Google Releases Alabama Tornado Destruction Images & Maps Of Tornadoes

Tuscaloosa Charleston Square Apts after tornado Google has posted before-and-after images of the terrible devastation left behind by the tornadoes that hit the South and parts of the East Coast of the United States earlier this week, with close-up views particularly of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The easiest way to see the images is through a Picasa album that the company has posted. It explains more about these here. Below is a montage photo of before and after for both Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Jefferson County, Alabama: This stunning photo clearly shows the path of the tornado that went through Tuscaloosa, leaving a diagonal brown sc [...]


Another Company Outed for Paid Links: Sequoia-Backed Milanoo

milanoo A story on TechCrunch today notes that a Sequoia-backed shopping site called Milanoo appears to be spamming Google with hoards of paid links that are helping them rank for things like [cheap dresses] and [evening gown]. They got news of the situation by way of a site called Digital Due Diligence that checked Milanoo's backlink profile and determined that "we couldn’t find a single inbound link that points to the page that isn’t spam or paid for". Sound familiar? This feels like deja vu except with the name J.C. Penney replaced with Milanoo. Both TechCrunch and Digital Due Diligence do [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, April 29, 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: Bing Maps’ “Game Changer”: Hi-Res Aerial Imagery Coming To Entire US and Western EuropeHot on the heels of last week’s Read/Write World effort, Bing Maps has announced another ambitious project that will improve its imagery collection. It’s called the Global Ortho Project and the goal is to provide consistent, high resolution (30 cms) imagery across every square inch of the United States and Western Europe by June, 2012. [. [...]


Bing Maps’ “Game Changer”: Hi-Res Aerial Imagery Coming To Entire US and Western Europe

bing-maps-aerial-featured Hot on the heels of last week's Read/Write World effort, Bing Maps has announced another ambitious project that will improve its imagery collection. It's called the Global Ortho Project and the goal is to provide consistent, high resolution (30 cms) imagery across every square inch of the United States and Western Europe by June, 2012. Some major cities and landmarks (like Cowboys Stadium above) already have hi-res imagery but, as any experienced online map user can tell you, the photos often get much worse in smaller towns and cities. No more, Bing says. In a video about the proj [...]


New York Times: Yes, Google’s Panda Update Hit NYT-Owned About.com

aboutcom-logo-250 The New York Times Company has confirmed recent reports that its About.com property was one of the sites that suffered traffic declines in the wake of Google's recent Panda/Farmer algorithm change. Speaking during its recent earnings call, CEO Janet Robinson said that About.com "experienced a moderately negative impact on page views from the algorithm changes Google implemented in the quarter." About.com was included on several third-party reports listing sites that were hurt by Google's changes, but the general consensus was that many other sites had been hurt worse. The second link in [...]


Image Is Everything: How To Get Your Non-Product Images To Show In Search Results

Here's the first question: what is the business value of having one of your images come up at the top of Google's search results? I don't mean Google Image Search, I mean the first organic results (aka SERPs) seen on Google.com for a particular keyword? If you have an e-commerce site, the value is pretty obvious. And, there are multiple ways to get your product image to appear in the top results - primarily through feeds into Google Shopping or via paying for product images in Google AdWords (using ad extensions). Non e-Commerce Images? But what if you don't sell a traditional product and [...]


Using Social Awareness Streams To Learn What People Care About

It wasn’t long ago that knowledge about our world came from newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, and of course, person to person gossip, storytelling and family gatherings. The Internet changed all that. Today, a person wanting to know the latest buzz studies social awareness streams (SAS). In the Just Behave column, we’ve discussed information architecture as it is used for search engine marketing and usability. One of the points mentioned concerns the gathering of terms and words that are used for taxonomies, link labels, category setup, navigation labels and content development. [...]


Yandex Finally Files For Long-Awaited IPO

Russia's leading search engine Yandex formally filed for an IPO that has been expected for at least three years but was delayed by the global recession. The company plans to raise roughly $1 billion through its US Nasdaq offering. Founded in 1997, Yandex controls approximately 65 percent of the Russian search market and is valued at an estimated $6 billion to $9 billion. Google controls just over 20 percent of Russian search. Yandex also operates in Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Yandex.com (the English language site) was launched in May of last year. The shares offered to the market w [...]


Google’s Royal Wedding Logo

Prince William of Wales and Catherine (Kate) Middleton are celebrating their wedding day today - known as the Royal Wedding. YouTube is live streaming the wedding, Google has a special one box result for the keyword, Google Maps has a Royal Pegman, and there is a social media frenzy going on about the Royal Wedding. Many were highly anticipating the wedding dress worn by Kate Middleton, the hats and shoes worn by the guests and the whole reception. But if you were like me, a Google-geek, you may have been more eager to see the special Google logo for today. Google, of course, has a R [...]


Your Guide To The Royal Wedding 2011, Social Media Style

virtual royal wedding The last time Britain had a big Royal Wedding, one didn't tweet about it, Facebook about it, Flickr about it and certainly didn't air it on YouTube. One couldn't. These things didn't exist. But the 21st century British Monarchy is hip to the social media channels of today. Here's how to tune in to the Royal Wedding, via social media. YouTube: Streaming The Royal Wedding Live Want to watch the Royal Wedding when it starts tomorrow (Friday, April 29, 2011) at 11am British Time (3am Pacific; 6am Eastern). Fire up your web browser and tune to YouTube: The Royal Channel is the official cha [...]


