Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard » blogging tips http://andybeard.eu Internet Marketing, Lead Acquisition, Online Business Strategy and Social Media with Original Opinion and Loads of Attitude Tue, 01 Apr 2014 21:47:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tech Blogging Triple Rainbow http://andybeard.eu/3642/tech-blogging-triple-rainbow.html http://andybeard.eu/3642/tech-blogging-triple-rainbow.html#comments Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:45:00 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=3642 I just had to share this achievement by Mike Masnick as he might not see it himself.

The Techmeme page updates extrememly frequently pulling in stories algorithmically with some additional human curation but I have never seen one writer with a lead story and 2 additional reference posts without any additional "noise", unless you count the larger child branch below. He has one post in that child branch as well.

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I just had to share this achievement by Mike Masnick as he might not see it himself.

The Techmeme page updates extrememly frequently pulling in stories algorithmically with some additional human curation but I have never seen one writer with a lead story and 2 additional reference posts without any additional “noise”, unless you count the larger child branch below. He has one post in that child branch as well.

I am not going to link to the posts… that would most likely spoil the “triple rainbow”.

Even more remarkable:- none of the articles were “fluff”, and Mike wrote 14 posts on 12th January.

Kudos

p.s. I am sure it has happened before, either for Mike or other highly productive writers especially with the way publishing platfroms can publish content at a specified future time so it could even be engineered. But someone has to actually see it, and note it as something special, as it would still take considerable effort.

Just like a double rainbow

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One True Fan – Next Generation MyBlogLog Empowers Marketers http://andybeard.eu/3264/one-true-fan.html http://andybeard.eu/3264/one-true-fan.html#comments Tue, 28 Sep 2010 07:31:02 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=3264 As the Alpha of One True Fan currently stands it is just a fun game – a little like Foursquare where you can become the “One True Fan” of websites based upon a number of factors. I say that having never used Foursquare or any kind of location based social network. For me locations are the web pages I visit :)

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As the Alpha of One True Fan currently stands it is just a fun game – a little like Foursquare where you can become the “One True Fan” of websites based upon a number of factors. I say that having never used Foursquare or any kind of location based social network. For me locations are the web pages I visit :)

  • Daily Visits
  • Unique page views
  • Promotion of a link by Twitter Delicious & Facebook (currently)
  • The traffic you send by a specific channel

One True Fan Toolbar

The main interface for One True Fan currently is the toolbar.

Here you can see the toolbar on my screen just as I have become One True Fan of Techmeme – actually quite a hard challenge because Techmeme isn’t really a site with 100s of pages that you might normally browse.

You can gain more points by linking there, which I assume Louis has done a few times over the last couple of weeks as well as daily visits. I did manage to catch up though it is not something I could normally maintain as I don’t use Twitter.

Techmeme One True Fan Louis

The toolbar can get a little annoying – quite often I have forgotten to switch it off when taking screenshots, and for hardcore SEOs access to footer links can be impaired. Having to hide the toolbar on every page view when doing some work can be a pain, plus at times you are looking at lots of client sites which you might want to not permanently block, but turn off temporarily.
During the last month of alpha testing I even uninstalled the toolbar for a whole week due to these problems, and I know a few others have done the same. It is something that will hopefully be fixed soon.

One True Fan Profiles

The profiles provide a nice record of where you have been, which sites you have “captured” and which have fallen to your enemies or friends.

Andy's Profile - OneTrueFan

You can see I have been having a few small battles over various sites… well at least that is what some normal useage patterns can look like – I suppose if I was really “invested” in one of these sites then that would matter.

Being the One True Fan of Google will no doubt make a few readers LOL.

MyBlogLog Roots Empowering Marketers

3 years ago I explained why social media marketing sucks. I realise that monitoring of social media has improved a lot in the enterprise space over that time.

The team behind One True Fan are the original team members of MyBlogLog – all of them as far as I can tell. They have been off doing their own things for a few years. Eric was a co-founder of Gnip which is still doing well, but they are back to take another bite at the cherry.

MyBlogLog started off life as a tracking application – Eric wanted to see which links were popular on his blog. The widget came later as did the social graph, the collation of data etc.

