The first known appearance of the phrase “googlebomb” showed up in an article by Adam Mathes in the online magazie uber.nu, in a request to help pull a joke on a friend of his, by making the friend’s website rank highly for the term “talentless hack.”
You’ve possibly noticed that some pages rank well in Google search results for terms of phrases that don’t actually appear on those pages, because other pages link to those pages using those words as the text that accompanies those links. For example, search for “click here” and the top search result at Google is the Adobe Reader download page, which is linked to by millions of links across the Web using “click here” as a link to the page.
I’ve used the phrase “Googlebomb” in this post, but this is something that happens at Yahoo and Bing as well. Given enough links from enough pages using the same text pointing to a specific page, and there’s a chance that the page being linked to might rank very well in search results from any of the major search engines, even if the content of the page has nothing to do with the text in those links.
Usually, when people link to pages, the text used in those links if often descriptive of what people might find at the pages being linked to. This can help a search engine understand what the page being pointed to is about. Search engines have been associating the text in links to the pages that they refer to since the early days of the Web. As Google’s founders, Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page note in one of the first white papers about Google, The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine, the idea is something that they incorporated in Google, but it didn’t start with them:
Continue reading How a Search Engine Might Fight Googlebombing
Twitter has been the focus of a number of acquisition talks over the past couple of years, usually as the target of an acquisition by a Google or Microsoft or Yahoo or Facebook.
Twitter has made a few acquisitions of its own, and I was trying, without much success, to find a list of the companies that it purchased, either for the technology that they offered, or for the people that they employed.
Twitter has blogged about the majority of acquisitions it has made, though not all. It’s possible that there are other companies that were purchased by Twitter that I wasn’t able to locate any information on. If you know about any, and you’re so inclined, please let me know about them.
Here are the Twitter Acquisitions that I was able to find:
Continue reading Twitter Acquisitions
Tomorrow the footers of a great number of websites will automatically change to show a new copyright date. Others will wait for site owners to manually code the change. It’s a change worth making, because it shows visitors that the sites are maintained and up-to-date. As changes go though, it’s a fairly insignificant change, and likely won’t have much influence on the rankings of pages in search results. Many pages on the Web change in minor ways everyday, including updates to visitor counters, subtle changes in formatting, and new advertisements shown on pages.
Many other web pages change in more significant ways on a regular basis, from blog home pages that show new posts, to news media sites that might add new storylines every 15 minutes, to social sites that constantly change as multitudes add updates.
How frequently a search engine crawler might visit a particular page on the Web can depend in part upon how often the page is updated. For example, a news site, updating every hour might have Googlebot or MSNbot sniffing around hourly to devour new content.
Continue reading The Impact of Content Change on Search Engine Rankings
I have a confession to make. When I’m driving through cities, I tend to get lost. It doesn’t matter if I have driving directions printed out from Google Maps, Mapquest, Yahoo Maps, or some other map services to help guide me. I tend to miss signs that are hard to see, get distracted by pedestrians walking out in front of me, find myself in the middle of funeral processions, and often pull over in strange and sometimes not very safe looking places to find where I’m at, through the web on my phone. But, that’s not what I’m confessing to.
My confession is that I’m fixiated on navigation. I’m convinced that one of the solutions to high energy consumption in the United States could be fixed if the transportation offices of major cities were smarter about using signs to help drivers navigate through their roads. I think better signage could make metropolitan roads safer as well, and reduce congestion. Maybe I’ve looked at too many websites, and how the navigation on those pages can make it easier or harder to find what you’re looking for on a website. On a website though, if I have trouble finding what I’m looking for, I can easily find a way home. When I’m lost in the middle of Camden, New Jersey, it’s not as easy.
You would think that the many mapping and driving directions services on the Web would help. I wish they would.
Continue reading The Importance of Navigation
Back on August 9, the Google Public Policy Blog announced A joint policy proposal for an open Internet, co-authored by Google’s Alan Davidson, and Verizon Executive VP Tom Tauke. It was a little surprising seeing Google and Verizon join together to compromise about Net Neutrality.
The proposal from the two companies set two different sets of rules when it comes to broadband access and mobile access to the Web.
Earlier today, The FCC adopted a set of regulations regarding Net Neutrality, and the policy proposal from Google and Verizon seems to have played a part in how the new regulations will work. The regulation of Net Neutrality is a topic worth expanding upon, but I was more curious at this point about the relationship between Google and Verizon.
I’m not sure what role the following might have played in Google’s stance on Net Neutrality, but I found it pretty interesting. Yesterday, I wrote about how Google had acquired a number of phone related patents from Myriad Group. On November 8, 2010, the US Patent and Trademark office recorded the assignment of 84 granted and pending patent applications from Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc, to Google.
Continue reading Is Google Now a Phone Company?