Google’s Matt Cutts Riffs On J.C. Penney, Panda Update & Other SEO Topics In Live Webchat

matt-cutts-youtube-featured Google's Matt Cutts confirmed this morning that Google has lifted J.C. Penney's SEO penalty, that the Panda update will continue to rollout internationally and offered numerous SEO- and search-related tips in a live webchat on the Google Webmaster Central YouTube Channel. More than a thousand viewers tuned in but, for those who weren't able to stay for the full 90 minutes, or who missed it entirely, here's a recap of some of the more important topics.. J.C. Penney Penalty Lifted Responding to several questions about J.C. Penney, Cutts confirmed our report earlier this week that the pe [...]

The Oprah Effect On User Search Behavior

oprah-winfrey-featured Last week, in honor of the ubiquitous daytime talk show wrapping after 25 years of production, Yahoo released some search stats as the buzz leading up to the final show airing today (Wednesday, May 25, 2011) built up, with searches related to Oprah Winfrey rising 56% in the week prior. The queen of daytime has long been a powerhouse when it comes to influencing consumers and purchase decisions for nearly any product. From healthy foods to favorite fashions and beauty items, anytime a product or diet recommendation was mentioned on the set of The Oprah Winfrey Show, online searches for [...]

Twitter Buys TweetDeck, Promises To “Invest” In It

twitter-tweetdeck-featured When rumors circulated in recent days that Twitter was about to buy Tweetdeck, there were red flags flying everywhere from people assuming that Twitter would buy the popular client software and then shut it down. Not so, says Twitter. In a blog post confirming the acquisition, Twitter promises that "we will continue to invest in the TweetDeck that users know and love." TweetDeck founder Iain Dodsworth also confirmed the acquisition on the TweetDeck blog, and appears to reveal more about how his creation will fit in to the Twitter product lineup: The mainstream Twitter user-base is [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts Live Q&A On YouTube Now

Right now on the Google Webmaster Help YouTube Channel Matt Cutts is live answering questions. You can go to that page and ask him questions in the Live video feed chat room. Give it a try now over here. I expected this would happen this morning and as I noted there, Google offered these webmaster chats via WebEx but stopped doing them a few years ago. I am glad they are back! [...]

A Year Later: AdMob A Critical Mobile Asset For Google

There was really never a question that AdMob was going to be a huge asset and accelerator of Google's mobile ad efforts. However the acquisition has more than cemented Google's leadership position in mobile advertising. According to some estimates (IDC, December 2010) Google controls 60 percent of US mobile advertising (search + display).  Of the total, search is estimated to be about 56 percent. Prior to AdMob Google's own mobile display efforts were comparatively weak. A year after the acquisition key personnel from AdMob (e.g., CEO Omar Hamoui) have left but many remain, including [...]

5 Easy Things You Can Do to Improve Website Conversions Right Now

The bedrock of conversion rate improvement is testing. However, testing is almost always easier said than done. You might lack the technical or executive support to implement a test program. A test or series of tests might already be in the works, but you’re sitting on your hands while the data is being collected. What can the motivated marketer do to improve conversions today? While testing will always provide you with the best guidance in making website conversion improvements, enough testing has been done collectively that certain conversion-facing improvements can be made in the ab [...]

How To Hire A Great In-House Search Engine Marketer (Or Not)

At search engine marketing conferences, I am often asked for advice on how to hire people for in-house search engine marketing jobs. Usually over lunch a business owner turns to me and says something like, I came here to learn more about all this search engine stuff and what I learned is that I need to hire somebody to do this, but how do I do that? Or, how did you get your job? This has happened enough times that I thought it would serve well for me and those looking to hire SEM staff to put my advice in writing! The Timeless In-House Or Agency Debate Whether to outsource search marke [...]

Steven Levy, Author Of In The Plex, Interviewed By Google’s Matt Cutts

Steven Levy, the author of In The Plex, was interviewed in one of the recent "Google Talks" by Matt Cutts. Steven Levy wrote one of, if not the most, revealing books on how Google works as a company in his book. So I found it incredibly interesting to watch a Googler interview the individual who interviewed Google for several years to write his book. Levy actually was a keynote speaker at SMX West a few months ago. Here is the video: I love Matt's reaction to when Steven Levy complains how original content gets outranked by larger publishers. You can find that clip 39 minutes an [...]

Yandex Has Blockbuster $1.3 Billion IPO

Yandex NV, the parent of the Russian search engine Yandex, had a very successful debut on the Nasdaq market yesterday. The company raised more than $1.3 billion in its IPO. It follows last week's similarly splashy but much smaller IPO from LinkedIn. As with the LinkedIn IPO last week many investors turned right around and sold the company's shares for some quick profit-taking. However, many investors anticipate considerable growth for Yandex, whose home country is Europe's second largest internet market after Germany. Yandex also operates in several other countries that were once part of th [...]

Google Testing URL Above Search Results Snippet

I am seeing reports from searchers that Google is testing a new layout for the organic and paid search results. In this test, Google is placing the destination or display URL above the search snippet or description and below the title of the search result. Typically the URL is placed under the snippet or description, not above it. @kazuyasasa and James Carswell posted screen shots of the change. Here is one picture: Google has tested the display URL above the AdWords ad description before. We have a post about that test in 2008 titled Google AdWords Tests Display URL Above Ad Desc [...]

