Tag Archive: Google Search

J.C. Penney

Image by Michael R. Allen via Flickr

JC Penny’s situation is fairly common—black hat techniques are used to exploit a loophole in Google, but Google eventually finds the loophole, patches it, and applies a (search) penalty to the exploiter, usually knocking them well down in search rank so that they don’t get as much traffic.  What was remarkable is how well JC Penny was able to pull of this stunt, and how widespread and effective they were able to make it.
The story of all this, I heard about from a friend, and then was able to find reference to in an online news source… It looks like they had a huge number of incoming links from other sites.  Remember how I mentioned link-building?   But, it wasn’t a genuine natural process…it was something fake/forced, which though not illegal benefits only JC Penny, and not the larger crowd that Google is trying to service (in other words JC Penny wasn’t actually being good high quality contributors to get those results, they were just finding a shortcut)…now they disavowed their involvement in this process…but I’m not so sure.  There was a slightly scandalous viral video that was circulating (and got a lot of exposure) with their name on it, and they disavowed it too.
We don’t know, but it’s possible that this was a carefully orchestrated gambit—knowing how much traffic was out there in the holiday season, and weighing that against how little traffic there is available after the holiday season.  Maybe they just knew that if they could even get a fraction of a percentage increase in traffic during the holidays for their online sales, it would far outweigh any penalty Google could impose in the post-holiday season when there’s so little traffic to be had anyways.  That’s the wager you have to make when doing black-hat stuff—usually short term gains vs. long term stability.

Marissa Mayer

Image by jdlasica via Flickr

Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience at Google — interviewed by TechCrunch.com about the Google Instant new feature:

Legal Executive

Image via Wikipedia

As per our last blog post on Google Instant, the new trial feature on Google that gives right-away results predictively while you type does seem to be lending us some new curve-balls in the field of search-engine optimization.

So this will have some interesting ramifications for search engine optimization (s.e.o.) when you consider that results for partial searches (short tail results) will show up before those for complete searches (long tail results). Here’s an article about the impact Google instant will have on the lawyer and legal community.

lowercase "g"

Image via Wikipedia

Google.  Ever wondered if there was another way to get there or to modify your experience when you’re using it?  At a recent birthday party, I ran into a young man who shared with me, out of the blue, two seemingly “useless” but interesting applications of web-front/redirect pages.  Here are two of them—plus another one I had in my idea-hopper which also dealt with “how Google looks when you use it.”

Here’s a list of the three.

1. Gewgle.com. This is perhaps the most useless of the three—but did you know you can get to Google.com by typing in Gewgle.com?  That’s web redirection for you.

2. Blackle.com.  What’s that all about?  Well, apparently you can visit this site (or others like it, such as Darkle, which is part of the larger Shikle.com website which offers Google to you in a variety of colors) you get to enter a sombre haunted-house feeling version of the search engine you’re likely to use most often—all I mean by that is that it’s black, instead of eye-searing (though friendly) white.  As of this post, the Blackle.com site claimed that it had saved “2,051,678.337” watt-hours of screen-energy.  I suppose that’s one advantage.

I suppose that there are some accessibility advantages with Blackle.com and Shikle.com, as different color schemes can work for various seeing-impairments and vision eccentricities.  A friend with vision-impairment, actually legally blind, set his laptop to a green on black color scheme for optimal reading capacity, and high contrast.  (He may have also been into the Matrix, but don’t tell him I said that.)

3.  So, getting away from colors a little bit: Goosh.org.  I found about this from a computer repair technician who happened to be doing a temp-job with me—he was using a repair tech site called “tech-nibble.com” which I should probably note later.  Anyways, it’s a sort of funny (sort of sad) portal for Google that allows you to avoid the shame of having to appear to appeal to the commonest-search form for information questing: asking “Dr. Google” but rather appear to be doing some unknown high-tech, back-end computing query… It makes it appear that you are working directly in the “command line” while you area actually searching Google.  In other words, until you actually click through on a site, a client quickly glancing at your screen will think you’re up to some technical wizardry that they couldn’t do yourself.  Not that I’m into deceiving clients—but there may be some other possibilities out there for using this “Google shell.”

So, those are some fun thoughts on how to search — and search engine “shells” you can use.

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