SEO

20 Great Google Secrets

Posted on August 11, 2009. Filed under: Google, Internet Market, SEO | Tags: , , |

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1306756,00.asp

excl.gif No Active Links, Read the Rules – Edit by Ninja excl.gif

Google is clearly the best general-purpose search engine on the Web (see

http://www.pcmag.com/searchengines

But most people don’t use it to its best advantage. Do you just plug in a keyword or two and hope for the best? That may be the quickest way to search, but with more than 3 billion pages in Google’s index, it’s still a struggle to pare results to a manageable number.

But Google is an remarkably powerful tool that can ease and enhance your Internet exploration. Google’s search options go beyond simple keywords, the Web, and even its own programmers. Let’s look at some of Google’s lesser-known options.

Syntax Search Tricks

Using a special syntax is a way to tell Google that you want to restrict your searches to certain elements or characteristics of Web pages. Google has a fairly complete list of its syntax elements at

http://www.google.com/help/operators.html

. Here are some advanced operators that can help narrow down your search results.

Intitle: at the beginning of a query word or phrase (intitle:”Three Blind Mice”) restricts your search results to just the titles of Web pages.

Intext: does the opposite of intitle:, searching only the body text, ignoring titles, links, and so forth. Intext: is perfect when what you’re searching for might commonly appear in URLs. If you’re looking for the term HTML, for example, and you don’t want to get results such as

http://www.mysite.com/index.html

, you can enter intext:html.

Link: lets you see which pages are linking to your Web page or to another page you’re interested in. For example, try typing in

link:http://www.pcmag.com

Try using site: (which restricts results to top-level domains) with intitle: to find certain types of pages. For example, get scholarly pages about Mark Twain by searching for intitle:”Mark Twain”site:edu. Experiment with mixing various elements; you’ll develop several strategies for finding the stuff you want more effectively. The site: command is very helpful as an alternative to the mediocre search engines built into many sites.

Swiss Army Google

Google has a number of services that can help you accomplish tasks you may never have thought to use Google for. For example, the new calculator feature

(www.google.com/help/features.html#calculator)

lets you do both math and a variety of conversions from the search box. For extra fun, try the query “Answer to life the universe and everything.”

Let Google help you figure out whether you’ve got the right spelling—and the right word—for your search. Enter a misspelled word or phrase into the query box (try “thre blund mise”) and Google may suggest a proper spelling. This doesn’t always succeed; it works best when the word you’re searching for can be found in a dictionary. Once you search for a properly spelled word, look at the results page, which repeats your query. (If you’re searching for “three blind mice,” underneath the search window will appear a statement such as Searched the web for “three blind mice.”) You’ll discover that you can click on each word in your search phrase and get a definition from a dictionary.

Suppose you want to contact someone and don’t have his phone number handy. Google can help you with that, too. Just enter a name, city, and state. (The city is optional, but you must enter a state.) If a phone number matches the listing, you’ll see it at the top of the search results along with a map link to the address. If you’d rather restrict your results, use rphonebook: for residential listings or bphonebook: for business listings. If you’d rather use a search form for business phone listings, try Yellow Search

(www.buzztoolbox.com/google/yellowsearch.shtml).

Extended Googling

Google offers several services that give you a head start in focusing your search. Google Groups

(http://groups.google.com)

indexes literally millions of messages from decades of discussion on Usenet. Google even helps you with your shopping via two tools: Froogle
CODE
(http://froogle.google.com),

which indexes products from online stores, and Google Catalogs
CODE
(http://catalogs.google.com),

which features products from more 6,000 paper catalogs in a searchable index. And this only scratches the surface. You can get a complete list of Google’s tools and services at

http://www.google.com/options/index.html

You’re probably used to using Google in your browser. But have you ever thought of using Google outside your browser?

Google Alert

(www.googlealert.com)

monitors your search terms and e-mails you information about new additions to Google’s Web index. (Google Alert is not affiliated with Google; it uses Google’s Web services API to perform its searches.) If you’re more interested in news stories than general Web content, check out the beta version of Google News Alerts

(www.google.com/newsalerts).

This service (which is affiliated with Google) will monitor up to 50 news queries per e-mail address and send you information about news stories that match your query. (Hint: Use the intitle: and source: syntax elements with Google News to limit the number of alerts you get.)

