Category Archives: Second Life

Apple releases new stuff, new blog search engine opens

Some guy named Steve Jobs was on stage this morning announcing stuff for some computer company in Cupertino. Didn’t ya hear? I know none of the blogs were covering it, right? ;-)

Anyway,  I was just talking with Greg Hartnett, president of Best of the Web. He’s an Apple fan, by the way. But that’s not why we’re talking here. They just turned on a new blog search engine and directory. Now, how does this differ from Technorati?

It has far fewer blogs in it. Huh? All the blogs were hand picked by 69 editors.

So, let’s go to Technorati and do a search for “Steve Jobs”. 65,168 posts. Pretty good, but there is some spam there on the first page. Particularly one post named “Bill Gates Wants to Be Steve Jobs” is repeated several times.

Do the same “Steve Jobs” search on Best of the Web and it only finds 174 results. Now, that might sound like a mismatch, but the Best of the Web searches are often higher signal.

Anyway, I need to try it more to see if it’ll be a significant competitor for my blog search time with Technorati/Feedster/IceRocket/and all the other blog search engines.

So far I think this one needs more work, but it shows some promise. What do you think? The engine is here: http://blogs.botw.org/.

Update: I’ve done a few more searches and early returns on my comments show that this isn’t ready for prime time. It shows that blog search is hard to do.

New York, New York! (Danny wants better RSS in his SPOT watch)

I’m writing to you from a bus heading toward Manhattan. I love my Verizon card. It’s like having wifi EVERYWHERE!

Anyway, I’m up for a midnight snack tonight. Anyone game? Call my cell phone at 425-205-1921. I’m staying at the Sheraton Towers.

Update: well, that didn’t take long. Someone just called and we’re meeting in the lobby. I love having readers around the world. :-)

Update 2: it got even better. The guy who called was Jackson Fox of lulu.com. I took him to Times Square where we hit Roxy’s and had dinner. As we were finishing our cheesecakes the phone rang again. “Hello, this is Matt Cutts.” (He works at Google and is probably Google’s best known blogger SEO expert). We quickly figure out he’s at the Hilton, head over there and meet up in the lobby. He quickly drags us through the bar where a bunch of SEO types ran us through a gauntlet. Matt checks over the crowd and sees if he’ll get any more spam tricks out of the increasingly drunk geeks who try to figure out how to improve their Google ranking for their day jobs.

Did you know that there are about 5,000 attendees at this conference? Are search engines a big deal? Damn, who knew?

Anyway, Matt and Jackson and I settle in for a non-alcoholic talk (not by choice, mind you, but the bar was closed). We start comparing notes (we’re on a panel discussion at 9 a.m. in the morning).

Now, the conversation was going pretty good at about that time. Comparing notes and having fun and sharing information. But then Danny Sullivan walks in (for those who don’t know, this is his conference — he is the guy who started Search Engine Watch years ago and built a multi-million industry around it).

He could do anything, but what does he do?

He walks up to us and gives me s**t about his SPOT watch that he just bought. Turns out the RSS aggregator that the SPOT system has isn’t all that great (he wants me to get on the team about the RSS features, or the lack thereof). I tell him I’ll make sure the team hears about his feature request. Danny then launches into a sales pitch for the SPOT watch to Matt. Turns out Danny’s into Swatch watches and showed us off all the features of his new watch.

Hey, BillG, you should have Danny on stage with you at next year’s CES. But I digress.

He pulls up the stock quote feature on his SPOT watch. Looks up GOOG (the stock quote for Google). Looks at Matt and says “you had a good day.” Then pulls up MSFT. Looks at me and says “you had a good day too.”

Dude, you have no idea. Hint: it had nothing to do with the stock price.

Then he asked me to spill the beans on the Origami. Heheh. Very funny Danny!

The V7ndotcom elursrebmem charity

OK, I should have listened to my head and not gotten involved in a search engine optimization contest. But, it’s a valuable lesson in how you can move up the search engines. After all, if you are a plumber, but don’t appear on the Google/MSN/Yahoo result pages for “plumber in Seattle” does your business really exist? Our eye track research suggests it does not.

So, how do you move up? Well, study how these folks are working to get other Web sites to link to them. There are “blackhat” techniques (which is when you open a series of splogs and link back to the page you want to move up). Search engines algorithm authors are constantly looking for ways to remove the blackhat techniques. Another blackhat technique? Something called “Google bowling.” Let’s say you are #21 on the list. So, how do you get to move up to the #1 spot? Well, you open splogs pointing at #1-20. What happens then? Well, if you do a good enough job that’ll trip the Google/MSN/Yahoo splog filter (if a piece of content is copied enough times it’ll get removed off of all the servers and “penalized”). Then you’ll move up to #1. Evil, but effective!

Or, you can do something that legitimately gets other people to link to your site. For instance, look at this V7ndotcom elursrebmem contest entry by Alex K. He is giving all his winnings to charity. By being a nice guy, he’s trying to get more people to link to him.

This is why I tell audiences to share their information. Are you a lawyer? Teach us how to do your profession! That will get people to link to you. We love to link to the nice guys.

Anyway, I’m hoping the white hat guys win. It’ll be interesting to see if any new black hat techniques get tried here.

Brrreeeport crazy and more search engine lies

Damn, brrrreeeport is the top search on Technorati and there are 420 posts there. Wacky.

What’s an even better deal is that Google says there are now about 14,000 results. What the f___? I HATE the lies that are going on on search engines. Quick: click through and tell me how many entries there really are. Hint: it isn’t 14,000. Funny that Google’s blog search can only find 382.

MSN says there are 1,369 results. Yahoo says there are 1,010 results.

Feedster is back online with 454 results (they were doing server upgrades when I did my first tests).

Anyway, it’s very bbbrrrrryyyy here in Keystone, CO.

Does anyone believe any of these numbers? How can we verify any of them?

Update: Dave Sifry, founder of Technorati, looked into it more.