Here’s a recap of this week’s columns and news stories for the week of Jan. 23 to 29, as reported by Search Engine Watch, as well as search news and tips from around the web.
Search Engine Optimization
Designing an SEO Friendly URL Structure by Josh McCoy
The proper URL structure helps paint a picture of hierarchical importance on your site as well as your intended keyword focus on pages to the search engines. Oh, and it aids the user, too!
4 Reasons Why SEO is Underfunded by John Lynch
Advice for SEOs on how to overcome four of the most common problems: short-term vs. long-term goals, organizational constraints, too much jargon, and misunderstanding the value of SEO vs. PPC traffic.
Google’s War on Spam Begins: New Algorithm Live by Danny Goodwin
Google’s Matt Cutts today announced the launch of a new algorithm that is intended to better detect and reduce spam in Google’s search results and lower the rankings of scraper sites and sites with little original content. Google’s main target is content farms and sites that copy content from other sites and offer little useful, original content of their own.
- How Organized Spam is Taking Control of Google’s Search Results – SEOmoz
- SEO Not Working For You? Here’s Why. – Outspoken Media
- Why Google Favors Keyword Rich Domains – SEO.com
- Content Syndication: How to Make it Work for You – Michael Gray
- 10 Metrics to Check You’re your Traffic Crashes – Distilled
- Why Won’t Google Use My META Description? – SEOmoz
- Why a Search Engine Might Cluster Concepts to Improve Search Results – SEO by the Sea
- 5 Things Businesses Should Know About SEO Agencies – Bruce Clay
- How I Uncovered Criminal Activity During an SEO Audit – Search Engine People
- 7 Ways Video & Rich Media Sites Can Improve Their SEO – SEO Gadget
- How to Build Agile SEO Tools Using Google Spreadsheets – Distilled
- Solving Duplicate Content Issues – State of Search
- PPC as an SEO Research – Explicitly Me
- How to make your infographics accessible and SEO friendly at the same time – Malcolm Coles
- So What Makes a Real SEO ‘Expert’? – SEOptimise
- Where to Use Keywords in Corporate Blog Posts – TopRank Online Marketing Blog
- In-House SEO: Integrating SEO into the Project Process – SEOmoz
- How to make money as an SEO copywriter – SEO Copywriting
- Using Webmaster Tools like an SEO – YouTube
- How are site: results ranked? – YouTube
- How to deal with planned site downtime – Google Webmaster Central Blog
Google AdWords Display URL Changes: Boon or Bust? by Melissa Mackey
News of this puzzling modification to AdWords has been greeted with a negative reaction from the search marketing community. It’s hard to believe the display URL change can possibly benefit Google or advertisers.
AdWords Display URLs Now Showing in Lower Case by Danny Goodwin
Two weeks ago Google announced that the domain portion of all AdWords ads would soon show in lower case.
Click Fraud Falls in Q4 2010 by Danny Goodwin
The overall click fraud rate for Q4 2010 fell to 19.1 percent, down from 22.3 percent in Q3 2010 but still higher than 15.3 percent in Q4 2009, according to the latest Click Forensics data.
- Google’s Proactive Stance on Do Not Track – ClickZ
- Using Negative Keyword Lists – PPC Hero
- Google vs. Bing: Targeting Features – PPC Hero
- Case Study: Bid Changes – PPC Hero
- Gambling Related Keywords Offering No Suggestions In Keyword Tool – Search Engine Roundtable
- Google Forcing AdWords Advertisers Into Google TV Ads – Search Engine Roundtable
- Interest Based Ads Performance Reports Comes To Google AdSense – Search Engine Roundtable
- Check out our latest AdWords Home improvements – Inside AdWords
- New features to help you manage your Google AdWords Certification Program account – AdWords Agency Blog
- Valentine’s Day 2011 for PPC Marketers: ‘Tis the Season to Love – adCenter Blog
Analytics & ROI
- Simple Goal & Conversion Tracking with Piwik: the Open Source Google Analytics Alternative – SEOptimise
- How to Setup a Basic Conversion Testing Strategy – Bruce Clay
- Five ways to improve your site search – Econsultancy
- Using Page Level Google Analytics Custom Variables to report on SEO traffic by page type – blogstorm
- How to check your AdWords traffic isn’t being reported as organic – blogstorm
- 5 Common Landing Page Mistakes – HubSpot Blog
- Google Images Maps and News : The Gray Area in Analytics – Vertical Measures
- Statistical Validity Is Leading You Astray – PPC Hero
- Improving a website *without* Web Analytics – a case study – Measuring Success
- Excellent Analytics Tips #19: Identify Website Goal Values & Win! – Avinash Kaushik
- 127 New Dimensions And Metrics Available In The API – Google Analytics Blog
Social Media Marketing
Facebook Sponsored Stories: Turning Your Life into Ads by Kristine Schachinger
When you click your likes, post to pages, play your games and send your check-ins, apparently you gave brands a “word of mouth” recommendation. Introducing Facebook’s newest way to make money off you.
