SearchCap: The Day In Search, March 31, 2014

scap240px Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Marin Launches Context Connect, Says Retailer Impressions Surged During Polar Vortex As the brutal Polar Vortex weather system bore down on much of the U.S. this winter, consumers apparently hunkered down and passed the time by doing more online shopping. According to Marin Software, paid search impressions surged for retailers January 19 to 25, which happened to be the coldest week of the polar vortex. The […] Paid Search Spend Rises 8 Percent In Q [...]


Marin Launches Context Connect, Says Retailer Impressions Surged During Polar Vortex

Winter Boots SERP Results As the brutal Polar Vortex weather system bore down on much of the U.S. this winter, consumers apparently hunkered down and passed the time by doing more online shopping. According to Marin Software, paid search impressions surged for retailers January 19 to 25, which happened to be the coldest week of the polar vortex. The bad news for retailers is click volume and spend didn't keep pace with the increased consumer interest. Search ad impressions skyrocketed 1,500 percent above historic trends while click volume increased 268 percent and spend rose 79 percent. "Advertisers failed to fully [...]


Paid Search Spend Rises 8 Percent In Q1, Mobile Shows Signs Of Maturing [Report]

US Search Q1 2014 By Vertical IgnitionOne In the first quarter this year, U.S. search advertising spend rose 8 percent when compared both quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and year-over-year (YoY) according to IgnitionOne's latest report which looks at the campaigns run through its digital marketing platform. In Q1 2014, paid search clicks increased 5 percent and click-through-rates (CTR) were up 23 percent YoY while impressions fell again, by 15 percent. IgnitionOne cautions that the drop in impressions does not imply that search queries are down but that the decrease is due to the rise in mobile searches where there is less real estate [...]


Google’s April Fools’ Day Jokes For 2014: Google Maps Pokémon Challenge, Magic Hand & More

google-april-fools Is it just me, or does it seem like Google starts celebrating April Fools' Day earlier and earlier every year? No company on the web takes April 1st more seriously than Google, as we've been covering for years now. So what about this year's April Fools' Day antics? Let's have a look. Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge It was a little past 12 pm ET today (March 31), when the Google Maps team posted its April Fools' Day gag -- the "Pokémon Challenge," a game/adventure where Pokémon masters are tasked with using Google Maps to find game characters out in the wild. Winners will (facetiously) ha [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts On How They Evaluate New Search Algorithms

matt-cutts-algo-change-eval Google Head of Search Spam Matt Cutts posted a video today answering how Google goes about evaluating which new search algorithms they use and which they throw away or adapt. The question was posed by James Foster of Sydney, Australia who asked: What are some of the metrics that Google uses to evaluate whether one iteration of the ranking algorithm is delivering better quality results to users than another? Matt Cutts breaks it down to about three steps of the evaluation process: (1) They test the algorithm offline, benchmarking how the results rank with the new algorithms and if the [...]


US Court Says Baidu Has Free Speech Right To Censor Search

baidu-600 Late last week, Chinese search engine Baidu succeeded in gaining dismissal of a lawsuit by pro-democracy activists based in New York (Zhang et al. v. Baidu.com, Inc). Plaintiffs had sued in the US and argued that Baidu improperly blocked them from seeing content on the search engine. Specifically, according to Reuters, the plaintiffs said that people in the US couldn't access content (including their work) advocating greater openness and democracy in China. Among other remedies, they were seeking $16 million in damages. Ironically, the US District Court judge said that Baidu's right [...]


An Open Letter From Google To Local Directory Sites (Parody)

yelp-SERP-clustering To:           Local Directories From:     Google Re:            Local Search Rankings Hey guys... You may have noticed that over the past year, a lot of the organic traffic to your sites has been... well, we guess the right word is "tanking." As you know, it is our stated goal to organize the world's information while simultaneously doing no evil. And, while you certainly have helped us manage the world's information (thanks for adding schema to all your business listings and reviews so we could figure out how to beef up our Google+ Local listings!), we are starting [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Index Status Showing Data For HTTPS Protocol

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google has announced they've added "more precise" data for the Index Status reports in Google Webmaster Tools. Specifically, Google is now reporting each indexed URLs for each protocol, specifically both for HTTP and HTTPS, as well as for verified subdirectories. Google said this change "makes it easy for you to monitor different sections of your site." For example, the following URLs each show their own data in Webmaster Tools Index Status report, provided they are verified separately: If you mix and match HTTP and HTTPS content on different pages, you will notice a change in your I [...]


Climbing The Ladder To Guest Posting On Tier 1 Sites

Climbing the Latter to Tier 1 Sites Content marketing is all the rage these days and, if you are pursuing guest posts as part of your link-building strategy, it is critical to target the highest authority sites possible. You want to find the sites where your presence builds your visibility and reputation (regardless of SEO) and where the links might get clicked and bring you traffic. In addition, you are not looking to get one article published there -- you are looking to become a regular or even to get a column. Getting into these sites may be hard, but we are not going to simply hope we can. We are going to commit oursel [...]


Microsoft Bing Testing Showing “Alternative” Search Engines In Search Results

bing-600 We've seen how Google may display competitive search engines in their search results, based on an EU antitrust settlement. But how will it look for Bing if they did the same thing? Aaron Wall at SEO Book posted a screen shot of what he saw Bing testing around displaying "alternative" results in the Bing search result listings. He searched for [pizza] and in a yellow box, below the top two organic results, displayed a line of results for Citysearch, OpenTable and Yelp. Here is a picture: Google's version seems a lot more extreme but I believe Google, with their marketshare, is bein [...]


