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Digg Used To Facilitate DDoS Attack

Thursday, December 28, 2006
15 hours ago (at the time of posting) a "story" was submitted to digg.com. But unlike most stories this one didn't intend on providing useful information, Breaking news or a funny video. the intention of this story was to initiate a DDoS attack against the site godhatesfags.com by using the digg comminuty as a botnet.

The user egingras posted this story entitled "Make GodHatesFags pay for their bandwidth" with the description "It's time to stop this shit. Feel free to use as much bandwidth as possible. Try downloading a few podcasts."

The story then rapidly received many diggs, 2139 at the time of this post, And soon found it's way onto the front page, At which point digg users started posting links to audio files in comments and soon knocked godhatesfags.com offline.

having a site which gets "slasdotted" or becomes a victim of the "digg effect" is usually a webmasters wet dream. it means a lot of people want to see something you have made or written. But when these usually innocent effects are done to facilitate criminal damage it becomes a different issue. It becomes illegal.

I am surprised, And angry, That digg should allow their site to be used in such a malicious and criminal way. the intent from the very beginning was obviously to knock the website offline by sending it many thousands of visitors, Which is, For all intents and purposes, A DDoS attack.

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My Email To Blogger - I'm Not Happy

Saturday, December 23, 2006
After switching to the new version of blogger a couple of days a go i decided i would have a look around and see what is different, And i have to say i am very disappointed. It seems blogger have replaced "ease" with "confusion" and features that are not needed. So i decided i had to send blogger an email and tell them what i think.
After switching to the new version of blogger i have to say I'm not very pleased.

The first issue i have seen is that the blog tag <$BlogURL$> links to blogname.blogspot.com/index.html. This is very bad for SEO as all other links are going to be pointing to blogname.blogspot.com.

The second issue is that feed URL's point to the blog post in the feed. How are people supposed to bookmark our blogs and browse them if they are sent to the feed when clicking on a feed link instead of the blog post?

The third issue is with the templates. I doubt you could have made editing a template any harder if you had tried. Anybody who isn't a professional programmer is going to have no chance of editing their template or creating their own. This was a very important feature of the old blogger system and now you have all but completely removed it for regular bloggers.

The fourth issue is with tags (labels). If i had previously entered the label "page rank" and i later want to enter "page" as a tag is automatically assumes i want to type "page rank" again. All of a sudden something as simple as typing one word becomes a long drawn out frustrating ordeal.

The fifth issue is that after switching to the new blogger some tags in my old template, Such as <$BlogPreviousItemTitle$>, No longer work as it should. Instead of showing the previous post it now shows the latest post. Which also means the "Previous Posts" section of the sidebar now shows the latest few posts, Not the previous few posts.

Is there any way for me to change back to the old version of blogger?

I hate to say it, but once everybody is pushed to the new version you are going to be getting a lot of emails saying that the new blogger is impossible to work with and a lot of people will move to wordpress.

My advice to people is; Don't switch to the new blogger.

If you are a blogger, On any platform, please copy my email and send it to blogger.

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Deep Linking to Content Is Illegal

Friday, December 22, 2006
A Texas district judge ruled, in a landmark case, that deep linking to a websites content is illegal if the owner of the content asks you to remove the hyperlink and you refuse.

The case in question was between Robert Davis, who operates Supercrosslive.com, and supercross.cc.com, The owners of the content, which in this case was streaming videos of motorcross events.

supercross.cc.com claimed that, by linking directly to it's audio feeds, Mr Davis was depriving them of ad revenue, and the judge agreed and ordered Mr Davis to remove the links to.

I get the feeling this court case would have made as much sense as a monkey in a box.
For one, Mr Davis is an idiot for being prepared to go to court over something as trivial as a hyperlink. Secondly, supercross.cc.com are idiots for not taking care of this on their end. All they had to do is send all referrers from Mr Davis' site to a page that contaned adverts, and thirdly the judge is an idiot for not tellling these people to grow up, go home and sort out their own childish squables.


A Sneak Peek At 2007

I have always enjoyed reading SEO and internet related predictions that seem to pop up at the end of each year. It's like seeing into the future, All be it an imaginary future. So i figured it would be fun if i attempt to make a few predictions of my own. I have a few in mind but I'm hoping that more will come to me as i write this.

