Natural Search Blog


Reach Local Scam Artists & Thwack ‘Em!

Have you ever been taken advantage of by a business, and wanted to get your due justice?  In most cases we may encounter generally bad service or unacceptable products from small businesses. But, in the worst cases, we actually get victimized by our friendly, local scam artists. It’s not just a matter of unsatisfactory service, but they willfully intended to dupe or cheat your or treat you badly!buy cialis

Reach Local ScamWith merely a bad service or product, we might push for a discount or refund, and write some negative reviews about a company at various ratings sites like Yelp. But, when it’s an actual scam artist, it becomes a question of how to reach them in the first place, and then how to do anything that they’d even feel.

In the local search marketing world, many of us have noticed a spate of bad actors who are setting up fraudulent business listings (perhaps even operating under bogus names), and once they’ve lured people into doing business with them, they abscond with fees in return for shoddy service or no service/product whatsoever. So, there are some basic issues around how they are operating with impunity, promoting themselves online (sometimes out-ranking bona fide established local businesses), and then taking consumers’ money with zero accountability.

So, here are some tips we’ve made to help you REACH LOCAL SCAM ARTISTS and even thwack ‘em!  You may not be able to get your lost time and money back, but you may get a little justice or you might be able to declaw these bad guys just a bit so they can’t prey on other consumers as easily.

Tips To Reach Local Scam Artists & Thwack ‘Em: (more…)

WSJ Comments On Idearc Bankruptcy & Verizon Culpability

Verizon & Involvement in Fairpoint Communications & Idearc Bankruptcy FilingsA few days ago, the Wall Street Journal’s Dennis Berman commented in his column entitled “The Two Sides of Verizon’s Deal Making” on whether Verizon might have some responsibility for the bankruptcies of Idearc, Hawaiian Telecom and FairPoint Communications. As you may recall, I posted an op-ed piece on the subject, Idearc’s Bankruptcy – Who’s Really Responsible? at Search Engine Land not long back, and now Berman’s take on the issue appears to hold a lot of sympathy for my position that Verizon caused the yellow pages company to fail shortly after it was spun off by requiring it to do so with an unreasonably high debt load.

Berman states that while the market in 2006 may’ve allowed Verizon to take billions in the deal divesting itself of its directories corporation, Idearc, he further states:

“It took too much.”

Will there be any consequences for Verizon’s throwing off these companies with unserviceably high debt loads? Burman reports:

“These things matter greatly to how state and federal regulators perceive the company. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Hawaii each are in an uproar over the FairPoint divestiture, with much of the ire directed at Verizon.”

In a brief video piece, David Berman debates the issue with Evan Newmark, who takes the opposite viewpoint that Verizon should not be held responsible for the performance of its divested companies. (more…)

Yellow Pages & Blog Payola

Ed Kohler, outspoken critic of YP industry, “outed” DexKnows.com for using Pay-Per-Post to increase links and associated PageRank for their site.

DexKnows.com logo

As you may know, Pay-Per-Post involves paying bloggers to write articles endorsing products, services or companies, and in this flavor it also involves using those posts to link back to the company’s site in order to help build PageRank.

The blog post is very thinly disguised payola – as Kohler points out, the blog is purportedly belonging to someone in Arkansas, while this post appears to be all oriented around providing keyworded links involving Pizza in Minneapolis through DexKnows. The blog has a large “payperpost” ad badge on it, too, and if you read through the articles, every single one seems to be engineered to sound like someone writing about random daily life incidents, but always with a couple of injected keyword links.

In context, it’s glaringly obvious that the blog is a paid posting. Kohler posts a comment below it, asking if it’s a paid post for Dex, and the author replies that she doesn’t “know who’s Dex”.

Kohler further pokes fun at Ken Clark, a yellow pages industry advocate, (more…)

Why avoiding meta keywords tag may be best

Around a year ago, Danny Sullivan did some great research on the Meta Keywords tag to determine which search engines are using it. He found indication that Google and Microsoft Live Search ignore it for keyword ranking (retrieval) purposes, while Yahoo! and Ask are apparently using it. With Google having the bulk of the search marketshare, and Yahoo possibly only using the tag to a limited degree, it would seem rather extraneous to continue using it for search optimization.

Cool-Metatag

Although his research was really pretty definitive in my mind, there are so many search marketers that have some sort of nostalgic devotion to the tag and who continue to obsess over it and insist upon using it. There is a sort of mentality that “if it might help, then I’m damn well going to use it.” (See this recent thread at WebMasterWorld where quite a few express this viewpoint.)

However, I see some compelling reasons to avoid using it altogether… (more…)

Privacy Policy Could Be Site Quality Signal

Privacy Policies & Personal DataSearch engines have increasingly gotten involved in protecting endusers from hostile and intrusive elements on the internet, and they’ve also become more active in internet privacy issues as consumers are getting more educated about issues surrounding data privacy. Ask.com has tried to differentiate themselves by being progressive about communicating their data retention policy and by enabling users to define how long data is retained, for instance, while Google has revised their data retention policy as well as worked to aggressively block or warn endusers about websites containing adware, spyware, and other exploits. Yahoo! even recently paired up with McAfee to assess and improve the safety of sites displayed in their search results.

