SearchCap: The Day In Search, August 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: Search Marketing & The US Presidental Race, Case Study: Sarah Palin After reading yesterday about how savvy both US presidential campaigns seem to think they are about search marketing, I decided I'm going to take a closer look at watching them. In particular, I noticed yesterday that both seemed pretty lame when it came to tapping into rising queries that... Google Tests Displaying Ads Under Search ResultsTamar reported at the Search Engine Roundtable [...]


Search Marketing & The US Presidential Race, Case Study: Sarah Palin

After reading yesterday about how savvy both US presidential campaigns seem to think they are about search marketing, I decided I'm going to take a closer look at watching them. In particular, I noticed yesterday that both seemed pretty lame when it came to tapping into rising queries that you can spot on Google Trends. That's what I'm going to be watching in particular over the coming weeks -- and today's a good start. Google Trends is lighting up with searches for McCain's vice presidential pick, Alaska governor Sarah Palin. How are the campaigns responding? Not so well. First, here are [...]


Google Tests Displaying Ads Under Search Results

Tamar reported at the Search Engine Roundtable that Google has confirmed that they are testing displaying search ads under the search results. You and I are accustomed to seeing AdWords ads at the top and right hand side of the Google search results page, but we never see them under the search results. Stephan Kopp commented with a link to a screen capture showing an AdWords ad at the bottom of the search results. Google has tested AdWords ads at the bottom of the search results in the past. Back in November of 2005, I posted screen shots of Google testing this. But Google made a conscio [...]


Search In Pictures: Mandi Perkins at Yahoo, Google Dance & Yahoo Safari

In this week's Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. Yahoo's Summer Safari: SEOs playing RockBand at the Google Dance: Dancing inside the Googleplex: Yahoo Mini-Van: Mandi Perkins at Yahoo: [...]


Microsoft Acquires Market Research Firm Greenfield Online To Get EU Shopping Engine Ciao

Microsoft successfully bid to acquire Greenfield Online for approximately $486 million. But Microsoft isn't really interested in Greenfield, it was after the company's subsidiary Ciao GmbH. Founded in 1999 and acquired by Greenfield in 2005, Ciao is an Munich-based EU comparison shopping site with user reviews. According to the press release out this morning: The acquisition signals a further milestone investment for Microsoft in Europe and will see Microsoft increase its European commercial search capabilities as part of its intent to make Microsoft Live Search the premier destination for [...]


Ask Kids Relaunches With Cute Kids Features

A few days ago, Ask.com relaunched Ask Kids, their search flavored for children. The Ask.com blog just wrote about the launch last night. Ask.com said the Ask Kids site was "built from the ground-up, with our own search technology." It seems like Ask.com added a "very strict" list of which sites are allowed in the Ask Kids index and which are not allowed. They claim it is the "most comprehensive, kid-friendly search available today." The search result layout is pretty much the same, with a three-pane view, but it does add a more kid friendly design to it. The feature I like the best is [...]


Human Hardware: Foraging for Information

When looking to predict how MBA students and analysts would find information in a digital environment, Peter Pirolli found his answer in an unlikely place: animal’s foraging patterns. Pirolli, working at the Palo Alto Research Center, was trying to predict with some mathematical accuracy the behavior of humans when searching for information but was having challenges finding models that accommodated "messy" data in an unstructured environment. Given the fuzzy nature of the problem, it seemed that there wasn’t an overlying rational to human behavior. It wasn’t until he applied the principl [...]


Obama Vs. McCain: Display Vs. Direct Response

The Wall Street Journal analyzes and compares the online marketing strategies, successes and weaknesses of the two US presidential candidates. McCain turns out to be the more savvy search marketer, while Obama does a better job at SEO and is investing more in online display advertising. According to the WSJ: In July, the McCain campaign had 15.1 million sponsored link impressions -- the number of times that an ad is downloaded onto a computer screen -- compared with the 1.2 million for the Obama campaign, according to Nielsen Online. Sen. Obama, meanwhile, has chosen to focus online ad spe [...]


Bill Tancer On 20/20 This Friday, Talking Search Behavior

Many search marketers know of "data geek" Bill Tancer, who has long entertained folks at search marketing conferences with tales and observations of what you can tell about people through search trends. Bill's got a great new book coming out, Click, which shares those insights with a broader audience. I'm planning a review of it for later -- but it was one of those "couldn't put it down" books that I consumed during a recent flight. As part of his book tour, Bill's being featured on ABC's 20/20 this Friday night. ABC has a preview of his appearance here. Many of our reade [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, August 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: Are You Giving Your SEO Enough Information to Succeed? Three years ago Todd Malicoat published a blog post titled Balancing the Link Equation, which offered conditional tips about how to improve the link profile of a website. I think of that post nearly every time someone asks for SEO advice because the field has grown so complex that... Google & Mozilla Extend Default Firefox Search Provider DealTechCrunch reports Google has extended the Mozilla deal [...]


Are You Giving Your SEO Enough Information to Succeed?

