This day in search marketing history: January 3
Why Google penalized Google Chrome, plus: DuckDuckGo launches Donttrack.us, Google challengers, Google newspaper ads and more.
Google’s sponsored post campaign forces Google to penalize Google Chrome’s home page
In 2012, Google’s sponsored post campaign to promote its Chrome browser produced posts that violated its guidelines against “thin” content and potentially those against buying links.
A day later, we found out what happened, according to Google. In Google: Yes, Sponsored Post Campaign Was Ours But Not What We Signed-Up For, Google told Search Engine Land:
“Google never agreed to anything more than online ads. We have consistently avoided paid sponsorships, including paying bloggers to promote our products, because these kind of promotions are not transparent or in the best interests of users. We’re now looking at what changes we need to make to ensure that this never happens again.”– Google
Google took manual action, demoting the Google Chrome home page. As a result, searches for [browser] no longer brought up the page.
Read all about it in Google’s Chrome Page No Longer Ranks For “Browser” After Sponsored Post Penalty.
Also on this day
Meta will remove targeting options for sensitive topics on Jan. 19
2022: “Health causes,” “sexual orientation,” “religious practices and groups,” and “political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations and figures,” were among the examples of targeting options slated for deprecation.
Microsoft Advertising launches sweepstakes for advertisers
2020: To enter, advertisers had to complete the Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional (MACP) certification, add a new Microsoft Advertising account, or enroll in the Micorosft Advertising Partner Program.
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Brands can now buy Walmart sponsored search ads via API partners
2020: Walmart Media Group named four initial advertising partners to support sponsored search campaigns.
Robots.txt tip from Bing: Include all relevant directives if you have a Bingbot section
2019: Frédéric Dubut, a senior program manager at Microsoft working on Bing Search, said when you create a specific section in your robots.txt file for its Bingbot crawler, you should make sure to list all the default directives in that section.
Report: Google exploring sale of Zagat reviews
2018: Google’s parent Alphabet was reportedly considering a sale of reviews publication Zagat. And by March, the deal was done, when The Infatuation bought Zagat.
Search In Pics: Glasshole Receipt, GDG Gingerbread Cookies & Penguin Popper
2014: What people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more.
FTC Closes Google Antitrust Case: “Law Protects Competition Not Competitors,” Not Enough Evidence To Prove “Search Bias”
2013: After 19 months of investigation, political maneuvering, lobbying and intense speculation the FTC has closed its antitrust investigation of Google, which came away largely unscathed from the process.
A Test, Not A Bug: Bing Deep Links To Facebook, eBay, Craigslist Under Google’s Search Result
2013: Bing was changing four of the Deep Links (Bing’s name for what Google calls Sitelinks) under the Google search result and pointing them to completely different domains. See also: Strange Bug In Bing Deep Links Shows Facebook, Craigslist As Part Of Google
Baidu Testing Facial Recognition Search; Similar To Google’s “Search By Image”
2013: The new feature let searchers upload an image of a face and Baidu would then try to return other photos of the same person, with information on the name of the person.
DuckDuckGo Challenges Google On Privacy With DontTrack.us
2011: The illustrated guide showed how Google tracked its users and how DuckDuckGo didn't.
Italy To Regulate YouTube & Other Video Sites Like TV Stations
2011: YouTube, and parent Google, became considered TV broadcasters in Italy, according to new rules by the Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM). The rules applied equally to other websites providing video content, provided they also ran advertising.
Google Gaining Ground In Smartphone, Browser Markets
2011: Android OS achieved a 25.8% market share, putting it within striking distance of Apple's iOS, while the Chrome browser reached a major milestone, capturing 10% of the market.
Last Call: Yahoo’s adCenter Transition Tool About To Close
2011: A final reminder for search marketers to move their Yahoo Search Marketing account over to Microsoft adCenter.
With So Much Money Is A Facebook Search Engine Inevitable?
2011: Once upon a time, Facebook was a private company and made only $2 billion a year in advertising.
A Tale Of Three Android Phones: Droid 2, Samsung Fascinate & Google Nexus S
2011: A look at how three different Android cousins performed and measured up against the iPhone.
Traffic Power’s CEO Jailed Over Alleged Foreclosure Scams
2008: Matt Marlon was arrested for allegedly conning homeowners faced with foreclosure to give the company their homes.
The Google Challengers: 2008 Edition
2008: A guide to stealth search start-ups of the time, including Blekko, Powerset, Hakia, Mahalo, Cuill and more.
Ask Sponsored Listings Gives Click Fraud Reimbursements
2008: IAC Search & Media and/or ASK Jeeves advertisers were entitled to a reimbursement for click fraud or other invalid or improper clicks.
Google AdSense Launches Newbie Central
2008: It was a location for new publishers to go and get started with AdSense.
Goodbye, Yahoo Picks
2008: The world said goodbye to Yahoo Picks Of The Week & Picks Of The Day after 12 years.
