Google Sitemaps robots.txt tool lies

[Update 2/14/06: checked again today and problem appears fixed. Score one for Google.]

Last week, Google released an update to Google Sitemaps that added a robots.txt checker tool. I started experimenting with it today and found a rather odd behavior: the tool reports access allowed for terms that clearly should not be. I think I've got this boiled down to the simplest case, which appears to have to do with terms starting with “Web” (”W” has to be capitalized). I don't know whether this is domain specific, so I'd love to hear back whether you are able to reproduce this or not. Here's the setup:

Enter the following into the large robots.txt area:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /Web.htm

Then enter the following into the URL area:
http://www.[your domain here].com/Web.htm

Now, click “Check” and watch it report “Allowed”.

If you happen to see this and know someone at Google, pass it along.

Aaron Wall posts some more SEO Buttons for Google toolbar

So, naturally the idea of using the new Google toolbar for SEO is not unique. Here are some more buttons from Aaron Wall of the SEO Book fame. I will say though that where applicable my buttons are better because they work both on the selected text and the page domain if no text is selected. But, no doubt Aaron will fix that in no time. ;-)

SEO Buttons for your Google Toolbar

I posted previously that Google Toolbar 4 is worth a try. I've since added a couple of custom buttons that I think would be of interest to SEO's. Grab them here:

Yahoo! Site Explorer Button
Internet Archive Button 

Also be sure to grab Matt's Whois Button


- select the domain name in question on the web page you are viewing and hit the button
- just hit the button to analyze the domain of the page you are viewing


What custom buttons have you added? Drop me a line.

Minor celebrity sighting, Troy McClain

A few weeks ago, we went to the Gocart Racer as an after work company outing. It was a lot of fun, highly recommended! In any case, beside us there was a group from Microsoft, and I could have sworn I recognized Troy from Season 1 of The Apprentice among them. I was surprised to see Troy there since I remembered that Troy's roots were in real estate not software, but then again, The Apprentice has been a great boost for some people. Maybe he's doing something with sales?

Today I figured I'd put this to rest and found both that I was right and wrong. Troy does not work for Microsoft but he was scheduled to be speaking that day at the Microsoft Sales Award Ceremony, so perhaps a trip to Gocart Racer was an added perk.

That's it, minor celebrity, minor sighting, but still fun to have a brush with fame.