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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Google Stock Falls Hard Following Slow Growth Announcement

Google Warning on Growth
Unnerves Investors

Goog Stock Plunges Some 13%, Ending Down 7.1%

The Easy Stuff May Be Over
a recap from the Wall Street Journal

Google Inc.'s chief financial officer spooked investors with a warning that the Web-search company's growth rate would slow from its breakneck pace, sending Google shares down almost immediately.

Speaking at a Merrill Lynch & Co. investor conference, Google finance chief George Reyes said that Google is "getting to a point where the law of large numbers starts to take root," referring to the challenge of increasing revenue and profits at the same rate from higher base levels. "At the end of the day, growth will slow," he added. "Will it be precipitous? I doubt it."

Google shares plunged to $338.51 from $397.54 following his comments, as investors and analysts scrambled to figure out how serious Mr. Reyes's warning was. The shares later recovered partially, as some issued research notes saying that Google's sharp selloff was unwarranted, given that Google executives in the past had made similar warnings: that growth will eventually slow and profit margins eventually contract.

Google shares closed down $27.76, or 7.1%, at $362.62 for the day. At that level, they were 24% below than their intraday high of $475.11 hit on Jan. 11. The volume of 38.9 million shares traded yesterday made it the second-most-active day for Google since the company went public in August 2004.

But, for some investors who remained jittery from Google's fourth-quarter earnings shortfall announced on Jan. 31, Mr. Reyes's comments could be taken as the latest sign that Google is finished with the easy stuff. Some believe that the company has entered a new era, where factors such as tax rates, international operations and expenses can weigh more on short-term results than they have in the past. Such factors helped depress fourth-quarter earnings. Google's blowout growth -- its revenue rose 118% in 2004 from the previous year, for example -- has in the past largely masked any such concerns.

Speaking yesterday, Mr. Reyes said that the Mountain View, Calif., company had achieved most of the possible gains from a recent initiative to increase the revenue it generates for each consumer search. "We're going to have to find other ways to monetize our business," he said.

Mr. Reyes said future gains would come from "organic" growth, including by increasing the number of search queries Google handles. He cited Internet services that consumers can access from mobile phones and search services providing results linked to specific geographic locations as also having particularly strong potential. Google also has been pushing its toolbar software as a way to increase usage of its search services.

"I'm not turning bearish at all. I think we have a lot of growth ahead of us," Mr. Reyes said. "The question is, at what rate?" In response to a question, he said his comments weren't prompted by any specific observation about Google's business during the current quarter.

Analysts largely shrugged off Mr. Reyes's warnings. Piper Jaffray & Co. Internet analyst Safa Rashtchy in a research note said the share selloff represented a buying opportunity, saying Mr. Reyes's comments didn't suggest any faster or slower growth than Mr. Rashtchy already forecast. Piper Jaffray has received compensation for investment-banking services or has had a client relationship with Google in the past year and makes a market in Google shares.

Analyst David Garrity at Investec Inc. said in a note that Mr. Reyes "is not distinguishing his tenure through building investor confidence with well-timed statements," but also noted that the selloff possibly presented investors with a good opportunity to buy shares.

Many analysts and investors hope Google will provide more clarity during its annual analysts' day tomorrow. The company has been reluctant to provide specific financial guidance, but the recent earnings shortfall -- which Google blamed on complex tax considerations -- has increased analysts' demands for more details about its prospects.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Concerned About Your MSN Rankings?

MSN Engineers Confirm It's All About Content!

A recent conf. call with a team of MSN search engineers was most telling. The Redmond gang has done a great job of improving the quality of their organic keyword search results in recent months and searchers are responding.

It appears that keyword searchers are rewarding MSN as recent Nielsen reports confirm that MSN has increased from 8% to 14% of all keyword search in recent weeks.

**It looks like the MSN search gains are resulting in Yahoo search losses as Yahoo has fallen from 26% of all keyword searches to 18% and Google reports are up again increasing from 62% to 65% of all keyword search.

