April 2007: Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories

Below are Search Engine Land's 10 most popular stories from April 2007: 1) Google Declares Stephen Colbert As Greatest Living American - It's official. Stephen Colbert is the Greatest Living American, or at least now ranks tops for that phrase at Google. It's all come from the latest Google bombing campaign sparked off in part by Stephen himself. The backstory on this, plus the "I thought Google bombing didn't work anymore" angle, in this story. =================== 2) George W. Bush: A Failure Once Again, According To Google - Remember how Google introduced a link bomb fix in Jan [...]


From The Isn’t It Ironic Dept: Google Product Search’s Results Show Up In Google

Remember how Google said recently that it might crack down on listings pages that are simply search results themselves? Reader Michael Nguyen dropped an email today to point out how, ironically, Google is now listing pages from its own Google Product Search service exactly as it has warned others not to do. OK, settle down back there, those of you having a chuckle. Embarrassing? Yes! Intentional? Almost certainly not. Let's take a look. Try a search for snake light, and you'll get this: See down there at the bottom? Two pages from Google Product Search showing up in the top results: I [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, April 30, 2007

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web: From Search Engine Land: Yahoo To Acquire Right Media; Joins Google In Buying, Rather Than Building, Display Ad Network Yahoo has announced it will acquire Right Media, which operates an auction-based display ad exchange called Remix Media. The move is widely seen as Yahoo fighting back against Google's recent plans to acquire DoubleClick, which itself is seen as Google jumping more firmly into the display ad network game. Both... Comcast Partners With Yahoo For Online Display &a [...]


Google To Merge Personalized Services To “iGoogle” Brand

Today is Google Personalization Day at Google, where reporters and bloggers have been invited to learn more about Google's moves to personalize its services. Our own Greg Sterling is there and will be providing coverage out of the event later. However, some news is already flowing out now. For one, Google steps up personalized Web search push from Reuters covers how Google will be renaming the personalized Google services as "iGoogle." Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president, said Google is "working to bring all this [Google personalizes services] together" and will be "renaming the product [...]


Comcast Partners With Yahoo For Online Display & Video Ads

Yahoo and Comcast have struck a multi-year deal where Yahoo will provide the online display and video advertising for Comcast.net. In this deal, the advertising sales organization at Yahoo will will market and sell the display and video ads on Comcast.net's behalf. Comcast hopes to utilize Yahoo's "ad-serving, targeting and inventory management capabilities to enable the pricing, targeting, delivery and reporting" technologies in this deal. The full press release can be found here. Note: This deal has nothing to do with search ads or search services, which we speculated Comcast might opt [...]


Google Checkout’s Title Goes Missing On Google

Something look odd in the search results above for google checkout? Yes, that's the official Google Checkout home page listed first, but it's most definitely NOT the right title for the Google Checkout page. That's got folks at Digg wondering if Google Checkout has been hijacked, sparked from Jon West's original post here. No. It's just Google being lame. Below, more about how HiBidder.com ended up providing the current title for Google Checkout as listed on Google, as well as a look at the problems of dealing with titles for pages that a spider can't access. Most search engines, includ [...]


Can You Spot The Paid Link?

In Time For Google To Give Up The Fight Against Paid Links? last week, I wrote about Google's second major war against paid links that's now underway. Today, I came across two examples that illustrate why this is such a difficult war for it to fight. How do you spot the paid link hidden among others? And when a major player like Scripps cross-promotes its shopping sites on newspaper sites it owns, is it violating the spirit of no paid links even though technically, no one is paying for the placement? The Paid Link Blog Meme from Michael Gray tries to have some fun, but also seriousness, in d [...]


Google Transit Sends Upset User Superman Cape

Adam Darowski blogged about getting some really bad advice from Google Transit, specifically asking him to "cross an eight-lane highway on foot." So how did Google respond? Joe Hughes of Google Transit sent Adam a Superman cape and a letter apologizing for the inconvenience. Here is the letter: Dear Superman, Reading your blog post about Google Transit at SXSW made us wonder if you were losing your powers—I mean, how hard could it be to leap over a simple 8-lane highway intersection, man of steel? We’ve enclosed a new cape—hopefully it will help you find your powers again. …seri [...]


Just Imagine: Local Search Without Maps

Imagine a local search site without maps. Sounds outrageous, doesn’t it? Most local search sites are dominated by maps. Google, Ask, and Live even begin my experience with a big map of North America. Correct, yes, but now what? Many sites incorporate technically impressive features to make their maps even more elaborate. But imagine taking the map OFF of a local-search site altogether and contemplate what you would put in the now vacant space. Local search is a process involving many variables, more often determined by use case than sheer location on a map. Can maps be an important [...]


Google Agrees To Return Chilean City It Borrowed For Argentina

Chile asks Google to fix map gaffe from the Associated Press reports that Google has mislabeled Villa O'Higgins, a town in Chile, as being in Argentina. The above image is a screen shot I took just a few minutes ago using Google Earth, for a search on "Villa O'Higgins," which confirms that the mapping error is still happening. This also happens on Google Maps, as well. Google told the AP that they "have received the request and are working with our partners to get more precise data for the region," and they are "constantly working to improve the quality and accuracy of our maps. This is an [...]


