Your Obsession to Rank Higher is the Final Nail in Your Coffin

What kind of recording artist says stuff like “my goal is to make the Billboard Top 10″? Sure, recording labels may set goals like that, but did Lou Reed ever sit down and write songs just to win a Grammy? If making money is your only goal on the web, I don’t want you as a client.

I get no kick out of promoting a piece-of-crap-boring-as-hell-cookie-cutter-turnkey-site. I got to be infatuated with a site I’m promoting. It’s got to blow me away. Simon Cowell may call you “karaoke”, “cabaret”, “cruise ship”, whatever - I only live once. I don’t have time to waste promoting mediocrity.

Udi Manber recently wrote:

[Google’s] goal is always the same: improve the user experience. This is not the main goal, it is the only goal.

Don’t even think “if you build it they won’t just come” which is just a poor excuse marketers use to swipe more of your dough. If those words don’t strike a chord in your brain somewhere, nothing I do or say will help you.

Recently, several real estate agents were up in arms about Trulia using widgets and nofollows, accusing Trulia of employing “aggressive” SEO (as if that’s somehow a bad thing). The truth is Trulia is just following the SEO rule book. The real threat is the amount of money and human resources Trulia has at its finger tips. Trulia’s technology will rapidly evolve. Meanwhile an agent is boxed in by an uninspiring “SEO-friendly” template thousands of other people are using and a limited marketing budget. There’s no competition. Taking collective action against widgets is just delaying the inevitable. Even if realtors stopped linking to Trulia, sites like will continue to link in. If you want to talk massive inlinks, how about nearly 4,000 dofollow links to trulia from

So far, one and perhaps the only edge agents have over Trulia are comprehensive, up-to-date property listings. If Trulia somehow gains access to that, what then? When will people wake up and realize SEO isn’t about worrying about SPAM (site positioned above mine) its about pushing their sites to the next level? If Microsoft didn’t bother creating the XBOX360 what would their market share look like now? If you refuse to evolve, your days are numbered on the web.

Your move. The clock is ticking.

I Lurve Shari Thurow Too

Recently, Shari got some flak for the condescending tone of her anti-nofollow post on SEL. But guess what? I agree with her.
Parasites of the Interweb
There are short-sighted people out there always looking for short cuts. They won’t hesitate to pay you $600/hour to hear you say “you need to write unique META descriptions.” Ya know, […]

Scraping 101: Extracting Anchor Text with Regexp

There are many ways to skin a cat, but when it comes to scraping websites, I like parsing content with regexp. One of the biggest problems I bumped into when parsing HTML is matching opening and closing tags.
For example:
(<a [^>]+>)(.*)</a>
Ok let’s try that in English:

(<a [^>]+>) matches <a href=”….”.>.
(.*) *should* match anchor text (I’ll […]

Top 7 Reasons Why Optimizing Porn Sites is Hard

Sebastian recently fired up an experiment so I thought I’d post this up to give his experiment some link juice. While I’m at it, I’ll write a short rant about why optimizing porn sites isn’t easy.

Digg/reddit/stumbleupon are nearly useless. Of course, there are alternatives and workarounds, but really, life would be easier if digg had […]

How to Check for Position 6 Penalty

One of my clients is convinced he is smacked with a position 6 penalty. In some cases, he is coming up 7th or 8th, often when sites above him have indented listings. Where would he rank if those indented listings weren’t there?
Usually, Google pulls up indented listings if the secondary URL is relevant enough to […]

Paid Review: Internet Marketing Ninjas

You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover
A while back, Fantomaster advertised Brad Callen’s PPC Arbitrage ebook on Sphinn with a blog post containing an affiliate link, which made some people think Fantomaster was trying to make a buck by leveraging his reputation on Sphinn. His post went hot, then a mod later pulled it off the […]

YAPAPL: Yet Another Damn Post About Paid Links

“I do what I do best, I take scores. You do what you do best, try to stop guys like me.”
–Neil McCauley, Heat (1995)
Unless you were living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you know Google’s been busy lately in its War Against Paid Links. According to Danny Sullivan, Google is now […]

Third Level Push (modified Siloing) For Deeper Index Penetration

Third-Level Push (aka “siloing”), according to Dan Thies (who regained my attention after his recent article on Google proxy hacking), helps you get third-tier pages (e.g. article/product detail pages) in the main index and ranking higher by “taking more of the PageRank from your second tier, and pushing it down into the third tier.”
Dan explains:
In […]

