Will “Google Me” Be A Worthy Facebook Challenger Or Will It Be DOA?

Let's take "Google Me" seriously as a social networking site, successor to Orkut and overall Facebook challenger. As everyone by now knows Digg's Kevin Rose started a wave of coverage when he asserted over the weekend, in a Twitter post now removed, that Google was working on a Facebook competitor. Yesterday I asked Google for a comment and received a friendly but anonymous response: "We do not comment on rumor or speculation." Of course not. That almost certainly means that something is coming. I told several people yesterday that it was probably a beefed up version of Google Profil [...]


Google AdWords Adds Goals & Seller Ratings Extensions

The Google AdWords Blog announced two additions to the program. The first is the ability to set goals in the opportunities tab within the AdWords console and the second is a new seller ratings extension available for some advertisers. Goals in Opportunity Tab: Google is rolling out a new feature in the Opportunities tab within AdWords that allows advertisers to set goals. The goals let you pick from three types of goals. They include: Maintain or Decrease Cost - Identify ideas that might help you maintain or decrease your current spend. Increase Traffic - Identify ideas that can h [...]


Google No Longer Redirecting Google China To Google Hong Kong

Google announced they are no longer allowed under Chinese law to redirect Google.cn to Google.com.hk. The Chinese government told Google that they won't renew their license to operate in China if they continue to do the redirect. Google's solution? Create a landing page on Google.cn, which appears to be a search box, but when clicked on, takes you to Google Hong Kong. When Google decided to no longer censor search results they went with the approach of redirecting Google China to Google Hong Kong. Like I said, Google would lose their license to operate in China if they continued this pr [...]


Mapquest Introduces New Look, New Capabilities

You might not have thought of it this way but the old MapQuest was mostly about driving directions. The new Mapquest (launching today) is about local search and an expanded range of capabilities and use cases. There's a new look and feel, a new back end, a single search box and a new "brand." Mapquest is the number two mapping site; Google having toppled it from atop the mapping throne in early 2009 after years of complacency and "feature neglect" at the AOL-owned property. But now with a new boss at AOL, fewer ads and a new focus on the consumer experience, Mapquest hopes to build new o [...]


How To Tackle Refining The Core SEO-Localization Process

Website translation processes can often conflict with SEO objectives. How can these two opposites be reconciled? With such huge sums invested in localization — it makes sense to get the maximum return on investment — but you need to review the process. Here’s how!


SearchCap: The Day In Search, June 28, 2010

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Microsoft To Replace MSNBot With BingBot October 1, 2010The Bing Search Blog announced that on October 1st, MSNBot will be renamed to BingBot. Bing has been testing a beta bot since November of last year. On October 1st, the beta label will be removed from the Bot name and it will be named BingBot. You should see the following useragent in your [...] PPC Mad Scientists Prove Google Right… And WrongAt the SMX Advanced 2010 conference in Seattle [...]


Microsoft To Replace MSNBot With BingBot October 1, 2010

The Bing Search Blog announced that on October 1st, MSNBot will be renamed to BingBot. Bing has been testing a beta bot since November of last year. On October 1st, the beta label will be removed from the Bot name and it will be named BingBot. You should see the following useragent in your log files: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0 +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm) Note, if you already have directives for MSNBot in your robots.txt file, BingBot will obey those directives. It is important to note that if you have two different directives, one for MSNBot and one for BingBot [...]


PPC Mad Scientists Prove Google Right… And Wrong

At the SMX Advanced 2010 conference in Seattle, we invited four leading paid search experts to share some of their recent experiments in paid search in a new session entitled The Mad Scientists of Paid Search. The panelists were encouraged to add a bit of academic rigor to their presentations by including their hypotheses, design of the experiment, data, results and conclusions. The audience was invited to participate as peer reviewers, to challenge the assumptions, data integrity and conclusions of the scientists. For those of you who were not able to make this year's SMX Advanced, which [...]


SMX East Registration Now Open – Best Rate Available Now

Search Marketing Expo – SMX East returns for its third year to New York City, October 4-6, 2010. Register now to take advantage of the lowest-available Super Early Bird rates. The SMX East conference program will run from October 4-6; the expo hall will be open October 4-5. At SMX East, you’ll learn to… Maximize ROI from paid search advertising on Google & Bing Optimize your website content for superior organic search results Expand your skills with local and mobile search advertising expertise Master social media marketing on Twitter, Facebook and other networks Boost co [...]


Study: Three-Word Queries Drive Most SEO Traffic

Ad network Chitika has published interesting findings from an examination of a whole lot of search-driven ad impressions. Specifically, "Chitika looked at a sample of 41,103,403 impressions of search traffic coming into their network between June 13 - June 19." The company found that 26 percent of (organic) search-driven traffic was the result of "three-word searches."  Here's the full breakdown of organic search volume by query length: Three words: 26 percent Two words: 19 percent Four words: 17 percent One word 14 percent Chitika added that "any query beyond five words wi [...]