One aspect of search rankings I’ve written about before is the theory of a site’s quality — a “quality score” very likely is applied by Google (and to lesser degrees, Yahoo! and Microsoft Live Search) to quantify how much they may trust a site for ranking purposes and for users’ safety. There are a number of factors which might feed into a site’s quality score (including Google’s human quality auditors’ scoring), and one major factor that could be used might be a site’s Privacy Policy. (more…)

Network Solutions Guarantees Search Engine Rankings

I received a note from Network Solutions today with the subject line of “Good Luck Isn’t a Guarantee – Getting Found Online Is”, promoting their search engine optimization services. Nothing remarkable in that, since lots of large hosting companies and related firms are pushing SEO to small businesses as another line of value-add services. However, what is remarkable is that they push this promotion out with a guarantee of top 10 rankings in major search engines:

Network Solutions SEO Guarantee
“Guaranteed Top 10 Rankings on Major Search Engines”

Now, if you’ve been around the search marketing industry very long at all, you’re probably aware that most of the guides for “picking the right SEO firm” or “how to choose an ethical SEO” recommend staying away from companies which guarantee rankings. For instance, check out the advice from Shari Thurow, David Wallace, MarketingProfs Thought Leaders Summit, and Chris Sherman. (more…)

Advice on Subdomains vs. Subdirectories for SEO

Matt Cutts recently revealed that Google is now treating subdomains much more like subdirectories of a domain — in the sense that they wish to limit how many results show up for a given keyword search from a single site. In the past, some search marketers attempted to use keyworded subdomains as a method for improving search referral traffic from search engines — deploying out many keyword subdomains for terms for which they hoped to rank well.

Not long ago, I wrote an article on how some local directory sites were using subdomains in an attempt to achieve good ranking results in search engines. In that article, I concluded that most of these sites were ranking well for other reasons not directly related to the presence of the keyword as a subdomain — I showed some examples of sites which ranked equally well or better in many cases where the keyword was a part of the URI as opposed to the subdomain. So, in Google, subdirectories were already functioning just as well as subdomains for the purposes of keyword rank optimization. (more…)

Recent Google Improvements Fail To Halt Massive Malware Attack

Various news sites are reporting that a malware attack was deployed in the last couple of days, apparently based entirely upon black hat SEO tactics.

Software security company Sunbelt blogged about how the attack was generated: a network of spambots apparently added links into blog comments and forums pointing to the bad sites over a period of months in some cases, enabling those sites to achieve fair rankings in search engine result pages for a great many potential keyword search combinations. The pages either contained iframes which attempted to load malware onto visitors machines or perhaps they began redirecting to the sites containing malware at some point after achieving rankings. Sunbelt provided interesting screenshots of the SERPs in Google:

Malware in SERPs
(click to enlarge)

And also showed some screenshots of some of the keyword-stuffed pages which apparently got indexed:

Malware site page
(click to enlarge)

I think it’s not at all a coincidence (more…)

Verizon Hijacks Mistyped Domains

I was stunned today to read this report by Martin Bosworth at Consumeraffiars.com on how Verizon is delivering up custom search results pages to fiber-optic users when they misspell domain names. Since I started working from home here in the Dallas area this Spring, I’d upgraded to Verizon’s FiOS service, so this change would affect me directly. Indeed, after a moment’s worth of testing, I see that I am being sent to a Verizon search results page when I type in a domain name that doesn’t exist:

Verizon Hijacking Mistyped Domains
(click to enlarge)

It’s not all that surprising that Verizon might do this, since they oppose net neutrality, but for users like myself, this is highly undesirable. I’ve been highly complimentary about Verizon’s FiOS service, because I’ve had excellent speed and high quality from it. I work from home providing expertise around internet technologies, so it’s vital that I be able to clearly experience the internet just as the majority of the rest of internet users out there, so having Verizon meddling with what’s delivered up to me is not cool.

If you all recall, another company did something quite similar to this back in 2003: Verisign previously did something quite similar when they abruptly launched their “Site Finder” service which (more…)

Resurrection of the Meta Keywords Tag

Danny Sullivan did a great, comprehensive examination of current status of the Meta Keywords tag, and his testing showed that both Ask and Yahoo will still use content in that tag as a relevancy signal. Both Google and Microsoft Live do not. His clear outline of the history, common questions, and contemporary testing of the factor were really helpful.

However, I think there’s still a case where Google may be using the Meta Keywords tag… (more…)

RSS Feeds
Categories
Archives
2013
Feb      
2011
May      
2010
Jan Feb Mar Apr
Sep      
2009
Jan Feb Apr May
Jun Jul Aug Sep
Oct Nov Dec  
2008
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Dec  
2007
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
2006
Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct
Nov Dec    
2005
Jan Feb Mar Dec
2004
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Other

web hosts reviews cheap web hosting reviews how to build muscle for women symptoms of depression in women painkiller addiction how to get rid of depression drug addiction