Google on the telephone? Yup. This service is brought to you by the folks at Google Labs

(http://labs.google.com),

a place for experimental Google ideas and features (which may come and go, so what’s there at this writing might not be there when you decide to check it out). With Google Voice Search

(http://labs1.google.com/gvs.html),

you dial the Voice Search phone number, speak your keywords, and then click on the indicated link. Every time you say a new search term, the results page will refresh with your new query (you must have JavaScript enabled for this to work). Remember, this service is still in an experimental phase, so don’t expect 100 percent success.

In 2002, Google released the Google API (application programming interface), a way for programmers to access Google’s search engine results without violating the Google Terms of Service. A lot of people have created useful (and occasionally not-so-useful but interesting) applications not available from Google itself, such as Google Alert. For many applications, you’ll need an API key, which is available free from
CODE
http://www.google.com/apis

. See the figures for two more examples, and visit

http://www.pcmag.com/solutions

for more.

Thanks to its many different search properties, Google goes far beyond a regular search engine. Give the tricks in this article a try. You’ll be amazed at how many different ways Google can improve your Internet searching.

Online Extra: More Google Tips

Here are a few more clever ways to tweak your Google searches.

Search Within a Timeframe

Daterange: (start date–end date). You can restrict your searches to pages that were indexed within a certain time period. Daterange: searches by when Google indexed a page, not when the page itself was created. This operator can help you ensure that results will have fresh content (by using recent dates), or you can use it to avoid a topic’s current-news blizzard and concentrate only on older results. Daterange: is actually more useful if you go elsewhere to take advantage of it, because daterange: requires Julian dates, not standard Gregorian dates. You can find converters on the Web (such as

CODE
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/JulianDate.html

excl.gif No Active Links, Read the Rules – Edit by Ninja excl.gif

), but an easier way is to do a Google daterange: search by filling in a form at

http://www.researchbuzz.com/toolbox/goofresh.shtml or http://www.faganfinder.com/engines/google.shtml

. If one special syntax element is good, two must be better, right? Sometimes. Though some operators can’t be mixed (you can’t use the link: operator with anything else) many can be, quickly narrowing your results to a less overwhelming number.

More Google API Applications

Staggernation.com offers three tools based on the Google API. The Google API Web Search by Host (GAWSH) lists the Web hosts of the results for a given query

(www.staggernation.com/gawsh/).

When you click on the triangle next to each host, you get a list of results for that host. The Google API Relation Browsing Outliner (GARBO) is a little more complicated: You enter a URL and choose whether you want pages that related to the URL or linked to the URL

(www.staggernation.com/garbo/).

Click on the triangle next to an URL to get a list of pages linked or related to that particular URL. CapeMail is an e-mail search application that allows you to send an e-mail to google@capeclear.com with the text of your query in the subject line and get the first ten results for that query back. Maybe it’s not something you’d do every day, but if your cell phone does e-mail and doesn’t do Web browsing, this is a very handy address to know.

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Online Ad Marketplace TRAFFIQ Scores $10 Million in Series B Funding

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: Internet Market, SEO | Tags: |

By Robin Wauters, Tech crunch

traffiqOnline advertising marketplace TRAFFIQ today announced it has closed a $10 million Series B round of venture funding from Grotech Ventures, Greenhill SAVP and Court Square Ventures.

The New York-based company, which operates a management platform designed to connect buyers and sellers of online media, had previously raised $7 million from the latter investor and says the extra capital will be primarily used to enhance its TRAFFIQ platform and accelerate the company’s sales and marketing efforts.

TRAFFIQ positions itself as different from ad networks or exchanges, in the sense that they offer an end-to-end platform that is capable of consolidating planning, RFP distribution, order execution, optimization and billing. Its solution is targeted primarily to larger ad agencies like Havas Digital, IMRE and AdStrategies and publishers like WhitePages.com, Scripps Network and ContextWeb. The service also boasts the inclusiong of reporting and free ad serving tools, as well as integration with common third-party ad-serving technologies like Atlas and DoubleClick’s DART.

The company claims “millions of dollars of campaign demand and billions of impressions” are currently available on its TRAFFIQ platform, although it didn’t go into specifics.

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Microsoft to shut down adCenter Analytics Beta

Posted on March 16, 2009. Filed under: Internet Market, Microsoft, SEO | Tags: , , , , , |

By Brad Linder, Downloadsquad

microsoft-ad-center

Microsoft is ending its adCenter Analytics Beta. The company is no longer accepting new users, although existing users will be able to access the service through the end of 2009. You’ll probably want to export your data by December 31st though, unless you’re cool with watching it all disappear.

