If you guessed that last week’s Google vs. Bing “copycat” saga was the main discussion topic on Sphinn, you’re right. There were several stories published that attracted comments and other activity, and a separate story about affiliate review sites was the most popular Sphinn story of the week among Twitter users.
Our “Discussion of the Week” captured the most comment activity with the question, Google vs. Bing 2011 Copygate: Who won?, but there was almost no agreement on the answer to that question. Commenters suggested Blekko, Bing, and “no one” as winners. And the comment of the week comes from Sphinn member Sean Ferguson of WellOnTop, who answered the question this way:
Google won for people who just read the headlines, or who don’t have a thorough understanding of the issues, technical aspects, or precedent. Google lost for anyone not in the above group, although I have a hard time saying that Bing “won.”
You can still join the discussion and say who you think won last week’s Google vs. Bing debate. Or check out the rest of the week’s popular stories on Sphinn, which are listed below.
- DOTW: Google vs. Bing 2011 Copygate: Who won? – Google accuses Bing of copying its search results. Bing calls Google's sting operation a "spy-novelesque stunt." Google fires back by calling Bing's search results a "cheap imitation" and a "recycled" version of Google's search results. Now that the dust is settling a day later, our "Discussion of the Week" asks a simple question: Who won … Google or Bing? (And yes, there are many ways you can take that question and run with it, so go for it!)
- Purchased Link Penalties: There’s No Time to Waste – Bruce Clay himself with a guest post that is probably the strongest caution against paid links that I've read to date.
- Google: Bing Is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results – From Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land: "Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings. Bing doesn’t deny this."
- Grow up Google! – Who is really copying who and who is most ethical? Is clickstream data valid and ethical at all? And why did Google chose to break the news now? Is it just another Google hoax?
- Bing's Thoughts on Search Quality – Bing's indirect response to Google's claims that Bing is copying Google SERPs.
- Some Insight on Affiliate Review Sites – Rae Hoffman-Dolan (@sugarrae) addresses how to handle negative reviews on affiliate sites with this post – but the information and advice applies to any site where product reviews are solicited. From the post: "… at a conference that someone asked me recently how someone should deal with negative reviews left by site visitors on affiliate review sites of merchants the site is an affiliate for. The person had mentioned that they had been deleting negative reviews of the products/services they were affiliates for as they came in…"
- 10 reasons you're not an 'advanced' SEO – A very effective rant by Ian Lurie that suggests the bar for "Advanced SEO' has been placed lower than it should…
- Hints of How Google May Rank Social Networks? – Regardless of if it's for their own network, external ones or both, it is always interesting to see how the Google geeks percieve the social sphere. Plenty to consider in this one.
- Blekko, Can I Please Have My Spam Back? – At the end of the day, I have no respect for a search engine that censors my results based notions of quality, rather than relevancy. It ceases to be comprehensive, it smacks of elitist righteousness and – most of all – decisions about the validity of content are being made on my behalf by people I don’t know.
- Internal Linking: The Benefits Of Great Information Architecture For SEO – Tony Adam writes, "Every time I write a requirements document for SEO, I make sure to address Usability and Information Architecture. I like to think that Google will reward sites that do have good Information Architecture because it is mostly always search engine friendly designs that support crawlability and indexing."
- After Just A Year, Even Google Surprised By Success Of Click-To-Call – Fascinating information coming out of Google regarding the success advertisers are having with mobile "click to call" ads.
Hot On Sphinn: January 31 to February 6, 2011
- A Natural Link Profile and Nofollow as a Ranking Factor or Signal – What is the significance of nofollow for link building and SEO? Should you care about the nofollow attribute at all or do only low level link builders waste their time dealing with it? Maybe you have to think of your link profile first and foremost?
- Domaining – Practical uses for domain strategies – How are you using domains to your benefit? Don't let that stockpile of domains just sit there, make them work for you! Practical tips on how to use domain strategies.
- How To Implement a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Process – Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a popular phrase – just look at the number people mention it on twitter in the last 24 hours (although some are for Croatia). But what exactly does it mean? Is it another buzz phrase that will take 5 years to evolve into anything? (CRM anyone?) Or is it a real phenomenon that will become a key online tool?…
- The Evolution of the Social Media Manager: Social Monetization Manager? – Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of this. However, the idea definitely got me to thinking and the fact that a giant media conglumorate is already going this route makes it worth sharing and discussing. From the article: "The next evolution of the social media manager position may very well focus on a puzzle piece that is largely missing in the social media strategy of news companies: monetization."
- Content Scraping: Prevention, Repercussions, and…Benefits? – The duplication of already-published content is running rampant online. Automatic scrapers will take unique published web content and copy it to publish on another website. This is to hopefully get the content indexed by the search engines so traffic will begin to flow to their website, eventually clicking on ads and other links published throughout the site or blog. When you discover scraped content from your blog on another website, it’s common to feel powerless and angry. However, there are many steps and actions that can be taken proactively and retroactively to decrease content scraping from occurring.
- I Worked on the AOL Content Farm & It Changed My Life – A fascinating "insider" look at life inside one of the leading "content mill" producers out there.I can tell you from personal experience and feedback from colleagues that AOL isn't the only company taking this approach to SEO (and monetization). This actually going on in various niches as well (not just the mainstream usual suspects like Demand Media, etc).
- Building Your Own Scraper for Link Analysis – Justin at Distilled does a great job covering building your own scraper for link analysis.
- 5 Social Sites You May Not Have Heard About (Yet) – Greg Finn highlights his five favorite social up-and-comers and shows how you can use them to benefit your causes and social marketing campaigns.
- The Art of Big Corporate SEO – Tony Verre put together a solid and expansive piece on what to expect (and how to succeed) when implementing SEO at a large corporation.
- 10 Metrics to Check When Your Traffic Crashes – One of the scariest moments for us SEO’s can be checking your analytics and seeing that traffic has taken a nose dive. Knowing what to check can help quickly get a better understanding of what is happening. The following are the first 10 metrics (or places) I usually check when I see a significant drop in traffic.
- How Social Media Changes Everything* – If you take the time to read it carefully, this piece by Aaron Wall will give you some keen insights on strategic directions you can take with your social media and general online marketing strategy.But more importantly, it's eye opening facts, data, and links might just give you some sense of why and how you should use your new-found marketing skills for the general good of the world.
- The Secret of Quality Score – This article introduces a new way to think of quality score by answering a simple question: What would quality score have to be if Google was a business and wanted to maximize its earnings? The answer is suprisingly simple: if quality score is an estimate of click-through probability, Google not only earns as much money as possible, but also makes users happy with high-quality ads.
- Shopping Basket Best Practice from ASOS – 14 best practices for moving shoppers through the checkout process leading higher conversion rates and better usability within the shopping cart from the ecommerce fashion/clothing store ASOS.
- A Link Building Blueprint: The Foundation – This article takes a look at what happened last week with Google’s algorithm tweak, how it may affect your linking and why now more than ever it’s a good idea to use a wide variety of link building tactics.
- When Guest Posts Fail – Rhea offers up some great tips on how to overcome the inevitable No's that come with guest post submission efforts.More importantly, in my opinion, she lets it be known that failure is to be expected, which means that resiliency is a must.
This is the latest in a weekly look at the stories that were “hot” on Sphinn in the past week. We’ll post these recaps every week.