Skip to main content


warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/kevin/public_html/modules/taxonomy/ on line 34.

My Internal SEO Checklist

I compiled a list of everything I know of that you can do internally (on your own webpage) to improve your SEO and rankings. I have broken it down into categories: header, content, navigation, graphic/image, and other. The header stuff is inside <head> tag. Content is about your actual text content. Navigation is structural/linking. Graphic/Image is about <IMG> and when to use it. Other is everything else.

This checklist does not tell you exactly how to resolve your specific seo issues. It is designed as a reminder about all the things you can do to try and improve your rankings.

Feel free to add anything you feel is missing for internal SEO and I would be happy to add it.

Header Related

  • Title Tags – Proper <title> tags with relevant keyword on each page.
  • Meta Description – Describe content of the page briefly (155 chars according to seomoz).

Network Solutions Certified Offer Service: Does it Favor Buyers?

I had my first sale through Network Solutions Certified Offer service a few
months ago. I was a little bit surprised to see someone paying upfront to
have an automated service email my whois address. However, it made me
curious. I had to understand how the system works and if I wanted to respond.

The Structure of the Certified Offer System

There are a maximum of four steps in the process:

  1. Initial Offer (Buyer)
  2. Accept/Decline/Counter Offer (Seller)
  3. Accept/Decline/Counter Offer (Buyer)
  4. Accept/Decline (Seller)

The first thing to recognize is that it is a structured negotiation system.
You are given a limited set of choices and the amount of negotiation is also

Game Theory Analysis

Let's run through a sample negotiation to see how one would expect these
negotiations to play out.

Starting Situation:
Seller = Owner of the domain name, he or she gets contacted by Certified
Buyer = Party interested in purchasing the domain name from Seller

Pb = Maximum price Buyer is willing to pay for domain name
Ps = Minimum price Seller is willing to accept for domain name

Step 1.
Seller makes initial offer (O1).
O1 is either greater than Ps or less than Ps.

At this point Ps may not actually be determined. Some Sellers may have a firm
minimum price already in mind, but many probably do not. This is where what
is known as 'price anchoring' comes into play.

Price Anchoring is a fairly well studied phenomenon and the results may surprise
you as a negotiator.

I might have been wrong about Facebook referring to porn

Posted in

But it seems they are soon to be the largest escort recruitment site on the web!

It's a fascinating read about the sex trade industry in New York City. How the internet has self-empowered prostitutes.

Thought Experiment: Google exposed a vulnerability in Bing's search ranking feature, could it be exploited?

Everyone in the tech world has heard about the latest spat between Google and Bing (Microsoft).
Matt Cutts has talked a lot about it.

The core issue is Bing is using clickstream data from either IE (Suggested Sites) and/or their
Bing Toolbar. They clearly are OK copying Google's results if users click them.

If I throw on my blackhat thinking cap, we can begin the thought experiment.

Big Questions:

  1. How does clickstream work: is it only looking at URLs or analyzing actual content?
  2. Does it only work for Google searches?

How does clickstream work: is it only looking at URLs or analyzing actual content?

This is an important distinction if we are looking to manipulate results for our benefit.

If Bing only looks at the stream of URLs, in theory, you might be able to inject any URL into there.
It may not have to show up on that Google search result at all. If that worked on long-tail, it
may also help with more competitive keywords, fooling Bing into thinking it was getting more clicks
on Google and sending a positive ranking signal.

If they are double checking content, this type of manipulation may not work when it tries to 'steal'
the information from the Google search result. Someone would have to test this to find out.

Does it only work for Google searches?

Clearly, they've decided Google is a valid source, but what else is? Could artificially creating
traffic patterns from important and/or relevant sites increase search rankings? This still depends
on how they gather data, whether it's only looking at the clickstream or actually analyzing content.


If I were doing some SEO for a super competitive niche, I might be exploring how could this type of
signal be adjusted for my own benefit. Google could manipulate it, why couldn't you?