Survey: Search Engines Dominate Mobile Product Research

mobile-apps-search-featured Last week, Local Corporation released survey results from its latest round of consumer mobile shopping research. The company is promoting a new version of its local-mobile shopping app Havvit. The survey was conducted in March and carried out by the Chicago-based e-tailing group and consisted of nearly 1,300 US smartphone owners. Among other questions the survey asked, "When using a mobile device for product research, how do you search?" Survey respondents overwhelmingly said "search engine" vs. the other choices: Search engine: 73 percent Specific mobile website: 33 percent Mobile [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, March 28, 2014

scap240px Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: IE8 Users Don’t Get Forwarded To Google Secure Search At the moment, users of IE8, still the most popular version of the Internet Explorer browser worldwide, are being sent to unsecure search on Google. The move to send users to Google regular servers instead of secure servers is related to Google seeming to work through how it deals with people still using the older […] Still Newsjacking For Links? Forget That, Make The News Instead! We all know [...]


IE8 Users Don’t Get Forwarded To Google Secure Search

Internet Explorer At the moment, users of IE8, still the most popular version of the Internet Explorer browser worldwide, are being sent to unsecure search on Google. The move to send users to Google regular servers instead of secure servers is related to Google seeming to work through how it deals with people still using the older browser. Webmasters may notice referrer data from IE8 visitors coming from Google turning on and off as a result of this work. Users of other IE versions are still sent to secure search. With this current switch, the full set of referrer data including the keyword used in the quer [...]


Still Newsjacking For Links? Forget That, Make The News Instead!

business-insider We all know that Google frowns upon trying -- in any way, shape or form -- to get links (they're serious, guys). Yet, links still play a very large role in determining SERP rankings. If you can't ask for or chase down high-quality, authoritative links, what's a marketer to do? You have to earn them. In this case study, I'll share with you the spectacular story of how I earned a ton of fantastic press coverage and links from massive publications -- and got the CEO of Groupon fired in the process (ok, perhaps I can't take all the credit, but...). 1. Finding The Right Story For Your Indust [...]


The Benefits Of Participating In Our Professional Search Community

SEO Community As a search and internet marketer, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work with our employers and clients, as well as the task of keeping up with the latest developments from search engines, social media platforms and industry tools. Today, I'd like to step back from this and discuss search and social marketing as a community -- and what that sense of community means for us as professionals and as an industry. From the earliest days, search marketers have enjoyed an ecosystem that values sharing knowledge and friendship among search professionals, businesses and search engines. [...]


Webmasters Getting Creative With Their Link Removal Requests & It Works

idea-creative-unique-600 The new link building is link removal as some would say. Especially with all the craze around links and how they can get you penalized, link removal requests have become a thing all too familiar to anyone who runs a web site. The challenge, like with link building requests, is to get the webmaster you are sending the request to, to actually read your request and then remove the link. That challenge is nothing new to those in link building. Adding a link is just as hard for webmasters are removing a link, but removing a link may be more insulting and perceived as negative. One company, a [...]


Search In Pics: Google Spam Fighting, Venom At The GooglePlex & Sergey Brin Sky Diving Again

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. Google's Brian White Fighting Spam: Source: Twitter Google's Sergey Brin Skydiving With Google Glass: Source: Google+ Google's Mr. Jingles On A Wedding Cake: Source: Google+ Venom Spotted At The GooglePlex: Source: Google+ Inflatable Basketball At Google: Source: Google+ [...]


Google Now Allows You To Rearrange The Google Navigation Bar

google-new-navbar-2 Google announced last night that you can now, or in the upcoming weeks as Google rolls it out, customize and rearrange the order of the products and apps within the Google navigation bar as you like. Meaning, if you want to move up the Google Maps icon and move down the Google Sites icon in that navigation bar, you can by dragging and dropping the icons where you want them. Here is an animated GIF of it in action: If you do not see this yet, do not worry, Google says they are "rolling this out over the next couple weeks, so please hold tight if you aren't seeing it yet." [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, March 27, 2014

scap240px Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Car Makers Drove 14.4 Million Clicks From Google Ads In 2 Months (And That Doesn’t Include Mobile)A whopping 177 automotive manufacture sites drove 14.4 million paid search clicks from Google ads on desktops and tablets this January and February. Of those 177 advertisers, the top 20 advertisers (roughly 11 percent) accounted for 81 percent of the paid search clicks in the two month period, according to new data from search marketing intelligence [ [...]


Car Makers Drove 14.4 Million Clicks From Google Ads In 2 Months (And That Doesn’t Include Mobile)

car-click-mouse-600 A whopping 177 automotive manufacture sites drove 14.4 million paid search clicks from Google ads on desktops and tablets this January and February. Of those 177 advertisers, the top 20 advertisers (roughly 11 percent) accounted for 81 percent of the paid search clicks in the two month period, according to new data from search marketing intelligence firm Adgooroo. Looking at desktop/tablet impression share, Toyota led the pack with its two sites: Toyota.com and Buytoyota.com. Ford.com, Chevrolet.com and Honda.com round out the share of voice leaders. Another 23 sites battled it o [...]


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