Microsoft adCenter Analytics Beta was a bit of an answer to Google Analytics and other web analytics software although, as the name suggests, it was designed with advertising analytics in mind.

If you were an adCenter Analytics user, or even if you weren’t, Microsoft has provided a rather lengthy list of companies offering similar services, including Google Analytics, Omniture, and Yahoo! Web Analytics.

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Delver Gets Acquired by Sears

Posted on March 9, 2009. Filed under: Internet Market, SEO | Tags: , , |

By Roi Carthy, Techcrunch.com

delver_logoSocial search engine Delver, which we placed on death watch a month and a half ago has been acquired by Sears in a last minute play right out of left field.

Israeli business media is reporting that as part of the deal, Delver CEO Liad Agmon will move to Chicago where he will hold a title of VP at Sears Holdings. Delver itself will become an R&D center for Sears and will continue to develop its social graph search engine, as well as additional products. It is not clear what Sears wants to do with Delver. Perhaps it will turn it into a social product search engine, or maybe it just likes the idea of buying an Israeli R&D team on the cheap.

The purchase price is unknown but it’s safe to assume it could not be very high considering the company was literally days from being shut down. The bright side of course is that Delver’s remaining 20 employees will not join the unemployed in Israel.

The company has raised $4 million from a single investor, Carmel Ventures.

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Mobile Advertising Spend on the Way…

Posted on March 2, 2009. Filed under: Internet Market, SEO, Tech News | Tags: , , , |

By Jordan McCollum

While there are a multitude of reports having marketers bracing themselves for this recession, there are still a number of optimists who say that the best is yet to come. The Kelsey Group is one such optimist, reporting that mobile ad spend is on the way up, and mobile search will lead the way.

Their prediction? Over five years, mobile ad spend will increase 81.2% annually (compound growth rate), going from $160M last year to $3.1B (yes, billion) in 2013. Over the same period, mobile local search will grow from 1/8 of the total mobile spend to nearly half—from $20M to $1.3B, consistently constituting a little over half of the mobile search spend.

Usually, when I say “mobile marketing” (and even if I’m so specific as to say “mobile search marketing”), a lot of people take that to mean SMS (text message) marketing. While mobile marketing encompasses a lot more than just texting, SMS accounted for $100M of last year’s mobile ad spend according to Econsultancy, with mobile search generating $39M (including the $20M mentioned in local mobile search above) and display generating $20M.

However, in five years, the split will look vastly different:

mobileadspendkelsey

In 2013, search will account for $2.3 billion in spending. Mobile display ads will account for $567 million, with SMS advertising accounting for $270 million in spending.

Kelsey Group also predicts that local searches will see the greatest lift in mobile. Last year, 28% of mobile searches had local intent; by 2013 that proportion is expected to grow to 35%. Focusing on iPhones only, about 15% of mobile apps are local.

Right now, there are 54.5 million mobile Internet users in the United States, representing a quarter of the online population.

What’s your biggest take-home from these findings? Do they seem overly optimistic in our current economic climate, or do you think we’ll turn the economy around in time to see numbers like these?

Source: marketingpilgrim

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WebMynd Makes Your Search Engine Smarter With New Browser Plugin

Posted on March 2, 2009. Filed under: Internet Market, SEO | Tags: , , |

By Jason Kincaid

webmyndlogoWebMynd, a Y Combinator company that launched early last year, has released a new plugin that is looking to streamline the way you search. The plugin, which is available for Firefox and Internet Explorer, enhances the search results on most popular search engines by inserting a handy sidebar with related search results from a variety of other sites. You can test out a web-based version of the feature here, or download the plugin on the site’s homepage.

WebMynd isn’t the first browser plugin to offer complementary results from other sites, but what it lacks in originally it makes up for with its polished execution. After installing the plugin, users simply visit one of the supported search engines (which include Google, Yahoo, and Live Search), and search for a query as usual. The plugin inserts a handful of small widgets at the right hand of the screen, each of which includes the first few matches of the same query from sites like Twitter, Amazon, or Digg. Users can choose from over 25 different search sites that they’d like to include in their results. The inserted widgets take some getting used to, but in practice they’re surprisingly useful.