How To Exploit The PageRankBot Tool

Building a good house means more than buying a pine dining table or 1080p Plasma TV (more “quality” content) or telling your friends about the new house you’re building (marketing). You gotta know how to use hammers, drills and nails too.
If you rather build a good site than worry about supplemental results, why are you […]

How Google Failed to Hide Supplemental Results

If you’re an SEO with clients that are worried about supplemental results, your job just got a whole lot harder. It’s like having a patient dying of disease showing no visible symptoms. Not only does he believe he isn’t sick anymore, but you can’t tell what he’s sick of.
First, your clients should know that just […]

Hey, it Just Sounds to Me Like You Need to Unplug, Man.

Image courtesy of What Is the Matrix
If you spend hours a day surfing blogs, you’re trapped in the Matrix. Being an ex-hardcore MMORPG addict makes me an expert on getting sucked in. In that world, I met thousands of people, I slew dragons, I saved lives.
Meanwhile, in the real world, I sat in front […]

JDBC ClassNotFoundException (NetBeans, Classpath, Java)

If you get a java.lang.ClassNotFoundException error when loading a database driver using the statement:
You can either:
Go into DOS (Start/Run/cmd.exe):
set CLASSPATH=.;{pathToYourJarFile}
For example, if your jar file is at: C:/Program
set CLASSPATH=.;C:/Program Files/java/jdk1.6.0_01/lib/mysql-connector-java-5.0.6-bin.jar
java YourJavaFile
That’s all. But it won’t work if you’re trying to run code in Netbeans.
Set Your Project’s Classpath in Netbeans
If you’re using […]

Got Supplementals? Accepting PageRank is Only The Beginning

Nowadays, supplemental results aren’t much of a mystery anymore to most people. As Matt Cutts replied to Michael Martinez at Seattle SMX, people know all they need to do is to get more “quality links.” The answer is so simple, so easily digestible that I’m starting to see people answer supplemental threads with just three […]

How Will People Find Your Site If Search Engines Didn’t Exist?

Summary (for people who don’t have time to read blogs all day. We should be building stuff instead of bitching about Google, yeah?): If you depend on Google to survive, your site sucks. If your site gets the same level of traffic from Google a day but your daily visits isn’t rising, your site sucks. […]

Stop Blowing Money on Text Link Ads

Not all paid links (don’t forget to read the update) are easy to detect, but if you think Google can’t detect blatant schemes like Text Link Ads you’re dreaming. They stick out like a geek on American Idol because:

Anchor text targets money terms. Anchor text like “buy viagra”, “car insurance”, and “search engine optimization” are […]

If You Lack Motivation, Read This

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm. - Winston Churchill
Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. - Oscar Wilde
There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path - Morpheus, The Matrix
If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what […]

Google’s Motives Are Selfish - So Are Yours and Mine

As Graywolf said, Google’s motive for cleaning up the SERPs is self-serving and revenue-driven. Robert Scoble explains in more detail:
Why does Google care? Well, Google’s relevancy rankings will be hurt if people can buy their way onto their pages instead of earn their way to those search results pages by doing the best content, etc. […]

21 Reasons Why Anti-Nofollow SEOs Can’t Think Straight

Paid link buyers and sellers are nothing but black hat spammers (though you’ll never catch me saying spamming is right or wrong - to quote Vlad from Max Payne 2, “you have to do what you have to do.“). Now I’m hearing alot of regurgitation going on, so I compiled a list of 21 major […]

Why Does 302 Its Home Page?

Why did drill a 302 into their home page? And why does the redirect dump me on this cryptic, Google-unfriendly URL:
No wonder is beat by .edu spam for “buy viagra.” It seems the company opted out of hiring a competent webmaster (no you don’t need an SEO to figure out redirects). Or is […]

Why in Elvis’ Name Do I Blog?

Michael Goldberg tagged me. I was also tagged earlier by SEM Zone and I even wrote a response but I forgot all about it. UPDATE: JLH and John aka Softplus also tagged me. John says I’m not revealing enough about myself, hmmm…
So, should I post a serious reply, try to be funny like Wayne Knight […]

Proof is in the SERPS - Overestimating Domain Authority, Take 2

In my previous long-ass post titled Free SEO Course - Overestimating Domain Authority, I dared to outrank Peter Da Vanzo from V7n blog for the keyphrases “free seo course” and “seo course.” More than anything, I felt like challenging a slick sound bite that - while holding a morsel of truth - distorted the […]

Matt Cutts Defaces Dark SEO Team - or Does He?