  1. Yahoo Will Acquire A Video site - Since Yahoo were in talks with youtube just before Google closed the deal i think they will actively be looking to purchase an online video site such as dailymotion or metacafe.
  2. RSS Will Explode - With IE7 (and vista) offering easy RSS feed functionality to microsoft users and the increase in online feed-reader-portal-sites such as netvibes i predict that a lot more people will start using RSS feeds to receive content. Up to now RSS was only really used by internet savvy people and was slightly out of the reach of regular users.
  3. A Drop In Traffic Will See Digg Sold - Digg seems to be living in a bubble, But it's becoming apparent that it will soon start running into problems. I predict that a huge drop (50%+) in traffic will push digg to sell and i predict the buyer will either be Fox, Yahoo or Netscape.
  4. MySpace Will Start Dying - 2007 will see the beginning of the end of myspace. It has ridden on i's "coolness" for too long and it will start being quite "un-cool" as more and more people realise it's full of slow loading, bloated pages, that contain utter shit
  5. "MOZ" Will Announce A New Directory - Something needs to be done with dmoz, And i think what they will decide to do is focus on building a new directory for the web 2.0 era which will use tags instead of categories.
  6. NASA World Wind:1 - Google Earth:0 - NASA World Wind will case big waves and it will be the "earth" application of 2007, Which will see Google Earth slip away. No doubt google wont take this laying down though.
  7. Remember The Zune? - Late 2007 will see Microsoft declare the Zune a failure and they will announced that it's to be discontinued in 2008
  8. Microsoft Pagerank - Microsoft will release their own version of googles pagerank which will be displayed in IE via a bar (That's all we need, But i can see it happening)

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del.icio.us Widget Makes Tagging Your Blog Easy

Thursday, December 21, 2006
It's not often we are able to bring you news about del.icio.us, It is a website that was created to do a task, Which is allow people to save-tag-share links, And it has done it perfectly since it's creation with very little change.

Recently, though, it looks as though the del.icio.us dev team have been hard at work to produce something which was probably an obvious feature del.icio.us should have. It is a widget that you can put on your blog that will allow your visitors to save that page, but it will also display the number of people who have already saved that page and the tags they attached to it.

We have already implemented the widget on Pro-SEO on article pages, So don't forget to have a look around and save/tag any articles you think you may like to read again in the future.

del.icio.us Widget Makes Tagging Your Blog Easydel.icio.us Widget Makes Tagging Your Blog Easy
del.icio.us are offering two layouts for the widgets. One is a square block which will fit perfectly in a sidebar and the other is a single line block which will work well above or below your articles or blog posts.

Click here to read the announcement of the widget
And here to get your Widget Code

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Blog-Tag. I'm It!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
First off id like to thank Steve from YellowHouseHosting for tagging me when he done his own 5 things. The Blog-tag game only started on 10th Dec over at The Jeff Pulver blog so im really surprised it has made it's way to me already.

Well, What don't you know about me... Or more precisely, What could i tell you that wouldn't bore you.

  1. When i was 14 i used to do volunteer work at sports days for children with learning disabilities. It started off as a mandatory task to be done as i was a member of the ATC (air training corps), but i had a pretty good time so started to volunteer on a regular basis. Of course, Growing up in a fairly rough area of north London, England, meant i had to keep quiet about both the volunteer work and the ATC.
  2. My qualifications include, Among other less interesting things, A Royal Air Force Marksman certificate. I was once told it would let me be a sniper if i wished, Though i doubt that is true, And besides, I don't really want to shoot at people.
  3. The only real sport i have ever taken seriously is swimming. I was a member of a London swimming club between the ages of 9 and 17 in which time i managed to achieve all amateur awards besides me honours which i was pretty gutted about. I would like to go and get the honours now but i haven't swam for about 8 years.
  4. My highest break in snooker is 86. I used to play for my local snooker club team. People in England say the ability to play snooker is a sign of a mis-spent youth... They are right.
  5. I have never been to hospital sinse i was born and i have a £100 bet with my friend that i can make it to 60 without ever having to stay overnight in hospital or have an operation. I also haven't been to the doctors sinse i was 10 when i woke up and couldn't move my left arm, Was quite frightening, but not as frightening as the prospect of having a blood test the following day if it hadn't got better... Guess what. It got better.

