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A Conversation With Google’s Vanessa Fox

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Nobody stands up Mike McDonald. Nobody, not even Google’s Vanessa Fox. Back on a cold December day amid the howling Chicago winds, poor Mike sat alone, waiting for Google’s Webmaster Central product manager. Alas, but all is vanity, and SEOMoz.org’s Rand Fishkin stole the show (and the interview).

Well this time, it’s payback, and it’s for real. Vanessa agreed to an interview with Mike at SES New York, and guess who didn’t show up this time. And since Rand already proved that video interviews were so easy a caveman could do it, Mike got his absent revenge and Rand got another shot at pinning her down.

Ahem. Pinning her down on Webmaster issues, I meant. Meanwhile, Mike looks for his lost Nokia N93 digital video camera phone…in New York, where it’s probably already been sold out of the back of someone’s truck.

Some quotables you’ll want to listen for:

 

Vanessa: Is Mike gonna come over and kill you?

Rand: I should have tied those ropes tighter.

And there was something about Rand and pole dancing, just so you’re warned.

Otherwise, Rand brings up some great questions, and Vanessa has some great answers. One of the most useful tips is deep into the video, so it’s a good idea to highlight it here.

The burning question: When a webmaster moves an entire site, what’s the best way to handle the dip in the search engine rankings while that transition is made?

The (suddenly) common sense answer: Fox stressed that it was a bad idea to simultaneously move a website to a new domain and redesign the whole thing. Instead, she says, take the pages from your old site and put them on your new site exactly as they are. Redirect the pages one at a time, carefully mapping on a one-to-one basis. 

"What I see people do a lot when they do this move," she said, "is that they restructure the content of their pages instead of having this one-to-one mapping."

It’s easier for the folks at Google and the robots working for them to know that this is the same site as before, just in a different place.

But it’s also easier for the Webmaster if he or she does approaches moving by doing it one thing at a time. When the inevitable dip in ranking comes, the one-thing-at-a-time approach makes it easier to pinpoint what’s causing it. 

Other Important Questions To Listen For:
 

  • Is there a way to use Google Base to increase visibility in the main search engine results pages?
  • What’s the secret formula to get my headline or image into Google News?
  • Is there going to be additional functionality in Webmaster Central?
  • Will Google try to compete with Alexa?
  • What about that pesky alphabetized link sorting in Webmaster Central?
  • How does Webmaster Central impact supplemental results?
  • Are supplemental results as bad as we think they are?
  • Is there a penalty for buying links from well-known link networks?
  • What is Google doing about comment spam and "parasite hosting" on .edu domains?

 

 

A Conversation With Google’s Vanessa Fox
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  • mike niemi

    They say, with things like MYSPACE, the internet has become the greastest equalizing force, beyond once was free press. Free press is mostly owned by conglomerates today, and sadly are search engines.

    Googles Adwords, how they rank, what they rank on, etc is probably the most democratic use of bandwidth I have seen. They slice up a small businesses meager ad budget so they can place an ad that may be seen by casual users.

    Advertising on Yahoos Blue area is sky high and getting good search placement service seems to get difficult. I use Jayde, the person writing the coloumn, to see how effective Jayde is. Not very.

    Everyone has an axe to grind. Some want a second internet, faster, more pricier. Division is what most people want when someone powerful doesnt like the newest thing they see and it goes around them. Jayde could be replaced by fierce marketing in an ADWORDS arena.

    I worked as a programmer and with lack of work, worked in call centers while I find something. I talk to people all the time. The majority still have dial up. Keeps PeoplePC going. The middle class, like myself have Comcast or some kind of highspeed.

    I read the article about snitch for Cash. My email inbox is flooded with secret shoppers, win free tickets in exchange for surveys, etc. I never heard of this program, and being a Google AdWords subscriber, Google has not offered this to me.

    Yet I have been unable to find out how to become a secret shopper, or loop through enough of the email surveys to finally recieve the Gift Card I have been promised that is mine. I contacted Home Depot headquaters, for an example. They do not give out gift cards and while they know about the promotions I spoke of, dont endorse.

