Google bug reveals favored web sites

January 9th, 2005

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A couple months ago I shared one of my Google secrets, since that secret no longer worked. ;-) Specifically, it was how to obtain a list of the most important web sites according to Google.

Now, surprisingly, this little trick appears to work again (it stopped working in 2003), thanks to a bug introduced into Google’s algorithm. Two months ago, a search for http would have revealed results like HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Overview and Welcome! – The Apache HTTP Server Project. Today, these sites appear nowhere near the top of the results. Instead, the top results are occupied by a “who’s who” list of highly important web sites — sites that don’t include the word http anywhere in the text of the page.

As already noted by blogger Nathan Weinberg, this same phenonemon occurs when you search for www.

One thing I found curious is that http and www Google queries return different results. Now these results are NOT in order of PageRank score, at least not the PageRank scores as revealed by the Google Toolbar. You can verify this to be the case yourself simply by using SEO Chat’s PageRank Search tool. Indeed, it’s a well-known fact within the SEO community that the PageRank scores served up by the Google Toolbar servers are not the actual PageRanks used by Google in the ranking algorithm. PageRank debate aside, perhaps this list offers us a (now) rare glimpse at some of Google’s Chosen Ones — the most important sites on the Internet according to Google.

What makes me say this is due to a bug in Google? For one thing, these results are NOT relevant to the search query. Secondly, I’ve uncovered another bug newly introduced into Google’s algorithm, namely that the inurl: query operator does not work properly, and I think these two bugs might be related. For an example of this second bug in action, search Google for site:blogs.msdn.com scoble inurl:msnsearch and the top search result is currently blogs.msdn.com/mikehall/archive/2004/11/10/255417.aspx. Note there’s no msnsearch in that URL!

I’ve compiled a list the top 1000 results for each of the two queries for your convenience. You’ll see, they do vary quite dramatically:

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Verizon’s SuperPages.com signs up Netconcepts

December 23rd, 2004

Originally published in Scoop

US telecommunications giant Verizon already has 5 million pages in Google and 7 million pages in Yahoo! but Netconcepts President Stephan Spencer says there is room for improvement. It is all about making sure every page is indexed by the search engines as his company devotes six team members to the job.

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Super advantage for SuperPages.com

“We felt that Netconcepts’ understanding of search engine rankings would give Superpages.com a distinct advantage over other online directories.”

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Web firm wins search engine deal

December 7th, 2004

Originally published in New Zealand Herald

Verizon’s Superpages.com may be #1 in the search engines for online shopping, but Netconcepts feels there is room for improvement. The company has scored a deal with the US telecommunications giant to improve its rankings in the search engines.

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Maximizing Your “Natural Search” Channel: SEO That Really Works

MarketingProfs virtual seminar series — online (webcast)

November 18th, 2004

Webcast by

Imagine an online ad that costs you nothing per impression, guarantees both a local and worldwide audience actively seeking your products and services, and offers 6 times the click-through rate of a banner ad… a search engine listing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the ultimate targeted, low cost and high return weapon in the e-marketer’s promotional arsenal.

Learn how to maximize your reach through the “organic” (unpaid) results in the search engines:

  • Which search engines to target
  • Keyword research tools and tactics
  • Writing copy that “sings” to the search engines
  • Benchmarking against your competitors
  • Link building strategies that work
  • Optimal search engine architecture
  • Best practices to emulate
  • Scams exposed
  • Case studies – including the “inside scoop” on what worked and what didn’t
  • Making your e-commerce or database-driven site “search engine friendly”
  • Measuring the return on your search engine marketing investment
  • Developing a search engine marketing plan
  • Criteria for selecting a search engine marketing agency
  • Online tools and resources

Hiring experts brought results

“My job is to make my boss look good, and when SecureWorks hired Netconcepts for SEO I expected them to make me look good – and they definitely did.”

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How to Build Links and PageRank – Part 1

November 2nd, 2004

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Links are important to Google, Yahoo and MSN in determining where your site is placed within the search results. The more links, the better you will do.

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How to Build Links and PageRank – Part 2

November 2nd, 2004

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There is a tactic called Google bombing whereby linking to a site with particular words in the link text can get a site highly ranked for those keywords in the search engines, including Google, Yahoo! and MSN. One of the most famous Google bombs was George W. Bush’s biography page …

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How To Write For Search Engines

November 1st, 2004

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In order to start writing for maximum search engine visibility, you need to start thinking like a search engine.

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Choosing an SEO Vendor

November 1st, 2004

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SEO vendors shouldn’t be judged on “gut feel”. Effectively separating the wheat from the chaff requires that objective rather than subjective criteria be used.

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