Facebook Most Searched For Term, Most Visited Site in 2010 by Frank Watson
For the second straight year, Facebook was the most searched for term on the internet. And with the interest it is gaining through the awards being given The Social Network this movie awards season, the company may hold the title again this year.
President Obama and Vice President Biden Using YouTube and Yahoo Answers by Greg Jarboe
There’s an old adage that recommends that you “fish where the fish are.” Well, President Barack Obama was answering questions on YouTube yesterday while Vice President Joe Biden was tacking questions on Yahoo Answers. Do you think they know something that marketers should know about where the fish are?
Obama Takes State Of The Union Online by Frank Watson
President Obama took his message to the internet last night, streaming the State of the Union address over the WhiteHouse.gov site. During the address Obama referenced Google and Facebook and the power of the United States technology industry.
Americans Spend 2 Hours, 12 Minutes Per Month on Twitter by Greg Jarboe
Americans are spending more time on Twitter.com than ever before, according to new data from Experian Simmons DataStream
LinkedIn Announces IPO, Others To Follow by Frank Watson
LinkedIn Corporation has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its Class A common stock.
Pope Praises Social Networking, Gives Guide To Christian Use by Frank Watson
In an age when you can go to church online, and no doubt teenagers tweet during Mass, Pope Benedictus XVI used this year’s World Communication Day address to extol the potential of social media and give guidance to Roman Catholics on how to use it in a Christian manner.
- Ranking in Facebook Search – Take Notice – Vertical Measures
- Zuckerberg’s Page Hacked, Now Facebook To Offer “Always On” HTTPS – ReadWriteWeb
- Facebook Acquires Mobile Advertising Company Out of Stealth Mode – All Things Digital
- Facebook Currently Fixing Post Insights Bug – All Facebook
- Facebook To Make ‘Facebook Credits’ Mandatory For Game Developers (Confirmed) – TechCrunch
- Facebook’s North American Ad Rates Rose in December 2010, Traffic Stayed Flat – Inside Facebook
- Yes, Virginia, There Is a Twitter Self-Serve Ad Platform – ClickZ
- Twitter Launches New “Connections” Feature – The Next Web
- Report: Twitter Ad Sales to Reach $250M by 2012 – ClickZ
- Retail Prospecting Case Study: Twitter Search Fueled by 1:1 Marketing – Search Engine People
- The Tweets Must Flow – Twitter Blog
- What Is StumbleUpon? The History and Timeline – BlueGlass
- LinkedIn Adds Granular Ad Targeting – ClickZ
- Orkut is turning 7 today – Orkut Blog
- Why Social Media is a Must in Pharma Marketing – TopRank Online Marketing Blog
- Social Media Marketing: Strategy to Commerce – TopRank Online Marketing Blog
- Connection: Social Media’s Special Gift – Techipedia
- Social Media Measurement 101 – ClickZ
Promotion & Link Building
Submitting To Article Aggregators Now Wasted Link Building? by Frank Watson
Okay when Matt Cutts speaks the search industry listens. So is his recent comment on the Google Webmaster Help Videos a good indication that submitting to article aggregators is no longer a way to build some link juice to your website?
- Always Be Linking: 8 Places B2B Marketers Might Miss Link Opportunities – KoMarketing
- 5 Fast Tips to Improve Internal Links – ProBlogger
- Link Building 2011; what works and what doesn’t – Search News Central
- Google’s Strongest Backlinks – Majestic SEO Blog
- How can I improve my linking on a Q&A site? – YouTube
Local & Mobile Search
Checking-in on Your Local Listings Across Growing LBS Apps by Jeff Beard
Five guidelines for business to create a strategy for establishing a local identity and building visibility to take full advantage of the viral nature of new social-local-mobile apps.
TripAdvisor Having Hard Time Getting Reviews Off Google Places by Frank Watson
The CEO of TripAdvisor Stephen Kaufer said the company’s request to have their reviews taken down from Google Places sites has been denied by Google.