    I find the article written obtuse in the points made by the author was trying to make. I find how it helps or harms Google in any significant way. But you still do not get something for nothing. Your opinion matters, they just wont give you $500 for it.

    Mike Niemi

  • Jan

    One can decline buying links.
    The monetizing on net is NOT EVIL.
    It’s up to you – you buy or you decline
    buying.
    Trying to critizize OFFERS is no good.
    Get busy critisizing ACTUAL CON SALES
    http://zen-planet.com

  • Shawn Lichtman

    I agree with (who is the guy who hates google and snitches? Well, him) It is expensive enough to get your site on top with all the competition and companies that are ripping off sites with their marketing plans. Most of them are way over priced especially if you run a small business. You can end up going out of business in a heartbeat. I have had quite a few clothing and accessories websites, my marketers have ended up making all the money and I went out of business twice. I now have to resort to ebay solely. Talk about competition and fees paid! Ebay and Pay Pal own half of the damn internet! I also currently work for a clothing company (Denimera) that has a website and all of our well known to the public or up and coming musicians whom we have given free merchandise to have given us a banner. I don’t know if that is considered a paid banner, but since we pay for the merchandise, I supposse it is. It is a win win situation. Both sites get hits and publicity. I also shop on many well known merchandise sites that advertise their affiliate program. If we can make money by referring their sites, why shouldn’t we? Again, win win and free enterprise as our country is based upon. I wonder what someone like Donald Trump would have to say, as he says make money at almost any cost that is honest and does not “rip off anyone”? People like him make up the 1% of the population that has 99% of all the wealth. What is next, take his show Apprentice off the air? I say, keep those banner programs going. We all need a little help from each other. Google has enough money of their own! Leave the rest of us struggling entrepeneurs alone!

  • Shawn Lichtman

    I agree with (who is the guy who hates google and snitches? Well, him) It is expensive enough to get your site on top with all the competition and companies that are ripping off sites with their marketing plans. Most of them are way over priced especially if you run a small business. You can end up going out of business in a heartbeat. I have had quite a few clothing and accessories websites, my marketers have ended up making all the money and I went out of business twice. I now have to resort to ebay solely. Talk about competition and fees paid! Ebay and Pay Pal own half of the damn internet! I also currently work for a clothing company (Denimera) that has a website and all of our well known to the public or up and coming musicians whom we have given free merchandise to have given us a banner. I don’t know if that is considered a paid banner, but since we pay for the merchandise, I supposse it is. It is a win win situation. Both sites get hits and publicity. I also shop on many well known merchandise sites that advertise their affiliate program. If we can make money by referring their sites, why shouldn’t we? Again, win win and free enterprise as our country is based upon. I wonder what someone like Donald Trump would have to say, as he says make money at almost any cost that is honest and does not “rip off anyone”? People like him make up the 1% of the population that has 99% of all the wealth. What is next, take his show Apprentice off the air? I say, keep those banner programs going. We all need a little help from each other. Google has enough money of their own! Leave the rest of us struggling entrepeneurs alone!

    • Dave M.

      Hey isn’t it time all webmasters get toegther and figure out a New way to advertise without having to kiss up to all the bossy search engines and all there dam rules and con’s, they do not own the internet, and never will! If webmasters and advertisers just quit using them! What are the big bossy search engines going to be able to do abouit it, More hype and con’s and make up more search engine rules along the way, Webmasters and advertisers can put an end to the whole bossy problem once in for all!!! Just don’t use them, Let them finally feel the pinch we all have to go through, Remeber one thing, WE DON’T OWE SEARCH ENGINE OWNERS A LIVING! So why keep putting up with there BS, Find a Better and More User Friendler search engines, Plaster Blogs as many as you can about a new system needed, and I’m sure once the blogs all get flood with webbmasters and advertiser yelling for a new honest system, Someone out there who has a good answer will come forward and change the internet search engine problems for good!!! We all can stop the bossy search engine right in there tracks, we just have to be heard very loud and clear!!!

  • KC Kudra

    So let me get this strait it

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