Yesterday, you probably noticed Matt Cutts’ blog supposedly defaced by the Dark SEO team (ya know, those guys who have all those fake TBPR pages up), as reported by Search Engine Land in a piece titled Matt Cutts gets hacked.
The Dark SEO Team has had a bit of a beef with Google’s Matt Cutts […]

Free SEO Course Offering Expert Training - Overestimating Domain Authority

If you ever paid for an SEO course run by an expert SEO training you to conquer the Intarweb, you’d be taught what you’ve known all along - that the two major factors Google uses to rank a page are relevance and value.
(Hey, if you decide to skip reading this long-ass free expert seo course […]

How Do 6 SEOs Miss The Obvious?

I used to spend some time looking at sites people posted up on Google Group Webmaster Help as a form of recreation. I enjoyed looking at real examples instead of listening to assertions on WMW people could not back up. So when I read Search Engine Journals 6 SEOs-of-caliber write their take on, I […]

YouTube Taking Down More Music Videos

Looking to download videos from YouTube for free?
1. Download a free FLV player from
2. Go to
Pretty simple huh?
So I woke up today to find out YouTube’s pulling more and more music videos. Out of 20 videos I bookmarked (yeah I know, not a whole lot), around 16 of them are now gone. It […]

Why Duplicate Content Causes Supplemental Results

Nearly a year after I had my tentative say about supplemental results, my thinking on what causes supplemental results has shifted away from duplicate content and moved more toward lack of inbounds and internal PageRank distribution, as Matt Cutts recently stated that PageRank is the primary factor in determining supplemental results.
Back around May 18, 2006, […]

Results Don’t Always Say They’re Personalized

Aaron Wall and Graywolf reported that Google is turning off personalization notification:
In the past they typically placed a turn off personalized results whenever your results were personalized, but now they do not disclose when they are personalizing the results - Aaron Wall
If Aaron’s correct that they are increasing personalized search and turning off notification, and […]

Long Tail De Jour: what’s the point in adding more pages to my site if google doesn’t index them or puts them into the supplemental index?

A couple days ago, someone hit my site with this longtail:
what’s the point in adding more pages to my site if google doesn’t index them or puts them into the supplemental index
Crazy, long huh? :) When I start talking to myself, my friends start to worry. When I start talking to Google, I need a […]

SEO Myth: There is No Duplicate Content Penalty

This is probably old news to black hats, but I often hear people say “there’s no duplicate content penalty.” Newbies worry they’ll incur some kind of penalty for having identical copyright text across 100 pages or something, and other people like me jump in to alleviate their fears: “Google doesn’t penalize duplicate content; it filters […]

Sex Blogs Tank Over Christmas - Matt Cutts Responds

Just an early morning post about a Boing Boing post titled Google “disappears” sex blogs? Something’s broken. For the main dish, you can go read their post, but I did find an interesting trail left by Matt Cutts on Comstock Films comment section, dated Dec. 27, 2006:
Hey, I’m an engineer at Google. I just wanted […]

Happy Holidays Guys

I’m still kinda irked at myself for not buying myself a PS3 this Xmas, but I guess I’ll get over it. Anyway, I hope you guys are having a great holiday.
The real reason I’m posting though, is I was looking through my traffic tracker log tonight, and I saw another hit on this page I […]

WMW Google Bashing Over Reciprocal Links

Some people over at WMW are going ballistic over Stephanie’s recent article on Google Webmaster Central Blog about “non-earned” links, titled Building link-based popularity. These guys who, I guess, pay their bills by swapping and buying links are miffed over the thought of losing their Google ranking and are shooting the messanger. A big chunk […]

Blog Tag: Five Things You Didn’t Know about Me

Thanks alot John for tagging me so I can spend my Sunday morning in front of a computer - before the sun even has a chance to rise :D Here’s five things you didn’t know about me and would have never ever guessed:
1. I never got drunk, smoked cigs, or did any drugs till I […]