Well i hope you didn't find that too boring, I wish i could have had a more exciting life to share with you, but alas, No.

I guess this is the part where i have to nominate 5 people to carry on and do their own 5 things post.

I'm Tagging ::: I'm going to Tag the first 5 people to post a reply here


It's Official. Images Near Adsense Ads Are Not Allowed

images near adsenseAt last google have come out and given some very clear guidelines regarding images near adsense ads, And guess what, They don't allow them, At all.

We have covered images near adsense and images near YPN in previous posts, But the clarification from google regarding this, Possibly due to Yahoo!s YPN terms, Makes the images near adsense confusion a lot simpler.

For a while people were under the impression that as long as there was a divider or space between the images and the adsense ads that it was allowed, But google have clarified their position by giving examples of what isn't allowed on their recent blog post

Google say that even though images are allowed on the page they ask Adsense publishers not to align the images with the adverts as to suggest a relationship between the images and the adsense block.
They also ask owners of game sites and directories not to format their adverts in a way which "mimics" their sites content as to reduce the chance of a user clicking the advert thinking it leads to site content.

The Google Adsense team were even nice enough to provide examples of adsense implementations which are not allowed, Which is probably something they should have done a long time ago.

These are not allowed
images near adsense not allowed
images near adsnese not allowed

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Is It Time To Kill Dmoz.org? Yes. And Heres Why

Monday, December 18, 2006
dmoz is deadDmoz, Or the Open directory project, has had years of being the number one directory on the internet thanks to to it's huge amount of catagories, Strict acceptance policy, Open database and the fact that many search engines relied on it for indexing.
But has the time come to pull the plug on dmoz? I think it has.

As we move into the "web 2.0" era there isn't room for stuffy old sites that don't actually do anything. I can't imagine the dmoz directory being of any real use to anyone anymore. We go to search engines to find information now, Not to a directory that contains less than 1% of the sites on the internet.

This isn't just an anti-dmoz rant. There are arguments for and against dmoz, I guess, Though unfortunately i can only think of arguments against, If you can think of an argument for Dmoz, Besides a free backlinks for webmasters argument, Please let me know.

So i have compiled a list that I'm going to call "Matts Top * Reasons To Kill DMOZ"

  1. Catastrophic system failure - In case you don't know, For a couple of weeks now dmoz has been running off of static cached pages because some clever sausage decided to completely delete the admin server. This has meant editors can't login, Admin can't login and no new sites can be listed. Sombody has likened the process for fixing this like "trying to glue back together a vase after it has been completely smashed".
  2. Corrupt Editors - The debate has been raging for some time regarding corrupt editors over at Dmoz. I have personally had no experience with this and i am unable to give any names, but think about it, Why would an editor accept sites into dmoz if those sites are competing with his own sites?
    Not all editors on dmoz are going to be corrupt, But it only takes a few to make dmoz as a whole worthless.
  3. Lack of editors - Some catagories have no editors at all. Let's face it, Who would want to go through all the crap that gets submitted to dmoz looking for quality sites to include in a directory nobody uses? It's a boring, thankless task.
  4. We have search engines now - These days the last place someone is going to look for information is in a directory that doesn't even list 1% of the sites on the internet, Especially when thier search algorithm is below poor. We just "google it", Right?
  5. Nothing done about changed or dead sites - Dmoz works under the assumption that after a site is created the site will remain on the internet forever and will always be the same site. But now we have a "dynamic web" where sites are changing all the time, Dmoz has no system for searching for and identifying sites that have changed thier subject or are no longer online
Dmoz is a web 0.1 site trying to stay alive in a web 2.0 world. It's time to let it pass with dignity so we can kick it to the curb and move on to bigger and better things.

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Spikethevote.com Now Owned By Digg.com

Sunday, December 17, 2006
You may remember a while ago we made a post about spikethevote and digg fraud where we introduced you to a community site where people would digg each others stories in an attempt to get them on the front page. This service was free, Unlike others, and looked like it worked well as only 20% of the stories you dugg were user submited and the rest were random stories to keep digg off the scent.

Recently spikethevote.com went on sale at an eBay Auction where it was purchased by the winning bidder natsys for a little over $10,000, Who later turned out to be Jim Messenger of Famous Agents and a "friend of digg" who promtly went running to his "friend" digg to hand over the domain, files, images and database of spikethevote.com (this level of crawling makes you sick, Don't it?). If you visit spikethevote.com now you will see a message informing you that the site is now owned by digg and you get redirected to the digg homepage.

