All About Content

ODP is Sorta-Kinda Down With Me

Posted by Melanie Phung on Wednesday, May 31, 2006 at 12:45 am

When I posted on Blogoscoped on May 25, I didn’t see my site in the Google Directory (which is actually just the DMOZ Directory republished) so I assumed no progress had been made. It turns out that All About Content got listed on DMOZ last week (the DMOZ clones usually take a while to get up to date). Huzzah.

I submitted this site to be listed in the DMOZ Open Directory Project (ODP) on December 31. It took just shy of 5 months to get listed. And in the mean time it had been moved, and then even deleted from the queue for being a “duplicate entry.” (Which I’m assuming referred to my bookmarks — which make no sense, since that implies that one can’t bookmark sites that already exist in the Directory, and that bookmarking a site precludes it from ever getting added in the right category.) But apparently it got pulled back out of the trash heap, ‘cuz here I am, baby. Thank you kind category editor!

And I did it without submitting more than once or pestering the editor to change his/her mind.

The truth is that I never thought I had some God-given right to be listed, like so many people seem to. But from an inbound link perspective, it is pretty sweet. Not only is it a link from a high PR page, but it also gets you a bunch of lesser quality links from all the DMOZ clones for no effort at all. Is that worth a lot? No, but it might be worth a little, so why not. Just don’t start obsessing over it — keep in mind that a DMOZ listing isn’t going to drive traffic or help you convert visitors into buyers.

While I hate to say it, getting listed is much harder than staying listed. If you are into the black-hat thing, I’ll look away while you peruse this thread about purchasing expired DMOZ-listed domains for SEO purposes.

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Category: DMOZ,Navel-Gazing

Displaying Outgoing Link Popularity

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 10:59 pm

Most analytics programs, including the free-if-you-can-get-an-account Google Analytics, will show you not only the most popular entry points and how your visitors got there (for example, x number of visitors got to your homepage from a link in the Yahoo Directory), but also your top exit points (what the last page they viewed on your site was before clicking away), but many analytics programs don’t make it easy to figure out which of your blog’s links sent your visitor off your site. Clearly this is important to know if you’re trying to figure out what topics are interesting or valuable to your readers, and which elicit more yawns than clicks.

One of the blogs I read regularly has a feature I really like: when you mouse over any outgoing link (i.e., a link to another domain), it displays how popular that link is relative to others on that page. If you hover over the pop-up, it also gives you link to another page which tells you how many people clicked on the tracked link.

Here’s a screenshot of what it would look like on your site:

This feature is powered by MyBlogLog via some simple JavaScript code snippet you can drop into your blog’s template. It doesn’t use any kooky redirects either, so your links will keep passing PageRank (if you’re into that sort of thing).

If you follow the MyBlogLog links, you see the number of clicks a given link received:

I don’t know anything about this company, and they don’t have the slickest looking site, but I like them* based solely on item #5 in their FAQs:

What is the meaning of life?

What we’ve come up with can be reduced to two fundamental concepts. One, people are not wearing enough hats. Two, Matter is energy. In the universe, there are many energy fields, which we cannot normally perceive. Some energies have a spiritual source, which act upon a person’s soul. However, this soul does not exist automatically, as orthodox Christianity teaches, but has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved due to mankind’s unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia.

* Like them in a I’m-giving-them-props-on-my-site-for-being-funny kinda “like them.” Not necessarily a I’m-going-to-become-a major-investor like them.

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Category: Uncategorized

How Many Clicks to the Center …

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 8:44 pm

… of this blog’s universe? (We already know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop… or not.)

Continuing in my quest to make this blog entirely about itself, I’d like to point out another fun poll over at Google Blogoscoped, where Philipp Lenssen asks “how many clicks away from the Google homepage is your website?” (The rule is that you can’t type anything or use any personalized features; you can only click on hyperlinks.)

Based on work done by previous posters, I found that All About Content is only 5 clicks away from Google.com! Wow. My first guess might have been closer to 20 if I thought it was possible at all. It’s a small World Wide Web after all.

Clicks from the Google homepage:

  1. About
  2. Google Blog
  3. Search Engine Journal
  4. SEO by the Sea
  5. All About Content, which is all about itself in this post (again)

Although, if my posts continue in this navel-gazing vein, Bill might just take me off his blogroll, and then where would I be. {grin}

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Category: Navel-Gazing

Google Trends: Yahoo Trending Up

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 8:22 pm

Google released some pretty cool stuff earlier this month, including Co-Op (already everyone is talking about how, or if, it’s possible to effectively spam it). But what I’ve been having endless fun with is the much-appreciated Google Trends. You can track the popularity of certain search phrases over time and even compare terms.

The news indicator on the right is still not very good — often highlighting fairly irrelevant news and ignoring significant changes that just beg for an explanation. In the graph below, for example, why didn’t Google Trends try to find some news that corresponded with the big spike in searches on the term “Google” in mid-2005? And the one Yahoo news item it does highlight is about the Google rival missing its financial target. Compare that with the news highlighted about Google. Hmmm.

Google Trends graph: Google versus Yahoo

Related link: BlogPulse from Nielsen BuzzMetrics

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Category: Google

Sponsored Search Results Often Malicious

Posted by Melanie Phung on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at 9:47 am

McAfee Inc released a report titled “The Safety of Internet Search Engines Report,” showing that sponsored search results (i.e., PPC ads) are up to four times more likely to lead to phishing sites, or sites that attempt to install spyware.

The security company studied the results of over a thousand popular keywords on major search engines Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Ask. It estimates that in the United States 285 million clicks lead to “hostile sites” every month. The report makes a point to highlight that sponsored search, rather than being safer because there is a vetting and approval process, is actually much worse than the natural results. Fully 8.5% of sponsored links were determined to be dangerous, versus 3.1% of organic search results.

“We are troubled by the untrustworthiness of search engines’ ads. Search engines sells ads to sites that send users literally hundreds of e-mails per week…and sites that infect users’ computers with adware programs,” according to a statement in the report.

Updated: Read McAfee’s report The Safety of Internet Search Engines

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Category: Uncategorized