- How Google Made $37.9 Billion in 2011
How does Google make money? A new analysis by Wordstream looks at who contributed the most to Google’s 2011 revenues, based on keyword, search query, and CPC data, and reveals which industries and businesses spent the most on advertising.
- Chinese New Year 2012: Google & Search Engines Welcome Year of the Dragon
January 23 is Chinese New Year, and heralds the Lunar New Year of the Water Dragon. The dragon is perceived as a mystical and auspicious creature in Chinese cultures and this year is expected to bring prosperity and transformational change.
- 7 Tips for Landing Page Greatness
Creating a great landing page is a critical step in the conversion funnel. By viewing the page as a speed bump in the conversion process rather than an information dump, you’ll find users will be inclined to move onto the next step.
- Is Your Facebook Ad Image Worthy of People’s Attention?
If your Facebook ads could talk, they’d probably scream “LOOK AT ME!” But they can’t, leaving it up to you to do a good job of grabbing as much attention as possible. Here are four elements to help you create visually stunning Facebook ads.
- Is Your Link Strategy Selfish?
The pursuit of links is far too often a highly selfish process. It’s all about your target keywords, your business model, and your rankings. Getting over your selfish goals and thinking about what others want is where actual innovation comes from.
- Tablet Visitors Spent 54% More Than Smartphone Visitors in 2011
The study pointed to two reasons why tablet visitors may be more valuable than those using smartphones, laptops, desktops: tablet users are more affluent than those using other devices, plus the devices may be more conducive to shopping.
- Twitter to Acquire News Aggregator Summify
To boost its news management capabilities, Twitter will acquire Summify, a site which allows users to collect and summarize news items into a single visual feed. The service deliver the news feeds as a web page, email message, or mobile application.
- Fifth Annual Doodle 4 Google Contest Kicks Off
Children in grades K-12 in the U.S. are invited to enter the fifth annual Google’s Doodle 4 Google contest. The theme for this year’s contest is “If I could travel in time, I’d visit…” and this year Google will name a winner from every state.
- Facebook Would Like to Launch IPO in May
Facebook is reportedly planning to launch its initial public offering (IPO) in the third week of May of this year. Facebook’s IPO would be the largest from a techn company in recent years, with recent valuations reaching as high as $100 billion.
- Google Slowed Crawl Rate to Aid Websites Protesting SOPA
Bing may have seen a bit of a boost in the fresh results department as a result of their slightly faster crawl rate on SOPA Blackout day, while GoogleBot slowed down substantially. Plus, a new infographic shows just how many users were affected.
- New Mobile AdWords Targeting Options: WiFi & OS Version
Google AdWords advertisers can now target campaigns to mobile devices that have a high-speed WiFi connection. Advertisers can also now target specific versions of operating systems on iOS, Android, and WebOS. Here’s how to take advantage.
- New Gmail, YouTube, Blogger Users Join Google+ by Default
In another move designed to get Google product users into their identity provider program, Google now requires all new Google account users, including those signing up for GMail and YouTube, to register a Google+ account.
- The Decision Engine is Dead: Now Bing is For Doing
Bing is evolving. Emphasis on the “ing.” Microsoft’s search engine is ditching the “decision engine” label and rebranding with a new message: Bing is for doing. And Bing is no doubt hoping that the rebranding will stop people from Googling.
- Google’s New Page Layout Update Targets Sites With Too Many Ads
Is your website ad heavy? You may be in trouble. Google has announced a new algorithm tweak that will lower the rankings of websites that Google determines is providing a bad user experience – a move Google hinted was in the works in November.
- Tools to Monitor Online Reputation Across Different Languages
The Internet has provided unprecedented opportunities and opened new markets for businesses, but misinformation and rumors can spread quickly, making reputation management extremely tricky – especially when you throw in a multilingual aspect.
- Google Reports Q4 2011 Earnings, $10.58 Billion in Revenue; 90M Google+ Users
Google revenues topped $10 billion for the first time, but it wasn’t good enough for investors, who were let down by the numbers that came in $300 million below analyst estimates (after subtracting ad commissions). Profit grew to $2.71 billion.
- Google Protest Adds 4.5 Million SOPA Opponents
By blacking out its logo and urging its users to “Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!” Google yesterday added 4.5 million names to a petition opposing controversial anti-piracy bills SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act).
- AdWords Search and Display Networks Will Soon Get Impression Share Metrics
Google will soon add impression share metrics for its search and display networks – a long awaited addition. Impression share is the percentage of impressions you received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive.
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The ability for brands to create their own Google+ page was a reality in late November.
There are any number of reasons to create a G+ business page for your business. To add to the obvious, Google is doing its very best to promote those business pages and they’re popping up everywhere. Now every time you search for a major brand that has a Google+ page you will see that they’ve jumped on the bus and are making as many Google connections as possible.
