All About Content

The End of the Browser That Started It All

Posted by Melanie Phung on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 2:17 pm

AOL announced it’s discontinuing support of Netscape Navigator — the the graphical browser that kicked off the World Wide Web as we know it and what PC World voted the #1 tech invention of all time. For all you youngins who weren’t around for this and can’t even imagine a time before Google, Navigator was the dominant browser before (and “inspiration” for) Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

As a last tribute to Navigator, I urge you all to go download Mozilla Firefox.

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Category: Industry Buzz

More Stupidity from Blogger

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 6:48 pm

I think someone at Blogger read my post about 9 ways Blogger sucks and decided to help me fill the list out to an even 10.

Somewhere in the past week or two, without so much as a heads up, Blogger changed the system for leaving comments so that you can no longer link your name to whatever site you want. Now you have to log in with an OpenId (I have no idea what the hell that is, thanks to Blogger’s less-than-stellar communication) and if you’re a Blogger user the name you leave with your comments now links to your Blogger profile or nothing at all.

Seriously?

That’s stupid. When I leave comments on a blog, I don’t want my name to link to that gawd-awful Blogger profile page; I don’t want that Blogger profile page to rank well for my name; and I imagine no one who’s interested in a comment I left and wants to know more about my opinions (hey, it could happen) would care to get sent to that profile page instead of my blog. Why in the world did they make this change? I can’t see how this improves the user experience one bit, and it sure is going to get a lot of people like me annoyed. I get the whole wanting-authentication thing, but it should be an option available to blog owners, not a requirement – and the link should go to OpenId owner’s site, not the Blogger profile page.

First they changed Blogger to make it pretty much impossible to go in and edit the code (because they don’t trust us with the XML) and now this.

I’m taking bids from anyone who wants to help me migrate this blog over to WordPress.

p.s. Obviously you can add still insert a link with your comments by including a signature, but I find that to be really inelegant and somewhat obnoxious in blog comments, and I resent Blogger forcing me to do that.

p.p.s. I haven’t tried this, so don’t hold me responsible if this blows up your site or opens up security vulnerabilities, but here’s a possible work-around.

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Category: Blogger

What Happened to the Supplemental Index (aka Google Hell)?

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, December 20, 2007 at 12:26 pm

Breaking news: there’s more FUD about showing up in Google results!!! SSDD, as they say.

Google has announced they’re getting rid of the supplemental index, but I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. If your pages were crappy (or irrelevant or obscure or esoteric, or whatever gets them banished into the supplemental index), why would placing them into the main index make them any more likely to rank well? In other words, if your page is no good, what’s the difference between being in the supplemental index and being ranked #568 on some long-tail query?

“Oh, but supplemental results aren’t recrawled as often.” Right, but so what? No guarantee you’ll get crawled more often just because they combined the two indexes/indices now. “Oh, but my site didn’t deserve to be in the supplemental index in the first place!” But the point is that Google thought it did; and Google is still not going to think you deserve to rank well.

All the things you needed to do to get out of Supplemental Hell are the same things you’re still going to have to do to get found and showing up high in the results… and now you’re competing with that much more garbage in the main index.

The only stuff of mine I ever saw in Google’s Supplemental Hell was a lot of duplicate content stuff that I never wanted crawled in the first place. If anything, this change will make it harder for me to get Google to spend its resources on the pages I want it to be indexing. As far as I’m concerned, Google is just dumping garbage back into the main index.

Not an improvement for webmasters or searchers.

Original Google Webmaster Central post here:

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Category: Google

Using the "link:" Operator on a 301’d Domain

Posted by Melanie Phung on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 10:58 pm

When you use the link: operator to search on a domain that is 301’d to a different domain, Google pulls up results for the target URL. For example, let’s say you own XYZ.com and you set it to redirect to ABCD.com. If you try to do a quick search to see if there are any sites still linking to XYZ.com — let’s say you wanted to contact them to change the link to point directly to your new URL — Google shows you a list sites that link to both XYZ.com and ABCD.com.

So you open up and view the source of page after page after page and there’s no mention of XYZ anywhere.

There’s no way to isolate who’s linking to the old site using the link: operator.

The reverse would make sense — include in the backlinks a list of all pages with links that somehow end up on that page — that makes sense because you could presumably see everything that is passing PageRank to the target page.

But for the query “link:xyz.com” to show me a list of pages linking to ABC, just because XYZ happens to redirect there doesn’t really make sense to me. After all, it’s possible those two domains aren’t even controlled by the same people and neither the target page, nor anyone linking to it, has anything at all to do with the redirecting page (i.e., XYZ.com).

I’m trying to see who’s linking to a certain page using the link operator. None of the pages in the results point to that page. Am I missing something obvious?

This probably is a whole lot clearer with some diagrams or screenshots – I’ll see about posting an update over the holidays.

Oh yeah… and happy holidays!

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Category: Link Building

The Stupid Filter

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 11:52 am

Thanks to SEO Hack for this tidbit:

Software engineers told Fortune magazine in November that they are constructing a filter to eliminate stupid messages to online forums and bulletin boards. Lead researcher Gabriel Ortiz said his team had compiled a database of idiotic comments and that the new software would detect unintelligible remarks and either alert the writer to fix them or divert the message to the recipient’s “junk mail.” Easy dumb messages to filter: those with the tacky, immature repetition of a closing consonant, e.g., “That thing is amazinggggg!!!” More difficult: how to treat sarcasm and irony, in that smart writers sometimes deliberately use dumb statements to mock other writers.

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Category: Indexing