Category: Internet

Bing News Vs Google News for NBA Finals

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Who does online news results better, Microsoft’s Bing or Google News? Of the two, who indexes more articles? Who’s delivering the most current and relevant content? Who’s providing the best user experience? Branded as a “decision engine”, Microsoft’s new Bing.com is seeking to grab market share from Google, in the battle of search engines. To see how the two matched up I performed the same search on each site. Here’s what I discovered.

About an hour after game 2 of the NBA finals, I grabbed screenshots from both Bing.com news search and Google News search. I wanted to see how the two engines matched up for delivering results related to recent events. To ensure equal results, the same search phrase was used (NBA finals) for each of the search queries. The screen shots were cropped so they would fit here for viewing (even though they’re still kind of big for this blog theme). The first screenshot displays news search results from Bing.

First off I like the richness of the page Bing delivers. The screen shot doesn’t do it justice, as the background image and Bing logo are not shown here. Looking at the screen capture we see there are 124 news results indexed for this particular search phrase. I like that there is an option to sort by relevance versus most recent. In this case I’m searching by default which I suspect is by relevance.

The leading snippet and title tag pretty much sum up the information most people are seeking. We can see that the Lakers took a 2-0 lead in the series, and the score was 101-96 over the Orlando Magic in overtime. The primary image result, featuring Kobe Bryant, is relevant to the topic. Four sources of “news media” are displayed for video results. Microsoft Bing allows users to mouse over the video thumbnails in order to watch a preview. From a user perspective, that’s a nice experience, but from someone wanting traffic to their own website for video results, I don’t feel too good about the preview feature. Anyways, I would assume most visitors performing a search for NBA finals on Bing would be happy with the results. Searchers received relevant content in a mixed form of text images and video.

The Google News engine has been around since early 2002, and it’s made significant advancements (including video and commenting to name two) during the past seven years. According to Google, selection and placement of stories on the page are determined automatically by computer algorithm. The screenshot above shows that algorithm at work when searching the term NBA Finals. How did they do?

When it comes to sheer volume of results, Google News has Microsoft Bing beat, with 1,649 related news articles indexed. Not all of those articles have been published post game time (on either of the two sites) but Google News also delivers relevant information (to the search query) directly in the news titles and snippets. From a user perspective, I can get the game score and information on who won simply by viewing the clustered results.

Which one is better? I can’t say there is a clear winner here. In the case of searching for this particular recent event key phrase, I think both sites do a good job in delivering results. Google gets points for volume of articles and Bing gets points for including relevant video directly in the news results. Both sides appear to be indexing content from major news outlets, at least from what is seen when viewing clustered news results on the search page.

While Microsoft’s Bing is fresh and new, and displays a background image on the search home page, the Google News website recently underwent some updates and modifications, featuring some changes in color, and grouping of news related search results returned. Video inclusion is increasing on Google News pages as well, and video can typically be watched directly from the Google News home page.

With a growing desire from users to find recent event results as fast as possible, I think Microsoft has an opportunity here to step up their game, and show the world they are a serious contender in the category of news search results. Still, it’s my opinion both Microsoft and Google are behind Twitter when it comes to getting really fast results on searches related to current events. Check search.twitter.com to see for yourself.

Constant Content Creation Drives Traffic

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

What’s a geek chiropractor to do on Friday night? Well, I came home from the office (a rocking week serving Los Angeles) and cleared an 8′ whiteboard in my home office, so I could set week ahead goals on it.

I showered, weighed in (195), posted next 7 days of workouts, vitamin intake schedule, and plans for 9 blog/news posts to be completed. I love setting goals. More than that, I love checking those goals off the old school way (check marked and erased).

tweets-mike-gvI sat down to get started on the first post, paused to tweet what I was doing, and then spotted an interesting coincidence.

Look at the tweetdeck screenshot to the left, @garyvee tweeted regarding content at exactly the same time as I did (@chiropractic).

Thanks to @adamstrong for bringing that to my attention.

What I liked about this was here was someone else (on a Friday night nonetheless) essentially answereing the question I get asked MOST when I met people. “How do you create so much content?” has got to be the top question I get from people starting out.

daily content on your blog/vlog/podcast/site is a necessity for victory ( making money) don’t let up and never stop! – @garyvee

I’ll give the credit for the daily content creation motivation to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. I believe I once heard Arnold say something in the nature of… “if you can focus 15 minutes a day to a task, in 10 short years you can become an expert.” So in 1999, one of my goals became to develop fresh content daily, and to develop skills so that much of that content could be created in about 15 minutes.