Google Places Adds Client Photo Uploads: Smart Social Play? by Frank Watson
The Google Maps blog announced that users will be able to upload photos taken of their Places listings. While no doubt it will require policing by Google, the move makes the review process a little more social.
Google Mobile Roundup: Boost Ads, Cloud Printing & Weather Search by Danny Goodwin
Google’s has announced a trio of noteworthy mobile features for iPhone and Android devices: the arrival of Boost ads, Google Cloud Print, and a new app-like weather slider. Let’s take a brief look at what’s new.
- Google Chrome OS Providing Click To Call Functionality – Understanding Google Maps & Local Search
- Local Consumer Review Survey, Part 2 – BrightLocal.com
- I Want My Places Reviews Back – It’s Getting Personal – Understanding Google Maps & Local Search
- Google Places Tightens Up Verification Process for New Businesses – Understanding Google Maps & Local Search
- Tips for creating a free business listing in Google Places: Adding useful descriptions and relevant categories – Google LatLong
- Retiring real estate on Google Maps – Google LatLong
- Sign up for imagery update alert – Google LatLong
- Groupon to Expand Local Sales Staff – ClickZ
- So we grew 3400% last year… – Foursquare Blog
- Facebook denies to launch branded phones with HTC – Reuters
- Android In-App Payments Coming Soon — Were Delayed Because Developers Were Busy – TechCrunch
- Apple Plans Service That Lets IPhone Users Pay With Handsets – Bloomberg
- Got Mobile? 8 Mobile Marketing Strategies You Need NOW! – ClickZ
SMB Search Marketing
How Social Media Changed Small Business Marketing by Greg Jarboe
Davanti Digital Media, a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in social media solutions for businesses of all sizes, has just uploaded a new YouTube video entitled, “Social Media For All: How Social Media Changed Small Business Marketing.”
- Small Business Blogging Content Strategies – SEO by the Sea
- Google Apps for Business now available for Verizon customers – Google Enterprise Blog
SEM Agency Issues
Baidu: Beefing Presence Beyond China by Adaline Lau
Baidu clearly dominates the China search market but does it have ambitions to grow outside the country? Recent developments suggest it is strengthening its presence beyond China.
Search in the European Union: A Different Perspective by Bas van den Beld
An overview of the role of currencies, taxes, legal issues, and cultural elements when optimizing for search in Europe.
U.K. Debates Google Monopoly, Search Neutrality by Danny Goodwin
Introducing first, in the “we need search neutrality because Google is destroying Britain” corner: Graham Jones, Labour MP for Hyndburn. And in the “people are free to choose whatever search engine they want” corner: Ed Vaizey, Department for Culture Media and Sport Minister.
Google Proves Social Credentials In Honoring Saucy Poet Robert Burns by Jonathan Allen
Tonight is ‘Robbie Burns’ night in England and Scotland, a night when friends and family gather to honor the famous 18th century scottish poet by reading poetry and eating the obscure scottish dish, haggis. Robert Burns wrote his poems in Scots and his writing was famous for being saucy and lewd playing on sexual imagery.
Life’s A Beach In Australia According To Google by Frank Watson
January 26th is Australia Day and a day of celebration for Australians everywhere. It is a day to celebrate being Australian. This year’s Google Doodle of beach items seems to categorize the country as a beach resort more than a serious industrial country.
Brazilian Musician Tom Jobim Honored With Google Doodle by Frank Watson
The Google doodlers were busy today – Australia Day, a tribute to Robert Burns and a hat tip to Tom Jobim, the Brazilian musician who is credited with creating the popularity of the bossa nova.
Yandex Geo-targeted Ads in Maps, Search Results Open for Business by Danny Goodwin
Russian search engine Yandex has introduced geo-targeted ads to its business directory. Based on what users are searching for, Yandex will highlight the location of local and small businesses in Yandex’s map and search results.
Egypt Shuts Down Internet, SMS by Danny Goodwin
Two days after blocking Twitter, and a day after reports that Facebook and Google were blocked off and on, major news outlets including the AP and Reuters have reported “severe outages” in Cairo while others reports suggest the government has shut down the entire Internet.
Egypt: The Revolution Will Not Be Socialized; People: Yes It Will by Frank Watson
In the wake of the Tunisian overthrow of their dictatorial regime, tens of thousands of Egyptians have started protesting in a number of cities across the country. One response the government has taken is to block Twitter.
