Q and A: How can I get my .EML (email) files crawled and indexed?


Hi Kalena,

The website I maintain is informational and features largely political news. Much material reaches me in the form of e-mails which I wish to upload and make available to visitors. Can you point me to a website search engine which will index the site’s contents, including the email (.eml) files. The Windows Search facility on my computer (Windows XP) does this quite competently but I have been unable to trace a similar web search engine with the appropriate filter which will index the eml files (some of which have attachments (mainly Word or PDF). I should be grateful for any guidance.

With thanks Ezra

Hi Ezra,

As you are probably aware (but for the sake of other readers) the .EML file extension is used for Mail Messages saved from Outlook Express. The main purpose of an EML file is to store e-mail messages (and as you have highlighted may include attachment data as well).  EML files can be used with most e-mail clients, but can not be viewed directly by web browsers.  However, since EML files are plain text and formatted much like MHT (MIME HTML) files, they can be opened directly in most popular browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Opera), by changing the file extension from .eml to .mht.

Although search engines do crawl and index a wide variety of filetypes (see the filetypes that Google can index) as far as I am aware no search engines crawl or index EML file types.

EML files typically include the e-mail addresses of the sender and the recipient so from a privacy/security perspective I would expect that you wouldn’t want these types of files to be indexed anyway (and if I were one of your information sources I’d probably be pretty annoyed if you published my email address).

I suggest that if you wish to publish (and have indexed) information that you receive by email, that you extract the relevant content and publish it in a format that is recognised by web browsers and search crawlers (e.g. HTML, PDF, DOC, or even TXT, etc..)

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting SEO (Brisbane)

Take a Search Stand on Bing Fridays

Bing FridayToday is Bing Friday. The one day a week when everyone should use Bing instead of Google to prove that Google doesn’t rule the Internet. Confused? Let me backtrack a little…

At the SMX Melbourne Conference last month, a certain speaker made the valid point that Google has become such a money-making monolith that they seem to have lost sight of their original philosophy of Don’t Be Evil.

I’m protecting the identity of the speaker, in case he attracts unwarranted attention from Google, but his words really rang in my ears.

Let’s take a look at an extract from Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” philosophy:

“Don’t be evil… is about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can... The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put ‘Don’t be evil’ into practice. It’s built around the recognition that everything we do in connection with our work at Google will be, and should be, measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct.”

Apparently, “Don’t be Evil” was originally suggested by Google employees Paul Buchheit and Amit Patel at a meeting. Buchheit, the creator of Gmail, said he “wanted something that, once you put it in there, would be hard to take out,” adding that the slogan was “also a bit of a jab at a lot of the other companies, especially our competitors, who at the time, in our opinion, were kind of exploiting the users to some extent.”

It got me thinking – are Google still living up to this slogan? Or have they become so powerful that they are doing the very thing they were accusing their competitors of doing and exploiting users in their bid to keep market dominance? Has Google been placing the needs of their shareholders above the needs of their users? Have they lost sight of their own motto?

Some of Google’s recent product releases and acquisitions do seem to be dollar-driven as opposed to user-driven. Some of their business decisions lately have also seemed questionable. Their move into China, for example, required them to self-censor data for Chinese users, a seeming hypocrisy which attracted skepticism worldwide. Then there was their collection of personal WiFi data during Streetview routes in Europe, triggering concerns over personal privacy. It’s hard to see how decisions like these are beneficial to users.

The SMX speaker suggested that Google has such massive market share that they AND their users have become blase about search quality. The tendency is for everyone to reach for Google whenever we need to search for something online and only use other engines for comparison shopping. His point was that the more blase we become about Google’s dominance, the more blase Googe will become about users.

The only way to take a stand against Google’s market dominance is to use other search engines regularly. That’s why he suggested that one day a week, instead of automatically reaching for Google, we should make the effort to use a different search engine, with Bing Friday being a good starting point. If enough people do it, Google might just sit up and take notice, but even if they don’t, at least we will shake ourselves out of our Google stupor and stop taking everything they do as gospel.

Now if you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that I am a big fan of Google. But I have been worried about the direction they’ve taken lately, particularly some of their recent acquisitions. I also believe that more competition is good for the industry and keeps all players on their toes for the benefit of everyone.

There are aspects of Bing Search I prefer over Google and I’m keen for Bing’s partnership with Yahoo to work out so it will help them leverage some market share away from Google. But I admit to being a lazy searcher and using Google as my automatic default engine. If I’m to make a difference, I need to take a stand and I feel this is a great start.

Will you join me and participate in Bing Fridays? To show your support, please comment on this post and/or tweet about it using the hashtag #BingFriday. Let’s see if we can get some traction!

POST SCRIPT : The speaker who came up with the concept of Bing Friday has given me permission to publish his name now. It was none other than Greg Boser of BlueGlass Interactive, Inc. He tells me that Bing Friday seems to be gaining momentum and to keep an eye out for a new project a friend is working on in relation to it. Sounds intriguing!

Q and A: How can I improve my local rankings with minimal effort?



I have a client that offers a delivery service for their nursery products to approximately 90 towns within a 100 mile radius. We currently have a page on the website listing each town and the corresponding delivery charge in a tabular format.

We would like to begin targeting each town on an individual basis in order to attain better visibility in the SERPs for search queries including my clients’ products & specific town and/or county.

My initial thought, was to build a separate page for each town announcing delivery service to the particular area. However, this would entail a lengthy and time-consuming process, while raising duplicate content issues as well – unless a separate product & blurb was created for every page/town scenario… Can you suggest a more efficient approach to accomplish our goals?