Still Plenty of Loopholes in Google’s Paid Link Detection Algo

Warning: I’m just rambling to get a free link on Google’s blog. Why do I want that? Cuz I’m bored? :)
There’s not much new in Google’s recent post, Building Link-Based Popularity, in which Stephanie Ulrike underscores Google’s increasing ability to find and devalue artificial links. Matt Cutts has mentioned it during the release of Big […]

Why Google Will Not Move Away From PageRank

Recently, I’ve got a little flak in Google Group Webmaster Help for coming down hard on people in the “Google is broke” camp. Basically, some of them were upset that the supplemental index was based heavily on PageRank because Google’s PageRank paradigm is broken and unfair:

Google may misread the intent of a link. For example, […]

A Quick Update: AJAX/PHP/MYSQL and Google Stealin’

Just to let you know if you’re reading this blog, I’m working on a non-SEO-related script right now and I’m won’t be really posting for another week or two (Stop reading here if you’re not a Javascropt geek).
What kind of script is it? Well, like other scripts I wrote, its mainly for my own use, […]

“PageRank Doesn’t Matter” is Now Officially an SEO Myth

Back in August, after having fixed my 99% supplemental site to the point where duplicate content could not possibly be an issue, Google nonchalantly stuck my original pages back in the supplemental index. At that point, I claimed the existence of a PageRank hurdle preventing supplemental pages from getting back into the main index:
On […]

NSFW Reddit is No More

Just a few minutes ago, I noticed reddit dropped If you haven’t already, you can read a loooong thread about it posted 13 days ago here. Why did they kill NSFW Reddit?

Lack of community compared to regular reddit.
It was never intended for porn: “Our intention for nsfw.reddit was for adolescent humor that, when on […]

Adam Lasnik Posting More Often?

I’ve been taking a break from SEO for the last two weeks, instead spending more time working on my own sites, writing up project plans for the next few months, working on a possibly groundbreaking SEO script, and doing a few SEO consulting on the side.
Though tonight, I couldn’t sleep, so here I am at […]

Hack: Installing Rel=Nofollow in PHPAdsNew

If you use PHPAdsNew to serve ads on a relatively low FBPR (foolbarPR) website and your site is suffering from supplemental problems, installing rel=nofollow on your ad links is a tiny tweak that will help tighten your internal links and get some pages back into Google’s main index:
around line 366 in libraries/, just before these […]

SEO Surgery: - Banned Without a Clue

This morning, I saw a guy on Google Webmaster Help asking why his domain is banned. Sure enough, site: query returns no results. According to domain tools, was created back in 1997 with 2 DMOZ listings and 3 Y! Directory listings. A site: command on MSN, though, turned up this cache page (dated 10/20/2006) […]

Wackiest Google Site Command Bug I’ve Ever Seen

Google’s site: command’s been acting up lately, and Googlers are working feverishly day and night I assume trying to fix the damn thing on various Datacenters, but check this out. While running a site: command tonight, I came across this bizarre SERP:

Googe site search returns ginormous serp snippets
Here’s the search url I used (broken in […]

Matt Cutts: PageRank Primary Factor Determining Supplemental Results

I was going to write a long post about this Matt Cutts quote, but I think it speaks for itself.
PageRank is the primary factor determining whether a url is in the main web index vs. the supplemental results.
I predict many seasoned SEOs and newbies alike will dismiss his statement. Firstly, PageRank doesn’t matter, right? Or […]

Google Docs Gone Bad - Google, Fix the Tags

Google Docs tags aren’t working right now, which means all the new articles you write in Google Docs will end up in a big disorganized pile of whatev, and you get to go back later (when tags are working again) and clean up the mess. This may not be news to you if you never […]

Lost and Grey’s Anatomy on My Google Calendar

We all read Google blog’s recent announcement about a new Google Calendar feature that lets you add web content events, like “weather forecasts, moon phases, and even Google doodles.” Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t care about all that, though holidays on my calendars I’ve already added. What I desperately need are TV […]


In a response to John Battelle’s recently released interview with Matt Cutts, Danni Sullivan asks Matt:
Matt, in the interview, you suggest that Google now views meta robots with a nofollow value as being the same as the completely different nofollow attribute, in terms of flagging links as not trusted. Is that now the case?
Matt’s response:
Danny, […]

SEO Surgery: Monx007

I’ve been spending the last couple weeks checking out posts in Google Webmasters Help. One thing that these posts keep hammering home to me is the fact that there’s a huge gap between what’s being posted on SEO forums and reality in cases where either people are not allowed to link drop or they choose […]