In Summary here are the latest Nielsen Net Ratings keyword search stats:

Percentage of Keyword Search Activity by Search Engine:

Google 65%
Yahoo 18%
MSN 14%
All other search engines: 3%

Why the recent jump in the MSN search numbers?

1) More Relevant Results.
2) Deeper Indexing.
3) Removal of Overly Commercial / Affiliate Heavy / eCommerce Link Farm Sites.

The MSN engineering team is confirming that recent algorithm updates are pushing down and restricting URLs with numerous affiliate links and/or high outbound link counts. Also the MSBbot formulas have been modified to negate URLs containing redirect links, invalid page code, or sticky web analytics/tracking URLs.

The reconfigured MSNbots can now travel much deeper and are indexing volumes of urls per crawl versus only one or two URLs per site in years past. Also the semantic text matching capabilities of the Microsoft robot crawlers has improved significantly as the MSNBots now parse, index, and full capture almost any kind of text document with the formatting as the original layout provides.

These text parsing improvements at MSN search have led to dramatic improvements in the MSN search results and more keyword searchers are beginning to move towards MSN and away from Yahoo.

So much so that just last week Yahoo began a new user incentive campaign that rewards Yahoo users for staying and searching the tired and slow Yahoo search results. Yahoo account holders are now being given varoius FREE rewards and incentives to remain at Yahoo and search. This 'Yahoo search only promotion' appears to be the latest public admission by Yahoo senior management that the Yahoo keyword search product remains unfinished and in a state of constant flux.

Over in Redmond the keyword search engineering troops are gaining more confidence daily as their search numbers keep rising. The new MSN Ad Center is set to launch any day and feedback from new search programs like the Windows Live Mobile Search (now in beta tests) are receiving great user reviews and feedback.

MSN Confirms Content is King yet again!

MSN search engineers are requesting that webmasters and publishers seeking to increase their keyword positions focus on page content. Relevant content pieces and URLs with helpful information that best serve users are being more heavily favored than ever before. Those parties seeking to increase website awareness in MSN search are being strongly encouraged to deliver quality content.

On a related organic seo note was the downplay of backlinks in the new MSN organic search system as recent algorithm updates value on-page text parameters increasingly, versus suspect incoming links, as MSN feels incoming links from off-topic, or unrelated documents, cannot always be trusted, and often lead to results page manipulation and poor organic search results.

Relevant Content is definitely the key in the new MSN!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Google Confirms SEO Company Traffic Power and Client Sites were Banned in 2004.

Google engineer Matt Cutts posted these comments about rogue Law Vegas SEO Traffic Power earlier this week.

"I can confirm that Google has removed and domains promoted by Traffic Power from our index because of search engine optimization techniques that violated our webmaster guidelines at

If you are a client or former client of Traffic Power and your site is not in Google, please see my previous advice on requesting reinclusion into Google’s index to learn what steps to take if you would like to be reincluded in Google’s index."

This Google Confirmation might help put an end to all of the legal fights that Traffic Power started as a result of Google's ban. Traffic Power created a new company and is operating as First Poisition here's the new website

Google's Big Daddy Say: "Be Wary of Doorway Pages".

Monday, February 13, 2006

BMW Germany Pulled From Google For Cloaking --- NOT SEO

The SEO grapevine is spinning out of control once again, over last week's announcement by Matt Cutts at Google that they pulled BMW Germany for cloaking their search engine. Cutts posted a story (and the evidence) with details on how BMW Germany was serving pages based upon IP address or cloaking Google.

BMW programmed the known googlebot spider IP addresses into their servers and fed highly optimized pages to googlebot spider IPs, and their "true" graphics-heavy, un-optimized homepage, to all other IP addresses. The Google Cloak worked great for about three weeks, until Google sent some spiders out to double check this new high-ranking BMW Germany site on anonymized IPs.

Google randomly checks top ranking sites using anonymized IPs to make sure top ranking websites are on the up and up.

When the anonymous spiders from Google received the "true" unoptimized homepage and not the optimized page, BMW Germany was pulled from Google for cloaking.

