Valentines Day 2009 at the Search Engines

Another holiday post highlighting the various logos that the search engines have updated in accordance with the holiday of love. Valentines Day is the day to show your love to your significant other, but how many search engines have decided to show their love to their users? Lets check it out. (click the images for a full size pic)

AOL Valentines Day 2009

AOL brought out the Valentines Day theme by changing the entire page to pink in addition to adding some roses to their logo. It sent out the love vibes instantly. Nicely done.

Ask.com Valentines Day 2009

Ask.com always goes all out on their homepage for special holidays. This is a great photo. I really like this one.

Dogpile Valentines Day 2009

Here’s the home page of Dogpile. This is probably the only smaller search engine that actually participates in these holiday homepage / logo changes. I like the big ugly bulldog cartoon at the top.

Live.com Valentines Day 2009

The home page over at Live.com with a picture of two seals kissing is sure to be my girlfriends favorite. She loves animals and this page is obviously very “cute.” Good job Microsoft, you’ve made my girlfriends day. 🙂

MSN Valentines Day 2009

Here’s the search bar over at MSN.com. They didn’t do a theme on this page, but at least they added a nice little logo to the search bar at the top page.

YouTube Valentines Day 2009

YouTube never really goes all out for any holidays, but you can be sure that they’ll update their logo. Todays logo with a rose laying in front of it certainly is classy. I like it.

Google Valentines Day 2009

Last but not least, the logo I’m sure all of you have already seen; Google’s. I actually really like their logo this year. The bright red color and the X O is great. I actually saw this new late last night, and forgetting that the next day was Valentines Day I thought the logo had something to do with a serial killer. Great logo though.

I think all of the search engines that participated in the Valentines Day theme did a great job. I wish more sites would’ve joined in the fun, because these posts are always a good time to research and write up.

Happy Valentines Day!!

The Day I Was Attacked on Sphinn

I’m gonna start with letting you know, that I know,  I probably should have let this go, but that’s just not who I am 🙂 Anyway, the other day, a friend of mine, Troy, who I used to work with sent me an email about a new site he just launched. He mentioned that he put a post up on Digg and if I was interested in Digging it, he’d appreciate it. I thought the site was cool, so I had no problem helping him out.

Basically the site was created very similar to the famous Million Dollar Homepage, only Troy’s was focused on helping the environment. Visitors to the site can donate $2, one of which goes directly to the Arbor Foundation to plant a tree, the other goes to paying for a spot on the main page, which is designated by placing a virtual tree in the space payed for with a link back to the owners site.

I figured that since it was for a good cause and website owners could get a link out of it, Sphinn (“Digg” for Internet marketers) users might also be interested, so I posted the site in the Link Building category. This may have been the worst idea I’ve had in my history of working in the SEO industry, because the Sphinn community went into assault mode on both Troy and I.

I’ve decided to speak out on a few of the comments and get my thoughts out. Since the Sphinn community didn’t want to listen to anything Troy or I had to say and had already basically labeled me a spammer, I decided to do it on my blog instead of in the comments section, so here we go.

2 dollar backlinks sphinn post

DarkMatter: “if I were the admins I would delete this. it’s been done before and there’s no value for search marketers here.”

How is there no value here? You get a link back to your website.

NickWilsdon: ” This is just another take on the MillionDollar Homepage, it shouldn’t be advertised on the front page of Sphinn.”

Hmmm, and Digg, I mean Reddit, I mean Sphinn is completely original, huh? What’s wrong with taking an idea and reworking it?

Gab: “Nick Wilsdon clarified that this was an advert. We don’t need ads going hot.”

So Nick Wilsdon knows all now? He clarified it, so it must be true.

There were also some comments about Troy using the environment for his own greed, taking advantage of people who really want to help, etc. Well the fact is, he was trying to help. Even if he is making money off of it, any possible way to get people to help donate to the Arbor Foundation is helping. A few people even decided to protest my post on Sphinn and directly donate to various charities. Would they have done that otherwise. I’m betting no. Not to say that it was mine or Troy’s doing that got those people to donate, but people need inspiration to donate and that’s what Troy’s site is trying to do. He’s not forcing people to put money in his pocket either. If you want a link, donate $2 and plant a tree, and go to the Arbor Foundation and donate $10 more. It’s as easy as that.

That’s pretty much the jist of it, but there were somewhere around 40 more comments.  I wanted to pull out some more of them, but the post was removed from Sphinn, so I could only work off of a cached version on Yahoo. Anyway, everyone had a similar comment and just wouldn’t let me or Troy get a word in. Once it was “clarified” everyone jumped on the bandwagon.

To the people who DID Sphinn my article, thank you. I think anyone who Sphunn it, knows who I am and understands that whatever the commenters of the post said wasn’t true. I have never been a spammer and don’t ever plan to be one, so that wasn’t my intention.

I’ve told the entire truth in this article, and after everything is said and done, you can believe what you will. Basically, I was just trying to help a friend out. If there’s anything I’ve learned from this experience though, it’s that I’m no longer comfortable at Sphinn and I’ll just continue using it as a resource and not a social community. I’m guessing the users over there would prefer that anyway.

Ask.com Ruins Cinco de Mayo

Ask.com Cinco "do" Mayo

Ok, so Ask.com didn’t really ruin Cinco de Mayo, but they ruined the spelling of it. On their homepage, they’ve misspelled the Mexican holiday as Cinco do Mayo. Only one letter off but that’s enough to have people like me out there putting up blog posts about it. Maybe Ask.com should do this all the time, that way they can get more traffic. Really though, something on the home page of a search engine should be spell checked much more closely.

Celebrate Earth Day, Search Community!

Earth Day Youtube Logo

I figured that Earth Day would have received much more acknowledgment around the web, but not so much from the big search engines.

Ask.com Earth Day Home Page

Ask.com changed their homepage, as well as Google of course, which you can see below. The same goes for YouTube (above), but what about everyone else?

Google Earth Day Logo

Nothing from Yahoo, Reddit, Digg, MSN Search, Live.com, or Facebook. I would love to see more big names trying to help out. I’m very surprised about this actually. Especially from Yahoo. I was almost certain I’d see a logo change or something when I visited the site.

Myspace Earth Day Page

Myspace is the clear winner today though. The Myspace page has been blacked out and links to a very “Green” web page you should check out. If you go there, you’ll notice that there is a great incentive in which if you plant a tree on your Myspace profile, a tree will be planted in real life. Now if only all the big names of the internet would get the word out, we could be living in a much cleaner and healthier place.

Network Solutions and ICANN Being Sued

Network Solutions Logo

One of the sneakiest internet marketing ploys out there is domain tasting. This is a practice that will let someone register a domain name for 5 days, and if they decide that they don’t want it anymore, they’ll drop it.

A domain taster will usually set up some ads or something on the site and see what potential the site has for revenue. If it looks good, they’ll keep it, otherwise, it’s back to the registrar. This practice makes it very hard for a legitimate domain purchaser to find the URL that they are interested in and if you’ve ever searched for a domain and found it taken, it’s likely that it was released just a few days later.

Well, another Search Engine Marketer has had enough with this practice and aims to eliminate the 5-day grace period. Chris McElroy, or NameCritic, has initiated a class-action lawsuit against Network Solutions and ICANN over this controversial, and just plain annoying practice. If you are a blackhat SEO, you might not be too happy about this though. I wonder how this one will turn out.

Here’s the press release from the law firm taking the case.