“Game Maker” or “GameMaker” – Search Engines

Working in SEO (almost!) and having an obvious interest in GameMaker through my Game Maker Blog I had to address a recent, closed, GMC topic in which a user asked whether the software was officially called Game Maker or GameMaker.

Connor Wilkins succintly explained the reason for the rebranding from Game Maker to GameMaker:

“YoYo Games’s (paraphrased) reasoning: A ‘Game Maker’ is someone who makes games, while ‘GameMaker’ is a tool to create them.”

Another user replied with:

“I think one of the main reasons for the change is because searching for Game Maker gives more general results than searching for GameMaker. It’s better marketing from the customer discovery angle. And, really, does a space make all that much difference as to even warrant a discussion about it?”

Which is a load of tosh.

The (logged out) Google.com results page for “Game Maker” returns 4 YoYoGames.com pages, followed by some non-GM Google news articles, the GM Wikipedia article, Game Maker hosted on a download site, two Game Maker YouTube videos, a “rival” product and finally Game Maker hosted on another download site.
A total of: 4 official Game Maker links, 5 unofficial Game Maker related links, 1 rival product and Google News.
Total Game Maker specific results: 9/10.

The (logged out) Google.com results page for “GameMaker” returns the same 4 YoYoGames.com pages in a slightly different order, the GM Wikipedia article, Game Maker hosted on a download site, a Game Maker video, a Swedish curriculum which has no apparent link to YoYo Games’ Game Maker, a rival product and a historic product with the same name.
A total of: 4 official Game Maker related links, 3 unofficial Game Maker related links, 2 different non-YoYo Games products and an education course with the same name which does not use the software.
Total Game Maker specific results: 7/10.

7 < 9. "Better marketing from the customer discovery angle"? On both queries YoYo Games have the top 4 results. [game maker] also has more than 4 times as many global exact match searches on Google than [gamemaker] The user continues:

“When marketing a product, you want users to find your specific product when searching.”

Yes. Both searches yield the specific product, with the [Game Maker] first page being more specific to YoYo Games’ product than [GameMaker].

“Perhaps Google, yes, but there are other search engines. For example, searching “game maker” on Excite has YYG at the 4th result, dogpile.com has it as the 3rd, it’s 4th at WebCrawler, sixth at MetaCrawler, etc. The reason for all of these drops is because other sites involving “game” and “maker” (some about university courses in game design) show up first. If removing a single space would bring GM to the top of all these engines’ pages, then it’s a good marketing move, and there’s no reason to be against it. It’s just a space, after all.”

Ummm no. Firstly let’s ignore the fact that the combined marketshare of all the mentioned engines is minuscule. The only reason these results don’t appear at the top is because both these search engines do not distinguish their sponsored search results from their organic listings in a clear manner at all. No idea how this is even allowed from either a an advertising provider point of view (both use sponsored Google and Yahoo listings) or the “hiding ads from the consumer” angle.

Take a look at Excite.

Dogpile is even worse.

I now know exactly what that Dog pile is! Dog S***.

WebCrawler and MetaCrawler are the same. YoYoGames.com is the top natural result for [Game Maker]. They just don’t clearly distinguish paid and organic listings. MetaCrawler isn’t as bad as the others at this though.

Excite, Dogpile and MetaCrawler also return YoYoGames as the top result for [GameMaker], the only different being that WebCrawler returns the official Game Maker Community ahead of the GameMaker page at yoyogames.com

Inconsistencies across YoYo Games’ own homepage certainly don’t help. But GameMaker definitely does not yield better results than Game Maker.

Knowsley Council Blog Spam

If you want a free dofollow gov.uk backlink you can get lots from Knowsley Council’s blog.

I’d seen this previously but never wrote anything about it until I was prompted to when I was looking at the inbound links to an affiliate site and saw it had one from the Knowsley.gov.uk domain.

The Knowsley’s blog section of the their website (last updated June 2009) is no longer linked to from the council homepage (PR 6) but the main blog is PR3. It contains just a handful of posts all of which have at least 500, mainly spam, comments. The first few comments on most posts are genuine messages left by local people or those involved in subject of the blog, a Chernobyl Aid Convoy. One of these posts is currently attracting new SEO comment spam at the rate of about 10 per day.

Two of the blog posts actually have a Page Rank of 1 except I can get neither of these to load because the pages throw ASP exceptions!

Here are some examples of some of the many domains that Knowsley Council’s domain links to. It should be pretty obvious which are legitimate links and which are comment spam!

The ASP exception page suggestions that the CMS being used here is Immediacy, couldn’t find any prices on their website so no doubt it costs an arm and a leg.

Pretty sad to see Knowsley Council taxpayers money being used to promote all these websites.

Happy Christmas

I never know what I want for Christmas so am not expecting anything in particular tomorrow.

I decided to take advantage of Link-Assistant.com’s SEO Big Heart Christmas offer. There are just a couple of hours left if you are interested they are offering 60% off their SEO PowerSuite Software if you blog about their deal!

Haven’t started any of my holiday work yet either!

Notes on ProSEO

Had a really good time at ProSEO where there were a lot of big name speakers, thanks to Distilled for the free ticket.

Picked up a few ideas for my final year project particularly from Patrick Altoft of Branded3/SEO blog blogstorm.   A couple more features I now plan to implement in my Link Analysis tool are a link profile graph showing the spread of links from each domain authority (so you can build links that follow the natural linking profile for your sector) and an indicator that a site may have been penalised by Google if its PageRank value is significantly different from the mozRank (there is a SEOmoz API).

Patrick’s presentation also made use of Wordle.net an excellent tool for visualising word based data (e.g. you can stick an RSS feed into it or, in this case, a list of anchor text point to a domain).  Wordle have some advanced features which can enable integration with other software.

Dave Naylor was pretty spot on with his Google is taking over the SERPs talk too!

Although I’m still ahead of schedule on the downside I haven’t coded anything on my project for the last 6 days due to going back home, the conference and a C project to create a “console-based Internet chatting system”.

MSInternet came into uni today along with a game development recruitment company. They were billed as a web development/internet marketing company but after a nice chat with MD Martin Saunders it seems they are mostly focused on php development and iPhone Apps now rather than SEO :(.

Wordle: CP referring keywordsWordle: Game Maker Blog referring keywords

Above:  Couple of Wordle clouds for (non-weighted) referring search terms in last month  – pretty obvious which sites they are for!

SEO Pro Seminar this week

On Monday and Tuesday this week I will be attending the Distilled/SEOmoz Pro SEO Seminar in London. Two missed days of University but this is a rare opportunity and I think it will be a lot more beneficial for my future career. My final year project is also to develop a piece of software that analyses hyperlinks so maybe I can collect some new ideas too!

I won tickets to the conference in a competition run by the Distilled SEO agency. It is a very generous prize as tickets normally sell for £700 + VAT. They also gave a ticket to another student who is interning at a local directory website.

It was Will from Distilled who first sparked my interest in SEO as a career and he along with some other big names are going to be speaking.

This will be the first SEO event I have attended. I’ve read the schedule and a lot of the lectures sound interesting – looks like there is going to be a lot of practical advice given out. Not entirely sure what to expect but hopefully I will learn a lot and I’ll try my best not be too terrified to speak to people working in the industry – one of the lectures is about recruiting for SEO so will be of definite interest!