Tag Archives: seo

While Google has condemned buying and selling links that pass PageRank, they've encouraged listing in paid directories like Yahoo for years. It seems that era may have come to an end earlier today. The following bullet points have been removed from Google's Webmaster Guidelines Webmaster Help Center*

  • "Have other relevant sites link to yours."
  • "Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites."

Does this recent move reflect a renewed emphasis on rooting out paid links passing PageRank and/or low quality links by Google?

*As mentioned, the bullet points above have been removed from the US version of Google's Webmaster Help Center. Other versions may not yet reflect this change.

UPDATE: Hat tip to Barry Schwartz who noticed John Honeck's post in Google Groups where Google's John Mueller comments on the change. Barry provides a full recap at SERoundTable.com and SearchEngineLand.com.

A friend of mine recently emailed to ask, how TinyURL impacts SEO? It's a good question and one many folks can't answer so, I thought I'd blog my answer to his question!

For anyone not familiar with TinyURL, in layman terms it's a tool where users can enter long displaying URLs to get a shortened version. TinyURLs are often used where long URLs might wrap and therefore break, such as in email or social media web applications like Twitter. In more technical terms, TinyURLs are short, dynamically created URLs that redirect users to another intended URL via 301 redirect. Because TinyURLs "301" or permanently redirect, search engines should not index the TinyURL but instead should index and pass PageRank to the actual URL.

It is important to note, TinyURLs to paid links passing PageRank is a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines and that sites like Twitter use nofollow techniques to prevent spam.

On their own, TinyURLs can be search engine friendly from a technical perspective. At the same time, I wouldn't suggest replacing your site's navigation with TinyURLs and would point out that tracking TinyURLs via analytics might be difficult.

Avinash Kaushik, Google's Analytics Evangelist and author of "Web Analytics: An Hour A Day" hosted an invitation only event at Google's Atlanta office earlier in the week. The meeting "agenda" was traditional "Google style", a meet & greet over Ping-Pong followed by (absolutely fantabulous) hors d'oeuvres and multi-colored icy cold adult beverages served in the game room at Google Atlanta. All in all, the group was 50/50 Googler to non-Googler with 15-20 of us total.

After a little "schmoozing" it was time to get down to business and Avinash's main talk followed by Q&A as well as a short feedback session all topped off with FREE swag from Google. At the end of our meeting, Avinash asked if we would mind "beta testing" a presentation (which included that latest non-published until now perhaps, Google stats) he was working on and had put together during his flight to Atlanta, GA earlier in the day.

Big News:
- The average Google query now consists of 4 words and not 3! That's up for the first time ever as of Q4 2007, from the long-time 3 word per query Google user average.

- 14% of Google clicks come from paid search and 86% of clicks are organic. (up slightly)

- 25% of Google's user queries are unique, meaning no other user has used the same query previously. (unchanged)* [see update below]

The meeting was informative as well as educational! I must say, Avinash is one of the best speakers I've seen in addition to having a great sense of humor and being quite personable. Thanks Google and hats off to you Avinash! It was a pleasure...

Many thanks to Philipp Lenssen for pointing out an important issue concerning Google's definition of "unique queries". Here is what Matt Cutts said in response to the issue at Google Blogoscoped a few months ago:

"Philipp, I think that's a pretty accurate estimate if you look over a time period of a month or so. So if you had queries from the last month or so, 20-25% of queries the next day would be new/unique. It also depends a little bit about whether you're defining it only as web queries, or all queries to Google (e.g. blog search, book search, patent search, etc.)."

- http://blogoscoped.com/forum/100228.html

Links to this post:
SEOBOOK - What is a #1 Google Ranking Worth?

Search Engine Land - SearchCap: The Day In Search, February 4, 2008

SearchEngineWatch.com - Search Headlines & Links: February 4, 2008