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Archive for June, 2004

Case studies, blog postings, research papers, tools info and eBook notes

Google Follows your SERPs Clicks

If you have ever wondered if Google knows which sites you click through to from its results pages, the answer is ‘Yes’; and below I will explain how.

If your search for a ‘Google Consultant‘ finds you clicking through on, or even hovering over, a link or two, Google knows precisely which by using JavaScript in the results page to load a small invisible image when the user clicks on a link. This image identifies the position of the link in the results on the page viewed, which in conjunction with the URL referrer, i.e. the http://www.google.com/search?q=Google+Consultant&start=0 in the address bar of your browser, allows Google to know precisely which link was clicked on. It can do the cross reference by utilising the ‘start’ parameter (see URL above) present in the URL, to identify which page of the results it is currently presenting. Oh, and the JavaScript also works when you don’t actually click, but hover over and move away from a particular link.

Just imagine what Google could do with this enormous amount of contextual data regarding which links are clicked on and which aren’t. Go on, imagine….

(Filed in Blog, June 20th, 2004)

Matt Cutts BBC Interview

Mainstream BBC interview with Matt Cutts of Google. Not terribly exciting and you have to wonder about statements such as ‘Also, says Mr Cutts, there are quite a few Googlers, as staff are called, that keep an eye on its web index and make sure it is accurate’. Maybe it ain’t quite a few enough!

(Filed in Blog, June 9th, 2004)

Search Engine Visibility – Lynx Browser

Search engine visibility is the foundation of any attempt to improve the performance of a site in the search engine results pages (SERPs). In a completely ethical way, it is the equivalent of best practice for encoding the communication content of a site.

Working with a number of clients and prospects recently I have found one of the most effective ways of demonstrating an existing site’s actual search engine visibility is to use a Lynx browser to view a web site. To save you the trouble of downloading and installing such an application, the Delorie software site has a Lynx Viewer (have your pop-up blocker at the ready, before you click on that link!). If when you view your site this way and you can see no navigation links to any part of your site, then bear in mind, neither can Google!

(Filed in Blog, June 8th, 2004)