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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Google teaches optimization...sort of

Inside AdSense has been sharing page optimization secrets throughout the month of August. Their tips are focused, specific, and in some cases very detailed. They've even created an AdSense Help Group where you can share tips and ask questions.

It looks like Google is starting to get more directly involved in SEO education after all.

What the AdSense team is not teaching you is how to rank highly in Google's results, but it appears to me that some of their tips leave back doors open. That is, I don't think they fully appreciate just how vulnerable their algorithms can be to certain tactics they haven't yet publicly denounced.

While I applaud the AdSense team for being open and forthcoming (Google does have a financial incentive to do this, after all), they will probably get stung a time or two. It's almost guaranteed, and I hope they are allowing for that. It would be a shame to see Google pull back on this kind of advice because it really does offer them a bully pulpit for teaching most people how to do things that are generally acceptable to Google.

I was going to outline some of the vulnerabilities I see in the tips, but I had two reservations. First, I haven't tested them all, and it would be rather foolish for me to say, "Here is a vulnerability" when, in fact, it's already been blocked. Secondly, I don't particularly care to teach people how to game the system.

Content should be king (in my opinion), and I was glad to see this article posted. I cannot help but wonder if Google isn't in the early stages of developing technology to enable multi-windowed pages. I'm not talking about frames. Rather, I'm talking about creating virtual windows in a static page that have a mixture of static and dynamic content.

You can embed small gadgets now, such as ad boxes, scrolling headlines, etc. But the gadgets operate independently of each other. Is Google working on tools that will let you coordinate 2-5 gadgets in one corner of your page, 2-5 gadgets in another corner, etc.?

They probably won't call such a methodology virtual windowing (sounds too much like Microsoft). Maybe they'll call it zone management or something like that.

We'll just have to wait and see.


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