As you can see in the image above, the Google+ page for brands are getting a lot of attention in the SERPs. You can now add a business page to a circle, or shows you the circle the page is already in, you see the most recent post and even the most recent photos added to the page. Yes, all of this right in the search results.
Google+ is not Facebook and it never will be. It’s not better or worse – it’s completely different. The simple truth is – if you’re trying to rank within Google then joining Google’s social network Google+ is a must. They’re integrating it into everything. It’s in the search results, Place Pages, AdWords and if it hasn’t yet it will be mingled into every aspect of Google’s networks that make sense.
When you do get your G+ business page set up and ready for visitors the very next step is to link to it. You can do this easily by creating a blog post to announce your G+ addition or just linking it to from the homepage of your Web site. No matter how you decide just be sure this happens. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the time it takes to get your G+ showing up in the results by taking this very simple step.
Google has created and released Google Data API that allows users to download search query data in CSV format using Python script from the webmaster-tools-downloads project. This project was designed to make it easier for users to download their data. Google plans on releasing this type of functionality to the Webmaster Tools API in the near future, but this should hold people over for now.
To get you started Google has a quick tutorial on how to download and install what you need, and then create a spreadsheet that is sent to Google Documents automatically. Here is how to use the Python script.
- If Python is not already installed on your machine, download and install Python.
- Download and install the Google Data APIs Python Client Library.
- Create a folder and add the downloader.py script to the newly created folder.
- Copy the example-create-spreadsheet.py script to the same folder as downloader.py and edit it to replace the example values for “website,” “email” and “password” with valid values for your Webmaster Tools verified site.
- Open a Terminal window and run the example-create-spreadsheet.py script by entering “python example-create-spreadsheet.py” at the Terminal window command line:
- python example-create-spreadsheet.py
- Visit Google Docs to see a new spreadsheet containing your search queries data.
If you’d like to simply download the .csv file without uploading the data to a Google spreadsheet you can use the example-simple-download.py instead of example-create-spreadsheet.py from the above example.
Google has stated that you could easily configure these scripts to do automatic downloads weekly or monthly if you wanted. Google has also made a point of noting that this script will contain username and password information. So, if you plan on using it in a production environment you should pull that information from a secure database in encrypted format.
Efficient Frontier and Macquarie Capital have released a report which makes the prediction that mobile search will make up 22% of search revenue by the end of 2012. As of right now, there is a suggested pattern that mobile search has and will continue growing 300% each year with no reason in to slow down.
Okay – mobile is important, you understand that and now you’ve got the numbers (and clever graph) above to support that statement. This isn’t news to you and with our last two featured articles you have the information laid out on how to detect and seamlessly redirect mobile users.
Well, not surprisingly, Google is taking the initiative to get their hands into the mobile game with the release of GoMo. Short for Go Mobile, the howtogomo.com site created by Google has several features to help you create a site for mobile devices.
- Mobile View – shows you what your site will look like on a mobile device, and then gives you a customized report on how to improve your site.
- Mobile Info – shows you why mobile sites matter and mobile trends
- Great Examples – shows you sites that are using good mobile site practices, and a list of best mobile site practices.
- Find a Mobile Site Dev – shows you a list of mobile site developers who can help you develop a mobile site.
As you can see from this list – there are some cool features to tap into. Great examples and the ability to see any site in different mobile browsers is a plus.
On the other hand I’m sure we’ve already convinced you of the importance of mobile sites. That plus the guides on creating a mobile site published on SearchEngineNews.com above you don’t need to be put into contact with a mobile developer.
However, if you do decide to outsource this project we recommend that you still read our guides. This will ensure that you understand the process, know what questions to ask and know exactly what you’re paying for.
Here’s a Google video with no real content but it does have a cartoon-cute way of saying ‘mobile is important’.
- Search Engines & Opinions: Just How Trustworthy Are Search Results?
Search results on Google, Bing, and elsewhere hold immense power and are becoming extremely influential – especially when few question the accuracy of results. Influencing public opinion can also be very lucrative. Enter SEOs to aid the cause.
- 7 Creative Ways Your Brand Can Use Pinterest
Looking for a way to spark interest and engage with customers? Pinterest may be your solution. With a bit of creativity and research you’re bound to find a way to use the new platform. Here are a few ways some brands can use Pinterest.
- Why Search Marketers Must Use AdWords Ad Extensions
In the world of SEM, you have to juggle many methods to make sure a PPC account is running efficiently. Throwing Ad Extensions into that mix will add an extra edge to any PPC account. Let’s review AdWords Ad Extensions and why you should use them.
- Facebook Launches 60 New Timeline Apps
Facebook has just announced the launch of 60 new Open Graph apps, or apps with expanded capabilities. It’s the next step in the Timeline & Open Graph evolution that began last summer at the f8 Developer’s Conference.
