Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Hello Again. World.

It’s been a long time (long time), we shouldn’t of left you (left you),
Without a dope beat to step to
It’s been a long time (long time) we shouldn’t of left you (left you),
Without a dope beat to step to.

Google Lied about Manually Changes

The Lie was told here by Udi Manber, and repeated by Matt Cutts. And I quote:

At Google we do not manually change results. For example, if we find for a particular query that result No. 4 should be result No. 1, we do not have the capability to manually change it. We made that decision not to put that capability in the algorithm—we have to go and actually change the algorithm.

Contrast that with the story from 2 days ago from the official Google Blog:

We created about 100 “synthetic queries”—queries that you would never expect a user to type, such as [hiybbprqag]. As a one-time experiment, for each synthetic query we inserted as Google’s top result a unique (real) webpage which had nothing to do with the query. Below is an example:

There is no way to reconcile those two statements. If Google sees someone at number 4 that they want at number 1, they can remove the number 4 result with their manual spam filter, and then manually insert it to number 1.

This is not nitpicking: they have the capability and they have used it. They have used it more than for legality or for spam, they used it at the very least for their recent PR stunt.

This is on par with “Read My Lips, No new Taxes”

They lied. They were caught.

Do not trust Matt Cutts.

Do not trust Udi Manber.


They are bold face liars.

They can and do manually change their search results. They can and do manually put whoever they want at number one: regardless of what they have said in the past.

Clicksteam For Dummies: How The Ranking Factor Works

Since the majority of people can’t seem to figure out how clickstream data could be used as a Search Engine Ranking Factor, without even scraping the actual page, I’ll give you a hint.

Actually, a pop quiz. Here’s what you know:
User 1 Visits:
Then immediately visits:

Later User 2 visits

Then immediately visits:

Later user 3 visits
Then immediately visits:

Later user 4 visits

Then immediately visits:

Later user 5 visits
Then immediately visits:

Later, you have a user use your search engine and types in gyhwesaa.

Your 20 billion page index of pages does not include the word gyhwesaa anywhere. None of your other signals reveal anything about the phrase.

What do you give the user as a top result?

Epassporte Dropped by Visa

This was pretty surprising to see:

Dear ePassporte Account Holders,

Please be advised that, at 12:00 PM PDT today, September 2, 2010, we were notified that effective immediately, Visa International has suspended our banking partner’s (St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank) ePassporte Visa program. The ePassporte e-Wallet program continues to be up and running, except funds cannot be transferred between your Visa Account and your e-Wallet. At this time ePassporte can no longer issue Visa Cards, and the ability for our Account Holders to make point of sale purchases and withdraw funds from ATMs has also been suspended.

At this time we do not know why this drastic action was taken by Visa. To us, it is unconscionable that such action would be taken without the opportunity for ePassporte to fully understand Visa’s reasons and to be able to take all steps necessary to keep our program running the way it has so successfully done for over 7 years. But that is what Visa has done.

As soon as we have more information we will be in contact with you.

In the meantime please be assured that your funds are safe.

We are very sorry for the short notice and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The ePassporte team is working diligently to rectify this situation.

We kindly ask you to bear with us while we work through this issue.

Please feel free to contact us via the message center or at our call center, should you have any questions, comments or concerns.

Thank You,
Christopher Mallick

Pretty amazing the did that all at once like that: leaving epassporte high and dry.

It’s Like Google Reads My Mind!

Like really, how did they know?


Dark Patterns: dirty tricks designers use to make people do stuff

An article on dirty tricks in design. One interesting tidbit plucked from the comments:

You could pick pretty much any element of the Ryanair website, but a particular favourite of mine, if you could call it that, is the way they subtly force you to buy travel insurance. The question is labelled as “Buy Axa travel insurance”, but the select field has a default value of “select country of residence”.

Buried in the middle of the options, which are almost in alphabetical order, is the option “No travel insurance required” – between Latvia and Lithuania!

I ran some usability testing with this site and a number of similar sites for a client of mine (not Ryanair) and almost every participant simply accepted they had to buy travel insurance, because they were blind to this option.

Horrendous, immoral, but quite clever at the same time…

The other ones are certainly worth a look too. Got any favorites?

SEOktoberfest 2010

SEOktoberfest 2010 Trailer.

Take a look!

Facebook: Please update your email address.

What the fuck is wrong with facebook and their?:

Our systems have detected that [email address] is no longer a valid email. Facebook requires all users to maintain an active contact email. Please enter and confirm a new contact email below:

I fucking validated it 5 times now including 2 days ago and I’m still getting this message. Get your shit together already, Facebook; You’re the number one destination on the Internet.

The Hypocrisy is Truly Amazing

Don’t you hate assholes that go around touting how they are morally superior to you?

Like priests that tell their flock how to follow God’s Path while molesting teenage boys on the side. Or like a company that says “Don’t be evil”, and then shows every day that evil is in their DNA.

The latest example is the release of a 0-day exploit on Microsoft (don’t miss the comment section there either, it’s priceless):

Google has been the loudest proponent for responsible disclosure in the past. But if you look at the dates in his post, he says he reported it to Microsoft on the 5th of June (a Saturday), who responded the same day. He sent the advisory early in the morning today the 10th of June – meaning Google gave Microsoft less than 5 days to fix it. Even Mozilla backed down from 10 day turn around, and they’re only running a single software suite. How is that possibly reasonable to expect a company like MS to turn around a patch in 4-5 days and then get so upset that then you must go full disclosure? And it’s not like Tavis was acting on his own – he credits other security researchers inside of Google for their help. So apparently it’s okay for Google to go full disclosure, but not for other researchers. The hypocrisy is amazing.

Yes. The hypocrisy is truly amazing. But it’s no longer even remotely surprising.

Tab Phishing

Be careful: This is one clever attack vector.

As Mozilla Firefox creative lead Aza Raskin describes it, the attack is as elegant as it is simple: A user has multiple tabs open, and surfs to a site that uses special javacript code to silently alter the contents of a tabbed page along with the information displayed on the tab itself, so that when the user switches back to that tab it appears to be the login page for a site the user normally visits.

Hat tip to Marlon.