The Firefox version of the new plugin also incorporates WebMynd’s historical archiving technology, which was the company’s primary focus when it launched (The IE version doesn’t offer this yet, but it is on the way). The archiving feature allows users to search through a comprehensive history of the pages they’ve visited, including the full text of each recently visited page (users can choose to turn the feature off during the plug-in’s initial setup process or at any time down the line).

CEO Amir Nathoo says that the company plans to monetize the new search enhancement by offering a white-labeled version of the plugin. Companies are able to set their search results as the default widget in the sidebar, though users are still free to customize the widget with their favorite sites after installation. A branded version of the widget can be seen at Fluther.com, and WebMynd is currently seeking other partners.

enhancesearch

Source: techcrunch

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8-Word Search Queries Up 34,000% in Last 5 Years!

Posted on February 26, 2009. Filed under: SEO | Tags: , , , , , |

By Andy Beal

If a picture is worth a thousand words, we might want to start scanning-in images of what we’re trying to find on the search engines. As new data from Hitwise suggests, we’re gradually starting to use more & more keywords when conducting our search engine queries.

Hitwise compared January 2009’s data with last year’s, but I want to take you back farther in time–5 years in fact! Not that my memory goes back that far, but I did remember covering this data for my old blog: Search Engine Lowdown.

Here are the numbers from this year, with Feb 2004’s numbers in parentheses:

1-word searches = 20.29% (19.02%)

2-word searches = 23.65% (32.58%)

3-word searches = 21.92% (25.61%)

4-word searches = 14.89% (12.83%)

5-word searches = 8.68% (5.64%)

6-word searches = 4.65% (2.32%)

7-word searches = 2.49% (0.98%)

8-word searches = 3.43% (no one did 8-word searches in 2004!)

As you can see, there’s been a significant drop in the number of people using 2- and 3-word searches, while those using 5-words and above are becoming more common–likely from those of us that cut-and-paste large quantities of text into Google.

One interesting observation: the number of people using 1-word searches has remained surprisingly similar–in fact, showing a small increase in the past 5 years. This either means that the search engines are getting better at delivering relevant search results, or more “brand” searches are being made, or some of us are just committed to being lazy with our searching.

Source: marketingpilgrim

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Paid Search Just Got Visual: SearchMe Launches AdView Beta (Free Ads For First 500 Signups)

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Internet Market, SEO | Tags: , , , |

By Erick Schonfeld

searchme-mac-ad

What happens when you make paid search ads both relevant and visual? Searchme, the search engine startup which presents results as a stack of full-page previews that you can flip through, is hoping to find out with the beta launch of AdView. Its first foray into advertising, AdView is SearchMe’s version of AdWords, except that instead of selling of paid text links it will be interspersing into its results clickable previews of entire Webpages, videos, or other visual advertising.

If you are an advertiser and want to try it out, SearchMe is giving a free trial to the first 500 companies or individuals that sign up here. That’s right, you get to run a free ad campaign on SearchMe for 30 days.

To see how this works, search for “Ralph Lauren” and if you flip through to the third result, it will be an ad that shows a landing page for its fall collection. In other words, the Website becomes the ad itself. This approach is similar to what StumbleUpon does, with ads placed in every 20 or so Stumbles. But the ad unit can also be a YouTube video which can be played without leaving SearchMe. For instance, check out the third result when you search for “Mac” (SearchMe inserted one of the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads for demonstration purposes).

This could potentially be a very effective form of advertising. It is almost like a magazine ad where the ad is a Website. Advertisers who create visually appealing landing pages I suspect will do better. And it is also a potentially powerful way to target video ads, combining keyword targeting with a TV-like viewing experience. (Check out SearchMe’s own video commercial embedded below, which it plans to run as a TV spot)

SearchMe is not huge by any means, but it provides a nice sandbox to experiment with new types of advertising. Quantcast shows some decent growth over the past six months to about 3 million visitors in the U.S. That is certainly large enough to test the ROI for visual paid search. And its organic growth suggests that the idea could catch on. Certainly, it doesn’t hurt that Apple is training consumers to become comfortbale with the page-flipping metaphor. One of the key features of its just-released version of the Safari browser is a similar Coverflow-like treatment of bookmarked pages and browsing history.

searchme-quantcast

searchme-ralph-lauren-ad

Source: techcrunch

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Reunion.com And Wink Morph Into MyLife.com

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Internet Market, SEO, Tech News | Tags: , , , |