I don’t think they have any plans with One True Fan to tackle content in quite the same way, though the questions I have asked have admitedly been focused on marketing features. I am a marketing geek after all.

Those still at Yahoo… please forgive me… I am going to refer to MyBlogLog in the past tense. There isn’t an indication what Yahoo will do with MyBlogLog.

One of the unique features of MyBlogLog was the ability of the widget to tell a site owner who was visiting. I am not referring to just looking at a widget, or an expanded list of the last 127 visitors that people played around with.

You could grab their user id as a javascript variable, and then use that to mine their social graph – only recently I discovered a WordPress plugin that works with that feature for some data mining, though it was a little bugged.

Big things are made about how Facebook is now expanding their special partnerships with a few sites to provide them with data about visitors before they have even logged in. MyBlogLog could do this 3 years ago, linked with lots of social graph information if a visitor included that on their profiles – you would also get a list of all their favorite blogs, and those in most cases were automatically added to after 5 or 10 visits.

You could also use the data to see what individuals were doing on your site, in some ways like expensive CRM systems such as Infusionsoft can tag people.
My friend Rob had a cool little tracking script that would log all the visitors to each page, so you could determine who were your biggest fans – I tested it for a little while. One day I was shocked to see one new visitor… a human not a bot read 52 pages of my blog in a single very long session – I think it was a Saturday and he just hung out reading.

You could also use the data to do all kinds of dynamic content targeting and data mining. In many ways Facebook are late to the game.

The problem is to actually use the MyBlogLog data there are some… issues

  • You needed to be able to program and the API access had to be applied for on a per domain basis – not mass market.
  • There were privacy concerns – if you started visibly profiling people and giving them rewards based on visits, and lots of people started doing it, there would have been a stink – this was the aftermath of the Facebook Beacon problems.

Tying similar technology into a toolbar of some kind makes sense because it is then installed specifically because people want their movement’s tracked to become the “One True Fan” or earn other rewards.

One True Fan Rewards

Things are a little vague on the rewards side – I have questioned Eric Marcoullier quite extensively about what will be possible, but you could really liken it more to a brain storming session than Eric explaining planned features.
There will be a way of delivering some kind of rewards – what criteria, how the delivery works etc we will have to leave for another day until things are a little more finalized. Things like coupon delivery in some way are a given, so are custom badges/patches.

Possible criteria:-

  • Number of referrals (by some 2 way API integration or goals)
  • Driving traffic
  • Visiting certain pages
  • Attaining a certain number of points
  • Being One True Fan
  • Visiting a certain number of times
  • Visiting a certain number of consecutive days

A social media tell-a-friend rewards system on steroids.

Widgets

Apparently there is meant to be some widgets coming – I have no idea whether these might work with other platforms such as Facebook as an alternative for identity, but they are comimng all the same.

One True Fan Analytics Dashboard

One thing immediately “missing” is any kind of analytics, even as a toolbar user. If you are looking for click stats for links you share you are going to be disappointed for a while. You can get some idea from the number of points you gain.

Competitors

Badgeville – also launched at Techcrunch Disrupt – seems to be a white label solution for each brand site – mybe I am biased but I think it is the wrong solution for 99.9% of websites. They are a “solutions” provider for large sites, which means I am sure they are also charging a lot of money for implementation.

Chirrps – this seems like Entrecard 2.0 – despite having launched it is nowhere near the same level of sophistication.

Comment Luv – it might seem strange, but any incentive to visit other blogs, even if it is a just the ability to leave a comment is competition – in some ways even being a dofollow blog is an incentive as well – they have a referral program so I used a referral link.

Contest Burner – currently off the market but it is a WordPress plugin to run your own incentivized contests, rewarding things like tweets, comments, email subscriptions etc.

I don’t look on MyBlogLog or Blogcatalog to be competitors, as there isn’t really any competition for attention. One True Fan you gain points for visiting websites and promoting them which is complementary to other blogging and social media activities.

More details on Techcrunch, Louis Gray and Techmeme

For me it isn’t the game that excites me but the ability to identify those fans that are not immediately obvious.

I would be lying if I didn’t also appreciate the enhanced viral (incentivised) distribution of content.

