December 2009

Would you like some keyword stuffing with your holiday turkey?

During part of my daily routine, I commonly browse the web and search for popular keywords for clients and my own organic SEO efforts. Many times my search efforts lead to a directory of sorts. Usually multiple directories.

Today I happened upon the hugely popular website citysearch.com. How I got here is irrelevant to this rant and doesnt really matter anyways. I was looking for my business or competitors to see how the business were listed and during my few moments on the site I came across a page that, had it been on any other lesser known domain, I would have thought was clearly spam for keyword stuffing.

The page in reference was this: http://fortlauderdale.citysearch.com/site_guide Just looking at the page made my head spin and I quickly realized that this page is intended for a robot to view and not a human. A quick word count gave me 67  instances of the term "Fort Lauderdale" in the body of the page, many of them links, H1, H2, and title tags. I instantly thought this was keyword stuffing and auto-generated content created by a robot. A quick swap of the city in the URL (from fortlauderdale to miami) and my hunch was confirmed.

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Is Google personalized search really necessary?

Last week, Google announced Personalized Search for everyone. Personalized search has been previously available, but only to individuals signed in with a Google account. They are now making it available to anyone via an anonymous cookie.

Privacy concerns aside, is this really necessary for relevance? Or is this just another way of aggregating data and producing a more focused demographic profile to advertisers.

When I am searching on Google I want the most relevant results, not based on my previous searches, just the most relevant results. Period! Now the option to turn this off is available but I assume the majority of users wont know or care.

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