SearchCap: The Day In Search, January 31, 2011

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 Executive Believed Missing After Egypt ProtestsThere are several reports that a Google executive based in the Middle East is missing after taking part in the protests in Egypt last week. Wael Ghonim, whose LinkedIn profile says he’s Google’s Head of Marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, tweeted on April 24th that he planned to take part in the [...] Review Sites’ Rancor Rises With Prominence of Google Place PagesFr [...]

Google Executive Believed Missing After Egypt Protests

There are several reports that a Google executive based in the Middle East is missing after taking part in the protests in Egypt last week. Wael Ghonim, whose LinkedIn profile says he's Google's Head of Marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, tweeted on January 24th that he planned to take part in the January 25th protests "despite all the warnings I got from my relative and friends." A few days later, he tweeted about being "very worried" and "ready to die" because "government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people." Ghonim's brother has told the Wall Street Journal tha [...]

Review Sites’ Rancor Rises With Prominence of Google Place Pages

Friends or enemies? Partners or competitors? Google's relationship with review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp is as complicated as ever, and the disputes are likely to increase as the search giant pursues mobile and local ambitions that center around its controversial Place pages. The rancor stems from the way Google aggregates content from various review sites onto its Place pages, showing snippets of reviews posted by users of other sites. While Google undoubtedly drives traffic to the review sites, the aggregation tacitly encourages users to think there's no need to go anywhere else. Cr [...]

Hot At Sphinn: Traits Of Great Clients, Google Indexing Search Results, All Links Are Paid For & More

With nine new editors helping to find and publish great Internet marketing stories, Sphinn saw one of its busiest weeks ever last week. Close to 50 articles were published to the home page and many of those saw a lot of comment, Twitter, and Facebook activity. The most commenting activity surrounded our Discussion Of The Week, which asked What Makes a Great Client?. Click the link to read an excellent list of traits from more than a dozen online marketers. But, for the best comment of the week, I'm picking Sphinn member David Ogletree of, who said this during a discussion on [...]

Luminaries To Discuss The Future Of Search At Bing Event

Tomorrow in San Francisco Bing and Big Think are hosting a gathering of high profile industry leaders, thinkers, academics, investors and executives to talk about the future of search. Farsight 2011: Beyond the Search Box seeks to answer the question of whether the search industry locked in a race to the bottom or whether conditions ripe for a breakthrough. The event will stream live tomorrow from Big Think. It's an impressive lineup, with opening remarks from Harvard professor and Business week columnist Vivek Wadhwa, who will also emcee the rest of the day's events. The keynote speaker is [...]

Advanced Development Should Be The Future For Yellow Pages

There's a lot of discouraging news for the yellow pages industry these days. A combo of unhappy financial numbers mixed with reorganization and layoffs has demoralized many in the industry. Is it "game over" for yellow pages companies? Not necessarily. Not if leadership works on future strategy. A few years ago, I warned the industry that online searcher trends indicated problems for the yellow pages. It's been a near "perfect storm" for the yellow pages industry since then, and the pace of blows seems to have ramped up further as we go into 2011, with layoffs and possible mergers continuin [...]

6 Tactics That May Put You At Risk Of Being Banned From AdWords

Every few months, there is an outcry from advertisers because they received the dreaded notification email from Google – their accounts were banned. Some accounts eventually get reinstated, some companies are never allowed to advertise on Google again. There are several reasons AdWords accounts may get banned; however, most accounts are banned for one of six reasons. You should note that Google does not look at just your active information – they do consider paused or deleted items when scanning accounts for infringing items. In this article, we will examine those six most common rea [...]

Topsy Social Analytics: Twitter Analytics For The Masses (& Free, Too)

There are plenty of social analytics tools, but the most full-featured ones are often too expensive (i.e., geared towards enterprise-level users) and the inexpensive ones usually offer limited functionality. And then there's Topsy Social Analytics, which was just launched this morning and immediately becomes one of the best free Twitter analytics tools I've seen. There are a number of ways to use it and, if you click that link to check it out, don't be surprised if you spend the next hour there. How Topsy Social Analytics Works With Topsy Social Analytics, you can analyze domains, [...]

The Rise And Fall Of Content Farms

With Demand Media having gone public last week, it is worth taking some time to discuss the future of content farms. Clearly, lots of people are seeing value in the business model, as shown by the street's willingness to accept the IPO, and the acquistion of Associated Content by Yahoo! last May. But what is the real value, and where is this headed? That is the subject of today's column. I will begin the column with some background, and then finish up with my commentary on why I think this model will ultimately fail (hint: it won't be because of Google). Looking at the Demand Media IPO [...]

SMX West Early Bird Rates Expire End of the Week – Register Now!

Early Bird Rates for Search Marketing Expo – SMX West expire this Saturday, February 5th. Register now and get 3 days of exceptional content and invaluable industry connections for only $1345. Join us March 8-10 in San Jose, CA for actionable tactics, best practices and strategies for all skill levels – whether you’re a search marketing veteran or just starting out. The multi-track, 60 session agenda allows you to customize your program to best fit your needs and maximize your investment. Sessions are organized by skill level and thematically on topics including search engine opt [...]

