SearchCap: The Day In Search, November 25, 2008

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • SEMPO To Ring NASDAQ’s Bell
    SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, has been invited to ring the opening bell at NASDAQ headquarters in Times Square on December 1st. There doesn’t seem to be a news release about it yet, but SEMPO’s Dave Williams shared all the details on SEMPO’s Facebook group:
  • Three Ways to Kick Up Your Local Marketing In Time for Black Friday & Cyber Mondays!
    The economic Grinch is threatening to steal Christmas this year, but there are some things local businesses can do to avoid getting coal in their stockings this holiday season. Here are three tips for punching up your online local marketing presence, just in time for Black Friday and the Cyber Mondays to follow.
  • SearchBiz: MSN Staff Shuffles; GOOG Gains; eMarketer On 2009 Ad Spending
    AllThingsD and are both reporting on staffing changes at MSN. AllThingsD calls it a case of “musical chairs,” and that seems pretty accurate based on a memo sent out by Greg Nelson of the Global Media Group. Nelson himself is now under Satya Nadella, Senior VP of Search, and Erik Jorgensen, Corporate VP of MSN. Yusuf Mehdi and Brian McAndrews are now Senior VPs of Online Audience Business and Advertisers & Publishers, respectively. Those are just a couple of the changes at MSN; it’s a holiday week, so there will be no quiz on all the changes in the morning.
  • Cyberchondria: When Web Search Makes You Sick(er)
    Those muscle twitches you get probably aren’t a sign that you have ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, aka “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”). But if you’re using search engines to diagnose what ails you, there’s a chance you’ll come to that conclusion. In a new paper, Microsoft investigates cyberchondria: “… the unfounded escalation of concerns about common symptomatology, based on the review of search results and literature on the Web.”
  • Why Social Media May Not Be Right For You
    I was recently asked whether, if I had to make the choice, would I choose to work in just SEO or social media. Without any hesitation I answered SEO. In the current climate it’s obviously more accountable and seems a more obvious choice to me for brands looking to make reduced marketing budgets go further. (Although the Financial Times makes a very good argument that brands should actually invest in marketing during a recession rather than reduce spend). Luckily I don’t have to make a choice but I think it highlights something that we in the digital marketing industry are often guilty of – assuming that what works for us will work for everyone. We’ve all seen it – the examples of how small businesses should be using Twitter or how brands should be spending hours scouring social networks to pick up on any sort of negative comment. Whilst I actually often agree with these sorts of sentiments I think that in the extreme they can be dangerous as they suggest that what works for one brand will work for all of them.
  • MapQuest: “We’ve Come Out Of Hibernation”
    I recently had the opportunity to interview two senior level executives from Mapquest to find out what the longtime provider of online mapping services is up to. Despite perceptions, MapQuest is actually a more popular mapping destination than Google or Yahoo’s map sites, and the company continues to innovate and push out new features and services, with a renewed level of energy in recent months. What follows is my Q&A with Mark Law, Vice President of Product Development and Christian Dwyer, Senior Vice President & General Manager, MapQuest, Inc. Can you share the highlights of your future road map?
  • Nielsen: UK Mobile Web Growing “8x Faster” Than PC Internet
    Nielsen released some UK mobile usage data yesterday that are very interesting on a number of fronts. The highest-level findings reflect that in the UK the mobile internet is growing much faster than the PC internet (8x) and that the average age of mobile users is younger than online. There are now more than 7 million mobile internet users in the UK according to Nielsen. That compares with more than 40 million in the US.
  • Now Is The Winter of Linking’s Discontent
    Everywhere you look right now, there’s another headline pointing to another story that in either a direct or subtle way affects link building.
  • YouTube Defaults Videos In HD Format: But Forgets Embed Feature
    YouTube announced that all videos on their web site will now be in the wider format HD format, 16:9 ratio. The YouTube player is now 960 pixels wide, as opposed to the standard format of 4:3 ratio. 4:3 aspect ratio videos will continue to play in the wider format, but YouTube has added black borders to the right and left of the video, to fill that space. YouTube has a help document describing how to upload better quality videos. It includes using MPEG4 (Divx, Xvid) format with MP3 audio and a video resolution of 480×360 or higher with a frame rate of 24fps or higher. Below is an embedded version of me covering the news on video. Note, the default embed code still uses the old 4:3 aspect ratio. Why not give the new format or at least an option for it in the “customize” section?
  • Q&A With Google On SearchWiki (Don’t Expect An Opt-Out Soon)
    Four days after it launched, Google SearchWiki continues to attract much attention from critics and fans alike. Meanwhile, there remain questions on how it all works, under the hood. Below, a follow-up to my Google SearchWiki 101: An Illustrated Guide article from last week, answering some of the remaining questions. Oh, and for those looking for a SearchWiki opt-out, the short answer is don’t expect one anytime soon.
  • SearchBiz: Facebook-Twitter Talks Fail; Yahoo Loses On Kelkoo; Google To ‘Take Over TV’ & More
    Here’s our lead story in 140 characters: Facebook buying Twitter=fail. says $500m stock offer too low. Twitter unsure about selling. Talks over, but FB may try again. The longer version for those not active in microblogging: Facebook recently came up short in a serious bid to buy Twitter. Kara Swisher at says Facebook initiated talks in mid-October and offered $500 million worth of Facebook stock. Twitter questioned the value of that stock, and instead wanted a cash deal. Swisher also says the Twitter folks aren’t even sure they want to sell the company at this point.

Search News From Around The Web:

Applications & Portal Features

Business Issues

Link Building

Local, Maps & Mobile

Paid Search & Contextual


SEM Industry


Social Media

Video, Music & Image Search

Recent Hot Items From Sphinn, Our Social News Sharing Site:

Related Topics: Channel: SearchCap | SearchCap


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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