MyBlogLog: A Marketing Tool

By now, more than 120,000 people have joined MyBlogLog. What’s so great/interesting/useful about this site? To me, it’s a great marketing tool in several ways:

1. When you visit a site that has the the MyBlogLog widget installed, they’ll see that I visited their site, and they will likely visit (at the minimum) my profile page in return.

2. When I join other communities and add MyBlogLogers as my contacts, they will see that I have joined them, and they will likely come back and visit. Better yet, other people who belong to the same communities/have the same contacts will Join other communities and add others as contacts.

3. Follow some people and see what communities they join, especially the people who are blogging about the same thing as you are. Pretty soon you’ll also know what are the top sites in your niche.

All of the methods mentioned above are open to abuse — you just can open a new window everytime you go to a new site without actually viewing the site content, or you can just join all the communities you see and add everyone as your contact. However, it’s pretty easy to see who are the “community whores” and “contact whores”, and people will simply stop at your profile page and not go visit your site at all.

Yahoo Now Supports ‘NOYDIR’ Meta Tag

Yahoo Search announced today that it is supporting the NOYDIR meta tag, which will allow webmasters full control over the title and description of their sites. Currently, if a site is included in the Yahoo Directory, Yahoo Search will always display the title and description stored in the Yahoo Directory, which may be out of sync with what the site has currently.

It will be interesting to see how much effect this change has on the rankigns of the sites currently in the Yahoo Directory. My initial guess is that most site might see a slight enhancement in their rankings because the title and description Yahoo uses should now be more relevant.

[Updated on March 1, 2007] One day after including the “NOYDIR” meta tag, I found that the title and description of my sites have changed, although it has little impact on the rankings.

“Miserable Failure” search no longer points to Bush’s official site

The top search result for “miserable failure” on Google no longer points to George Bush’s official website at whitehouse.gov. The previous result came about as many webmasters purposely linked to the whitehouse.gov site with the anchor text of “miserable failure”. The Google search engine, which places a lot of importance in the anchor text, went on and placed Bush’s site as the top search result for that query, even though neither “miserable” nor “failure” appear anywhere in Bush’s site itself.

By the way, this change happened as Google updated its algorithm, not as a result of some type of manual adjustment.

This has been the example I would use when I want to emphasize the importance of anchor text. Now I’ll have to find another example…

It’s now OK to run Adsense with other contextual ad programs

Jennifer Slegg reported in Jensense.com that she has confirmed with the Google Adsense team that it’s now okay to run Adsense on the same page with other contextual ad programs, provided that they do not resemble or mimic Adsense ads. She also wrote that Adsnese policy will eventually be updated to reflect this change.

Relaxing this restriction shows that Google is confident that Adsense is superior to the other contextual ad programs out there. It remains to be seen that other contextual ad programs, most notably YPN, will relax their own restrictions.

List of Official Google Blogs

Today Danny Sullivan posted an entry in SearchEngineWatch that lists all official Google blogs. Coincidentally, this is a piece of information I’ve been looking for myself. The links listed in that post were XML files, which are difficult to read for most of us. So, I am listing these sites in a more friendly format below:

AdWords API Blog
Blogger Buzz
Blogs of Note
Google AJAX Search API Blog
Google Analytics Blog
Google Code – Featured Projects
Google Code – Updates
Google CPG
Google Custom Search
Google Talkabout
Google Web Toolkit Blog
Google Webmaster Central Blog
Inside AdSense
Inside AdWords
Inside Google Book Search
Inside Google Desktop
Official Google Base Blog
Official Google Blog
Official Google Checkout Blog
Official Google Docs & Spreadsheets Blog
Official Google Enterprise Blog
Official Google Mac Blog
Official Google Maps API Blog
Official Google Reader Blog
Official Google Research Blog
Official Google Video Blog
The Writely Blog

Google asking for feedback on Adsense / Google Analytics

Google is soliciting feedback on how Google Analytics can help webmasters be successful in AdSense. The feedback is running on Google Groups, so you’ll need a Google account (if you are using Google Analytics, you already have one), and your comment will be public.

Back in SES San Jose, I asked some of the Google people on the possibility of tracking AdSesne clicks within Google Analytics. At that time, I did not get anything definitive. I am glad to see that Google is offering this ability now. Personally, I’d like to see how clicks on Adsense ads correlate to the entry source (referring domain, keywords, etc). That type of information would be very helpful in telling webmasters which channels they should focus on optimizing.

Danny Sullivan announces his plans for 2007

Danny Sullivan announced his plans for 2007 in his blog today. In short, he will participate in next year’s SES conferences, although in a decreasing role with each one (chair of SES NY in April 2007, co-chair of SES SJ in August 2007, and consulting for SES Chicago in December 2007). For Search Engine Watch, Danny’s last day is still November 30, 2006.

This is definitely good news for the industry in the short run, as Danny will stay involved with SES, which should ensure that SES is staying on course. In the long run, it appears that 2007 will be a transition year for him, and that come 2008, he’ll most likely be doing something on his own. This should allow him some time to carefully plan out his next steps.