Jim messenger then quickly made a blog post where he took the opportunity to gloat about how he had been a good little "friend of digg" and that all the cheaters should "watch out" (anyone got a bucket?).

Now, The fact that Jim gave the site to digg and then made a blog post about it isn't anything unusual. He is a no-mark wanting to get recognision for his real estate site by looking to have done digg a favour. What is surprising though is some of the claims he makes about activities digg might be involved in. Illegal activities.

On his blog Jim claims people shouldn't use systems that cheat digg because, Among other things, "The site might have been started by Digg to gain a list of those intending to scam their network.". He is claiming it is possible that digg are taking money from people for a perfectly legal service, Not doing what they are paid for and then using the information submitted by users against them by banning them from digg. What's that called again? Oh yes, Fraud.
If i was digg i wouldn't take to kindly to the things Jim is claming we might be doing.

If you were a user of sikethevote.com you can still use usersubmitter. They deal in money though, So if you want to get diggs you have to pay, Which also means they pay you for digging.

If diggs only chance of survival is to hope "friends of digg" buy sites for them they will soon find themselves with very few "friends" and a system so easily rigged that it will become a joke. Sites to rig digg are popping up everyday and people seem to have found a sure-fire way of rigging digg by mixing real diggs with random ones.

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Register Domains At Google For $10

Saturday, December 16, 2006
Google have teamed up with GoDaddy to offer domain registration at Google. Google are offering registration for the Tld domains '.com', '.net', '.biz', and '.info'

But it doesn't stop at domain registration, For your $10 you get a lot more.
Google Apps for Your Domain lets you offer private-labeled email, IM and calendar accounts to all of your users, so they can share ideas and work more effectively. These services are all unified by the start page, a new addition to this service, a unique, dynamic page where your users can preview their inboxes and calendars, browse content and links that you choose, search the web, and further customize the page to their liking. You can also design and publish web pages for your domain.

If you already have a domain, it's all free and everything is hosted by Google. No hardware or software required. If you don't have a domain yet we'll help you register a new one for $10 a year.

Start page - The start page - A central place for your users to preview their inboxes and calendars, access your essential content, and search the web.

Gmail - Gmail - Offer email to your users with 2 gigabytes of storage per account, search tools to help them find information fast, and instant messaging built right into the browser.

Google Talk - Google Talk - Your users can call or send instant messages to their contacts for free -- anytime, anywhere in the world.

Google Calendar - Google Calendar - Users can organize their schedules and share events, meetings and entire calendars with others.

Google Page Creator - Google Page Creator - Create and publish web pages for your domain quickly and easily with this what-you-see-is-what-you-get page design tool.

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Images Near YPN Ads Definitely Against Yahoo! Terms

Thursday, December 14, 2006
Images Near YPN Ads Definately Against Yahoo TermsThere has always been a lot of discussion and not a lot of clarity regarding Images near adsense, Even the Google terms are unclear and emails to Google asking for clarification didn't help. It seems Google allow, or disallow, images near adsense on a site-by-site basis.

With the Yahoo! YPN network, However, There is no confusion. It seems from the outset Yahoo have made it perfectly clear that images are not allowed near adverts. Some webmasters applied the same tactic they apply to adsense by placing pretty images near their YPN adverts, And most soon received this clear, Concise, Frank warning from Yahoo.
You are in violation of our obscuring guideline. A user must be able to tell the difference between the Ad Unit and other content on your page. The Ad Unit should be separated from other page content, including images, by a border, a clear difference in color, or some other means. Images may not be used to draw attention to the Ad Unit or as a click incentive. I hope this information helps you to understand the requirements more clearly. Please let us know if you have further questions.

If only Google could be this clear regarding images near adsense.

If you do use images near adsense, Or YPN, I wouldn't worry too much. It seems the consensus is that Yahoo and Adsense send "warnings" to publishers telling that their image placement is in violation of the ToS instead of outright banning them.

Surch.com The Victim Of A Family Feud

Surch.com The Victim Of A Family FeudSome of you may already know the search engine domain surch.com is currently pointing to a godaddy parked domain page instead of the usual page.