Note: It is and Alpha version – for me, Beta starts around 90% feature complete for what should be there at public launch. Development is gong at an extremely rapid pace. Techcrunch reports $1.2M in the coffers but it was obvious there was going to be some significant investment with the number of early stage investors playing for the last few weeks.

I did a little test signup yesterday with a spare email account and received an email to signup within a few hours so signing up is worth doing – they are not going to keep you waiting forever.

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Microsoft Live Spaces Selling Out To WordPress.com – Not Outsourcing http://andybeard.eu/3259/microsoft-live-spaces-wordpress.html http://andybeard.eu/3259/microsoft-live-spaces-wordpress.html#comments Mon, 27 Sep 2010 19:02:49 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=3259 It has been announced today that 30M (million) live spaces blogs will soon be migrated over to WordPress.com in a “partnership” between Microsoft (MSFT) and Automattic.

Translation

Microsoft is dumping these blogs anyway, and maybe gaining some other value from giving 30M users to Automattic.

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It has been announced today that 30M (million) live spaces blogs will soon be migrated over to WordPress.com in a “partnership” between Microsoft (MSFT) and Automattic.

Translation

Microsoft is dumping these blogs anyway, and maybe gaining some other value from giving 30M users to Automattic.

This is like upgrading Windows 7 to Ubuntu (yeah yeah yeah)

Problem?

Of those 30 million live spaces blogs, I bet 15 million of them don’t comply with Automattic’s rather strict terms of service, and of course Automattic don’t support any form of advertising unless you are a V.I.P.

Over a six month period, beginning today, Windows Live Spaces users will have the option to move their blogs to WordPress.com. To make this possible, we’ve created a brand new importer for Windows Live Spaces to WordPress.com. New Windows Live users will also be offered a WordPress.com blog when they choose to create a new blog.

That phrase is a little ambiguous but try this comment by raananbarcohen

@liamdaly — redirects will work forever and you can pick any WordPress.com URL you would like, and then map it with a custom domain.

Free Unrestricted 301 Redirects – Data Portability 101

I have complained in the past quite vocally about how badly Blogger/Blogspot treat people who leave their service by sticking interstitials in the redirects… I ended up a couple of months ago removing 100 pages of historical content back to Blogspot to effectively let it rot because there was no effective way for it to be an integral part of this site.

Microsoft need to find a way to 301 redirect their existing bloggers to whereever they require, as a free service, or WordPress need to provide that service for them. WordPress haven’t done that up until now.

The only way to move from WordPress.com is to pay a $15/year service fee for domain mapping. That is on top of the fees you pay for domain registration.

In many ways the most valuable thing you create when blogging is not the content, but the links to the content. You can always improve content, merge it together, even delete an article totally, but you have the option to redirect a visitor to something more current, and there is a search engine benefit.

Microsoft & WordPress.com need to come up with a better option because I know many real bloggers on Live Spaces who actually make a living from the occasional advert or affiliate link.

The headline from Techcrunch is misleading – this isn’t outsourcing it is selling out.

Their small businesses are effectively being terminated.

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WordPress SEO – Deep Link Engine Spam http://andybeard.eu/3253/wordpress-seo-deep-link-engine-spam.html http://andybeard.eu/3253/wordpress-seo-deep-link-engine-spam.html#comments Mon, 27 Sep 2010 17:04:03 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=3253 The Deep Link Engine WordPress plugin was released back in March as part of the launch for a product “Auto Content Cash” by Brian G Johnson, Jared Croslow and Alex Goad.

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The Deep Link Engine WordPress plugin was released back in March as part of the launch for a product “Auto Content Cash” by Brian G Johnson, Jared Croslow and Alex Goad.

I quite like some of Alex’s products, I have been critical of most of Jared’s and I suppose I am neutral on Brian’s as I have never bought any.




Hyper lazy affiliate banner

In theory it is like a simplified version of Zemanta with an additional option to check to see if a reciprocal pingback link has been published.

There are lots of options to get rid of most footprints the problem is people are lazy and leave the defaults.

Thus you get nice footprints like this

<p><!-- pingbacker_start --><br />
<h4>Related Blogs</h4>
<ul class='pc_pingback'>

The other problem is people are greedy.

