Halloween ’09 From Google, Yahoo, Bing & Others

Today is Halloween and the search engines have logos up for the special day. Before I post the logos, here are some posts from others in the community on Halloween. Matt Cutts of Google had a holy costume. Google Blogoscoped noticed Google added trick or treat to their robots.txt file. Bing has a special visual search edition for today. Bruce Clay's team dressed up and PPC Heros added some funk. Finally, the logos you see below is reposted from the Search Engine Roundtable. Google has four Doodles: Yahoo (Flash): AOL (Flash): YouTube: Bing: Ask.com: [...]


I Vant To Suck Your Bing

Here's a post for a relatively slow Friday afternoon: two ads for Bing that vaguely tie in with Halloween. Halloween is generally speaking a children's holiday. So first comes a "Bing Goes the Internet" video featuring elementary school children. Years from now this may qualify as a pop-culture nostalgia moment: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaFY7hVxjek[/youtube] And then a more sophisticated and amusing Twilight/New Moon-inspired, vampire related commercial for Bing: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWV6iklM_HQ[/youtube] One is sad and one is kinda funny/effective [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, October 30, 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: Bing Adds NFL, Flight Information To Mobile BrowserBing has announced a couple additions to its mobile browser today: expanded NFL information and airline flight status reports. The NFL feature works by typing in a team or player’s name, and provides stats, scores, and schedule details. Bing also says you’ll get “eal-time updates on the plays” while a game is being played. The flight status [...] Despite PageRank Dropping I [...]


Bing Adds NFL, Flight Information To Mobile Browser

Bing has announced a couple additions to its mobile browser today: expanded NFL information and airline flight status reports. The NFL feature works by typing in a team or player's name, and provides stats, scores, and schedule details. Bing also says you'll get "eal-time updates on the plays" while a game is being played. The flight status feature shows departure and landing times when you type in an airline and flight number. Bing also says it has improved its mobile browser for touch-based devices, and added a new Movies feature with local showtimes and trailers. Bing's mobi [...]


Despite PageRank Dropping In Webmaster Tools, Google Pushes Toolbar PageRank Update

Fifteen-days ago, Google dropped PageRank values from Webmaster Tools and the search community took that as a bold statement. The statement was clear, webmasters "shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much," said Google. Last night, Google pushed out a Google Toolbar PageRank update, despite making that bold statement just a couple weeks ago. As Danny explained clearly in his What Is Google PageRank? A Guide For Searchers & Webmasters, "Toolbar PageRank — is a snapshot of internal PageRank taken every few months." Yes, months ago and it is far from current. Despite all of this, Googl [...]


Outside.in Expands Its Hyperlocal Search Capabilities

While real-time search gets all the attention these days, there's also increased interest in hyperlocal search. Where real-time search answers What's happening right now?, hyperlocal search answers the question, What's happening right here? It's like local search on steroids, you could say. Outside.in has, for several years, been somewhat like a clearinghouse of hyperlocal information and services -- collecting and publishing local news feeds, and providing tools for local bloggers, for example. With its recent relaunch, Outside.in has placed itself squarely in the realm of hyperlocal se [...]


Search In Pictures: Yahoo Mascot, Google Sleep Ball, Google Kirkland Office

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 Hong Kong's Mascot: Google Sleeping Ball: Tough Google Security: Google Russian Ad: A Tour of Google Kirkland: [...]


Facebook Wins Big Anti-Spam Judgment

Facebook has been in an ongoing fight against spam and yesterday announced a significant victory in court. The company said it had obtained an eye-popping $711 million judgment against Spam King Sanford Wallace who had had posted unwanted messages on Facebook users' Walls. Wallace, who is reportedly bankrupt may also face time in the big house. According to the Facebook blog: While we don't expect to receive the vast majority of the award, we hope that this will act as a continued deterrent against these criminals. Most notably, the judge referred Wallace to the U.S. Attorney's Office with a [...]


Twitter Lists Goes Live

A month ago, Twitter said they would be rolling out Twitter lists. That day has finally come and almost all users can create their own lists. Lists are basically a way for Twitter users to create groups of Twitter users into categories. For example, you can find the Search Engine Land team all in one Twitter stream at twitter.com/sengineland/team. How does one create a Twitter List? The first thing you need to know is that the owner of the Twitter account can make a Twitter list in the format of twitter.com/username/listname. Only the Twitter username can define who goes into the [...]


Researcher Jim Jansen On The “Sex” Of Search Queries & Personalization

In this column, I’ll follow up on my conversation with Dr. Jim Jansen from Penn State and his recent investigation into behavior patterns that lie within a large data set of visitor and search advertising campaign data from a high traffic ecommerce site. In part one, Jim and I explored whether a search funnel actually exists. Surprisingly, Jim found that more generic queries, considered by marketers to be "top of funnel" queries, may be the only search activity required. He found these terms tended to generate equivalent or higher ROI than longer, more transactional queries. Today, I’d [...]


