Why not to count the web-industry awareness lead

As I mentioned in my previous post that industrial awareness can give you the lead (at a certain additional cost). For every industry the lead helps but for web (tech) industry to a lesser extent. Here is my view point on “Why not to count the web-industry awareness lead”.

Who all can gain from Industrial awareness?
The early leaders doing the industrial awareness can become the market leaders with proper branding but it does not guarantee a top position in market for long. Esp for web industry (in general tech industry) it guarantees nothing. Sometimes the biggest gainers can be the low profile later entrants, let me take an example. When the bigger sportswear brands, like Nike, Reebook and Adidas, advertised for sportswear then the batas and other local competitors juiced the industrial awareness with a more affordable range and multi-purpose sports shoe. History will be repeated with Indian web and it will happen more often that other sectors. We will see a local group of brainy kids challenging naukri.com, shaadi.com and all other major early leaders. This will happen due to following factors:-

  1. Low resource cost for web startups. Low innovation costs (even one person can run it for free). Web is basically a pure brain business.
  2. Less popular sites/business can take bigger risks and try bigger innovations. Since I am using naukri.com more often for recruitment purpose so here is another example from naukri.com. Naukri.com will have to think many times before simplifying its interface (which really is very complex and messy, reminds Jeff Bezos of Amazon of 1908 Hurley washing machine) but you will sites like simpyhired.com trying it without any fear.
    naukri.com interface
    (Complex interface of naukri.com with popups)

    Simplyhired.com simpler interface
    (click to enlarge. May be, a simpler interface of simplyhired.com, I have not reviewed it yet)

    Job portal analysis for Indian market
    Now the current stats is in favor of naukri.com (due to the web-industry awareness lead in India with a bigger job market) but will it stay for long (no guarantees, Google In Talks To Acquire SimplyHired).

  3. There is an existing industrial awareness which can be cashed.
  4. Web is low cost (almost INR 0), a person getting registered to naukri.com and jobsahead.com gains more than one who registers only with 0 when the cost for one and two are same. Users will like to allow more than one job portal at a time, so no need to motivate for the most costly customer introduction phase. In web business esp networking sites, flies attract flies not honey alone, so a better user base will attract more employers and more employers/jobs (due to free lunch) will attract more job-seekers.

A little deeper analysis can reveal more reasons on why not to count the web-industry awareness lead.

Does Alexa hate firefox?

I am not sure what I am doing wrong but as a user I am getting an error with Alexa when running on FF but not while running it using IE. I am not able to compare two sites using FF but with IE I face no problem. Here is a snapshot for alexa homepage which offers a default comparison.

Alexa firefox
(Click on the image to enlarge it)

Is this happening because of some FF extension or settings, I need to debug it further.

I was not aware of following issues (I discovered it while searching google news)

After reading this what I can understand there stand on third party websites using alexa comparison data. Looks like they have introduced a bug on their own system. I have enabled the referral tracking on FF but still it doesn’t work.

Further update
See the site carefully, FF and IE has two different versions (may be IE the latest). IE doesn’t allow the sharing of graphs. “Put this graph on your site!” and “Permalink” links are missing.

Update 9th June 2007
Finally I got an email from Alexa team after almost 20 days. It says

Thank you for contacting Alexa Internet.

We thank you for bringing the matter to our attention. We made a number
of changes to the design of our website recently, and had some bugs. WE
believe these issues have been resolved.

Thank you for your interest in Alexa.

Best Regards,
Alexa Internet Customer Service

Sad that it is not fixed yet, I wonder whether they have checked it. I replied them too

I am afraid it is not fixed yet, look at the http://www.alexa.com/ using firefox and Internet Explorer (IE), see the comparison chart. IE shows all 3 graphs but FF shows only one line graph.

Industry awareness campagins costs but helps

Indian Web companies are growing or may be Indian companies have started respecting web for its reach and power. Not only Indian companies but all Indian organizations. I just wrote a letter to one of the Christian organization head quarters on web reach. In my previous post I had mention about the alpha phase of Indian web, everyone wants to experience the true web power. It looks easy, attractive and powerful but not till you experience it that way. I knew this phase was to come (in India) and thanks to all who spent plenty on industrial awareness.

What is industrial awareness?
We Indians never thought that we could get a life partner through web (thanks to shaadi.com for the industrial awareness). We never thought of getting a job though web till naukri.com made it a visible reality. It took some time and thanks to naukri.com for having the patience and the will to spend extra on industrial awareness. Hey, orkut knows more about my batchmates than I do, I never thought of such an option. Selling, buying, communicating and everything is now possible through web. Thanks to all the advertisements and extra pain taken by the companies in doing industrial awareness. (Also you can thank me for industrial awareness. I talk about web industry before every pre-placement talks) It costs a lot but it certainly helps in getting the early lead and to become the synonym for the industry (like Google is for search or xerox is for photocopy). Branding for web-industry is not an asset but THE asset and early birds can go all the way to the top as THE BRAND.