Rather than choosing the most related posts they add as many as they can – a numbers game, and may or may not keep the links.

I am referring to extreme greed.

Deep link engine

  • Is the plugin legit? It is just a tool
  • Can it be abused? Most certainly
  • Are idiots abusing it? Without a doubt
  • Is it blackhat? Not necessarily

If you want to test the plugin you get it as a free download from an exit pop sequence if you visit the site via the banner above.
I don’t think as a tool for finding relevant links it is a bad thing, and if you are automating content aggregation in some legitimate way then those receiving (genuine) (relevant) (followed) links aren’t going to complain too much.
With a lot of creative thought something like this could be turned into a very crude Techmeme clone built on WordPress.

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2800 Social Media Zombies Need Feeding On Friendfeed http://andybeard.eu/3231/2800-social-media-zombies.html http://andybeard.eu/3231/2800-social-media-zombies.html#comments Tue, 21 Sep 2010 11:30:56 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=3231 A serious problem – I have 2800 “Zombies” that haven’t been fed for 11 days – they like eating my brains.. or the product of my brain, yet can’t get their daily dose.

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A serious problem – I have 2800 “Zombies” that haven’t been fed for 11 days – they like eating my brains.. or the product of my brain, yet can’t get their daily dose.

2800 Friendfeed Zombies

This could turn into something of epidemic proportions and is not the first barren period they have had to face, as evident by the supporting data from Feedburner.

Feedburner Stats

The red lines signify days that Friendfeed hasn’t been collecting my RSS feed. There could be other days that they haven’t collected other feeds as a fair amount of my online activity should be appearing in Friendfeed.

Friendfeed Subscriptions

The problem isn’t even just with Friendfeed which historically has been pretty reliable – I have seen this happen at times with Facebook as well with imported notes from my RSS feed often appearing days after a blog post is first published.

On Friendfeed I have 2856 “subscribers” – of those I regard maybe only 56 as being active humans using the service.

This also isn’t an isolated case.

As an example we have a user reporting an issue twice on the Feedburner Google Group… as you might expect without any answer.

For once this probably isn’t anything to do with Feedburner… it is almost certainly Friendfeed.. or now parent company Facebook not collecting content, and thus at the same time not preporting subscription numbers.

Facebook doesn’t report subscriber numbers that I am aware of, but that may be dependent on how you add RSS content to your profile or pages.

If this is a sign of a final death knell for Friendfeed, and with Bloglines already disappearing at the end of this month, very soon 80% of feed subscribers (of those actually reported) will be in Google Reader for this blog.
When Friendfeed was added to Feedburner reporting, it wasn’t universally accepted but in some ways it did reflect a swing in attention.
The direction of that swing is very much towards Twitter and Facebook now.

Google Buzz doesn’t seem to be aggregated into the Feedburner numbers yet.

Why Do Zombies Eat Brains? (Return of the Living Dead – probably NSFW)

Update: Within a few hours of this being posted, Friendfeed was suddenly up to date – I don’t know whether they missed anything.

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CAPTCHA Adverts As Part Of Your Sales Funnel & That Patent Thing http://andybeard.eu/3222/captcha-adverts-sales-funnel.html http://andybeard.eu/3222/captcha-adverts-sales-funnel.html#comments Tue, 21 Sep 2010 02:15:01 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=3222 The website real estate around forms is both highly valuable and rarely used effectively.

But when I see the tech media oohing about a 3rd Party captcha service that uses ads, I feel I can add something to the discussion.

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The website real estate around forms is both highly valuable and rarely used effectively.

But when I see the tech media oohing about a 3rd Party captcha service that uses ads, I feel I can add something to the discussion.

4 or 5 years ago one of the best though slighly naughty Adsense tricks was to slap a adsense advert right next to the submit button of any forum form. People make mistakes and occasionally click by accident, or at least the ads get seen.
Worst case scenario was you at least got an advert impression.

Microsoft have a patent application for using advertising as part of a captcha from February 2008, as pointed out by Tim when that application was made public a year ago, and he felt he was being squeezed out of the advert captcha market.

Tim’s solution is slightly younger than Microsoft’s patent, launched commercially in December 2008 to existing customers.

However the concept of tying a brand to a captcha goes back at least 5 years to this post.

