Enterprise SEO Interview With ABC’s John Shehata

I spoke recently with John Shehata, the director of search for ABC News. Since he owns the SEO responsibility for a number of large media properties, I leapt at the chance to explore some of the things he has learned along the way. We dug in and explored the challenges of educating a large media company, dealing with multiple content management systems, syndicating content and query deserves freshness, all viewed through the eyes of ABC! Interview Transcript Eric Enge: Can you provide a brief outline of your responsibilities at ABC News? John Shehata: I’m the Executive Director of Se [...]


Search Engine Designed By Denmark Researchers Helps Medics Diagnose Rare Diseases

Technical University of Denmark researchers have designed a search engine that indexes specific sets of databases to help identify rare diseases. Users can query patient symptoms on FindZebra.com which crawls over 31,000 medical articles focused on rare and genetic diseases to deliver medically relevant search results. While the search engine's homepage includes a notification stating that the site is a research project and should only be used by medical professionals, the developers boast that it delivers significantly better results than Google when searching for rare disease content. [...]


Study: Many Searchers Choose Google Over Bing Even When Google’s Name Is On Bing’s Results

Survey Monkey SEO Assumptions Question 2 In a recent study by SurveyMonkey examining SEO assumptions, respondents were given two search result pages, one with a page header labeled "Google" and the other with a page header labeled "Bing," and asked which page of results they preferred. Even when the page header labels were swapped, more users preferred the Google search results. Of 641 survey respondents, 379 participants received a survey asking which of two search result pages they preferred. One page of results for the term "file taxes" included true Google results and the other page included true Bing results. The Google page [...]


Searching For Mobile Apps May Be In The Cards

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300"] Twitter Cards Image from Marketing Land[/caption] Mobile Application Search in both Apple's App Store and Google Play is frustratingly similar to general online search in the early 2000s -- and the tactics used to make them visible in search resuls also closely mirror the SEO best practices from that era. Searching for and discovering the right apps is a concern for both developers and mobile users, which may recently have been dealt a helping hand from Twitter with its App Cards. How Do Twitter App Cards Work? Currently, you need special [...]


Study: U.K. Mobile Search Survey Reveals U.K. Consumers In Less Of A Hurry To Make Purchases Than U.S. Mobile Users

mobile-phones-featured Mobile-location based advertising network xAd joined forces with mobile call measurement provider Telmetrics to release their first U.K. Mobile Path-to-Purchase study, focusing on U.K. mobile search behavior. Conducted by Nielsen, the online study, surveyed 1,500 U.K. smartphone and tablet users to measure consumer search activity on mobile devices. While price comparisons and reviews were the leading mobile research activities in the U.K., users performing restaurant and automotive searches on smartphones were most often looking for location or local contact information. According t [...]


Search Takes On Even Greater Role In Foursquare 6.0

foursquare-map-featured This morning, Foursquare is rolling out version 6.0 of its app. It puts a new search box "front and center" at the top of the screen to emphasize the local search capabilities of the app. It also adds or enhances other features to make it easier to find places and things to do. The company is using all its social and check-in data to generate greater utility, as well as create a discovery or recommendations edge over Yelp and Facebook's relatively new Nearby/Local Search. Below is the previous version of the app, which featured tabs at the bottom. Search was available under Explore and v [...]


The Dark Side Of The Internet: A Search Engine That Finds Unsecured Routers, Servers & A Whole Lot More

Developed by John Matherly, Shodan is a search engine designed to help users find certain pieces of software, determine which applications are most popular, identify anonymous FTP servers, or investigate new vulnerabilities and what hosts they could infect. It also serves as a window into millions of unsecured online connections. According to an article on CNN Money, Shodan runs nonstop, collecting data from approximately 500 million connected devices and services each month. Through a simple search on Shodan, a user can identify a number of systems that either have no security measures in [...]


If Search Results Were NCAA Championships, Then All Bets Would Be On Louisville

The data analytics firm Chitika has created an infographic showing search volume for the final four teams in this weekend's NCAA basketball championship tournament. If search interest has any influence on game results, we'll all be watching the University of Louisville men's basketball team beating Michigan next Monday night at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Louisville also ranks No. 1 for most searched teams according to Bing's Search Blog. Leading the list of most searched players is Kevin Ware, the Louisville player who suffered a severe lower leg injury during the Louisville-Duke game on [...]


Google Partners With Nixle To Deliver Local Emergency Alerts & Response Information

Google public alerts with Nixle integration Google Public Alerts has broadened its service through a new partnership with Nixle, a company that contracts with public safety agencies to send alerts via cellphones and social media networks. Police, fire, and emergency management agency alerts will now appear when a Google search or a Google Maps search is performed in an area with an active emergency alert in effect. "Google Public Alerts provides people with information about how to respond in emergency situations," said Jonathan Betz, engineering manager for Google Crisis Response. "Nixle enables local response agencies to get tha [...]


How Common Are SEO Problems With Responsive Web Design?

It seems people have strong feelings for or against responsive Web design. My thanks to those with open minds who responded to last month’s column on SEO problems with responsive Web design with either praise or reasonable criticism. While I answered the most common criticisms already, one recent comment from Google’s John Mueller stood out to me. When he posted Luke Wroblewski’s results of sites that have seen success with responsive Web design to Google+ with the caption #rwd #ftw, I wanted to remind Google and other responsive Web design advocates that responsive Web design, whil [...]


