Archive for the ‘MSN’ Category

Bing is Just Better

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the hypocrisy coming out of Google reaching new all time highs. The mud slinging out of the Google camp is a signal:

Google is running scared.

Bing has gotten better. A lot better: and Google has gone from ignoring Bing to character assassination.

The latest hoopla goes like this “Waaaah, Bing is copying our search results!” When we dig deeper, we find that, no, Bing is not copying Google results, they are tracking user searching behavior. But hold on, doesn’t Google’s Privacy policy say (and I quote):

“Some of our services, including Google Toolbar and Google Web Accelerator, send the uniform resource locators (“URLs”) of web pages that you request to Google. When you use these services, Google will receive and store the URL sent by the web sites you visit, including any personal information inserted into those URLs by the web site operator. Some Google services (such as Google Toolbar) enable you to opt-in or opt-out of sending URLs to Google, while for others (such as Google Web Accelerator) the sending of URLs to Google is intrinsic to the service””

So Google Does EXACTLY THE SAME THING and throws mud at Bing for doing it? . . . AGAIN? The part that’s even worse is that people who are suppose to be “Search Engine Journalists” can’t even get the story right, because they’re too busy sucking Google cock and just blindly reprint everything fed to them.

The Fact is that Bing has gotten better. It’s a viable competitor and it’s taking market share from Google in the US. This year will be a repeat: Bing will shave off at least another 3 points of US Marketshare: at the expense of Google.

Google is scared. They call Bing’s Results “a Cheap imitation”, but the fact is that Bing is now consistently delivering better results. For all queries? No, not yet. But for your average, non power user, Bing delivers.

If you haven’t used it in a while, head back over to Bing. Use it for a week as your first Go To search engine. It’s much better than you thought.

Buzz Without the Buzz

I logged into my Hotmail account today and saw this:

.

live

It links here. (among other places).

Basically, Microsoft is integrating all the social media site into their Live platform. There was a hint of it on the Windows 7 Series phone video, but what this does is let’s you update your “status” at all the sites at once and integrates seamlessly into all the sites you already use.

I don’t use Google’s “Buzz”, but isn’t this the meat of it?

But somehow I doubt we’ll see umpteen million posts about how it’s this crazy game changer. Microsoft is just quietly executing on all fronts this year while the blogosphere almost completely fails to notice.

Windows 7 Series Phones

With all the buzz so far this year about iPad and, well, Buzz, the anticipation for the Windows 7 Series Phone was really non-existent.

But after watching the like this one videos:

It looks like the Windows 7 Series phone might be the most important launch this year.

Are they a little late to the game? Sure. But as was pointed out:

History is on Microsoft’s side here—we know what happened the last time Apple had a massive head start. Microsoft is, if nothing else, incredibly patient. Remember the first Xbox? Back when it was crazy that Microsoft was getting into videogames? It’s cost them about a billion dollars and taken nearly 10 years, but now, with Xbox Live, Project Natal and their massive software ecosystem, they arguably have the most impressive gaming console you can buy. That was a pet project. Now, mobile is the future of computing. What do you think Microsoft will sink into that?

This looks like it’s gonna be huge.

I know I want one.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Nice Fucking SERPs, G.

This morning, I wanted to look at the Frank Schilling video I posted a while back. I’d love to get him to come to SEO de Janerio as an expert, but haven’t met him yet (anyone care to make an introduction?)

Anyway, I wanted to watch that video again, so I Googled “frank seoblackhat”.

Check out these awesome results:

Goole Serps Suck ballz

As you can see, you have to wade through 6 scraper SERPs to get to the post you’re looking for on seoblackhat.

Microsoft still has their head up their ass and didn’t even find the result that I was looking for, but at least they got the DOMAIN right for the top result:

Microsoft Live . . . still dead.

and the winner is . . . Yahoo!

Yahoo is the Best search engine

Looks like it’s time to change that default search engine to Yahoo.

I Guess Google has been too preoccupied lately maintaining their paid link monopoly to pay attention to the actual quality of their SERPs.

In the meantime, while Google (and in fact all the Search engines) continues to serve up scraper after scraper – Scrape away! It’s the blackhat technique that just won’t die and continues to drive traffic and make money.

Dancing on the Grave of the Yahoo – Google Deal!

The Yahoo – Google advertising deal would have been horrendous for consumers, advertisers, Yahoo, partners . . . pretty much for everyone but Google.