Your Captcha Adverts In Action

This is what the output from the Captcha Adverts WordPress plugin looks like.

CAPTCHA adverts

This is what the Microsoft patent shows

Microsoft Captcha Advert

This is what the Solve Media captchas look like.

Solve Media Patent Pending

I would hope the Solve Media (pending) patents are related to turning a captcha advert into an advertising network, and not based on a 5 year old concept that isn’t theirs.

Captcha As Part Of Sales Funnel

In practice for many sites captcha adverts are a terrible idea unless they are part of the site’s own sales funnel.

  • You don’t or shouldn’t show a captcha to members – you have their email address confirmed
  • Many sites are moving over to using a shared comment management system despite the synchronization issues and potential privacy issues. Again a vastly reduced need to use a captcha.
  • The primary reason to use a captcha these days is at the time of account signup.
  • If your site doesn’t gain tons of comments, a payment based upon completed captcha’s is fairly pointless.

A far better scenario is to use a captcha that is either part of the lead acquisition funnel, or to increase awareness for an advertising message that is shown immediately after the captcha is completed such as a one-time offer.

I am sure there is a value to the advertiser – the problem is for most publishers they should be integrating their own messaging, not 3rd party advertising.

Media Memo state

Playing along so far: Advertisers including Microsoft (MSFT), GE’s (GE) Universal Pictures and Toyota (TM), and publishers including Meredith (MDP), Tribune and AOL (AOL).
AOL is also an investor in the company (previously named AdCopy), via its AOL Ventures arm. Other investors, who have collectively put something like $6 million into the company, include First Round Capital, New Atlantic Ventures and angels like Chris Dixon, Roger Ehrenberg, Aydin Senkut and Shervin Pishevar.

Captchas for users who are not logged in for most media publications should be to enhance lead acquisition.

But how about for logged in users?

Captcha For Logged In Users

Completing a captcha is a one time event that is currently looked on as a barrier, when it could be turned into a reward for interaction.

Imagine members (maybe even non-members) could give answers to questions related to the content or other recent events for a prize, but they could only enter by commenting. Blogs run giveaway competitions all the time which reward entry points for placing a comment, though it isn’t really as scaleable as it could be, and the presentation needs to be refined.

For non-members such a competition could be the first step in a subscription funnel.

More on Techmeme but most of it seems like reworked press releases plus a video using Vimeo (who are not for commercial use)

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Yahoo For SEO – Search Monkey Lives On http://andybeard.eu/3210/yahoo-for-seo-search-monkey-lives-on.html http://andybeard.eu/3210/yahoo-for-seo-search-monkey-lives-on.html#comments Thu, 16 Sep 2010 20:16:04 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=3210 Yahoo are today presenting the future of their product lineup and espcially how their search engine will differentiate from Bing… once they are using Bing data everywhere.

But that is just for users… how about website owners, developers and SEOs?

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Yahoo are today presenting the future of their product lineup and espcially how their search engine will differentiate from Bing… once they are using Bing data everywhere.

But that is just for users… how about website owners, developers and SEOs?

Search Monkey Markup

The Yahoo Search Monkey team today sent an email to their developers.

 Yahoo!
Dear Developer,

We recently announced that the SearchMonkey developer tool, gallery, and app preferences will be closing
down as of October 1, 2010. As a result, third-party custom result apps,
infobar apps, and data services will no longer appear on Yahoo!’s search
results. Developers who wish to retain their code should export it using
their favorite copy/paste tool before then.

We’ve been very pleased with the benefits that the SearchMonkey program has
provided to Yahoo! Search users over the last two years and want to share our
plans for SearchMonkey with respect to the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance.

In keeping with previous efforts to bring structure to the Web, our enhanced results
program will continue as we transition organic search listings to Microsoft. As
part of the enhanced results program, we will be adding new entities (including
people, Q&A, and real estate) to power both additional enhanced results and
object filters within Yahoo! Search.

All of the existing enhanced result templates will continue to be generated from
websites’ page markup and structured data feeds, and Yahoo! will continue to
show this structured data on the Yahoo! Search results page, along with
Microsoft’s organic listings. Over time, some of this structured data processing
will be supported natively by the Microsoft platform. Webmasters will continue
to have the ability to affect the presentation of a search result through page
markup on their site (microformats and RDFa).

