Google Removes Mashable, Sesame Street & Other Prominent Accounts From Google Plus

Google Plus Loog Some of the biggest company/brand accounts on Google+ have now -- finally, some might say -- been removed. The Google Plus pages for Mashable, Ford and Sesame Street are all gone. Our own Search Engine Land page has also been removed. Mashable was, according to, the No. 4 most popular account on Google+ with more than 103,000 followers. All of those accounts have been replaced by a 404 error message. (Update: see postscript at the end of this article.) Google has been removing business/brand accounts for more than a week now, but some users were unhappy with the r [...]

Google+ Traffic Growth Continues, Up 283% From Previous Week

Numbers from Experian Hitwise show that Google+ showed big gains again last week.  For the week ending on July 16th Google+ saw over 1.8 million total visits.  This is a 283% increase from the previous week and an increase of 821% from the week of July2nd. The following chart shows the total US visits to Google+: Other pertinent stats released include gender & demographic data, overall site popularity and traffic sources.  Hitwise states that 57% of the total visits are from males, even though other reports show a much higher percentages of actual users being male.  The la [...]

Report: 58 Percent of SMBs On Social Media Sites, Most Have Only Limited Engagement

There's been a boatload of survey data released in the past six months documenting the adoption of social media by US small businesses (SMBs). The numbers range from about 40 to 70 percent of SMBs reporting they're using social media to some degree. Yet survey data aren't always accurate because it's challenging to get a "representative sample" of SMBs -- the numbers are all over the place -- and self-reported data can be based on misperception and aspirations. However a new report from Palore, not relying on survey data, confirms that large numbers of SMBs are on social media. The data rev [...]

Load Speed Matters: Where To Start Trimming The Fat

How fast a webpage downloads and displays in a user’s browser has always been important for online stores, primarily because faster loading pages convert better than slow pages. One of the easiest ways to increase sales is to radically slim down category and product pages to make shopping faster and easier. But in recent times, load speed has become more important than ever because site performance now affects SEO. How fast your pages load now potentially affect your store’s rankings in Google’s organic results. Slow loading sites often provide a bad user experience, and if it’s [...]

After Six Years, Google Drops Support For Toolbar On Firefox

google-toolbar-firefox Google has announced the end of supporting the Google Toolbar for Firefox. Google said the Google Toolbar works in versions of Firefox 4 or younger, but not the new version 5 of Firefox. Google explained, "many features that were once offered by Google Toolbar for Firefox are now already built right into the browser." So Google has decided the toolbar doesn't offer enough of a value-add on Firefox and thus is no longer supporting it. The Google Toolbar was first introduced over years ago for Firefox. Then later came to Internet Explorer. As you know, Google has their own browser, Chrome, [...]

How Attribution Management Enhances Search Retargeting

The concept of search retargeting isn’t especially new, but it certainly remains in the early adopter stage from a practical perspective. For a while now, companies like, Magnetic and Chango have been offering marketers the ability to identify Internet users who have performed a search on a given search term on one of the websites with whom these vendors have partnerships. Marketers then use that information to target these individuals with online display ads via the ad exchanges. The search engines have actually been doing this between their paid search platforms and thei [...]

Key Principles To Follow When Examining Keyword Difficulty

Understanding keyword difficulty will help you to choose which queries to compete for, both now and in the future. It comes down to three things. Competition. The number of pages indexed by a search engine for a query. Authority. The ranking strength of a webpage as determined by incoming links to the page and the website (Domain Authority). Authority is based on both quantity and quality. Relevance. How well ranking webpages match specific search queries. This includes both on-page ranking factors like keyword presence and off-page signals like anchor text. By understanding the str [...]

The Bassackwardness Of Being Verified On Twitter, Facebook & Google+

verified-stamp-featured As we await for Google+ to figure out however it wants to handle verified accounts, it's worth reflecting how Google already has a verification system in place that's been lost and how Twitter's supposedly "closed" program continues on in stealth mode. Why can't either of these companies get it right? And why can't Facebook even try? Twitter & Verification Let's start with Twitter. Cast your mind back to June 2009. After growing complaints that it was hard to know who was real, including from celebrities tired of being impersonated, Twitter launched Verified Accounts. These accounts a [...]

Local Search A Multi-Site, Cross-Platform Affair — Report

Google may currently "own" search, but local search is a different story. Mapping sites, specialized local sites, general search engines and deals, as well as mobile browsers and apps constitute the distributed landscape of local, according to a new report, "The State of Local Search," released yesterday by the Local Search Association (LSA), with data compiled by comScore. Entitled "The State of Local Search," the report looks at search trends and traffic over 2010 and into 2011. Billions of Local Queries In January there were roughly 2.3 billion local queries on search engines according [...]

Harry Potter EBooks To Be Released In Open Google EBook Format

When "Harry Potter" series author J.K. Rowling announced she would finally allow e-book versions of her titles to be sold, though exclusively on the soon-to-be-launched, it was noted that the move bypassed retailers like Google has managed to get in on the action, however -- at least from a PR perspective -- as the books will be published in its open Google eBooks format, which can be accessed through 80 e-readers, along with browsers and smartphone apps. Google's publisher partners don't typically share revenue with the company, and the company has said it won't [...]