- SOPA Explained: Why It’s Bad for the Web & How to #StopSOPA
Rep. Lamar Smith promises to revive the SOPA bill in February. Here’s what has happened to date, who created the piracy problem, how SOPA affects marketers and website owners, where we are now, and how you can join the #StopSOPA movement.
- Marty Weintraub to Keynote at SES Accelerator in San Diego
The SES Conference & Expo will hold a one-day event in San Diego, the SES Search and Social Accelerator, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9. Learn from top experts in sessions covering the latest in search, social, and analytics.
- Average Viewer Watched 23.2 Hours of Online Video Content in December
According to comScore, 182 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in December 2011 for an average of 23.2 hours per viewer. The amount of time spent viewing videos has increased 58.9 percent in the past 12 months.
- Google’s Call to Action: Tell Congress to Vote NO on #SOPA
To call attention to two bills that would result in massive web censorship and hurt American businesses, Google today has carried through on its promise to protest SOPA and PIPA by blacking out its logo and urging a call to action.
- 5 Local-Mobile Recommendations for the Pay Per Call Comeback
With increasing mobile adoption among consumers and advertisers alike, advertisers and publishers have a renewed opportunity to leverage pay per call and ensure a sound local mobile strategy for attracting and retaining targeted mobile customers.
- 5 Things That Haven’t Changed Online Since 1997 & 5 Lessons for Marketers
Things have evolved and changed, but the Internet is the same as it always was and is a society evolving. Facebook is the new portal, Google is the new AOL, Twitter is the new chat room, forums still rule, and search engines will never be perfect.
- 10 Elements of a Perfectly Optimized Page
One area that search engines have made a number of significant advancements in recent years is in how they evaluate content on a website. So what does a perfectly optimized page look like in 2012? Let’s look at 10 elements.
- Jerry Yang Quits Yahoo!
Jerry Yang is leaving Yahoo, the company he co-founded with David Filo in 1995. Yang’s resignation from the Yahoo board of directors and all other positions with the company, effective today, was announced via a press release minutes ago.
- Google to Protest SOPA on Home Page Tomorrow
Millions of people visiting Google’s home page tomorrow will be greeted with a link demonstrating the company’s opposition to controversial anti-piracy bill SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, as other sites plan for a complete blackout.
- Google Dominates Global Paid Search as 2011 Holiday Online Shopping Sets New Records
2011 saw the biggest retail e-commerce holiday spend in history, totalling $37.2 billion, with paid search budgets and CTRs up significantly over 2010. Google dominated the global paid search market but lost ground to Baidu in the APAC region.
- Twitter Enhanced Profile Pages: Brands Share Wins & Tips
A recent eye tracking study offered a look at user reactions to elements of brand pages on Twitter, including Promoted Tweets, embedded media, and the new header images. Bing and Coca-Cola share their experience with the new format
- How to Win the PPC Championship
In PPC, it’s great to grab one of the premium positions above the search results – but you can still score (i.e. convert) even if you’re in a side position. So what keeps PPC advertisers from crossing the 50-yard line of search and scoring?
- Newest International SEO Challenge: Hreflang & Canonical Tags
Google is telling us that we should use a regional subtag on each URL to help Google’s spider figure out what kind of content is on each page and where it is intended. Google will then consider that the content is intended for that region.
- 10 Reasons to Use Foursquare Explore for Personalized Local Searches
Foursquare recently announced “Explore”, their new web-based tool that takes geosocial and local search to a new level and goes beyond mobile check-ins for badges and mayors. Check out these enticing perks that come along with the new features.
- Social Networks Show Deeper Penetration, More Trust in Emerging Markets
A compilation of studies from eMarketer, PEW, and region-specific groups has examined social network use and trust for regions around the world. Emerging markets approaching more common internet access both used and trusted social networks more.
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Google has introduced a new crawler called “Smartphone Googlebot-Mobile” that is basically just the smart phone version of the mobile crawler they already have. The new user agent looks like the following:
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7 (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)
The new crawler will help Google find content specifically made for smartphones as well as smartphone redirects. According to Google, if a site is redirecting smartphone users (including this new bot), Google will list the mobile site in the search results for the URL instead of the desktop site. So far we have not seen this working as of January 3rd, 2012 in search results where it should be showing up. No word on exactly when it will be implemented.
What Google hasn’t said is which site will be listed in the search results, the m.domain.com or the www.domain.com in regards to the site title and description. Without seeing a working example and no futher information from Google on the subject, this is all in question at this point. We are seeing that when using a smartphone to view Google search results, if you click the preview icon to the right of the listing, Google is indeed showing the Mobile site for those that do redirect Mobile users. However, the listed URL hasn’t changed yet.
Google does believe listing the end URL instead of the desktop site will save smartphone users anywhere from .5 to 1 second on average because they won’t have to go through the redirect.
