Archive for bing

Bing disavows links, how about it Google?

Bing Links Disavow ToolNegative SEO is the ability of a third party to influence the rankings of another website strictly through links. Typically that third party is a competitor and typically they are trying to add as many spam links as they can to trip a filter and get their competitors website penalized by the search engines. This tactic raised it’s head when a couple of SEO guys attacked a well-known keyword research guru and shared their results online. The results were staggering and really exposed a hole in the linking aspect of search engines algorithm. Coincidentally this also occurred about the same time the Penguin Update was released by Google. Out of this controversy came conversation on not only does this tactic really work but also what are website owners to do if it happens to them? More specifically how does a website owner remove links that are out of their control?

Well, Google’s initial answer was TOUGH, it’s your website and you should be more award of links that point to your site and you should also remove any links that point to your site if it violates their guidelines. This stance softened a bit when the webmaster community cried foul and so Google then said well do the best you can, document it and communicate with us. In the meantime they still penalized websites that violated their guidelines.

Now I ask, how fair is that? We have a client that was a victim of Negative SEO. They had for years had front page rankings for their main terms and those rankings were obtained by total white hat tactics. After Penguin they disappeared. Upon investigation we found several hundred links that were 100% spam and were purchased, in our opinion, strictly for the purpose of hurting them. It worked and this is how we found out about Negative SEO.

To gain the good graces of Google back we did everything to remove the links, we were met with very minimal success as a majority of the websites linking to them had no/bad contact info and those that did have good contact info just did not respond. We developed a very detailed report for Google, submitted it and were told it wasn’t good enough. We tried again to get those links removed and maybe were able to remove 1% of them, got bounced emails, one email saying we had hacked their website and no answers to any phone calls we placed. Again sent this information to Google and again were told it wasn’t good enough. So we tried once again and the results were the same, now we’re waiting to hear for the third time.

What would be an easy solution to the folks who have had Negative SEO applied to their websites? How about the ability to disavow links? You log into your Webmaster Tools (Google) or Bing Webmaster and download the links they say you have pointing to your website, find those that you did not gain yourself and tell Google or Bing to ignore or disavow them. Simple, right? Evidently it is for Bing but not for Google.

Bing rolled this feature out the end of June and Google? Nothing! They would rather you suffer the consequences of a dirty competitors actions than make their job easier. I tried the feature this morning in Bing and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was. I downloaded links to a website, found 1 that we didn’t gain and although it was a legitimate link it was of really no value, I told Bing I disavowed it by entering it into a field and clicking a button.

Google, you have been the front runner when it comes to webmasters and communication but on this you have failed miserably!

What? There are other search engines than Google?

Yes, there is search engine life beyond Google.With 80%+ share of the search market it is easy to just think Google when talking about search engines. So I thought it might be of some interest to the non-internet marketing person to talk about some of the other search engines that are out there today.

  1. Bing – (formerly Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search) has an 8%+ share of the market and is a product of Microsoft. Bing also supplies both paid and organic search results for Yahoo. Microsoft has had several attempts at the search game (note the three previous incarnations above) with very limited success. While Bing does offer many of the same features and functions as Google, their growth to date has not reflected a “home run” for the brand.
  2. Blekko – Launched in 2010, blekko’s growth had been slow until this year when as of March they had experienced 350%+ gain in unique visitors. Known for the slashtag, blekko has become very popular with the SEO community due to the SEO tools they provide.
  3. Volunia – An Italian search engine (English users welcome) which just launched in June of this year separates itself from other engines by not only crawling and indexing but using comments and opinions of others to build their rankings.
  4. Ask – You’ve probably seen their ads on TV prompting you to “ask a question” using their engine. Around since 1996 (originally called Ask Jeeves), Ask.com is more of a question and answer engine than a true search engine but it can function as one and does generate traffic to websites.

Now there are many more foreign and specialized search engines around but my intent was not to supply comprehensive list just one that would make you think outside the Google. If you need help optimizing your website to perform well in search engines, we have the experience and expertise to do so.

Microsoft to buy Yahoo? Again?

Bing / Yahoo Partnership to be Permanent?It appears Microsoft’s feelings weren’t hurt too bad when Yahoo spurned their overtures in ’08. So says the WSJ reporting the software giant, who has repeatedly stumbled in the paid search arena, is putting together a proposal to buy the once dominate internet property.

One could assume the motivation is simple, instead of partnering to achieve the second largest search marketing outlet online, buying would allow Microsoft to obviously hold all of the cards, not only in profit but business strategy as well. Considering the missteps Microsoft has made over the years in trying to “crack the code” as it relates to a viable, sustainable search marketing business, the purchase of Yahoo would only guarantee they get a established presence.

Is it now Google VS Apple?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from the Apple board of directors. On the surface this could be another business announcement like thousands of others everyday. Underneath the surface this could be a bigger indication that the real battle Google is going to have to fight is not with Microsoft or Yahoo but instead is with Apple.

Several products from both are clearly in competition including:

  • Mobile – The iPhone is now being challenged by smartphones using Googles Android system.
  • Browser – Google’s Chrome since it’s release has beaten Apples Safari in market share
  • Operating System – While Google hasn’t released their new Chrome OS one could call it a potential rival to Mac OS X

I don’t think Google is not looking at Microsoft & Yahoo as competitors, I do think they have Apple in their crosshairs.