Wish List – Customized Search

All the time I get search results in google or bing that include sites that show up repeatedly that I really don’t ever want to see.

One of these is some sort of expert tech site that you have to pay to access.  But the results always show up high when I’m looking for help.

Google has a cool feature where you can click on an X and then omit the site from that search, and it even remembers for future searches on those words.  But what I really want is to be able to ban a site, or particular kinds of results, from ever showing up in my search.

I’d like to be able to ban by domain name so that I never see search results from a specific domain.  I’d also like to be able to make some search results that include certain keywords ranked less.  A “deprecate” option that lets me deprecate result because it contains a certain phrase would be nice.  I might deprecate the word “baby” and “infant” for example because, unless I’m explicitly searching for “baby” stuff, I really don’t want to see baby clothes show up in my searches.

In addition, an “promote” option would be nice.  Since I frequently search for ubuntu help, for example, I’d rather see ubuntu results higher placed than results for SUSE linux.  Additionally, I might want to promote search results from a certain city I’m not in right now because I visit there a good bit.  At present Google is very aware of my location, but I would like to be able to tell it where I am or where I want to be, rather than it figuring that out from my IP address.

It would be relatively easy to do – I’m just asking to have the search results rearranged a bit and filtered based on my own personal likes and preferences, which I should be able to edit.

SEO Basics

Recently a prospective client asked me for some help getting his site up onto search engines.  Even when people searched for his name and his website specifically, they couldn’t find him.  Last time I checked, this site was number one in Google for Purple Ivy, though I’d not expect anyone looking for web consulting to search for that, at least if they know what they are looking for and type into the search bar instead of the URL bar they will find me!

Even so, there are some basic steps you should take to make yourself even remotely findable.

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Pay Per Click should Die

Search engines are all about pay per click these days.  It’s part of the revolution that happened with Google’s add-money advent of adwords.  But since Google launched its pay per click model, other search companies have followed suit.

The idea of course is simple – allow advertisers to pay only for visitors that click through their ads.  I (me as a service and goods provider) decide how much I will pay for a click, and then Google determines the placement of my ad to maximize their profit – clickthrough percentage times clickthrough revenue.

For me the advertiser it seems I’m getting a good deal, but no…. that’s not the case.  It just offloads the job of me calculating the clickthrough rate myself and saves me from having to figure out what I’m willing to pay per impression on the front end.  But I still have to figure out how much of my revenue per visitor I’m willing to set aside.

There are problems with pay-per-click, and no actual advantages, for me the advertiser.  But still there are few effective alternatives for businesses who primarily sell via the ‘net.

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