I’m actually getting near the 10 year mark (chiropractic news archived content since June 1999) and I can confidently say I finally feel like an expert (although I’m excited to continue learning) in creating and posting content.

A BIG thing I learned over the years is that not everyone is interested in daily topics on chiropractic (not even chiropractors) and I had to get creative in order to continue growing. One of the best examples I have of getting creative was a post (written in ~ 15 minutes) related to the 2007 Van Halen Tour with David Lee Roth.

Van Halen became a hot topic that weekend, and being a huge fan, I wanted to get a group of nationwide chiropractors together to volunteer tour services. Nothing that incredibly creative actually.

Well, a national reporter seemed to think it was, and I soon found myself being questioned as to why a chiropractic site ranked so high for the term Van Halen. That questioning resulted in a full page spread in a national print newspaper, an article on the homepage of CNN Money, and several related news web site posts.

Use a Top Story and Tie it into Your Site

How do I do it? I’ve honestly forgotten how I did it when I first started, but that was over 3000 days ago. I’ll tell you how I do it now. Today, I cleared the whiteboard and laid out the general topic headlines of the 9 posts (to be completed within next 7 days).

There’s news about a recording artist and her chiropractic care, a pro cyclist and her chiropractic care, one on search keywords, a how to article, a post regarding upcoming holidays, insurance billing codes, and one on shoulders. Not all will be completed, but in the process I’ll come up with ideas for a next set of posts, and I’ll likely have 6+ done by Sunday night.

That does not mean I’ll spend the weekend inside on the computer. No way, I live at the beach for a reason. There’s running time, family time, dog time, movie time, and other time too. Only the posts that require significant research should take longer than 20 minutes each to complete, and fortunately, nowadays I’m not the only one creating content.

Cheers!

RPC Relay HTML appearing in stats

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

This is a non-chiropractor related post, so excuse me for a few moments while I cover something webmasters may be doing some searches on. I was checking the stats for planetchiropractic.com earlier today, and I noticed an HTML file (rpc_relay.html) appearing in the list of popular URLs for the site.

I hadn’t seen this particular HTML file appearing before so I initially suspected foul play. The file was amongst the top 10 most frequently accessed URLs appearing on the site so I was obviously curious to figure out what it was.

After logging in to the server I remembered that over the weekend I activated Google’s friend connect which required me adding to HTML files to the website root dir. One of those files is the rpc_relay.html files. I had not bothered to look at the content of the HTML file until now and it turns out it’s simply a JavaScript for the friend connect service wrapped in HTML. It’s a simple one line file.

It will be interesting to see at the end of the month how high that file ranks on the list of top page URLs for the site. I imagine the script is called every time someone visits the page, which will likely result in a lot of activity for that particular file.

So if you are checking your web stats and wondering where the RPC relay file came from, go forget you or someone else on your webmaster team may have uploaded the files when setting up your sites friend connect account.

As far as the service goes, nothing to report yet that’s really earth shattering, it works pretty cool and there are several members already signed up and appearing on the homepage.

chiropracticmedia.com comes home to planet chiropractic

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Add another project to the to do Whiteboard list, chiropracticmedia.com is now owned and operated by Planet Chiropractic.

I’ve been thinking about a domain that would fit well for delivering chiropractic video’s, chiropractic audio, and chiropractic photos, and the term media popped up a few times. Turns out the previous owner of the chiropracticmedia.com domain was done with it, so making the acquisition was not a difficult task.

There are thousands of photos like this one (not that anyone wants my face on their chiropractic web site) that I’d like to upload to one location for other chiropractors to use.

For more than 10 years, we’ve been collecting images, audio recordings, and videos, most of which are still to be posted online.

I think a simple site with three separate categories would work great. In one section, visitors could browse through and download photos from chiropractic offices. In another section visitors could browse video clips, and either watch them on the site, or embed them into their own chiropractor web sites. From what I’ve been hearing over the years, audio would be available in two options. One method would be listening to it directly from the web site, and the other would be to download the files in MP3 format.

Seems like a pretty simple project but it’s one of those things we just have to get the ball rolling on. I’d much rather post all the photos we have, and offer them up with some kind of Creative Commons license, rather than people ripping them from here without permission.

Video I don’t care about so much, and I don’t notice many chiropractors posting audio to their sites or blogs, at least the stuff we’ve been creating over the years.

With advancements taking place on the Web, templates for audio, video, and images are a plenty. Now we just have to take some action.

25 Chiropractic Pages URLs

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Chiropractors are expected to keep tabs on how many new patients their offices get each week, how many total visits the office had for the week, what were over-the-counter cash collections, etc. Keeping logs is extremely important for any business, and paying attention to what’s going on with your chiropractic website, is important as well.

