15 Feb 2013

Schmidt on Google’s Bias, Intel’s Orwellian TV, and More: Your Weekly SEO Community Update

forum-featureThis week our roundup of notable threads in our SEO communities will answer your questions, confirm your suspicions, make you laugh, make you paranoid, and generally keep you entertained. You’ll get everything from practical tips to hilariously controversial comments about…well, just keep reading.


This week we learned that what we knew all along about Google giving its own content preferential treatment in its results is true – or did we? And we also saw just how much money talks when it comes to journalism.

  • Everyone is buzzing over former Google CEO Eric Schmidt apparently confirming what many of us have long suspected: the search giant privileges Google+ content in its searches, giving it priority over other content. Brian Turner was not surprised; “For years, Google has been on the road of just providing more and more Google content…making Google less useful.” But TheRealBoydo picks a nit here, noting that the relevant quote may have been misinterpreted. Google ranks information tied to “verified online profiles” higher than content without verification – but what exactly is a “verified online profile”? “This could mean anything…ranging from a strong backlink profile, public DNS records, company registration information, non-link citation and to/including/ any mix of social media profile verifications,” TheRealBoydo notes.
  • Want to know what the real bias is in journalism? It isn’t left or right; it’s profitability, as Aaron Wall’s infographic shared here makes clear. It lays out exactly how and why newspaper sales have declined, as well as the results of the fallout from Panda, and the advent of “factory line journalism.” It also covers why this matters so much. As Kurt James notes, “Aaron is the man when it comes to calling out the ‘big business’ free pass in Google.”

SEO Chat

SEO Chat remains the place to go to get your SEO education. This week, among many other topics, we examine whether to use WordPress or go with a custom build for your website, and how to handle banner ads.

  • There’s a lively discussion on whether it’s better to use WordPress or make a custom website. Members are looking at it from the SEO angle, of course, and considering issues such as how dynamic the finished site will be. Dororai notes that it “Depends on your programming skills. If you’re a programmer you can create a custom CMS that’s entirely seo friendly. If you’re looking for an easy solution go for WordPress, as there are already lots of well built SEO plug-in that are going to help you optimize your site very quick.” NathanielB likes WordPress a lot because “from a blogging point of view it has everything I need…” but, noting that the original poster seems to need a shopping cart, “I would NOT recommend wordpress simply because I have tried to use a couple of shopping plugins for WP and not found them to be very good.” How has your mileage been? Join the discussion!
  • And our long-time members give a hand to a newbie with a question about advertising. If you’ve ever wondered why banner ads with links typically aren’t an issue for Google, here’s your answer: the links in banner ads are usually made “no follow.” As dzine explains, “Google doesn’t mind ‘paid links.’ They just don’t like it when paid links pass ‘PageRank.’” Indeed, as SEO_AM notes, “Any backlink, banner ad or not, that is paid for should have a ‘nofollow’ tag to be in compliance to Google’s TOS.”


This week on Cre8asite you could find thread to entertain as well as enlighten. News from Intel offered food for thought, especially for those of you familiar with literature or of a paranoid bent; meanwhile, if your popularity extends beyond your native language, don’t worry, Google understands.

  • Thoughts turned Orwellian briefly as one of our administrators noted that Intel will soon be unveiling a TV that watches you. “Even George Orwell was unable to foresee that the invasion, subversion, and resulting tyranny would be led by corporate marketing departments…” iamlost commented. But EGOL put things into perspective: while he usually finds long commercial breaks really annoying, “…if they were commercials about products from companies that I like I wouldn’t mind as much.” In fact, he noted that “If I see a commercial that sells a dart gun (rubber suction cup darts) I will probably buy it immediately. I can keep the gun loaded beside my couch to shoot at the TV during those noisy pig commercials. I wonder if they sell them with high capacity magazines?”
  • There’s a nice little discussion going about duplicate content in other languages. If you’ve gained a certain amount of visibility for writing online in your area of expertise, and you really know your stuff, you’ve probably run across this yourself: some sincere fans want to translate what you’ve written into another language and publish it on their website. How does Google feel about this? DonnaFontenot stated, with the usual caveats about how Google tends to change its mind, that the search engine “doesn’t mark same content in different languages as dup content.” And jonbey cautioned that this would probably work as long as they do not do auto translate with Google; he figures they’re smart enough to detect it. But he added that if you have fans who want to translate your content and use it on their site, “You could charge them a fee, set up a contract” and make some money from the deal.

  • Webmaster World

    Finally, our members over at Webmaster World took a unique view of potential “uses” for Google’s disavow links tool, and examined the bizarre lawsuit Facebook just got slapped with pertaining to patents surrounding their “Like” button.

    • A discussion of some possible implications from the Google disavow links tool has caught fire to the point that they’re talking about it over on Threadwatch, too. It started off with the idea of charging websites $5 for the “privilege” of linking to your site and not getting disavowed, and went to over 120 comments from there. One commenter likened the approach to SEO blackmail. It might not be intentionally hilarious, but it’s hard not to smirk when reading the “blackmail letter” in one of the comments on the first page of the thread!
    • Also, members reacted with a bit of bewilderment over the news that Facebook is getting sued over patents pertaining to their “Like” button. One of the moderators, Mack, admitted that “I don’t understand the concept of a patent regarding a button. I can see reasoning for some sort of protection surrounding the logic that occurs when a user clicks it, but not on the concept as a whole. Maybe I should try and patent the ‘submit’ button.” Sgt_Kickaxe explains the issue quite well in just a few sentences, while skibum jokes that “I’m going to patent the ‘want’ button and sue FB and anyone else who tries to use it.”

    That’s all for this week. Until next time, stay chatty!


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