Wikipedia’s Double Standard On Nofollow Rule

Techcrunch discovered that Wikipedia was giving special treatment to their own properties, in terms of using standard, non-nofollowed, links to Wikia, "Wikipedia’s for-profit spin off." Back in January, Wikipedia nofollowed all external links from the site, in an effort to reduce Wikipedia spam. If you visit the Wikipedia page on Wikia, you may notice some external links do not contain the rel="nofollow" attribute. Techcrunch calls them out for it. [...]


Reuters Buys Search Mining Tech; Former AOL Search Chief Campbell To Lead New Search Group

Via PaidContent, news that Reuters is to acquire text analytics company Clearforest, part of creating a new strategic group around search. Leading that group is Gerry Campbell, the former long-time head of AOL's search efforts: As part of its drive into this space, it has created a new strategic group within Reuters and appointed former head of search for AOL, Gerry Campbell, who will oversee the integration of ClearForest and drive this innovation. PaidContent made references to Clearforest having been working with Reuters to "boost search rankings for its business stories." To [...]


Google Responds To Click Quality Council’s 8 Principles For PPC Improvement

Shuman Ghosemajumder, Google's business product manager for Trust & Safety at Google, has responded via his blog to the Click Quality Council's Cornerstone Principles for Pay-Per-Click Quality Improvement (PDF file) that were released last week. The response is basically what you expected to see. Shuman lists out all of the points in the 8 principles and responds that he typically agrees, shows how Google complies (or will comply) with each point. But let me pull out some areas that might not be simple "I agree" statements. In response to principle number one, "Advertisers should never pa [...]


Yahoo Search VP Andrew Braccia Resigns

Yahoo loses VP of consumer search, to Accel Partners from VentureBeat reports that a major Yahoo asset has left to join a venture capital firm named Accel Partners. Andrew Braccia was Yahoo’s vice president of consumer web search. He worked under Jeff Weiner for six years and was responsible for Yahoo Answers, the integration of the Inktomi, Overture and Alta Vista acquisitions and the purchase of Del.icio.us and Flickr. His new job at Accel Partners will be as a principal in the firm. Postscript: Yahoo emailed me informing me that they "recently named Andrew's replacement as Vish Makhi [...]


Utah Says Oops About Law Regulating Trademarks & Search Ads

Via TechDirt, High-Tech Execs Meet With Lawmakers Over Web Search Keyword Law from the Associated Press covers how Utah might not enforce its new law banning ads linked to trademark terms. The law is set to go into effect today. We covered various issues with the law earlier this month. Now Utah lawmakers appear to understand better some of the challenges after talking with Google, eBay, AOL, Yahoo and Overstock. From the article: "I wish we had had this interaction with industry 60 days ago," Utah House Majority Leader Dave Clark, R-Santa Clara, said. "We would have all been [...]


Yahoo Launches ‘Be A Better’ Ad Campaign

Yahoo is initiating an ambitious new -- and expensive -- brand advertising campaign titled "Be a Better . . ." The campaign will feature distribution across multiple ad media: TV, print, radio, online and cinema. It will focus especially on Yahoo mobile oneSearch and Yahoo Answers but also showcase other content (e.g., Travel and Sports), as well as Panama. It starts in the U.S. but will expand internationally. The campaign is using humor, see two of the ads here, to promote the idea that Yahoo is the way for users to be "better," smarter or more effective. (The ads I saw were pretty amusing [...]


The Coming Link Apocalypse

I just finished reading "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, hence the title of today's column. If you've read it then you understand. It's a bit dramatic, but then again drama, controversy and hyperbole is LinkBaiting 101. Sadly I add. The apocalypse I speak of is related to link building, and what I mean by it is that right now, as you read this, there are tens of thousands of people building links to hundreds of thousands of web sites, all over the world. You are probably one of them. And even in what would seem to be the most topical niches, like custom hood ornaments or accordion repair, [...]


How Search Engines Handle The Nofollow Attribute

Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal has a nice write up on how the search engines handle the nofollow attribute now just over two years since it was introduced. Ask.com still does not follow the tag, so here are the takeaway for Google and Yahoo: Google won't follow the link, Yahoo will (note) Google and Yahoo won't pass link popularity for that specific link Google would hope that Wikipedia would not take such an "absolute approach" on the nofollow link attribute being applied so widely. Note From Danny: Google WILL follow nofollow links in the sense that if someone else links to a page [...]


Yahoo To Acquire Right Media; Joins Google In Buying, Rather Than Building, Display Ad Network

Yahoo has announced it will acquire Right Media, which operates an auction-based display ad exchange called Remix Media. The move is widely seen as Yahoo fighting back against Google's recent plans to acquire DoubleClick, which itself is seen as Google jumping more firmly into the display ad network game. Both moves to me underscore how neither players' own existing ad networks have apparently been good enough for their display ambitions. Google has a massive ad network through AdSense. But that's not display! Yes, it is. AdSense has been offering display advertising since May 2004. That' [...]


Google Helps States Surface Government Information

Google has announced an initiative with state agencies in Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia to help expose government information to web search engines. Often, government information is stored in database systems that are difficult if not impossible for search engine crawlers to access and index. Google is working with technologists from the state agencies to help surface this invisible or deep web content, using a simple yet elegant approach using the sitemaps protocol, thereby allowing Google or any other search engine to discover and index government information. Search engine crawl [...]


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