Offline example of Industrial awareness
One of the best example I can remember is from the Sportswear industry. During 1995-96 when the global sports majors entered the Indian market, they spent a lot of money on advertisement. Most of the money was spent on industrial awareness, a shoe for jogging, a shoe for basketball and so on (Though many global winners became local losers in India). There was no visible sports wear market but with industrial awareness campaigns it became a need. Everyone then started to desire and own a paid of sports shoe. Recent introduction of after-bath products are other examples (Livon, Marino, after-bath lotion ..).

Does Industrial awareness helps?
In my opinion half of the money spent by naukri.com was utilized for industrial awareness. Web being in alpha phase in India might have cost leaders even more than half of their marketing budget. I have heard people unsuccessfully explaining web illiterate about getting a job through web. Without an industrial awareness companies in the industry will have no relevance either. Now there are plenty of job portals targeting Indian market but I am sure people consider naukri.com as the best and only brand (yet, Also job portals are a different market where a customer, the job seeker, never gains anything in being loyal, surfers uses more than one portal to get a better reach). Becoming the only brand is the only advantage of Industrial awareness.

More work for SEO – Even unborn babies need SEO

You’re a Nobody Unless Your Name Googles Well” say wsj.com. Is it talking about businesses? No, this time it is about individuals, the unborn babies.

Number #1 in Google SERP
I stumbled upon http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117856222924394753.html, which says,

So when Ms. Wilson, now 32, was pregnant with her first child, she ran every baby name she and her husband, Justin, considered through Google to make sure her baby wouldn’t be born unsearchable.

Great. Will future babies have md5 encrypted names too :)? I forwarded this article to SEO groups to motivate them (who are somewhat depressed with recent Utah episode).

A scene from 2009, Aaron Hall’s office.

Client: I want to name my baby?
Aaron Hall: Thats great, everyone needs to name their baby, how can I help you?
Client: All the names have high competition in Google, I want a name which is SEO friendly, easy to remember (should pass phone test), easy to search and should be able to rank #1 in Google in next 8 month 12 days.
Aaron Hall: Do you have a paypal account (owned by Google by 2009)?
Client: Yes, I do have.
Aaron Hall: Do not worry Maa`m, you deliver baby I will deliver the ranking.

If this craze picks up then no one will ever name their baby’s Matt. Guess the future names then?

Google toolbar/Algo Vs ICANN definition

Recently while discussing about canonicalization at WMW a member (bcrbcr) pointed out an issue with Google Toolbar conflicting with ICANN definition for domain names.

ICANN says,


In the languages that utilize Latin characters (e.g., English, Finnish, German, Italian, etc.), each letter has two variants: upper case and lower case. The Internet’s basic DNS and hostname specifications provide that the upper-case and lower-case variants of each letter are considered to be equivalent. Thus, all the variant domain names in the above list are treated as the same domain name.

Now does it apply for example.COM (COM is in upper case) too?
In my opinion yes, “as example is to .com, com is to dot (the fully qualified domain name is example.com. not example.com, the silent dot says a lot about Web architecture“. So the case of the TLD (Top Level Domain) should not matter.

Issue with Google toolbar
Google Page rank error
Google Page Rank for google.com

  • google.com – PR 10 (all lower case)
  • GOOGLE.com – PR 10 (The TLD is lower case, rest part is upper case. Even a mix of upper and lower case gives the same PR)
  • google.COM – No PR (When the TLD is in uppercase it doesn’t work)

Can this be a problem?
Yes, only from Google’s ranking. Google gives a lot of value to links and PR is just a small indication of its link juice. If Google is considering both these Domains different at PR level then there is a chance that it happens while counting the Link value as well. If some links are coming to example.COM then may be those links won’t be counted under lower case TLD domain (which is technically the same domain). I will need to some experiments to confirm it.

Other observations
This problem is not there for .co.uk or .co.in. This problem exists for .org. Other TLDs I will have to check.

As I mentioned earlier, we are not able to solve it using any canonicalization. Are we missing anything? Btw the WMW discussion is now labeled as Featured Home Page Discussion.

Linking to http://www.mattcutts.COM as a test case.

Canonicalization Series 2: Domain name to lower case

I will continue the series on canonicalization (I have a big post under draft, still adding points to it). I had started a thread at WMW about canonicalization where I saw a very interesting query today. It was about converting upper case domain name to lower case.

The query says,

The following is my current (simple) Mod rewrite, and I am still confused as to why the capitalisation in the domain doesn’t get forced to lower case.

I assumed that www.EXAMPLE.COM would be forced to www.example.com – doesn’t seem to work that way.

