Things I missed the week of 11-19-07
[blows off dust]
No, no, don’t unsubscribe; the blog is back in action this week. Because I’m a dedicated little blogger, I opened up a bunch of tabs while enjoying airport WiFi and gave myself some in-flight reading material. Here are the stories that caught me eye from last week. They’re new for me so maybe they’re new for you too!
Google: Shared IPs Just As Good As Dedicated IP
Last week, a Google representative confirmed what Google has confirmed many times before, stating that Google doesn’t care if your site is on a dedicated IP or if you share your IP with a bunch of different sites. There is absolutely no penalty.
No, there isn’t a penalty, but there are plenty of benefits that come along with placing your site on a dedicated IP. We recommend it to our SEO clients, not because we want to make their lives difficult, but because it’s important to your search engine optimization efforts that your site resides on a fast server in a good neighborhood. Matt Cutts and the other assortment of Googlers can confirm all they want that there’s no penalty for not being on a dedicated IP, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s clearly stated in the Google Webmaster Tools that the speed of your server does matter.
And really, for a few bucks of month (which is what it costs to get an IP on a sparsely populated server), isn’t worth the investment? We think so.
Google Switches Out Video for Products
Philipp Lenssen was first to report that Google had removed the Video link from its home page navigation and replace it with a link to their Product search. The video link has been banished into Google’s dropdown menu. What say you, smart move or not?
I’m going to have to go and say no, it wasn’t. I’ve heard arguments that Google made the switch both because video is no longer exciting to users and because they’re prepping for the holiday season. That last reason has some merit until you realize that most searchers probably don’t even notice those navigation links in the first place. They simply head to Google and type in their search. How many people really have the foresight to select the search vertical they’re interested in? Um, not many.
I think it may do more harm than good, only because people assume that if they do a search for [Nintendo Wii] that they’ll get product results back. They may not know, however, that if they do a search for their favorite artist that a video will appear on the SERP.
If Google wants to help out with the user experience, they should insert a holiday human edit that has products ranking higher in the search results than they normally do. Let’s see those Universal Search features in action.
Who Has the Better Blog Search: Google or Ask?
Barry Welford started a thread over at Cre8asite commenting on how powerful Ask.com’s Blog Search is, arguing that it’s filling a Google vacuum. I love Ask but really? Is it really filling a Google vacuum?
Personally, I think both blog searches need some work. If I had to commit myself to using one and only one, I’d probably go with Ask, but I’m not exactly jumping up and down on the couch over how fabulous they are.
As it is now, I use both Google and Ask’s blog offerings in combination (with a little Technorati thrown in). Doing it this way ensures that I’m not missing anything, since both engines have their quirks. Google is top dog when it comes to indexing speed but their index is chock full of spam. Ask takes a little longer to get things appearing in the index, but when the content is there, it’s relevant and better and smelling like roses. The other pet peeve I have with Ask’s Blog Search is that it doesn’t associate my name with the Bruce Clay blog the way Google does. Perhaps that’s a vanity quirk, but it bugs me just the same.
How about you? If you had to promise to love and cherish one blog search engine for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
Other Fun Finds
VentureBeat tells us that Zoho released an online word processor that lets users edit their work regardless of whether they’re online or offline at the same time. See, now that would have been helpful while traveling. I need something to replace the always quirky Google Docs. At BlogWorld, I was mocked for still composing my blog entries in Word.
Eric Enge interviews Bloglines Eric Englemen, and they discuss lots of cool stuff. They don’t, however, mention the fact that their names are almost identical.
China may get the Ask.com experience in as little as two years.
And, just as expected, searchers went Black Friday crazy.