By Robin Wauters

When Reunion.com and Wink announced their merger in early October 2008, the company indicated that it would be relaunching under a different brand name and with a completely overhauled website in early 2009. That day has finally come, and henceforth the merged companies will live on as MyLife.mylife

The website for Reunion.com already redirects to MyLife.com, while dedicated people search engine Wink still has its own web presence. MyLife, however, already integrates Wink’s technology, which means the new hybrid social platform is now a full-fledged search engine which not only finds people—thanks to aggregated search across social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace—but also helps visitors connect with them all on the same site. On its company presentation page, MyLife boasts that it can locate over 750 million online profiles via its search index today.

Reunion.com has been getting decent traffic lately, rising to 15.4 million U.S. unique visitors and 18.2 million worldwide last month, according to comScore. Google Trends also paints a picture of continued growth, albeit almost exclusively for North America. That basically means MyLife is now effectively the fourth largest social network in the U.S. after Facebook, MySpace and Classmates.com, leaving behind a bunch of more talked-about companies like Bebo, LinkedIn, Digg and Imeem, if you compare comScore data for January 2009.

According to Founder and CEO Jeffrey Tinsley, Reunion grew 92% last year and its revenues for 2008 was somewhere in the vicinity of $52 million. Up until now, the company has raised $26.4 million in venture capital over two rounds, and it has used $6 million of this capital to acquire five companies to date (Wink, GoodContacts, MyAddressBook, Planet Alumni, and HighSchoolAlumni.com).

mylife-screen

Source: techcrunch

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Do You Want Your Search Experience Personalized?

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Google, SEO, Yahoo | Tags: , , |

By Chris Crum

In recent months, there has been a whole lot of talk about where search is going, and what search is lacking. This is commonplace for months encompassing the changing of years.

A big part of the discussion is personalized search. Many SEOs aren’t entirely thrilled with the idea. It changes the way they have to do things. Do searchers want it though?

According to Yahoo, one of the three major things searchers want is a personalized search experience. This is one of the topics discussed in this interview with Larry Cornett, VP, Consumer Products, Yahoo:

However, it is Google’s SearchWiki that has gotten the most attention when it comes to personalized search. Whether or not everybody uses SearchWiki’s features, Google feels like SearchWiki stands to make Google itself better.

At the recent SMX West show, SearchWiki manager Corey Anderson said that SearchWiki allows the company to conduct user studies in the field and crunch user feedback. For example, Google has discovered that a large fraction of users are attempting to re-find sites they previously visited.

It is still early in the year, and you can pretty much guarantee that there will be more advances made no the personalized search front. Do you as a search engine user want your experience to be more tailored to your own patterns and habits?

Source: webpronews

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Yahoo Launches Trio Of Tools For Advertisers

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Internet Market, SEO, Yahoo | Tags: , , |

By Mike Sachoff

Yahoo has introduced three new tools aimed at making it easier for advertisers to target users based on their online behavior.

Yahoo’s Search Retargeting tool allows advertisers to offer display ads to users based on searches for particular keywords on Yahoo.

The company’s Enhanced Retargeting tool offers personalized display ads to users who have recently visited an advertiser’s site. Yahoo says in a recent trial, an online travel company saw a 230 percent increase in total bookings and a 651 percent increase in click-through rate using its Enhanced Retargeting tool.

Yahoo Search Marketing will also introduce Enhanced Targeting that allows advertisers to offer ads based on the time of day and user demographics. The Enhanced Targeting tool is expected to launch in March.

Yahoo’s newest advertising offerings comes on the heels of its Rich Ads in Search initiative announced last week, that allows advertisers to add video, images and custom search boxes to their ads. The program is currently available to advertisers by invitation only.

“As the economy continues to put pressure on advertising budgets, marketers are looking for increased accountability for every dollar they spend,” said Michael Walrath, senior vice president, Advertising Marketplaces Group, Yahoo!.

“Yahoo!’s new targeting products significantly improve the ability for search and display advertisers to reach their target audience, providing increased efficiency and accountability.”

Source: webpronews

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Using Directories for Search Engine Reputation Management

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: SEO | Tags: , , , |

By Michael Gray

searchSearch engine reputation management (SERM) is a growing discipline under the larger umbrella of search engine optimization (SEO). If you deal with client services, and you don’t already have at least one reputation management client, chances are you will in the very near future. The more tools or options you have at your disposal for this type of project, the easier the task will be. In this article I’m going to look at one of those tools; directories.

