Google’s Blogger & Picasa To Get Renamed Soon: Report

google-g-logo Google is planning to rename two of its popular services soon: Blogger will become Google Blogs and Picasa will become Google Photos. That's according to Mashable, which says the changes are due in the next six weeks. Google's YouTube property will not be included in the company's rebranding efforts, but other products beyond Picasa and Blogger could be. We reached out to Google for more information, but the company told Search Engine Land it would not be commenting on the report. The last time Google rebranded one of its existing and established properties (i.e., not a new or recent [...]


Google Launches “What Do You Love” Search, To Find Google Services

Google has launched a new service at wdyl.com, which stands for "What Do You Love" from Google, which allows users to search for anything and see what comes back from a variety of Google's many different search resources. Over the years, Google has continued to add new products, services, portals, and features to their portfolio. Keeping up on all that Google has to offer has been hard. There are pages that show Google products options, or new products and pages that have Google ad options and the list goes on and on. One single page of all of Google's services and products is hard [...]


6 Commonly Ignored Website Requirements & 10 Tips To Remember

The leading cause for website or software application failure is not having a requirements document prepared and shared with everyone attached to the project. Typically, business and functional specifications, along with possible web design guidelines are gathered. What do most requirements documents miss? The purpose of a formal requirements document is to be sure that everything that appears on the website or application is supposed to be there. In cases such as ecommerce or application driven sites, there’s a better chance that managers from several departments, plus content writ [...]


Understanding The Human Part Of The User Experience

In 1997, a computer called Deep Blue beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Headlines triumphed about the victory of machine over man,  as we humans were "conquered", "vanquished" and, as a result of our defeat, "stunned." Checkmate...Finally! [caption id="attachment_82078" align="alignright" width="320" caption="Kasparov and Deep Blue"][/caption] The real question isn’t why we finally were defeated by a chess playing computer, but why it took so long. Chess is a game that computers should excel at. The whole point of the game is analyzing possible moves and picking the one that [...]


How To Use Personas & Scenarios In SEO

Keyword research tools are great, but they do not provide enough context for understanding searcher behaviors. Usability test scenarios can help SEO professionals better understand their target audience.


Social Media Is Still A Mystery To Many Businesses

It is no surprise that the high-level Social Media search traffic is focused on advertising and marketing needs. With a combination of a little over three million searches a month, the Marketing/Advertising search traffic is overshadowed by the ten million informational searches that sometimes ask questions, but are mostly vague in nature. This analysis of AdWords data suggests that business people are really still trying to learn and sort out what Social Media is all about. But when you look specifically at user intent, you can plainly see what aspects are important to them. Consider the [...]


5 Website Tips To Decrease User Frustration

If you ever need a topic to discuss at a social gathering, just ask everyone, "What do you find the most frustrating about using websites?" There are so many common complaints and issues raised by everyday Internet users and yet so many websites are still driving us crazy. Websites contain oversights. It happens to even the most esteemed companies and organizations who have an online presence. It happens to small businesses with small staffs and brand new websites. It happens by professional web developers and those still learning. Typically, navigation is the area where most end user [...]


The Oprah Effect On User Search Behavior

oprah-winfrey-featured Oprah Winfrey, the Queen of Daytime Search Last week, in honor of the ubiquitous daytime talk show wrapping after 25 years of production, Yahoo released some search stats as the buzz leading up to the final show airing today (Wednesday, May 25, 2011) built up, with searches related to Oprah Winfrey rising 56% in the week prior. The queen of daytime has long been a powerhouse when it comes to influencing consumers and purchase decisions for nearly any product. From healthy foods to favorite fashions and beauty items, anytime a product or diet recommendation was mentioned on the set o [...]


Why Results Quality Is So Important to Search Engines

Every single search engine has, at the heart of it, a dynamic tension that must be respected. It needs to balance user experience with revenue opportunities. Getting this balance right is incredibly difficult, as Ask, Yahoo and other engines that have seen their market shares precipitously fall can attest to. There was a time when Yahoo (and MSN, in a previous incarnation) used to routinely show 4, 5 or even more results in the critical "North" ad position (top of page, above organic results). As these engines boosted revenue (because showing more ads will almost always boost revenue) they [...]


Google Shuts Down Ambitious Newspaper Scanning Project

newspaper-scan Google's ambitious effort to digitize the world's newspaper archives and make them available online has come to an end. The project launched in 2008, and it currently has digitized material from what looks like about 2,000 newspapers -- including the Milwaukee Sentinel, whose July 21, 1969 front page is shown at right. But rumors have been circulating that this move was coming, and a Google spokesperson gave us this statement confirming the shut down tonight: We work closely with newspaper partners on a number of initiatives, and as part of the Google News Archives digitization prog [...]


