2/5/2006

AOL and Yahoo put price on e-mail

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers.

America Online and Yahoo, two of the world’s largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from a quarter of a cent to 1 cent each to have them delivered. The Internet companies say this will help them identify legitimate mail and cut down on junk e-mail, identity-theft scams and other scourges of users of their services.

AOL and Yahoo will still accept e-mail from senders who have not paid, but the paid messages will be given special treatment. On AOL, for example, they will go straight to users’ main mailboxes and will not have to pass the gauntlet of spam filters that could divert them to a special bulk e-mail box or strip them of images and Web links.

Source: iht.com

Google ‘death penalty’ for BMW site

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Luxury car maker BMW has had its German website blacklisted by Google after it was caught trying to artificially boost its popularity ranking on the world’s leading internet search engine.

The delisting was reported by several bloggers and later confirmed in a blog post by Google software engineer Matt Cutts wrote that the methods used by BMW were a violation of the search engine’s guidelines.

The sanction - known colloquially as the “Google death penalty” - means that a Google search for terms like “BMW” or “BMW Germany” will not return a direct link to the car company’s German website, bmw.com.de.

Moreover, bmw.com.de’s precious PageRank, the algorithms that assign every page on the web a sort of popularity ranking, has been reset to zero.

What BMW stands accused of doing is setting up so-called doorway pages that trick search bots like Goolge’s into boosting the PageRank of a site or a page and directing searchers there.

In BMW’s case the doorway page contained the word “gebrauchtwagen” - meaning “used car” in German - over 40 times. The real home page, to which searchers were seamless redirected, only contained the word twice.

The implication is that the car company was trying to hijack the search query for used BMWs in Germany, ensuring that people looking for a second-hand BMW would be directed to their site instead of, for instance, an independent car sales site.

Source: smh.com.au

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