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Posts tagged with: Microsoft

Microsoft Teaches Black Hat SEO

Microsoft Supports Link ExchangeToday I was pretty amazed to read an article by the Sr. Product Manager of Microsoft, Skip Chilcott who openly endorsed that webmasters should participate in Link Exchange as it helps to boost the rankings in search engines.

That totally contradicts with what I wrote in my complete Linkbuilding tutorial and most importantly it contradicts with Google’s Webmaster Guideline as well as Microsoft’s very own guideline.

This is what Google has to say about participating in Link schemes:

…some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. This is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact your site’s ranking in search results.

This is what Microsoft’s guideline says (Important part in Bold):

..Techniques that might prevent your website from appearing in Live Search results
The following techniques aren’t appropriate uses of the Live Search index. Use of these techniques might affect how your website is ranked within Live Search, and might cause your website to be removed from the index….. – Using techniques, such as link farms, to artificially increase the number of links to your webpage.

Yahoo also takes a similar stance about Link exchange

What Yahoo! Considers Unwanted: … Sites cross-linked excessively with other sites to inflate a site’s apparent popularity (link schemes)….

Now I wonder why would Skip Chilcott of Microsoft would publicly recommend participating in Link exchange scheme (a semi black-hat technique) and also endorse certain software/firms for that purpose.

Why Do I strongly discourage Link Exchange Schemes

Search Engine has become competitive and more useful for people (like us). We heavily depend on search engine to find useful & relevant information everyday. The reason we find ‘search engines’ useful is because – It allows us to find what we are looking for in a quick time. But as more and more people starts to ‘game’ the search engine, there will be more ‘spam’ and ‘low quality results’ in the respected engines. One way of stopping that spam is to, making sure that the Search algorithm doesn’t take ‘certain’ attributes into consideration that can be artificially manipulation (E.g. low quality links). Google (The primary engine that I personally uses) has taken several measures in past and has discounted those ‘bad links’ from counting. They have discouraged and taken necessary action to prevent webmasters from gaming the search ranking using those ‘shady SEO techniques’.

Even though I may not 100% agree to what Google does (they do have some strict ruling about a lot of things), I do agree that Reciprocal Linking or participating in automated link exchange program does not benefit the user at all and it just benefits the webmaster to game the whole system! And if search engines are gamed, then it will lose it’s usefulness.

And when such ‘shady advice’ comes directly from the Sr. Product manager of Microsoft, it just makes everything clear to me that why Live Search has been so far away in producing anything but good results!

Update: Skip Chilcott has created another post, identifying the mistake he made in his first post. This time He has asked a colleague over at Live Search to share some expert advice on linking best practices. [ I’m really looking forward to that post ]

What Kind of Link Exchange Are Possible White Hat?

  • Links that helps the user to find more useful information on that particular subject.
  • Links that are not promoting or giving Link juice to a site that is spammy in nature
  • Links exchange that are primarily meant for Traffic and not for “search engine ranking”
  • Links that you would want to recommend to the search engine because of their quality and value to you and your users

Natural Link building techniques that many Search Experts recommend:

8 Ways to Buy Links Without “Buying Links”, Rand Fishkin – SEOmoz.org

Should I Avoid Link Exchange / Link Trading Hubs?, Aaron Wall – SEObook.com

The definitive link building strategy, Web Credible

101 Link Building Tips to Market Your Website, Aaron Wall – SEOBook.com

Link Building Tutorial – A Complete Walkthrough, Saad Kamal

Five Link Building Strategies That Work, Brian Clark – Copyblogger

Programming for Children – Small Basic

programming-for-children This is a bit off topic but, I felt that it might be useful for some of my readers. If you have small children in home and you want them to learn basic programming language from an early age, Small Basic is for you!

What Is Small Basic?

Small Basic is a free programming language by Microsoft that is aimed at kids. Unlike other tools that has been previously designed to teach kids programming in a ‘codeless’ environment, Small Basic is essentially a small version of the popular BASIC language.

Drawing inspiration from the original BASIC language, but based on the newer .Net Framework, Small Basic has many useful features that will definitely help your kids to learn programming in a more professional but easy manner.

Small Basic - A Programming Language for Kids

Some of the highlights of Small Basic are:

  • Small Basic Language: The Small Basic Language consists of just 14 keywords, that is extremely easy to learn and remember. Small Basic is pure imperative code that runs on the .Net Framework.
  • Programming Environment: Small Basic’s development environment is simple but provides features that professional developers have come to expect from an IDE including Intellisense (Intelligently detects error and suggests you different variation of code)
  • Small Basic Libraries: Small Basic also comes with a set of libraries, and allows you to create your own libraries or modify existing ones. It also allows third-party libraries to be plugged in. (Hint: So if you are a developer and would like to do something nice for the young generation of programmers, here is your chance!)

Free Resources for Small Basic – Programming For Kids

If you are interested to give Small Basic a try or if you wish to introduce it to your kids you don’t need to go and buy any expensive books. Just download a comprehensive and easy to read, FREE SmallBasic Introductory Ebook (PDF) that introduces the reader to this new language and to programming in general.

Even though Small Basic is primarily made for children, it just may be the ideal way for anyone interested in programming to dip their feet in the cold water.

Microsoft Live Search in Facebook

It looks like Microsoft just got lucky, as Facebook has got into a partnership with them to add Microsoft’s Live Search inside Facebook’s Friend Search.

Now Facebook users in the U.S. have the option to “Search Facebook” or “Search the Web.” In addition, Microsoft adCenter is delivering search ads alongside those results.

Microsoft Live Team has also launched a Facebook Page for their product. Check it out and become a fan (If you are a Microsoft Lover ;) )