Let’s take a high-level look at the concept, so we have a better idea of what we’re trying to accomplish. Getting a negative search engine listing taken down, removed, or changed, is a tricky process–with the potential to blow up in your face if you aren’t careful–so we’re going to assume it’s not a possibility. Your main goal then shifts to identifying positive SERP listings, and looking for ways to boost them above and displace the negative results to page two or beyond. This is where directory listings can come into play. Many companies or websites have listings in directories like Yahoo or Business.com, the problem is your listing is mixed-in on a page with other websites. Secondly the title of that page, which is one of your strongest on page SEO elements, is usually the category or sub-category name, making it practically useless. What you really need is your own page on that directory, with a title that you have some influence on.

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, unless the name of your company actually is “Buy Cheap Blue Widgets Online” chances are pretty slim that you’ll be able to get a page/listing with that type of title. Most directory owners are concerned about the overall quality of their website, and aren’t going to sacrifice themselves over the long-term to help you meet your short-term goals. In most cases you’ll be able to get your company name or your DBA name.

This is where knowing your space and looking for niche vertical directories can be very helpful, as they have a greater likelihood of having the type of setups you are looking for. Sometimes however that option don’t exist. If you are dealing with a client who has a physical presence, another option is a local directory like Local.Botw.org. When you sign up for a local directory listing you are placed in the local region for your business just like a normal directory. However, you also get an individual page like this one for Bridge Self Storage: http://local.botw.org/California/Richmond/Bridge_Self_Storage/10000136 65.html.

With an optimal title, on an optimized page, on a quality domain, it’s a piece of cake. Point a link from their company website, with their company name as anchor text. Point a few links from a few other websites and give it a little bit of time. You should be able to displace a less than favorable listing with one you control fairly quickly.

What if you are working on a reputation management project for a person not a company? The principle is still the same, but this time you are looking for a “business professional” directory. Two examples of this would be LinkedIn and VisualCV. To see this in action look at the SERP for Guy Kawasaki–you’ll see his LinkedIn page sitting at #9 and his VisualCV sitting at #11. The process of getting these pages to rank is the same, just link to them using a personal blog or company website with the person’s name as the anchor text, allow the links to age. Keep pointing link juice at them until they displace the negative listings.

Source: marketingpilgrim

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Google, Yahoo, Microsoft All Show Search Gains

Posted on February 20, 2009. Filed under: Google, Microsoft, SEO, Yahoo | Tags: , , , |

by Chloe Albanesius

Whether they’re searching for jobs or video clips of Britney Spears, Americans conducted 13.5 billion online searches at the core search engines in January, the majority of which were done via Google, according to Wednesday data from comScore.

About 63 percent of January searches were done through Google-owned sites, with 21 percent using Yahoo, and 8.5 percent using Microsoft sites.

Though Google’s core search ranking dropped slightly from 63.5 to 63 percent, overall Google sites – including YouTube – attracted 11.7 billion searches, up 5 percent from December. Yahoo saw a 10 percent increase with 2.9 billion searches, and Microsoft inched up about 9 percent with 1.2 billion.

For searches only on the main search page, Google.com attracted 8.5 billion hits, Yahoo.com had 2.8 billion, and MSN.com had 1.14 billion.

Though holiday sales helped boost Amazon’s earnings, its search engine did not fare as well, dropping 4 percent to 196 million searches.

Craigslist saw a 28 percent jump with 497 million searches, while eBay was up 8 percent with 541 million, and Facebook jumped 21 percent with 195 million.

Source: pcmag.com

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Yahoo 2.0: Richer ads and a tiny piece of Google’s audience

Posted on February 20, 2009. Filed under: Google, Microsoft, SEO, Yahoo | Tags: , , , |

by Sam Diaz

Yahoo is getting ready to throw richer advertisements – think video – into its search results page, bringing a much-needed facelift to the boring ads that are made up of a headline, a couple of lines of text and a link.

More importantly, Yahoo – now under new management – may be telling us that they’re not quite ready to sell off the search business to Microsoft, as has been suggested across the blogosphere for months. When new CEO Carol Bartz came on board last month, it was one of the first questions she faced.

Months ago, selling off search seemed to be the best thing that Yahoo execs could do. But, as Larry Dignan pointed out in a post following Yahoo’s second quarter earnings announcement, search may be the recession buffer for Yahoo.