Yesterday, that deal was pronounced dead.

<sings> “Ding, Dong the witch is dead.”</sing>

w00t! and all that jazz.

As much of a free market guy as I am, the one place where the free market needs government intervention is in the area of Anti-Trust and Monopoly oversight. The DoJ did right on this one.

Google is becoming increasingly arrogant with their partners and advertisers. On their syndication deals, from what I hear they want to “renegotiate” every deal down to a 50% or lower payout (when in many cases these partners have 85%+). While Yahoo isn’t the best answer for “competition” in the marketplace, at least they’re something.

Google knows they are in effect the only game in town and are behaving more and more like it. Aaron Wall discussed this further in “How Long Until People View Google Like Microsoft?”

I know at least one person who already does.

Speaking of Microsoft, Yahoo shares are up significantly after the death of the Google deal on speculation that this puts Yahoo back in play for a Microsoft bid. Jerry Yang all but begged Microsoft to buy them following the collapse of the Google deal.

The mid $40 numbers that Jerry et al were dreaming of earlier this year are more of a pipe dream than ever. Even the odds of Microsoft bidding $31 per share again are slim to none.

But a $23 price tag would probably work for everyone. Whether or not that’s gonna happen is why the stock is still trading a shade under $15 today. Microsoft said they’ve “moved on” and they may well have meant it.

The question is: If MSFT has moved on, what the hell have they moved on to?

How’s Yahoo Gonna Reject Microsoft?

According to the WSJ and Bloomberg, Yahoo thinks it’s going to reject Microsoft’s Takeover offer.

It begs several questions. Not the least of which is how the hell are they gonna do that?

When someone offers a 60% premium over your current stock price in cash, you’ve got to come up with a pretty darn good reason not accept it or your shareholders are going to revolt.

Some have speculated that Yahoo might make a deal with Google to outsource search or advertising or something: But a deal like that would certainly be the death nail in Yahoo’s coffin.

Remember how well that deal worked for AOL years ago? AOL had 30% of the search market when they outsourced to Google. Now they have about 5%.

The same thing would surely happen to Yahoo if they got in bed with Google Yes they would get more money per search over the next 3-5 years, but after that they would have no bargaining leverage with GOOG and would have to renew on far less favorable terms.

What other options does Yahoo have to reject the Offer? Find a white knight to put up a bid with more favorable terms? Almost no one has the cash to start a bidding war – and who would even want to?

Yahoo is screwed. All they can do is try to bargain a better price. Filo and Yang are just flailing to add one last bit of shareholder value before they’re both out on their asses as an all cash takeover from MSFT would leaves neither with an equity stake in the new “MicoHooey!”

The other question is whether Microsoft anticipated a rejection (either by Yahoo or regulators) and tendered this bid just to fuck with Yahoo. How desparate will Yahoo get to try to stave off Microsoft? Will they have a fire sale? Merge with a worse suitor? Or even sign a dark Pact with the Prince of Searchness?

One thing is certain: 2007 2008 is the End of Yahoo as we know it.

For a predator like MSFT, that’s probably what they were looking for all along.

Microsoft link from domain Command

Via Threadwatch, Live now has the command LinkFromDomain: so you can see what sites a domain links too.

Here it is for SEOblackhat.

SEO Black Hat has some real dogshit links in there. Gotta love Zombo at number one and itsatrap at number 7. Wierd Results. Are they ranking them by most authoritative or something?

In case you needed further evidence that the search engines care where you link, now you have it. It sure does look like Linking to autority sites will help you in the SERPs.

Click Distance Matters.

As an SEO experiment, a little less than a month ago we:
1. Removed all the categories from the sidebar
2. Listed titles of every post with links every page
3. Got rid of the Google Sitemap.

Because we updated the theme on friday to include a new navigational setup, it’s time for some observations about the experiment.

For the month of September, SEO Black Hat had these search referral numbers:
Google 24889
Yahoo 1047
MSN 503
Ask Jeeves 91
Google Images 82

In August, 2006 with search referrals of
14258 – Google
1603 – MSN
1266- Yahoo
41 – Ask Jeeves
19 – Google Images

and these numbers in July
11995 – Google
1145 – MSN
828 – Yahoo
514 – Google Images
34 – Ask Jeeves

There was a 74% climb in the number of Google search referrals. MSN switched to live – and live hated my old layout because it was ugly (let’s see if that picks up any with the new design).. Yahoo was down slightly and Ask Jeeves up slightly.

