The SEO mess on joining blog aggregators

 

Mug shot of Paris Hilton.
Image via Wikipedia

 

If you are an analytics blogger who writes, and is aggregated on an analytical community- read on- Here’s how blog aggregation communities can help you lose 30% of all future traffic long term, while giving you a short term.

The problem is not created by Blogging Communities (like R-Bloggers, or PlanteR, or Smart Data Collective or AnalyticBridge or even BeyeBlogs )

It is created by the way Google Page Rank is structured- you see given exactly the same content on two different we pages- Google Page Rank will place the higher Page Rank results higher. This is counter intutive and quite simple to rectify- The Google Spider can just use the Time Stamp for choosing which article was published where first (Obviously on your blog, AND then later to the aggregator).

How bad is the mess? Well joining ANY blog aggregation will lead to an instant lift of upto 10-50 % of your current traffic as similar bloggers try and read about you. However you can lose the long term 30% proportion which is a benchmark of search engine created traffic for you.

So do you opt out of blog aggregation? No. It’s a SEO mess and it’s unfair to punish your blog aggregator, most of whom are running on ad-supported sponsors or their own funds on dry fumes to publish your content. Most of the fore mentioned communities are created by excellent people I interacted with heavily- and they are genuinely motivated to give readers an easy way to keep up with blogs. Especially Smart Data Collective, Analyticbridge and R-bloggers whose founders I have known personally.

You can do one thing- create manual summaries in the excerpt feature of your blog posts- it’s just below the WordPress page. And switch your RSS feed to summary rather than full. It avoids losing keyword rank to other websites, it prevents the Blog Aggregation from gaining too much influence in key word related searches, and it keeps your whole eco system happy, Best of All it helps readers of Blog Aggregators- since most of them use a summary on the front page anyways.

An additional thought on Google Page Rank- something I have sulked over but not spoken for a long long time.  It ignores the value of reader- If Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and 500 ceos from Fortune 500 companies read my blog but do not link to it- it will count daily traffic as 500. Probably it will give more weightage to Paris Hilton fans.

A suggestion-humbly- you can use IP Address lookup of visitors to see if traffic is coming from corporate sources or retail sources -Clicky from GetClicky does this. Use it as feedback in Google Analytics as well as Google Trends.

And maybe PageRank needs to add quantity and quality of visitors as additional variables . Do a A/B test guys some Chi Square juice- its not quite Mad Men Adverting but its still good fun.

 

PageRank
Image via Wikipedia

 

and the world is one big community as per xkcd


Blog Update

Some changes at Decisionstats-

1) We are back at Decisionstats.com and Decisionstats.wordpress.com will point to that as well. The SEO effects would be interesting and so would be the Instant Pagerank or LinkRank or whatever Coffee/Percolator they use in Cali to index the site.

2) AsterData is no longer a sponsor- but Predictive Analytics Conference is. Welcome PAWS! I have been a blog partner to PAWS ever since it began- and it’s a great marketing fit. Expect to see a lot of exclusive content and interviews from great speakers at PAWS.

3) The Feedblitz newsletter (now at 404 subscribers) is now a weekly subscription to send one big big email rather than lots of email through the week- this is because my blogging frequency is moving up as I collect material for a new book on business analytics that I would probably release in 2011 (if all goes well, touchwood). Linkedin group would be getting a weekly update announcement. If you are connected to Decisionstats on Analyticbridge _ I would soon try to find a way to update the whole post automatically using RSS and Ning.com . or not. Depends.

4) R continues to be a bigger focus. So will SPSS and maybe JMP. Newer softwares or older softwares that change more rapidly would get more coverage. Generally a particular software is covered if it has newer features, or an interesting techie conference, or it gets sued.

5) I will occasionally write a poem or post a video once a week randomly to prove geeks and nerds and analysts can have fun (much more fun actually dont we)

Thanks for reading this. Sept 2010 was the best ever for Decisionstats.com – we crossed 15,000 + visitors and thanks for that again! I promise to bore you less and less as we grow old together on the blog 😉

Google Patents

Now this may be old news, but in case it is not- here is the Google Patents Search

Screenshot-17

Just go and search at

http://www.google.com/patents

For example did you know that the PageRank Patent is assigned to Stanford ( which is the reason they have more money than err. many Universities combined…not a great football program though)

http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=cJUIAAAAEBAJ

Or you can see the Slidehshare.net version ( which is Ironic since Google Docs is not good enough to share the Pdf as of yet)

Inventor: Lawrence Page
Assignee: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
Primary Examiner: Uyen Le

Page Rank Patent of Google

View more documents from ajayohri.
. Hic

So the next time you have a bright idea on Sunday afternoon after some beers, check and see if you are the first one to think of it

Biz Stone finally talks business

Twitter co-founder, and creator of Blogger Mr Biz Stone finally set out a short brief email ( or twemail) on the changes in Twitter’s terms of service.The very concise email is below and an excellent interview with the man is at http://therumpus.net/2009/04/the-rumpus-interview-with-twitter-co-founder-biz-stone/

Incidentally Biz Stone’s inventions are kind of revolutionary in social media – he also founded Blogger ( blogging and micro blogging have done more to confound LarryRank algorithm at Google Search than anyone else).

