Category Archives: internet news

One Way to Spot Blackhat SEO

With the quake in Haiti, there’s been a massive outpouring of interest in Google trends, as some want to see the extent of the damage, some looking for friends/loved ones, some looking to help in any way they can.. and then there are the not so noble.

The black hatters, the spammers, those who embed code within pages to trick you into thinking that you’re clicking through to an agency wanting to help in light of the crisis, when all the website is really designed to do is.. well who really knows? It could be to silently install malware on your computer, it could be to just accept your information to build a saleable database of peoples names and numbers. The pages will only be findable in the engines SERPs for a short time, before they are actively removed, but some will still click on them under the false pretense that they’re helping the victims in Haiti.

Black hat SEOs are in the business of generating bursts of traffic, to targetted pages. They’ll use every trick, scam, and loophole that they can to either steal information, install malicious software, or what not. So how do you know what a genuine link is, and isn’t? Well first off and foremost, if you truly want to help just visit www.redcross.org and follow their links to lend your aid.

But how to spot a blackhat link, and a genuine link? First and foremost, before clicking any link returned on the SERP for “haiti earthquake donation”, seeing as it’s a very hot trend at the moment, check the specific URL (written in green, at the bottom of the description) before hand. Take for example, the American Red Cross’s URL and description for their site currently :

American Red Cross
Earthquake in Haiti. Posted in Press Releases, 01/14/10 … See larger map by visiting mGive You can donate $10 to Haiti relief by texting “Haiti” to 90999. … www.redcross.org/

A well known agency & website title, intelligible description (not spammy), and the actual link being a .org, further lending to it’s credibility.

Now as for a blackhats spammy/scammy version:

Haiti Earthquake Donation
13 Jan 2010 … $250000 Donation to the Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Fund . Donate to help Oxfam’s emergency response in Haiti.Posts Tagged ‘ haiti earthquake …
www..com/index2.php?q=

The title reads that they have the noblest intentions, but the description text is very spammy, and adding the biggest red flag, the url listed at the end. A properly written URL wouldn’t contain “?q=” as part of the code. What that portion of the url does, is it acts as a redirect from the link you actually click. By clicking the above link you’ll be sent to who knows where, but it won’t have anything to do with helping those in need in Haiti.

Taking just a moment to read the expanded URL that is listed in the results, can save you immeasurable amounts of grief at a later date. In the end, black hat SEOs take advantage of the true victims, exploit people who genuinely want to help, and if they’re piggybacking a genuine website like above, it hurts their reputation online as well. All to give you a trojan/worm/virus to infect your system, and steal your personal information.

The numbers are in..

Google has published some additional demographic data on their search numbers, and they serve to prove that Google still going very strong, as the king in search. A few of their results are as such:

Google users in the US making more than one query per day: 7 out of 10

Google users in the US making more than 10 queries per day: 1 out of 7

Average amount of time it takes a user to finish entering a query: 9 seconds

Average amount of time it takes Google to answer a query: Less than 1/4 second

Number of search quality improvements made by Google in 2009: 540, ~1.5 each day

Google result pages that show a map in search results: 1 in 13

70% of US Googlers are making searches, and of those users 14% (1 in 7) of them are making more than 10 searches a day. Taking into account the size of the US population, that’s a lot of pages being crawled per day.

Throw into the mix that within 10 seconds (average) searchers get their results, you can start to appreciate the amount of work and stress that the Google data servers go through on a day to day, minute to minute basis. The proof of all of that work, is provided as well; quality improvments made per day. 1.5 improvements per day were made to make your results come up faster, and more relevant.

Local search has always been a key point for any business wanting to seriously implement SEO into their advertising and marketing plans. Taking all of the users searching in mind (70% of US searchers), generating and receiving a search every 10 seconds or so, out of all of those searches, 8% of them (1 in 13) have a Google Map location listed. So if you have a street address, and don’t have a Google map location, just get in touch with the Freshtraffic team to help you capture this lost audience.

It’s known through out the industry, organic search engine optimization is the best return on investment (ROI) form of online advertising out there today. But it takes time for your investment to mature and generate the traffic and interest you deserve to your website. The new year has only just begun, it is time to stop being lost beind poorly optimized, poorly coded websites and for Google to introduce you to the world. Let Fresh show you the way.