SPONSORED MESSAGE: Is Social Media the New SEO?

Find out how social media has become the key to optimizing for search. Free SMN Webcast, Wednesday, June 1 - 1 PM EDT Speakers: Eric Enge, Stone Temple Consulting Erez, Barak, Optify Sponsored by Optify Register now! [...]

Google To Unveil Mobile Payments Trial: Report

Bloomberg is reporting that Google will formally announce a mobile payments service later this week. The service will reportedly be offered initially through US carrier Sprint. The service will be initially available in five US cities: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. according to Bloomberg. Interestingly Sprint has its own recently launched stored-credit card payments capability. However it doesn't appear to have much adoption to date. The Bloomberg report says the Google payments program will utilize near-field-communications-enabled (NFC) Androi [...]

SearchCap: The Day In Search, May 24, 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: How To Fix Common Analytics Mistakes In Multinational eCommerce SEOOne of the major headaches in multinational campaigns is solving the many web analytics issues thrown up as a result of operating across multiple subdomains, in multiple languages. Part of the problem is technical, but probably the most difficult issue you’ll encounter is actually maintaining consistency in numbers across the various departments and agencies involved [...] A Ca [...]

How To Fix Common Analytics Mistakes In Multinational eCommerce SEO

Google Analytics Profile Setup One of the major headaches in multinational campaigns is solving the many web analytics issues thrown up as a result of operating across multiple subdomains, in multiple languages. Part of the problem is technical, but probably the most difficult issue you'll encounter is actually maintaining consistency in numbers across the various departments and agencies involved in multinational campaigns. Getting the right numbers into the right reports for the right people should be straightforwards but rarely is. Here are my top tips for making your multinational analytics drive success. Tip #1: [...]

A Campaign Prep Checklist For Link Builders

This is the fourth and final installment of our Link Building Blueprint series, as a refresher here are the first three posts: Part 1 - A Link Building Blueprint: The Foundation Part 2 - Utility Linking Part 3 - Proven Ways to Use Content to Attract Links Our blueprint has, up to this point, outlined multiple tactics, provided how-to examples and source sites to draw links from. It's a solid starting point for building links, so what are you waiting for? If you answer "the time" - I feel your pain. Link building is the most time intensive part of the SEO process and one that neve [...]

Researcher: Conduit Toolbar Deal Boosting Bing’s Paid Clicks By 10%

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 10.49.20 AM Bing's traffic acquisition deal with Conduit, the toolbar company that claims to work with 260,000 publishers and 200 million users, appears to be paying off, according to analysis from Rimm Kaufman Group (RKG). Senior research analyst Mark Ballard looked at traffic from Conduit to Rimm Kaufman Group clients from before the toolbar company switched to Bing from Google at the beginning of 2011. Toward the end of 2010, when Conduit was still with Google, Ballard writes, Conduit sent RKG clients paid search click traffic that was equivalent to 10 to 11% of total paid search traffic. C [...]

Microsoft Releases “Mango” Windows Phone Update, Will Consumers Bite?

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 7.51.19 AM This morning Microsoft officially unveiled "Mango," its anticipated Windows Phone update with a dizzying array of upgrades and new features and developer tools. Microsoft emphasized the speed of its mobile browser, a range of new local search capabilities, Bing Vision (visual search like Google Goggles), "a smarter approach to apps" and new group messaging and email features. There were so many feature tweaks and improvements that it's difficult to summarize them all. The video below highlights the major changes and upgrades of Mango. The central question is will these changes make Wi [...]

YouTube “First Watch” Creates Massive Reach For Video Ads

A very long time ago Google was trying to find alternatives to pre-roll to monetize YouTube videos. Google-sponsored consumer research in 2007 found that users don't like pre-roll. But that's ancient history. Today Google is trying to find more ways to generate and capture display and video ad revenue, which it views as a massive growth opportunity for the company. And YouTube is in the center of that opportunity. According to the NY Times, Google is testing a new program for pre-roll on YouTube called "First Watch." [A]n advertiser can buy a preroll spot on most people’s first view [...]

Top Tips for Multinational Search Marketing

A full day of international focused sessions at the International Search Summit @ SMX Advanced London last week was bound to deliver a wealth of insights and tips for organisations targeting multiple global markets online. It would be impossible to list them all in one post – but we’ve selected some of the key tips any international marketer should consider. Then keep reading to see how to attend the next International Search Summit, June 9th in Seattle! 1. Don’t translate all your content – it could be money down the drain. Instead, focus on translating only the content [...]

Google Tests New Travel Search OneBox

SEOGadget noticed Google testing a new travel search OneBox interface. I suspect this is an early sign of the Google ITA integration, where Google purchased ITA, a travel software company. A typical Google travel search OneBox looks like this: The new travel OneBox offers a more detailed box of information with departing cities, airlines and prices: Clicking on the plus sign will extend the one box to show you additional departing cities, airlines and prices: I personally cannot replicate it but let me share the screen shots from SEOGadget's blog. Postscript: Goog [...]

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