Google Site Command Clarification & Bug Fix

On the Webmaster Central blog, Google has made some clarifications on how the site command works. By adding excluding the www in front of the domain you are doing a site command search for, you can include subdomains in the results.

A search for www.site.com returns URLs that begin with www and a search for site.com returns URLs for all subdomains. (So, site:google.com returns URLs such as www.google.com, checkout.google.com, and finance.google.com).

To demonstrate, site:www.marketingpilgrim.com returns 3,110 results and site:marketingpilgrim.com returns 3,180 taking into account the subdomain jobs.marketingpilgrim.com

Unfortunately, if your site either purposely or through bad planning has non www pages indexed such as http://domain.com/page.html, then those pages will not be returned in the www search and you cannot get an accurate reading of your main domains index. You will either need to fix the issue through a 301 htaccess rule or through the Google Webmaster Central backend.

Google Listing Duplicate URLs in Site Search

There have been some funky things going on with the site: command at Google lately. Last month the “Results 1 – 1 of about 260 from domain.com” started popping up for many sites across the web. Some speculated this was due to increased duplicate content filter settings but I personally believe it’s a bug. Now I just noticed something new.

Doing a site command search for Snowboarding Land returns the exact same URL twice. See the screenshot below.

ScreenHunter_07 Mar. 02 11.17

With most sites I would have never noticed such an occurrence because they are too large but since this site is has only a handful pages these listings jumped off the page at me. Doing an allintitle search for that page title returns only one result. That is what leads me to believe this is a site command bug.

Yahoo Releases Support for NOYDIR Tag

Yahoo has come through with it’s promise to release a no Yahoo directory meta tag much like the no ODP meta tag.

Many webmasters complained that the title and description given to organic search listings when a site was listed in the Yahoo directory affected click through ratios and rankings. Now they can opt out of Yahoo using the directory information.

The format for the meta tag is:

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOYDIR">

or

<META NAME="Slurp" CONTENT="NOYDIR">

Yahoo noted that to make these changes effective there would be an index update. Full information is available on the Yahoo blog.

Linking to Partners is Not Selling Links

Since when is listing a company on a web page who is part of a true partnership program, paid or not, considered selling links? Since never, that’s when. But some people like to make a stink about anything they can find.

Conversion Rater blogged about Google linking to companies who are part of a paid partnership program that Google has. They titled the article “Google Selling PR7 Links For $10,000!“. An obvious piece of bait to say the least.

A blog posting some link bait doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is Google’s reaction. Matt Cutts put in a work order in response to the blog post and within hours, the page containing the links is PR0 and no longer passes rank.

Federal Court Says Bloggers Not Responsible for Comments

The ACS is reporting that a federal court has reaffirmed both bloggers and forum operators cannot be held liable for comments posts made by their readership in blog comments.

Examining the impact of Sec. 230 on this case, the court noted that “Congress intended that, within broad limits, message board operators would not be held responsible for the postings made by others on that board,” adding that allowing bloggers and message board operators to be sued for the statements of commenters on their sites would have an “obvious chilling effect” on speech. Accordingly, the court dismissed the complaint against Lycos.

This is definitely a victory for the little guy who cannot afford to fight off legal action from large corporations trying to have comments removed from blogs.

2007 SEMPO Board Announced

The 2007 SEMPO Board of Directors has been announced and the newly-elected SEMPO Board of Directors for 2007 is:

Chris Boggs, Avenue A/Razorfish
Massimo Burgio, Global Search Interactive
Fionn Downhill, Elixir Systems
Dave Fall, DoubleClick Inc.
Duane Forrester, Sports Direct Inc.
Sara Holoubek, Free Agent Consultant
Gordon Hotchkiss, Enquiro
Bill Hunt, Global Strategies International
Kevin Lee, Did-It
Jeffrey Pruitt, iCrossing
Tanya Rietze, Hewlett-Packard
Dana Todd, SiteLab
Dave Williams, 360i

SEMPO is becoming more corporate by the day it seems. I would have never dreamed of seeing someone from Hewlett-Packard on the board. Whether going corporate is a good or a bad thing, only time will tell.

Oddly enough I could find no mention of this info on the SEMPO site, but the full release is on Search Engine Land.

Google Testing Tabbed Adsense Ads?

Stanley Shilov is reporting the sighting of a new tabbed ad format for Adsense. The ads have three tabs for searches, web pages, and videos.

Screenshot #1
Screenshot #2
Screenshot #3

The ads are different in two distinct ways:

* They are tabbed. The three tabs deliver different content, titled Searches, Web Pages, and Videos.
* Two of the tabs have links that lead to Google search results and to Google’s Videos page, as opposed to the standard contextual ads that lead straight to the advertiser’s page.

From the looks of the ads, they may be a replacement for the default charity ads shown when Google decides it has no relevant paid advertisements available to show. As these don’t seem to be PPC links the question becomes, will Google pay for these clicks?