The Blackmail/Extortion Business Model

The Blackmail/Extortion Business Model


A business that has the potential to negatively influence perceptions of
another company but negotiates the information disseminated for some type of fee.

Examples (Allegedly, with sources):

Businesses want positive reviews in one of the web's definitive guides to local
businesses. Yelp allegedly takes advantage of this (source )
by changing what reviews do or don't show based on whether you pay or not.

Advertisers use ComScore as the definitive source for traffic statistics.
ComScore is accused of under-counting companies that do not pay their fee ($10,000!)
to get their tracking code. (source)

Better Business Bureau
Businesses get rated and consumers make complaints. The BBB makes money
from businesses subscribed to their service. It has been accused that the grading
system favors paying businesses (source).

Why it Matters:

These organizations have a reputation with the audience purchasing a service or product.
They take payment from businesses providing that service or product in order to
present information about those businesses. Exerting their power over businesses
listed in their system can increase their profits. This business model sustains
itself as long as lawsuits and legislation allow. It is one of the strongest
lock-ins available. Consumers keep using it because companies keep promoting it
because those that don't, often fail.

The Hobbyist Business Model

The Hobbyist Business Model


A business that grows out of a hobby or passion that did not start out with a commercial intent.


“The comic began in September 2005 when Munroe decided to scan doodles from his school notebooks and put them on his webpage. Eventually the comic
was changed into a stand-alone website, where Munroe started selling T-shirts based on the comic. He currently "works on the comic full time," making
xkcd a self-sufficient webcomic.” ( xkcd is one of the most popular
web comics and is listed as one of the self-sufficient web comics.

HuskyStarcraft / HDStarcraft
These two starcraft casters (someone who records gameplay and commentates what's going on) have built a legion of fans across the globe.
HuskyStarcraft has 378,000 subscribers and HDStarcraft has 322,000. Their views are also some of the highest of any channel in the gaming category.
They are both behind IGN and EA but ahead of GameSpot and Ubisoft. They have hosted tournaments, get invited to events and presumably make a pretty
penny off YouTube partner program with their 100 million plus views each.

A hobbyist's MUD started in college that had 1 million users before becoming a business. Today, RuneScape one of the more popular MMORPGs with ~$60 million
in revenue during March 2008 - March 2009 and ~$28 million profit. (

A twitter account that has spawned a book deal and a tv show. An unemployed guy decided his dad's hilarious comments needed to be shared with the
world. The world loved it.

Why It Matters:

People are being given the tools to self-publish, self-broadcast, self-develop all sorts of content. Comics, games, music, videos, books, news and any
other medium where an individual is given the tools to create *anything* can make a huge impact. There are thousands of people out there sharing,
creating art, shipping their passion across all sorts of mediums. The web has given these artists the means to share their work with the world easily.
The web has also allowed people to learn almost anything they wish to learn about. They can download any piece of software for free (legally through
open source and illegally through pirating) giving themselves the tools to required to create their art.

Today, any passionate individual has the tools to be as powerful as any corporation with regards to connecting with an audience. Their passionate
projects and art compete for free because they don't see it as a job. They are simply creating or doing what they love. Most will never be recognized,
but a few will be superstars. The superstars are presented with all sorts of monetization options simply because of their success and popularity. Any
business that looks at a passionate hobby turned business and thinks their business model made the business successful is fooling themselves. This type
of success cannot be replicated in a business plan. It is a lot of talent and passion combined with good fortune.

Google Search Volume and Typos

Posted in

This post/question was inspired by this one: Telepathy, Inc. Puts on the Market with Sedo.

How does Google count typos that it auto corrects?

I search for 'Massachusets' (typo) and it shows me results for 'Massachusetts' (proper spelling) which keyword does that count for? What about for advertisers?

Example of Auto Correction:

What we see is Google recognizes that we've probably made a typo.
Instead of showing results for the typo, it shows the results for the correct spelling.

