How Google Shot Microsoft After It Took A Knife To A Gunfight

Google's a split-personality company. On the one hand, it wants people to believe that it could lose its customers at any time, lest it get viewed as a monopoly. But question its ability on the technical front, and the Big G will go off on you like nobody's business. That's what happened this week to Microsoft. Cast your mind back to the end of January, when Google briefly flagged the entire internet as malware. Google CEO Eric Schmidt made a point of mentioning recently how this caused people to head over to Yahoo and other competitors. See, Google really needs as much evidence a [...]


The Google Wonder Wheel & Other Search Refinement Features Get Live Test

Google Blogoscoped spotted an interesting test at Google allowing searchers to refine their search results in various ways, including clicking through a "Wonder Wheel." There's nothing particularly game changing, but the test is interesting if only for demonstrating how Google will react when competitors suggest it is "behind" in the search space. My separate post, How Google Shot Microsoft After It Took A Knife To A Gunfight, gets into the competitive aspect. Here, I'll focus on what the new features offer, to those who have been randomly selected for the test. I'll also explain how [...]


Google Expands AdWords Interface Beta Test

If you're a Google AdWords user, you may be able to kick the tires on the new AdWords interface. Google has opened the beta it to more US advertisers, as well as to new countries (the UK and Australia) and new languages (Spanish, Japanese, French, and Brazilian Portuguese). When you login to your AdWords account, you might see a message pop-up like this: (When trying out the new interface, you may get a second pop-up warning you that recommended browsers are Firefox 3, Internet Explorer 7, and Chrome. It works in Firefox 2, but is a bit slow.) The new interface is heavy on Ajax, [...]


Celebrities, TV, & Taxes: Hottest Search Terms In February

Compete.com says we spent a lot of time searching for information about entertainers, TV, and taxes during January. The terms "rihanna" and "chris brown" are Nos. 1 and 3 according to their data, with "irs.gov," "hulu," and "american idol" rounding out the top five. On the flip side of the coin, "circuit city" and "peanut butter recall" were the two biggest decliners in search activity. You can see the full versions of both charts on the Compete.com blog. [...]


Google Blog Search Fixing Blogroll Indexing Bug

As Barry Schwartz points out today on Search Engine Roundtable, the Google Blog Search team is rolling out fixes to how it separates blogrolls from actual blog posts. Back in December, we wrote about Google's switch to full-text indexing for Blog Search, but that led to problems identifying blogroll links as part of blog posts. Barry points to a Google Groups discussion, where Google's Jeremy Hylton says: "We have launched a ranking change that reduces the number of results that are returned because of blogroll matches. There are still problems to work out, but this change appears t [...]


Danny Sullivan’s SEO & SEM Q&A Session Via Twitter

Last week, I took questions via my Twitter account (@dannysullivan) about SEO issues and more broadly about search marketing overall. I thought it would be useful to compile them into a post. Here you go! Question: rebecca_morrow what's the best thing to say to clients who don't want content on their home page? Answer: tell clients home page without text is like blank business card 2 search engines. most important page, so don't waste it Question: feedia top thing to do when starting a new blog for SEO? Answer: if starting new SEO blog, i'd try to cover an area that existing blogs don't [...]


Google “TV Ads Online” Dangles Multi-Platform Lure For Brand Advertisers

It's now a cliche to point out that consumer audiences have fragmented. However, once mighty media have seen audiences dwindle over the past five or so years. Accordingly almost all traditional media are struggling, exacerbated by the recession to be sure but caused by the rise of the internet (mobile will fragment audiences further). Many advertising sales channels are trying to respond to the audience fragmentation issue with network and/or multi-platform strategies. Call it an effort to put "Humpty Dumpty back together again." Google for its part had once seen itself as a kind of medi [...]


Can Reading Online Be As Rewarding As Curling Up With A Good Book?

Have you ever considered how different the experience of online reading is compared to scanning words printed on a dead tree? To me, the experiences are worlds apart. My life as an avid reader began with cereal boxes in the 1960’s. In those days, there was typically a small toy inside the box. The back of the box might have a game, or something to cut out or tell a story. Once I got a 45 RPM record from a cereal box. I think it was a song by The Partridge Family. I learned early on that reading while eating Captain Crunch led to some kind of reward. I fell in love with school libra [...]


Long Time Yahoo Search Scientist Jan Pedersen Joins Microsoft

The Yahoo-to-Microsoft defections continue with news today from paidContent.org that Jan Pedersen is the new chief scientist for Live Search. This one isn't exactly a defection, because Pedersen comes to Microsoft from Amazon's A9.com. But he was Chief Scientist and VP, Search and Advertising Technology Group, at Yahoo prior to that. And before his Yahoo stint, Pedersen was with both Alta Vista and Infoseek. He's the latest in a string of ex-Yahoo's to start working for Microsoft. Others include Sean Suchter, Dr. Qi Lu (who will be keynoting at SMX Advanced), and, most recently, Larry H [...]


