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Microsoft + Powerset = Search Innovation
MSN's Jeremiah Andrick of Live Search stopped by Lexington, KY for a chat with the WebProNews team on the latest developments with Live Search, including the recent purchase of Powerset.
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David A. Utter
Google's Favoritism Makes Knol SEO Magnet
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Author and search optimization expert Aaron Wall headed to Google's Knol, as did many SEO professionals, to create a page. He doesn't sound happy about what he found.


Editor's Note: Google may have a problem on its hands. It's reasonable Google would trust its own Wikipedia over outside sources. But fair-minded publishers are likely to feel disenfranchised if digital nepotism knocks them down a notch in the search rankings. Likely you an opinion on this, so let'er rip in the comments section.

We have already seen how Knol grabbed great Google rankings for a significant percentage of pages listed on Knol's home page. Knol isn't supposed to have a high PageRank yet, but Google may be giving its house resource a little algorithmic love behind the scenes.

Wall suggested this as he reached out to see how a page on the site might fare for him. He created an SEO Basics Knol that "was essentially a duplicate of my Work.com Guide to Learning SEO (that was also syndicated to Business.com)," he said.

Google cited the new Knol as being similar to work already on the web at Work.com and Business.com. Wall searched for a string of text from the article and found it ranking on Google; searching for it with duplicate content filters negated found the Knol piece ranking above its syndicated and much older placement on Business.com.


"Some may call this the Query Deserves Freshness algorithm, but one might equally decide to call it the copyright work deserves to be stolen algorithm," said Wall.

"Google knows the content is duplicate, and yet they prefer to rank their own house content over the originally published source."

Whether Google changes this behavior or not, which could happen given all the algorithm tweaking they regularly do, probably won't change the flood of SEOs churning out pages at Knol. Considering Google's treatment of such content with favorable rankings, SEOs may have to do this out of a need to compete.

And we've all seen how well competitors fare against Google. Ask.com seems moribund, and depends on Google advertising; Yahoo took an ad deal with Google to avoid being taken over by Microsoft; and even Microsoft sees Google as a major competitor.

By ranking Knol articles highly, Google, by design or accident, made Knol a go-to destination for anyone seeking traffic for a website. Knol became something SEOs must consider in their work for their sites and clients because of this, and that may not be a great thing.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Follow me on Twitter, and you can reach me via email at dutter @ webpronews dot com.
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Rafael Robinson

Which one?

Our featured post today comes from inertia. He needs help figuring out the right time to use rewrites and redirects. Think you can help him out? Tell us your thoughts at WebProWorld!

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Rewrite or 301 Redirect?
As I think about this question I cant help but think I'm missing some fundamental point, but here goes.

Rewrite or 301 redirect? Some situations need one and some need another but I am a little confused as to which is needed when? For example, I've just started work on a client's site and he has the old www versus non-www thing. Should I use rewrite or redirect? He has links that go to domain dot com and domain dot com/index etc. Should I fix the links and 301 /index to the root domain or rewrite?

Most of the standard coding for fixing these problems is rewrite but I always think, why not use redirect? It's a lot simpler?

What am I missing? As far as I can see rewrite should be used for unfriendly URLs but why use it for redirects?
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To _blank or to _new, that is the question

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