In what is arguably the biggest SEO news so far this year, Matt Cutts announced yesterday that using nofollows is no longer a solution to preventing loss of a site’s or page’s link juice, and hasn’t been for over a year!
When the rel=nofollow attribute was introduced in 2005, it was meant as an annotation for not “vouching” for a link. Virtually all forum and blog pages have nofollow attributes associated with visitor generated content, as a means of instructing search engines not to follow (crawl) these untrusted user comments or guestbook entries. Not long after the introduction of rel=”nofollow”, we learned to minimize leakage of our sites’ total allocated PageRank by ‘sculpting’ PR with the attribute as well as to push it to more important pages of our sites. We can now cross this technique off the list.
In Google, nofollow links don’t pass PageRank and don’t pass anchor text. However, we find out now through Matt Cutts (who else) that nofollow links no longer conserve the linkjuice from an outgoing nofollow link in order to be be divided among other links on the page in question.
Old PageRank Algorithm
2 separate cases of a page with “x” amount of available link juice.
As a somewhat simplified example: In the original PageRank algorithm, a page of PR10 would have passed PR2 each to 5 regular links (fig.1). The same page would have passed PR2.5 each to 4 regular links and PR 0 to the nofollow link in fig. 2.
New PageRank Algorithm
Page with “x” amount of available link juice
As you can see in fig 3, nofollowing a link no longer passes extra juice through to the remaining live links. Many SEOs are now considering cutting down substantially on outgoing links, or going back to previous PR Sculpting methods such as:
- Embedding robots.txt-blocked iframes containing certain links
- Embedding Java, Flash or other non-parseable applications to contain certain links
Many SEOs are disillusioned by the fact that using internal nofollows were advocated as best practice by the powers that be at the Big G, and now feel they’re being told the opposite. There will be a lot of speculating, calculating and theorizing in the SEO community on this one in the upcoming weeks. I’ll be back with news on this one soon enough, because I know there’ll be some.
Forbes Media has released the results of its “Ad Effectiveness Survey“, revealing the digital marketing preferences among senior marketing executives polled.
The survey, published yesterday was conducted between February 19, 2009 and March 19, 2009 in order to better understand behaviors and beliefs regarding digital marketing, and to predict areas of growth and weakness in the industry over the next six months.
Some of the highlights of the study
- Search Engine Optimization, Email and e-newsletter marketing are by far the 3 leading methods of digital marketing among respondents.
- Ad networks were the most unpopular, with 50% of respondents stating that the results did not meet their expectations.
- The tools considered most effective for generating conversions were SEO (48%), email and e-newsletter marketing (46%), and PPC/search marketing (32%)
- In the coming six months, half of the respondents expect that viral marketing (54%) and SEO (50%) will likely see the biggest increases. Ad networks see the highest percentage of expected decreases (52%).
Forbes Media includes Forbes and Forbes.com, the #1 business site on the Web that reaches 18.6 million people monthly. The results of the “Ad Effectiveness Survey” are available at www.forbes.com/adinfo/research.html
Chrome Brought Us More Speed
Features such as hidden class transitions, dynamic code generation, and precise garbage collection help Chrome outperform it’s peers by about 2:1 in speed. Benchmark tests compared the browser’s speed with that of Safari, Firefox 3, Internet Explorer 7, and Internet Explorer 8.
Chrome Brought Us More Stability
As with many others, my main interest in Chrome laid in the fact that it’s a multi-threaded browser. Single-threaded browsers must be completely restarted if a problem site crashes your current tab or window, but with Chrome’s Task Manager, not only can you see which sites are using the most resources – including memory, processor and data transfer – but you can also terminate problem threads, saving you from having to restart your browser in these cases.
Is Chrome Really Ready To Lose it’s Training Wheels?
4 days ago, on December 11 – only 100 days after Google released the Beta version – Chrome Browser was officially stripped of its beta label. By now, your beta version will have been automatically updated to v18.104.22.168, bringing you the improvements and bug fixes afforded by the last 104 days of user feedback and automatic crash reports analysis.
Chrome v.1 even faster
Other improvements in Chrome’s Official Release:
- Improved bookmarking features (a top users request)
- A more user-friendly privacy control panel
- Improved video and audio plug-in support
So The Bugs Are Mostly Fixed – But where’s the Rest of the Browser
I abandoned Internet Explorer as my browser of choice years ago in favor of much more web standard compliant Firefox and Opera. They were more secure, faster (once loaded) and all around better development tools. Enter Firefox Extensions. If you haven’t used any of the many Firefox extensions, for example the Web Developer Toolbar, you’re missing out. Not just bells and whistles, some serious functionality exists in hundreds of Firefox Extensions.
I’m sure that Chrome will eventually support the addition of useful extensions, and who knows, maybe even outdo Firefox in that department one day; but no RSS reader? In my opinion chrome isn’t ready to be freed of its beta status.
If there’s any question in your mind whether social media is merely a passing trend or a major consideration in any internet marketing campaign, wonder no longer.
Last month, more than 200 major advertising and market research executive representatives attended the sold out Industry Leader Forum – “Transforming Research. Are You Listening” – held by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). The ARF, a leading Research Transformation initiative, will
enable members to stay ahead of the curve in a fast-changing, consumer-driven world.
