Thursday, July 08, 2004

Call the tune, I think it's over

Yesterday was July 7th.

That was the final day for the Nigritude Ultramarine Challenge. As I suspected would happen, Anil Dash won the prize.

Why?

Did he have the best keyword density? No.

Did he have the highest PR? No.

Did he have the most links to his entry? No.

Did he have the most "expert" pages pointing to his page? Yeah, he did. Although there will undoubtedly be gadzillions of theories as to why his site won, my personal belief is that this was the reason.

What about the experiment?

I did a little more checking today. By using the UptimeBot search engine tool, I found some possible unequal linkage to the different blogs in the experiment.

Possible link contamination:

Control A: Blo.gs

In addition, there are several search results from google in .ca, .au, .co.nz, and .co.uk that appear to be cached. I don't know if these "links" count towards PR. It is interesting that a search result is cached though.


So... my experiment is officially over. I will leave the other blogs as they are for the time being to see what (if anything) happens to the results in Google.

Nigritude Ultramarine Experiment Update 7

Just when I think I begin to understand Google, I think they change the rules on me.

Something that has been interesting to note is that I have looked at the caches of many different websites and it appears that Google is slower than normal either updating the caches or os slower spidering different websites. I don't have access to traffic information that shows when Googlebot shows up.

Where do the websites rank?

Yesterday morning the sites ranked as follows:

Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views: 339
Nigritude Ultramarine Control A: 283
Nigritude Ultramarine Control B: 387


This morning, this is how the sites rank:

Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views: 328
Nigritude Ultramarine Control A: 276
Nigritude Ultramarine Control B: 314


Now I'm beginning to think that my initial conclusions were wrong. The question I have to ask is, are the differences in the rankings now significantly different? I am statistically challenged so, I'm not going to be able to tell for sure. My thoughts are they are probably not.

But then, why do these sites that are so similar rank as far apart as they do?

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Collecting Blogger Bios

Is it a blip? Is it a trend? Will blogger bios become common?

Steve Garfield has picked up and created his own Blogger Bio for his Blog, Off on a Tangent. Steve is noted by Time Magazine for possibly creating a new trend in "vlogging" (video blogging) which could some day supplement/surplant broadcast mediums.


Steve Garfield’s Blogger Bio: Steve uses his blog, Off On A Tangent, to put up links to hot girls, pop culture, television comedy, and things that aren't right. Steve is a Boston based video producer and editor has one of the first video blogs and is leading the charge to make video blogging available to everyone.

Nigritude Ultramarine Experiment Update 6

The blogs rank as follows this morning:

Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views: 339
Nigritude Ultramarine Control A: 283
Nigritude Ultramarine Control B: 388

This is interesting because this is the first time that Control A has surpassed the original blog. If you will remember, I took the term Nigritude Ultramarine out of the anchor text of the original blog to see if it would do anything to the ranking. Obviously the ranking has bounced around since then.

Although there hasn't been a whole lot of time for the rankings to settle down, I believe I will put the term Nigritude Ultramarine back into the anchor text of the original blog to see if that does anything with the SERPs. Of course, the contest ends tomorrow, and with it I assume many links to various websites will start to be removed. We will have to wait and see if this causes too much fluctuations to get a good idea what is happening.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Carnival of the Capitalists

This week's Carnival of the Capitalists is hosted by Peter over at pc4media... that is, if he made it back from France on time...

[edit:added]

Peter Caputa’s Blogger Bio: Pete uses his blog, pc4media, to network with cool people, to get the word out about new innovations in the online software space, get feedback on his ideas, and to evangelize his event promotional and social networking company, WhizSpark.

Seems Peter has taken to the idea of Blogger Bio's... ;-)

Nigritude Ultramarine Experiment Update 5

The updated Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views is cached with Google.

As of this morning, the sites rank as follows:

Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views: 267
Nigritude Ultramarine Control A: 293
Nigritude Ultramarine Control B: 387


What does this tell us? That's a good question. The thread in Webproworld is now showing up as a backlink to all three sites. So, that might explain why they have all improved in the rankings. But it doesn't explain why the two controls have separated. One of the things that has been consistent is that the two control blogs have ranked very near each other. We'll have to see if these rankings settle out over the next day or so.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Nigritude Ultramarine Experiment Update 4

As of this morning, the three sites rank as follows for the search term "nigritude ultramarine":

Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views: 355
Nigritude Ultramarine Control A: 591
Nigritude Ultramarine Control B: 590


It seems that the blogs are settling into these positions.

After some discussion at WebProWorld, I have decided to take the term "nigritude ultramarine" out of the anchor text of the original blog to see if that does anything with the SERPs.

Of course, we'll have to wait a few days for the site to be spidered again before we see any changes.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Nigritude Ultramarine Experiment Update 3

If you're not familiar with my experiment, go to this post for a refresher.

I checked the SERPs positions of the three blogs in my experiment this morning. Here is how they rank:

Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views: 351
Nigritude Ultramarine Control A: 588
Nigritude Ultramarine Control B: 587

Fascinating!


Do outbound links improve a website's (webpage) ranking with Google?

The initial findings of this experiment seems to indicate that it does.

