SearchCap: The Day In Search, September 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: GOOG’s Mystery Stock Plunge The stock market is bad, but Google trading for as low as 1 cent today and closing initially at $320 (after opening at $488) has the NASDAQ checking out some odd trades and resetting the closing price to $400. Reuters reports that "erroneous orders" may have caused the drop and that these orders might [...] SearchBiz: Mehdi Moves Up At Microsoft; Should MSFT learn from Ask?; Top 25 People On The Web; Google & [...]


GOOG’s Mystery Stock Plunge

The stock market is bad, but Google trading for as low as 1 cent today and closing initially at $320 (after opening at $488) has the NASDAQ checking out some odd trades and resetting the closing price to $400. Reuters reports that "erroneous orders" may have caused the drop and that these orders might not be reversible, though apparently a small number of trades done within a five minute window at the end of the day wouldn't be counted. Reports are still coming in. For more, see related stories on Techmeme. [...]


SearchBiz: Mehdi Moves Up At Microsoft; Should MSFT learn from Ask?; Top 25 People On The Web; Google & The NSA

With Microsoft's current advertising campaign still leaving many people shaking their heads in wonder, TechCrunch has an idea: follow the lead of Ask.com. Jason Kincaid confesses that Ask's ad -- the one that shows a young woman "exercising" (ahem) on a stripper pole in her house -- actually made him curious enough to click through and visit Ask.com. He goes on to mention that the sexy ad didn't change his opinion of Ask.com as a search engine: The ad may tell me nothing about the site’s technology or give me any reason to use it over Google, but it worked - I obediently ventured ove [...]


Conversation With An Idiot Link Broker

Debate continues about Google's war on paid links. But regardless of where you stand, I think most people would agree buying and selling is risky behavior. You don't really want the world to know you're doing it. And if you're going to engage in paid links, I think many would agree you shouldn't be trying to trick people into something that might cause them harm. This week, from my inbox, an example of a company going wrong on both counts. I get requests for us to sell links from Search Engine Land and Sphinn all the time. We don't do that. Personally, I d [...]


Linked, Tagged, Tweeted, and Feeded – Three Real Time Link Trackers

One challenge we all have is showing our clients evidence that our work is having the effect we said it would. What would make this part of the process easier is if there was one single universal tool that could identify every single instance when a site is mentioned, linked, tagged, tweeted, or feeded. That perfect tool doesn’t exist, but a few weeks ago Delicious unveiled a relaunch, and what was once really a pain is now a breeze.


Search Illustrated: Website Conversion Paradigms

Getting your site ranked and persuading customers to click on your search result are just the first two steps towards achieving the end goal: getting the sale. This week's infographic details some quick tips for turning that click into a conversion: 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 Search Engine Land. [...]


To Block Google StreetView, German Town To Require, Then Deny Permit

Just a couple months after launching in Europe, Google StreetView is running into a roadblock in Germany. Via WebProNews, Spiegel Online reports that the small town of Molfsee in northwestern Germany plans to require Google to request a permit before being allowed to record video while driving through the town's streets. "And when they ask for a permit," town councilman Reinhold Harwart says, "we will say no." It seems the small town's concerns have spread to higher levels of German government, as well: Harwart's worries are shared at the state and federal levels. "We find the project e [...]


Travel Search Goes Green

With a couple of Stanford graduates as founders, a new entrant to the online travel space officially launched its beta site today, WholeTravel.com. Following a small but growing trend in the travel search space, Whole Travel uses what they call "Blue Sky Search", or the ability for searchers to use open-ended experiential queries, rather than inputting specific location data, airport codes or exact dates for travel. Searchers on WholeTravel.com are encouraged to type in eco-friendly activities (mountain trekking, wildlife tours, canoeing) or broad destination ideas such as "rainforest" o [...]


SPONSOR MESSAGE: Had enough of “Black Box” Search Engine Marketing?

At Marin Software, we say "no" to black box SEM, including maze-like spreadsheets and obtuse bidding algorithms. That's why we developed Marin Search Marketer®, simply the best enterprise-class PPC marketing application available today, with pay-as-you go pricing and no up-front fees. If you're spending $50k per month or more on PPC, say "yes" to Marin Search Marketer®. http://www.marinsoftware.com [...]


Three Rules For Search Marketing With Franchise Organizations

I always think of an armada of ships when I look at a franchised company. You've got a large battleship, directing the path of the smaller craft—yet the smaller craft must navigate on their own, especially when the instructions from the battleship don't make sense. And oftentimes, because the franchisees are busy navigating their own murky waterways, they can fail to see the logic behind the battleship's directions and forge their own paths, sometimes to disastrous effect. Creating search engine marketing strategies for franchised companies is some of the most challenging work I've d [...]


