After last week's rainfall, the sun is shining and there are actually leaves on the trees up here. It's a beautiful spring day, Barry is on a plane to Chicago, and I'm stuck here writing this roundup. :)
Yes, that's right, PageRank data gets updated every 3-4 months and it just so happens to be 3 months since the last one. The April PageRank update is underway, and instead of seeing a rise in PR, some are seeing a fall. Others see a complete drop to PR0 (and some got pretty upset). That's something of a glitch, and Adam Lasnik is looking into it. The number restores itself after the update is complete. You can check your PageRank with a number of tools, and some can tell if the PageRank is valid or invalid. Again, I stress the importance of reading Danny's guide to PageRank, since even though it's a pretty big article, it should allay some fears you all have about this really not-so-important number.
(By the way, speaking of Adam Lasnik, make sure you check out his interview with Eric Enge on those issues that pester all webmasters: duplicate content, nofollow, paid links, and more.)
Social Media Redefined
There was a big Digg revolt over the HD-DVD encryption key this week. After the riots reinforced that democracy on sites such as Digg prevails, it was obvious that Jay and Kevin, founders of Digg, couldn't fight off the masses. However, Neil has a great point. To be purely democratic, there need to be some changes.
Yahoo Introduces Totally Awesome Tool
Yahoo added support for a great robots-nocontent tag that webmasters can use to tell the Yahoo crawler not to acknowledge clutter on the website and only to focus on information pertinent for a search. Danny also weighed in on the Yahoo robots-nocontent feature and gives an in-depth walk-through on how this will affect search. Will other search engines take on this standard? It would make our lives easier, wouldn't it?
Breaking News: MSNHOO Around the Corner
The biggest news of the day is certainly the possible merger of Yahoo and Microsoft, which follows Yahoo's acquisition of Right Media. I certainly wonder about their individual search engines and how they will coexist under the same roof. I suppose the better technologies will be used to improve the quality of the search results, which may be unfortunate to some people who rank well organically in one search engine and not the other. Remember, you consistently have to optimize to keep up with changing algorithms, and this is not any different. Regardless, if the merger happens, it would be truly interesting to see how these two forces as one challenge the Google "monopoly".
After last week's little AdWords malware fiasco with the BBB, we now are seeing a few other strange Google ads. (The weirdness that brought this topic to light: Google Checkout results were hijacked.)
This isn't so odd -- it is actually quite useful. A user has discovered that Google UK users can easily find supplemental results. All we really need (perhaps in the form of an operator) is a nice way of locating supplemental results across all Googles in all countries.
Google's founders were named the most influential people in IT by Ziff Davis. Sergey and Larry are darn good innovators, and it shows.
Barry shows us a real live example of Pay Per Action ads. At first, it took me some time to find the ad since it really blends in with the surroundings. Have a look for yourself.
Hopefully, a new Yahoo-Microsoft beast will be able to combat issues that Yahoo! Publisher Network has in comparison to AdWords. There's a lot of poor targeting and lower earnings/CTR. In the same post, you can see the contextual ads that Yahoo! generates -- for me, I'm reading about ads that address sleep disorders and sell retractable awnings. I don't think Search Engine Roundtable has much to do with either.
Even so, Google AdWords advertisers have their problems too. In the AdWords console, publishers are seeing repetitive tips. Ads are relevant but advertisers always want ways of increasing those conversions, so more information would really only help.
But further confusion ensues for web publishers who actually display these ads after a Google announcement about optimal ad placement. There are a lot of gray areas with this one.
Give to a Charity, Get a Free Pass to SMX and More Training from Bruce Clay
Bruce Clay, which is sponsoring the SMX Advanced conference next month in Seattle, is having a contest for free tickets to SMX and for some hands-on SEO training. To score the prize, you will need to partner with a non-profit company and help them with optimizing their website. It's a great contest for a great cause, and besides just being able to attend the first ever SMX (which in itself is a treat), you even get to be with my BFF, Lisa, at the Bruce Clay headquarters while I am on the other side of the country being jealous. Go enter for this amazing opportunity.