- Mobile phone to blast into orbit – BBC News
- Facebook Agrees to Change Friend Finder in Response to German Privacy Complaint – Inside Facebook
- Yahoo Japan Profit Rises; Google Tie-Up Moves Ahead – The Wall Street Journal
- Google Opens Malaysia Office, Reaffirms China Business – The Wall Street Journal
- Social Media Marketing: Are You a Leader or Follower? – ClickZ.asia
- The 7 Virtues of SEO That Made a Difference in 2010 – ClickZ.asia
- Google Australia hires new MD – The Sydney Morning Herald
- Global Mobile Perspectives: Brazil – Google Mobile Ads Blog
- Google widens access to Israel’s Holocaust archives – Reuters
- Twitter, YouTube Become “Russia’s Main News” Agencies Following Moscow Airport Attack – Fast Company
The Search Industry
Breaking News: Oprah Has Half Sister, Mom Tops Searches by Frank Watson
If Oprah was to launch a search engine instead of her own cable network, she could be a serious threat to Google. The world loves Oprah – or at least enough of it to make her mother’s name Vernita Lee the second top search of the day following the announcement that Oprah has a half sister her mother only told her about at last Thanksgiving.
Which Search Engine Would Be a Jeopardy Champion? by Danny Goodwin
After taking a random sampling of 200,000 “Jeopardy” clues and performing searches on Google, Bing, Ask, Blekko, Wikipedia search, and Yandex, this search engine “found” the most correct answers.
Most Blocked, Trusted Websites of 2010: Facebook, YouTube, Google by Danny Goodwin
When it comes to Google sites and Facebook, consumers, schools, and businesses seem to have a love/hate relationship with the web giants. Time spent on these sites, the content they offer, and privacy can be just as much a concern as the benefits of providing access to exceptional, worthwhile content.
- December 2010 Search Market Report – Compete
- Blekko Finally Gets Cool As Ashton Kutcher Invests $200k -TechCrunch
- Can Search Engines Compete on Privacy? – The Wall Street Journal
- Mahalo reboot: From human-powered search to education – Los Angeles Times
- Demand Media Says It’s Getting Along Just Fine With Google, Thank You Very Much – All Things Digital
- Band Search Engine Facilitates Music Discovery – Mashable
‘Google Offers’ Launched As LivingSocial Passes Groupon by Frank Watson
Last week was a hectic one for the popular coupon sites. Google announced their clone of Groupon – Google Offers – and LivingSocial passed Groupon as the most visited site in the niche.
Google Gives Eric Schmidt ‘Unprecedented’ $100 Million Equity Award by Danny Goodwin
Outgoing Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt will receive a $100 million equity award from Google, the company has confirmed. The award “includes stock and stock options, and vests over four years,” and is the largest for a sitting CEO.
Schmidt on ‘False’ Media Speculation, Google vs. Facebook Obsession by Danny Goodwin
Speculation that Eric Schmidt was forced out as chief executive officer in favor of Larry Page due to internal conflicts surrounding China are “completely false,” Fortune reported. Schmidt also brushed off Facebook as a competitor and once again called Microsoft Google’s true competition at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Disastrous Pilot Puts Eric Schmidt’s TV Career on Hiatus by Danny Goodwin
Google’s Eric Schmidt was looking at expanding his career horizons before it was announced he will step down as chief executive officer to make way for Larry Page. Anonymous sources say Schmidt was working with CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” executive producer Liza McGuirk to develop a show starring himself as host.
Want to Work at Google? Company Plans to Hire More than 6,000 by Danny Goodwin
Fresh off record earnings of $8.44 billion and the arrival of Larry Page as CEO, Alan Eustace, Google’s SVP Engineering and Research, has declared that 2011 will be the biggest hiring year in the company’s history.
Google To Buy Sentiment Analysis Engine, fflick by Jonathan Allen
Google has started a process of acquiring sentiment analysis startup, fflick, for $10 million according to TechCrunch. It seems unlikely that fflick will be kept alive for its own sake, but rather the purchase is about acquiring the talent within this company founded by four former Digg employees.
New in Gmail: Display Ads by Danny Goodwin
Next time you’re using Chrome and get one of your new Gmail message notifications, you might notice another new addition when you visit your inbox: a display ad.
