Search Engine Optimization", three words last I counted but this Trademark claim is for a single word. The word Seo and the abbreviation S.E.O. are not the same thing!
- http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=77171330

2. The "Trademark" in question is for "Marketing services in the field of computers in the nature of providing marketing services for the benefit of others by compiling advertising campaigns, promotional services, and consulting for customers". In other words, nothing having to do with rankings, websites, search, a search engine, search engines, data mining, SERPS, search engine results pages, optimization, search engine optimization, algorithms, PageRank, TrustRank, ordering results, increasing rankings based on any factor, Google, Yahoo, MSN, Alta-Vista and/or other "search" related terms.
- http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=77171330

3. SEO is a genericized term:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks

4. Class 35 specifically states:

"This Class does not include, in particular:
- services such as evaluations and reports of engineers which do not directly refer to the working or management of affairs in a commercial or industrial enterprise (consult the Alphabetical List of Services)."

- http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/tmfaq.htm

5. The application claims that the "mark" was first used in commerce in 2007. SEO as in the abbreviation, was used much earlier.

Now I'm no attorney and not qualified by any stretch of the imagination to give legal advice but I've been through the Trademark process and work with trademarked indicia on a regular basis. Either way, I can't see how a decent attorney (if any exist :) ) couldn't win against BS like this in court.... I'll be damed, BS isn't trademarked either. If you really think trademarking SEO is savvy, then why not give SEM or PPC a try!

- beu