Ask Mobile Adds “Click To Speak” Directions
2008: The service sent a text link that opens a mobile page with a map and turn-by-turn directions.
ChaCha Goes Mobile With TextChaCha
2008: Social search engine ChaCha introduced a new text-based mobile service called “textChaCha” to answer potentially any question from mobile users.
Yahoo Teams With Dash For In-Car Local Search
2007: In-car navigation provider Dash and Yahoo Local announced a deal to deliver Yahoo Local content via Dash’s portable “Dash Express” device and system.
Google Changes Hiring Process To Meet Job Opening Needs
2007: Google was looking to hire more people, quicker, and have less standards in terms of SAT score and GPA, but with more focus on how the applicant may fit within the company culture and work ethic.
Google & Earthlink Said To Be Near Start Date Of WiFi Network
2007: Google and Earthlink were finally near finalizing an agreement with San Francisco officials to provide free WiFi to the city.
Google Beta Testing Keyword Based AdSense Competitive Filter List?
2007: It appeared that Google was testing a feature that allowed AdSense publishers to block ads from showing via a keyword list.
Intertainer Sues Google For Patent Infringement On Online Video & Audio Distribution
2007: Google, Apple and Napster were all sued by Jonathan T. Taplin’s Intertainer for patent infringement of a 2005 patent that covers commercial distribution of audio and video over the Internet.
YouTube Hiring Advertising Sales Representatives
2007: Google’s YouTube was hiring six advertising sales representatives, all based in different parts of the U.S.
First Results Of Google’s Newspaper Ad Test Published
2007: About 1,000 visitors came from the ad, which generated 70% less page views than the PPC counterpart, 30% less time spent on the site than the PPC counterpart, but the registration rate (his goal) was about the same as the PPC counterpart. Background: Google Newspaper Ads Run Again.
Microsoft’s Live.com Advertises On Google
2007: When Microsoft paid to advertise its search engine on a competitor.
Site Diagnostics Bug In Google AdSense Control Panel
2007: A robots.txt error was displaying errors based on Google's cache URL, not publisher URLs.
Send A Greeting With Google Maps
2007: This fun and cool service let “geeks show they care.”
Best | top | most popular Search Engine Land stories of the year
Early January is a good time to take a final look back at the most popular stories from the past year. Check out what stories earned the most pageviews and social love in prior years:
From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)
Community experts on what successful marketers will do in 2020
- SEOs must focus on intent research practices in 2020 by Frédéric Dubut
- Businesses need to think differently about customer feedback data in 2020 by Adam Dorfman
- How verticalization and zero-click will impact local search in 2020 by Damian Rollison
- Make it easy for search engines to rank your website in 2020 by Fili Wiese
- The consumer decision journey will drive paid search in 2020 by Christi Olson
- Machine learning will free up time to be more strategic with accounts in 2020 by Brooke Osmundson
- Make 2020 the year for ecommerce to get better with the mobile experience by Duane Brown
- A wishlist of improvements for Google My Business in 2020 by Joy Hawkins
- New challenges ahead for attribution with the rise of intelligent tracking prevention by Simon Poulton
- 2020 will be the year to get our data right by Aaron Levy
- Focus on E-A-T to avoid performance problems in 2020 by Lily Ray
- Automation layering is driving PPC so get onboard in 2020 by Frederick Vallaeys
Past contributions from Search Engine Land's Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.
- 2019: A simple 3-step framework for improving your technical SEO by Aleh Barysevich
- 2018: How much will privacy regulation disrupt the local search market in 2018? by Wesley Young
- 2017: 17 link resolutions for 2017 by Julie Joyce
- 2017: The fake information epidemic and how it will hurt local search in 2017 by Wesley Young
- 2017: Local SEO is about so much more than tools by Greg Gifford
- 2014: Preparing For The Link Apocalypse That May Or May Not Be Coming by Nate Dame
- 2013: Reporting Multinational SEO Performance: Difficulties & Insights by Chris Liversidge
- 2013: January Survival Tips For Search Marketers: Revisit Your Budget, Rest Up – The Superbowl Is Coming by Siddharth Shah
- 2012: Don’t Fall Into The Made-For-SEO Website Trap by Eric Enge
- 2012: Can New Multilingual Markup Create Advantages For Big Brand Optimisation? by Chris Liversidge
- 2012: Link Building Tool Review: Ontolo by Debra Mastaler
- 2012: Optimize Facebook Open Graph Tags: They Are the 50% by Aaron Friedman
- 2011: The Top 10 Paid Search Features You Might Have Missed In 2010 by Brad Geddes
- 2011: Investigating Google Places Hypocrisy For Address-less Businesses by Chris Silver Smith
- 2011: Looking Ahead: What’s Next In The Evolution Of Local Search? by Eric Enge
- 2008: How SEO Has Evolved Over The Years by Jill Whalen
- 2008: A Smooth Sea Never Made A Skilled Mariner by Bill Slawski