Three years ago Todd Malicoat published a blog post titled Balancing the Link Equation, which offered conditional tips about how to improve the link profile of a website. I think of that post nearly every time someone asks for SEO advice because the field has grown so complex that both yes and no are often mutually wrong answers. The correct answer to most SEO questions is "it depends" followed by a whole bunch of qualifications like brand size, site age, content quality, site size, and marketplace competition. Websites are like patients. If someone tells a doctor "I feel sick," but is un [...]


Google & Mozilla Extend Default Firefox Search Provider Deal

TechCrunch reports Google has extended a deal to be the default search engine in Firefox for an additional three years, to 2011. The news comes the day after Microsoft released a beta of IE8. The deal is somewhat ironic in that Google has lobbied to to prevent Microsoft from making itself the default search engine in Internet Explorer but has no qualms about buying itself defaul rights in Firefox. Hey Firefox - Let Us Pick Our Own Search Engine! from Danny Sullivan has more about that. [...]


Veoh Decision Good News For Google, Potentially Bad News For Viacom In YouTube Litigation

Online video destination Voeh Networks was sued in 2006 for copyright infringement by IO Group (an adult video producer). The facts in the case and claims are generally similar to those of Viacom vs. YouTube. Yesterday a federal District Court judge in California issued a ruling that, barring an appeal by IO, vindicates Veoh and absolves the company of liability for copyright infringement. (Here's the decision.) The Viacom case is in New York District court and the Veoh ruling has no direct bearing on the outcome of that case, but it will be somewhat persuasive and Google will use the rulin [...]


Google Testing Two Videos On One Web Search Result

Ever since the launch of Google Universal Search, Google has been showing videos in the web search results. But sometimes, there are more than one video shown in the web search results and, in many cases, those multiple videos will take up the space of 2 or more of the ten results shown. Philipp Lenssen reports that Google is now testing showing a second video result on the same search result as the first video result. For example, the search that triggered this test was for iphone in Google Canada. What I see are two video results beneath a news result, which is beneath a web result. In [...]


Google Gives Google Apps Users Credit & Adds Communication Policies

Earlier this month, Google's popular email service had a major outage. News.com is now reporting that Google has responded to Google Apps Premier users with a credit and a promise to provide better communication tools in case this happens again. Google has issued a 15-day extension of service to all Google Apps Premier users as a credit for the outage. This is the "full SLA credit" Google can give and it has been given to all Premier accounts automatically. In addition, Google hopes to provide a dashboard with "system status information," including a description of the problem and a conti [...]


Search & Internet Explorer 8

After finally getting the new Internet Explorer 8 beta installed (demands to upgrade Windows, verify Windows, sigh), I spent some time playing with the new search functionality and checking to see if Microsoft was going to try to stack the deck in its favor with the new browser. So far, it remains pretty even handed. Indeed, so far, Microsoft seems kind of lame given that there are some cool search features you're hard pressed to locate. Let's take a tour. After installing the software, I'm asked if I want to use "Express Settings" or to make active choices: Notice that Live Sear [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, August 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: FindLaw Hit By Long Arm Of The Google Law Over Paid LinksToolbar PageRank penalties are nothing new to the SEO world, we see them all the time. But when Todd Friesen broke the news that FindLaw.com is marketing a new advertising service to sell links that will "help you increase your company's visibility, rank and penetration within natural search results on... Google Offers New Content Hub For US Presidential Elections Home StretchMany millions of peo [...]


FindLaw Hit By Long Arm Of The Google Law Over Paid Links

Toolbar PageRank penalties are nothing new to the SEO world, we see them all the time. But when Todd Friesen broke the news that FindLaw.com is marketing a new advertising service to sell links that will "help you increase your company's visibility, rank and penetration within natural search results on major search engines such as Google," as the FindLaw email said, the legal industry was somewhat shocked. Back in October 2007, we reported that Google officially said that selling or buying links can hurt your PageRank and/or rankings in Google. We then saw the sledge hammer hit and sites n [...]


Google Offers New Content Hub For US Presidential Elections Home Stretch

Many millions of people saw Hillary Clinton speak last night at the Democratic National Convention. If you didn't (and are interested), you can see the speech on YouTube. Indeed, Google has been doing various things in various places -- on Maps, YouTube, iGoogle and elsewhere -- to offer news, content, video and visualization tools throughout this US electoral season. Now the company has introduced an additional set of election-related guides and services, explained in this Google Blog post. In other to tie all this content together there's a new central hub: Google 2008 Election. It links [...]


Google Checkout Steps Up Promotion Through AdWords

Steve LaLonde spotted Google sporting new checkout badges for some Google Checkout merchants within the AdWords listings. I was able to reproduce it for a search on petco, a Google Checkout merchant. Here is a side by side look at the checkout badges on AdWords. The $5 off version is the new version being tested, the other one is the normal checkout badge: Google has a large FAQ on badges, but this $5 off badge is new. Steve asked Google about the new badges and received this response: As part of this experiment, a percentage of search results on google.com will display the promotio [...]


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