February 2008: Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories

Below are Search Engine Land’s 10 most popular stories from Februrary 2008:

1) Microsoft Makes $45 Billion Bid To Buy Yahoo – Microsoft is to bid $31 per share to Yahoo’s board of directors to purchase the company, a deal potentially worth $45 billion. Details, some history, and analysis.


2) How To Shout On Social Media Sites Without Screaming – No feature that I can recall in recent memory has polarized the social news sphere more than the ability to mass-alert stories to other users for immediate votes. StumbleUpon has the "send to" feature, Propeller has "site-mail," and Digg has "shouts." As I’ve said before, the feature is a great one in principle but can be a horrible one in practice. As with any tool you give to people, half your job is to educate them on how to use the feature and set some guidelines so that it’s not abused.


3) Hackers Launch Goolag: A Google Vulnerability Scanner – A group of hackers named Cult of the Dead Cow (CDC) launched a search tool powered by Google to help see if your sites are vulnerable to a hacking attempt. The tool is named Goolag, and by typing in a domain name it may return site vulnerabilities. Techworld reports the tool makes "it easy for unskilled users to track down vulnerabilities and sensitive information on specific Web sites or broad Web domains." The tool uses the Google Custom Search engine and has a detailed specification on how it works.


4) A Big Roundup Of Link Building Tools -  Ask any link builder what link issues they’re consistently asked about and one of them will be linking tools. Link building is such a time consuming and detailed process that it’s only natural people look for tools and techniques to maximize their time. Those who spend a lot of time link building are familiar with standard linking tools, but a number of non-commercial tools, resource sites and "find me" tricks that aren’t as well known. Below, some tools and resources you may not know about that can streamline your link building campaigns. See also:


5) Google Contractor Sues Google Over Google Sky Layer – "Lawsuit claims Google stole idea for Sky layer in Earth" from News.com reports a Google contractor named Jonathan Cobb is suing Google for allegedly stealing a Sky layer idea from him. Sky layers are data in both graphical and textual form that are used in Google Earth. Jonathan Cobb filed suit in an Atlanta federal district court, suing Google for $25 million in punitive damages.


6) Google AdWords To "Strictly Enforce" Display URL Policy – PPC Hero wrote that Google would be making changes to the AdWords display URL policy on April 1st. I asked Google for more details on this policy change and they informed me that the policy is remaining the same, but starting April 1st, Google will begin "strictly enforcing" it. Last Saturday, account managers began notifying advertisers that the display URL policy will be enforced, as a ‘heads-up’ to those advertisers. Why is Google now going to enforce this policy? It seems like more and more advertisers are complaining that competitors are not playing fair, but there can be other reasons. Google told me it is their "goal is to have policies that are fair, consistent, and adaptable."


7) Two Practical Landing Page Tricks That Will Save You Money – Do you want to know how to reduce your cost per conversion by up to $10.67 and improve your quality score at the same time? Let me tell you a story about how I used two easy landing page optimization tricks to do just this.


8) MSFT + YHOO: What Would Microsoft Yahoo Look Like? – The conference call has happened, and despite saying it has a plan to digest Yahoo, Microsoft didn’t share that with the world. Indeed, at one point it was said any plan depended on what Yahoo’s leadership would suggest. That means it’s time for What If. Some thoughts below from me and contributing editor Greg Sterling. We’ve been IMing all day about the move.


9) Google Elections: Super Tuesday Map And Twitter Updates – Google’s LatLong blog has two posts relevant to today’s "Super Tuesday" US presidential primaries. The first is about a Super Tuesday primary map that presents a range of content, including video, on election results — as Google has in the last couple of primaries. The map also features real-time Twitter updates from people voting or otherwise "out in the field" (screenshot below). This is very much like the real-time map edits viewer feature that Google introduced in late January.


10) Updated: Yahoo Layoffs Happening Now – The expected Yahoo layoffs started a few hours ago. Two very good people I know are among those cut. No doubt we’re going to be hearing from many more. Below, a rundown on reports I’ve spotted from others on the web about the cuts. As more comes in, we’ll update or do a fresh post. (NOTE: First round of updates now added; Bradley Horowitz is the top-ranking search person to go, apparently leaving voluntarily to Google):

To see all of our most popular stories over time, visit our Most Popular Stories page.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Most Popular Stories


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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