So what is the cause of this DNS catastrophe? Did surch not pay the bills? Are they moving server? Is this done while they make updates to the site? It's actually none of these reasons. The reason is more like something out of jerry Springer.

I found out by reading a thread at ProfitGeek made by mystickcal, The lead webmaster of surch, That the reason for this DNS downtime is due to the owner of surch, John, Falling out with his father over competing business plans.

It turns out that Johns father is a wealthy man and his father had funded surchs creation and development, And registered the domain. Johns father is in the process of developing a sister site called MenuSurch, which will be a search engine for restaurants. Now, Behind his fathers back, John started on his own plans for a site called chowmenu which, You guessed it, Is a search engine for restaurants. Johns father eventually found out about his sons restaurant search engine and was so furious he promptly pulled the plug on surch.com.

John says he is going to speak to his father tomorrow and see if they can come to some kind of agreement.

the moral of the story is; "Don't try to shaft someone when they hold all the cards"

There is still a part of me that suspects this may be a viral marketing plan by john and his father to get promotion for their two new restaurant search engines.

Why Is This Toolbar PR Update Taking So Long?

Since reporting back on September 29, 2006 about the last toolbar pagerank update starting i have been occasionally looking to see how many datacenters are showing the updated pagerank (just out of curiosity), and im quite surprised to see that nearly 3 months after the last pagerank update about half of the Google datacenters are still showing old PR.

You can click this link to see what datacenters are showing new and old PR for the Pro-SEO blog. You will see about half datacenters showing PR 4 and half showing PR 0.

I don't know if this is unusual or not. I have never really been a fan of toolbar PR, since it's a meaningless metric, So have never bothered to check before. But it was my understanding that updated pagerank propagated to all Google datacenters over a couple of weeks after the pagerank update starts.

If this is something new it may be a way for you pagerank fanboys to predict when the next toolbar pagerank update will take place. You may notice that Google start exporting the next toolbar PR data when the previous update has completed and all datacenters start showing a new PR value.

Strange Request Made To Webmaster

Monday, December 11, 2006
I was sent a link to Dean Hunts blog this morning in which he talks about a very strange request that was made by a webmaster who was unhappy that Deans blog should rank above his own and insisted that dean "remove your blog from google for this search term". If only it was that easy.

The Email reads as follows.
Hello Dean,

My name is [edited] and I run [edited].com

I have been running the site for over two years and we have been ranked very highly for the search term [edited].
On Thursday morning I checked our google positions and your site is now above us for this term. I haev checked your blog and it has nothing to do with [edited], so I think it would be best all round if you remove your blog from google for this search term.

Please understand that we make our living from this, and you are just writing a blog that has nothing to do with [edited].
If you do not remove yourself from google for this search, then I will call them myself and have you removed.
I expect a reply soon.


Now, The flaws in this clowns argument are numerous and profound. But three things jump out at me.
  1. This webmaster is burdened with an affliction that burdens many webmasters. He simply insists that high ranking for that particular search term is his property and that anyone who appears above him is in some way cheating him.
  2. He has the impression that a webmaster can decide not to rank for a term and simply click their fingers to rectify this.
  3. He thinks that google will take the slightest bit of notice of him should he take his absurd complaint to them.

To read Deans hilarious reply to this joker head over to His Blog. I'm hoping that this webmaster will send Dean another Email, I haven't laughed this hard in a long time.

Microsoft Kill Off Frontpage - At Last

Saturday, December 09, 2006
Microsoft kill frontpageNews on the Frontpage website confirms recent speculation that Microsoft are set to kill off Frontpage completely replacing it with a set of professional design tools and suites for Windows Vista.

To answer the question of "What happened to Frontpage?" Microsoft said:
After nine years of being an award-winning Web authoring tool, FrontPage will be discontinued in late 2006. We will continue to serve the diverse needs of our existing FrontPage customers with the introduction of two brand-new application building and Web authoring tools using the latest technologies: Office SharePoint Designer 2007 for the enterprise information workers and Expression Web for the professional Web designer.

So what will be replacing frontpage?
Microsoft will still continue to offer web design tools for Windows Vista, But they will come in the form of two applications called Office SharePoint Designer 2007 and Expression Web.

Office SharePoint Designer is, Appart from being a name that doesn't describe what you get, A tool to "Quickly create powerful solution applications on the SharePoint platform to enhance your productivity and deliver rich-looking sites..

