Bing Ads Express Available To Agencies, Resellers

bing-ads-new-240px As of this week, agencies and resellers can begin offering access to the Bing Ads Express beta to their clients. Launched in early October, Bing Ads Express is an automated platform for small businesses to have a basic presence on Bing Ads. Ads are tied to Bing Places for Business listings, and companies without websites can opt to link the ad to their Facebook page. Agencies and resellers will be able to manage client listings in Bing Places and on the Yahoo Bing Network in bulk with a spreadsheet that can then be uploaded to a Bing Ads Express account. The platform will automatically cla [...]


Google Fixes Gay Slur In St. Louis Cardinals’ Knowledge Graph Box

stl-cardinals-logo A gay slur from the Wikipedia page about the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team made its way into Google's Knowledge Graph box for a short time this week. The slur has been making news with stories appearing in a number of press outlets. The Cardinals' Wikipedia page has been home to a great deal of abuse during the past few days (they're currently playing in the World Series against the Boston Red Sox) and now can only be edited by Wikipedia administrators. What I find most interesting is that the slur was live on Wikipedia for a very short amount of time, yet Google's crawler captured [...]


Top 10 Search Modifiers: Why They Matter, What They Are & How To Use Them

Search Modifiers Google is working hard to improve search, and it's doing such a great job that the general public doesn't seem to be noticing. With the inclusion of personalization, localization, customization, and with the depth of data Google knows and understands about the average user, it’s easy to overlook how much goes into making a useful (intuitive) search. Especially when you factor in how little the average person understands Google, or how Google search actually works. Yet despite Google’s improvement, or perhaps because of it, people seem to be losing their ability to perform advanced s [...]


Google Launches Shopping Campaigns To Ease PLA Management

google shopping While Google's switch to paid Product Listing Ads for Google Shopping has proven wildly successful, growth has likely been hindered by the fact that setting up and managing Product Listing Ad campaigns for Google Shopping has been plagued with complexity. Today, Google announced a new campaign type called Shopping Campaigns designed to  make it easier for advertisers to manage PLAs. The key feature in Shopping campaigns is that feed data will now be visible from within AdWords, rather than being walled off in Google Merchant Center. You'll be able to see attributes in your Google Merchant [...]


People+, A People Search Directory App, Coming To Google Glass In 2014

people-plus-icon People+, a people directory and search app that's available now on iOS, is coming to Google Glass in 2014. The company bills its service as a "Wikipedia about professionals and companies," and its unreleased Glass app was selected as a finalist this week at the DEMO Fall conference for emerging technology. As the company's website explains, People+ builds its database of companies and individuals via volunteer contributors and from publicly available sources. It takes that information and creates what it calls "an intelligent, curated directory of people and companies" that "helps you fi [...]


Debate: Do Single Product PLA Ad Groups Strangle ROI?

Google Shopping Building out Product Listing Ad campaigns in Google AdWords with single product or single SKU ad groups has become a fairly common practice. The idea being that isolating each product into its own ad group gives advertisers more control over which item gets served for a given query and enables faster product-level performance analysis and more granular bidding strategies. A new paper from CPC Strategy challenges this approach to PLA management. It's not a new position from CPC Strategy, but CEO Rick Backus says, "We were surprised to see how quickly this SKU-level build out strategy gained [...]


Local Google Shopping PLAs And Local Storefronts Roll Out To Limited Set Of Retailers

google-shopping-featured Today, Google is making public what several speakers at SMX East alluded to last week: local availability for Product Listing Ads. The latest iteration of Google's wildly successful Product Listing Ads, which will be referred to simply "Local PLAs" in this article, are currently available to a select set of US based retailers such as REI and Sephora. When users click on a Local PLA, they are taken to a local storefront -- yet another new feature -- which includes product detail and availability, related items available in that location, store hours and directions and other typical Google Pl [...]


Future SEO: Understanding Entity Search

data_humans_machines Last month, I asked you to imagine the future of SEO with a focus on Entity Optimization as I interviewed veteran semantic strategist Barbara Starr. We discussed an "answer engine" that uses relevant, machine-recognizable "entities" on Web pages to answer specific, well-refined queries. The Hummingbird Update On September 26, Google took another step toward becoming that answer engine with its Hummingbird update. In Danny Sullivan's live blog about the Hummingbird algorithm, he explains how Google is rapidly adopting semantic Web technology while still retaining parts of its old algorithm. T [...]


Maps Roundup: Google Avoids Waze Antitrust Fight, Scout Social Mapping, deCarta Route Patent

google-maps-iphone-icon Google spent just over $1 billion to take Waze away from Facebook, Apple or Nokia and Microsoft. It equally sought the real-time driver feedback that Waze crowd-sourcing provides. Given the size of the transaction the US FTC got immediately involved to bring antitrust scrutiny to the acquisition. Now Bloomberg reports that the FTC is unlikely to block the deal: The Federal Trade Commission hasn’t raised concerns that the transaction might hurt competition, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Google said June 21 [...]


Shake Up In Chinese Search Market As Engines Merge

Sogou logo In a move somewhat reminiscent of the back end merger of Yahoo and Microsoft's search engines, the number three and four search sites in China are set to combine assets and cross-promote in a nearly $450 million deal writes ZDNet. The deal involves Chinese online portal Tencent's Soso search engine and Sohu's Sogou. The latter is number three and while Soso is number four in the Chinese search market. Google is number five. Qihoo 360 technology company's search engine (So.com) has moved into second place after Baidu. Amazingly the Qihoo search engine only launched in Q3 of last year. The [...]


