HomeAdvisor’s costly name change is paying off

HomeAdvisor spent a lot of money on its rebrand, and saw a sharp drop in traffic initially, but it has paid off.

HomeAdvisorA couple weeks ago Quebec announced a decision to opt-out of switching its web presence over to the new .quebec domain name, citing a price tag north of $10 million.

Just how much work goes into changing to a new brand and domain name?

One large company has gone through a domain change, and it provides a good case study for the costs — both in upfront money terms and lost business during the transition. Click here to continue reading…

SEO’s say expired domains are being targeted by Google

Some people think Google is using expired domain info to track down so-called “Private Blog Networks”.

GoogleAbout ten years ago I made a mint from expired domains. These weren’t good expired domains. They were just domains that had been used before, had lots of incoming links and nice Google juice.

I’d slap up a site full of pretty crappy content and wait for the search engines to come slurp it up. The ad clicks tallied up to over $1,000 a day for a short while. Click to continue reading

Matt Cutts releases new video about using ccTLDs for generic purposes

Cutts explains when Google decides to make a ccTLD global.

Google’s SEO/Webspam leader Matt Cutts has released a new video about using a country code top level domain name for a website not targeted to that country.

His message is the same that Google has been giving for many years, but he added some more color about how the company decides what should become generic.

Google makes some domains globally targeted because they’ve been widely adopted for global use rather than country use. .Co and .TV are examples.

What if you want to use .li for Long Island or .ky for Kentucky?

Cutts said you probably shouldn’t get ahead of yourself.

For .li, the country code for Liechtenstein, Cutts said they looked into it and found that the domain is widely used in Liechtenstein. Thus, it wouldn’t be right to give it a global meaning.

He also gave .ky (Cayman) as an example.

Here are the ccTLDs Google treats as generics (as of today): .ad, .as, .bz, .cc, .cd, .co, .dj, .fm, .io, .la, .me, .ms, .nu, .sc, .sr, .su, .tv, .tk, .ws.

Note that .ly, a popular extension that belongs to Libya, is not on the list.

Matt Cutts: don’t park your domain right before launching a web site

Cutts recommends taking down a parking page about a month before launching a new site.

Google web spam czar Matt Cutts just published a video in which he asks himself a question (rather than taking it from the community): should I keep a domain name parked before I launch a web site?

In short, Cutts says no.

He works in a reference to eNom’s backpack girl and then goes on to explain that Google has a filter to try to keep parked domain names out of its search results.

This filter doesn’t immediately know when a domain changes from a parked page to a “real” web site, so he recommends putting up a placeholder page 3-4 weeks before launching a site.

That placeholder page can be something as simple as “coming soon” with a few lines of text — just make sure it’s not an ad-filled parking page.

Here’s the video:

Go Daddy gets patent for SEO and search engine submission

Patent covers method and systems for SEO suggestions and search engine submission.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent (pdf) to Go Daddy for “method for improving a web site’s ranking with search engines”.

U.S. patent number 8,271,488 describes a system for helping web site owners edit their web pages for better search results and then automatically submitting the sites to multiple search engines.

If some of this seems outdated, that’s because the patent application was filed in 2003.

The images in the patent show Go Daddy’s former search engine product called Traffic Blazer. The company now offers a product called search engine visibility that has similar functions.

The patent describes a method where a web site owner wants to rank for certain keywords in a search engine. The system makes suggestions to the site owner on how to edit his or her web site to rank better for these keywords, such as add the word to the title tag. It then automatically submits the sites to multiple search engines.

In another embodiment, the system would automatically edit the customer’s web page for better search engine rankings.

A number of businesses still offer search engine submission services, even though the importance of submitting a site for inclusion in search engines has decreased over the past decade. Automatically analyzing web sites and making suggestions for better search rankings is still popular, although much of the attention has shifted from what’s on the web site to external factors like who’s linking to it.