Also of interest is that SEO black hat had gone supplemental after 182 results prior to the experiment. Today, SEO Black hat does not go supplemental until 554 results (which is pretty good considering this is only my 334th blog post.)

Of course, all this did not happen in a vacuum. I continued to write posts and people linked to those posts. Also, I took advantage of two internet “trends” with a couple of my posts that contributed to these search referrals:

Keyword Search Referrals
Fortuny 3151
lonelygirl15 715

Those Keywords, which accounted for about a third of the increase, should probably be disregarded.

The private SEO Black Hat forums increased stickyness and number of visits. Therefore, if Google is tracking user behavior, there’s a good chance that SEO Black Hat would be seen as more authoritative site.

My theory is that Google probably does track user behavior and is factoring this into their algorithm. It also seems very likely that Google cares about click distance from the homepage – especially for indexing purposes (as in: what goes supplemental).

What is click distance? Click distance is the minimum number of clicks it would take you to get from one page to another. During the experiment, the click distance from the home page to any post (or from one post to another) was 1.

What does that mean for your site design? Make sure your navigation is set up well. Google sitemaps are not the answer. If a post is 10 clicks from the homepage, it’s going to be a lot harder for that post to rank in the search engines.

I’ll detail what changes were made to SEO Black Hat from an on page SEO and usability perspective throughout this week.

Why Prettier Sites Will Rank Higher in the SERPs

In the past few days, I’ve been playing around with Live.com. My observations have led me to the theory that “Live” is a very human editorial intensive project. As such, how aesthetically pleasing a site is will dramatically effect how well that site ranks. Understanding this shift will be crucial to you if you want to rank well search engines in the years to come.

Here’s why . . .

Let’s say that you are in charge of Search at Microsoft. You have a virtually unlimited budget and your job is to do what Microsoft has done in every market they have entered: your job is to win.

Step 1.
The first thing you should ask yourself is “Who is my target audience?” Who do you want to adopt your product? Is it the technically savvy? The very intelligent? The techie crowd? The power user?

No!

If you are at Microsoft and your goal is to win, your target audience must be the median 80% of searchers.

Step 2
What does your target audience want to see as a result when they are searching? Do they want to see authoritative sites? Sites that have been online for 5 years? Sites with a lot of links pointed at them? The sites that are the most popular in a given niche?

No!

For your target market, when they click a result they want to see a professional looking site: a pretty site – something that is aesthetically pleasing. They want a nice layout with pretty graphics. They want simple navigation. They do not want plain Jane text or a site that looks like 95% of blogs do.

They want to feel like what they landed on is not spam, not old, not geeky and might just have the answer to what they were searching for. They want to think that there is a legitimate company behind the site they landed on.

This part may be the toughest part for you to swallow. But you are not in the median 80% of users. You are a power user and you are a geek. Don’t believe me? Try going to your average football game or night club and using terms like “SEO”, “Blog”, or “Tag Cloud” with everyone you meet.

Most people don’t even know what the term “Search Engine” means. Once you get your head around that we can move on to . . .

Step 3
How can we deliver what that median 80% searcher wants? Well, there are about 6.5 million sites tracked by Alexa. We can safely say that any site without an Alexa ranking does not need to be indexed. Is there an algorithm that can tell you if a site will be pleasing to the human eye? Probably not. “Art” and “Style” would be very difficult to teach to a computer.

But since you only have a set of ~6.5 million sites to worry about, why not just hire people to review all the sites manually? The top 500,000 sites would represent more than 90% of web traffic. So lets say you hire 500 people to review those sites and 1,500 people to review the other 6 million.

For the High priority sites that’s just 1000 sites per person. That’s Hardly a difficult task for 1 person to monitor. For the lower priority sites, it’s about 4000 per person. That’s more difficult, but still doable.

I’m not saying you throw out the algorithms, I’m saying you use them as a starting point and then pick the best looking ones from there.

This method would satisfy the greatest number of users and it would be a drop in the bucket relative to the value of the market.

2,000 people, even if you hired them in the US (although I don’t know why you would) would only cost you about $50k per person per year or $100 million per year. Considering that Microsoft made $12 Billion in profits in the past year, they can easily swing that.