Google Blacklists Some Piracy Terms in Instant, Autocomplete by Danny Goodwin
Search terms like BitTorrent (and several other combinations of the word “torrent”), RapidShare, and Megaupload are among the new banned words in Google’s Instant results and Autocomplete, as Google begins its crackdown on terms closely associated with piracy. However, this filter doesn’t translate to Google’s regular search results pages.
Does Google’s Opt Out Widget Have Teeth? by Frank Watson
Google announced last year they were offering an opt out option in their Chrome browser. Now they have given it a name “Keep Mt Opt-Outs” and are trying to get more momentum for their effort to appease the FTC.
- U.S. asks about search fairness in Google/ITA – Reuters
- Larry Page’s Google 3.0 – BusinessWeek
- Google adds to its voice messaging talent with SayNow purchase – The Next Web
- Google Reaches Deal With Connecticut in Data Probe – The Wall Street Journal
- Why Gary Reback Sees Google as the New Antitrust Antichrist – Google Watch
- Google to move into Binoculars Building designed by Frank Gehry in Venice – Los Angeles Times
- Google: Internet main information source for Hispanics – Fox News Latino
- PayPal Loses Top Payment Exec to Google, Appoints New Head – All Things Digital
- With Storage on the Line, Google Supports Copyright Lawsuit – ReadWriteWeb
- Who Invests in Low-Income Housing? Google, for One – The New York Times
- Google’s Last Line Of PR Defense Is This 30-Year-Old McCain Staffer – Silicon Alley Insider
- Live results for snow conditions – Official Google Blog
- Google Image Search Indexes SVG Files – Google Operating System
- Grayed Out Google Images Fix – Search Engine Roundtable
- Don’t Google the Word “Female” – Google FAIL! – SEOAware
- Google Sneakily Ignored Noarchive With Instant Previews – SEMClubHouse
- Google Says Removing ‘Reader’ Link In Gmail Was A Mistake, Aims To Bring Back Monday – TechCrunch
- A Periodic Table Guide to Google’s APIs [Infographic] – ReadWriteWeb
- Google Apps just got smarter: introducing the Apps Marketplace’s new EDU category – Official Google Blog
- Port your existing mobile number to Google Voice – Google Voice Blog
- Celebrating Data Privacy Day – Official Google Blog
- White spaces momentum continues – Google Public Policy Blog
Bing’s New Top 20 Popular Images: Cute Squirrels, Jesse James, and Todd Palin by Danny Goodwin
Bing has introduced a new search landing page that highlights the most popular image searches of the day.
- Microsoft Q2 Revs Almost $20 Billion, “Bing Division” Still Losing Money Despite Search Revenue Increase – Search Engine Land
- Can Bing Catch Google? Microsoft Spends Millions on ESPN, Jay-Z Partnerships – Fast Company
- Twitter Hires Bing’s Principal Scientist Away From Microsoft – ReadWriteWeb
- Bing Feature Update: Compare Travel Destinations & More – Bing Search Blog
- Bing Trends: Top search trends for this year’s Oscars – Bing Search Blog
- ESPN and Bing Team Up to Highlight Decisive Moments in the Lives and Careers of World Champion Quarterbacks – Bing Search Blog
Yahoo Reports More Layoffs, Q4 Revenue by Frank Watson
Prior to releasing their Q4 results, Yahoo announced it is laying off another 1 percent of its workforce — approximately 135 of its 13,600 employees.
- Weekly Yahoo! Search Trends – January 28, 2010 – Yodel Anecdotal
- Kevin Rose: Yahoo Contacted Digg To See If We Wanted To Take Over Delicious – TechCrunch
- Yahoo Mobile VP Michael Shim Headed to Groupon – All Things Digital
- Too Many Mailing Lists? Unsubscribe with Ease – Yahoo Mail Blog
- Why Yahoo! Mail Engineers Love Idle Browsers – Yahoo Mail Blog
- With Branded Social Video Content, Shorter Is Better – ReelSEO
- Make Your Facebook Video Stand Out With Captions & Advanced Video Tags – ReelSEO
- 14.6 Hours of Online Video per Viewer, 5.9B Online Video Ads in December 2010 – ReelSEO
- Video Search Engine Qwiki Is Now Available To The Public – TechCrunch
SES Conference & Expo
- SES pre-show speaker interviews: Matthew Wood – State of Search
- SES pre-show speaker interviews: Lee Odden – State of Search
- Conference Quick Hits: Discounts and Deadlines – Bruce Clay
- We have a winner for the SES ticket! – State of Search
Search Week in Review 2011 Archives