October 2007: Search Engine Land’s Most Popular Stories

Below are Search Engine Land’s 10 most popular stories from October 2007:

1) Mapping The Southern California Fires – I’m back home (my original home) in Southern California for vacation, and to welcome me back, the Southland is on fire. Ah, just like old times. As I was keeping up with the news, I came across some maps online from Google Earth, Google Maps, Virtual Earth, and elsewhere that I thought I’d share with others.

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2) Billboard Showdown: Google 411 Takes On Ask’s Algorithm – I’m in the Bay Area this week, and driving down Lombard Street, I brought the car to a halt when I saw the two billboards above. Yes, that’s one of the Goog411 billboards for Google Voice Search sitting on top of an Ask.com "The Algorithm" one. Sadly, there’s doesn’t seem to be room to squeeze in ones from Yahoo and Microsoft. Want to see them for yourself? Go down Lombard, just up from Gough. I’ve got another shot here, as well.

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3) Official: Selling Paid Links Can Hurt Your PageRank Or Rankings On Google - More and more, I’ve been seeing people wondering if they’ve lost traffic on Google because they were detected to be selling paid links. However, Google’s generally never penalized sites for link selling. If spotted, in most cases all Google would do is prevent links from a site or pages in a site from passing PageRank. Now that’s changing. If you sell links, Google might indeed penalize your site plus drop the PageRank score that shows for it.

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4) Google’s PageRank Update Goes After Paid Links? – Seems like there is a PageRank update taking place now that seems to be impacting sites that sell links. Can’t say that we were not warned about this. Danny Sullivan wrote Official: Selling Paid Links Can Hurt Your PageRank Or Rankings On Google over two weeks ago, and now it appears many sites are getting hit with a drop in PageRank. Here is a list of some sites, including major publishers, who seem to have taken a hit overnight:

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5) Report: 7 Out Of 10 Americans Experience ‘Search Engine Fatigue’ – A recent report issued by Autobytel, based on findings from a poll of 1,001 US adults conducted by Kelton Research, examined "The State of Search" and how automobile shoppers interact with search engines in particular. Below I excerpt some of the general search findings from the report. The big takeaway is in the headline above: 7 out of 10 Americans experience what the report describes as “search engine fatigue.”

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6) Google Adds Sitelinks Control To Webmaster Tools & Much More – Google has informed us that today they are releasing a new update to Google Webmaster Central’s tools. The new features include a way to manage your Google Sitelinks, more historical query statistics, an extension of sitemaps to support code search, an improved message center and a warning that may help notify you of possible duplicate content problems.

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7) Did Dalai Lama Award Cause China To Redirect Google, Yahoo & Microsoft Search Traffic To Baidu? - Reports have been coming in that people trying to reach Google, Yahoo and Microsoft from within China or via Chinese ISPs are being redirected to Baidu. Some have accused Baidu of hijacking the traffic, but we think it’s likely that China is upset with the US over the award it granted to the Dalai Lama and is retaliating by hurting US-based search engines. Back in 2002, when China was upset with Google, it similarly redirected traffic. From a Reuters article at that time:

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8) Google Logo Celebrates Sputnik 50th Anniversary – Fifty years ago today — October 4, 1957 — Sputnik became the world’s first artificial satellite to go into orbit. Google is celebrating the 50th anniversary with the special logo above. Will other search engines do the same? So far, it’s only Google among the majors.

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9) Social Media Marketing: The New SEO? – Fall is the time of year when we start to look at where search marketing is heading. Looking at the latest search marketing conference agendas, articles, and online news in the SEM space, it certainly appears that social media marketing and networking are the wave of the future. To a certain extent, they are. Social media, and social networking in particular, create a back-and-forth conversation with your target audience, giving you the ability to virally market your website through the "buzz" that can be created. When something interesting, cool, or unique is being talked about in "all the right places," it can certainly provide a boost in website traffic.

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10) Google’s Tips On How to Write a Good Meta Description – The Google Webmaster Central Blog described what makes for a good meta description versus what makes for a bad meta description. Meta descriptions are a special tag that you place within the source code of your html page. They can be used by search engines for ranking purposes as well as for being displayed within the search result pages.

To see all of our most popular stories over time, visit our Most Popular Stories page.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Most Popular Stories

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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