Sorry, Yahoo, You DO Index The Meta Keywords Tag

Oh, that this weren't true. Last week, Yahoo made news by disclosing that it had quietly dropped support for the meta keywords tag. As a long time hater of that tag and the insane questions it has produced, I was thrilled! But today, I see conclusively that Yahoo still supports the tag. The test was simple. I placed a unique word in the meta keywords tag on the home page of Search Engine Land. This word -- xcvteuflsowkldlslkslklsk -- generated no results on Yahoo when I looked earlier this week. Today, when I searched, it brought back the Search Engine Land home page. Thus, Yahoo indeed ind [...]

How To Ask A Google Engineer For SEO Help

Search conferences are an excellent opportunity to connect personally with representatives from Google, as well as Yahoo and Bing, for advice and assistance with SEO issues. With our SMX East search engine marketing conference starting tomorrow in New York, I thought it was a good time to list my personal thoughts on the right and wrong way to approach them. I'm not a search engine representative, but I know a number of them and have talked with many about the interactions they have with people at conferences in the 10 years I've been programming such shows. I think my tips will help, [...]

Video Interview With Bing’s Webmaster Team

Rand from SEOmoz posted a 17 minute interview with the Bing webmaster team from Microsoft. In the interview he talks with Eric, Rajesh, and Alessandro from Bing about topics including market share, the Yahoo deal, SEO for Bing, Bing webmaster tools, and the Bing IIS Toolkit. Here is the video: SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday - Interview: The Bing Team from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo. [...]

Bing Continues With Fake Referrers: What Part Of Stop Don’t They Understand?

For over two years now, Microsoft's search engine has been generating fake information that can make site owners think they're getting strange search traffic (including porn traffic), when they are not. It's time for this to come to an end. The culprit? Microsoft's "crawler," the software that visits web pages across the web that go into the search engine. The crawler is known as MSNBot, from the days when the recently renamed Bing search engine was known as MSN Search. When that crawler gathers a web page, it sometimes leaves behind "referrer" information in a web site's logs -- fake refer [...]

Bing To Ramp Up MSNBot 2′s Workload

Microsoft announced that MSNBot 2, which is currently in beta, may be ramped up a lot more and webmasters might begin to notice the new bot in their log files. The new bot has been out there since December 2008, and the useragent is just about the same as the original bot. New Bot: msnbot/2.0b (+ Current Bot: msnbot/1.1 (+ MSNBot 1.1 was released in February 2008, promising a more "efficient crawl." MSNBot 2 is also promising an even more efficient crawl. Microsoft warns: We are busy working on our improved craw [...]

How Live Search Penalties Work

The Live Search blog posted a comprehensive guide on how to determine if your site is penalized in Live Search and if so, what actions you can take to remedy the issue. I'll highlight some of the key points in this excellent blog post. Microsoft said, "most webmasters who get penalized know why it happened." First confirm your site is penalized by validating your site at Live Search Webmaster Tools and then clicking on the Summary tool and then the Site status section. Blocked "Yes" means you are penalized. Figure out what you did wrong by using the various tools to see your crawl issue [...]

Live Search Discusses Good & Bad Links

Jeremiah Andrick from the Microsoft Live Search team has written a detailed blog post named Getting the right kind of links. In this blog post, Jeremiah explains the issues Microsoft sees with link exchanges and then gives tips on how to get "the right kind of links." Those tips include to be the "subject matter expert" in your field, give stuff away as a "free service," work closely with "industry or professional associations" to get links from their pages, and leverage Social Media. If you are in a linking drought, check out that post and also read through our past link week column. [...]

Has Microsoft Live Search Detected Malware On Your Site?

Recently, Microsoft Live Search added malware warnings to their search results. If a searcher clicks a result that Microsoft has detected contains malware, a popup warns then not to proceed to the site. As Matt noted yesterday, Google and Yahoo! also provide malware warnings to searchers. How can you find out if Microsoft has flagged your site for malware and how can you let them know you've fixed the problem? As part of this update, Microsoft Live Search also launched an update to their Webmaster Center that added alerts about malware. You can generate a report of all pages on your site t [...]

What Is Search Engine Spam? The Video Edition

Search engines tell marketers not to spam them. Many search marketers also advise newcomers not to spam. Spamming issues get debated online. But what is search engine spam? What's it look like? How's it smell? And why do search engines (not to mention users) hate it? At our recent SMX East search marketing conference, representatives from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo tackled the topic. Below you can learn more about search spam, as well as reinclusion tips for each search engine. I've divided the formal presentations into three parts posted via YouTube, so that you can watch what each parti [...]

Google & Microsoft Share Advice For Webmasters, SEOs

The ever-helpful teams writing for Google's Webmaster Central blog and Microsoft Live Search's Webmaster Center blog have published a variety of videos and presentations this week in the name of helping webmasters and search engine optimizers. On the Live Search blog, Nathan Buggia recaps his SMX East presentation on Webmaster Guidelines, shares the slides from his talk, and expands on topics such as paid links, cloaking, and website penalties. He shares some detail on how Live Search handles paid links: Essentially we look at each link individually to understand the degree to which the si [...]