We know many people enjoyed being part of the SearchMonkey developer community,
and we want to give a heartfelt thank-you to all of the developers and
webmasters who have participated over the last two years. We look forward to
continuing to work with developers to explore new and interesting ways to
incorporate useful applications into the search experience.

Sincerely,

The Yahoo! SearchMonkey Team

This means that search monkey markup for things like video live on and continue to have value.

Don’t know anything about search monkey markup? How about this tutorial on how to mark up a Youtube Video with RDFa and Search Monkey.

That isn’t the only way to get videos discovered – I just came across Amit’s relatively new Video Sitemaps plugin which seems to work ok for Youtube videos in some situations – just needs more development work to get it working for other videos such as those I host myself.

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Top 32 33 Forms of Linking Payola http://andybeard.eu/803/linking-payola.html http://andybeard.eu/803/linking-payola.html#comments Tue, 14 Sep 2010 16:15:25 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/06/linking-payola.html Special Update: Google Edition

What motivates people to link to other people? Listed are some of the reasons people might have for linking to you, and I am sure, some of the reasons you might link to other people.

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Special Update: Google Edition

What motivates people to link to other people? Listed are some of the reasons people might have for linking to you, and I am sure, some of the reasons you might link to other people.

  1. Did they just give you an Android phone Google TV, 3 month Dish + installation (Danny has a full history of Google Payola)
  2. Have they already linked to you for this topic so you are rewarding them back?
  3. Have they linked to you in the past and you are reciprocating?
  4. Do they Digg or Stumble your posts? Surely that wouldn’t motivate you to link to a blogger known to be a top Digg, Reddit or Netscape user?
  5. Do they leave comments and are an active member of your community?
  6. Do you want them to link to you in the future?
  7. Do you want them to see your point of view which may be different?
  8. Are they on Techmeme and you want to be there too?
  9. Do they have trackback enabled and featured prominently?
  10. Do they have trackback with followable links that give link juice?
    (if you link to my posts using trackback you get nice backlinks currently they are nofollow but that will eventually be fixed again)
  11. Are they a friend you shared beers with last week?
  12. Did they speak for free at your last conference?
  13. Are you speaking for free at their next conference?
  14. Do they invite you to take part in expert surveys within your niche?
  15. Did they provide good information and you want to provide good links to demonstrate your own authority?
  16. Do you feel obliged to link because you are talking about them, their product or their service?
  17. Do you feel it will help your search ranking results to link to authority pages?
  18. Do they display referrer information such as
    • Last visitor came from
    • Top Referrers This Week
  19. Did they say something nice about your company, product or service?
  20. Do you share their views, but don’t want to alienate a segment of your own audience so you voice your opinion by only linking to one point of view
  21. Did they provide you with a cool badge that stroked your ego?
  22. Did they provide you with a widget with a hidden or visible text link?
  23. They are the developer of the blogging platform you use, and you don’t know how to remove the link, or feel they earned it?
  24. They are the developer of a plugin or theme you use, and you don’t know how to remove the link, or feel they earned it?
  25. Do you want to be included in their linkblog, or their twitter feed?
  26. Did they make a large charitable donation to your cause or to fund further development?
  27. Are they a member of your:-
    • Blog Network
    • Secret Consortium
    • Joint Venture Network
    • Social Network
    • Trade Association
    • Prayer Group
    • Sect
  28. Are they your corporate client?
  29. Do you own stock in the company?
  30. Do they buy advertising from you?
  31. Are you employed by the company?
  32. Did they pay you to link to them?
  33. Do you earn affiliate commissions?

Many might look on this list as being a little cynicalI feel I am just being truthful.

I openly admit that in the past I have been motivated to link to someone for many of these reasons, and could easily have linked to notable bloggers who link to others for most if not all of these situations.

A lot of the time the linking happens with full disclosure, but even with disclosure, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all the motivations would be disclosed.

However your audience isn’t stupid, and if you haven’t attempted to disclose as much as possible, that can have a huge influence on how much they trust your opinions and linking habits in the future.

