AdWords Image Extensions: Early Reactions & In-The-Wild Examples

adwords-images-photos-featured The PPC world is abuzz over the news that Google opened its beta for image extensions, which allow AdWords advertisers to include images with their text ads. In these very early days, PPC managers that have had campaigns in the beta are in experimental mode, while others are eager to get their accounts into the beta. We asked several marketers for their thoughts on the new feature and followed up with Google to get some more details. Bringing A Branding Flair To DR Below is capture of an ad with image extensions. The images have more of an editorial feel than the head-on product shots used i [...]

Mystery Solved: Why Mobile Safari Searchers Appear To Come “Direct” To Sites Rather Than Via Google

Mobil Safari Icon Since September, people using Safari in iOS 6 and searching on Google have appeared to publishers as if they've come directly to their sites, as opposed to having been driving by search. At last, the reason behind the Dark Google cut-off of data has been found: mobile Safari doesn't support the "meta referrer" tag. I know. Publishers who have been closely watching this situation are probably thinking that the reason was already known. It was Google Secure Search, and how Google's change to that back in October 2011 to withhold search terms means anything using that system will have sea [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts: Web Spam Benefits From Using Rel=”Author”

matt-cutts-featured A new video by Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, talks about how potentially using rel="author" structured data can help Google's Web spam team improve search quality. Matt Cutts explains that moving from the anonymous Web to a Web with identity helps Google understand the authority and trust of the person writing that content. It can help identify a spammer from an author with a lot of authority and credibility. The example given by Cutts is of our own Founding Editor, Danny Sullivan. If Danny writes something in a low PageRank forum, Google may consider that post written by Dan [...]

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: [...]

Microsoft Search Ad Revenue Estimates Get Major Downgrade; Google Retains 74% U.S. Market Share [Report]

paid-search-ppc-click-mouse eMarketer has issued a major revision to its predictions for Microsoft's U.S. search ad revenue. The latest estimates peg Microsoft net search ad revenue at $660 million last year and $890 million this year, down substantially from the previous estimates of $1.41 billion last year and $1.84 billion expected this year. The downgrade is based on eMarketer's assessment of Microsoft's likely traffic acquisition costs (TAC), which appear to be substantially higher than previously estimated. The new revenue projections slice Microsoft's U.S. market share in half, from 9.3% to just 4.6%, due to th [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts On SEO Industry Misconceptions: Updates, Revenue Goals & Link Building Obsession

cutts-google-seo-misconceptions Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, released another video today named What are some misconceptions in the SEO industry? In short, Matt outlined three topics in this five-minute video. (1) SEOs confuse algorithm updates with data refreshes. (2) Panda & Penguin algorithms are not about making Google more money in the short term. (3) SEOs spend too much energy and time focused on link building and only thinking about search engines. Here is the video and my summary will follow: Algorithm Updates Versus Data Refreshes: Matt explained that one of the biggest misconcepti [...]

Infographic: The Matt Cutts Debunking Flowchart

matt cutts featured Officially, Google distinguished engineer Matt Cutts heads Google’s web spam fighting team. Unofficially, he’s Google’s chief debunker. If someone seems to be talking crazy about Google, Matt may turn up with a polite clarification. When does Matt react? This is Search Engine Land’s guide, based on years of observations (you can click to enlarge it). Origin Of The Flowchart This flowchart originally appeared two years ago, on May 31, 2011. I was delivering on a promise I once jokingly made to Matt, that I would outline his debunking process as I'd observed it from afar to work. [...]

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 [...]

Video: Google’s Matt Cutts On Advertorials & Webmaster Guidelines

google-penalty-square Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted a new video today on YouTube clarifying Google's stance on Advertorials and "native advertising." Advertorials are editorial-like content that is published because an advertiser has paid the publication to publish the story or the content. Recently, we covered a story on how a major U.K. floral company was penalized for using advertorials as a way to boost their Google search rankings in an artificial way. Google's Cutts wanted to make it clear that it is against Google's Webmaster Guidelines for webmasters and advertisers to use advertori [...]

Google Glass Diary, Part 4: Local Search & Navigation

google-glass-local-search-featured Remember that first Google Glass video? It was published a little more than a year ago and gave the world its first glimpse at what Google had in mind for Glass. Even though Google described it as "an early concept video," you can clearly see that local search and navigation was a key aspect of Google's concept. The first two minutes of the 2:30 video practically center on local stuff: search, information, businesses and navigation. And, that's smart because since Glass is a mobile device, local search and navigation is bound to be an even more common use case than the more traditional G [...]

Penguin 4, With Penguin 2.0 Generation Spam-Fighting, Is Now Live

google-penguins-sign-featured The fourth release of Google's spam-fighting "Penguin Update" is now live. But, Penguin 4 has a twist. It contains Penguin 2.0 technology under the hood, which Google says is a new generation of tech that should better stop spam. Matt Cutts, the head of Google's Web spam team, announced the new Penguin 2.0 update during This Week in Google (Episode #199). He referenced the earlier video of himself talking about the next generation Penguin update, and said this is being rolled out "within the next few hours." Webmasters and SEOs: expect major changes to the search results. Matt specifical [...]

