Websites, like people, have personalities. They can’t help it, they just do. I’ve looked at a lot of websites over the past few years, and sometimes wondered about the personalities of the sites that I’ve seen.
If you take a close look at a website, can you describe its personality?
Does it attempt to evoke emotions in visitors or persuade them with facts?
Is it cold or warm and welcoming?
Does it use humor or fear or anger when communicating with visitors?
You go to the store, and find the perfect pair of shoes, except that they don’t have them in your size, or in the color that you want.
You shop online, and try to find a pair of pants and a shirt that match, except that it’s hard to tell how they will look together.
Can a search engine help you make shopping easier?
Imagine a different scenerio, now…
You go to a facility to create a 3-dimensional scan of your body which you can then upload to a clothing search engine and recommendation system. Or you enter detailed body measurements into that search and recommendation system.
You create a user profile that details things such as your skin color, eye color, hair style/color, whether or not you wear glasses, and other details about your appearance.
In addition to this personal information, you can also add non-personal information, such as the type or color of clothing you are presently looking for. Other details can be entered, such as your location, the season of the year, your hairstyle, where you are planning to go while wearing the clothes you are looking for, such as a business meeting or a restaurant or night club.
When web sites link to each other, either directly or indirectly through a number of different pages, a search engine might consider those links to be reciprocal links. If you’re familiar with some of the mythology and folklore surrounding search engine optimization, you may have read or heard that reciprocal links are bad, and that search engines don’t like them.
The truth is more complicated than that.
What about blogs that link to each other on every page in their blog rolls? Or links between sites owned by the same owner that are reasonable, such as a storefront on a different domain, or a blog at a different domain or subdomain associated with a site, or a group of sites from the same company or organization that focus upon different topics?
What about sites that cover similar topics or provide complementary goods or services and find that it’s helpful to link to each other for the benefit of their visitors?
When you perform a search on Google, you’ll often see “sponsored links” at the top and to the right of your search results. Advertisers can bid to have their advertisements appear with search results through Google’s Adwords program.
When an advertiser creates an ad for the Adwords program, they attempt to choose the keywords that their ads may appear beside in search results. The premise behind this approach is that allowing advertisers to target keywords in searches that are relevant to what those advertisers offer means that the ads searchers see will be relevant for what searchers are looking for.
Usually, those ads will show up in response to a current query that a searcher has typed into the search engine, but if you’ve been performing a number of searches, Google has sometimes looked at your earlier queries in addition to your current one to determine which advertisments to show you.
For example, you search for the word [golf] and received a set of search results, along with some sponsored links. If you then search for the word [shoes], you may have seen ads (in the past) on the search results page for “golfing shoes.”
This is the first of multiple posts on copyright, and what you can do when someone takes the content from the pages of your web site or blog and republishes that content on their site without permission and without attribution.
Hopefully this series will give you an idea of some of the steps that you might be able to take when someone has copied content that you have created, and used it without asking first.
It is inspired by an actual event which will be described in more detail as the series continues, and I am hoping that the series will help others who find their work on other websites without their knowledge.
Have you ever had something like the following happen to you?
We often take time for granted, and how our perspectives of our past, present, and future can shape our lives.
How we plan for the future, how creative we are in the present, and how our past can influence our moods and attitudes are topics covered in a book on the psychology of time that was published in August of this year.
The book, The Time Paradox, by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd, helps to explain such things as why the D.A.R.E. “Just Say No To Drugs” effort to educate teens on drug abuse was a failure – it focused upon a small percentage of students who are future oriented rather than the many who are present oriented. (Perhaps the New D.A.R.E. will fare better.)
The authors of the book gave a presentation at Google on the topic, and it’s one of the best videos I’ve seen this year. I’m running out to get a copy of the book it’s based upon in a few minutes.
Search for the word “automobile” at Google, and the search engine might expand your search to include results for the word “car” as well, since it is a synonym of the word automobile. Accidentally misspell the word as “automoble” and Google might automatically correct your spelling error and search for “automobile.”
Follow that up with a search for the word “driving” and Google could expand your query by using a process called stemming to look at the root of the word (driv-) and adding common endings to it, to come up with, and include in the search, such words as “driving,” and “driver.”
This kind of query expansion is aimed at providing searchers with better search results. This method of expanding queries might not happen yet (though it sometimes appears to for spelling corrections at least), and it might not happen in all searches.
I originally posted this at Search Engine Land this past summer for the “Small is Beautiful” column. I’m hoping that more businesses embrace the idea of social responsibility in the new year to come, and I am adding a small business category to SEO by the Sea, with this as the first post.
In the profit-centered business, customer happiness is merely a means to an end: maximizing profits. In the customer-centered business, customer happiness is an end in itself, and will be pursued with greater interest, passion, and empathy than the profit-centered business is capable of.
A couple of weeks ago, a shopping mall near my home announced that they would start checking the IDs of teenagers at entrances to the mall after 5:00 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, and not allow anyone under 18 to enter the mall unless they are accompanied by a parent or supervising adult over the age of 21.