Expression Web is a suite that gives you all the powerful tools you'll need to produce high-quality, standards-based Web sites the way you want them. Take advantage of the best of dynamic Web-site design, enabling you to design, develop, and maintain exceptional modern-day Web sites.

The idea behind this change is that regular PC users are less interested in creating personal pages now, And should they want to create a personal page they are far more likely to take advantage of one of the many free blog services that are available. So instead of continuing to beat the dead horse that is Frontpage, Something which hasn't offered Frontpage extension support on Linux servers since 2002, It would be better to kill frontpage and concentrate on more professional web development tools.

Google Show Movie Showtimes In SERPS

Friday, December 08, 2006
I don't know if this is new of not, or maybe it's a new feature on the UK google. But i have just noticed that when you search for a movie name google give you an input box to type your city location or zip to get the movie show times in your area. I found this by accident by searching Deja Vu and apparently there is a movie called Deja Vu.

google movie showtimes

Does anyone know how long Google have been doing this? Or am i just being a bit slow?

Advertise Your Website For Free

With Christmas just around the corner the big boys of advertising are giving away $600 worth of free advertising so that anybody with an online shop, Website or blog can test run the ad programmes in the hope they will continue to use them when the trial vouchers have expired, But you are under no obligation to do so.

So what are we talking here? A couple of dollars of adsense? 20 clicks from Microsoft AdCenter? Nope, We are talking some pretty substantial amounts of free advertising from Google Adsense, Microsoft AdCenter, ASK and LookSmart.

Free Microsoft AdCenter Ads

To claim your $200 of free Microsoft AdCenter ads go to the free ads offer page and use the promo code DM-2-1106 before January 15, 2007. You will be required to pay a charge of $5, But that's a small price to pay for $200 worth of advertising, Right?

Free LookSmart Ads

LookSmart are offering a substatial about of free advertising if you sign up here and use the promo code SESCHQ4 at the checkout. This is only available to first time customers and you must set your daily budget to $10 or higher. This expires on Dec 25th, So get in quick.

Free ASK Sponsored Listing

To take advantage of ASK's free advertising offer go to this sign up page and use the promo code SESCHI06 at the checkout.

Free Google Adsense Voucher

Last but not least, Everyones favorite. Google Adsense. Google Adsense are giving away $50 worth of free adwords voucers. simply sign up here to claim them and you are good to go.

So there we have it, $600 worth of free advertising courtesy of Google Adsense, Microsoft AdCenter, ASK and LookSmart.

Big Changes Going On At Yahoo!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006
big changes at yahooA post on the Matt Cutts Blog pointed me in the direction of a Yahoo press release which confirms recent speculation after yesterdays company-wide-simulcast-confrence that there are going to be some big shake-ups at Yahoo, Both in who works there and how Yahoo go about business.

The press release tells us that Yahoo the "leading global Internet company, today announced a reorganization of its structure and management to align its operations with its key customer segments -- audiences, advertisers and publishers -- and more effectively leverage Yahoo!'s significant strengths to capture future opportunities for growth." - Anyone else need to take a deep breath after reading that insanely long sentence?

The speculation is that this will see the end of Lloyd Braun and Dan Rosensweig's employment at Yahoo.. Yahoo will concentrate on three main groups which are audiences, advertising, and technology. What effect this will have on their search engine is still unknown.

One thing is for sure though, If Yahoo wish to continue to compete in the search engine world big changes is what they need, And if that means firing the people who are responsible for this lack of ambition then so be it.

This URL Has Been Reported By Users And Cannot Be Submitted At This Time

Odd, I thought... A regular reader of Pro-SEO was nice enough to email me today to tell me that when he tried to submit my blog post about SEO Myths to digg he would get the error "This URL has been reported by users and cannot be submitted at this time".

Now, I'm not that bothered about digg not wanting my blog posts, It's not like im desperate for their traffic, But it did get me wondering. The error stated that the URL (i assume they mean domain, Not URL) has been "reported by users". So why on earth would digg users report my blog to digg and why would digg want to prevent people submitting my blog posts?

I strive to produce unique content that is either useful or interesting. If i look at a blog post and it is neither interesting not useful i don't publish it.