Google News Adds Expandable Clusters, Story Labels, & More To Home Page

Google announced some new features that are being rolled out to Google News users. The features include expandable and collapsable news clusters, story labels displaying diversity information, more multiple media content, more personalized news stories and changing the default view from a two column view to a one column view. I personally do not see these new features, although I do see the settings for source options addition, which comes with the ability to click and define if you want to see more or less from specific sources. Here is a screen shot of that feature but make sure to read [...]


Look Out Blogs: Google News Gains Options To Drop Blogs & Press Releases

Google News Tired of seeing blogs or press releases in your Google News homepage? Google's got a cure for that, new settings that allow you to see fewer results from these sources, or none at all. That may cause some "blogs" to consider asking Google to reclassify them as news sources. You'll find the new options on the Google News settings page, which Search Engine Land news editor Barry Schwartz spotted via the Google support forums. They appear as follow: For both "Blogs" and "Press Releases," the default is to show a "normal" amount of content from those sources. Other options are: None Fe [...]


The Google News “Osama Death” Sample Highlights Some News Coverage Woes

google-death-of-osama-bin-laden Today, Google News did a post about the death of Osama bin Laden. Disappointingly, it offered no statistics on what was most read, shared, topics most covered. The post did share a "sample" of 100 links to coverage about Osama bin Laden from representative sources. So, I decided to go where Google didn't -- to see what that sample might tell us. In short, good stuff about Google News, yes -- but lots of flaws, too. The coverage seemed pretty heavily skewed toward the mainstream media. I wondered if they all turned out to be saying the same thing. Yes, you did have plenty of general summarie [...]


Slashtag.it: This Is What Google, Bing & Yahoo Should’ve Done To Speed Up Search

tortoise-hare-featured There are lots of different ways to speed up searching. Google, Bing and Yahoo all offer browser toolbars -- no need to visit their home pages, just search wherever you are. Google and Yahoo both have their own versions of "instant search," where search results appear as you type. Google's Chrome web browser lets you search right from the browser address bar. And they all fall short of my new favorite search tool: Slashtag.it. If you're really looking to search faster, this is the way to do it. Slashtag.it isn't a search engine; it's an interface that lets you access several dozen se [...]


Five Visionaries Sum Up The Future Of Search: Part II

future-next-exit-featured Over the past several months, I’ve been trying to crystal ball what the future of search might look like. I’ve had fascinating discussions with several visionaries in the industry, including Stefan Weitz (Microsoft), Shashi Seth (Yahoo), Hampus Jakobsson (RIM) and John Battelle (Federated Media). In my last column, I started to sum up the overarching themes that emerged from these conversations. Today, I wanted to wrap up the journey I started almost a year and a half ago. Searching From Different Devices One of the biggest catalysts of change in search has been the adoption of differ [...]


Google News Gets A Bit More Personal

google-news-for-you Google has added a pair of features today that make Google News a little more personal. First, the "News for you" section of Google News now includes stories based on your previous Google News activity. If you click on a lot of articles about a certain topic, this section will begin to show more articles on that topic. Second, the right column has a new feature called "Recommended Sections" that also uses your news history to suggest new topics to add to your customized Google News homepage. These personalized news features can be disabled by using the "Standard US Edition" of Goo [...]


Calling All Information Architects! Get With The SEO Program

All web pages should contain both parent-child and sibling-sibling links to show relationships among content.

Many SEO professionals try to understand information architecture (IA). Do information architects try to understand SEO? Here are some of my beefs with information architects.


Spring Search Fever: How Users Look Up Garden Center Products & Services

gardening-featured It's spring, and garden centers everywhere are getting ready to service the needs of home gardeners and small landscaping services. Garden center search traffic is similar to Christmas retail search traffic in that the majority of the searches occur during three or four months of the year, peaking in June and falling off dramatically for the rest of the year. With such a short window of opportunity, what is the best way to exploit this traffic? The answer: understand how consumers search for your products and services. Almost everybody gardens in one way or another. They may simply be bu [...]


Usability & Internet Search Marketing: A More Unified Approach

For years there were two camps – website usability and search engine optimization. Rarely did they acknowledge each other, let alone work as a team. Each side argued they knew best how to make web pages findable in search engines. They’re both right. The website usability house is focused on human behavior. They follow along as people, or "users" as they’re referred to, use websites. User experience and user interface design offers challenges because our needs constantly change as we adapt to living and using the Internet to get information. Search engines want user interacti [...]


Five Visionaries Sum Up The Future Of Search

future-next-exit-featured For the past several months in this column, I’ve been asking a number of people the same question: Where will search go from here? For the next two columns, I wanted to sum up what came out of those conversations and find the common themes. A Shift In Our Expectations Of Success A number of people talked about a sea change in our expectations of what search should be. The basic paradigm of web search hasn’t changed very much in almost 20 years: one query box and an ordered list of results. If you held a search result screenshot from 1996 alongside a result from today, you woul [...]


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