The domain registrar industry is about to crack wide open, with new evidence that Google is moving into the domain registration market.
The move confirms rumors that Google is serious about selling domains - rumors that began when the Internet giant made DNS changes to GoogleDomains.com in late March, after having owned the domain for several years. Domaining is a thriving industry, growing every year, as evidenced by GoDaddy’s latest IPO announcement.
Google Domains is currently in invitation-only BETA release, but on appearance, will be a fully-fledged domain registration service on public launch, with all the customizable domain features of large registrars.
I’ve requested my invitation to participate and will review the service here on the blog as soon as I can. Watch this space!
Google’s head of spam fighting - Matt Cutts - posts regular videos on the Google Webmasters YouTube channel. His posts can make waves in the SEO industry like no other because they often preview upcoming changes to the Google algorithm. So this week’s Fast Five is a collection of Matt Cutt’s most popular webmaster videos of all time.
Here’s this week’s Fast Five:
1) How Does Google Search Work? - In this video, Matt explains how Google’s ranking and website evaluation process works from the crawling and analysis of a site, crawling time-lines, frequencies, priorities and filtering processes within the databases. With over 380,000 views, this is Matt’s most popular video in the Google Webmaster channel.
2) Does Google Use the Keyword Meta Tag? - After years of webmaster confusion over whether Google does or doesn’t index the content of the Meta Keywords tag, Matt put the rumor firmly to rest with this post by confirming that Google does NOT index the tag.
3) What Should We Expect in the Next Few Months in Terms of SEO for Google? - After months of Panda and Penguin algorithm tweaks, Matt thought it was time to set a few things straight and reveal a little more about what we might expect from future algorithm updates.
4) Canonical Link Element - When Google launched support for the Canonical Link Element, Matt took to video to introduce the element and the way it should be used for SEO benefit.
5) What Are Some Effective Techniques for Building Links? - The fifth most popular Matt Cutts webmaster video involves the consistently difficult subject of link building. In this video post, Matt discusses several effective ways of building organic links that many webmasters overlook.
*Image courtesy of Threadless.
My friend is being harassed by someone who is manipulating SEO on Google. What should I do?
Someone is using a story to back link and I believe it is web spammed via Google. The story was politically motivated and used to destroy my friend’s character. I am not sure if there is anything that can be done to stop this person from page ranking this story to the top of the Google page, especially if they are using possible black hat techniques and other methods to rank this at the top.
Is there anyway Google would remove the story if they are participating in such acts? My friend sent a request for removal and complained to google about the back linking and abuse of page rank, but to date, nothing has been done in removing the story that is over a year old and is at the top of the Google site. Can you help and let us know what we may be able to do to have this story taken down?
Sorry to hear that. I believe there are quite a few people who find themselves the target of malicious spam campaigns like this. I personally can’t assist as I don’t work for Google and don’t have any contacts there who would be able to assist. However, the correct place to start the process is to complete this Request to Remove Objectionable Content form.
The other step I would recommend is for your friend to have a lawyer write a *cease and desist* letter to the owner of the web site hosting the objectionable content. Sometimes, the threat of legal action is enough to make them remove it.
My final piece of advice would be to create some positive content and optimize it well for your friend’s name so that it out-ranks the objectionable content to push the spam further down the search results.
Best of luck!
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In my recent search for relevant videos to accompany our training material at Search Engine College, I trawled through my Evernote bookmarks and stockpiled a number of helpful YouTube channels that hold huge collections of training videos on the subjects of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing).
As I was collating these, my first thought was “I wonder how many webmasters even know all these exist?”. My second thought was “That would make a great blog post!”. So here they are. You’re welcome.
Google Webmasters YouTube Channel
Bing Webmaster Tools YouTube Channel
Moz YouTube Channel
Google AdWords Channel
Bing Ads YouTube Channel
SiteProNews YouTube Channel
WebProNews YouTube Channel
Search Engine Land YouTube Channel
SES Conference and Expo YouTube Channel
Search Engine Watch YouTube Channel
Google Analytics YouTube Channel
Raven Tools YouTube Channel
Rusty Brick YouTube Channel
Search Engine Journal YouTube Channel
I’ve probably missed some important ones, but these are the ones I had saved to Evernote. If you want to add some of your favorites in the comments, I’ll be sure to add them to the list.
Post Script - I remembered last night that apart from their YouTube channel, SiteProNews publishes a large collection of marketing videos from across the web, collated into 40 different topic channels. Be sure to check it out.
Authorship in action
My geek friend Chris recently wrote a post about Google Authorship that suggested that the use of Google Authorship tags (e.g. rel=author) gave inconsistent results in the SERPs and was possibly not the SEO secret sauce that it’s all cracked up to be.
This surprised me, because I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for Authorship, including claims that use of the rel=author tag can speed up the indexing and rankings of a brand new site.
In his experiments, Chris tried searching for a specific phrase using google.com and google.co.nz from an NZ IP and then both from a US IP. He was scanning the SERPs for instances of his own blog post containing the phrase, specifically noting when his rel=author tag would kick in to show his Google Profile next to his post. All searches produced different results, with his authorship profile pic only showing up sporadically, even when his blog post appeared in the top 3 results. This was in contrast to blog posts on his employer’s site, where Authorship hasn’t been implemented, rel=author tags are not used, but posts almost always show up in the SERPs featuring author profile pics.
Chris found that subtle changes to his search query (even the addition of a STOP word like *on*) had a profound impact on whether Authorship would kick in. Clearly, semantic indexing is at play when it comes to whether rel=author has an influence on SERPs. Which means that specific keyword order and word-stemming considerations should be high on the priority list for any on-page SEO undertaken.
In my experience, it seems that the authorship tag is given more prominence in some data centers than others and almost always when searching google.com. My guess is slightly different versions of the algo have rolled out on each data center, some with the *new* (July) Panda and some with the old. Authorship relevance has been tweaked in this last update, I’m sure of it, but I haven’t seen this acknowledged anywhere.
Of course, author trust / author rank is also at play - where the profile of a particular author is given more relevancy weight than others due to how prolific and widely syndicated they are. Posts from authors with more trust rank built up are pushed higher up the SERPs and are more likely to have their profile pics featured.
So have you noticed a change in SERPS relating to use of the rel=author tag since the latest Panda update? Have you observed more or less authorship profiles showing up in generic SERPs on Google.com than before Panda? Please let us know in the comments.