I must admit, I have to smile when i think about the number of articles written by me which have been published on Slashdot compared to the video of a woman jiggling her boobs that made it to the front page of digg the other day.
Looking at it like that, Maybe digg have done me a favour.


Common SEO Mistakes

Tuesday, December 05, 2006
A lot of the time SEO articles focus on telling you what you should be doing to increase your position in SERPS and how to improve your sites SEO. This is all well and good, But how do you know if some things you are already doing are not having a nagative effect on your SEO efforts?

In this blog post i will go through some of the most common SEO mistakes so you can better understand where your efforts should be directed. Remember, SEO is partially about what you do, But it's also partially about what you don't do. One SEO mistake could mean all of your possitive SEO efforts are going to waste. You have to put bad SEO habbits to rest before concentrating on good SEO habbits.

Lack Of Titles

A title is one of the most important on page SEO factors on any search engine. Whether you are talking about Yahoo, Google or icerocket, Your titles need to be different for every page and they need to be descriptive of that pages content. The title is the first thing search engines, And users, look at when deciding if that page is relevent for the term searched for.

Non-descriptive Hyperlinks

Your hyperlinks need to be descriptive of the page it is linking to. This goes for your internal linking and for backlinks from other sites. Too often i see people putting "click here" as the anchor text of hyperlinks.

If you have a page about dog grooming don't put "click here for info on dog grooming".
Use the phrase "follow this link for information on dog grooming".

Use of images and SEO

Never use images where you don't have to. Especially if those images contain text or are a hyperlink. Remember, Search engines can't see images so by using images instead of text you are reducing the amount of phrases search engines can see and are also missing out on having descriptive hyperlinks pointing to your content.

Judging your sites SEO success based on PR

Many, many times i have seen people worrying about page rank. They think that because they have PR 2 Google must hate them or have some personal vendetta against them. When judging your sites sucess look at only two factors. Visitor stats and conversions. If month after month you are getting more visitors and selling more products what difference does it make what pagerank Google has given you? SERPS are not ranked in order of PR and the fact is PR (real PR) is only a small factor of over 200 factors that google uses when ranking sites in the Google index, And toolbar PR is 100% meaningless.

Blackhat SEO

Under no cicumstances should you ever do anything considered to be blackhat SEO. There are many tactics that could be labeled "blackhat", like doorway pages, cloaking, keywork stuffing and spamming. But you shouldn't need a list to know if what you are doing is unethical, You do have a conscience don't you? Just think to yourself "would i be prepared to tell Google what i am doing?". If the answer is "no" then you probably shouldn't be doing it.

For more inofrmation on what google think is acceptable you should review their Webmaster Guidlines

Submitting to search engines

While there is no evidence to suggest submitting your site to seach engines has a negative effect, it certainly doesn't have a possitive effect. Search engines should be able to find you on thier own. So repeatedly submitting your site to search engines, Or even submitting once, is a mistake. And paying someone to do it for you is certainly an SEO mistake.

Using flash and javascript

Usually there is no problem with using flash and javascript. But remember, Search engines can't see it. Google bot doesn't have flash installed (and even if it did it doesn't have eyes to see it) and it doesn't use a browser so javascript goes unexecuted. By all means, use flash and javascript where you have to (or want to), But remember that the google bot can not see it. So if you have a site entirely made using flash you might as well not even bother trying to SEO it.


Multi-Million Dollar Homepage

Monday, December 04, 2006
Multi-Million Dollar HomepageAlex Tew, the fellow behind the famous Million dollar homepage is about to try his luck again with a new site. Earlier Alex made a million dollars in a little over 6 months by selling single pixels on his site to advertisers for $1 each. I wonder if lightning will strike twice, Or more likely if people are bored of this pixel stuff and will dismiss it as "old hat".

Alexs' new site, Pixelotto, Will use practically be the same idea as the MDHP where people buy pixels to advertise on except this time instead of buying each pixel for $1, it will cost you $2, Then a $1 million prize will go to the person who clicks on the right advert. It seems Alex knows that the idea is old, So will try to attract visitors by offering them the chance to make a million by clicking on peoples adverts.

Either way I'm not fussed if this makes Alex another million or if it crashes and burns, But i have a feeling lightning isn't going to strike twice on this kid. He had a great idea once, But when you try to ride your luck you tend not to be so lucky twice.