Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
Yesterday's news links included a story revealing that the search engine
Google was planning to implement a user-feedback system so as to better
rank websites according to their quality.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
As anyone who's ever checked their webserver's logfile will tell you,
search engines are one of the leading sources of traffic and good placement
on popular engines can make the difference between success and failure.
Unfortunately, a lot of scamsters and idiots also realise this, and they
go to inordinate lengths to cheat their way to the top by fooling the
algorithms used by those search engines.
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Getting your site located in the first page of a search engine's results used
to be a fairly trivial task -- often requiring little more than just copying
the meta-tags of the site that was already number one.
The ranking methods used to be very simplistic and easy to trick -- but these
days they're a whole lot more complex and the amount of skill required to get
yourself near the top of the list is correspondingly higher.
I could give you a long list of methods I've discovered which help you boost
your search-engine ranking -- but then I'd have to beg for my dinner because
such stuff is valuable information with a strong commercial value.
Indeed -- I'm surprised that more commercial websites aren't investing in
the services of those who have such skills. After all, why spend thousands
of dollars every month on advertising (which is often ineffective) when
you can spend less and get a whole lot more by increasing your visibility
at Google, Yahoo, Altavista or other prime locations?
Maybe it's because many people have been burnt by "experts" who regularly
advertise that they'll get you up there in the top ten of search results
returned. Clearly these "experts" must ensure that they don't accept more
than 10 clients for any particular search term eh?
Of course it's not as simple or easy as these "experts" might suggest.
It *is* easy to get any website listed in the top 10 results if you're prepared
to accept an obtuse or unlikely search term as your criteria -- but where's
the value in that?
And, as I've said on previous occasions -- don't waste your dollars on those
paid search-engine submission services. There are only a handful of search
engines or directories worth being listed on and you're better off spending
that money ensuring that your ranking on those sites is as good as you can get it.
Newsgroups Under Surveillance
Those interested in illegal activities or material such as warez, pirated
MP3s and kiddy-porn have been given notice this morning that newsgroups
are no longer a safe place to play.
As reported by just about every news agency on the planet, UK police have
been covertly monitoring the online activities of those who accessed the
newsgroups at Demon Internet for several months. After building up a
list of those who were most active in the numerous child pornography areas,
they carried out a global swoop -- rounding up the offenders.
Of course I doubt that anyone in their right mind will be too concerned that
a bunch of paedophiles have been dealt to -- would we be quite so happy if
the same tactic had been taken to identify and nab those who swap MP3 files
through the growing list of newsgroups to which pirated music is regularly
Imagine the cops rolling up at 4am to arrest your teenage son and confiscate
his computer because he'd been discovered downloading an ACDC album from a
As anyone who has browsed the list of available newsgroups will confirm, they
cover just about every conceivable subject -- and a whole lot that are just
totally inconceivable. Will authorities decide that newsgroups related to
drug use are a good place to round up suspects?
Is this level of snooping a good thing or a bad thing -- what do you think?
Have your say
Save The Aardvark Fund
Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those
who put their money where their mouse is :-)
If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.
Just drop by and
hand over your loot.
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