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Thursday, December 16, 2004

Slashdotted and BoingBoinged

You probably heard the term “slashdotted” before. The “Slashdot Effect” happens to a web page when it is linked to from, suddenly getting many thousands of new visitors within hours (I had the honor myself once). But Slashdot isn’t the only big site which, once it links to you, will sent huge traffic onto your server – in a neverending verbification of nouns, you may also happen to be ...

[Thanks Eric A., Andreas S. & Deane.]

Google Suggest on Little Prince

Carey Squires shows a screenshot of how Google Suggest turns a search for “little pr...ince” into (among others) “little preteen” and “little preteen models.” (I came across the term myself once analyzing the search logs for, in which someone was searching for “preteenz”.)

Mappr Maps Images

Mappr aims to bring geo-location to the world of Flickr photos. [Via Waxy.]

Google Images Answers

Mosley asked Google Images some questions and shows the results.

43 Things Preview

43 Things is a “wish for anything” site in its early stages; post what you want and connect yourself to others who may want to same, or help you achieving your goal. Steve Rubel calls it “a hybrid advertiser-supported auction/blog/social networking site.” You can apply to become a beta tester by handing out your email (every day, 43 slots will open for 43 new users to join the program). A screenshot is available. And there’s still the working front-page.

Why Keywords in URLs Don’t Matter

I feel this has become a growing myth in the Search Engine Optimization world, so I’d like to take this post to debunk it: no, keywords in URLs do not matter. That’s the truth from about 1 mile above and should be enough to get anyone started and become successful with content. If you want to zoom in on the details – which you should only do if everything else on the site is in perfect condition (mainly the things on it are interesting to many people) – you can see the only way people really benefit from keyword-rich URLs are:

  1. When Google or other engines show the search result, parts of the URL will be bold.
  2. When you guestbook-spam a URL to promote it, hyphen-separated keywords suddenly become link text (because of many comment sections’ functionality to auto-link any URL).
  3. The keyword in the URL can be the last resort to some engines if the keyword appears nowhere else.

1. Google puts keywords in URLs bold: Now the first argument has value to some extent, but it’s just not that important. It’s far more important to get to the top 5 results in Google and have a meaningful title. Experts will actually hesitate to click on URLs stuffed with keywords – such as – because they look like (and often are) nothing but spam.

2. Guestbook spam with keywords in links increases relevance: The second argument only makes sense in terms of black-hat SEO. If you have a serious business, or if you take pride in your site’s content, you won’t resort to these spamming techniques. So I find this a moot point especially in the context of otherwise meaningful SEO advice.

3. The URL is another good place for the keyword to count: The third argument would only become relevant if the keyword would not appear anywhere in the page. As naturally any content-rich page has all the right keywords right in the content, this simply doesn’t make sense as part of good SEO, because good SEO needs not rely on it.

Yes, keywords in the domain name can be important for humans to remember (yet this doesn’t make “” more popular than “”, or “” more profitable than “”). This is very different from saying the bots of the search engine world will instantly love it. In the end, I believe most people would fare better with only a single SEO advice (of which backlinks, higher PageRank, and ultimately steady traffic will be a result): care about your content enough to make others care.


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