Cloaking is cause for Google to Pull a website (typically 45 days or less) and is far too risky a method, however some larger companies still feel tempted to try and fool or trick the search engines rather than optimize their sites. Google has been temporarily pulling sites for Cloaking for years. This BMW Germnay case is simply the latest Google cloaking case of several hundred in the past few years.

That's why the SEO grapevine spin being put on this BMW Germany episode has gotten absolutely out of control.

This past weekend one blogger posted on his blog that SEO got BMW pulled from Google.

First we need to clarify a couple of points:

SEO is not Cloaking.

SEO is not "tricking" or "fooling" the search engines.

SEO = search engine optimization.

Quality Organic Optimization or organic seo is a proven process that equates to the organization of HTML elements throughout a site, cover to cover, that assists the search engine spiders in crawling, indexing, and ranking a site in top organic keyword search positions.

Search engine optimization is not showing one page to spiders and another page to website users. This is too easy, short-sighted, not ethical and websites involved in cloaking are most deserving of being pulled from Google's database.

SEO Grapevine Blog posts like the one that follows are wrong, insulting and only further clouds the truth surrounding quality organic SEO which is highly specialized work, that requires substantial time and effort, and is not a simple flip of the switch, or employment of manipulative techniques that avoid the real issue: poor website design, too many dynamic-database indicators, slop code, sub-par linking architectures, and poor content.

Here's the error filled hype from a "self professed seo" blog post this past weekend. (again this blog post is 100% wrong!)

Google Blacklists BMW for Boosting Ranking, Blogger Says

Frankfurt -- According to a blog by Matt Cutts, a software engineer for Google,
the U.S.-based Internet search-engine giant has blacklisted the German website
of BMW after the car-maker allegedly tried to boost its popularity ranking
artificially. Cutts claims BMW employed a practice called search-engine
optimisation to ensure that searches for "BMW" and "used cars" returned to
BMW's website first -- a practice that apparently runs counter to Google
guidelines. Cutts said Google placed a "Google Death Penalty" on BMW's
German website that lowers its Internet profile.

(read original blog past from matt cutts here:

Can this blogger read, understand or write english?

Here is what Matt Cutts really had to say about why Google pulled the BMW Germany site and we quote...

"Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users.”

i.e.: Do Not Cloak Google!

As for the Google death penalty this poorly informed Blogger references that BMW Germany received a "Google Death Penalty".

The truth is that the BMW Germany site was "temporarily pulled" from Google for only 30 days.

Submitting too often using automated submission software programs has more negative consequences with Google than cloaking. As submitting redundant urls and just badgering Google with redundant submissions can get a site/url pulled for several months.

Hopefully the truth about Cloaking, Links, PageRank, & Google's Mythical New Site Sandbox, will all someday come to the front again as the SEO grapevine has primarily been cluttered with inaccurate hype on these topics in recent months.

Especially from the Search Engine Marketing -- SES crowd. So much SEM/SES hype and conjecture with immediate top ranking offers that include:

1) Why optimize just buy keyword exposure.

2) Don't take the time to open up your site to the search engine spiders long-term, that takes too long...get out your credit card and sponsor any keyword you want today!

3) Outsource Pay Per Click Management and Your Dreams will come True!

4) Pay Per Click and SEM the quickest ways to SEO sucess.

5) Forget that organic search results are preferred 7 to 1 vs. paid links.

Or is quality organic search engine optimization that is above board, compliant and favored by the Google spiders worth the investment and effort?

You decide...


Friday, February 10, 2006

Dell and Google Partner on New Line of Computers

Dell and Google have confirmed that they are testing a pre-installed package of Google software on Dell computers, in a blow to Microsoft dominance of the desktop software business.

Dell the world's leading personal computer maker is evaluating Google software that PC customers could use to search both the public Web and for local information stored on their desktop Personal Computers.

Dell and Google are making updates to hardware that Dell is scheduled to roll out with Hewlett-Packard.

Dell and Google are in talks to put Google software on as many as 100 million new Dell PCs.

This new development with Dell blends in with partnership deals that Google already has with many leading PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, Sony, Apple Computer, and Toshiba to distribute the Google Toolbar.