Archive for the ‘Search Marketing’ Category


Where is Search Broken?

August 23, 2007

I wrote a guest post on yesterday asking the question “Where is Search Broken?” Please stop by, give it a read and offer your thoughts.


Free Home Page Links on Bessed

April 4, 2007

One of our challenges in building Bessed is how to cover the thousands of topics/keyword searches that people do every day. Obviously a human-powered search engine will never be able to cover it all. For example, I can’t imagine a day when you will be able to “Bessed” any person’s name in the whole world like you can with Google.

However, we believe we can increase our coverage to the vast majority of searches if our site visitors will help us Build A Better Bessed. We’re asking interested writers to submit a short list of at least 5 links, with descriptions, for topics of interest to them. When you do, provided you attempted to do so coherently and didn’t just heap junk at us, we’ll get your topic submissions listed on our site within one business day AND we will offer you the chance to have your site linked both on the topic page you created as well as on the home page. (Go there now and see sites already listed in the right-hand column.)

We’re not asking you to help us out of the goodness of your heart. We’re asking you to help us in order to help yourself, whether that means promoting your business, your blog, or your association of amateur astronomers.

Contributors on our home page will be ranked based on the number of submissions, so the more you contribute, the higher your listing will be. Also, the more topics/keyword searches you get started, the more pages your link will show up on, helping to make you an authority on the subjects that are near and dear to your heart.

Sound good? Go to Build A Better Bessed for details on how exactly to get started.

e-mail me:

Adam Jusko is founder and CEO of Bessed, a Web site promising “search without spam”, thanks to human-edited search results and ongoing visitor feedback. Do a search, offer your comments, submit your site–help create the “bessed” search site in the world.


Bessed Review on SEO Chat

March 16, 2007

Terri Wells of SEO Chat wrote a kind review of Bessed this week (maybe even too kind considering where the site currently is in its development).

It has certainly sparked some interest and I’m grateful for that, so thanks Terri!


Does Anyone Care About Web Directories Anymore?

October 17, 2006

Other than Webmasters looking for links, that is.

I came across posts in multiple places today, discussing different aspects of Web directories. First, Search Engine Journal referenced a post on directories with the greatest “page strength” (which came from Aviva, itself a Web directory).

It’s interesting enough from a Webmaster perspective, because Webmasters want links from sites that search engines like, namely Google. But the disconnect is that the only reason these Web directories still exist is as a feeder for search engines. No one searches the directories–but a listing in the directories might enhance search engine results, and people actually use search engines.

I see this as sort of a problem for Bessed, and it’s part of the reason why I’ve shied away from using the term “directory” to describe our site. In some ways we are a directory, in that people can submit their sites and human editors add them (or don’t), but our goal is to be much more active than that, and to have our visitors engage with the site.

Here’s the comment I left at Search Engine Journal, which further describes my feelings on Web directories:

The problem with directories is that they’ve become worth very little because little is put into most of them. A paid directory is not seen as legitimate from a user perspective, because it is biased in favor of only those who pay, meaning it’s not even close to comprehensive.

Plus, directories are generally pretty static and boring. Once a link is added, it sits there indefinitely, with no changes, no new descriptions, like a bump on a log. There’s no attempt at timeliness and rarely an attempt by editors to go out and find sites that would make search results better. That’s why Webmasters look at directories but no one else does.

DMOZ takes the top spot by default, because no one else has really tried to create something worthwhile. But Webmasters also know that DMOZ has many editors who keep a stranglehold on certain categories for their own purposes.All this led me to start a new search site, Bessed, that is a human-powered search site/directory. There is no fee for inclusion and, because it’s built on WordPress blog software, you can request addition of your site directly on search results pages. You can also suggest other sites that are relevant, or even argue for why another site shouldn’t appear or why the rankings should be changed. We think it’s the next generation of directory-type sites, combining the benefits of human editors with a social media aspect to create better results.

The site is ad-supported, not supported by inclusion fees, so it is something that is actually useful for site visitors instead of being merely a place for Webmasters to submit in hopes of increasing their “Google juice”. And there will never be inclusion fees–Bessed will either sink or swim, but it will never bait and switch.

It’s an ambitious project, but we believe there is still a place for human-powered search, and we encourage Webmasters to submit to us.

I e-mailed in a similar message to the LED Digest discussion list (which I recommend by the way) when the subject of the worth of directories came up this week.

What do you think? Does anyone care about Web directories anymore?


Google Loves You, Even When You’re in the Sandbox

September 27, 2006

For a long time people who spend time trying to get their sites ranked highly on Google would debate whether there was a “sandbox”, or a place that Google put your site for a while to see if you played nicely. If you played nicely (meaning that you created good content & got some links from “trusted” sites), then your site got to leave the sandbox and actually get ranked for something desirable, which maybe meant you would get money or happiness.

In my experience, getting out of the Google sandbox takes 10-12 months, which for most Webmasters is an eternity.

Via Search Engine Roundtable comes this list from Andy Hagans on how to “beat” the sandbox. It’s all good information and something that every Webmaster should be doing, but in my view Hagans isn’t offering ways to beat the sandbox as much as he’s offering ways to rank well when you are out of the sandbox. Doing these things may cut down your time in the box the tiniest bit, but unless you’re a major corporation or movie star putting up a new site, you’ll stay in the sandbox for a while and you need to prepare yourself for that up front.

In Hagans’ mind, you’re let out of the sandbox in stages, which means you start with Google acting like you smell bad and refusing to touch your site with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole. You then graduate up, meaning you start to see your site ranked #95 for a search term you’re targeting, and then if you’ve done your work well, you start to move up to the big leagues, meaning the first two pages of results, which is all most people ever look at.

I think he’s right about the stages, but for Webmasters the most pain comes in stage one, when you’re building your site out, writing original content, finding trusted, relevant sites to link to and hopefully be linked from–only to see that you’re still persona non grata in Google’s eyes.

This is when many people get discouraged, because you have absolutely no idea when you might actually snag a ranking, or whether you ever will. (Or, whether you’ll get any rankings before you run out of money, or starve.)

Hagans’ advice is good–do all the steps he advises, at least as many as you feel comfortable with. But maybe more important, stick with it. Google loves you, yes it does, and eventually it will show you the love that up ’til now has created an emptiness in your heart (and wallet).