Google Drops Another Search Operator: Tilde For Synonyms

google-tilde-operator-gone Google has quietly dropped another search operator, the tilde (i.e., ~) search operator. Google Operating System blog noticed the lack of support for the tilde operator over the weekend. Reportedly, Dan Russell, a Search Research Scientist at Google, confirmed Google dropped the feature. Dan said the feature was dropped to "lack of use." Dan told Alex from Google Operating System: Yes, it's been deprecated. Why? Because too few people were using it to make it worth the time, money, and energy to maintain. In truth, although I sometimes disagree with the operator changes, I happen to agr [...]

The Quintessential Marketer Scientist

Philosopher kings. Warrior poets. Scholar athletes. These compound nouns embody the grand ideal of the "hybrid" — those rare individuals who fuse multiple disciplines and talents into an epic combination. They're larger-than-life heroes of history and literature. Modern marketing deserves its own mythical hybrid: the marketer scientist. [caption id="attachment_163161" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Courtesy of Ion Interactive[/caption] The marketer scientist is not a reincarnation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (Or maybe Dr. Spock and Mr. Ogilvy?) No, these aren't two opposing person [...]

Facebook To End Sponsored Search Ads — For Now

facebook-search-featured Facebook has said that it's getting rid of sponsored search results for the time being. It's not walking away from "search advertising," however. In the future, there will be ads in Graph Search. But, the company is still in the process of working all that out. Facebook told me this morning that, as a practical matter, most of the sponsored results in search were for app installs. Accordingly, Facebook wants marketers to use mobile app install ads and Page post link ads for the time being as alternatives to sponsored results. The following is a statement issued today by Facebook: In kee [...]

Google Image Search Adds Arrows To Browse Through Image Thumbnails

t-google-images-1312982585 Google Operating System noticed that Google Image search added navigational arrows to browse through image search results large thumbnail by large thumbnail. When you load the image results, click on an image to see a larger preview; you will see arrows left and right on each side of the black background of that image thumbnail preview. Here is a screen capture: We suspect with these navigational arrows added to the new image search design that referrer traffic from image search will even decline more so than before the navigational elements that have been added. We will keep an e [...]

George Bush “Miserable Failure” Google Bomb Back, This Time In Knowledge Graph

george-bush-featured The Google Bomb is back! Searching for [miserable failure] in Google now returns George W. Bush's knowledge graph in the search results. The Google Bomb first became popular back in 2004 when Google and some other search engines ranked George W. Bush as the number one result for a search on [miserable failure]. In 2007, Google killed the Google bomb from showing up. But why did it rank in the first place? Google ranks pages based on anchor text of links, among other factors, and many sites bombed Google by linking to George Bush's webpage with the anchor text [miserable failure]. In [...]

SMX Advanced: Microsoft’s Gurdeep Singh Pall Talks About Voice Search, Entities & More

bing-click-featured Day two of our SMX Advanced event is getting started with our second keynote event: a conversation with Microsoft's Gurdeep Singh Pall. He's the VP for the Information Platform & Experience team at Microsoft, and is responsible for vision, product strategy and R&D for Bing. Search Engine Land's founding editor, Danny Sullivan, is leading the conversation and we're set to get started. So feel free to follow along below. I'll use "DS" for Danny and "GSP" for Gurdeep as I type. We're going to start with a short presentation from Gurdeep before the conversation part. Bing is do [...]

Conversion Testing for Low-Traffic Websites

In my almost twenty years of online marketing, I've rarely seen a  report showing the average worldwide visitor traffic most sites receive on a monthly basis.  Truth be told, around 95% of all websites are below 30 visitors a day. Unfortunately, this number tends to include friends and relatives and seemingly random visitors from countries around the world. [caption id="attachment_161611" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] Some of these low-traffic websites have pretty good content, and the site owner makes a real effort to increase sales leads by improvi [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts On Common Disavow Link Tool Mistakes

disavow links penguin Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted a new video discussing some of the more common mistakes when using the disavow tool. Below are the six most common mistakes. Note the first one is by far the most common mistake of them all. (1) The file you upload should be a regular text file only. No syntax or fonts or sorting should be done in this file. People often upload Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and so on. Just upload a text (TXT) file. (2) Typically, the first attempt by users are to be very specific and fine-tuned with their individual URLs. Instead use a d [...]

Majestic SEO Takes Their Site Explorer Tool Free

majestic-seo-logo-1 The Majestic SEO team announced today that they have made their Site Explorer tool free for verified domains. With that, they also announced improvements to the user interface, additional features and unlimited use for paid users of the tool. Free user accounts can get up to 2,500 links to their site, while paid users can go beyond those 2,500 links. Dixon Jones from Majestic SEO said that 2,500 links will provide smaller business with all of their "important link data." They can also get the new links the site acquired on a daily basis. Plus, the tool will show you which old links are [...]

Google Testing “In-Depth Articles” Search Results, A New Rich Snippet?

Google mobile app logo Dr. Peter Meyers, the Marketing Scientist at Moz (formerly SEOmoz), tipped us off to a new Google search interface test. It appears Google is testing showing "in-depth articles" in the search results for local queries. In the screenshot below, Pete triggered these results by searching for [mexican restaurants]. The local results and maps came up, and also restaurant reviews from Reason, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Below is a screen shot (here is a full size screenshot): We've reached out to Google for a comment on this finding but have not yet heard back. Google is [...]