Is Web Analytics Easy Or Difficult?

Two rockstars have emerged in the web analytics field to date. We all know who they are: Eric Peterson has demystified analytics for us, while Avinash Kaushik has helped us take it one day, or dare I say, "an hour a day," at a time. And one of them says web analytics is easy while the other one says web analytics is very hard. So who is right? Why web analytics is easy Yes, it's true. Web analytics is easy, according to Avinash Kaushik. It's actually incredibly easy. Assuming that the desired outcomes of web analytics are changes that will positively impact your site and your bottom lin [...]


Google’s Additional Discovery Method: RSS and Atom Feeds

For years, Google's discovery of web pages was solely based on links. If a page had no links to it, Googlebot had no way of knowing about it and therefore, would never index it. Along the way, Google provided an option for submitting individual pages, but that wasn't really a viable option for site owners with large sites. In 2005, Google launched XML Sitemaps, which was a much more scalable way for site owners to let Google know about pages of their site that Googlebot may not otherwise discover through links. Today, a Google Webmaster Central blog post discusses another way Googlebot may dis [...]


Google Maps Makes Real Estate Search More Visible

Google continues to make real estate listings more prominent inside Google Maps, and in doing so, it continues to inch closer to being a full-fledged real estate search engine. The company announced today that a new "real estate" option has been added across Google Maps. It appears under the "More" tab, along with Photos, Videos, Wikipedia, Webcams, and Transit. When a user clicks on the Real Estate checkbox, Google Maps immediately switches the left column and shows its basic real estate search engine. Users can search by price range, listing type, number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms, [...]


Google Launches Comparison Ads, Starting With Mortgages

Google's now officially announced "Comparison Ads," starting with a way for mortgage advertisers to have their products compared against each other but which may expand to other products in the future. "If you're looking for a mortgage, you really care about a specific offer. You want to know the APR and based on your specific circumstances, which is something that AdWords doesn't provide today," said Nick Fox, director of business product management for AdWords at Google. In the new system, those search for "mortgage" or "refinance" or related terms may see an special ad from Goog [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, October 29, 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: So What Are We To Make Of The “Ying” Search Delay?I got two calls yesterday from people asking what I made of the Yahoo-Microsoft failure to meet their self-imposed search-deal deadline (October 27). I said it was probably just a case of needing more time to work through some of the details rather than a warning sign that the entire deal was in jeopardy. There’s much [...] Man Cannot Live By PPC Alone. Can He?Much has been written [...]


So What Are We To Make Of The “Ying” Search Delay?

I got two calls yesterday from people asking what I made of the Yahoo-Microsoft failure to meet their self-imposed search-deal deadline (October 27). I said it was probably just a case of needing more time to work through some of the details rather than a warning sign that the entire deal was in jeopardy. There's much at stake for both companies (somewhat less for Bing) in having committed to this deal. The market would punish both if the deal were to fall apart. It would be very hard for Yahoo to recover in the short term, having lost some of its best search people (many of whom are now wo [...]


Man Cannot Live By PPC Alone. Can He?

Much has been written lately about the value of combining text ads with display/image advertising online in order to boost visibility and brand awareness. This trend is not necessarily a new one: Yahoo/comScore issued a study in 2006 showing an increase in "online and offline purchasing by consumers who are exposed to integrated campaigns" that combined search and display. It struck me that using only search ads or display ads or even a combination of the two needn’t be the only method by which small businesses tap into their potential customer pool. I would suggest that there are a variety [...]


The Science Of Scoring Your SEO

SEO is an art. (Hence, the name of my and my co-authors' brand new book, The Art of SEO). Crafting copy that sells, as well as ranks, is an art. So is link baiting. But SEO is also a science. Crafting rewrite rules, robots.txt directives, and so forth is pretty geeky stuff. The science side of SEO is where I spend most of my time. Another dichotomy is that SEO is both subjective and objective. The point at which a title tag, URL, or headline is "good enough" and thus moving on to the next task is warranted -- that is certainly subjective. Also consider what might comprise the most optimal [...]


Study: Google, The “Most Attractive Employer”

Universum released a report that shows Google is the "most attractive employer" globally. Google was ranked number one in both the top 50 global businesses and engineering companies. Microsoft was also up there on that list, ranked as number three for business and 2 for engineering. The study asked about 120,000 students at "top academic institutions" to select their ideal companies to work for. The students were from all around the globe, including US, Japan, China, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Russia, Spain, Canada and India. [...]


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