The Penguin Update: Google’s Webspam Algorithm Gets Official Name

google-penguin-featured Move over Panda, there's a new Google update in town: Penguin. That's the official name Google has given to the webspam algorithm that it released on Tuesday. What's An Update? For those unfamiliar with Google updates, I'd recommend reading my Why Google Panda Is More A Ranking Factor Than Algorithm Update post from last year. It explains how Google has a variety of algorithms used to rank pages. Google periodically changes these algorithms. When this happens, that's known as an "update," which in turn has an impact on the search results we get. Sometimes the updates have a big impact; [...]

The Complete Guide To Bidding On Competitor Brand Names & Trademarked Terms


It’s been long known in the industry that brand term keywords garner a much higher click-through-rate. As a result, marketers often start by bidding on their own brand terms.

Google Tweaks Keyword Tool And Traffic Estimator

adwords_keyword_tool_adgroup_tab_en Quality Score display and the addition of labels aren't the only AdWords changes this week. Google has also updated the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator, eliminating the standalone Traffic Estimator that could be used without logging into an AdWords account. With the Keyword Tool changes, advertisers will be able to see keyword ideas grouped by themes related to their search term. For example, if you search on "cashmere" you might see an idea for a "cashmere sweater" group that includes keywords like "cashmere sweaters," and "women's cashmere sweaters." Once these themes are suggested, ad [...]

Could DuckDuckGo Be The Biggest Long-Term Threat To Google?

Robin Wauters at The Next Web recently wrote about an interesting trend taking place at upstart search engine DuckDuckGo. DDG (DuckDuckGo) is self-described as: We are a search engine with:  Way more instant answers.  Way less spam and clutter.  Lots and lots of goodies.  Real privacy. Wauters reports that DuckDuckGo’s daily search traffic has grown by 227% in three months: Given their huge growth rate over the last three months we took a closer look at DuckDuckGo to discern why users might recently be turning to it in larger numbers. The first reason many h [...]

Did Penguin Make Google’s Search Results Better Or Worse?

spam-featured Google's latest search algorithm change designed to fight spam and improve its search results went live yesterday. Plenty of people are seeing its impact already. Better or worse? It's easy to find some examples of things being bad; it's hard to say overall if there's been a net improvement or not. Judging Relevancy Is Tricky I'll go through some examples, but let me start with some caveats. If you dive into some forums, you'll find plenty of people screaming. People tend to scream after any update that things have gotten worse because they've lost rankings. Few scream about how things have [...]

SearchCap: The Day In Search, April 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 Launches Update Targeting Webspam In Search ResultsGoogle has announced that it is releasing a new search algorithm that it hopes will better catch people who spam its search results or purposely do things to rank better that are against Google’s publishers guidelines. Going live today, Google says it will impact about 3% of search queries. From the company’s posts on the [...] Report: Microsoft Did Shop Bing To FacebookYou kno [...]

Report: Microsoft Did Shop Bing To Facebook

bing-sale-offer-featured You know that rumor about Microsoft shopping Bing to Facebook? It sparked lots of speculation about whether that would be a good move for both companies. Turns out it did happen, according to a report in the New York Times citing executives who made overtures to Facebook on behalf of Microsoft -- but without the effort being sanctioned by CEO Steve Ballmer. This happened more than a year ago, according to the report. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declined to discuss the matter, telling those Microsoft executives that the company had too much else to focus on. Neither Google nor Facebook spok [...]

Panda Update 3.5 Is Live: Winners & Losers

panda-face-top-news Last week, Google released a new update to its Panda algorithm that targets low-quality content. Who won and who lost? Searchmetrics has posted an analysis of that. Our original story here reported the winners/losers list, as Searchmetrics did, showing who was estimated to have gained and lost in the new Penguin Update that was released this week by Google. Penguin targets not low-quality content but outright spam. No one knew that there had been a Panda Update that also happened, one that in fact was likely responsible for most of the changes on the lists. This was confirmed by the h [...]

More (Local) Searches Coming From iOS Than Android — Study

Ad network Chitika, which regularly publishes findings from activity on its network, has released some data that show owners of iPhones and iPads search more than Android owners. This is a bit counter-intuitive and unexpected, given how prominent search and the search box are on the homescreen of most Android handsets and how deeply integrated Google is into that experience. Chitika "looked at hundreds of millions of impressions between April 8 and 14 and broke down traffic depending on operating system, search traffic, and the type of search query." The company also broke out local searche [...]

Webinar, Thursday, April 26: Display Audience Targeting

On Thursday, April 26, Noon EST, 9 AM PST - Join speaker Justin Merickel of Adobe Systems as he discusses how to use display targeting capabilities to attract more high-value customers. Register now! [...]

