Friday, February 24, 2006

Thread hijacking

I'm even more disappointed and disenchanted with the SEO forum community than usual. This week there has been a witch hunt of speculation. A web site blipped in and out of Google. This happens all the time, in fact back at the start of 2005 every site blipped out of Google.

The difference here is that a series of professional SEO agencies signed on the forums and tried to present the blip as a ban. It shouldn't have worked.

These are professional forums (most of them) but the moderators let named speculation run and run. Too many people seemed utterly unconcerned that users with no prior history, no previous posts and who signed up to the forums only that day where the ones who had dived into the threads, filled them with junk and kept them going. On Search Engine Watch these "newbie professionals" didn't even suffer a dip in reputation. That just goes to fuel my reputation is simply a pat-on-the-back clique builder.

Professional forums should be professionally moderated. I am honestly surprised to see them hijacked so easily.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Google and the Olympics

Onebox results really can be quite dominant. Look at this screen grab of search results for Toby Dawson. Hard luck to you if you have a content rich web site about the Olympics and were hoping to enjoy a traffic boost. Hard luck if you'd rather, say, have a hotline to the BBC's advert free website instead of NBC. Well done if you happen to be NBC though!

Of course, I'm writing this with my SEO hat on. There's a good argument in favour of the user experience. I'm not a sports fan (I'm a search engine geek) but even I can see how Google is quickly delivering the best possible match for my search.

Could this use of the onebox be a foreshadow of how Google Base content could interact with the SERPs? It's a valid question, one that's easy to speculate on but impossible to answer. Google tends to try these things to see if they work and then keep or drop them as the trial suggests.