Ash Nallawalla's blog

Search visibility of Singapore banks in 2011

In the last two years I wrote about online directories and real estate websites in the US. For a change I decided to look at Asian sites. So, I have just published a report on the Search Visibility of Singapore Banks in 2011 and it is available for download without needing to supply your email […]

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iOS 4.3 includes a personal hotspot

If you own an Apple iPhone 3GS, iPad etc, the latest update of the iOS operating system version 4.3 comes with a personal hotspot for Internet connectivity. This has killed the market for personal hotspot gadgets, currently costing around $200 from Vodafone, Huawei and so on. What is a personal hotspot? A personal hotspot enables […]

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CAPTCHA for aliens

Ash Nallawalla

15 March 2011

General

The CAPTCHA project is a worthy initiative from the Carnegie Mellon University and is commonly found on forms to reduce bot spam and exploits. I was reading an article at NAB’s Money Basics site and happened to notice the CAPTCHA text below the comment form:

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Doug Heil bans me from the ihelpyou forum – for life

Ash Nallawalla

11 March 2011

Other

While going through my unopened email from last month, the following text caught my eye: You have received an infraction at SEO Best Practices Search Engine Forums. Reason: Multiple Spammer This infraction is worth 50 point(s) and may result in restricted access until it expires.  Serious infractions will never expire. All the best, SEO Best […]

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Foursquare Support responds seven months later

Early last August I wrote to Foursquare support: Recently, I spent two weeks in Orlando and its environs. At Cape Canaveral, while standing in front of a tour bus at the bus stand, I was told that I was too far from @Tour Bus @Kennedy Space Center. I took a photo of this message with […]

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Now Google demotes overstock.com

Ash Nallawalla

24 February 2011

Google Search, SEO

Recently, I wrote about Google demoting JC Penney for getting links from dubious places. Now it has demoted Overstock.com for getting links from very prestigious websites – .edu to be precise. Amir Efrati writes in The Wall Street Journal: Google Inc. is penalizing Overstock.com Inc. in its search results after the retailer ran afoul of […]

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Will Experts Exchange become a victim of the new Chrome extension?

Google just released a new extension for its Chrome browser. Initially I wasn’t sure what it is called, as it seemed to be “block sites from Google’s web search results”. On closer inspection, it is “Personal Blocklist” and here is the official description: The personal blocklist extension will transmit to Google the patterns that you […]

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JC Penney followup: Doug Pierce’s research for the NYT expose

A few blogs have picked up the story about the paid links allegedly obtained by JC Penney’s former SEO company SearchDex. Vanessa Fox’s detailed article in SearchEngineLand led me to Doug Unplugged, the blog of Doug Pierce, of Blue Fountain Media. An interesting find by Doug was SearchDex’s client list, which has now been taken […]

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Google demotes JC Penney; JC Penney fires SEO company

Ash Nallawalla

13 February 2011

Google Search, SEO

The New York Times has published a well-informed account of how a major US retailer was using alleged paid links from dubious websites. Entitled The Dirty Little Secrets of Search, writer David Segal outlines the process of searching for household items and then is surprised that: in the last several months, one name turned up, […]

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Did the Wayback Machine die and nobody noticed?

Ash Nallawalla

24 January 2011

Other

The Wayback Machine or archive.org served a good purpose. In its early years it tried to keep a copy of many pages from websites great and small. People who inadvertently deleted their website were able to recover some of the content through it. More recently (five years ago, not five weeks), it couldn’t cope with […]

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Travel sites fail to rank

Ash Nallawalla

18 December 2010

SEO

When I am searching for a good air fare or want to make a hotel booking, I don’t use Google. I go directly to sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Kayak and their Australian counterparts. That’s because I have found good bargains in the past and have bookmarked them. What chance does a travel portal […]

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Solution: unable to save 100 results in Google search?

Ash Nallawalla

18 December 2010

Google Search

I prefer to get the maximum number of results in a Google Search, namely, 100 results. For the past few days I noticed that I was getting only 10 results even after I went to the Search Settings (Preferences) and changed the number from 10 to 100. My preference was not sticking. Why was this […]

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