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SearchCap: The Day In Search, November 29, 2010

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

From Search Engine Land:

  • Google’s “Gold Standard” Search Results Take Big Hit In New York Times Story

    The New York Times has a great, detailed story out today about a merchant with an unusual marketing strategy: be mean to customers. Any publicity, even negative publicity, means a win with Google’s ranking algorithms. Is he right? Maybe. Certainly the story illustrates the fallacy of Google’s “gold standard” search results. Rank Well With Bad […]

  • Is Google “Hiding” Crucial AdWord Options?

    In the AdWords interface, hidden information and default opt-in settings work against the advertiser and make it hard for them to exert full control over paid search advertising campaigns. In fact, the interface sometimes feels like it’s designed in a way that it can appear to a casual observer that nothing is missing. Does that […]

  • SMN Webcast on Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) – Wednesday, December 1

    This Wednesday at Search Marketing Now, we’ll learn more about Demand Side Platforms (DSPs), the new tools that search marketers are using to manage multiple ad exchange accounts. Media buying and management of advertising exchange inventory via these DSPs has been quickly growing, presenting opportunities as well as resource challenges. Camille Ip, Client Services Manager […]

  • Google Agrees To Pay $3.5 Million In AdWords Settlement For Accidental Content Bids

    I just received an email from Google stating Google has proposed a settlement agreement amounting to a total of $3.5 million. Google said it would apply to any AdWords advertiser who accrued charges from Google after leaving the “CPC content bid” field empty when creating a new AdWords campaign. If their ad was displayed on […]

  • Bing Busts Out An Early Look At Most Popular Search Trends In 2010

    It’s not even December yet, and already at least one of the search engines is ready to get a jump on the annual round up of the things we searched for most in 2010. Today, Bing sent over a brief list for us to preview their most popular overall searches, tallied from the last 11 […]

  • Space To The Street With Google Earth 6 — Plus 3D Trees

    Google Earth 6 is being introduced today. It includes a number of significant upgrades and improvements. Specifically, Street View has been more deeply integrated into Earth. Users now can fly “seamlessly” from space to the street wherever Google has Street View imagery. Interestingly, Google is also introducing 3D trees to make Google Earth’s 3D environments […]

  • SphinnCon Israel Agenda Now Live

    I am really excited to announce we have posted the SphinnCon Israel agenda today. The small SEO/SEM event takes place on Sunday, January 9, 2011 in Jerusalem, Israel. We do have seats available, so if you are going to be in the region or want to plan a vacation out of it, you can register […]

  • 3 Important Ecommerce Trends To Watch

    The web is shifting rapidly, again. Search has seen accelerated growth over the last two years, at a quicker clip than any time over the last ten. This has been fueled primarily by innovations at Google. However, Bing is also pushing innovation rapidly and was cited by Google CEO Eric Schmidt as, their “biggest problem” […]

  • Rumor: Google Buys Groupon Deal In $2.5 Billion Deal

    Over the past week, there has been many rumors that Google would be making a buy-out offer to Groupon, the popular local deals site. Those rumors have heated up this morning, with Vator.tv reporting the deal has closed, with Google buying Groupon for $2.5 billion. Google or Groupon has yet to confirm the deal but […]

  • New Google China Dilemma: Get Maps License Or Get Lost

    Google must get a license to operate Google Maps in China or risk state action against the company. According to Computerworld, “China will investigate and prosecute Google next July” if it doesn’t obtain the necessary license to continue operating its mapping service. The purpose of the mapping license regulations is ostensibly to “prevent security leaks […]

  • Local Search: Fish Where The Other Fishermen Aren’t

    Most businesses tend to focus on the big channels when it comes to local SEO efforts. While it makes sense to optimize your Google Place Page and pay attention to your presence on other big local search services (e.g. Bing Local, CityGrid, DexKnows, Insider pages, Local.com, Merchant circle, Superpages, Yahoo Local, Yellow book, Yelp, YP.com, […]

  • Apple TV: My First Day Review & Impressions

    I’ve been looking at various internet-to-TV devices as part of my Life With Google TV series. I’ve covered Google TV, Roku & Boxee Box so far. Time for Apple TV! If you buy a lot with iTunes or have an iPhone or iPad, this is a great device. Amazing, in some ways. But the lack […]

  • Where Is Search Going: Yahoo’s Sashi Seth

    I’m continuing my look at what search might look like in the future with this first part of a fascinating interview with Shashi Seth, the Senior VP of Search Products at Yahoo. With the recent Bing arrangement, Yahoo now finds themselves in an interesting position in the search game. Now that Yahoo search results are […]