Google Images Tests New Related Searches User Interface

search-by-image-google The Google Operating System reports Google is testing a new Image Search interface for related searches. The example given shows images for [nexus 7], At the top is a carousel of related searches to the [nexus 7]. When you click on one of those related images, Google will show you a larger thumbnail image of the images that match that related search within the black preview window. Below are screen shots from Alex Chitu: Then, click on a related search phrase: [...]

Yahoo Officially Rolls Out New Yahoo Search Results Design

yahoo-search-featured Yahoo has officially announced that the redesign they've been testing for the past couple of weeks is now live. The new design boasts a faster load time, search results higher up on the page, a new navigation bar at the top, and a more consistent look with the Yahoo homepage. Yahoo also promises to roll out the top bar you see on the home page and on the search results page throughout more and more Yahoo properties going forward. Here is a video of the new Yahoo Search design in action: Here is a before and after animated screen shot: [...]

Google Tests Larger Video Thumbnails In Tablet Search Results

google-tablet-serp-big-video Google Operating System blog has screen shots of Google showing larger thumbnail images for videos that come up in the search results. The larger video thumbnails show up for the first video result on tablet devices. I personally tried to replicate this on my devices, including Chrome and mobile Safari on an iPad and some Android devices, and I only saw the smaller thumbnails. As you can see, the video thumbnail is larger, the +1 button was added, and the snippet (description) in the search results was removed. Google is constantly testing search results user interfaces, so thi [...]

Yandex Turns Up The Dial On Personalized Search

yandex-logo-200px The Russian search engine Yandex has announced changes to how it presents personalized search results, saying that personalization is now based on what's happening within a single search session. When the company launched personalized results late last year, it was based primarily on looking at a user's search history within the previous few weeks/months. Now, the personalization happens within seconds and is based on the current search session. More than half of all searches on Yandex, however, are about something that interests the searcher at the very moment of searching and stops int [...]

Google Celebrates Julius Richard Petri 161st Birthday With Petri Dish Doodle

Julius R. Petri Google is giving a nod to science today by commemorating Famed German bacteriologist Julius Richard Petri's 161st birthday with a Google Doodle. Petri is credited with the invention of the Petri dish which he created while working as an assistant to bacteriologist Robert Koch in Berlin. The Google logo has been replaced with six animated Petri dishes, all in Google colors along with a play  button. After clicking the play button, viewers can watch the dishes being swabbed with a q-tip, followed by bacteria forming the Google letters in each dish. Hovering over the dishes brings up a small [...]

Google Search Rolling Out Nutrition Information On More Than 1,000 Foods

google-food-burger-200px Building on their Knowledge Graph technology, Google search is rolling out nutrition information on more than 1,000 fruits, vegetables, meats and meals. Users will be able to search on everything from simple one-word terms like apple or carrot to more complex dishes such as burritos or chow mein to find relevant nutrition information. According to Google's announcement, Google voice search users will hear answers to specific questions, like "How much protein is in a banana?" or "How many calories are in an avocado?" as well as receive relevant nutrition information in search results, and [...]

Bing “Re-Imagined” For Windows 8.1: More Beautiful, Comprehensive And Integrated

bing-windows8-featured Windows 8.1 is intended to "fix" many of the perceived problems of Windows 8. However, for the Bing team, the release of Windows 8.1 offered a new opportunity to more deeply integrate Bing into the OS and provide a richer experience for users. With the new release, Bing becomes something more than a "search engine." It becomes a central utility and content discovery tool that offers a "re-imagined" experience. Bing will help users discover and organize information both on the PC and on the Web. It also finds personal content in the cloud. The notion is to both simplify and deepen the [...]

Google Refuses Hollywood Studio Requests To De-List File Storage Site Mega

dmca-google In recent weeks, Hollywood studios NBC Universal and Warner Bros both submitted DMCA takedown requests asking Google to de-list the file storage website Mega from its search index. According to a report on TorrentFreak, NBC Universal claimed Mega's homepage  linked to the NBC-owned film Mama, while Warner Bros alleged Mega made pirated copies of its film Gangster Squad available from its website. Since Mega's homepage doesn't link to any files, Google did not remove the website from its search index. Launched in January of this year, Mega is the successor site of Megaupload, a fil [...]

Seeking Broader Appeal Blekko Offers Bold New UI

blekko-2-featured In January, upstart search engine Blekko launched a specialized tablet app called Izik. The UI and overall experience were optimized for the touch-screen devices. Search results were more visual and finger friendly. Most of all, CEO Rich Skrenta stressed that Izik was leaving behind the familiar "10 blue links." As part of the Izik launch, Blekko built an API. Now that API, together with Blekko's corpus of curated search categories (slashtags), form the infrastructure behind a new Izik-inspired design for the main Blekko site. This morning, Blekko is introducing a bold redesign that puts mo [...]

EU Says More Google “Concessions” Needed Before Antitrust Settlement

google-eu-featured The vigorous lobbying efforts of Google critics and Foundem's seem to be paying off. Earlier today EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told members of the European Parliament that additional "concessions" would probably be required of Google to settle the antitrust investigation against the company and avoid litigation and potential financial penalties. According to Reuters, Almunia said the following: After [all the settlement proposal feedback is received] we will analyze the responses we have received, we will ask Google, probably, I cannot an [...]

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