Two Weeks In, Google Says “Search Plus Your World” Going Well, Critics Should Give It Time

Amit Singhal Two weeks ago, Google launched Search Plus Your World. Since then, Google has faced strong criticisms that SPYW is making its search relevancy worse and favoring its Google+ social network too much. Not so, says Google search chief Amit Singhal. Most Google users are happy, Singhal said. Of course, Search Plus Your World isn't perfect, he admits, but it'll improve. As for including content from social networks like Twitter and Facebook, Google's open to that, as long as long-term deals can be reached that give Google faith it can build new features that will last. I talked today wi [...]


Bing Out Of “Betaphase” In Germany, Claims 10 Million Users

bing-germany-featured Bing is reportedly now out of betaphase in Deutschland. According to Microsoft, Bing has 10 million users or 20 percent of active internet users in Germany: Mittlerweile benutzen fast 10 Millionen Nutzer in Deutschland regelmäßig Bing, das sind 20 Prozent der aktiven Internetnutzer hierzulande. According to several third-party sources, Bing's market share is smaller than the 20 percent figure cited above. For example, the following is StatCounter's search engine data for Germany: Source: StatCounter NetMarketshare generally agrees, showing Bing's PC search share at just ove [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, January 27, 2012

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Search In Pics: David Beckham At Google, Google’s Moscow Office & Bing BarIn this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. David Beckham At Google: Google’s Moscow Brick Desk: Bing Bar at Sundance:       Bing [...] Report Affirms Strong Q4 Search [...]


Mobile Search: The Agency Opportunity – SMN Tuesday, Jan. 31

Search Marketing Now will present "Mobile Search: The Agency Opportunity," on Tuesday, January 31 at 1 PM EST. The free webcast features Steven Schuler and Patrick Peters, both from Yahoo!'s mobile division. They'll give an overview of the current mobile landscape, then delve into tactics you can use to maximize the results of your mobile search campaign. Learn how you can capitalize on this rapidly growing opportunity - now. Register now at Search Marketing Now. [...]


Search In Pics: David Beckham At Google, Google’s Moscow Office & Bing Bar

In this week's Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. David Beckham At Google: Google's Moscow Brick Desk: Bing Bar at Sundance: [caption id="attachment_109498" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="Photo by Sarah Engel"][/caption]   [caption id="attachment_109499" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="Photo by Sarah Engel"][/caption]   [caption id="attachment_109500" align="alignnone" wid [...]


Report Affirms Strong Q4 Search Growth In 2011, Offers Additional Insights

Marketers have had a couple weeks to digest their fourth quarter numbers and assess their successes and failures from a period that can be a whirlwind, particularly in the retail sector. Now, with Google's Q4 earnings report and Yahoo's out, we're getting a chance to compare our own performance to data put out by some of the major agencies and technology platforms. Earlier this month, we released the RKG Digital Marketing Report with this in mind. Our goal is that it serves as a credible benchmark for advertisers who don't enjoy the luxury of viewing results across multiple sites with multi [...]


Dear Google: Crappy Results Like This Don’t Give The Impression You Care About Search

google-g-logo-96x100 The debate about what should -- and shouldn't -- show in a Google search result for "santorum" has been well-documented, at this point. But I'd like to use this now famous search to illustrate something else: how it appears Google is taking its eye off the ball of being a search engine. Searching For Santorum: A New Surprise I did a search for santorum a few minutes ago, and this is what I got: See the YouTube link showing up there? It helps illustrate all that I think many people are feeling is wrong with Google right now. It's a pretty bad result, and it's also something getting there p [...]


Google’s “Trusted Photographers” Turns Business Photos Into A Self-Serve Product

google-business-photos Google is hoping to expand its Business Photos product with the launch of a new service called "Trusted Photographers" that essentially makes the process entirely self-service. Local businesses that are interested in having interior photos taken can use the new Business Photos website to find a "trusted photographer." The business owner and photographer are supposed to negotiate prices and schedule an appointment directly. After the shoot, the photographer uploads the images to Google and they'll appear in Google Maps/Places "shortly thereafter." Google's FAQ says that the business owne [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, January 26, 2012

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Major Entertainment Groups Accuse Google, Bing Of Directing Users To Illegal ContentSeveral major UK entertainment industry groups are accusing Google and Bing of directing searchers to illegal content, and have proposed a “Code of Practice” for how search engines can better encourage consumers to locate legal content on the web. The groups are also calling for the UK government to help oversee how well the search [...] Now Test Your Site [...]


Major Entertainment Groups Accuse Google, Bing Of Directing Users To Illegal Content

google-bing-piracy-featured Several major UK entertainment industry groups are accusing Google and Bing of directing searchers to illegal content, and have proposed a "Code of Practice" for how search engines can better encourage consumers to locate legal content on the web. The groups are also calling for the UK government to help oversee how well the search engines administer the recommendations listed in the Code of Practice. As The Guardian reports, the groups involved in the proposal include the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the Premier League, the Publishers Associati [...]