California Congressional Reps Urge Yes on Google-Yahoo Deal

The Google-Yahoo ad deal gained support in the form of a letter (PDF) from several of California's congressional representatives asking that the Department Of Justice not to block the proposed arrangement. Led by Google and Yahoo's "hometown" representative, Democrat Anna Eshoo from Palo Alto, the short letter signed by 11 US House Of Representative legislators so far reads much like it was written by Google and Yahoo to be posted on their new fact site about the deal. The letter keeps repeating the Google-Yahoo mantra of how this is a non-exclusive deal (and thus, no [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, September 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: Why Position Bidding Wastes Money It's remarkable that in 2008 there are still many bidding systems in use by SEMs and in-house PPC managers dedicated to "finding the right position" for each keyword. These position crawling systems guarantee inefficiency and lost opportunity; to put it concisely: they're playing the wrong game. Here's why:... ISP Behavorial Targeting Test To Begin In UK TomorrowThe initials for British Telecom ("BT") might now come [...]


Our Relationship To The Bottom Line

The search business is a roll-up-your-sleeves type of business. We're continually honing the way we deliver the search experience of today while preparing for how that experience will change tomorrow. With our eyes on the road ahead, and our minds grappling with what lies around the corner, there isn't much time to look in the rearview mirror. But two learnings that came out of the recent Kelsey Group's Directional Media Strategies conference provided reassurance that we're delivering on what advertisers expect and deserve — ROI. First, there was plenty of talk about CRM Associates [...]


Why Position Bidding Wastes Money

It's remarkable that in 2008 there are still many bidding systems in use by SEMs and in-house PPC managers dedicated to "finding the right position" for each keyword. These position crawling systems guarantee inefficiency and lost opportunity; to put it concisely: they're playing the wrong game. Here's why: The value of traffic doesn't vary by position. Careful study on our part, confirmed by University Statistics researchers, has proved that the conversion rates (orders per click), average order sizes, and margin percentages do not vary by position on the page. In other words, [...]


ISP Behavorial Targeting Test To Begin In UK Tomorrow

The initials for British Telecom ("BT") might now come to stand for "behavioral targeting" as the company prepares its opt-in trial with Phorm. Phorm is a UK-based firm that seeks to tap ISP behavioral data in an effort to serve more relevant ads to end users. The BT-Phorm "Webwise" test begins tomorrow and promises both "protection against online fraud and makes ads that appear on participating websites more relevant to your interests." BT allows Phorm to collect user data and serves behaviorally targeted advertising "anonymously" but based on individual behavior: Webwise assigns a un [...]


Google News Glitch: SpaceX Private Space Flight is “Delicious”

A Search Engine Land reader points us toward the Science/Tech category of Google News, where, for the better part of the morning, a CNET news article about private rocketry was displaying with the headline, "Delicious." Here's a screenshot: Ironically, the story -- about the first time a privately-financed rocket has reached orbit -- doesn't appear to have any bookmarks on delicious.com, nor is it clear why Google chose that word for the story's title. Many other stories on CNET are also appearing this way. While the story has moved off as shown above, you can still currently see i [...]


Coming To SMX East? Time To Register

Search Marketing Expo – SMX East begins next week in New York City. Register now to reserve your place. You’re investment in coming to SMX East will pay off many times. We guarantee it. Conference chairs Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman, and the all-star SMX programming team, have developed a comprehensive agenda that is tactical, strategic and forward-looking. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced search engine marketer, SMX East has sessions just for you. Check out the agenda. In addition, we’ve taken care of the little things that will make your experience more valuable a [...]


Local Australian City Councils Abandon Use Of Google Earth To Monitor Building Permits, Unregistered Pets

Home remodeling without building permits is a popular pastime and cat-and-mouse game in the US, with homeowners trying to avoid increased taxation and building permit fees. Apparently that's also true elsewhere in the world. In a a couple of towns on the Australian island of Tasmania, city officials were using Google Earth and Maps "to monitor rate-payer compliance in terms of illegal home renovations, unfenced swimming pools, unregistered pets and unauthorized demolition." However the towns have since decided to abandon using the tools because of privacy concerns: "Not trying to ca [...]


Yahoo Search Update & Google Toolbar PageRank Update

Search Engine Roundtable reports based on a WebmasterWorld thread that Yahoo Search is undergoing an update. Several webmasters have noticed significant changes in the Yahoo Search results. We do not have confirmation from Yahoo on this update, while the last Yahoo update was the first week of this month. Also, over the weekend we have reports of a Google Toolbar PageRank update. We have discussion around this update at our very own Sphinn forums. This toolbar PageRank update does not seem to be accompanied by any actual search update at Google, which is now normally the case. I co [...]


Google User Interface Test Gives Searches Control Over Snippets

TechCrunch reports based on a WebmasterWorld thread that Google is testing on a limited basis, giving searchers the ability to control the size of the search snippets. A snippet is the small description seen under the blue links in the search results. In this test, users can select to not show the snippets by clicking on a little "S" at the top left corner of the page. Or to show a normal snippet by clicking on "M" or to show a long description by clicking on "L." TechCrunch has a screen capture of how Google is testing this new feature out. [...]


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