Why You Need To Know SEO Basics, Even If You Outsource

When you outsource SEO, you don't outsource responsibility and accountability for getting the job done and driving more traffic. Even though you may outsource SEO completely, you really should invest the time understand SEO basics to best manage your SEO firm, your strategy and provide greater value to your SEO program. Relying entirely on an agency is not an adequate strategy, for a variety of reasons. When it comes to SEO, each site is different. Certain optimization techniques that might be ideal for one site might be entirely inappropriate for another site. As the in-house point of con [...]


Mainstreaming Google Earth By Plugging It Into The Browser

Google Earth has always been a great product -- and a popular one, downloaded more than 100 million times. Despite this volume it's still not mainstream however. Microsoft Virtual Earth decided not to go with a big downloadable client and use a browser plug-in instead. This was a smart strategy to "mainstream" the Virtual Earth application and compete against Earth. Unfortunately Virtual Earth 3D runs too slowly on most computers. Now Google has followed Microsoft and made Earth available via the browser for Windows users. It's also available (like Maps) to be mashed up via the Google Maps [...]


Advertisers Cloaking AdWords URLs To Get Around Display URL Policy

Remember Google announced that they will be strictly enforcing the AdWords display URL policy a few months back? Well, they actually started enforcing the policy at the beginning of this month. Some advertisers who had display URLs that did not match their destination URLs were impacted. It appears that some of those advertisers are now cloaking their URLs in order to get around that AdWords policy. How does this work? As Stephen Heise explains, some of these advertisers are detecting if Google's AdBot is checking the destination URL and sending the AdBot one page and the actual end user [...]


Cool Sights In Google Street View

The Street View feature in Google Maps has caused a flurry of attention from people ranging from privacy advocates to voyeurs to legislators. The ability to pan around browsing photos shot along streets seems fun and compelling, though it's also raised all sorts of issues and controversy as our ability to search and process information has grown quicker than policies have evolved to deal with it all. Here's a handful of some of the interesting images we've gathered from various sources to highlight some of the notable aspects of the feature. Love is in the Air: (map link) Lack of [...]


Interview With Google’s Carter Maslan About “Mapspam”

After noticing a steady increase in the amount of mapspam (also documented by Mike Blumenthal) appearing on Google in universal search results, we decided to ask the company about the phenomenon and what measures it's taking to combat the problem. Earlier this week I posed a series of questions to Google's Director of Product Management for Local, Carter Maslan via email. The unedited text of his responses is below. SEL: Recently many mapping and local observers have noticed what appears to be an increase in what's being called "mapspam" among the top 10 local results shown on Google.com. It [...]


Search 4.0: Social Search Engines & Putting Humans Back In Search

Previously I've covered what I dubbed Search 3.0, how search engines have evolved toward blending vertical or specialized results into "regular" web listings. Today, the step beyond that: Search 4.0, how personal, social and human-edited data can be used to refine search results. The Search Evolution So Far Before going ahead, let me summarize what I covered in my past article, in terms of how search engines have changed over time to create and rank the results you get when doing a search: Search 1.0 (1996): Pages ranked using "on-the-page" criteria Search 2.0 (1998): Pages [...]


Google’s CEO Talks Up Mobile Ad Opportunity, Skyfire Browser Pushes For “The Real Internet” On Mobile Devices

Google very clearly recognizes how strategic the mobile internet is both for revenue growth and the company's future. Hence the Android mobile platform, the bidding in the 700MHz auction and all the effort Google is directing toward mobile generally. CEO Eric Schmidt repeatedly emphasizes mobile as the next big frontier and opportunity. He also points to the advent of the iPhone as a breakthrough mobile internet device. Indeed, it is. A decade from now the "birth of the mobile internet" will be attributed to the introduction of the iPhone. However the mobile market is evolving quickly. One o [...]


Serial Clickfraud Lawsuit Firm Strikes Again, This Time At Citysearch

Click fraud lawsuit targets IAC's Citysearch from News.com reports the law firm of Kabateck Brown Kellner is targeting IAC's Citysearch.com for allegedly "defrauding its advertising customers of millions of dollars" by "turning a blind eye to click fraud" and actually "encouraging" the click fraud. This Los Angeles-based law firm has won suits against Google and Yahoo in the past on click fraud charges. In addition, last month it filed a new suit (Google Sued For Undesired AdSense Inclusion) against Google. In this case, the plaintiff is Tom Lambotte, who claimed he started a Citysearch ad [...]


Microsoft Joins The Social Bookmarking Game

Microsoft's John Martin has shared a preview of the new Microsoft social bookmarking tool that will be demonstrated at the TechEd North America event in the upcoming week. John provided a shortlist of features and two screen captures of the social bookmarking tool at his blog post. Based on the limited detail I can see, the tool is not all that innovative when compared to Delicious and other social bookmarking tools out there today. It seems that you can bookmark any URL across the web then apply tags to those URLs and also save the bookmarks in the "new My Bookmarks tool." The screen [...]