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Now Test Your Sitemaps Before Submitting Them To Google

Google has quietly added a feature to Google Webmaster Tools that allows you to test your sitemap files prior to submitting them to Google. Google's Pierre Far confirmed that this is indeed a brand new feature built to help webmasters debug their sitemap files prior to submitting them. One of the most common complaints about Google Sitemap files is that Webmaster would create them but not be able to know right away if they were valid. Now, Webmasters can create the sitemaps and test them in Google Webmaster Tools prior to submitting them to Google. To test the sitemap files, simply log [...]


3 Keys To Online Retail In 2012: Doing More With Less

We are only a month into 2012, but 2011 already seems like a distant memory. Christmas was over a month ago and Black Friday was approximately 6 months ago by my calculations. But as we reminisce on the year that was 2011, hopefully you were pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. For a year that started with fears of a 10% unemployment rate, things seemed to end on an up note. The economy seemed to improve, digital marketing rebounded nicely after a few shaky years (roughly 15% growth according to comScore), and heck, Bing managed to not go bankrupt and even gained a point or two o [...]


What The Holidays Tell Search Marketers

I realize most of us are already well-focused on 2012, so a look back at the 2011 holiday season may seem a bit dated. However, the holiday season provides search marketers a snapshot of behavior that should prove relevant for the upcoming year, though perhaps on a smaller scale. To gain a more accurate view of how online shoppers’ habits may be changing, we took a look at paid search, display and social advertising metrics across our retail clients. Here’s what we found: Savvy Buyers Sought Deals In 2011, online advertisers drove more revenue in November than in December. The opposit [...]


Are You Keeping Secrets From The Search Engines?

Many webmasters are obfuscating the content of their sites’ pages from view of the search engines. They post content that appears differently for human readers than it does for search engine crawlers. And as a result, their sites receive inferior treatment from those search engines in the indexes. No, I’m not talking about page spam (that’s a topic for future discussion). I am talking about non-text-based content. So many websites invest in pretty web design with little-to-no thought on whether or not the search engine crawlers can access and interpret the meaning of that pretty conte [...]


Google Panda 3.2 Update Confirmed

sad-panda-featured Google has confirmed reports of a Panda update with us. The company told us they have done a data refresh of the Google Panda algorithm about a week ago, and added that there were no additional signals or algorithm changes. This was only a data refresh. I saw reports over the past week or so of webmasters commenting about their rankings. Most were complaining that they lost rankings, but some said sites that were originally hit by Panda regained their traffic levels pre-Panda. This would explain the data refresh, where Google ran the algorithm and updated the sites that should or should not [...]


FairSearch.org Introduces Anti-Google “Good To Know” Ad Campaign

FairSearch.org, a consortium of companies that originally came together to oppose the Google acquisition of ITA and includes Tavelocity, Microsoft and TripAdvisor among others, has added several new members to its ranks and launched an anti-Google print-ad campaign. Entitled "Good to Know," the ads seek to expose "truths" about Google and its alleged conflicts of interest. The ads argue that Google unfairly promotes its own products, delivers search results that aren't objective or in the best interests of users and doesn't respect user privacy. The ads assert that they're telling the publi [...]


Search Engine Land’s SMX West Conference Rates Increase Saturday – Register Now!

Early Bird rates for Search Engine Land's SMX West conference end this Saturday, January 28th. Register now and save $250 on your All Access ticket! Join us February 28-March 1 in San Jose for: Timely programing: 85% of the sessions are new, exploring new developments in personalized search, keyword data blocking and the impact of technologies such as Siri/search by voice. Check out the agenda. Actionable tactics, best practices and strategies from over 130 subject-matter experts. See who’s speaking. Networking opportunities to connect with your industry peers. Access to [...]


Google Changes Definition Of Average Search Ranking Position

Google-Webmaster-tools The Google Webmaster Blog and Google Analytics Blog announced they are changing how they define the average position in the search query report in Google Webmaster Tools and search optimization report in Google Analytics. The new definition will take the average of the top ranking of your site for all searchers, as opposed to all URLs listed and average that. In the past, they would take all the positions of your rankings and average them together, now they are taking only the top positions. Here is how Google explains it: Let’s say Nick searched for [bacon] and URLs from your si [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, January 25, 2012

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 Revamps Submit Content PageGoogle has updated their URL submission tool page and redesigned their Submit Your Content page. The old URL which was at google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url/ now returns a page not found (404) error. The issue with that is, Google should really use a 301 redirect because it ranks in the top position for [google webmaster tools] and [google [...] DuckDuckGo Sets New Traffic Record, But Stats Show How Dominant Goog [...]


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