More April Fools: Everything From Tools To Make Your Video Viral To Free Nexus Phones

april-fools-day Yesterday, our editor in chief Matt McGee found a number of Google April Fools jokes already in play, including a Google Maps Pokemon challenge and Google+ David Hasselhoff photobombs. Not wanting Google to be the only one having all the April Fools fun, a number of other companies have released their own April 1st shenanigans. Here's what we have found so far: Bing Sells Link Juice Promising 100 total links, Bing claims its new bottled Link Juice is "loaded with all the nutrients and goodness you need to successfully grow." Shipped in discreet plain brown paper packaging, the snake [...]


Google’s April Fools’ Day Jokes For 2014: Google Maps Pokémon Challenge, Magic Hand & More

google-april-fools Is it just me, or does it seem like Google starts celebrating April Fools' Day earlier and earlier every year? No company on the web takes April 1st more seriously than Google, as we've been covering for years now. So what about this year's April Fools' Day antics? Let's have a look. Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge It was a little past 12 pm ET today (March 31), when the Google Maps team posted its April Fools' Day gag -- the "Pokémon Challenge," a game/adventure where Pokémon masters are tasked with using Google Maps to find game characters out in the wild. Winners will (facetiously) ha [...]


Google Penalizes Italian & Spanish Link Networks

google-cop-busted-featured As promised, Google has taken manual action to penalize link networks in Italy and Spain. It was just four days ago that Google warned webmasters in those two countries about its rules on paid links and willingness to take action against websites that violate those rules. The penalties were announced separately on Friday by Google employees outside the U.S., and later retweeted by Matt Cutts, the head of Google's webspam team. First up was Giacomo Gnecchi, a member of Google's search quality team based in Dublin, who tweeted the news (in Italian) about the Italian link network penalty [...]


Welcome Martin Beck, Who Joins Third Door Media From The Los Angeles Times

Martin Beck We've grown again! Third Door Media, the company that produces Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, is excited to welcome Martin Beck to our editorial team. He joins the team as our new Social Media Correspondent, and his first day will be Monday, March 3rd. Martin has spent nearly 25 years in a variety of roles at the Los Angeles Times, most recently serving as the paper's social media and reader engagement editor. With us, he'll be providing daily news coverage and in-depth reporting on all things related to social media marketing. For more on Martin's background, please see our a [...]


Ray Kurzweil’s Job At Google: Beat IBM’s Watson At Natural Language Search

ray-kurzweil-600 If Ray Kurzweil is right, computers will be smarter than humans 15 years from now. It's called "technological singularity" and a big part of his job at Google is making sure that vision becomes reality. Kurzweil, an inventor and futurist that became Google's Director of Engineering in late 2012, recently told the Guardian that his sole job at Google is to make the company's computers as smart as humans -- smarter, actually -- when it comes to natural language understanding. Anyone in the search industry should have no trouble seeing the implications of what Kurzweil and his team are doin [...]


Googling The Weather: From 20% Project To Sophisticated Query Analysis

google-weather-600 Millions of us have asked Google to play weatherperson. In order to get an answer to one of our oldest and most basic questions, we type a variety of words and numbers -- city names, neighborhoods and ZIP codes, plus words like "weather," "forecast" or maybe "temperature" -- into the Google search box, and Google typically has an answer back to us in less than a second. But have you noticed that our weather-related searches can be more complex now than ever? It's true. In recent years, Google has gone from focusing on the keywords we use to figuring out the meaning of our search que [...]


With Nadella’s Appointment, The “Search CEOs” Now Run Google, Yahoo & Microsoft

google-microsoft-yahoo-featured Satya Nadella being named CEO of Microsoft isn't just big news for Microsoft. It's big news for search. For the first time in ages, the three major search companies in the US are all run by CEOs who either came out of a search-background or have a solid understanding of it. Despite the attention search has gained over the years, I feel like it still gets overlooked as the powerhouse it is. It's responsible for about half of online ad spending in the US. It's where the majority of Google's money comes from. As I joke, Google Glass and those self-driving cars are being funded by ads about mes [...]


Thousands Of Hotel Listings Were Hijacked In Google+ Local

google-hotel-featured Thousands of hotels listed within Google+ Local appear to have had links leading to their official sites "hijacked" and replaced with ones leading to third-party booking services. Google+ Local listings are what Google depends on to provide results in Google Maps or Google Search, when people look for local businesses. A Hijacked URL For example, here is the "verified" page for the Courtyard Marriott in Sherman Oaks, California: The arrows show how the URLs for the hotel's official website leads to "courtyardmarriott.roomstobook.info" rather than the hotel's actual page here within th [...]


Brand Bias: 70% Of Consumers Look For Known Retailers When Doing Product Searches

google-brand-search-featured New research from Search Engine Land and SurveyMonkey shows that consumers have a definite brand bias when it comes to searching for products online. According to data from a survey conducted last month, almost 70 percent of US consumers said they look for a "Known retailer" when deciding what search results they click on. That was the most popular response, followed by "Free shipping" and then "Discount or sale offer." Respondents were able to choose up to three answers to the question, What is most important in helping you decide which results to click on in a search engine search? [...]