This post in itself was motivated by a number of other recent posts on notable blogs that I am sure most of my readers read on a daily basis, and I would even happily link to them, if it was not for the fact that many of the motivations above apply to them even if they don’t admit it.

As this post isn’t intended to point the finger at anyone, no out-bound links.

Can you think of any more to add to the list?

First published Jun 2, 2007 – update to honour the Google Zeitgeist 2010

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How I Kicked Myself Out Of Google Blogsearch For Months or Years http://andybeard.eu/3090/google-blogsearch-noindex.html http://andybeard.eu/3090/google-blogsearch-noindex.html#comments Sun, 05 Sep 2010 14:52:04 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=3090 I’m either a total idiot or a raving lunatic or both.

I can’t even pinpoint within my data as to when this foolish or unfortunate incident occured because well… just look at the data.

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I’m either a total idiot or a raving lunatic or both.

I can’t even pinpoint within my data as to when this foolish or unfortunate incident occured because well… just look at the data.

Google Blogsearch referrers

That is nigh on 5 years of Google Blogsearch referral data, though because of the long time range it is listed as sampled data. There may be some traffic sources I have missed – variations of url depending on how Google were displaying blogsearch pages, but that is referrals from http://blogsearch.google.com

  • In the past when I have checked at various times (though admittedly it has been a while) I had ranked well in blogsearch.
  • There have always been so few referrals that I have more or less ignored Blogsearch
  • The only blogsearch I have used are for links to me – in the WordPress interface, and occasionally to grab more results than WordPress displays – it has always been unreliable
  • Blogsearch picks up links from all kinds of things
    • blogroll links
    • comments
    • if you send a pingback and a blog displays them, it will come up in blogsearch too

Because of all of these factors I had always assumed that the idea of using noindex on a feed of any kind was to prevent that feed appearing in Google’s primary organic results.

A pretty Feedburner feed isn’t a terrible landing page, but it is possble to do better. I have even written about using my feedburner URL when leaving blog comments in the past, as in some ways it immediately signals you want people to subscribe more so than linking to a blog.

Other RSS search engines were indexing my feed content – Technorati, Blogcatalog, Icerocket – my feeds were being read by my readers, picked up by various Twitter robots etc.

And of course my content remained indexed in Google’s primary organic index.

But then a few days ago I was browsing a little and looking for additional sources for a story followon, and noticed I wasn’t listed for previous coverage. I hadn’t been specific in the title that I was related… but there wasn’t a lot of competition.

Then I discovered this:-

Blogsearch for andybeard.eu

My first thought for 5 minutes was somehow for some crazy reason I had become penalized in Google Blogsearch – then I rationalized it in thinking it must be something to do with noindex settings in Feedburner.

You see I had never equated noindex with a blog search engine – every other blog search engine which sent me traffic was still picking up my content and sending me traffic.

Google Indexing RSS Feeds

There is still a very real need for a way to tell Google…

“Hey Google, this is my RSS feed – you can index it for Google Blog Search, but I don’t want it to appear in the organic search results.”

3 years ago Google were saying they were working to remove RSS feeds from organic search.
3 years later feeds from Feedburner are still appearing in organic search results.

http://feeds.feedburner.com all the results seem to have been removed
http://feeds2.feedburner.com there still seems to be plenty of feeds within the search results

Information About & Help With Feedburner Since Google Acquisition

On a scale of 1 to 10 Google Feedburner Support gets a 2 – it is a free service, Google monetize it providing Adsense for feeds, but don’t expect anyone to answer support queries in the Google groups from Feedburner.
Documentation is sparse – hardly updated in the over 3 years since Google bought Feedburner… but then there haven’t been too many visible changes other than adding Adsense. I am sure there have been changes to help with scaling, especially how it eventually was made easier to integrate with Blogspot, but very little for anyone else.

Feedburner Noindex Controls

So this I believe is the culprit

Feedburner RSS Noindex

This is the code that gets added to the RSS feed.

<xhtml:meta xmlns:xhtml="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" name="robots" content="noindex" /><meta xmlns="http://pipes.yahoo.com" name="pipes" content="noprocess" />

That data is still not transferred to feed items that are shared within Google Reader or feeds such as tags created there – which can get fed to other places and indexed.

