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9.30.2009

paid inclusion vs paid links Flash Google Analytics Question

Flash, Progressive Enhancement and Google

While this may be an ancient topic exhausted ages ago, I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask a couple of "what is right with google" questions.

My interest is devoted to the issues to be associated with SEO for Flash. The most viable practice here as of now seems to be progressive enhancement, which is basically providing an HTML version of the SWF content for search engines and/or people with Flash disabled in their browsers. So far, so good. However, the question that arises is what would make Google dismiss cloaking (or is it duplicate content?) suspicions in this regard.

As per the guidelines, Google suggests the following

Some examples of cloaking include:

* Serving a page of HTML text to search engines, while showing a page of images or Flash to users.
* Serving different content to search engines than to users.

but

If your site contains elements that aren't crawlable by search engines (such as rich media files other than Flash, JavaScript, or images), you shouldn't provide cloaked content to search engines.

I guess the cloaking concerns (or duplicate content concerns for that matter too) are pretty much safe to be dismissed since providing alternative content has become a proven technique, but here's a question: what exactly makes this case different?

paid inclusion vs paid links

There is something that I never really understood and with all the hype over paid links in java scripts I thought I would bring it up hoping that someone would shed some light on it for me.

What is the difference between paid inclusion and paid links?

Most of the directories that Google loves are all paid inclusion. Is this not a paid link? I know the wording of "you may or may not be included" helps, but if I put that on my site and sell links would it help me? For some reason I do not think so. So how does one get to the point of selling links is a good thing in the eyes of Google? Or is it ok only for directories and not for regular sites.

Most paid directories state right on their site that inclusion will help in search results as a reason one should pay them to get included. Isn't this the same reason why Google does not like paid links?

Robots.txt an open window?

I use robots.txt to identify what I don't want on the search engines. But it struck me after an increase in hack attempts that maybe all that robots.txt was doing was telling the hackers where I didn't want them to go and therefore where they might want to go!

I've ditched robots.txt and just made sure any pages I want off search engine listings have no inbound links from public pages.

Maybe I'm paranoid!

Double Google Analytics Question - Stump time

I've got a question, trying to figure out how much information will be shared.

I have signed-up with a company that produces a catalog that will be displayed on an inline-frame on my site (it can also be displayed by itself).

That company hosts the catalog on their servers and they allow each user to place their own Google Analytics code in the catalog, ... and they also have place THEIR OWN Google Analytics code and account number in the footer of each page.

So my question is, what information will show on their Analytics account from their code? Will it only be what's on that internal .html document that I will display on my inline frame, or will Analytics reach beyond that and show results from the overall .html file plus the iframe?

Secondly, is this a violation of the Google Analytics TOS for them? Either having two analytics codes (again, 95% of the customers that use this catalog system have no clue they are doing this) or another reason? I'm not terribly interested in their having too much of my data mind you.

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