Is making upper case domain name to lower case part of canonicalization?
Certainly not. Let me allow the authority docs do the explanation,


In the languages that utilize Latin characters (e.g., English, Finnish, German, Italian, etc.), each letter has two variants: upper case and lower case. The Internet’s basic DNS and hostname specifications provide that the upper-case and lower-case variants of each letter are considered to be equivalent. Thus, all the variant domain names in the above list are treated as the same domain name.

Since the lower case and upper case domain names are technically same we do not need to do canonicalization (also we are helpless, we are not able to do anything as the server variable is in lower case always). Canonicalization is needed for the URLs which can be technically different but are same for your domain. Example www.idealwebtools.com can be technically different from idealwebtools.com (without www) but currently represent the same document.

I am a Google Web history user

I was a little hesitant to the Google’s new web history but after thinking carefully I got converted. Now I am not only a user but a great fan for this great tool. The biggest reason why we should use it :-

Our knowledge comes from what we have learned and many a times we refer back to our old books for solutions as we know we saw it there. Same applies for web history, you search from your own memory (visited sites), can I call it an extension of my memory? Recently I used Google to fix one typical apache/xen related problem. I lost the useful referral website which later I could get it from the history, it was a great time saving for me. We are using to our browser history search, google history search is just an advance version of it.

Why do you worry?

  • Is it a privacy concern? They already know it, now it is that you need to know (or accept) that they know :). (Already by now they know too much about everyone) Moreover even if you are logged into your gmail/google account, no one can peek through as it prompts for the password again. Google will anyway anonymize user queries (does it count for web history as well?) after 18-24 months.

If you want to avoid it?

  • Use two browsers, one where you are logged in and other where you aren’t (even without google toolbars). At visitlab.com we use to catch fraud clickers using IP but I do not think Google will do it for web history as one IP is share among many in our offices.
  • Use a dial up connection and reconnect whenever you want to play safe. Make sure you have cleaned your cookies.

There were many who knew this and were a little cautious from the very beginning:-

Google uses same cookies across all their products including adsense, analytics – The net can be wider some day, so learn to play safer :).

Top 100 advertising campaign of the century

An ad lover like me? Then here is a post just for you. This is the top 100 adertising campaign of the century, click http://adage.com/century/campaigns.html to explore more. I had some more collections at hedir.com but now it is not visible. Let me see if I can upload all. See http://ajinimc.hedir.com/2006/03/10/the-axe-effect/ and http://ajinimc.hedir.com/2006/03/11/creativity-has-no-limits-best-t-shirt-line/ too. Have fun

What is Page Rank?

I had covered Page Rank (PR) topic with some really funny pictures for our Intraoffice SEO book. Page Rank is a very simple concept, A (web page) links to B (web page of same site or different site), A passes a part of its link juice (or PR) to B. Let me take a small example to show how it works. Lets consider A and B to be a pot with Green liquid.

  • Bigger PR => More liquid
  • Links going out of A => Hole in pot

Page Rank or PR

  • If A has less holes and more liquid then you will get a better share of the liquid and thus more liquid.
  • If A has less holes but less liquid you will get less liquid (but still a good share).
  • If A has more holes and more liquid then you will get lesser share but still may end up getting more liquid.
  • If A has more holes and less liquid then you will end up getting very less.

A will give some liquid to B, now if B is connected with more pots say C,D,E…. then it will end up getting more liquid from all these pots. If B gives link (or has holes) then it will lose some of its liquid.

PR of B => how much liquid does B pot has. This is how I explained a lot of new web aspirants (new recruits with no web knowledge). If you want more technical viewpoint you can visit :-

1) http://www.webworkshop.net/pagerank.html
2) http://searchengineland.com/070426-011828.php

Wishing you a better PR, I was crazy about the thin green line when I joined the industry, now I hardly care.

Linking to a good story – Be careful

I just saw a post by Aaron Wall of SEObook.com saying “People Don’t Look Beyond the Page“. It says, “I once saw a college professor cite a page about caffiene on a low quality site about pornography, gambling, and drugs on his official profile page. Many people never look beyond the page when linking to a story.”

Call it “Good Page on Bad site Problem”

This is generally true as most of the people are not aware of backlashes of linking to bad sites. So my team asked me two questions :-

  1. How to handle it in an effective way? (I do not have time to check the whole site whether it is good or not)
  2. What happens if I want to use the bad site as a bad example, bad sites are not 100% bad they can still be good examples for bad sites :)? (I liked the question)

Here we go

  1. You need some plugins which will help you understand the site quality. You can install site advisor or SEO tool (and browse the homepage). This will let you know what others feel about this site as a whole. Still if you are not sure of what you are linking to then add “NoFollow” Tag.
  2. If you want to talk about a bad site, let the world know you are not recommending them with a nofollow tag.

In Short, link to only good sites (that you know as good) and for everything else (even for the sites which may be good but you are not aware and have no time to investigate) use NoFollow tag.