The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing

I have explained my whoopsie, but somewhere in the Googleplex they are a little confused over what they are doing as well.

Blogsearch isn’t the only search for my Blog posts

For instance there is Google Buzz

Now remember – Google is treating the noindex on my RSS feed as being an instruction to not include my content in Google BlogSearch…. so you would expect that instruction to be universal for the RSS content.

Google Buzz Indexed Fulltext

Those were taken from the PUBLIC timeline of Buzz. That is content that Google isn’t indexing on Blogsearch due to a noindex in the XML.

I also have my full content being fed into Facebook and being indexed and made searchable within Facebook, but at least that is my choice.

The only way to prevent content being shared and indexed is currently to block Google Reader from accessing feeds. I have been trying for over 4 years to get Google to introduce more publisher controls for sharing… as it would be easy to share private content from Google Reader by mistake… with Pubsubhubbub it can be broadcast by mistake to your 1000s of Buzz subscribers instantly.
This is possibly why Google have never introduced support for http authentication.

With their current stance for sharing freedoms, it doesn’t make sense for them to treat the current xml declarations as an instruction not to index the content in Blogsearch, as the content is in Buzz anyway. It should be treated as just a noindex for the page.
Alternatively they should add support for x-header noindex, then noindex in the XML would be for search engines, and it should travel with each content item, even to Buzz, possibly with no way to share the content.

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WTF are rel=”dofollow” & rel=”noindex” http://andybeard.eu/2975/rel-dofollow-rel-noindex.html http://andybeard.eu/2975/rel-dofollow-rel-noindex.html#comments Fri, 20 Aug 2010 21:03:51 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=2975 For some reason this keeps cropping up, and I thought I would write a small informative guide.

I know one major web 2.0 property that recently added rel=”dofollow” to links, and there is a massive site doing 40M+ visitors a month which last time I looked was using rel=”noindex”.

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For some reason this keeps cropping up, and I thought I would write a small informative guide.

I know one major web 2.0 property that recently added rel=”dofollow” to links, and there is a massive site doing 40M+ visitors a month which last time I looked was using rel=”noindex”.

Rel=”dofollow” Does Not Exist

It is not a valid microformat, has never been proposed as a microformat and has absolutely no reason to ever be included within the markup of a page.

As far as I am concerned the origin of “Dofollow” is the name Denis gave his plugin to remove nofollow from WordPress comments back at the beginning of 2005.
No Nofollow has been around for just as long.

That means that dofollow is a product name that has become synonymous with the movement against using nofollow links for all user generated content.

I really should update my list of dofollow and nofollow plugins though I am still using Lucia’s Linky Love.

You should also be aware that using nofollow might not be a viable method of hoarding Google Juice / PageRank Sculpting.

The ultimate reason however for this not existing is it has no purpose – links by default are “dofollow”… Google and other search engines then decide whether they have value to their algorithms.

Not all links, even without a nofollow pass PageRank, or even help with indexing – one example of this is Google Buzz which I have had a test running on for months – as far as I am concerned links from Buzz do not pass PageRank, and can’t help with indexing.

Rel=”noindex” Does Not Exist

Noindex comes in various flavours.

Meta Noindex
X-Robots Noindex
Robots.txt Noindex

They don’t all behave exactly the same, in fact I would generally ignore Robots.txt noindex as it seems to be the same as disallow which does not keep pages out of Google’s index necessarily.

The origin of rel=”noindex”? Probably people confusing the use of “noindex, nofollow” as a meta directive, and thinking you can do the same at hyperlink level.

You Can’t

rel=”noindex” does not exist, and it is logical that it doesn’t exist.

If you have a document, there can be 100s of links to it. If one of those links has a link level directive on it, all the other 99 links would still count.
Nofollow makes sense at a link level – 99 votes instead of 100, but you can’t have a document indexed only 99% of the time.

Thus if you see a plugin which includes rel=”noindex” as one of it’s features, stay well away.

If you run a website receiving 40M+ visitors a month and are using rel=”noindex”… LOL

Seriously if you are using either/both of these, no harm done… Google/Yahoo/Bing ignore them, but it might be worth cleaning up your code.

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