In fact, they could spend even more on human review. They could hire people from overseas for much less. They could easily hire 10 times that number of editors for less than $600 million per year (just 5% of company profits). Considering that revenue related to search advertising brought Google $2 billion in profits in the past year, I’d say that investing $600 million to deliver the best results is a no brainer.

Now will these people all be experts in every field? No. But they don’t have to be. There job is deliver the results that the median user will like most. Those results will be professional looking sites that answer the searchers queries. The blend of human editorial review with algorithmic analysis will be the wave of the future. Simply changing algorythms will not be able to best what an army of human reviews armed with similar algorythms can produce.

What does that mean for sites that are ugly looking? Sites that look like, say, SEO Black Hat does today? It means that we will either have to redesign to “Look” pretty, or we will not survive in the rankings long term.

Look for an SEO Black Hat redesign in the very near future . . .

The Most Cutting Edge SEO Exploits No One is Publishing

You know that the best SEO Black Hats are doing something more than scraping, using a site generator, comment spamming, and pinging to be raking in more than $100k per month.

But what is it?

Right now, there is way too much good stuff that I simply can’t publish on the SEO Black Hat blog. If I posted these tactics and exploits they would immediately get all the wrong kind of attention. The detailed conversations about how exactly to abuse search engine algorithms, generate massive traffic, and what other Black Hats are doing must remain underground to retain their effectiveness.

But what if I told you that you could discuss these exploits with me without paying my $500 an hour consulting fee? What if I told you there was a way to join in on the private, cutting edge discussions with some of the best Black Hats and web entrepreneurs in the world?

Would you be interested?

Because now you can . . .

Today is the official launch of the resource you’ve looked everywhere for but never found:

The Private SEO Black Hat Forum

Normally what you get on forums are people who don’t know anything talking with people who don’t want to say anything. You can occasionally find amazing tips on some forums: but you have to dig through 400 crappy posts just to find one post that is useful. That becomes a huge time sink.

How are the SEO Black Hat forums different?

Quality: We’re not going to have any contests to see who can make the most posts. That just creates tons of crap that no one wants to read. Our focus is on quality over quantity. Our primary concern is with succinctly answering one question: “What works?”

Sophisticated: Many of the topics we discuss are very advanced and require a high level of technical or business acumen to appreciate.

Expert Discussions: The SEO Black Hat forums are not for everyone and they may not be right for you. If you are relatively new to SEO or building websites, then do not join the SEO Black Hat Forums: you will be in way over your head. There are plenty of newbie forums out there for you – this is not one of them. Our forums are for successful web entrepreneurs to develop strategies that drive more traffic and generate more revenues.

Forum Membership Benefits

Access to Expert Advice and Discussions
We have both White Hat and Black Hat Experts that are already benefiting from new tool development, techniques, scripts and the sharing of ideas.
Some members you may already be familiar with include:

* CountZero from blackhat-seo.com (Black Hat)

* RSnake from ha.ckers.org (Web Security Expert)

* Dan Kramer from Kloakit (Cloaking Expert)

* Jaimie Sirovich from seoegghead.com (Token White Hat / SEO Geek)

There are several other members that you are certainly familiar with who are using handles for anonymity. We have others who are more focused on security, vulnerabilities, and coding. There are still more that you are likely unfamiliar with but are nevertheless web millionaires.

Databases – Large Datasets
If you want your sites to have massive amounts of unique content you need large data sets. The trading, discussion and posting of large data sets is going on right now on our forums.

Expired / Deleted Domain Tools
Want to use to use the same domain Tool that I used to get a Page Rank 6 site in the Gambling Space for just $8? This domain tool is available for members to use for free.

50% off on Kloakit – The Professional Cloaking Software

Scripts – Several useful scripts have already been posted – interesting thing you may not have thought of before are being discussed and developed.

Exploits and Case Studies: The really good stuff I can’t talk about on the SEO Blackhat Blog is being discussed on the SEO Black Hat Forums. Right now, some of the conversations include beating captchas, domain kiting, data mining, hoax marketing, XSS vulnerabilities as they relate to SEO, and much more.

Pricing: $100 per month.

The price will soon be rising significantly as more databases, hosted tools, scripts and exploits are added. However, once you lock in a membership rate it will never go up and you will continue to have access to everything.

So, if you think you’re ready for the most intense Black Hat SEO discussions anywhere, then here’s what you need to do:

1. Register at the SEO Black Hat Forums.

2. Go to the User CP and select Paid Subscription.

I’ll see you on the inside!