Thank you for you time and input – it is appreciated!


Hi Dino,

Whenever you plan to make changes to a website you should ask yourself the question :

Am I doing this for my users – or am I doing it for the search engines?

If any planned change is exclusively for the benefits of the search engines, I would think long and hard before going ahead and doing it, as it could be considered ( by both your users and the search engines) to be spammy, and may have a negative impact on both rankings (search engine) and conversions (users).

In this instance, I would consider that a page dedicated to each specific town is probably a better user experience, than a single page with a list of 90 towns on it, so for me it passes the test.  However, as you have pointed out, simply having 90 pages of the same content – with just the location name changed, is not going to help your rankings (because of duplicate content issues) so if you go down this path, I’d recommend that you customise or rewrite the content for each page (“spinner” software may help with this).

You could also consider grouping the different towns into separate regions.  This could result in (say) 9 or 10 pages each covering a group of towns within a particular region.  This presents you with an easier task for providing unique, relevant  content.  It also has the potential benefit of being found on related searches for nearby towns (within the same region) which your client does not currently deliver to (and maybe could).

Writing content for lots of new pages is not a trivial task, so don’t kid yourself (or your client) that SEO is easy…. However, it can often be those little extra steps that you are prepared to take (that your competitors can’t be bothered doing) that makes all the difference between a #1 and a #11 ranking.

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting (SEO Brisbane)

SMX Melbourne : Google Places – Not Your Father’s SERPs

monte-h-cropThis is a summary of the presentation given by Monte Huebsch, CEO of Aussieweb at SMX Melbourne last month, about the way Google Places and local search are changing Google search results.

Monte starts by saying that 96 percent of Google revenue is AdWords and AdSense, while the other 4 percent is stuff they do to piss off Microsoft. This gets a big laugh from the audience.

The Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) of today, Monte says, are almost unrecognizable from the Google SERPs of 10 years ago. The majority of search results are now dominated by local matches, social search and/or universal search. So SEO just won’t cut it anymore. You absolutely need to be in Google Places and social search.

He mentions Page Preview – which is a new search feature launched this month, where Google adds thumbnails of a page, directly into the search results. These previews are accessible via the search navigation menu on the left of the SERPs, under the heading Page Previews.

Monte moves on to talk about the impact Local Search is currently having. Monte showed an example of a SERP for “florist Brisbane” and how it has changed in the past two weeks due to the introduction of Place Search. The traditional “7 pack” of Google Maps search results is gone and in it’s place is a kind of universal local search, with images, videos and map pins all pulled from Google Places listings. Results are algorithmic and predictive, based on the search terms used. You can even drill down to isolate only Google Places results for your search terms. This provides a significant opportunity to businesses targeting local searchers via their Google Places listings.

Google Boost is a brand new beta service offered to to select Google Places users in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago, allowing them to pay a monthly fee to Google for AdWords ad creation. Boost enables business owners to create search ads from within their Google Places account, without the need for an AdWords account. Monte suggests that this is the way local search is headed – with localized ads right there in your maps.

Links on the SERPs now often lead to a Google Places page rather than web site, says Monte. If you claim your spot in Google Places, you’ll get into Universal Search, Google Maps, Google Earth and mobile search, whereas if you don’t, you won’t!

Something to be aware of when you claim your Google Places listing, says Monte, is that you CANT change the email address associated with your listing. Monte suggests creating a new Gmail account JUST for your Places account so you have more control over it and future flexibility. Monte suggests looking at Davidmihm.com as a great resource for Google Places info.

If you have a mobile business, you can mask your physical address in Google Places. So for example, if you have a mobile pet grooming service, where a physical address is not relevant – you can still use Google Places to your advantage.

Also, try to get reviews on Google Places and add YouTube videos and photos about your business as these are all included in your data allowance and you should be making the most of them.

Google Places is another platform for your business! Make the best use of it you possibly can.

Q and A: Why is my CMS based website only ranking for the Home Page?


Hi Kalena,

We have put our hotel website into Joomla CMS and I notice with our CMS based sites that the home page ranks well but most other pages say ‘Currently not ranked by Google.’ I know they have been indexed by Google, and have internal links pointing to them, yet they are not achieving any ranking despite having relevant succinct copy on them. Any ideas as to why there might be a problem? i don’t see any spam links pointing to them…

Many thanks


Hi Sarah,

The most popular Content Management Systems (such as Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress) are reasonably search engine friendly with their default settings – although all can be tweaked to improve their SEO capabilities.  There are a variety of plugins/modules available for each of these open source CMSs and it is usually worth talking to your SEO or Web Developer to see what can be done to make your site more search engine friendly.

As you say, many (if not all) of the pages on your site [URL Provided] are indexed by Google. When you say you get the message “Currently not ranked by Google”, presumably you are using rank checking software to see how your site ranks for a variety of keyword phrases.  This simply indicates that the pages you are checking are not ranking in the top “X” search results – for the keyword phrases you have identified.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not rankling for other keywords.   I suggest that you review your analytics data to see which pages are being found on search engines(and for which keyword phrases).

It is typical for a website’s home page to rank better than it’s sub pages – this is largely because the home page usually has significantly more links to it from external sites.  In order to improve the rankings of your sub-pages (assuming that the page structure and content has already been optimised for the target keywords)., you should work at building backlinks to these pages – ideally using your target keyword phrases as anchor text.

The Link profile for your site is fairly basic – with relatively few links from external sites – and most all of these appear to be going to the Home Page.  Undertaking a link building campaign is likely to improve your overall rankings – and also balance your rankings better between your home and sub-pages.

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting (SEO Brisbane)