How Google, Yahoo & Ask.com Treat the No Follow Link Attribute

In our conversation on today's Online Editors' call about content distribution, whether or not to link landing pages from Wikipedia was raised. I'm a firm believer that we should, but there's lots of debate about the efficacy of the practice out there in the search engine circles (if you think journalists like to debate, you should read some search engine blogs...).

As I was putting the finishing touches on the Wikipedia training doc that I am about to distribute and post on the DevCenter, I came across a blog post from yesterday that ties into our conversation quite nicely: How Google, Yahoo & Ask.com Treat the No Follow Link Attribute

Executive summary: Wikipedia's applies the "nofollow" attribute to links to external Web sites. Google honors that attribute (though they "hope and expect" Wikipedia and others to phase out use of that attribute). Yahoo and Ask do not honor the attirbute, and index the linked content.

As Meatloaf once sang, two out of three ain't bad. Makes adding links to Wikipedia worth the effort in my book.


Big Bang For The MySpace Ad Buck - Forbes.com

OK huge caveat emptor here: A study conducted by News Corp. shows that setting up MySpace profiles can be a highly cost-efficient marketing method.

Of course the MySpace owner would say that. I'll be interested to see if minds more capable than mine challenge their math.

Even without the math to back it up, however, I'd believe it. How could word-of-mouth buzz generated in a medium -- with as substantial a mass audience as MySpace claims -- not have a positive impact for mass marketers?

Ergo, how can it not help you?


Traffic postscript

How could I forget CapeCodOnline and the coverage it carried this week of a high-profile homocide?

They received quite a spike on Monday, and their continuing coverage has sustained high traffic this week, at least relative to the previous month:

Technorati Mini

Here's a handy popup window (finally... a popup that's handy!) in which you can plug in your domain, and keep track of what bloggers are commenting and linking to on your site.

One more traffic success to note

Before I pay attention to my Firefox beer o'clock plugin and crack open a cold one, let me add my congratulations to all involved in the successful launch of the redesigned Seacoastonline.com this week.

The traffic tie-in here is that in addition to a successful launch, we've had relatively few traffic-related hiccups so far (knock on wood!). In fact, their audience seemed to be consuming more pages than before -- certainly relative to last month -- as they learned their way around the new site:

Pocono: DJ, Rainbow and the bell

Speaking of traffic success this week, Pocono has been a nonstop hotbed of activity, especially on Wednesday. A local DJ decided to parrot the remark that got Don Imus in trouble, and in turn got himself fired.

The success was exciting from any number of angles. I was in Pocono on Wednesday, and Editor Bill Watson was spending most of his day managing the hundreds of forums posts that were streaming in all day, while the newsroom and online staff (all while I was working with a small group to answer their Saxotech and other questions and conducting the parenting guide brainstorming session... what a day for me to pick to plant myself in Stroudsburg!).

That also wasn't the only story. For those who have heard us cite the long-running Djinn Buckingham story as one of Pocono's early UGC success, wouldn't you know that Rainbow Buckingham herself became a part of Wednesday's updates. On any other day, it would have been the lead story, and the Pocono crew would have been happy for the spike.

Same is true for the late day story of a local bank taking itself public, punctuated by its CEO ringing the NASDAQ closing bell.

The result of all of that activity? Not your usual peaks and valleys. Instead, Pocono experienced a high-level of sustained traffic throughout the day:

What's better is that the audience activity has continued into today, thanks to strong follow-ups yesterday and today, the latter of which included a story about Howard Stern commenting on what was happening with the DJ in Stroudsburg.

(One suggestion, Marta... link all that DJ coverage together through the Saxotech internal links functionality, at the very least -- or is a landing page already in the works?)

Hudson Valley Media Group repeats April 12 page view success

On April 12th last year, the Hudson Valley crew received a nice traffic spike from their photo gallery and other coverage of the Villa Roma fire.

What to do an encore a year later? Kick off a Cutest Baby contest, of course:

When you pit the baby contest against the fire coverage, the babies are the winners:
The baby contest received 137,579 page views yesterday while the Villa Roma fire galleries received about 92,000 page views a year ago.

Camp Guide winner

As the readers of this blog already know, San Joaquin Media Group was our Camp Guide challenge winner. But am posting here to close the loop on the previous post, and so we can share the entries with the rest of our colleagues.

Entry Score
San Joaquin 8.367
Hudson Valley 8.200
Pocono Mountains 8.067
Southcoast 7.500
Cape Cod 3.100

One of the judges indicated that she wished she lived in Stockton, because some of the camps there sounded great for her 7-year-old. That judge also liked San Joaquin's info on fees.

Another judge: "Without a doubt, they are all quite good.... It was important to me to see the camp categories on the first page (sports, religion, nature, girl/boy/coed, overnight, etc.) and also to be able to access the camp's website easily."

Most had trouble opening Cape Cod's in IE, something Greg warned against when he submitted his entry. Given that he is deep into readying his site for its redesign launch, we were impressed that he even took a stab at the challenge.

Many thanks for the entries, and many more thanks to the judges, who turned around the scorecards very quickly in time for our monthly round of calls with the publishers earlier this week. All of the judges had their name tossed into a bowl for a drawing, and the winner, Ruth McCleod, will be receiving a Panera gift card as a prize, too.

Stay tuned for the next challenge, coming later this month!