Yahoo Not Focused On MSFT Sale, Rather On Mobile & 141 Home Page Variations

Three intertwined stories appeared today about Yahoo. The first from Dow Jones Newswires picks up on a Thomas Weisel report about the company, following a meeting between analysts and CEO Carol Bartz. Ironically the report (as described) is highly positive but it sent shares down because it suggests that a Microsoft-Yahoo deal is not going to happen: "We believe she is focused on building Yahoo for the long term and is narrowing her sights on improving the product before anything else," the analysts said, adding they were bullish on her goals. "A mantra that has been missing at Yahoo for far [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, March 26, 2009

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 To Cut 200 Sales & Marketing StaffersGoogle has just announced plans to cut almost 200 people from the sales and marketing teams around the world. According to the announcement, the affected employees will be given time to find new positions at Google and/or help in locating a job elsewhere. They’ll also give severance packages to those who leave the company. Says Omid Kordestani, [...] Google Pushing Hard(er) To Get Webmaster Pr [...]


Google To Cut 200 Sales & Marketing Staffers

Google has just announced plans to cut almost 200 people from the sales and marketing teams around the world. According to the announcement, the affected employees will be given time to find new positions at Google and/or help in locating a job elsewhere. They'll also give severance packages to those who leave the company. Says Omid Kordestani, Google's senior VP for sales and business development: "Google has grown very quickly in a very short period of time. When companies grow that quickly it's almost impossible to get everything right—and we certainly didn't. In some areas we've c [...]


Google Pushing Hard(er) To Get Webmaster Products Adopted

I was setting up a new domain last year, something I'd done countless times and could do with my eyes closed, when my hosting provider suddenly started pushing several Google products on me. Did I want to use Gmail for my domain? Did I want to use Google Apps for Domains? Well, no, but thanks. I think. I found out later it was Google pushing those products via the "Google Webmaster Tools Access Provider Program," which gives web hosting companies easy access to integrate Google products into their hosting services. Google has announced this week that the program has been expanded to [...]


Yahoo – But Not Yahoo Search – Headed To TV

Yahoo is making a move onto television screens with the Yahoo Widget Engine (YWE), but its first iteration won't include a Yahoo search box. The Yahoo widgets are Internet-based applications that can be used on Internet-connected TVs and controlled with the TV's remote control. Samsung has just introduced a TV that integrates the Yahoo Widget Engine; Sony, LG Electronics, and Vizio will soon launch TVs that support it, too. The Wall Street Journal reports that the initial version of YWE will be preloaded with widgets for Flickr, Yahoo News, Yahoo Weather, and Yahoo Finance. Additional w [...]


Ask.com Shows Display Ads On Home Page

If you visit Ask.com today, you may notice that they have ads for their sister sites. Here is a picture of Ask.com with a Match.com ad, an IAC property. Currently, Ask.com is the only "search engine" to have display ads on their search home page. I'll leave my negative thoughts to myself this time. [...]


What Israeli SEMs Want

A month ago, I wrote about my meet up with Google Israel, from my trip to Israel about two months ago. This week, I am back in Israel on a sponsored Blogger Delegation to meet with Israelis and see their way of business and life. Today, I had free time and used it to meet up with some of the larger search marketing agencies in Israel. The meet up took place at Compucall, one of the largest SEM companies in Israel. Several of those that attended have been in the SEO/SEM space for about ten years and have extensive experience both running an SEM company and performing SEM services. Gilad [...]


Searching For Healthcare Solutions: Electronic Health Records Initiative Faces Significant Obstacles

When the long rumored Google Health was announced in early 2008, it appeared to be a very ambitious initiative that had a mountain to climb. That mountain was participation: getting individuals, doctors and hospitals to digitize their records. Then there are the myriad privacy and data security issues. But Google isn't the only one in the electronic health records and "health search" game. So is Microsoft. There are scores of others in the segment, as well as billions spent annually in advertising. Despite the money and involvement of companies like Microsoft and Google, digitizing the nati [...]


March Madness Strategies For Small Businesses

Some of you may know that around this time every year, I come down with a serious case of NCAA Tournament fever.  During the month of March, when people ask for my phone number, I respond "65-32-16-8-4-2-1."  Assuming clients are able to get a hold of me somehow, all of my doodles during phone calls somehow turn into brackets. I find myself buying lottery tickets with the numbers 8-9, 7-10, 6-11.  An unseen force compels me to blurt out "5-12 upset!" every so often on the street, drawing stares from my fellow Portlanders.  So please indulge me this month as I feebly try to draw a compar [...]


Are The Search Engines Really Indexing Flash?

It seems that once a year for the past five years or so, a search engine representative will stand up at a conference and announce that they are now indexing Flash. Website designers jump with glee, and SEOs lament that all the work they did educating their clients on why they need to curb their use of Flash will be for naught. Think of it this way, if Flash were a food, it would be an herb or a spice. Let's say it's basil. While basil is great in pesto, it's not something that you'd typically make an entire meal out of. You use it to add flavor to your tortellini. And yet designers across [...]


Can Hulu Sustain Its Success Without Engaging Community?

At first, online video service Hulu appeared to be a futile response to the rising tide of online user uploaded and user generated content—after all, Hulu is a group of major broadcasting networks backing a platform to publish their content online and regain control of their distribution networks. Hulu was declared doomed, and bound to fail. Now, a year later, Hulu appears to be thriving. It has had a lot of press and Nielsen recently declared that Hulu is the number two online destination for video behind YouTube. Hulu also launched a memorable advertising campaign during the Super B [...]


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