Live Search Is Updating, Expect Ranking Changes

Live Search September 2008 Update Underway from the Search Engine Roundtable reports discussion at WebmasterWorld that Live Search is undergoing a major index and ranking update. The Live Search results seem to have changed, and webmasters and SEOs are taking notice. I personally noticed referral increases and drops from Live Search on some of the sites I monitor. The update seemed to have started at about 9:30am (EST) yesterday, but we currently do not have any official word from Microsoft on this update. [...]

iProspect: Blended Search Resulting In More Clicks On News, Images, And Video

Since the advent of "blended" or "universal search" last year across the major engines, there's been ongoing discussion and speculation about its impact on user behavior and search marketing. Gord Hotchkiss last year wrote extensively about how blended search (on Google) has in fact shifted the user focus from the so-called "golden triangle" at the upper left of the page to a more distributed pattern that resembles an "E." Now search marketing firm iProspect has released a study (conducted by JupiterResearch) that shows users are responding to the various specialized content types within sear [...]

MSNbot 1.1: Live Search Implements A More Efficient Crawl

Today, Microsoft announced changes to their Live Search crawler intended to reduce bandwidth resources during the crawl of a site. MSNbot (upgraded to version 1.1) now supports both HTTP compression and conditional get. The post on the Live Search Webmaster Center blog describes each feature in detail and includes links to tools you can use to check your server for support of these features. HTTP compression enables search engine crawlers (and browsers) to compress files before downloading them. Conditional get lets the crawler ask a server if the page has been changed since the last request [...]

The 2007 Paid Links War, In Review

The paid links debate is back, this time about whether Google wants all links in a paid post to have a nofollow attribute. Below, a look at the latest round, plus a recap of this year's "War On Paid Links" by Google and where the other search engines stand on the subject. The current round was sparked by an IZEA (previously Pay Per Post) post inviting the major search engines to clarify their stances on links in paid posts. Ted Murphy blogged that he talked to Matt Cutts at Pubcon, who told him that all links in a paid post should have the nofollow attribute, not just links to the [...]

Webmaster Support Forum For Christmas (& All Year Round) From The Search Engines

Last year on Christmas Day, Barry reported over at Search Engine Roundtable how Adam Lasnik and I spent a bit of time answering questions on the Google Webmaster Central forums. This year, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller keeps up the tradition. In the spirit of the season, I thought it might be fun to take a look at the webmaster forums offered by the various search engines: a Christmas gift of search engine support. Google The Google Webmaster Central forums began as a Sitemaps-specific discussion area (originally launched in June 2005 in English and German), and in August 200 [...]

Microsoft Live Search Fixes Issue With Listing Google AdWords Ads

Earlier today, we reported that over 4 million Google AdSense ads were being indexed by Microsoft Live Search. Tonight, the Microsoft Live Search Webmaster Center blog has posted that they've identified and fixed the issue and that search results should return to normal within the next few days. What happened? Google AdWords URLs are blocked by Google's robots.txt file with this command: Disallow: /pagead/ The blog post explains that when Live Search finds links to pages that are blocked by robots.txt, they may index the link (as listed URL) and anchor text (as the listed title). Google a [...]

Microsoft Reports That Issues With Their Live Search Cloaking Detection System Have Been Fixed

Today, Microsoft has posted to the Live Search Webmaster Center blog that the cloaking detection system they have been running for the past few months has, for some sites, skewed site statistics and ads reporting, as well as caused a high traffic load, and they have made some adjustments to the process to correct these errors. Below, details on the problems this process caused, what Live Search is doing about them, and a brief look at how the engines have historically dealt with cloaking. For the last few months, there have been slight rumblings in the places webmasters frequent about odd re [...]

Live Search Webmaster Center Blog Now Open For Business

Microsoft announced the launch of the new Live Search Webmaster Center Blog. The Live Search Webmaster Team promises to use the blog to communicate: New tools and features available to webmasters Search engine optimization tips A method of open communication with SEOs and Webmasters You can subscribe to the RSS feed via this link. I am not sure if comments are disabled or not. It seems like some posts have some comments, but I am personally not able to comment at the moment. The other search engines also have blogs to communicate with webmasters. Google has the Google Webmaster Centra [...]

Microsoft Launches Live Search Webmaster Tools Beta While Developing Version Two

The long expected webmaster support area from Microsoft has arrived. Microsoft Live Search has launched Live Search Webmaster Center and a new "Webmaster Tools" beta as part of the support services. I had posted detailed screen captures of the tools several days before the public beta was announced. Now that people have access to this tools, they are asking questions. What do the green "rank" bars represent exactly? Why are the features so limiting? Are they coming out with more features soon? Rand at SEOmoz interviewed Eytan Seidman of the Live Search team. In his interview, Rand said [...]

Live Search’s Link Command Now Working

Karen Blakeman reported that you can now search use link command searches at Live Search again. Microsoft first pulled back the link command in March of this year, due to trouble with automated queries. But as Karen reported, it seems to be back with a new prefix. Just add a plus sign before the operators and it works. For example, a linkdomain command is now, and a standard link command is now Want to comment or have questions? Join the discussion at Sphinn. [...]

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