The event, which took place in New York on Oct 29, focused primarily on methods of tracking the ubiquitous online discussions of brands, companies, products and services that numerous social media web sites and platforms host. Bob Barocci, President and CEO of The ARF, shed some light on several of the newer terms being used by advertising researchers, such as ‘listening pipes’, ‘storytelling’, ‘inspiration’, ‘content masters’ (referring to millennials), ‘consumer backyard’ and ‘brand backyard’.
Case histories of “listening” in action were presented by General Mills, MTV, Sony Electronics, and Unilever. Obama pollster Joel Benenson, revealed how public perceptions were gathered in the president-elect’s leading-edge electoral campaign.
The Arf’s Research Transformation Council are:
- Joel Benenson – Founding Partner & President, Benenson Strategy Group – Co-Founder, iModerate, & pollster for Barack Obama
- Jonathan Carson – President, International, Nielsen Online
- Kim Dedeker – VP, External Capability Leadership-Global Consumer & Market Knowledge, Procter & Gamble
- Jeff Flemings – SVP, Renaissance Planning, VivaKi
- Gayle Fuguitt – VP, Consumer Insights, General Mills
- Stephen Kim – Senior Director, Microsoft Branded Experiences and Entertainment, Microsoft Advertising
- Michael Perman – Senior Director, Levi Strauss
- Eric Salama – Chairman and CEO, Kantar
- Patti Wakeling – Senior Manager, Media Insights, Unilever
Pete Blackshaw, the Executive Vice President of the Digital Strategic Services group at Nielsen Online gave a presentation on the “Six Signals of Listening to the Unprompted Voice of the Consumer.“. Pete is a recognized expert in interactive marketing, word of mouth, and consumer understanding, and originally coined the term consumer-generated media (CGM). See Pete’s summary of the highlights from October’s event in his video below.
The ARF’s next Forum will be a one day workshop from 8:00AM to 6:00PM on January 27, 2009 at Bently Reserve, San Francisco. Confirmed speakers include:
- Kim Dedeker (Proctor & Gamble)
- Joel Benenson (Benenson Strategy Group)
- Michael Perman (Levi Strauss)
- Pete Blackshaw (Nielsen Online)
Very exciting stuff!
Until this week, the closest Google has ever come to publishing anything on recommended Search Engine Optimization practices has been the well known and rather vague Google Webmaster Guidelines. Just the fact that they used the jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none term ‘webmaster’ hints at the rather limited potential value of the document to anyone that’s been involved with the industry for say, a few days. The guidelines are a great starting point for someone new to web development, but aside from advice and hints posted by Matt Cutts on his and others’ blogs, the public hasn’t ever had any Googficial (How’s that for a word – Come on Oxford and Websters, I dare you) documentation on how to get better website visibility in Google.
2 days ago, however, Google’s SEO Starter Guide appeared on the Official Google Webmaster (shudder – there’s that word again) Central Blog. Now in terms of the information value in the guide, I’d say it’s a step up from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, but not by much. New to SEO or web development and need a reliable source of information on how to make your site more search engine friendly? Need information you can trust, since you are new to the game? Well here it is. Which brings me to the real value of these guidelines as far as SEOs and Internet marketers go.
Trust. We know that having the experience with the basic SEO practices outlined in the SEO Starter guide and far beyond is what really makes the difference in a competent Internet Marketing professional, and if there is even a single piece of information in this guide that you aren’t familiar with, you might want to reassess your worth to your clients. However, the basics of SEO, now officially outlined by Google in their guide, will help to take some of the mystery out of SEO for business owners when wondering whether what they’re paying for is actually worth it. Nothing in this guide is new to us, except that Google has finally put it’s stamp of approval of the most basic of SEO principals that we’ve all been using for a long time; and they finally refer to it as SEO as well. Potential clients often want to understand what basic steps you’re taking to help their internet presence in exchange for their hard earned money. Just the fact that Google has official documentation on the basics of SEO is a step in the right direction. Thanks Google.
This week Google added another source of useful data to the crawl error section of their Webmaster Tools. The original addition of this feature to the popular tools in August 2006 allowed account holders to view the types and counts of server crawl errors such as URLS not found, not followed, restricted and timed out. Due to popular demand, this feature is now complimented by the internal or external sources of ‘Not found’ (404) crawl errors
Whether you choose to view the data in the online application, or download all your crawl errors for later analysis, webmasters may use the data to track down exactly where the 404 errors are coming from, fix the internal ones, and attempt to fix the external ones
Crawl Error Sources Data Benefits Search Engine Optimization
If your server spits a 404 error because of an external linking error, the valuable link juice need not go to waste. Knowing the source of the 404 allows you to either contact the site owner to request a correction, or, you can simply 301-redirect the misspelled URL to the correct version. Presto, the vote for your site as an authoritative source of content is restored, earning you the valuable natural Pagerank points that your site deserves from the incoming link
Microsoft Research has released a new social search engine prototype called “uRank”. Social search engines boast personalization features such as allowing users to move search results around to better suit their tastes, and share information with others.
“…allows people to organize, edit and annotate search results…to better support people as they are exploring a topic, comparing information, keeping track of what they’re learning, and collaborating with others…”. Microsoft Research proposes to use these interactions to contribute to the perceived relevance of search results opposed to traditional algorithmic methods of search engine results indexing. uRank is currently accessible to US users only. Apparently they’re ‘working on that’.
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