What Time Is The Royal Wedding? Google Tells You With Special Box

Royal Wedding madness had descended upon Google. Do a search for royal wedding, and you'll be treated to a special box telling you the time it happens in your location. The image above shows the box, with the time of 3am Pacific Time tomorrow, because that's the time zone I'm in. The box is actually pretty helpful for those around the world who plan to tune in but aren't certain what time the wedding happens (it happens tomorrow, April 29 at 11am British Time). What Time? What Time! Checking Google Insights For Search, I can see that indeed, many people must be wondering about when the [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, April 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: Microsoft Q3 2011 Earnings: Search & Online Up 14% In Revenue But Still Losing ProfitsMicrosoft announced their 3rd quarter earnings, beating Wall Street expectations. They reported $16.43 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, which was a 13% increase from the same period of the prior year. The Online Services Division, which is made up of Bing and MSN, had a 14% revenue growth year over year. Microsoft [...] Performics: Mobile Impressi [...]


Microsoft Q3 2011 Earnings: Search & Online Up 14% In Revenue But Still Losing Profits

microsoft-bing-money-featured Microsoft announced their 3rd quarter earnings, beating Wall Street expectations. They reported $16.43 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, which was a 13% increase from the same period of the prior year. The Online Services Division, which is made up of Bing and MSN, had a 14% revenue growth year over year. Microsoft said the 14% growth was "primarily driven by increases in search revenue." They also said Bing's US search share increased to 13.9% this quarter. Although profits for that division shrunk even more, with a net loss of $726 million compared to $709 million the previ [...]


Performics: Mobile Impressions Cross 10 Percent Threshold

Earlier this year Performics predicted that mobile search would soon reach 10 percent of all the search impressions its clients were seeing. Today the firm said that "mobile impressions accounted for 10.2 percent of all paid search impressions (desktop + mobile)." The company also said that mobile now represents 9.8 percent of paid clicks. It added that "Q1 YoY growth for mobile clicks outpaced impressions, increasing by 230 percent." That's compared with PC clicks, which grew only 13.7 percent during the same time period. However Performics said that mobile CTRs are somewhat b [...]


How To Collar Top Rankings: Barking Up The Unique Content Tree

leather-dog-collar-with-name-plate For my last round, I was supposed to share the results from that 300% sales explosion on the leather dog collar with nameplate page, but the folks at Google decided otherwise with the Panda update targeting content farms. Panda bit a few ecommerce sites pretty hard, so I've been helping out some new client-folk sort out the mess. So, today we're getting the Retail Smarts column back on track. In my first installment, I told you about how I spent less than thirty minutes optimizing a single product page, which resulted in a 300% explosion in sales on that SKU. That column pressed the righ [...]


From Garbage To Gourmet: Fixing SEO Content Strategies

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Site Owner: I want to rank higher in the search engines! SEO: OK, you’ll need to fix a few things... produces a list SEO: And you’ll need to start a content strategy. That means 10-20 pages of new content per month, minimum, plus work to promote it. Site Owner: OKAY! I’m on it. Site owner goes away. … Two months later: Site Owner: SEO, you totally ripped me off. I haven’t seen any improvement in my rankings. SEO: Did you make all the changes? Site Owner: Yes. SEO: Did you start work on the content? [...]


Confirmed: Google To Begin Charging For Some Calls From PC Ads

Search To Phone Call Tracking After getting many advertisers hooked on reports on phone calls originating from their AdWords ads, Google will begin charging $1.00 for calls completed using the unique number it provisions, but solely when the call originates from someone using a computer who dials the number themselves from a phone. When the call is from a mobile device, or someone on a PC calls from the computer itself by clicking, the standard click charges apply. Previously, the calls dialed on a phone were free, as they didn't involve a click, per se. Only advertisers using call metrics have their phone numbers appe [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, April 27, 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: Baidu Squeezing Google Out On Chinese Android PhonesOpen source is a double-edged thing. Whereas the free and “open” Android platform has been a boon to Google in most places around the globe, in China the story is apparently different. The Next Web reports (based on third party information) that the general manager of Baidu’s wireless unit claimed 80 percent of Android-based handsets [...] Multinational SEO & Traffic Estimation: [...]


Baidu Squeezing Google Out On Chinese Android Phones

Open source is a double-edged thing. Whereas the free and "open" Android platform has been a boon to Google in most places around the globe, in China the story is apparently different. The Next Web reports (based on third party information) that the general manager of Baidu’s wireless unit claimed 80 percent of Android-based handsets in China will soon have Baidu as default search engine. Baidu currently controls more than three-fourths of the Chinese PC search market. The company is working with handset OEMs to get Baidu pre-installed on Chinese Android smartphones. If the company is [...]


Multinational SEO & Traffic Estimation: Converting from the SERPs

Google SERP Heatmaps

It’s now well understood that maximising your conversion rate is critical to compete in the most competitive markets, but what’s often missed is how extending your conversion optimisation to the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) can influence your site conversion and increase the total available traffic from each search term.


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