The Death of Rank Checking Software. Courtesy of Google.

unknown_serpAhhh, remember the days when you could fire up the ol’ rank checker and whip out your clients SERP (search engine result position) for their high priority keywords?

Well, be prepared – those days are apparently numbered, according to a recent post on SearchEngineLand from contributor Matt McGee.

Though still in the experimental phase, Google has been working on an ajax-based search results system which, if widely implemented, could cause quite a headache for SEO professionals who use automated rank checking tools. 

But that’s not the only software that might be affected. Web Analytics data uses a similar technique to find out what referring keywords sent a visitor to your site – if that stops working correctly, people are going to be lighting some torches and heading towards Google’s HQ. 

The post included a quote from a google spokesperson, who said:

“We’re continually testing new interfaces and features to enhance the user experience. We are currently experimenting with a javascript enhanced result page because we believe that it may ultimately provide a faster experience for our users. At this time only a small percentage of users will see this experiment. It is not our intention to disrupt referrer tracking, and we are continuing to iterate on this project.”

I’ve never had a problem with slow results on Google, so I’m not really sure what they mean by “faster experience” – and I’m not sure that this is the way I want to find out.  We’ll keep you posted of any updates regarding this search test. If you want some more info on this story, check out the original post at Smackdown.

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Evidence that Spamming Google Improves Ranking

Normally I would be hesitant to write anything too negative about the big G, but I think they deserve it on this one.

Anyone who does search engine optimization is well aware that Google is NOT that fond of SEOs. Understandably so, as there are those out there that do whatever they think they have to in order to achieve 1st page rankings-keyword stuffing, link farms, forum spamming, cloaking, page scrapers, etc…..

That’s fine, Google. I have NO issues at all with that, in fact I’ve reported some who have done it.

But I DO have a problem with Google not being able to keep it’s OWN HOUSE CLEAN. Take a look at the search engine results below-just a cursory check to see who pops up for “tampa seo firm”. (yes, I know you can’t trust rankings anymore, blah blah…that’s not the point here.)

hmmm? a listing from groups.google?

hmmm? a listing from groups.google?

I know it’s hard to read – sorry- Lets take a closer look….

Wow. THIS beat out the dozens of other competing sites?

Wow. THIS beat out the dozens of other competing sites?

Interesting for sure, but not really a reason to get ticked off. Yet. Let’s see where it goes

THIS is a relevant search engine result? Cmon!

THIS is a relevant search engine result? Cmon!

…but wait-it gets even better! Check out their profile!

Of all the places to spam....

Of all the places to spam....

Oh yeah158 spam messages in 156 groups on groups.google – in one month. Apparently, this is a pretty common (and apparently effective) practice- I spent half an hour flipping around through different groups-packed with spam everywhere I went.

So here’s my REAL problem. Google wants to remove the value of anchor text pointing to our home page from other sites, even if it’s accurate and not overdone, they want to remove the value of links in forums and social sites. But we can SPAM THE HELL out of Google INSIDE their own house and get rewarded for it? Screw you Google.

Want more proof? Here’s another one for you-it took me all of about 2 seconds to find it.

Check out this link to the Search Engine Results for outsourcing SEO services- look who’s # 1.

Grabbed a snapshot just in case...

Grabbed a snapshot just in case...

..and let’s check google groups, shall we?

Well, what dya know...

Well, what dya know...

-pay close attention to the date. JUNE 2008. It’s not just an issue of Google not catching them yet-If I can find them in 5 minutes, why the heck can’t GOOGLE find them in 6 months?! Oh yeah, probably because they’re too busy going after LEGITIMATE SEO COMPANIES.

I found dozens more, some with a PR of 3+ that were engaged in this tactic.

Sorry for the rant, but it’s getting really, really old being told what you can’t do when the real jerks are walking away scott free.