Moments ago I took a screen shot of the top 25 pages accessed during the month of November. I won’t review all of them, but I’m going to highlight about 10 (out of the over 20,000 different pages accessed) pages. We look at log files for various reasons, I’ll get into a bit of that as well.

The information above may not make any sense to you, but it’s part of my November wrap up summary, and if you want to learn what people are searching for in the world of chiropractic, it will help to pay attention.

There was a lot of traffic to the planetchiropractic.com web site during the month of November. Traffic was double that of the month of October. Topping out the most pages visited were people checking out classified advertisements, followed by people reading chiropractic news articles. 3rd most popular pages were the chiropractic seminars and events, followed by a visit to the homepage.

So looking at the top four, we have classifieds, news, seminars, and the homepage. After that, there is lots of activity in search, visits to the information pages, more search queries, and finally the media pages. The fact that there are so many search queries going on tells us we have a considerable amount of work to do in organizing content so it’s easier to find. That’s an important reason enough to be checking your site log files.

Amongst featured articles, assessing the salary of a chiropractor, continues to be popular, and results in lots of e-mails from practicing DCs and perspective chiropractic students. It’s impressive to see RSS feeds climbing in the logs, since only a year ago, they were not being accessed so frequently. The what it’s like to be a chiropractor in Los Angeles article continues to be popular with visitors to the site. An update on that post is overdue.

Lots of browsing taking place through the news archives (10 years worth of content) and direct browsing of the news pages. A post on pregnancy and chiropractic was popular for the month of November, as were visits to the godaddy girl Candace Michelle Playboy related post. Pretty safe to figure which demographic is visiting those pages, and it’s likely not the same group of people viewing both posts.

A chiropractic Christmas tree post from December of 2007 is suddenly popular again. That one will probably get a lot more traffic in December 2008. The particular tree shown in the photo is being lit this week at our LA based chiropractic office.

Nice to see so many searches for local chiropractors taking place. Perhaps there will be another chiropractors post taking place before May of 2009. I’d like to see that happen.

Finally, the office design article received a considerable amount of traffic as well. Photos and videos of chiropractic adjusting areas and other related office design posts would be nice to see in 2009. I’m thinking of incentivizing some chiropractors to share photos from their office, since there’s really some spectacular looking (and functioning) facilities out there.

Righty oh, that’s it for the November log round up of what’s hot, and what’s not.

Planet Chiropractic Crazy Search KeyPhrases for November

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

To the search keyphrases for the month of November 2008, are the craziest I’ve seen on the planetchiropractic.com web site, in the past 10 years. It’s amazing how different search results can be from month-to-month. A month ago today the October results showed people were reaching the website primarily with searches for the term chiropractic, chiropractor salary, chiropractic jobs, chiropractic classifieds, and chiropractic seminars. All of those terms relate to the chiropractic profession and stuff chiropractors would typically be found searching. That wasn’t the case for November. Far from it.

I took this screenshot earlier today, and while the month of November is not over yet, I’m not expecting to see too much change in the top 10 keyword list.

The eye-opening thing to notice is that for the month of November there are only two terms directly related to the field of chiropractic. The term chiropractic in position number three, always appears in top 10 search results, and planet chiropractic is often seen in the top 10 results as well. The rest are all newcomers, as there has been lots of craziness taking place, during the month of November.

The daylight savings time change was something Daria came up with after not being able to figure out which weekend the time change was taking place. She did some research and the post was created as a result. Apparently, she was not alone in knowing when to change the clocks earlier this month.

The search for 2010 Mustang is a one-time shot that we will probably never see traffic from again (aside from maybe a little bit in late 2009). I was fortunate to be invited to the LA Auto Show where I got to drive a few cars, and got to sit in the driver’s seat of plenty. I thought the Candy Red Mustang was wicked cool.

There was a search for voting polls which was related to the elections on November 4, so that term will likely drop out for the next four years. Not something we’d be targeting as a chiropractic web site. However, I was surprised to see how much Web traffic came our way for those seeking information related to the 2008 New York City marathon. As a chiropractor that’s been an avid runner for several years, we’ve actually covered quite a few posts on five ks, 10 ks, and marathons. In fact, I noticed that in November, there were posts for the Philadelphia marathon and the Pasadena marathon (which was canceled due to fires in Los Angeles County). But neither of those races returned results in the top 10, NYC was far more popular.

We even had news regarding a New Jersey chiropractor (Vincent Malba) running in the New York City marathon. Since that post, we’ve received e-mails from others who either ran the race, or volunteered at the event. I love the energy of a marathon, so will probably continue to cover chiropractic related news on those events.

