SearchCap: The Day In Search, February 28, 2011

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Number Crunchers: Who Lost In Google’s “Farmer” Algorithm Change? On Thursday, Google announced a major change to its search algorithm, designed to weed out shallow and low-quality content from its top […]

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

From Search Engine Land:

  • Number Crunchers: Who Lost In Google’s “Farmer” Algorithm Change?

    On Thursday, Google announced a major change to its search algorithm, designed to weed out shallow and low-quality content from its top search results. Content farms were seen by many as the target. Were they hit? Who was hit? Some figures are coming out. If you were expecting these figures to show Demand Media’s eHow […]

  • Google’s “Farmer Update” At Search Engine Land’s SMX West Conference

    Trying to get your head around Google’s “Farmer Update” that just happened, not to mention the other changes that Google’s been making recently? Search Engine Land’s got just the solution for you — our SMX West search marketing conference next week, with panels that cover these topics. The Bad Reviews Update It’s been an amazing […]

  • Why Is Project Management Undervalued In SEO?

    I’ll be the first to admit that I have little knowledge of formal project management. While I cherish quality project managers and certainly know the importance of prioritization, stakeholders, and overall project management, it is not my job. My job is to bring the best SEO strategies and ideas into an organization. Luckily for me, […]

  • A Local Search Marketing Tactic That’s One For The Books

    Some commonplace, traditional promotion methods provide significant SEO benefits for local search marketers. However, many managers expend more time and energy focusing upon elusive technical tricks. Here’s one local SEO tactic that businesses should consider: write a book. Way before the advent of the Internet, there have been many business owners who wrote books to […]

  • Your Networking Guide To Search Engine Land’s SMX West Event Next Week

    Search Engine Land’s SMX West is March 8-10 in San Jose. That’s next week! Register now and you’ll still save $100 off the on-site rate. You already know about the exceptional content and highly qualified presenters at SMX West. But there’s another aspect of the conference that is just as important and valuable – networking. […]

  • Step-by-Step Instructions For Testing Low Volume Ad Copy

    Ad copy testing is essential for anyone running a paid search account. Testing ad copy in accounts in high traffic accounts is fairly easy, as you can add new ad copies to existing ad groups, wait, and then examine the metrics. However, in low volume accounts, testing is not nearly as easy, as it could […]

  • Videos Of The First Googleplex

    The Xooglers Blog has been posting videos of the old GooglePlex, old Google office from back in November 1999. I believe these videos are from the office Google had at 2400 Bayshore, Mountain View. As Alex said, Google started off in Susan Wojcicki’s garage, then moved to 165 University Ave in Palo Alto, then to […]

  • Search + Social Media Increases CTR By 94 Percent: Report

    A new report from agency GroupM and comScore details the degree to which search and social media have become intertwined in the purchase path that consumers take across the Internet. The report is a follow-up to a similar study done in 2009. GroupM and comScore looked at consumer behavior associated with purchase decisions in the […]

  • Placecast and AT&T Launch Geo-fenced Mobile “ShopAlerts”

    Mobile carrier AT&T is introducing location-based “ShopAlerts” with Placecast in four US cities: NY, SF, Chicago and LA. This is opt-in “push” marketing via SMS or MMS tied to “geo-fences.” Privacy is a non-issue because of the opt-in dimension. Once a user has opted-in, which can happen on AT&T’s site, Facebook or many other places […]

  • Hot At Sphinn: Google’s “Farmer” Update, Educating Media On SEO & More

    Even though the news didn’t hit until late Thursday, Google’s “farmer” algorithm update was one of the hot topics lastweek on our sister site, Sphinn. Three of the most tweeted Sphinn stories of the week were related to the “farmer” update, and several discussions about it are still ongoing this morning. One of those discussions […]

Search News From Around The Web:

Applications & Portal Features

Business Issues

Local, Maps & Mobile

Link Building

SEM Industry


Social Media

Video, Music & Image Search

Web Analytics

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

  • Did you get rocked by Google? – I just read the post about google slightly changing the algorithm. How bad do you think its going to affect internet marketers. I mean everyone uses article marketing to get traffic (well except me of course). Has anyone see a significant decrease in the amount of traffic that they have been receiving? Let's hear your story.
  • Web Tracking Protection: An Emerging Internet Standard that Helps Protect Consumers from Tracking – Today, the W3C has accepted and published Microsoft’s member submission for an Internet standard to help protect consumer privacy. This announcement from the Web standards body responsible for HTML5 is an important step forward for people and businesses that interact online…
  • Questionable SEO (aka WebSpam) in practice at Facebook – One should think that major sites like Facebook maintain squeaky clean SEO, right? Of course that's naive. Rishi Lakhani reveals that Facebook spams search engines with gazillions of well optimized machine generated doorway pages in order to funnel long tail search traffic into their site. Funny, err, sad enough, Google's recent scraper/farmer updates didn't hurt these 'social spammers'.
  • Google Tweaks Guidelines on Soliciting Reviews … But Is It Enough? – Google recently rewrote its guidelines on review solicitation and significantly narrowed what it considers to be inappropriate tactics for getting reviews. The change is very recent, and appears to be related to Google’s own promotion of HotPot in the Portland, Oregon market a couple months ago. But I can’t help wondering if another rewrite is in order./a>
  • How Demand Media Used PR Spin to Have Google Kill Their Competitors – Google Kills eHow Competitors, eHow Rankings Up
  • Number Crunchers: Who Lost In Google’s “Farmer” Algorithm Change? – From Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land, a clearinghouse list of sites affected by the latest algorithm change at Google (the 'Farmer' update) that rolled out earlier this week and was designed to weed out shallow and low-quality content from its top search results. Please chime in on what you're seeing in the comments here, or over at Search Engine Land.
  • Google Farmer Update: Quest for Quality – Great data showing which sites got torched the most in the Google Farmer Update. Thanksfully it appears to be lots of article directory type sites which are typically full of very low quality content.
  • Into The Minds of Link Builders – Kate Morris interviews three link builders (two of which I know well, and one that I'm getting to know as a result of the article). Definitely worth a read.
  • SEO Spider Review – Xenu on SEO steroids – This review of the SEO Spider comes with handy usage tips, where Branko Rihtman not only explains what the tool does, and how, but why particular analytics / methodologies make sense for SEO audits.
  • Preparing for The Death of RSS – Michael Gray writes, "While I personally am a big fan of RSS, I stand by my position that RSS is not being adopted by the mainstream population and is therefore a dying technology."
  • Designed To Fail: Why Many Tests Give You Meaningless Results – There are many reasons why a well-designed test might fail. For example, seasonal effects might be ignored, the dataset might be too small or the marketplace might change during the test.
    However, a very common error in test design is not accounting for volatility – fluctuations in performance due to unpredictable events in the marketplace…

About the author

Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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