Tutorial: create animated favicon

Animated favicon is supported only by Firefox, for now. (Are you still using Internet Explorer??
If you don`t know how to create a simple favicon – just put an icon file with name “favicon.ico” in your web root folder (e.g. www.yourdomain.com/favicon.ico).

Animated favicons are stored in .gif image. You can see an example of animated icon at information security awareness blog , it shows in the address bar and on the tab. You can create it yourself using some gif animation software or exporting from Adobe Flash (I do it). When you have your gif icon ready, upload both “favicon.ico” and “favicon.gif” to your web root folder, then add this code to your webpage somewhere between and tags:

That should do it! You can also create both static and animated icon files from any image (favicon from jpg, jpeg, gif, bmp, tif, png, etc) using a favicon generator available here.

Google`s fight against spam

Google search engine results depend on some defined behaviour or algorithm. There have always been some clues in patents on how these algorithms work. There have been thousands of patents and you never know if they will be implemented in search engines algo, but you can definitely see the direction that Google is going – human editorial approach.

To get better SERP (search engine result pages) results, algorithm will not count on links or page rank only, but on human reported sites like Dmoz.org directory entries and others. so the system is semi-automatic.

In an implementation consistent with the present invention, the set of favored and non-favored sources may be automatically determined. To accomplish this, exemplary queries in the query theme may be classified into a set of topics (e.g., an online topic hierarchy, such as Yahoo!, Open Directory, or Google) using the approach for classification described above. Web hosts that appear in the URLs associated with the best matching topics to the query theme may be taken to be favored sources. For example, if the query theme is “sites that help in finding accommodation,” then web hosts listed under the Open Directory category “http://dmoz.org/Recreation/Travel/Lodging” can be taken as favored sources. (..) For example, for the query theme “sites that provide frëe downloads,” web sites that actually provide frëe software downloads would be considered “favored sources” and web sites that mislead search engines with words such as “free” and “download” (popularly known as “spam techniques”), but do notin fact provide access to frëe downloads, would be considered “non-favored sources”. The patent application infers that sites have a brighter future in the search engines, especially Google. Therefore, don’t be afraid to link out to other sites. The more value you provide to your visitor, the more you will be rewarded in the end. Your ultimate goal is to become an authority in your particular topic.

This is good and bad.

The good is, of course, we get more relevant results. Spam sites get lower results, spam blogs will be fought, but still there will be ways to avoid banning from SERPs. I have created an example of a “spam blog” which simly takes content from other sites – www.music-video-blog.com – if someone from dmoz editorial looked at the site, it wouldnt be included, but if I added manually some good posts so everything didn`t look the same, then it could go in some consideration. I still could convert that site into something useful, right now it just sits there :)
The bad for publishers is that more and more people will avoid clicking on ads like Google Adsense:
. Ads will be overused by spam site creators as they would get low results from organic referrals. Like crime is always one step ahead of police, spam will always be ahead of internet algorithms.

Afterall, publishers should take notice of such patents and recognize where the real value lies – now it seems it`s dmoz directory. Google also takes the title and decrtiption of your page from dmoz.org, so it has to be taken seriously!

Google subdomain exploit

If you`re interested in SEO, then you should subscribe to www.sitepronews.com newsletter. They always have good articles (dunno if they are original or “private label articles”).

Latest article by Eric Lester is about exploiting in google`s algorithm and how one guy filled Googles index with few billion sp@m pages. He explains that Google indexes each subdomain as independent, so on one domain you could generate countless pages with keywords and AdSense ads. In some previous article they stated, that subdomains add PR to the original domain, so this is even more useful for those who practice “artificial SEO”.

Anyway, i`m sure you have seen a page that contains nothing but keyword stuffed content with ads all over the page, and lately these spam pages get more and more top positions in SERP`s. IMHO search engine sp@m will get more annoying than email sp@m in the near future, so be ready. Right now google is trying to fix this loophole and removing fake pages manually by searching them using the spammer`s original domain with “site:”, but meanwhile copycats are out there writing theyr generator scripts.
Read full article here (printable, readable version) or full site article.

Google Conversion University helps out!

Google analytics is one of the best free tools for web statistics, but now Google makes another step towards web developers. Google posted about its Conversion University – online resource for SEO tactics and optimizing your web page for better conversions (both Adsense and organic). Right now the “university” offers articles in 4 categories:

There are countless sites on the web with articles on search engine optimization. Many of them are writing articles to promote their own sites and products. Google promotes its Analytics, Sitemaps and AdWords tools (its slogan says “Learn. Explore. Profit.”). Since Google is still the most visited search engine on the web, it matters. The guidelines in Conversion university should be accurate and wouldn`t lead your websites to conflict with google algorithms and ranking.

For example, the first article on Driving Traffic is “Sitemaps for SEO” which tells you five reasons, why you would use Google sitemaps:

  • Submit all of your pages to the Google index – for free.
  • Find out how you rank on the top search queries.
  • Find out how Google sees your site.(page analysis)
  • Unblock your site (in case your robots.txt blocks any pages).
  • Get re-included (if you`re banned, follow Google quality guidelines)

Another article in Converting Visitors category explains Five tips for writing web headlines :

  • Include your paid keyword in the headline.
  • Don’t sound like an ad.
  • Highlight benefits rather than features.
  • Make headlines look easy to read.
  • Don’t forget subheads.

I see Google Conversion University quickly popping up its popularity among SEO websites in the near future, you should really take notice, even pro masters of SEO should find something new there. Take a read, the devil is in the details!