Site Command Limited To 30 Results? Google Says A Temporary Domain Clustering Bug

google-site-command Over the past day or so, we've been seeing reports that some of us can replicate ourselves, where the site command (i.e., in Google was limited to only showing 30 results. The rumors were that with the recent domain clustering change Google pushed out this week has severely impacted the site command. Those rumors are true. Google's Matt Cutts told us that this is a "temporary side effect of the domain clustering change," they pushed out yesterday. Matt, the head of Google's search spam said, "we expect that site: will be back to showing lots of results by sometime ne [...]

Interflora Wins Five-Year Battle Over Google AdWords Trademark Infringement

interflora-logo The High Court of England and Wales ended a five year legal battle between Marks & Spencer and Interflora yesterday.  The court ruled in favor of flower delivery network Interflora, concluding that retailer Marks & Spencer breached trademark infringement laws by bidding on the keyword "Interflora" in its Google AdWords campaigns. In the European Union, Google allows bidding on trademarked keywords except when the ads are deemed to be misleading and "confusing as to the origin of the advertised goods and service." Yesterday's ruling finds Spencer & Marks in breach of that exc [...]

Google’s Impressive “Conversational Search” Goes Live On Chrome

google-conversational-search-featured The "conversational search" that Google demonstrated at last week's Google I/O conference is now available to users of its Chrome browser, and it's a significant leap in how we use search engines. I'm 17 years now into writing about search, and I've seen all types of things that have promised to revolutionize the space, especially products that trot out words like "natural language" and "semantic search" but fail to deliver. Conversational search has natural language, semantic search and more built into it, and while it's far from perfect, this really is one of those significant change [...]

Google Glass Diary, Part 3: How Search Works On Google Glass

google-glass-featured There are seven voice commands built into this first "Explorers" edition of Google Glass. Two of those six are search-related: "google..." and "get directions to...." The others are "take a photo," "record a video," "send a message to," "make a call to" and "start a Hangout with." There's also the predictive search aspect of Google Now, where the device automatically shows me the kind of information Google thinks I'm looking for. So, the chances are pretty strong that a good amount of Google Glass activity is going to involve searching. Or "googling" as Glass suggests. Yep. Even though G [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts: Domain Clustering To Change Again; Fewer Results From Same Domain

google-domains-featured Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted a new video about a new change coming to Google's search results related to the diversity of the results being displayed. Matt said that Google is launching "soon" a new change that will make it less likely to see results from the same domain name, if you already have been shown that domain name in previous results three or four times before. Matt explained that once you've seen a cluster of about four results from a specific domain name, the subsequent pages are going to be less likely to show you results from that domain name. To explain [...]

Across From Google I/O, Microsoft Runs The “Bing It On” Challenge

Coming out of Google I/O at Moscone Center in San Francisco yesterday, I did a double-take. Was that Microsoft pitching its "Bing It On" challenge against Google directly across the street. Yep. "Put the science back in computer science: test your Google bias inside," read a big banner, over the entrance to the Metreon Mall, which is across from Moscone. Inside, there's a "Bing In On" kiosk: One side is just an invitation to take the challenge; you actually do the challenge on one of the other sides: The kiosk simply takes you to the Bing It On site, where you're invited to [...]

Exploring The New More Dynamic, More Social Google Maps

Google maps icon larger At the Google Developer conference keynote this morning in San Francisco, one of the clear highlights was the introduction of a redesigned Google Maps experience for the PC and mobile. The New Google Maps are available now with an invitation. Already the leading digital and mobile mapping service, the various feature and UI improvements put more distance between Mountain View and its competitors. While Microsoft, Nokia and Apple offer some or even many of the same mapping capabilities, no one offers "the complete package" that Google does. The new Google Maps offer a redesigned UI, though it [...]

“OK Google” — Hands-Free, Conversational Search Coming From Google

OK Google Google has allowed you to speak your search to it on the desktop and mobile devices for some time, but now it's going to get smarter -- talking back to you and continuing the conversation you started. Google shared details at its Google I/O 2013 developer event today and also in a blog post that's gone up. The idea is that your devices --  smartphone or desktop -- will apparently be constantly listening for the "OK Google" command. If you say that, then it knows you want to do a search. That command is already used as part of Google Glass in a similar way ("OK Glass") -- and onl [...]

Google: Nearly 2 Million AdWords Campaigns Are Now Enhanced, Early Results Are In

google-adwords-square-logo In an update on the early progress of the transition to enhanced campaigns last night, Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP, Ads and Commerce at Google -- and the lead on enhanced campaigns -- said that close to two million campaigns have been set to enhanced. That's up from 1.5 million Google quoted on the first quarter earnings call on April 18. Results From Early Adopters Based on positive case studies from clothing retailer American Apparel, financial services provider Woodbridge Structured Funding, and an unnamed luxury shopping brand among others, Ramaswamy says early adopters of enhanced campaig [...]

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