Microsoft Willing To Raise Bid, But How Much Is Enough?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft's directors are collectively willing to authorize the company to raise its bid for Yahoo to up to $33 per share but perhaps not to the levels that Yahoo has signaled it wants to be acquired. If such a sweetened bid did occur it would put further pressure on Yahoo to negotiate and make it harder for the company to argue that it was being significantly undervalued. According to the WSJ: Microsoft has said privately in recent days that it's willing to offer as much as $32 or $33 a share, well above the $29.12-a-share value of its original ca [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, April 30, 2008

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web From Search Engine Land: Microsoft Live Search Adds More Images, Multimap, Find My Location, & Celebrity RankLive Search has informed us that they have made a few enhancements to the search engine. The enhancements include an expanded image search index, a new integrated mapping experience with Multimap, a location based mobile search feature to "find me," and more content for the celebrities and books sections. Here... Court Documents: Microsoft Allocates $1.5 Billion For Yaho [...]


Microsoft Live Search Adds More Images, Multimap, Find My Location, & Celebrity Rank

Live Search has informed us that they have made a few enhancements to the search engine. The enhancements include an expanded image search index, a new integrated mapping experience with Multimap, a location-based mobile search feature to "find me," and more content for the celebrities and books sections. Here are some more details: Increased image index – searching for images is now faster with Live Search because images are organised into one page so you don't have to keep clicking "next page" to see more. Live Search is also expanding its Video search offer to let you browse and [...]


Court Documents: Microsoft Allocates $1.5 Billion For Yahoo Employee Retention

Court documents cited by the Wall Street Journal (also CNET) show that Microsoft has set aside $1.5 billion to retain Yahoo employees in the event of a successful takeover. This is apparently not tied to the generous "poison pill" severance packages that Yahoo put in place in the event of a Microsoft acquisition. The statement was made by Microsoft attorneys in the context of a court hearing filed by pension funds invested in Yahoo. The suit alleges that Yahoo's directors breaded their fiduciary duty in not responding "in good faith" to Microsoft's offer. Meanwhile, the speculation continue [...]


Outsourcing To Increase SEO Throughput

Even with budgets getting tightened, your SEO program may be kicking, but the head count you requested to keep the program moving upward may not get approved. When this happens, it's time to look at a Plan B for increasing throughput without adding staff. Many people I talk to think a superstar in-house SEO team doesn't need an agency, and there is some truth to this. However, when you see that more could be done, but not with your limited team that is already at capacity, it's time to think about how you could spend a few thousand dollars a month to be more productive and move your numbers [...]


Will Yahoo Create An Open Ad Profile?

Yahoo's mantra these days is openness. To that end, Yahoo may create the ability for users to view their ad profiles -- the data that's being used to target them with advertising on Yahoo and its extended network. Yahoo EVP Jeff Weiner, who spoke at the Economics of Social Media conference in LA yesterday, suggested that he'd like to see such a system in place at Yahoo. As CNET reports, a similar idea was floated but previously quashed at Yahoo. But now the environment in Sunnyvale is more (dare I say it?) open to the idea. Consumers have consistently reported to researchers that they prefer [...]


Google Ocean To Complement Google Earth, Maps, & Sky Soon

Google diving into 3D mapping of oceans from News.com reports Google is working on a new mapping system to map the Earth's oceans. The tool might be named Google Ocean and will complement Google Earth and Google Sky. News.com says Google Ocean will contain 3D oceanographic maps with underwater topography, search features for spots and attractions, and also have zooming and panning features. Much like Google Earth and Sky, you will be able to overlay layers on top of the oceanographic maps, such as weather patterns, currents, temperatures, shipwrecks, coral reefs, and algae blooms. NOTE [...]


Google Toolbar PageRank Update Creates Major Webmaster Buzz

Over the past few days, many webmasters and SEOs have been noticing an update to the PageRank score found in the Google Toolbar. Usually PageRank updates aren't that noteworthy, but it seems something is different about this PageRank update In particular, it has been a really long time since I've witnessed such widespread discussion about a PageRank update. I have been writing about PageRank updates since 2003 and been discussing them with other webmasters years before that. The last time I have seen this much discussion was in the times of the Google Dance, when toolbar PageRank updates ac [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, April 29, 2008

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web From Search Engine Land: Google Adds Street Views To Step-By-Step Driving DirectionsThe Google LatLong Blog announced that you can now see street views turn-by-turn (when available) when you are seeking out driving directions via Google Maps. For example, when driving from the Empire State Building to Times Square, you can see that Google has street views available for every turn. A... Twitter Wrote This Column For Me By now you have probably seen a bunch of talk about Twitter. [...]


Google Adds Street Views To Step-By-Step Driving Directions

The Google LatLong Blog announced that you can now see street views turn-by-turn (when available) when you are seeking out driving directions via Google Maps. For example, when driving from the Empire State Building to Times Square, you can see that Google has street views available for every turn. A camera icon next to each step of the directions is available to click on. Clicking on the camera shows you Street View imagery for that turn. Here is an image of the driving directions with the camera icon: Here is Google telling me to turn left at Broadway on the Street Views layer: He [...]