Mobile Search – The Next Level?

At the beginning of each new year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held in Las Vegas, where companies can show off their newest product. Whether it be hardware, software, home use, auto use, and etc, the newest and brightest can be found under their roof.

One of the early presenters, Ford, announced discussions that the company has had with Google, in regards to using it’s Android mobile operating system, for use in their new vehicles as it’s entertainment and communication platform, Sync, is compatible with it. It’s a very, very interesting idea, as Ford has lead the charge in customizing the digital techonology available in automobiles today. Their vision, drivers can customize their vehicle via apps saved on smartphones which plug *directly into their car*, run onboard systems (ie:Sync), offer turn by turn GPS, and hands free phone calls for starters.

Also considering being built into their vehicles, Ford pointed out their on board Wi-Fi system which provides wireless internet access to the passengers in the vehicle on 3G broadband products, like smartphones. Building a “Park only” available web browser into the vehicles software, just adds to the possibilities of convenience.

Imagine, being at home conducting a search on a product you’d like to buy. Upon reading reviews, and making your choice of which to buy, you learn of a local business which sells your desired merchandise. Plugging your smartphone into your computer, you download the map/gps directions to the store, as well as the phone number, just in case. Hopping into your car, you plug in your smartphone, and begin your trek, following the directions saved by the GPS app on your phone, you reach your destination, make your purchase happily, and go home to enjoy it.

A car, powered by a Google OS, assisted by apps on a smartphone, can direct you precisely where you need to go, everytime. And, the car, can call the destination hands free, if you need assistance. And how about adding another twist to the mix, with Google unveiling their own smartphone at CES this year.

More and more.. it’s a Google world.

The end of SEO?

Doom and gloom! SEO is dead! Google won’t care about your effective optimization anymore!

Noise is being made by the little guys about Googles new display tendancy which is incoming. Google announced recently that they’re going to start displaying search results based upon each individual users history, irregardless of being logged into a Google account or not.

A basic rundown of how it’ll work:

User searches for “blue suede shoes” and gets their results, for arguments sakes we’ll just call them A, B, C, D, E, representing the top 5. In that showing of top 5, based upon the descriptions given, they decide that C, is most relevant to their purposes, and click on that link and browse that site. Now, should that person search for “blue suede shoes” again, the rankings may look more like this: A, C, B, D, E. Google will assign a tad more authority to the previously clicked link, specifically for that user.

Does this mean all of a sudden that all SEO is worthless? Quite the opposite really, if anything it’s more important now than ever before. If your site isn’t engaging enough, or relevant enough to be listed initially, why should a user click through to your site?

Having the quality, building up your authority, being relevant, now more than ever proper optimization; both on and off site, is exceedingly important. There’s no time like the present for a Fresh start.

Fresh Traffic Group – SEO Services Experts

Search engine optimization experts, Fresh Traffic, has an entire toolbox of SEO services in which to assess, and address any and all of your websites woes. An initial consultation by Fresh would look somewhat like the following:

1) Initial breakdown of your website: We’ll deconstruct your site, and decide from a look at some key points as to whether or not your site is hindrance or not to your efforts. If, worst case scenario, your website is an issue, we have a team at Fresh which is trained in building sites with search optimization in mind.

2) Content: We’ll work over your content with you, pointing out solid phrases and determine your keywords with you. After our due diligence, we’ll work with you to mold your content, pictures, text, etc, until you become a prime authority in your niche.

3) The Fresh edge: Where the real work comes in, the team here at Fresh will monitor your site, using in house technology and methodology will address issues which may rear their head to try and stop your inevitable climb in rankings.

The team at Fresh Traffic, has been in the SEO biz well before SEO (search engine optimization) was a buzz word in the advertising field. Google was a dream in a Stanford basement, and Internet Explorer ruled the Internet browsing world. Fast forward 15 years, SEO is on the lips of every intelligent marketer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, are all synonymous with browsing, and Google is getting ready to take over even more of the world with their promises of their foray into the telecommunications market.

