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February 2008: Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories
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
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:
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.
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
Popular Stories page.