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Relevancy Chagnes at MSN, Yahoo, & Maybe Google

MSN Search Update

MSN announced they are upgrading relevancy and coverage. The increased coverage likely means that more inbound link sources are getting indexed. From looking at rankings of a few of my sites it looks like:

Google Celebrates International Cleanup Weekend

International Cleanup Weekend sounds like something that only a handful of hippies would acknowledge.  But it’s not; Google itself has thrown its weight behind the event.

Google Book Search Homepage Redesign

The Google Book search homepage just received a redesign (some of you were able to spot this prototype before, but it just went live for all). It now looks more like book shelf than straight-forward search engine; instead of the typical Google logo + input box, you’ll be seeing a couple of pre-selected covers as images, making for a more explorative approach.

MSN UK Homepage Redesign
For the past couple of weeks or so there’s been a flash page featuring a tour of what the new MSN UK Homepage will look like when it’s released. Well now The MSN UK Homepage Team have finally launched this new and improved redesign of the MSN UK Homepage Portal for all to see at http://uk.msn.com/

TravBuddy Gets One Million Members

It would be somewhat ironic if the social network named “TravBuddy” became one of the Web’s many empty, unpopular places.  Fortunately for TravBuddy, that’s not the case – the site is now celebrating its one millionth member.

Bolt.com Drops Dead
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I suspect that Bolt.com has received more traffic in the last few hours than it did in the past week.  Unfortunately (for Bolt), people aren’t using the video-sharing site; they’re looking at its corpse.

Another Technorati Top 100 Benefit

There’s another benefit to being in the Technorati Top 100. In addition to being the most linked-to blogs as tracked by Technorati, the Top 100 blogs have made the Digg homepage 8000 times. Clickalite.com looked at Digg’s history to examine whether Technorati’s most popular tracked blogs were popular there, too. And were they ever.

CNN.com Obtains Local News From Topix
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When it was announced that CNN.com would increase its local coverage, I was suspicious – that seemed like a pretty big step outside the site’s “comfort zone.”  But CNN.com has stuck with the idea, and, thanks to a partnership with Topix, is now putting an even greater emphasis on local coverage.

Comedy Central Site To Spoof ’08 Elections

Comedy Central has launched Indecision2008.com. their first stand-alone political humor Web site. 

iTunes Podcast RSS Enclosure URL Encoding

I am working on publishing a podcast in iTunes for one of my clients. From what I have read on various blogs iTunes can be very picky, so I thought I would post this for anyone else having this problem. I was getting the following error message:

How Important is the Homepage?

Seth Godin, on his blog, wrote "Do you really need a home page? Does the web respect it?".

Here is what he wrote:

Human beings don’t have home pages. People make judgments about you in a thousand different ways. By what they hear from others, by the way they experience you, and on and on. Companies may have a website, but they don’t have a home page in terms of the way people experience them.

Google Personalized Homepage Gets A Name: iGoogle
Google has finally given its personalized homepage a name, calling it what many people had suspected the name was all along: iGoogle. Google had a whole Personalization Workshop in Mountain View yesterday, and Google Blogoscoped had someone on the scene for the whole thing.

Some details:

Google Losing Homepage Preferences
Google has apparently lost the personalized homepage preferences of hundreds of users, if not more. Ari commented on this at 8:53 this morning, and over 150 people have posted as having the problem on Google Groups since 6:45 am.

Matt Cutts on Chinese SEO

Zac interviewed Google’s Matt Cutts with a focus on Chinese SEO issues (the interview’s available in Chinese as well).

How You Can ‘Still’ Get on the Digg Homepage

Lately a lot of people who used to get on the Digg homepage constantly have been complaining that they can’t make the homepage anymore. In most cases these people are doing the exact same thing as they used to do before. Here is how you can still get on the homepage:

Confusing Search Engine Bots?

There are two primary factors to getting a page ranked – discovery and relevancy. By and large, search engines are clever creatures, but the very best webmasters will always send out the right signals to gently guide the search engines, and in return receive great rankings for their content.

Search engines discover content using their bots (or ‘crawlers’), and determine relevancy (and by extension ranking) using advanced algorithms.

Homme-Rock.com – SEO Review

Well I’ve been busy for a few weeks so haven’t had a chance to post much lately and on top of this I’ve had three submissions for SEO reviews over the past couple of weeks (yeh, posted back in December and no response and now there’s three of em in a short period – typical! :) ).

CRM for the Google Homepage

CRM for Google (CRM means Customer Relationship Management) is a set of gadgets for your personalized Google homepage that allows you to do things like track tasks, manage contacts, add notes, or create appointments.

e360 Pulls 180 On Spam?

As you may recall, e360 Insight wasn’t exactly pleased when Spamhaus labeled it a spammer last year; in fact, e360 Insight’s owner sued the UK-based company.  Now, in an ironic taste-of-your-own-medicine twist, e360 Insight is being sued for (allegedly) spamming an individual in California.

Google Homepage Skins – Change of Note for SEOs

I just had the official walk-through of Google’s recent announcement for personalized home pages. In a nutshell, they are allowing users the opportunity to skin their home page with one of six different themes. The goal, and I quote, is to "delight users". And they don’t just want to delight them in the short term. They want this to be a long-lasting love affair with the Google home page.

Google’s Themes for Your Homepage
Say good bye to the plain old search box on a white background. If you want to say good bye that is. Google added custom themes to your personal home page today. You’re still welcome to keep the old standard, but I’ve already got a new theme.

From the Associated Press

Sprucing up its famously plain Web site, Google Inc. is offering a new option that plants its Internet search box in panoramic settings that change with the time of day and the outside weather.

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