Where will we be in another 15 years? Drinking water from the moon perhaps? One thing is for certain, the world *will be* online, in an ever increasing desire for knowledge. And Fresh Traffic will be there, ever at the forefront of search, whether it’s real time, or semantic, Bing, Google, or what ever new engine should decide to come take a bite of the cash cow that is online marketing; Fresh will be there.

The year in Google

2009 was a big year in the technology industry. Live search was rebranded and marketed, Wolfram Alpha (remember them?) came online with it’s “answer engine”, and social media went another step up what with Facebooking and Twittering, blogging and real time results starting to make their way into your searches.

But seeing as Google is the big fish in the waters of the web, here’s a quickly compiled list of some of their advancements through out the year.

January
* Offline Gmail gets released with Google Gears
* Picasa for Mac released

February
* Google Latitude and search by voice for Android launch
* Google Sync for your mobile phone launches

March
* Google Calendar goes offline with Google Gears

April
* Google Profiles show up at the bottom of search results
* Updated mobile Gmail and Google Calendar webapps for iPhone and Android launch
* Google Maps mashup tracks swine flu
* GV Mobile makes Google Voice the default for your iPhone (later, Apple pulled this app from the iTunes Store for reasons that are still unclear)

May
* Engineers demo Google Wave at the Google I/O conference, give developers access to the Wave “sandbox”

June
* Google Apps Sync syncs Microsoft Outlook with Gmail, Google Contacts, and Calendars (updates with push Gmail in September)
* Google Squared puts your search results into a spreadsheet
* Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, and Talk leave beta

July
* FeedDemon, NetNewsWire sync exclusively with Google Reader
* Google announces Chromium OS (but doesn’t release any code, doctored screenshots and fan-made versions start popping up)
* Apple rejects all Google Voice applications from the iTunes Store
* Gmail Tasks graduates from Google Labs (where it first appeared in December of 2008)

August
* Gmail makes importing mail and contacts from old email accounts easy
* PubSubHubbub gets baked into Google Reader

September
* Google Wave Preview opens to 100,000 users
* GrandCentral closes its doors, transitions entirely to Google Voice
* Google Sidewiki launches

October
* Google offers voicemail storage and transcriptions for your existing phone number (part of Google Voice)
* Google Maps Navigation adds turn-by-turn GPS to Android
* Google Voice gives existing users invitations to send to their friends

November
* Chrome OS announced, Chromium build demo’ed and source code released (here’s how you can try out a Chromium build yourself)
* Google Chrome adds bookmark sync
* Google releases Go, a new programming language

December
* Chrome browser hits Mac/Linux with extensions enabled (Chrome for Windows left beta in December of 2008)
* Google’s new real-Time search includes Twitter streams
* Google Public DNS launches
* Google “lets the sun set” on Gears, moving to HTML5
* Google Goggles for Android searches the web by photo
* Google Favorite Places puts a barcode on restaurants and shops you can scan with your mobile phone

Look here, to read more of any of the above.

Googling for Real(time)?

Google announced it’s gone realtime, meaning essetially that if they think it’s worth you knowing what was said 10 minutes ago about what you’re interested in, they’ll share that with you!

“If high quality information is coming in, then we will show it,” said Amit Singhal, a Google fellow who heads Google’s ranking systems and oversaw the development of the new real time system.

Some of the information comes to you live from :

Tweets from Twitter
Content from Google News
Content from Google Blog Search
Newly created web pages
Freshly updated web pages
FriendFeed updateearch system
Content from Facebook and MySpace is promised

How the information ranked? Singhal said only information deemed highly relevant is included. So spammy tweets, low quality pages and other content might not make it into the real time search “layer” that is used. After that, results are ranked by time.

In the end, it’s going to make all of your social media concerns, more applicable in the SEO world. Become an authority organically, maintain quality content in the socail sector, and enjoy top of the hill rankings all around.

Google, indexing the world 1 page at a time.

Google has stepped up it’s bid in the quest to own the web, GoogleDNS is here. DNS servers are, in many respects, the backbone of the Internet. DNS allows you to type a domain name like www.senate.gov into a browser instead of a machine-readable IP number like http://156.33.195.33/. Google DNS will allow users to bypass their ISPs Domain Name Servers (DNS).