What does an analytic, data whining blog have to do with social media. Plenty. If you have ever designed a propensity scoring model for targeting customers based on their behavior , more clean data that is identifiable an individual level is always a boon. The current trend for sentiment analysis is simply addition of text keywords ( or categorical variables if you insist) to the existing customer database.

Can adding keywords from blogs, tweets, web searches, TO existing data about you (credit bureau, demographic, purchase behavior)- can this lead to a better lift in the models. Yes.

Will this lead to more privacy debates. Yes. Given the huge volume of text variables, as well as the huge number of potential customers- privacy debates are quite statistically irrational ( but we digress into economics here).

No one is interested in selling just 1 more product. They use people (nicknamed Numerati) for writing queries to append, manipulate data so as to AGGREGATE and then build a model. Only after the models are built are the scores disaggregated AND scored individually- usually in automated manner.

No company is interested in selling to one consumer so they dont stoop at a privacy invasive search of individuals.

Advertsing is not an evil way of making money, Mr Stone. Just Trust Google and the guys who could not complete their Phd because they WERE making money.

What if all maths grads did that- ..and that’s an interesting thought.

Hi,

We’d like to let you know about our new Terms of Service. As Twitter
has evolved, we’ve gained a better understanding of how folks use the
service. As a result, we’ve updated the Terms and we’re notifying
account holders.

We’ve posted a brief overview on our company blog and you can read the
Terms of Service online. If you haven’t been by in a while, we invite
you to visit Twitter to see what else is new.

Overview: http://blog.twitter.com
Terms: http://www.twitter.com/tos
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com

These updates complement the spirit of Twitter. If the nature of our
service changes, we’ll revisit the Terms as necessary. Comments are
welcome, please find the “feedback” link on the Terms of Service page.

Thanks,
Biz Stone, Co-founder
Twitter, Inc.


Advertising Feed back Loop: Facebook and Adwords

In Systems design a feedback loop is something that measures the difference between expected and actual output and adds it back to the system to enhance it’s performance

For a better more accurate definition see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feedback

Here is how Facebook measures the satisfaction whether I got for an ad on my page- note fraudelent or systematic cheaters would be eliminated by the law of averages.

It places a very small thumbs up or thumbs down on an ad on right hand corner.

When I place a thumbs down on an ad ( note it shows only graphical ads)-it asks me why i didnt like the ad

Was it

1) Misleading
2) Offensive
3) Uninteresting
4) Irrelevant
5) Repetitive
6) Other- allows text mining of free form allowing subjective feedback.

However if I type say Business Intelligence on Google – I get the following

http://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&q=business+intelligence&meta=&aq=0&oq=business+intell

Open Source Ad on Pentaho at prime spot just above the results. Makes me wonder how much open source will spend.

Search Results-
Wikepedia entry usually at the top ( but no ads there*)

Search Optimization means SAS Business Intelligence is now fifth from top- which is the first mention of a BI vendor there ( Note cost to SAS is zero as you can see below). In the remaining top 4, two are similar http://www.businessintelligence.com and http://www.businessintelligence.co.uk as the title page tag remains more important than sheer consumer behaviour to Pagerank.

Right Column Sponsored Links ( These guys spend more money than SAS to be on the sponsored links and still end up in a less favourable ad page than in top vendor on search results page)-

1 http://www.brgglobal.com
2 SAP.com/India
3 IBM.com/cognos
4 http://www.BusinessObjects-India.com
5 http://www.softsmith.com
6 http://www.syncfusion.com/BizIntell
7 http://www.intelligententerprise.com/

(Note from Ajay*- A senior IIM Alumnus CK Prahlad (the first batch in fact) – first expounded the concept of core competence-

Now-what is Google’s core competence.
I believe that Google should simply donate all its information on wikipedia, and offer Google Knol to it- rather than just wallow in sunk cost theory or expect an immediate return from this transaction. It will get lots of goodwill- and maybe the Google Wikipedia Knol will take off.

Similarly sell Orkut to Facebook and just take the advertising and search functions to be combined in a seperate spin off called Google Search before Microsoft forces the Europeans and Justice department to do so.

Or continue to moon the giant.)

I didnt like the Adwords ads or the order they were in. But there is no way in Adwords for me to give feedback to it. Facebook listens. Will Adwords listen.