This is fantastic for user experience, it gives better (more expected) results.

As an advertiser, I may be trying to get a better ROI by taking advantage of typos.
My decision to do this would be under the assumption that they were probably searching for
the same thing with and without the typo. There would be little/no bias in demographics.
Everyone makes typos (of course you should always test each hypothesis!).

But, if Google auto-corrects search results and it requires an extra step to search
for the typo, then it begs the questions

  • who are these typographically/spelling challenged searchers?
  • Are all searches auto corrected (eg. Google Search vs Domain Parking)?

I tried searching for an answer but didn't find anything.

Investigating Search Counts

The basic idea behind this methodology was, if there were wildly different ratios across various sources that correlated with auto correction being enabled, we could conclude whether or not it affected search counts.

Google ~ 30.45:1
Bing ~ 35.15:1

Bing also has some sort of auto correct going on:

Both and are parked pages. So I figured both would be pretty much just getting type in traffic as nothing was developed. Does the ratio hold?

Not enough data to say anything conclusive on Compete, sadly.

Wordtracker ~ 20.63:1 (5654:274)

I tried to find the old AOL search data to see if I could match this. I couldn't remember the site which used to allow you to search this information.


Google and Bing both seem pretty similar, Wordtracker is substantially lower, but I have no idea how they collect their data and from where. I think their sample is smaller and take the results less seriously. I checked some other sources (old Overture data for instance on domain matches) which didn't yield anything.

The answer is, I am still not sure. Maybe Quora can shed some light?

Exploring Three Letter Domain Name Values

What makes 3 letter domain names valuable?

  • Demand - lots of company acronyms are 3 letters eg. IBM, BBC, ATT. (Fun Fact: 35 of the first 100 .com domain names registered were 3 letters long)
  • Scarcity - Only 17,576 combinations.
  • Tokenization/Liquidity - The domainer market has tracked values and created a minimum price

Why is interesting?

Three Letter .com prices could be a proxy for the overall secondary market for domain names.
That is a hypothesis and if anyone wants to help test that with data (monthly average sale price,
monthly sales total, something else?) please feel free to contact me / comment.

Three letter prices are the most well tracked and easiest to compare over a long period of time (thanks!)

What is the goal of this post?

There is no goal, it is simply exploratory. I had no idea what I would find when I looked at the data,
but a lot of things jump out at me when looking at the graphs and statistics.

3 Letter Price Timeseries (All Extensions)

The first thing that stands out is .COM is huge compared to the rest. You also notice the huge crash after
July 2008. It dropped $1650 in one month. (The data is actually incorrect from 3character, the
declined started at least at the end of June 2008 and perhaps was steeper, sold for 5550 on July 17, 2008,
3character didn't go below that until September).

Why did that happen? I am not certain, but my guess is a combination of bubble bursting and PPC profits declining.
Any other theories please comment.

3 Letter Timeseries (NO .COM)

.NET declines at the same time as .COM and starts to rebound at the same time.
For some reason it then crashes again in early 2010 and completely diverges from .COM.

.ORG and .MOBI also follow similar declines as .COM/.NET.

.BIZ and .INFO are on a slow decline but you wouldn't even realize the other TLDs crashed just looking at those two.
They seem unaffected by market crashing for everything else.

.US actually rises slightly when everything else is going down.

3 Letter Timeseries (NO .COM/.NET/.ORG)

Closer view of the lesser TLDs. Nothing really new, you do realize .MOBI never recovers from the crash.
They sit at reg fee currently.

.MOBI looks like a case study in hype and pump+dump. It soars far above more established TLDs and crashes
to worthlessness. I wish I had older timeseries data for other TLD launches and some sort of price index.
It would be fascinating to graph them all starting from launch.

If anyone has some data that would fit this contact me / post in comments.