Google Moves SSL Search To Encrypted Sub Domain

About a month after Google launched encrypted search at https://www.google.com/, they will be moving it to https://encrypted.google.com/. The reason for the move is due to "better serve our school partners and their users," said Dave Girouard, President, Google Enterprise. The issue with having it at https://www.google.com/ is that they can block encrypted searches via their network without it impacting services such as Google Apps for Education. For example, most Google Apps products require authentication through https://www.google.com/ and if an administrator wanted to just block the SS [...]


Paid And Organic Search: Understanding The Math (And The Truth)

In last month’s column I talked about buying brand keywords and some of the great (somewhat) new ad products available to advertisers. All that talk about buying brand keywords brought me back to a familiar topic about which, if you read my post with any frequency, you just might be getting a tiny bit tired of hearing me rant. In spite of that, I’m back for one more round of discussion about the relationship between paid and organic search traffic, this time with some real math to show for myself. Bear with me, this one’s worth it. I mentioned in my previous post about paid and organi [...]


“More Is More:” Why Info-Rich Ads Help Local Businesses Generate Leads

In today’s changing media environment, local businesses are looking for new ways to reach the consumer. In addition to placing ads in traditional outlets like the print Yellow Pages—which still have significant consumer reach—local businesses are increasingly adding websites and social networking pages, online videos, iPhone and iPad apps and other popular advertising tools to their marketing strategies. Their hope is that by taking advantage of new digital and mobile offerings, they’ll be able to reach new customers, generate leads and stay ahead of competitors who are slower [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, June 25, 2010

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Facebook “Search War” With Google Mostly Sound And FuryThe people running Facebook are an ambitious crew; they see Facebook as a successor to Google in many respects. In fact many of the executives used to work at Google, including CTO Bret Taylor, COO Sheryl Sandberg, Advertising VP David Fischer and Communications VP Elliot Schrage, among others. However as a search property Facebook has, in [...] Giving Customers What They Want: A Sea [...]


Facebook “Search War” With Google Mostly Sound And Fury

The people running Facebook are an ambitious crew; they see Facebook as a successor to Google in many respects. In fact many of the executives used to work at Google, including CTO Bret Taylor, COO Sheryl Sandberg, Advertising VP David Fischer and Communications VP Elliot Schrage, among others. However as a search property Facebook has, in the past, been almost unusable and no threat to Google or any other search engine. In fact, it has been (so far) a missed opportunity for Facebook partner and investor Microsoft. But Microsoft's Bing is becoming more prominent on Facebook and the site its [...]


Giving Customers What They Want: A Search Behavior Analysis

Improving website performance is hard work, and SEO alone will not get the job done. The following analysis of human search behavior is the first step in developing a world-class website strategy. Top performing websites have most of these traits in common: They understand in detail human search behavior. They have strategically invested in information architecture. They have a commitment to develop and deploy high-quality content on a scheduled basis. They understand the role quality visual design (UI) plays in successful user experiences. They believe in human factors, and [...]


Using PPC Ads To Fine Tune Your Organic Ad Copy

I’m a huge fan of treating Page Titles and Meta Descriptions as ad copy. Using language that speaks to a person’s motivation for shopping and buying will encourage the click through when your listing appears organically, as well as in a paid position. The problem Having a "testing" environment for organic ad copy has, until recently, been a bit tricky. It can take some time for updated Page Titles and Meta Descriptions to show up on Google, especially with small sites that aren’t crawled and updated on a regular basis. Getting around this time delay meant writing your Page Titles a [...]


Yahoo’s CEO, Carol Bartz, Always Having To Defend Herself

Yahoo Chief Defends Her Site, Strategy from the Wall Street Journal is one of the latest in an ongoing pattern of Yahoo's CEO constantly having to defend herself to investors, reports and users. Carol Bartz became Yahoo's CEO one year and five months ago. And if you read through the stories mentioning her name, you will see titles such as: Bartz: "Google Is 90% Search, That's A Fact" – Except It's Not Yahoo's Bartz Takes In $47 Million, Yang Gets One Dollar Revisionist History: Bartz Claims Yahoo Was Never A Search Engine Bartz Continues Torpedoing Yahoo Search Yahoo Q4 Shows Oper [...]


YouTube Hits All-Time Highs In May, ComScore Says

May was a banner month for YouTube. ComScore's latest video rankings report shows that the site hit all-time highs with 14.6 billion videos viewed and more than 100 videos seen per user. Needless to say, YouTube remains the dominant player in video rankings, with 43% of online videos being seen on the site, according to comScore. [...]


Yahoo’s VP Of Search Consumer Products, Cornett Leaves

One of the most familiar faces left at Yahoo, that is until today, was Larry Cornett. Larry was the vice president of search consumer products at Yahoo. He has always lead Yahoo in their search advancements over the course of the past 4 years. Today he announced he is moving on. We knew Yahoo began mass search layoffs again, so I am not sure if this was Larry leaving or being asked to leave. I always imagined he be involved in the user experience as Bing began powering Yahoo Search. He said he launched his own consulting business named Brilliant Forge. The new consulting firm w [...]


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