How Search Engines Work — Really!

how-search-engines-work For those of us in SEO (or aspiring to be), there are a lot of little details that fill our days. Server architecture, 301 redirects, 404 errors, title tags, and various other things. Sometimes, we forget to sit back and figure out what it all means. Add to that the fact that most SEOs were never trained, but just picked things up "on the job," and it's no surprise that most SEOs don't really know how search engines work. When's the last time you sat down and considered how search engines (like Google) really work? For me, it was last month, while writing the post about a recent Google W [...]


Yahoo Updates Answers For Social And SEO Value

yahoo-answers-questions-featured It's amazing to me that it took Yahoo so long to update its Answers property. Once a thriving Q&A network and social search site, Yahoo really let Answers go to seed. However the company announced yesterday that it was rolling out a new user-experience including mobile optimization. Even in its dilapidated state, Yahoo Answers is the most successful "help engine" or Q&A site on the web (don't tell me it's Quora). Answers was the site that long ago vanquished Google's paid answers property. But the years of product and management turmoil at Yahoo caused tremendous neglect of Answe [...]


Report: Google Product Listing Ads Drive CSE Channel Growth, Cannibalize Text Ad Clicks

google-shopping-featured The August Same Store Sales report from ChannelAdvisor shows that the 7.7 percent growth from Comparison Shopping Engines was driven by the product listing ads (PLAs) that power Google Shopping. Search (traditional AdWords text ads) saw just a slight uptick in growth at 0.2% in August. Both channels grew more slowly than comScore's overall ecommerce growth rate of 16 percent in Q2. In a summary statement, ChannelAdvisor reports, "Google Shopping continues to show strength in this category helping offset headwinds from traditional CSEs." While the average order value (AOV) from Google Shoppi [...]


Bing To Include Local Product Inventory In Search Results

bing-shopping-featured Yesterday Microsoft and Local Corporation announced a deal in which the latter's Krillion local product database will be provided to Bing for display in search results. Local Corp. will supply in-stock product data from a range of mostly national-local retailers. The list of participating retailers includes BestBuy, Costco, Express, Fry's, Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe's, Nordstrom, Orchard Supply, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Rite Aid, Sears, Staples, Target, True Value and Wal-Mart. All of the indexed products from these stores -- it's not clear if this includes all in-store inventory -- will be [...]


Topsy Becomes Definitive Twitter Search Engine

Topsy-Plain-Logo Social search and analytics provider Topsy announced that users can now search its index for every single tweet ever published since Twitter's inception in 2006. This capability is very useful and likely makes Topsy an acquisition target (probably by Twitter). According to the site, there are now more than 540 billion tweets in its index. Topsy has become a social analytics service in addition to being a "social search engine." Topsy has the added distinction of being essentially the lone survivor among a group of "real-time" search sites that emerged in 2008 - 2010, including Colle [...]


Retailers Promote Over 1 Billion Products With Google PLAs, Holiday Surge Expected [Marin]

google-shopping-featured Today, Marin Software release a new study that finds Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) continue to see increased adoption among retailers. According to the study, over one billion products were being promoted through PLAs as of May 2013. PLA impression share, when compared to text ads, has slowed some since its holiday season peak in December 2012. Marin points out that the dip seen in June and July 2013 could be seasonal, but that the transition to enhanced campaigns as well as the new product feed specifications that went into effect in the US on July 15 may have contributed to the drop [...]


Travelocity-Expedia Deal Gives Travel Search Its Yahoo-Bing Moment

travelocity-expedia-logos Travelocity, one of the web's longstanding travel search engines and online travel agencies, is getting out of the travel search business. The company announced a "strategic marketing agreement" yesterday with longtime competitor Expedia, which calls for Expedia to begin powering the technology used on Travelocity.com. As the Wall Street Journal reports, that will include powering hotel and airfare searches, booking trips, and even customer service. It may remind you of the 2009 agreement when Yahoo essentially got out of the search business and turned its search results over to Bing. [...]


Shatner’s Tweet Hints That He May Like Bing Just As Much As Bing Likes Captain Kirk

bing-startrek In a brief exchange on Twitter yesterday evening, the original Captain Kirk gave Bing a shout-out, recommending the Microsoft search engine could possibly enlighten a fellow Twitter user. William Shatner responded "I hear Google pr Bing helps with that problem" after @Andypops1 tweeted on Shatner's feed, "I still have no idea what spumoni is." Assuming the "pr" in Shatner's tweet was a typo, it appears Shatner is recommending Google or Bing to find answers online. While it would have been a stronger recommendation without the Google reference, it's worth noting that the man who overcame [...]


Yelp Outs More Businesses With Another Batch Of Paid Review Alerts

yelp-alerts-featured Yelp's battle against phony reviews and unacceptable tactics to earn reviews continues today with the company posting another batch of "Consumer Alert" messages on business profile pages. This is the second time Yelp has announced that some businesses will be outed for trying to game its system. Back in October, Yelp put a message on eight business profile pages saying that those companies were "caught ... red-handed trying to buy fake reviews." The alert being posted today is slightly different. It tells consumers that Yelp "caught someone offering up cash, discounts, gift certificates [...]


New CityMaps Hopes To Compete With Social And Editorial Content

Citymaps screen Mobile mapping provider CityMaps recently redesigned its iOS app. It impressively includes home-grown vector maps, built from the ground up. Beyond this CityMaps is trying to offer deeper editorial and social content to differentiate from other mapping and local-search apps. CityMaps also invokes the language of "personal assistant" in its promotional video (below). These concepts are worthy but the execution to support them is, so far, lacking. The original CityMaps app was a kind of crazy quilt of colorful corporate logos that signified business locations. Below are screenshots of the [...]


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