Google Forcing American Spelling on British Public

Back in May 2009 Matt Cutts head of Google’s Webspam team talked about Spellmeleon.

Finally, there’s an even more aggressive feature (internal Google code name: “Spellmeleon”) for when we really think the user messed up. In that case, we’ll include a couple results for the corrected query first, then results for the user’s original query. Take the query [ipodd] for example. Our algorithms strongly suggest that the user meant to type “ipod” so we’ll include those search results first.

At the time I commented that “Spellmeleon needs to be more aware of British English spelling when on google.co.uk”.

Fast forward 8 months and it’s been reported by Starstruck who runs Search Engine Optimisation that Google have actually made things a lot worse for the British.
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Bookmarklet To Trim Google Search URL

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of the webspam team, answered Which search feature would you add to Google? in the following Google Webmaster Central video.

In it he said he’d like to make the URLs cleaner, leaving just the search?q=whatever parts. He mentioned writing a Greasemonkey script, so I thought I’d write a little bookmarklet to help him out.
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Canonical Tag – Mostly Harmless

Several months ago the canonical tag was announced and seen as a solution to the issue of duplicate content.

Now, you can simply add this tag to specify your preferred version:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish” />

inside the <head> section of the duplicate content URLs:

http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish&category=gummy-candy
http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish&trackingid=1234&sessionid=5678

and Google will understand that the duplicates all refer to the canonical URL: http://www.example.com/product.php?item=swedish-fish. Additional URL properties, like PageRank and related signals, are transferred as well.
Google Webmaster Central

I have a client and their shopping basket was being reported in Google 293,000 times. Each link to the basket had options, and within the cart there were remove links. All of these got crawled and added to the index.
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Web Development Ennui is the SEO Kiss of Death

Many sites are examples of the endemic difficulty that faces most internet entrepreneurs and small businesses. A lack of focus on making the site or business remarkable.

Even now, with the web being even-my-mum-makes-money-on-it popular for much of the last decade there is still so much opportunity. However with that popularity comes the feeling that like the land run the opportunity will soon pass. As such the web pioneer may forge ahead into new territories grabbing as much land as possible, but hasn’t yet fully developed the properties already picked out.

The truth is, ten years ago people thought it was too late to get involved, that circumstances had changed and all the good ideas had been done; the same was said five years ago, three years ago and in years to come people will look back to the time we are in now and regard it as a golden period full of promises and easy fortunes.
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SEO by the Sea

Bill Slawski who blogs as SEO By the Sea is one of the very best SEO Brains. A frequent posting method of his takes search engine patents or whitepapers and analyses them for insights into the search engine’s algorithms.

His recent post How a Search Engine Might Distinguish Between Queries from Bots and from Humans is typical Bill. Insightful and very useful.

If you’re interested in learning more about how search engines work “under the hood”, then add Bill’s site to your feed reader and follow him on Twitter.

Further SEM Reading

Posts from Ari Ozick are a little like a London bus. You wait ages for anything then a bunch come along at once.

First Ari posted on a subject dear to me, How to Up Your SEO Income by a Factor of 10: Testing over on SEO Book.

Then I notice this absolute gem The SEM Toolbox: 79 Tools and Tips Every Search Marketer Must Have on his SEO Contrarian site.

Lets hope like the 94 there’s a few more around the corner.

SEO Book SEO Community Forums

Aaron Wall who runs SEO Book recently announced he was going to increase the price from $100 to $150 a month for the private SEO forum.

Those that register before August 2009 will keep the $100 month rate so if you’ve been considering joining do so now!

The membership includes use of the forum, access to members only tools and a complete SEO training modules covering everything from on-page, link building to PPC and much more.

I’ve been a full paying member since day one back in November 2007. It’s actually been the best $2000 I’ve ever spent on SEO, SEM, Social Media and general business information.

The other thing I would add is the nature of the forum – being a begin dictatorship – and I mean that in the best possible way. Aaron spends an incredible amount of time on the site, so far contributing over 14 thousand posts. However, this isn’t a self appointed SEO rock star preaching to the converted. There’s significant and vital material from a host of moderators and members. No fan-boys here either, some are well known SEOs in their own right, other’s are business experts or link builders. All have very meaningful online success in difficult niches. These personalties combine to produce quite frankly a vital resource to all serious online businesses.

Frankly at $150 a month it’s still a steal and if you apply half of what you learn and are advised by the community then you’ll make that back many fold.

Click here to join the community.