Google, being a huge ally in the war for net neutrality, makes throwing it’s hat into the DNS ring a bold move. Just like all software, hardware, or inteernet company, the bigger the concern, the harsher the scrutiny. The hand waving and doomsday prophesizing about Googles cloud computing capabilities anytime they have a hiccup being an example.

That being said, Google has made a couple of promises in regards to GoogleDNS. Google’s FAQ states they will only keep temporary logs and erase all the information it collects through the public DNS service within 24 to 45 hours. The company promises not to keep any information that is linked to IP addresses in its permanent logs. Just providing another option out there for those inclined to give it a swing.

Knowing the web, is about power. Those who know most, have the most power, and adding this feather in the Google cap, is just another tool in a wide assortment of available information collectors. As it stands now, who really knows the web better than Google?

One interesting.. concession that Google makes however:

..because nameservers geolocate according to the resolver’s IP address rather than the user’s, Google Public DNS has the same limitations as other open DNS services: that is, the server to which a user is referred might be farther away than one to which a local DNS provider would have referred. This could cause a slower browsing experience for certain sites.

In easy read, depending on where you are, your internet might actually get slower by using GoogleDNS, not faster.

2009 in Search

Google released their list this year for what was most popular in search. Some of the excerpts include :


Fastest Rising Search (Michael Jackson)
Fastest Falling Search (Beijing 2008)
U.S. Fastest Rising Searches by Quarter (Swine Flu #1)
Fastest Rising/Falling Searches on Google.com; Google News; Google Images; Google Maps; Google Mobile
“In the News Categories” like the All Eyes on the Senate, Keeping it Green, Bailout Nation, and More
That’s Entertaining (Entertainment-Related Searches)
Around the Home


In their blog post, Google talked about social media, music news this year, and in the fastest falling trends held some surprises as well.

So what has captivated the minds of searchers around the world this year? As millions of fans said goodbye to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson led the list of our top 10 fastest rising queries across the globe. And a new star was born, too — quirky pop singer Lady Gaga became a search sensation the world over. In addition to appearing on many regional fastest-rising search term lists, from the Czech Republic to Switzerland and Kenya to the United Kingdom, Lady Gaga also landed in the #9 spot on the global fastest rising list.

…the social web is alive and well. In a sweeping confirmation of the web’s ability to connect us, both Facebook and the Spanish social-networking site Tuenti appeared on the fastest rising searches at #2 and #3 respectively. Twitter also made our global list for the first time at #5..

A grouping of the fastest rising, and falling trends, can be found on Google’s Zeitgeist of 2009.

Googling the News?

Google had better watch out; their foes are starting to rally together. A report today has the tech blogs in an uproar about a possible Microsoft/News Corp pact. The agreement would center around Microsoft paying News Corp to remove their listings from Google. The idea being, this would give Bing an edge over Google, as they’d be the only major engine to have access to News Corp sites.

These rumors fit with earlier info about the media giant’s plan to de-list content from Google. However, adding in the possibility of a pact between Microsoft and News Corp turns the de-listing from a business measure, to a direct attack on Google. While the talks are in an early stage, the rumor is that Microsoft is also talking to several other major content providers to ask them to de-list from Google.

Microsoft’s Bing holds nearly 10% of the U.S. search market. While they haven’t been able to pull any users out of Google’s hide yet, this could represent a major turning point. If MicroSoft can convince major content providers to leave Google, Bing could gain substantial ground on Google.

Will this new plan work? News Corp, and many other news media sites, are working to make all of their online content ‘for pay’. However, a recent survey showed that 80% of customers will not pay for online news. It’s very possible that this pact would just seal the death warrant of several old media dinosaurs. Google has already stated that news content is “not a big part” of their revenue.

If News Corp pushes the fracture between new and old media, it’s definite they’ll learn just which form of content distribution the mass of customers prefer. Sites like the Wall Street Journal have proven that paying for subscription services can work, but not for the bulk of news media sites. Refusing to adapt and pulling away from changing trends won’t save the old titans of media, and trying to cheap shot Google by getting newspapers to de-list won’t make Bing popular.