Runaway Facebook Threads! 5 Tips B2B Community Managers Should Master

Alert! Alert! Your social community is in crisis! Remember that third-party article you posted to the company Facebook Wall yesterday afternoon? Its content sure didn't seem controversial at the time. In fact, you deemed it the perfect intersection of informative, relevant, interesting, and agreeable. But where there's people, there's opinions. And there was something about that article's point or perspective that didn't sit quite right with some of your community members... Yes - while you, the good-intentioned B2B Community Manager, were fast asleep in your bed, dreaming of sunshine an [...]

Site Performance, Subscriber Stats & Robots.txt Tool Removed From Google Webmaster Tools

Google announced they are removing three features from Google Webmaster Tools. Google made the announcement on the Google Webmaster Central blog saying the three features going away include the site performance report, the subscriber stats and the robots.txt creation tool. Google placed reversed the order of these features when they wrote about it, trying to mitigate the importance of removing some of these features. Site Performance going away is going to be frustrating for a lot of Google Webmaster Tools users. Subscriber stats is not as important and robots.txt is really not a big dea [...]

Google Helps Advertisers Zero In On AdWords Quality Score Problems And Better Organize Their Accounts

google-adwords-square-logo Google today unveiled two changes to the AdWords interface that will likely be useful to marketers -- three additional components to the Quality Score, along with account labels to allow the easier grouping of keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns. Quality Score, one of the most important metrics for marketers, will be displayed with the usual number (X/10) but it will also be broken down into three components: expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience. For each component, ads will be judged as "average", "above average", or "below average". "This is goin [...]

Google Launches “Penguin Update” Targeting Webspam In Search Results

google-penguin-featured Google has announced that it is releasing a new search algorithm that it hopes will better catch people who spam its search results or purposely do things to rank better that are against Google's publishers guidelines. Going live today, Google says the "Penguin Update" will impact about 3% of search queries. From the company's posts on the Inside Search and Google Webmaster Central blogs: In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s quality guidelines. This alg [...]

SearchCap: The Day In Search, April 24, 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: Breadcrumb Trails Come To AdWordsDisplay URLs on AdWords search ads are getting another element — breadcrumb trails, a set of links next to the URL that lets users navigate directly to relevant sections of a site. An example of a breadcrumb trail would be “Apparel > Women’s Clothing > Tops > Sweaters.” As with organic breadcrumbs, the breadcrumbs displayed [...] Six Degrees Of SEO Bacon & B2B Link Building Q& [...]

Breadcrumb Trails Come To AdWords

adwords_breadcrumbs_example_en Display URLs on AdWords search ads are getting another element -- breadcrumb trails, a set of links next to the URL that lets users navigate directly to relevant sections of a site. An example of a breadcrumb trail would be "Apparel > Women's Clothing > Tops > Sweaters." As with organic breadcrumbs, the breadcrumbs displayed in an ad are dictated by rich snippets coded onto the landing page. Advertisers will pay the same CPC for a breadcrumb click as they would pay for one on the headline. First reported by UK search agency Periscopix, the feature hasn't been officially anno [...]

Six Degrees Of SEO Bacon & B2B Link Building Q&A

Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of being part of a Search Marketing Now (SMN) webinar, it was sponsored by Optify and focused on B2B link building tactics. Scott Fasser, Director of Customer Experience at Optify and I shared a number of B2B linking tactics and then hosted a lively Q&A session. We ran out of time and couldn't answer everything submitted, so Scott and I decided to split the remaining questions and answer them here. Q.  Is submitting press releases as a method for link building efficient? Will submitting too many press releases hurt your SEO? Scott:  [...]

What’s In A Word? The Critical Role Of Keyword Selection For Business Growth

Marthe types the word "Melkeallergi" into, searching for information about a health condition she's worried about. In her discussion group for Norwegian school moms, one parent suffered from stomach cramps just like she did, and mentioned the diagnosis of "milk allergy". "Could this be what I have, too?" Marthe wondered, and decided to find out. So she ran a search on Google. But like hundreds of potential customers of TINE, a Norway-based company that sells milk, Marthe was influencing the outcome by choosing a specific keyword. The search results point at websites that explain m [...]

Contingency Plans: The One Thing Mike Tyson Wants You To Know About Enterprise SEO

Before we get to the everyone's favorite collector of white tigers and facial tattoos, it is important to set the stage with another heavyweight. "Brands are the solution, not the problem.  Brands are how you sort out the cesspool."  - Eric Schmidt, Former Google CEO and current Chairman of the Board, Google. For the last five years or so, the role of Director of Search and other prominent Enterprise SEO titles within big brands was the easiest way in the world to collect an outsized paycheck. You didn’t even need a college education. As such, relatively junior SEO's with very little [...]

How To Prioritize The Long Tail With Twitter

Lately, Twitter has been on my mind. Not only because I am speaking about it at SMX Toronto, but also because I have been trying to come up with new strategic ways to use it for clients in order to enhance their SEO efforts. For me, and I suspect for others as well, one of the biggest challenges with Twitter has always been "all the noise". Sure, Twitter is great for connecting with people, brands monitoring their competition and sharing information in spurts, but what about systematically layering information from Twitter with other data sets to better understand your audience and create u [...]

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