  • Tis The Season To Sell Your Management On SEO

    Chances are you’re totally unprepared for the holiday season. It’s probably not your fault—the business just de-prioritized things all year, and here you are, too late to make up for lost time. Your rankings aren’t what you hoped for. Your landing pages are weak and unfocused. Your cart process is cumbersome and drops customers like […]

Search News From Around The Web:

Applications & Portal Features

Business Issues

Local, Maps & Mobile

Link Building



Social Media

Video, Music & Image Search

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

  • What Is "Advanced" SEO? – A survey over at SEOMoz showed that the big winner for what Advanced SEO actually is, was "Technical SEO" with 57% of the votes. "SEO Secrets" was next with 18% of the vote. What is your definition?
  • Call to Action Buttons: Top Tactics for Better Results – Interesting things on the form factor, colour and wordning of the buttons and it's influence on the CTA
  • Sorry, “Crazy Bully” Isn’t a Long-Term Business Strategy – Lisa takes a look at the NYT story covering the "Crazy Bully" that is achieving great rankings in Google because of the high number of negative reviews he's received – and cautions against assuming this is a good tactic. Is all publicity actually good publicity for a business? From the article – "… the quickest way to get someone to notice you is to start throwing things and wait for onlookers to come wondering what all the noise is about. However, those people aren’t customers. They’re rubbernecks. And Borker’s attempts to earn notoriety appear just as unsuccessful as the shock jock bloggers who have come before him. He may have just gotten some coverage – but is he making any money or growing a business? All signs point to no."
  • 3 Important Ecommerce Trends To Watch – Adam Audette's excellent post where he offers SEO insights into the current trends affecting ecommerce sites.
  • Usability testing is broken: Rethinking user research for social interaction design – How many of you have run usability tests that look like this: "Individual, one-hour sessions, in which the participant is performing one or more tasks from a scenario that you and your team have come up with, on a prototype, using bogus or imaginary data. It’s a hypothetical situation for the user, sometimes, they’re even role-playing."? You?Read this piece from the desk ofDana Chisnell, it seems your approach is somewhat outdated.
  • Exact Match Domains for SEO – Value Decreasing? – There has been a recent increase in discussion regarding the value of exact match domains. This has primarily been stirred up as Matt Cutt’s was recently referenced at Pubcon as saying Google was looking into the value of exact match domains
  • Eight Things I'm Sick Of In Social Media – A humorous but insightful look at eight things about social media that make Augie Ray from Forrester Research sick. Do you agree with his assessments?
  • When Angry Customers & Bad Reviews = Good SEO – Here's a story that may make your blood boil, and is bound to fascinate you one way or another. An online retailer aggressively courts negative reviews and publicity, threatens customers, and much more, all because it helps him rank better in Google. From the piece: "Online chatter about DecorMyEyes, even furious online chatter, pushed the site higher in Google search results, which led to greater sales. He closed with a sardonic expression of gratitude: 'I never had the amount of traffic I have now since my 1st complaint. I am in heaven.'"
  • Q-n-A Answer Farms Win the 2010 Spam of the Year Award – Aaron Wall takes on Ask.com and other sites which are creating sections/subdomains of their site for — as he shows — pretty low-quality, spammy content in the same style as Mahalo.
  • Facebook Messages: The Worst Thing That Ever Happened – FaceBook is coming out with a new messaging system which, according to this article, you may not like.
  • Link Building with Google Alerts: A Guide – Google Alerts are the most powerful, fresh way to find new link building targets on the internet. Why aren't you using them?
  • Multivariate Testing in Action: Five Simple Steps to Increase Conversion Rates – Most websites do not exist just to impress visitors.Most websites exist to make a sale.This articletalks abouthow to tweak a website for generating more sales, downloads, membership (or any other business goal) in a scientific manner, using A/B split and multivariate testing.
  • Homeland Security Seizes Control of Domains – Over the thanksgiving holiday the US Homeland Security Department seized control of over 40 names. While some of these sites where operating torrents or had information about torrents, others where allegedly sellingcounterfeitgoods. This represents a potentially dangerous new direction as thegovernmentis seeking more control with the proposedCombating Online Infringements And Counterfeits Act (COICA) legislation.
  • Promoting Your Company on LinkedIn Just Got Easy (Kind of) – An in-depth tutorial on how to claim your business listing on LinkedIn to help build your brand through recommendations and more.

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