SEO Quotes of the Week September 6, 2006

Some memorable quotes I came across so far this week in SEO forums and the blogsphere. None of them may be revolutionary or news breaking, but they resonated with me and hopefully with you too.
the reason some did not believe it for a long time is that — as is true with so many […]

Gotta Love The Web

Hey, I just made a brand new tape. It could definitely be my stairway to riches and fame. And for your information, I hit the low notes better than Danny. I kid you not. So if I go head to head against him on American Idol, look out!
You betta lose yourself in my music the […]

Supplemental Cache Refresh Revisited

After the recent supplemental cache refresh, more than a few webmasters asked: “why are my perfectly structured, original content pages still supplemental?” and “Do I have to wait another 12 months for Google to get it right?”
We fixed our META description tags. We got rid of thin content pages. We installed 301 redirects and even […]

Google Engineer Toys with 64.233.187.whatever

At the risk of sounding like another SEW echo chamber post, here’s a recent Googleguy quote (now a random Googler dude, or is it Matt Cutts pretending to be a random Googler dude? You be the judge) regarding recent reports of backlink updates on several DCs:

It’s Brett’s decision to call something an update, but I […]

Long Tail: “how many words to make page unique google supplemental”

I figured I’ll serve the public occasionally by answer a few questions people are arriving here with, including this lengthy one: “how many words to make page unique google supplemental.” I know these questions will probably bore the hell out of most readers, since they’re un-news-worthy and fall under the beating-a-dead-horse unbrella, but hey, a […]

Reactive Blogging

A few years ago, I used to play America’s Army Online, a squad-based shooter developed by the U.S. Army. To me it’s a thinking man’s game, where aim and luck has less to do with winning than exploiting the elements of surprise and forcing your enemy’s next move.
Never underestimate the element of surprise. Repeating yourself […]

Supplemental Index Fuzzier Than Ever

On and other DCs, the supplemental pages cache dates no longer go all the way back to Aug 2005. But the new “system” makes it even harder to tell why a page is listed in the supplemental index, because now you’re required to jump over at least two major hurdles to break out of […]

Google Video Still Keeps its Hands Off Pornographic Material

Philip Lensen reported a few days ago that “Google Video now* allows you to upload adult videos.” (with the added disclaimer that he’s not sure if the feature is new.) As Jimmy Ruska points out, the “Adult/Mature” option is not new; in fact it’s probably been there from the get-go. UI may have changed, but […]

Robots.txt Not Cumulative

Yesterday, gs1md wrote a meaty post on WMW regarding how Googlebot responds to robots.txt containing directives for both User-Agent:* and User-Agent: Googlebot. Both Googleguy and Vanessa Fox dropped by to clarify the situation: When you use both specifications, Googlebot will go with User-Agent: Googlebot.
Related links:

Google Webmaster Help:robots.txt
Google Webmaster Help: How Do I Block Googlebot?

GoogleGuy Announces Radically Fresher Supplemental Index

Earlier this morning, GoogleGuy announced a supplemental index facelift:
Okay, I believe most/all U.S. users should see radically fresher supplemental results now. The earliest page I saw was from Feb 2006, and most of the ones that I looked at averaged in the ~2 month old range.
As data gets copied to more places, the fresher […]

Vanessa Fox and Susie Bright Mingling at BlogHer?

Earlier today I read Susie Bright talk about “the elephant in the Blogher living room”, so I was somewhat surprised to just find out Vanessa Fox was also there. That they have two completely different take on the convention is obviously a no shocker. But it doesn’t hurt to run a little comparison, does it? […]

Google Guy, Matt Cutts, Vanessa Fox, and Adam Lasnik in One Thread?

In the last two days, both Vanessa Fox and Adam Lasnik made cameo appearances in the second installment of WMW’s Google Webmaster Communications thread. Now that’s Googleguy, Matt Cutts, Vanessa Fox, and Adam Lasnik all in one thread. Is this for real? Reading reseller greet them (”Its inspiring and a great pleasure to see our […]

Matt Cutts Releases SEO Video Quickies

Perhaps as part of an extended response to his recent cameo appearance on a WMW thread started by Reseller, Matt Cutts posted three videos answering questions asked previously on The Simple Life, er Grabbag Friday. Here’s the cliff notes:

Does updates of sitemaps depend on page views? Matts: No, page views isn’t really a factor when […]