Microsoft’s Kevin Johnson Profiled By Fortune As “The Man Who Would Run Yahoo”

Microsoft's Kevin Johnson is perhaps the main strategist in the company's battle for online advertising dollars and in some sense driving the future of Microsoft as an entity. Fortune magazine interviews and profiles Johnson. Johnson runs the group that controls the Windows OS and online services, including Live Search. Toward the end of the article the discussion shifts to Johnson's desire to "disrupt" Google in search. The new Live Search Cashback program (the CPA ad model in particular) is an effort to do that. The Fortune piece suggests there will be other such "disruptive" moves coming. [...]


Google Asked To Pay $77 Million To Belgian Newspapers For Copyright Violations

Yesterday we were reminded of Viacom's $1 billion lawsuit against Google for copyright infringement. That case of course has yet to be determined. However, in Europe, a group of French-language Belgian newspapers previously won a copyright case against Google and are now moving to collect $77 million (€49m) in damages. Google lost the underlying Belgian newspaper suit and was compelled to remove news stories on Google News, crawled without the newspapers' permission. Google appealed the case. I'm not able to fully comment on the differences between US and international copyright law; howe [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, May 27, 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: Yahoo Search May 2008 Index UpdateThe Yahoo Search blog posted a new weather report today. The report tells us to expect some fluctuations in the search results found at Yahoo Search. Priyank Garg & Sharad Verma of Yahoo said, that they are releasing "some changes to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms over the next... Search Illustrated: Increasing Brand Awareness With Search When brand awareness is the goal, it's sometimes easy to implement [...]


Yahoo Search May 2008 Index Update

The Yahoo Search blog posted a new weather report today. The report tells us to expect some fluctuations in the search results found at Yahoo Search. Priyank Garg & Sharad Verma of Yahoo said, that they are releasing "some changes to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms over the next few days." Expect some "ranking changes and page shuffling," they added. I have not seen much of any discussion from SEOs and SEMs on any Yahoo changes in the past few days. [...]


Search Illustrated: Increasing Brand Awareness With Search

When brand awareness is the goal, it's sometimes easy to implement PPC as a "go to" for increasing awareness quickly and effectively. But, paid search is just one part of a broader, long-term brand awareness campaign. This week's infographic explores how SEMs can utilize all facets of search to achieve increased brand awareness. Graphic by Elliance, an eMarketing firm specializing in results-driven search engine marketing, web site design, and outbound eMarketing campaigns. The firm is the creator of the ennect online marketing toolkit. The Search Illustrated column appears Tuesdays at [...]


PPC Management Options – Are Your Fees Inline With The Advertiser’s Goals?

There are many ways to bill for PPC management and each has its own distinct characteristics. Some of these billing techniques align more with an agency, and others more with an advertiser. For agencies, the proper billing types can make the difference between being profitable and going out of business. In addition, if your goals are aligned with your advertisers, then long term synergies usually develop which means longer client retention. For advertisers, it is important to understand the options that exist. Not all agencies offer all of the below pricing options. However, some will b [...]


Don’t Call Me Linkbait

When use of the phrase "linkbait" first started to achieve critical mass, some dismissed it as nothing more than a fad that would be dead in a year. Some truly understood linkbait and tried to explain it while some of those who grasped it ran with it and went on to profit from it (and still do). Below, what linkbait really is and where its value lies. What Linkbait Is "Linkbait" isn't some internet fad or "new" way to "game the Google algorithm". It is simply the name for the online version of what has been going on offline for years. If magazines perfected the linkbait title, th [...]


Viacom And Google Assail Each Other In Court: Viacom “Threatens” Freedom, Says Google

You may recall that the failure of Google and Viacom, which owns MTV and Comedy Central among other properties, to negotiate an agreement to work together (read: revenue sharing) resulted in a very public Viacom-Google "pissing match" over copyright infringement and whether Google had made good faith efforts to protect against it. (Danny has an excellent round up of the history and arguments on both sides here.) The breakdown resulted in Viacom suing YouTube/Google for $1 billion in copyright infringement. Now the latest round of court documents are out, with Google claiming that Viacom's act [...]


2008 Memorial Day Search Logos

Today is Memorial Day, so we plan on keeping it light over here at the blog today. I have a post at the Search Engine Roundtable, with a collection of logos I have found from the various search related companies and blogs for the special day. Here is a single picture with those logos and themes all in one image: Yes, Google does not have a logo up for the day. I can't remember Google ever having a special logo for Memorial Day. [...]


Yes, Truthiness Is A Credibility Factor Google Cares About

Doing A Fake Story For Linkbait? Disclose -- Or Face The Wrath Of Google from last week is still a hot topic of discussion in the industry. In fact, Google's Matt Cutts posted a more detailed explanation of why a fake story without disclosure is something, in some cases, Google cares about. Matt says, "if a site says that they completely made up a story to get links, Google doesn't have to trust the links to that site as much." But is that about intent of the author? Does the intent have to be about influencing your search results for Google to trust you less or is it something larger? I [...]


Travel Appears To Be Next Up For Google

BusinessWeek writes about Google's potential plans to enter the travel arena with a specialized offering. That offering, assuming it appears, would likely include a heavy dose of video. There would also likely be a heavy helping of Maps. Interestingly, Google is pushing Maps and MyMaps today as a travel/trip planning tool. Google could create a pretty interesting travel product using some combination of YouTube/video and Maps, including StreetView, with social elements (e.g., search UGC/MyMaps). Google used to show a one box that would expedite a search on the top branded travel destinations [...]


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