3 Letter Timeseries + DJIA

I threw in the Dow Jones Industrial Average for fun. What does the domain market look like compared to the stock market?
It seems a similar crash but they don't happen at the same time. Perhaps domain investors aren't that connected
to the stock market? Did the money exit the stock market and go into domains for safety?

Either way, DJIA and 3 letter domains bottom out around the same time. Domains were slower to decline, but started
recovering at the same point.

Log 3 Letter Timeseries + DJIA

Everything at logarithmic scale so you can see DJIA all the way down to .BIZ and .MOBI. No new information,
just a visualization of everything at once at relative scale.

3 Letter Timeseries .COM, DJIA, Home Prices (time shifted to match peak with .com)

This one was just for fun, what does the DJIA, .COM and Median Housing Price look like together.
I shifted the peak of housing bubble to match the peak of .COM. It was to look at the shape of the curves.
I think more could be done, but there is a striking resemblance of bubble bursting. Housing price data came
from here. It's in quarters, not months. Again, this was for SHAPE ONLY.

Interesting Facts:

.COM and .NET prices have an adjusted R^2 of .513 (they seem to diverge mid 2007)
The adjusted R^2 if we cut off at mid 2007, is .967! They are almost perfectly correlated Pre-June 2007

Graph: log .COM prices with adjusted (matched starting points) log .NET prices.

Why do .COM and .NET prices stop correlating mid 2007?
By early 2010, they are going opposite directions in terms of value.

Do we have a 'loser' TLD in the making (demand dropping because of hype/artificial value)?
Is it a market correction that will level off at some point and correlate again?
Massive dumping pushing prices down?
.NET lacks a clear brand/purpose unlike .COM and .ORG?
Any other explanations?

Future Values?

The biggest question is what will the shape of these curves be in the long run?
.COM looks like it's on the rise again, but at a much less steep and not always upwards curve.
.NET is declining, hard to predict if it's temporary or long term, a lot of vested interests in the TLD, if it is dying, it will be a VERY slow decline.
.ORG is on a VERY slow rise again, I suspect this is because .ORG has a clear brand which .NET lack.
.INFO looks to be dying a slow death.
.BIZ looks to be dying a slow death.
.US is odd, it declines and goes up, but it's at such a small scale.
It's currently moving up, but it's so slight that I wouldn't expect it to hold indefinitely unless demand is increased in the US.
.MOBI looks dead.

What are your thoughts?

Is Facebook one of the Largest Referrers to Porn?

Posted in

I was discussing new gTLDs with a friend and .xxx extension came up.

I was wondering how much type in traffic versus search engine traffic
these sites got. What impact would a new TLD make on the adult industry?

Then I stumbled on something fascinating (to me at least):



Note: for those wondering how these were chosen, I used related links on Alexa to find some big sites

I checked a bunch of sites and Facebook consistently showed up near the top.

These sites receive millions of visitors:

8% of 10 million uniques is 0.8 million visitors to YouPorn via Facebook monthly.

(note: most of these traffic stats like Compete estimate low in my experience)

Why is that interesting?

I didn't know Facebook allowed porn links
I wonder how they preview sharing porn links - I am certainly not going to try

I've never seen a porn link publicly posted
Where are these porn links? All private messages and chat?

I searched pages and didn't find any page large enough (largest was 100,000 fans)
for youporn to support this type of traffic (none of the larger ones seemed to link at all)

I also checked which searches public status updates.
I saw one link in the last 4 days posted. Not exactly huge volume.

Who is sharing all these porn links?
The numbers would suggest a large demographic or possibly mass market behavior.

If anyone has some insights please share in the comments below!

Clever Marketing or Trademark Infringement?

I typo'd as (flipped I and A).

They know they are a gmail typo, they even say "You’re right, this isn’t You accidentally mistyped into your address bar. "

Then they pitch their own email service.

click to see full screenshot

That domain is getting a TON of traffic too:

Does it meet UDRP requirements?

(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
Google has at least two TMs:

Syndicate content