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June 26, 2006

Weekend Update: Search Wishes & Promises

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So much news in just two little days:

ClickZ reports that MSN adCenter is running an ad in the New York Times that promises site owners a 57 percent higher conversion rate than Google and a 48 percent higher conversion rate than Yahoo. The ad pictures a little girl and her dollhouse and reads, “She found your furniture ad on Google”.

Is the point that even though a five-year-old can find your ad doesn’t mean they’ll convert? Without seeing it, I’m somewhat confused by the juxtaposition. I may have to go buy myself a copy of the Times later.

JenSense shows us why you should be careful what you wish for. While some sites may be having a difficult time getting their pages indexed, three friendly Yahoo! Search Marketing spiders visited one of Jen’s blog entries 83,000 times over a 24 hour period, soaking up 3 GB bandwidth on a single page. Hopefully the bot isn’t as friendly to smaller sites that would be unable to handle such a jump, because you know, that could be a problem.

After Google’s very public problem with sub subdomains, a friend of SEO Scoop spent two hours creating a bot to dig out spammy sites to see if Adam and his team had really fixed the problem. What did he find?

“Approximately 10,902,060 pages of spam spread across 157 domains, each with a minimum of 5,000 pages indexed in Google. The “vast majority” of these domains are less than 2 months old, with some as recent as 4 days… 75 of the domains have greater than 55,000 pages indexed, which was about the number of pages that the original domain was said to have. 26 of them had 3-5 times that number of pages.”

Yowsa. It’ll be interesting to hear MiniMatt’s response to this one. Hopefully it’s not, “we are aware of the problem and are fixing it right now”.

An eye-tracking study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group found that users have “banner blindness” and tend to ignore bright, flashing banner ads and are more apt to look at text advertising. Southern California is also expected to have a warm summer.

The Catawba County School has been granted a temporary injunction against Google alleging conversion and trespassing after a Google spider “hacked” into a restricted area, “grabbed information they shouldn’t have”(including students’ Social Security Numbers and test scores) and “posted it on the Interweb”. Huh? In what world can a spider enter in a username and password? This sounds like The Spider of Doom all over again. I say someone either left something open or posted a link where they shouldn’t have. You can’t blame Google.

One of John Battelle’s readers discovered Google isn’t returning results for “”. Weird. A bug? Or “a bug”? Or perhaps it’s because when you type in in your address bar it redirects you to an alternative URL. Either way, an interesting find.

Now, normally when I come across nuggets like this I giggle to myself and tuck it away for Friday, but this is just too fun. Barry found a dress up Matt Cutts Web site where users get to have their way with one of our favorite Googlers. I think you’ll agree the superhero outfit is definitely the best. If only there were matching glasses…


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