Bing(ing) It On At A Seattle Seahawks Football Game [Photos]

bing-seahawks-2 I'm not sure why I was surprised to see a small army of uniformed Bing reps standing around a big booth before the Seattle Seahawks game this past Sunday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. After all, Bing has been sponsoring the Seahawks for a few years now. The players wear Bing logos on their practice uniforms. Bing signs are visible in the stadium. There's a Bing logo on the microphone when players and coaches do their pre-scheduled media interviews. In other words, Bing has a pretty deep relationship going on with the hometown NFL team. My son and I were walking through "Touchdown City [...]


Lily Collins: 2013′s Most Dangerous Celebrity To Search For

mcafee-dangerous-searches-2013 Move over Emma Watson. Actress Lily Collins has taken the title as 2013's most dangerous celebrity to search for online. McAfee, the security technology company, is out with its seventh annual most dangerous celebrities survey, which uses the company's SiteAdvisor site ratings to measure what percentage of search results for popular celebrities lead to risky websites. This year, searches related to Lily Collins photos and downloads had a 14.5 percent chance of leading to a website that tested positive for things like spyware, adware, viruses, phishing attempts and other malware. Here are [...]


Bing Gains New Logo, UI, Page Zero Links, Snapshot & Pole Position Answers

bing-2013-logo-featured This evening, Microsoft announced and has started to roll out a range of new features for Bing -- some cosmetic, some more structural. Prominent among them is a new logo and identity, which is symbolic of Bing's deeper integration across the Microsoft's products and devices. The company has devoted a lengthy blog post to the new "One Microsoft" logo and its meaning. Beyond this there are a range of updates to the Bing user experience. Moreover, the Bing experience will now vary by device. Microsoft says that overall these changes are intended to deliver information more quickly and in [...]


Google Scientist: We Want To Be Able To Respond To A Query Like “Book Me A Trip To Washington, DC”

google-data-knowledge-brain-featured Will the day come that Google can successfully respond when you tell it something like, "Book me a trip to Washington, DC" -- walking you through all the queries and answers needed to complete such a complex request? Will the day come when we're using devices that only offer voice-based search? Will the day come when visual search happens continuously via the camera on Google Glass? Those are some of the search-based challenges that Google is working on, and they're discussed in a recent interview that offers a peek at what Google thinks search will be like in the next decade. Or mayb [...]


50 Percent Of Companies Struggling With SEO Aren’t Integrating Social Media [Survey]

seo-social-media What's one key difference between companies that are successful with SEO and those that aren't? According to a new study from Ascend2, it's this: Successful companies integrate social media into SEO strategies and tactics more extensively than companies that struggle with SEO. The research agency surveyed almost 600 business and marketing professionals around the world late last month, and asked the group to rate their own companies' SEO success. The survey compares answers from the 15 percent that said they're "very successful" with SEO and the 18 percent that said they're "not successf [...]


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. [...]


Take Our Survey & Help Update The Periodic Table Of SEO

Periodic Table Of SEO - Condensed Version The only constant in search is change. The Periodic Table of SEO was created in 2011 to summarize the major factors that comprise search engine optimization. But, it's time to update the table to review those ranking factors and make sure we've got the right combination. This year, we're asking the SEO community to provide their insight as we revise the Periodic Table of SEO. Please take the Periodic Table of SEO survey below, where you'll review and rank each of the 33 elements. You might notice that Blocking factors have already been removed (going the way of Pluto) since Google effec [...]


Bing’s April Fools’ Jokes Include A Slam On Google & A New SEO Tag

bing-logo-200 Bing is hopping on the April Fools' Day joke bandwagon later than Google and even Wolfram Alpha, but it's taking a swing at Google in one of the two gags that it just announced via separate blog posts. Bing Basic On its main search blog, Bing has an esoteric blog post that talks about "Bing Basic," a feature that lets searchers experience Bing's home page without the large, colorful and almost always beautiful, clickable photos. The post says Bing is running a test today and, if you know "a certain telltale query," this is what you'll experience: ...you'll get something a little more bla [...]


Google’s April Fools’ Day 2013 Joke-A-Thon: YouTube Shutdown, Google Nose & More

google-jokes-funny-april-fools-featured April Fool's Day is pretty much like a national ... err, international holiday for everyone that works for Google. It seems that nobody else on the Web takes the tradition of pranks and jokes as seriously as Google does -- just see our coverage from the last few April Fool's Days for proof: Google's Gags Go Worldwide For April Fool's Day 2012 It's Over: Google Has Already Won April Fools Day 2011 Google Books, Google Maps Get 3D View – But Only For April Fool's Day April Fools' Day 2009: Google CADIE & More From Search Industry It may still be March 31st for me, and maybe [...]


Google Says No To Phone Numbers In PPC Ads, Forcing The Use Of Call Extensions

Google logo You may have missed Google’s quiet and brief announcement that starting in April, AdWords ads with phone numbers in the text will be disapproved. Advertisers who want to display phone numbers will have to use the call extensions feature instead. Google states in the announcement, “We are making this change to foster a safer, more consistent user experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.” As others have stated, what this change really does is allow Google to charge for mobile ad engagements as part of its transition to enhanced campaigns. With call extensions, advertise [...]


Searching For TV News Online

Most news organizations provide video content on their sites, and aggregators like Google News also offer video clips for some stories. But there are also some excellent search tools that focus exclusively on broadcast television news, and they can often take you to "all the news that's fit to watch" more quickly and efficiently than browsing the Web. Today, a look at "TV News Search and Borrow" (TV News), one of the many services the Internet Archive makes available, such as the incredible Web history archive, The Wayback Machine. "TV News Search and Borrow" allows you to keyword [...]


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