• Mosaic Cloaking: Trademarking A Black-Hat Web Tactic
    Not all black-hat SEOs are focused just on instant gratification via a rankings boost or higher CTRs. Take Ralph Tegteimer and Ed Purkiss and the idea of Mosaic Cloaking, or the act of dynamically cloaking portions of a Web page based on the IP address of the inbound surfer, a search engine bot, or other visitor identifier. This tactic would allow a Webmaster to rank higher for specific keywords, serve different kinds of ads and various other features without getting detected (and penalized). Purkiss and Tegteimer are developing metrics to prove mosaic cloaking's effectiveness in terms of SEO, ...
  • Kayak Gobbles Up Sidestep
    Kayak has acquired rival Sidestep for about $200 million, effectively shrinking the discount travel search space. Both services aggregated info from across a number of travel sites and let users sort it by price and other preferences. According to Michael Arrington, the combined companies will be very profitable, as Sidestep reportedly clocks in about $35 million annually (from affiliate fees for ticket sales and display and e-mail marketing deals), while Kayak brings in about $50 million just from ticket sales. Upon completion of the merger and once the two month transition period ends, the new company will ...
  • Yahoo, America Movil Hook Up for Mobile Search
    Yahoo has inked a deal with America Movil to power Web browsing and search for mobile users in more than 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries, via oneSearch. Mexico City-based America Movil will run oneSearch as the default portal for its 143 million wireless -- making this the largest of 21 mobile distribution deals that Yahoo has snagged this year. The Web giant launched oneSearch in the U.S. this January and quickly went on to develop partnerships with mobile carriers in countries like India, the Philippines, Brazil and the U.K.
  • Google's Human Relevancy Team
    Surprise! Google's relevancy system isn't all algorithm based -- the search giant randomly hires contractors to test their results. Peter Norvig, a director of research at Google, revealed part of the relevancy team's strategy in the newest issue of Technology Review. "[We] randomly select specific queries and hire people to say how good our results are. These are just contractors that we hire who give their judgment. We train them on how to identify spam and other bad sites, and then we record their judgments and track against that," said Norvig. Google then can use the ...
  • Google Shilling for Print Ads With AdWords Customers
  • New Trojan Hijacks AdSense Ads
    Hackers and spammers have had a ball with the search engines over the past few weeks, and the malicious fun continues with the latest attack -- this time on Google's AdSense. Anti-virus vendor BitDefender is reporting that a new Trojan virus is hijacking certain AdSense text ads and replacing them with links to a third-party ad server. Once users click on these rogue ads, they're likely brought to a site that infects their computer with malicious code, or served the malware directly from the ad itself. The Trojan.Quost.WU threat was discovered on Dec. 17. While BitDefender was ...
  • Things to Consider Before Handling Search In-House
    Wil Reynolds jumps into the in-house vs. outsourced search debate with a list of questions for anyone faced with making that decision. First, ask yourself if you have access to the top SEO talent -- not just a guy or gal waving their "Google AdWords Certified" certificate in the air, but a consultant or team with in-field experience, past clients who are willing to vouch for them and a real passion for search. It may be easier to hire someone with the necessary skillset if you're in a niche market with relatively few competitors. Next, Reynolds ...
  • Still More Paid Linking Strategies
    Andy Beal serves up paid link insight as approved by his brother Matt (not Cutts, as the headline would have you believe). Seems like common sense, but make sure any links you buy are relevant to your site's content, and try to get the links in contextual format.. When it comes to the site you're buying from, make sure that it ranks well for its own targeted keywords and stay away if the site has more than five paid links on the front page. Also steer clear of any site that blatantly advertises that fact ...
  • Help! I Have to Optimize A Site that's All Images
    A recent discussion on the High Rankings forums centered on one search consultant's struggle with doing SEO for a legal site that had about 90% images and very little text. The client was extremely happy with the way the site looked and functioned, and wanted as few structural changes as possible. Suggestions from the community included consulting with the firm's site design/marketing company to rebuild the site from scratch, replacing specific images with copy and optimizing from there, or leaving the images as is and fully optimizing the alt tags. The discussion also focused on ...
  • 10 Reasons To Double Your 2008 Search Budget
    Kevin Lee serves up ammunition for all you search pros that want a bigger chunk of the marketing budget for 2008. At the year-end planning, forecasting or "ways we made you more money in 2007" meeting, sprinkle some of these stats into your presentation as a justification for why you need more dollars for search. Seasonal spikes in queries and search traffic driven by offline marketing efforts will warrant having an extra "slush fund" for paid search -- because you can't forecast every time that clicks will ramp up. As the engines constantly improve relevancy, average ...
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