Twitter Wrote This Column For Me

By now you have probably seen a bunch of talk about Twitter. And after all of this talk you might be still thinking: OK, so what the heck is Twitter really and why should I care? How is it going to help my business at the end of the day? Rather than writing this column myself, I decided to let Twitter (or more specifically, my extended Twitter network) write it for me. This is me on Twitter (feel free to add me). So let's get started... The best way to demonstrate the usefulness or power of something is to show real examples. I started this experiment at approximately 5:20 PM EST on M [...]


Yelp For Business: New Tools Allowing Local Businesses To Speak For Themselves & More

As the phenomenon of local business ratings and reviews becomes more "institutionalized" and important, efforts are popping up to help businesses cope and/or take advantage of the trend. Merchant Circle is one business in the local space that has positioned itself as a platform for SMB "reputation management" as well as marketing. Local search provider Yelp has now added tools that make it easier for local businesses to communicate with reviewers and to gain perspective on activity on their profiles. As Yelp has gained in stature and importance in a number of US markets, savvy businesses we [...]


The Art Of Opportunistic Linking

A couple weeks back I wrote a LinkWeek column here titled "Your Site's Manifest Linking Destiny". At the end of that column I closed with the following thoughts... What if I told you that one of the sites was created, owned, and operated by a single mother who is an African American with locations in six cities across three southern states? None of these facts change the content of the sites. They remain nearly identical. But these facts can alter the manifest linking destiny of one of the sites dramatically, in a way that can impact everything from search rank to direct click traffic, for [...]


Google Showing Ranking Scores On AdWords?

This morning I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable that several webmasters began noticing three values being displayed under some AdWords ads that might reveal some details on how Google may rank AdWords ads. The scores include the "Pscore," "mCPC," and "thresh." Danny and I took guesses at what each might mean and the mCPC seems likely to be the minimum cost-per-click for the ad. Thresh might refer to a threshold score for if or where the ad displays, while the Pscore might be a Google quality score metric of some sort - we guess. Shown above is a screen shot of one of the many ad [...]


Microsoft Live Mobile Adds Product Search, “Find My Location”

Microsoft has introduced enhanced mobile product search at m.live.com. It shrinks down the content from the desktop product search into a bite-sized mobile presentation. You get images, reviews, product specifications, and features. These things don't come up for every category; however, it's a very nice presentation of information, and the available categories should grow rapidly. The company has simultaneously introduced "Find My Location," based on cell phone tower triangulation, for Japan and the UK. Here are some screens of the product search beta for mobile: The "F [...]


Search Illustrated: Inside The Search Algorithm

The Algorithm. If an SEO had a nickel for every time that phrase was mentioned in a day... Over time we've become more comfortable with the main triggers that affect search rankings. But, it's leveraging the sum of all factors that can really give you an advantage over the competition. This week's infographic explores the lengthy list of both well proven and somewhat subjective factors that go into a ranking algorithm: Graphic by Elliance, an eMarketing firm specializing in results-driven search engine marketing, web site design, and outbound eMarketing campaigns. The firm is the crea [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, April 28, 2008

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web From Search Engine Land: What Yahoo's New Minimum Bid Means to You Yahoo recently announced that they are moving away from a $0.10 fixed minimum CPC to a variable minimum bid. However, there are some differences in how Yahoo calculates minimum bids tcompared to AdWords. These differences are important to note as you switch between these PPC engines so that each... Monday MicroHoo Silence, Google Confident About Regulators In Deal With YahooIt's Monday morning and there are no o [...]


What Yahoo’s New Minimum Bid Means To You

Yahoo recently announced that they are moving away from a $0.10 fixed minimum CPC to a variable minimum bid. However, there are some differences in how Yahoo calculates minimum bids compared to AdWords. These differences are important to note as you switch between these PPC engines so that each account is properly optimized for each engine according to how the bids are calculated. Yahoo's New Minimum Bid Factors Yahoo uses two main factors for determining minimum bids: value of the keyword quality The value of the keyword factor will frustrate many marketers. This v [...]


Monday MicroHoo Silence, Google Confident About Regulators In Deal With Yahoo

It's Monday morning and there are no official statements from either Microsoft or Yahoo on the passage of the Microsoft-imposed three week deadline to respond to its takeover offer. (The deadline passed on Saturday.) The Wall Street Journal has a quick assessment of where things stand. Silicon Alley Insider also posts (picking up on an item from AllThingsD) the argument that senior execs within Yahoo want the sale to happen and fear the stock crashing otherwise. But most interesting this morning is Marc Andreessen's post about hypothetical hostile takeover scenarios. It's quite detailed and b [...]


SMX Advanced: Looking For Pitches & Register Soon!

Double-duty with this post about our SMX Advanced search marketing conference happening June 3 & 4 in Seattle. First, some of our session coordinators are still looking for some good pitches. Second -- with more than half our tickets sold, consider this early warning that if you don't register soon, you may miss out as happened to some people last year when we sold out. Let's do the pitches first. Interested in speaking? We've got a great team of coordinators sorting through pitches for the sessions they are assembling. To pitch for a particular session, just use the form here. If a sess [...]


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