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

Google Maps Street View Car in Atlanta

Atlanta welcomes the Google Street View Car Team! Monday, I had the rare opportunity to hit the streets and check out one of Google's original Street View cars from Mt. View, CA right here in Atlanta, GA. (new hubcaps?)

In case ya'll : ) don't know about Google Street View it's a Google Maps feature where users can explore cityscapes, landmarks, take virtual walks; pan, rotate and zoom in on points of interest, shops, restaurants, parks, hotels and more. All of this immersive interactivity is made possible thanks to a fleet of cars owned by Google and equipped with a roof mounted GPS camera system.

Google's Street View Car fleet are "Blue Flash Metallic" 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt LS 4 doors. Each has a 148-hp 2.2L engine and get about 22 miles per gallon city, 31 hwy. The original Google Maps Street View fleet features an automatic transmission, head-curtain as well as side-impact air bags, CD/MP3 player and center console with armrest standard. In addition to the standard equipment each car is equipped with a "custom" roof rack, panoramic camera mount, external roof mounted cell phone antenna and Topcon PG-A1 high precision standard and/or dual-frequency, dual-consellation antenna GPS antenna with a range of 1217-1260 MHz.

Google Maps Car in Atlanta, GA

Inside the car you'll find the Google Street View Maps Team custom EVDO Rev A USB720 modem connected via Verizon's Wireless mobile network. This modem features download speeds of 450-800 kilobits per second (kbps) and average upload speeds of 300-400 kbps. The wireless modem is compatible with many of the latest laptops and measures 3.52 x 1.49 x .69 inches (89.5 x 38 x 17.6 mm) and 1.6 ounces (45 g) according to the manufacturer. All this is connected to a Topcon Odyssey-RS GPS Receiver equipped with it's own Paradigm chip offering 40 universal channel selection via L1 and/or L2 GPS and GLONASS satellite system each with signal processing, multi-path mitigation and co-op tracking. According to Topcon their GPS+ rates best in the field for under-canopy and low signal strength reception via USB. In the front seat of each car, there is a "custom" handmade wood frame to support the drivers Planar LX1200TI touchscreen AMLCD monitor designed for daylight/night viewing. The touch screen is mounted low so as to be in view of the driver only and not seen by occupants in other cars. The USB Touchscreen supports Windows 2000/XP.

While I stood there checking out all the features Google has packed into this car I couldn't help but wonder where all this little car has gone in the past year. You can't expect to see at least one of these in a museum before all is said and done. Either way cool car and thanks for the nickel tour guys!

- beu

Google is at it again in 2008 for April Fools Day with two jokes so far Google Project Virgle and Google Custom Time available via Gmail.com.

Google's Project Virgle offers up a 100 year plan starting in 2010 and ending in 2108. If Sergey and Larry don't convince you then you can apply on your own. Either way for now at least projet Virgle is a joke.

Google's Gmail Custom Time offers users the option to make any email sent to the past appear in the proper chronological order in their recipient's inbox as if the email had been sent on time but with a limit of ten per year.

In case you've missed this tradition in years past check out Project Teaspoon, Google Romance, Google Gulp, PigeonRank, Google Copernicus or others.

Happy April Fools Day

- beu