But now, there’s new life in search advertising for Yahoo. The rich ads are still being tested by a handful of invited advertisers, such as Pedigree and Esurance. But now that the program is gearing up for a broader rollout, Yahoo is starting to pitch the benefits. The company says rich ads allow customers to:

•  Post images and video, which can increase the branding impact of search advertising. Pedigree has added video to its campaigns, for instance.
•  Create deep links to relevant pages, which can help drive conversions directly from the Yahoo! search results page.
• Include boxes within the listing that lets users search for their desired product or a store location directly without additional navigation. Esurance’s listing lets users enter their ZIP codes from the results page for insurance quotes.
•  Show their logo, which enhances user trust.

Mixing up that section of the search results page is a good idea. I love a good video and might be willing to click on one that’s part of an ad. If it’s really creative or funny, I might even share it with friends – which is what I already do with video, whether it’s an ad or not.

For Yahoo, there’s also that whole momentum thing. Comscore this week reported its U.S. search engine rankings for January 2009 and found that, while Google remains the leader, Yahoo saw strong growth from December to January in three categories – search share, search queries and expanded search queries – compared to Google.

For search share, Yahoo’s gain – only a mere 1/2 percent, mind you – was also Google’s loss: the same one half of one percent. In search queries, Yahoo gained 9 percent, compared to Google 6 percent. And in expanded search queries, Yahoo jumped 10 percent, compared to Google’s 5 percent.

I don’t know if that says something more about Google than it does about Yahoo. After all, even Microsoft saw better growth than Google.

Regardless, the gains aren’t huge and Yahoo’s rich ads still aren’t quite ready for widespread rollout. But, I have to say, it’s refreshing to see Yahoo news that has more to do with enhancing the company than it does with saving it.

Source: zdnet

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Yahoo Shows Search Ads With Images and Video

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: SEO, Yahoo | Tags: , , , , , |

By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD

Yahoo is introducing a new type of search advertising that integrates images and video in paid listings, the company plans to announce Thursday.

Search advertising typically shows only text advertisements and links. Marketers usually devote part of their online budget to search — which shows text-only advertisements and links — and part to display, the banner and box advertisements that show images or video.Yahoo

By introducing video and images, the new offering from Yahoo, called Rich Ads in Search, gives search some of the advantages of banner advertisements. “It moves the advertising experience from just the blue links, to a more engaging experience for advertisers,” said Tim Mayer, the vice president for search monetization and distribution at Yahoo.

Yahoo has been trying to win back paid search advertising from the market leader, Google. Yahoo’s market share in paid search has fallen from 13.8 percent in 2004, to 10.5 percent this year, according to the research firm eMarketer. In the same time period, Google’s market share has more than doubled, from 32.8 percent in 2004, to 67.7 percent this year.

Yahoo’s strength has been its display advertising, where it sells boxes and banners on its highly trafficked pages. However, as the recession has deepened, many advertisers have shifted money to search, which gives them direct, measurable results.

Yahoo’s fourth-quarter results, reported in January, reflected that change. Search revenue was up 11 percent, and display revenue was down 2 percent.

Yahoo has been testing its offering with advertisers like the dog-food company Pedigree. A search for “Pedigree” on Yahoo turns up a light-blue box at the top of the search-results page holding an image from a Pedigree commercial, which plays when clicked.

“Video is always more powerful than just words on the page,” said John Anton, the marketing director at Pedigree. “It’s definitely compelling to us to have options like this, where, when you type in ‘Pedigree,’ you get more than just the words, you get the video itself.”

Yahoo can also include images — a search for Staples results in a similar light-blue box with the company’s logo on the side. Or, it can include a search box within the light-blue space, asking the visitor to enter his ZIP code, then taking him to the section of the advertiser’s Web site that lists bank branches or car dealerships near him, for example.

“What the search results look like is a very different experience with rich ads in search versus the text link,” said Joanne Bradford, Yahoo’s senior vice president for revenue and market development in the United States. “There is consistency to the experience, which all advertisers want, and were unable to get until this point.”

Yahoo is charging a monthly fee for the service, versus the auction-based pricing of search advertising, which Mr. Mayer said Yahoo might use in the future. For now, it is allowing only certain large, brand-focused advertisers — which have existing commercials or logos — to participate in the program. SoBe, Pepsi and Home Depot were all part of the pilot program.