SearchCap: The Day In Search, July 20, 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 Labs To Be Closed As Larry Page’s Product Streamlining ContinuesIs there any doubt that things at Google have changed under new CEO Larry Page? Today the company has announced the impending closure of Google Labs, its experimental playground where many popular Google products were born. In its announcement, Google says the decision to shut down Google Labs is part of its new focus on [...] Google Reaches Out To Texas Businesses With Fre [...]

Google Labs To Be Closed As Larry Page’s Product Streamlining Continues

google-labs-featured Is there any doubt that things at Google have changed under new CEO Larry Page? Today the company has announced the impending closure of Google Labs, its experimental playground where many popular Google products were born. In its announcement, Google says the decision to shut down Google Labs is part of its new focus on product efforts: While we've learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we're to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead. The announcement is extremely light on specifics -- no date is given [...]

Google Reaches Out To Texas Businesses With Free Websites, Marketing Help

Google's latest effort to increase small business adoption of its products and services is a program called Texas Get Your Business Online that offers a free website, free hosting, domain name, a business listing on Google Places and additional marketing help. The effort is being accompanied by an aggressive promotion campaign, like the heavy and impossible-to-miss advertising on the Austin-American Stateman's website today. The free website and services are good for one year. After that, the website will cost $5 per month and the domain name $2 per month. Google reps have been in Au [...]

A B2B Community Manager’s Guide To Identifying True Twitter Friends

The role of the online community manager (CM) was born out of the need for brands to connect with relevant people in a meaningful way. To establish authority and offer value to a relevant community by way of sharing awesome, complimentary content, to solve problems as they arise, to monitor and moderate topical conversations—that was the Social Media Community Manager Job Description, and in many ways, still is. These forms of engagement, if meant to be worthwhile, should always be tethered to actionable marketing key performance indicators (KPIs). In that respect, CMs aren’t just ma [...]

Looking Up The Funnel: Web Conversion Strategies By Traffic Source

Many marketers start their conversion optimization efforts by looking at the behavior of a visitor once they arrive on a website. Which buttons are effective in attracting clicks? What type of product images encourage cart additions?  What messaging seems to work on a particular landing page? But a journey down the conversion funnel always starts elsewhere:  the display of a banner ad, the entry of a search query, the appearance of a link - even a blank browser window poised to accept a type-in address. In short, not all traffic to a website is created equal, and these individual sourc [...]

After Weak Q2 Time May Be Running Out For Yahoo’s Bartz

Screen shot 2011-07-20 at 7.56.23 AM She was supposed to help turn around the company, but Yahoo's CEO Carol Bartz may soon be the one in turnaround because of another mixed or mediocre quarter. The search alliance and revenue share with Microsoft was partly blamed for Q2 revenues being down compared the same period last year: Revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs ("revenue ex-TAC") was $1,076 million for the second quarter of 2011, a 5 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2010, primarily due to the revenue share related to the Search Agreement with Microsoft . . . GAAP revenue was $1,229 million for the second quar [...]

How To Maximize SEM Efforts With Search Retargeting

Last month, we discussed how display media has evolved to be more quantitative in Why Search Marketers Are The Future Media Planners, and ironically, how the skillset held by search marketers has become more relevant to display media than the skill set held by current media planners. Using the real-time environment of the media exchanges, ‘search retargeting’ is one of several techniques that has created a safe bridge for SEM marketers to move into display and see almost instant results, and it is the SEM budget holders that are trying it quicker than the media planners (and who often [...]

Google Pea Logo For Gregor Mendel

Today on Google you will find a special logo for the 189th birthday of Gregor Mendel. Gregor Mendel discovered the science of genetics while studying the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants. Because of this discovery, Google wanted people to remember who he is, what he did for science and medicine today and simply appreciate his contribution to the world. He was born in the Austrian Empire and died on January 6, 1884 at the age of 61 in Brno, Moravia, Austria-Hungary. The logo is obviously a bunch of peas forming the Google logo, but added to it are the scientific notations. [...]

Final Nail In The Google Directory Coffin

In 2008, Google removed directory links from Webmaster Tools and in December 2010, Google dropped the search box from the Google directory. Today, Google has completely removed the Google Directory as a Google service. Going to will show you a notice that reads the "Google Directory is no longer available." Yesterday the directory was live but today, Google quietly and without warning removed it. I believe the Google Directory was one of the first additional links added to Google, but you have to assume it was rarely used by searchers in the past few years. [...]

+1 For The In-House Search Engine Marketer

After years of minimal change to the format of AdWords ads (some ad extensions are the only radical change), all paid search ads now have the +1 button right after the headline on their right side. How will this new social aspect impact paid search marketing? And what can in-house search marketers do now to capitalize on these changes? The +1 Potential The most obvious speculation regarding the influence of +1 on paid search is that +1 counts will directly impact quality score. And similarly for organic search, that +1 counts will become a ranking factor. Google has always been keenly [...]

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