One of the downsides for seeing such a dramatic change in key phrases is that the bounce rate for visitor traffic to the website in November has increased. Meaning, people may have been interested in an article regarding the time change, a marathon, or the new Ford Mustang, but they weren’t sticking around to check out chiropractic seminars, classified ads, and related sections of the site. Why would they? A large number of people visiting Planet Chiropractic during the month of November were not chiropractors, they couldn’t be, because we have more unique traffic than there are chiropractors on the planet. There has been a trickle effect though, with visitors on the site checking what chiropractors are listed in their state.

That’s it for November keyword phrases. If you’re interested, here are keyword results for October, keyword results from July, results on key phrases in June, and an explanation on story tieing, driving new traffic, and traffic topics.

Boring stuff for many, but I like to post it for the few that are paying attention.

Quickfix Cloaking for Googlebot is High Risk Practice

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

While attending SMX Advanced in Seattle last week I listened to a presentation by Hamlet Batista who suggested that White Hat methods of cloaking could be beneficial for my website (at least that’s how I interpreted it). I liked Hamlet, and I think he was well intended in his presentation.

Listening to the presentation and seeing the slides on the screen I began thinking about a problem we’ve long had at Planet Chiropractic involving our classified ad system. The scripts that we used to display advertising URLs were never optimized for search engines and it’s one of those things on the website I know should be taken care of, but had not yet set aside the time to do so.

White Hat Cloaking
The concept made sense and I began taking notes, all the while thinking this could be the solution to the current problem I was having. One of the real world examples made was quite similar to my situation. Not only did I have incredibly long search engine UN friendly URL strings, there were session IDs attached to each of those strings, making the URLs really ugly and quite unlikely they’d be indexed. A typical advertisement could result in a URL string (shown below) which is over 200 characters in length.

230 character url string
SEO unfriendly URLAfter the presentation my thought was I could make some modifications that would deliver a different result to the search engines verses on page users. The practice was well-intentioned and not intended to trick, so it should be “white hat.”

Sounded good and I made some notes to contact someone after the event to see about getting something like that accomplished. Later that afternoon Matt Cutts spoke and I got to see everything from a different perspective.

According to Matt, this type of cloaking was in the “highest risk” category as far as Google was concerned which could result in my site being removed from the index (not my goal). It’s a good thing I stayed around until after lunch to hear his talk.

My (chiropractor mindset) take away after his presentation was this…

Band-Aid versus Wellness Long-Term-Care
Ultimately, there is a problem with my site that should be fixed if I want it to perform better. Matt was suggesting that webmasters should focus their energy on fixing problems for the long-term versus utilizing risky Band-Aid like techniques.

I’m not an expert on mod rewrites but after taking the time since last week to look more closely at the scripts I think we can make the following changes.

https://planetc1.com/cgi-bin/cs/cs.cgi
would become…
https://planetc1.com/classifieds/

https://planetc1.com/cgi-bin/cs/cs.cgi?action=showsub&Category

=All:+Chiropractor+Practices+for+Sale&Variable=realestate.variables&

SubCategory=&Session=48481bc34e1142f9
would become…
https://planetc1.com/classifieds/chiropractor-practices-for-sale/

https://planetc1.com/cgi-bin/cs/cs.cgi?action=show&Category=

All:+Chiropractor+Practices+for+Sale&Variable=realestate.variables

&SubCategory=US&Session=48481bc34e1142f9
would become…
https://planetc1.com/classifieds/chiropractor-practices-for-sale/us/

https://planetc1.com/cgi-bin/cs/cs.cgi?action=detail&AdNumber=20974

&Category=All:+Chiropractor+Practices+for+Sale&Variable=realestate.variables

&SubCategory=US&Position=4&TotalCount=499&Session=48481bc34e1142f9&

FirstPage=&LastPage=20
would become…
https://planetc1.com/classifieds/chiropractor-practices-for-sale/us/practice-for-sale-north-county-coastal-20974/

The five digit code at the end corresponds to the ad number which would provide a unique identifier for each post. I think this could work as an option as well.

https://planetc1.com/cgi-bin/cs/cs.cgi?action=detail&AdNumber=20974
would become…
https://planetc1.com/classifieds/20974-practice-for-sale-north-county-coastal/

I think those look a lot nicer than what’s currently being displayed and this scenario keeps me from worrying about whether I should be concerned about the cloaking methods initially suggested. Now to find someone that can help me complete this project without breaking the site.