Apple Hiring ‘Ground Truth’ Managers To Improve Maps

apple-maps-featured If job listings are any indication, Apple remains committed to improving its iOS Maps app. As the iDownload Blog spotted, Apple currently has seven job listings for what's called a "Maps Ground Truth Manager." The positions are based around the world -- U.S., Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Middle East/Africa. The job description explains that these Ground Truth Managers will be responsible for improving and ensuring the accuracy of Apple Maps. The Maps team is searching for a manager for the team responsible for regional map quality and ground trut [...]


Search On Smartphones Up 26 Percent, On Tablets Up 19 Percent In 2012 [Study]

smartphone-tablet-featured Search continues to shift away from the desktop toward mobile devices. That's one of the conclusions of the just-released Neustar Localeze/15miles/comScore Local Search Study, which is now in its sixth year. This year's study involves a sample of more than 3,000 U.S. adults that say they use the Internet to search for local businesses. Results aren't available online yet, but we'll add a link here when they are. The total number of U.S. searchers using mobile phones grew 26 percent between March 2012 and December 2012, from 90.1 million to 113.1 million searchers. Search on tablets was u [...]


CheapAir.com Mobile Voice Search Not Very “Natural”

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 12.30.00 PM Several sites are touting a new voice search feature on the CheapAir.com app. The company says that it uses the iPhone's own speech recognition capability on the front end, but then does some semantic parsing on its side to deliver flight search results. I tried the app and found that its voice search fell quite short of my expectations. You can't speak "naturally" and get good results. For example, you can't say something like, "I need to go to Chicago on April 7 from San Francisco." If you form a query loosely or conversationally -- if you speak to it as you would an "assistant" [...]


Apple Buys Indoor Location Company, What’s It Up To?

apple-maps-featured This weekend the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had paid roughly $20 million for a company called WifiSLAM. The company was an early stage startup that had raised roughly $1 million in angel investment. It appears to have had some ambitious plans, according to a company description on AngelList: We are building the next generation of location-based mobile apps that, for the first time, engage with users at the scale that personal interaction actually takes place. Applications range from step-by-step indoor navigation, to product-level retail customer engagement, to proximity-based [...]


4 Mobile Search Trends Tackled At SMX West 2013

mobile search browser activity The 2013 SMX West conference could have easily be confused as the first SMX Authorship show with extensive interest in and questions surrounding Google's use of authorship and the prominence of those articles associated with verified authors. However, it was mobile that led the way with one of the first sessions of the conference being Trends in Mobile Search. The Trends in Mobile Search session was moderated by Search Engine Land's Greg Sterling and included Raj Kapoor of Microsoft, Jason Lehmbeck of DataPop, Bryson Meunier of Resolution Media, and myself. Raj and Jason [...]


AdWords “Ineffective” Says eBay, Google “Meta-Pause Analysis” Contradicts Those Findings

google-adwords-numbers-featured A story generating buzz and controversy earlier this week amounts to a stinging indictment of the paid search industry as a whole. It was based on new research from eBay that argues SEM is all but worthless and has little or no impact on traffic and sales -- except in marginal cases. However, Google studies argue SEM delivers clear and tangible benefits to advertisers and publishers. In a paper published last week eBay describes its study (.pdf) and related results. The company says it sought to determine the impact of pausing paid-search ads on its organic traffic and sales. eBay: SEM "In [...]


“Trulia Suggests” Search Results Without Searching

Trulia logo One of the very interesting things going on in search is the phenomenon of "predictive search" or personalized recommendations based on a range of user data inputs (i.e., behavior, context, etc). Effectively, these are search results produced without entering a query into a search box. Much of what is happening in mobile and Google Now is perhaps the best-known example. But, there's also the related concept of the personal virtual assistant, represented by Apple's Siri. Expect Labs and Grokr are both doing some version of these things, as are several others. You can now add real estate [...]


Blind Study Finds YP Local Results Beat Google, Bing, Yahoo

yellow-pages-featured A "blind" study commissioned by directory publisher and local ad network YP, performed by Crowdflower, found that YP's local search results were better overall than those of search engines. This was measured as a function of user satisfaction rating. Thousands of queries were compared over a year-long period. I can hear the skepticism: "It's sponsored study" and "How can they be better than Google's local results?" Here's what the study says about the methodology: YP contracted CrowdFlower, an independent third-party, to employ an innovative and impartial methodology for the relevance meas [...]


Microsoft’s ViralSearch: Search Engine For Measuring Tweets & Viral Content

microsoft-viralsearch VentureBeat reports Microsoft announced a new research project named ViralSearch. ViralSearch lets you search and navigate cascades of people passing content on social media and distinguish between things that are not just popular but also became viral in a sense that they are being passed from one person to the next over many generations. ViralSearch does this by analyzing news, videos, and photos shared within Twitter. It looks to see how many shares there were throughout the user base, over time and over generations of users. For example, in this screen shot, it shows a story Tim O [...]


Flush With New Cash, Structured Data Engine FindTheBest Ready To Make Its Move

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 9.48.04 AM It was unclear what to call FindTheBest when it first launched roughly two years ago: "anti-search engine," “decision engine” or “comparison engine." Today, it may not matter. The company just raised $11 million and has 22 million monthly users. (The site has raised $17 million to date.) CEO (and former DoubleClick founder) Kevin O’Connor sees the site as a way to help people make better decisions with reliable, structured data. Those data come from a range of public and private sources. Indeed, O'Connor says what he and his team have created is a "data platform" that can manage [...]


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