Initial conclusions:

For a webpage that is designed to meet the definition of an "expert" page as defined by the Hilltop paper. I find that:

A. "Expert" pages (pages with outbound links) may get a scoring boost in Google.

B. The search term must be in the anchor text of the outbound links in order to obtain the scoring boost. ("Expert" pages that point to the same sites without the search term in the anchor text do not receive any additional scoring boost.)

C. "PageRank leakage" did not seem to make much difference between Control A & Control B. Both blogs were extremely consistent in their scoring.


Possible flaws with the experiment:

1. Unequal inbound links.

2. Unknown "other variable".


Note to readers: I didn't really conduct this experiment to prove a point, rather to test a theory. I believe in the axiom that more eyes are better. Please feel free to comment on any flaws or other possibilities that you may see.

Thanks.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

My Blogger Bio

If you like something that I've posted and would like to reference it in a post of your own, please feel free to add my Blogger Bio to the end of your post so that your readers can get a better feel for who I am.

My Blogger Bio for this blog is this:


Mike Lauher's Blogger Bio: Mike uses his blog, Junk Drawer, to put aside useful, interesting things he finds on the internet. In his other life, Mike works for Soy Capital Ag Services which offers professional farm management and Illinois farms for sale.


Copy and paste the following html code for the above Blogger Bio:

<b>Mike Lauher's Blogger Bio:</b> Mike uses his blog, <a href="http://michaellauher.blogspot.com/">Junk Drawer</a>, to put aside useful, interesting things he finds on the internet. In his other life, Mike works for Soy Capital Ag Services which offers professional <a href="http://www.soycapitalag.com/">farm management</a> and <a href="http://www.soycapitalag.com/index.cfm?show=30&mid=16">Illinois farms for sale</a>.


Thank you.

Blogger Bios

Have you ever read a post that references another blogger and wondered, "Just who the heck is this guy/girl the writer's talking about?". Sometimes when I follow the link I have to hunt pretty hard to get an understanding of who this person is or what they do.

It leaves me thinking... Wouldn't it be nice, if in just a few short sentences, you could get a short summary or bio about the person that was mentioned?

Bloggers should offer a Blogger Bio that other bloggers can copy and paste to the end of their post. It should be something that gives readers a little more insight about you. But it can be more than that...

The added bonus, if you're someone like me and blogging isn't your primary occupation, is the chance to put in a plug for your business or company. By offering a Blogger Bio, you have the opportunity to get links to your business in addition to the one you get to your blog.

For example, my Blogger Bio would look like this:


Mike Lauher's Blogger Bio: Mike uses his blog, Junk Drawer, to put aside useful, interesting things he finds on the internet. In his other life, Mike works for Soy Capital Ag Services which offers professional farm management and Illinois farms for sale.


But of course, this doesn't copy and paste the way I want it to. So, following the instructions on this very useful blog that offers HTML tips and tricks, I can provide my Blogger Bio so that it looks like this:


<b>Mike Lauher's Blogger Bio:</b> Mike uses his blog, <a href="http://michaellauher.blogspot.com/">Junk Drawer</a>, to put aside useful, interesting things he finds on the internet. In his other life, Mike works for Soy Capital Ag Services which offers professional <a href="http://www.soycapitalag.com/">farm management</a> and <a href="http://www.soycapitalag.com/index.cfm?show=30&mid=16">Illinois farms for sale</a>.


This is something they can easily copy and paste to their post.

Offering a Blogger Bio is an easy way to obtain more links to your company or business website. Of course, it's up to each individual blogger how they want to reference your blog. Some may use it, others may not. But they definitely wont use it if its not available to them.

Blogging SEO Club

Peter Caputa over at pc4media has come up with an interesting idea for networking bloggers to help promote each other's businesses.

Peter has mentioned that he occasionally slips in terms like event promotion, event planning, and event marketing into his blog to help his company improve with search engine standings. Obviously, if you've been following this blog, this is something I think could be quite beneficial if you're angling for Google.

But, there is only so much a person can do with just one website/blog. Through the power of networking, bloggers can help promote those sites they believe benefit the community.

Peter's idea of an SEO Blogger Club, could be likened to a virtual Rotary or Lions Club. That is, businessmen/women getting together to strengthen their ties within a community.

It's a great idea and I hope it gets off the ground!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Nigritude Ultramarine Experiment Update 2

Googlebot spidered Junk Drawer again yesterday.

I've rechecked the SERPs of the three blogs in the experiment. As of this morning, they rank as follows:

Nigritude Ultramarine News & Views: Not in top 1000
Nigritude Ultramarine Control A: 598
Nigritude Ultramarine Control B: 597

Why is News & Views in the top 1000? My guess is that the Control B blog tripped the duplication filter. I checked to see if the News & Views blog is even in the the total results and it is. But, it's relevance is very low.

So, I have rearranged the wording on the Control B blog to see if I can bypass the filter. We'll have to wait until Control B is spidered again before I expect to see any changes.

More waiting... science is an art for the patient.

Carnival of the Capitalists

Martin Lindeskog hosts this week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists on his Ego blog. Interesting reading, to be sure. Check it out!