Google suggests that it might be worth your effort to request to have links removed that are pointing from low grade sites to yours. The easiest way this can be done is by searching the site for a “Contact Us” page, email address, or a phone number. If none can not be found then a Whois search can be performed. A Whois search will typically return the contact information of the site owner. Sometimes site owners block their contact information with a private registration. If that’s the case, then it may be possible to pass a message to the owner through the hosting company.
Of course if it’s not easy to contact the owners of the sites linking to yours, then it might not be worth the time invested. On the Google Webmaster Central blog, they suggests that efforts be made towards having links removed; however, if there are sites less than desirable linking to yours, Google does offer some reassurance by stating that they have 200 factors when it comes to determining relevancy in the search results. I don’t recommend investing time towards contacting site owners requesting the removal of links. Instead, I suggest investing time towards increasing the number of higher quality links pointing to your site.
Controllable things are another thing that should be taken into consideration. Once again, Google points focus on their design, content, technical, and quality guidelines. Google implies that they understand that certain things fall outside your control. With that, explain that emphasis is given things that webmasters can control such as having a well maintained site with high quality and original content with an excellent linking structure. And I agree. I can’t think of a single popular site that I would consider to be a terrible site. I am sure they exist, and I am sure you can leave a comment pointing me to a few; but all in all, in my opinion, all popular sites I have seen, fall within these guidelines.
My advice to site owners is to maintain a clean, high quality, and organized site that genuinely interests people. Don’t invest time into removing low quality backlinks and only invest some time into high quality backlink molding. I think it’s more important to spread awareness about your site, instead. If people like what they see, then they’ll come back many times over, and also they’ll link to it as well. Additionally, encouraging people to share information is very helpful too.
So what do you think? Do you think that it’s worth your time to remove low quality backlinks? What about spending time towards backlink molding? And what about time spent marketing and promoting your site? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Last month, Yahoo! unveiled the new and improved Yahoo! Search. One of the key elements of their new and enhanced version of search claims to give users more control over the results they see by allowing users to filter results by website. Consequently, offering control to advertisers is something Yahoo! wants to deliver as well. They are doing so by including sponsored ads in the filtered search results.
With Yahoo!’s new search page, users can search for various keywords and phrases, and then refine the search results by clicking on the names of sites that appear on the left side. These sites appear based on what other people have found useful in the past. When users click on these featured sites, the results are then filtered to display results only from that particular domain.
How that works with advertisers is when a user selects a site that is also a sponsored search advertisers, that advertisers’ advertisement will be displayed again in the new set of results. The advertisers will only pay if the user clicks on the ad. All in all, the advertisers still receive the same opportunity to receive clicks prior to any filtering. However, advertisers whose sites show up on the left side as a filtering site option will receive futher opportunities to receive clicks.
I like the idea of Yahoo! displaying sponsored ads in filtered results. Doing so creates a very strong opportunity for advertisers to experience an increase in CTR simply because once a users has applied the site filter, ads are going to be displayed to more relevant traffic, and existing there is far less sponsored ad competition.
Some people might question the amount of exposure the filtered ads will receive. I have to say that I think having the navigation options on the left really increase the awareness of the features being available. I think advertisers might find that they’re getting pretty good exposure, clicks, and qualified leads for the money invested. If you’re interested in advertising online, advertising on Yahoo! is something I would consider looking into.
Using Google Search options allow results to be filtered in a number of ways. The search options available are: All results, videos, news, blogs, books, forums, and reviews. Within that, you can also filter by: Any time, recent results, past hour, past 24 hours, past week, past year, and specific date range. I offer a positive review of this update. As an iPhone user, I have to say that Google is one of the only companies who I feel is really taking full advantage of the high-end mobile market. It’s obvious that millions of people have iPhones and other high-end mobile devices, and yet, it surprises me not to see other companies taking advantage of that.
In my previous article, I had mentioned that there is SEO value in knowing how Google search options can filter search results. Now that these options are available for mobile search, coupled with the fact that Google also released a new version of AdSense for high-end mobile devices, optimizing your site for mobile users is especially important, especially if you’re participating in the Google AdSense program. All in all, not many bloggers or webmasters are taking full advantage of the mobile market. Climbing the ranks in mobile search results is quickly becoming more of a vital source towards overall traffic. At least that’s the case when I check my own personal stats.
In my research I have noticed multiple users asking that Google focus some attention to the BlackBerry and Windows Mobile market. As a former BlackBerry Curve user, I can say that surfing the web using this device was a little less than desirable. While my opinion for BlackBerry users is to upgrade, I do know that Google does have a very nice Blackberry Mobile App available that might interest you. That said, take a moment to check your stats. Compare them to last year and I believe that you’ll see a significant increase in traffic from mobile users. Seeing this for yourself, I think you’ll also agree that more can be done towards capitalizing on the mobile market even further.
Towards the end of September, Google unveiled the Google Docs Viewer, a program which allows bloggers and webmasters to quickly embed PDF files directly in web pages or blog posts. Google has taken this new PDF viewing functionality a step further by bringing it to search. (#1, #2, #3, #4)
As you may know, in the past, Google has been returning PDF files in search results for some time. On these instances when PDF files are returned in results, Google offered the “View as HTML” option, which proceeded to render a web page displaying a HTML version of the PDF file.
Example of a PDF File Embed using Google Docs Viewer
This feature was helpful because it saved the end user a step from having to load a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader. Sometimes the HTML pages would fail render correctly. Many times the formatting of rich text and proper alignment of images and graphics would be altered. Because of that, Google worked to include the same PDF functionality available in Google Docs Viewer and deliver it to search.
The result is called “Quick View.” With Google “Quick View” users are now able to view PDF files directly from the search results without losing any of the original formatting. More importantly, there is no longer a need for using programs such as Adobe Reader.
Yesterday Google released a new version of AdSense geared for high end mobile phones. The news of this event was broadcast across four of their official blogs, two of which completely duplicated the content. (#1, #2, #3, #4) Ironically, Google also released a new parameter handling tool which helps publishers avoid duplicate content issues. More about that coming soon. At any rate, publishers and advertisers have a brand new, high end mobile phone optimized version of AdSense to work with. And I have to say it looks great.
Google created the new version of Adsense for high-end devices because of the rising number of people using them. High-end mobile phones such as the iPhone are equipped with full HTML browsers. The iPhone for instance has special mobile version of Safari installed. Sites that utilize AdSense for high-end devices will have more control over how the ads appear to high-end device users compared to the displaying ads for all phones.
Careful consideration may need to be taking towards choosing the right device to target. Google explains that if your site is written in xhtml or html and primarily targets high-end phones, such as iPhone, then choosing the High-end Devices Only Code is ideal. However, if your site supports a wide variety of handsets then server side scripting may be required, thus choosing the All Phones option will be best.
No code changes are required to be implemented. That means if you’re targeting all mobile devices, or if you’re not able to make mass changes to your website, then you’re not required to update your AdSense code. Instead, the standard mobile version AdSense ads will appear. However, and once again, if you’re wanting to take full advantage of this enhanced version of AdSense, then making efforts towards updating your code is recommended.