Google Friend Connect How To Video

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Tonight, Google launched their new social application called Friend Connect. According to the information page (only launched within the past hour) “Google Friend Connect lets you grow traffic by easily adding social features to your website. With just a few snippets of code, you get more people engaging more deeply with your site.”

I’m super excited about the features being offered by Friend Connect and I’m hoping to add the functionality to parts of Planet Chiropractic. I think it’s perfect for sites like ours, that are not social networks but may still want to be social. What I’m excited about most is there is no programming required to make it all happen.

I really think this will be great for many types of sites that are not yet socially enabled. Friend Connect provides a bunch of social gadgets like member management, a message board, reviews, and ways to share photos.

Mussie Shore, a seasoned inventor, and product manager for Google Friend Connect created this video as a preview release. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/v/BIEwUxMrJ4Y

I am signed up for the Preview Release and hoping to hear from Google soon. How will you use Friend Connect?

Barcamp San Diego 2008 Saturday Wrap up

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Taking a look at some of my notes here at the end of day one of Barcamp 3 in San Diego. We are in the Microsoft offices in La Jolla and the halls are full of sounds from people Wii bowling and playing Halo on Xbox 360 units. Rather odd being here inside a Microsoft Office with all the news going around tonight regarding Yahoo and the Microsoft’s backout of purchasing the company.

It’s been quite a day so far. I had the opportunity to speak this morning in the large conference room located on the fourth floor of the building (will have photo updates later in the week). I spoke about Planet Chiropractic and the importance of chiropractic care for people in the tech industry (always evangelizing). I followed that up with a search marketing presentation (mostly sharing how we go about collecting and reporting on news content for the chiropractic industry) and discussed some search optimization techniques. I went off on a brief tangent about Google adsense programs and some other contextual advertising networks.

dell laptop xpsI had a bit of an embarrassing moment when my Dell XPS m1210 laptop (hard drive running XP) crashed on a blue screen of death in the middle of my presentation. It rebooted rather quickly and fortunately all my tabs were saved in Firefox (I had about 24 tabs open during the presentation).

I wasn’t expecting such a large number of SEO people that are active locally in San Diego. After the presentation was over, I spent the next two hours in a conference room with some of the folks I met, discussing several projects different shops were working on.

Something that was really cool was that a whole bunch of people introduced themselves and talked about their chiropractors. Somebody that goes to Dr. Erik Rosenbergs chiropractic office (San Diego Sport and Spine) could not stop saying good things about him. His office is on Linda Vista Rd (not sure how far it is from the office we’re at in La Jolla). I’ll be visiting to chiropractic offices tomorrow afterward done with the afternoon’s Barcamp festivities.

I plan to have some photos uploaded from this weekend’s events (the Internet access is restricted to port 80). It’s a different experience from Barcamp LA 5 but still lots of fun.

Annual Website Search Engine Listing

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I received a notice today from a corporation listing service that was reminding me to renew my domain name (in this case it was rssware.com – forgot I even owned it).

If you own a domain name you’ve probably received a letter similar to the one I received today. It looks like an invoice but it’s actually a solicitation for domain registrar services. If you take the time to read through the notice, you will see that the very bottom states “This is a solicitation for the order of goods or services, or both, and not a bill, invoice, or statement of account due.”

I wonder how many hundreds (or thousands) don’t realize this is not an invoice and send payment for at least $35. The back of the notice has directions on how to make a payment, and it looks very much like an invoice. There is a section that says Current Payment Details with an annual listing amount of $35. Reading through the entire notice, one can see that there is no “amount due” information listed anywhere. Domain owners are under no obligation to send money to this domain listing service.

I wrote about this same company (or one that appeared similar), back in the summer of 2007, when I received a domain name expiration notice. I mentioned back than that I prefer to use GoDaddy when registering and renewing domain names.

Candice Michelle GoDaddy Girl

I’ve used Godaddy since weeks after the company launched, and of purchased hundreds of domains through them, and referred thousands of others for their numerous Web services. GoDaddy girl Candice Michelle and her husband are friends of mine, and I like the philosophy of Bob Parsons, the company’s founder.

You can typically registered domains from GoDaddy for under 10 bucks (which is $25 less per year than what was being offered in the mailing I received) and that’s super affordable (unless you have hundreds of thousands of domains and need a bulk solution).

Glad I Received the letter, it reminds me to check up on all my domains registered at GoDaddy, and get them renewed for at least the next year. I typically like to register domains for multiple years, so I’m not having to do renewals each year.

Do some searches online for coupons or discount codes or subscribe to GoDaddy e-mail newsletters and you’ll likely save yourself some bread when purchasing domains and other web site related services.