Google’s Android Now “The World’s Leading Smartphone Platform”: Report

According to new data released by Canalys, Android shipments in Q4 passed Nokia to put it in the top spot among smartphone operating systems. This does not mean that Android currently has the greatest smartphone market share globally or in the US. What it means is that more Android handsets were shipped in Q4 than other platforms. Many firms have predicted that Android would become the number two mobile OS after Nokia's by 2012. Android's gains are likely to continue as Nokia and even RIM contemplate using the OS in some fashion. Android is becoming for smartphones what Microsoft was an [...]

DOJ Exploring “Search Fairness” With Google As Rivals Protest Potential ITA Licensing Deal

On Friday Reuters reported that Google and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) are exploring licensing guarantees as part of a potential "settlement" that would avoid litigation to block Google's intended purchase of online travel software provider ITA. In addition the report says that the DOJ is also looking closely at issues of "search fairness" (or "search neutrality"), which are also at the heart of the European antitrust investigation against Google. In the wake of this report, over the weekend, came out with a statement opposing any such potential licensing deal: Even I [...]

Blekko Launches Mobile Apps For iPhone, Android

I'll expose my bias up front: I'm a fan of Blekko and its audacious project to make search better. Now the site that bought you the "spam clock," has launched mobile apps for the iPhone and Android. It's a logical and even necessary step for Blekko, given the strategic importance of mobile. Registered users can manage slashtags directly from the app, adding new sites for example. Users can also view "seo info" for sites as they can within Blekko on the web. I only played with it for a short while but quickly came to the conclusion that this is "version 1." It's not clear that Facebook Li [...]

Google Adds Snow Conditions & Interaction Mobile Weather Results

Google announced two winter features for the Google search results. The first one is a live snapshot of the snow conditions in a particular area. The second is a special new mobile version of weather, which is interaction. Live Snow Conditions: Google now shows you live snow results on the search results for your favorite ski resorts. Google said they partnered with and to enable special search snippets for those two sites. Here is a picture of the special snippets, I should note, I personally do not see them live yet. Interaction Mobile Weather Res [...]

Google’s “Instant Previews” Now On iOS (iPhone/iPad) Browser

9to5Mac reports Google's instant previews is now on Google's search results on iOS devices. Instant Previews, which was introduced on Google's desktop results back in November 2010, enables you to see a preview of the web page before you click through to that page. Many iOS users on both iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices are reporting seeing the instant previews button on the right side of the search result. The icon looks like a magnifying glass and seems to replace the "star" icon used to bookmark (or starred results) your favorite results in Google. Here is a picture of the in [...]

A Year Later Even Google Surprised By Success Of Click-To-Call

A year since its introduction even Google is surprised by how successful "Click to Call" has become. "We're seeing millions of calls every month; it has become a core part of a large number mobile search ad campaigns," said Google's Surojit Chatterjee who is in charge of the product. That same phrase -- millions of calls -- was also mentioned by Google Product SVP Jonathan Rosenberg on the company's most recent earnings call: "Click-to-Call ads are generating millions of calls every month. A lot of advertisers are running these campaigns." Apparently, it's a lot more than "a lot of adv [...]

Google Event on Feb 2nd To Showcase Honeycomb, Tablets

We just got invited to Google's upcoming Honeycomb (Android 3.0) event and tablet coming out party on February 2 at Google HQ: There will be demos, presumably of several tablets, at the event. We've seen the screens and videos. Now we'll get to see the actual goods. Motorola's Xoom was the most well-received of the literally dozens of Android tablets showcased at CES and about to hit stores in the next quarter or two. Samsung previously said that it had sold 2 million 7" Galaxy Tab Android Tablets in roughly three months. The Galaxy Tab runs "Gingerbread," Android 2.3. Honeycomb, unl [...]

Google, Connecticut-led Coalition Agree To Negotiate WiFi Data Collection Issues

Google and the Connecticut-led coalition of 40 US states will avoid court and begin negotiations that are aimed at settling issues related to Google's collection of personal data over unsecured WiFi networks. In a press release issued today (PDF), newly-elected Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen says the coalition will not pursue a demand issued last month that Google produce the data it had collected. The previous AG, Richard Blumenthal, had hinted that he would consider legal action if Google resisted giving over the data. According to today's announcement, Google has made a fe [...]

Google’s Legal Woes Not Impacting Brand: Survey

Google has had its share of negative press coverage over the past year. And one of the questions that reporters always ask is: how will this scandal or that investigation impact the perception or usage of Google in the market? In other words, does something like the WiFi privacy scandal in Europe or the antitrust investigation against Google affect "ordinary users"? Does it make them less trusting of Google or tarnish the Google brand in some way? The answer would appear to be: not at all. Evidence comes in the form of an international "brand desire" survey of 17,000 people by ad agen [...]

SearchCap: The Day In Search, January 28, 2011

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: AdWords Homepage Gets More Modular, CustomizableGoogle has redesigned the homepage for its AdWords advertiser interface in an effort to bring more relevant, customized information up front for marketers. The main change for the “home” tab is that advertisers can create their own modules based on saved filters created on the campaign interface. Filters let advertisers identify problems with their campaigns, [...] Bing Travel Now Offers Desti [...]

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