According to Yahoo, some advertisers in the pilot program saw an improvement by as much as 25 percent in click-through rates. Karin Blake, the senior search manager at the ad agency Razorfish, who tested the offering for some of her clients, saw slightly less significant results: she said her clients had a 5 to 10 percent increase in click-through rates compared with a regular text ad.

Still, the new type of search will probably be attractive to advertisers, who pay high prices to develop their commercials and logos, and want to be able to show those wherever they can.

“In a typical search landscape, you can’t utilize things like video and images, just because the nature of search listings is really text,” Ms. Blake said. “It does allow Yahoo to sort of put together a more robust offering.”

Ms. Blake said that “right now, there isn’t anything in the paid search landscape that either Google or Microsoft is offering” along these lines.

Even as Yahoo updates its search capabilities, it has been under pressure from Wall Street analysts to consider selling its search business to Microsoft. Recently, Microsoft’s chief executive, Steven A. Ballmer, has repeatedly expressed interest in such a deal.

Carol A. Bartz, the new chief executive of Yahoo, has not specified her plans for Yahoo’s search business.

“Maybe we should divest of some things, maybe we ought to focus a little more on the company,” she said in a conference call last month with investors. “So, yes, everything’s on the table,”

But, she added, “this is not a company that needs to be pulled apart and left for the chickens.”

Source: NYTimes

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Google Shows Healthy January Growth In U.S. Search Volume

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Google, SEO | Tags: , , , , , , , |

by Erick Schonfeld

Google saw healthy growth in the number of search queries on its core U.S. search engine in January, according to comScore qSearch numbers that came out last night. Google’s query growth rate was 38.4 percent, compared to January, 2008, outpacing the industry’s overall 28.6 percent growth in search queries. Any way you slice it, people are still doing more and more searches, which suggests that the search market is far from saturated.

Compared to December, Google’s query growth rate slowed down slightly (from 42.8%). Yahoo, on the other hand, is the one standout among the major search engines in that its annual growth in search queries accelerated from 17.2 percent in December to 21.6 percent in January. All the other search engines saw a slowdown. (See first table below).

This resulted in Yahoo gaining half a percentage point in overall query market share to 21.0 percent, while Google’s market share dropped by the exact same amount month-over-month to 63.0 percent. Compared to a year ago, however, Google’s market share is still up 4.5 percentage points. (See second table below).

Beyond the core search engines, YouTube generated an estimated 2.92 billion searches in January, up 68 percent from the year before, and slightly up 2.4 percent from December. YouTube represents 24.9 percent of Google’s total searches, and on its own is a s big as Yahoo.

Y/Y Growth In Core U.S. Search Queries, January 2009 (Source: comScore qSearch)

Google 38.4%
Yahoo 21.6%
Microsoft 11.3%
Ask 4.6%
AOL 1.1%

U.S. Core Search Share, January 2009 (Source: comScore qSearch)

Google 63.0% -0.5% m/m +4.5% y.y
Yahoo 21.0% +0.5% m/m -1.2% y/y
Microsoft 8.5% +0.2% m/m -1.3% y/y
AOL 3.9% -0.1% m/m -1.0& y/y
Ask 3.7% -0.2% m/m -0.8% y/y

Click on the image below for a larger table showing stats going back a full year (courtesy of Douglas Anmuth at Barclays Capital).

search-share-table-jan-08

Source: techcrunch

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Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL search up; Google down

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Aol, Google, Microsoft, SEO, Yahoo | Tags: , , , , , |

by Dawn Kawamoto

Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL each carved out a little more U.S. search market share in January, but Google still had the biggest piece of the pie, according to a report Wednesday by ComScore.

Yahoo Web sites accounted for 21 percent of the market (up half a percent) compared to the month before, while Microsoft grabbed an 8.5 percent slice (up 0.2 percent), and AOL nabbed 3.9 percent of the market (a 0.1 percent increase).

Google, while still holding the largest slice of the market by far, accounted for 63 percent of the search industry in January, down half a percent.

One interesting observation from Silicon Alley Insider is Yahoo’s consecutive five-month run in posting modest monthly gains in U.S. search market share.

In August, for example, Yahoo’s market share stood at 19.7 percent, according to SIA. But in the past five months, it has steadily grown, garnering more than a 1 point increase during that time.

Source: news.cnet.com

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