Airline company KLM is introducing Social Seating in early 2012 as an attempt to jazz up the travel experience by using social media data.
With the use of social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, KLM is giving passengers the choice of picking a seat mate that may be around the same age or that may have similar interests to make the trip more enjoyable.
For those that may be concerned about creepers or those wanting to abuse the program KLM is making this new service optional to passengers and will require an electronic consent from all passengers wanting to participate in Social Seating.
- 5 Stages of Coping with Loss of Search Query Data
Living with loss can be hard. After Google sufficiently handcuffed the Internet marketing world by choosing to default to SSL search for signed-in users, it removed the ability to track referring keywords… and a piece of my heart. There is no do…
- Metacafe Morphs into Entertainment Network for M.E.N.
Metacafe, a website that specializes in short-form video entertainment in the categories of movies, video games, sports, music, and TV, has morphed into the Metacafe Entertainment Network, or M.E.N.
To meet growing demand for premium short-form …
- Google Doodle Honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Google today, on the 26th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States, is honoring the holiday and legacy of the preacher of nonviolent activism with a special Google Doodle.
King is most known for the “I Have a Dream…
- The End of Link Building as We’ve Known and Loved it
The process has already started, and as a publisher you need to make sure you are adapting your marketing strategy to line up, or get left behind.
Google made the link building algorithm popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was a revolu…
- Google Earth Funds Sea Turtle Tracking Project and Game
Through the use of the Google Earth API technology and a grant given to the sea turtle conservation network WIDECAST, Google is funding the tracking of a sea turtle named Jklynn as she follows an ancestral path to create nests across the Carribean…
- comScore: Bing Takes No. 2 Spot From Yahoo in December 2011
Bing is finally the No. 2 search engine in the U.S., according to the latest figures from comScore. Bing which launched in June 2009 with an 8.4 percent search engine market share, now accounts for 15.1 percent of searches.
As Yahoo dropped…
- The Google/Microsoft Comparison: Industry Reaction to Antitrust Debate
The Electronic Privacy Information Center is considering filing an FTC complaint, even after two of the senators involved in the first subcommittee investigation suggested an FTC investigation last month. Google has cherry-picked positive quotes f…
- Search Quality & Twitter’s Outrage: Industry Reaction to Google Changes
Google’s new personalized search has segments of the tech world in an uproar. Twitter is ticked and released a statement that said, in part:
We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be…
- Rank for Anything You Want on Google Search Plus Your World
After reading a number of complaints about the quality of results and how often Google+ pages were featured in the Top 3 positions in the new personalized search, I reached out to the SEW authors community and had a bit of fun testing out Search P…
- Are Google’s "New Features" Really That New?
Last week, Google’s Inside Search blog announced a recap of 30 different search quality improvements it made in December, 21 of which were improvements that were specifically new to Google. However, looking through the list, it seems that some of …
- Google ‘Search Plus’ and Our Ever Decreasing Circles
Earlier this week Google rolled out Search Plus Your World. In short, this development features personalized results from your contacts – which may be images, shared posts, or pages that have been given a +1 by your contacts; or even pages o…
- 7 Social Media & SEO Tactics Businesses Will Adopt in 2012
What will happen in the year ahead? I’m no fan of making predictions, but there are some major social media tactics that we can expect to affect businesses in 2012. Some of these tactics already have been adopted by select companies, but thi…
- Google’s Encrypted Search Data: A Cure for Vision Loss?
It’s January, and all the industry pundits are buzzing with their biggest and boldest predictions of what’s in store for the year. But let’s talk about what we’re not going to see in 2012: the return of user search que…
- Search Industry Call to Arms: SOPA, Keyword Not Provided and Lying SEOs
Mike Essex hopes to spur SEOs into action with recommendations for protesting eight issues outlined in his video What Every SEO Has to Fight For in 2012. Koozai’s Online Marketing Manager has put together a wish list of items he wants the co…
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It appears Google Wallet is running into a little competitive resistance from the US wireless carrier Verizon who recently decided to block the service from their devices.
Though Verizon sited security concerns behind the reason, it’s much more likely that they have a financial interest in mind. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are all currently heavily invested in a joint mobile venture called ISIS that would indeed compete against Google Wallet. Though ISIS isn’t a product yet, it’s expected to show up in trial format within the next year or so.
Since AT&T and T-Mobile are also investors in ISIS, don’t expect Google Wallet to show up on their devices anytime soon. Right now only Sprint isn’t an ISIS investor and currently their Nexus S is the only device with Google Wallet.
So 2011 is over and out, and we’re looking forward to another year in search. At the beginning of 2011 Google was a very different place. Search looked different, there was no site preview feature, we were still using Buzz because there was no Google+, and Google had just attempted to buy Groupon for a couple billion dollars before deciding to just create their own version.
For a great overview of search in 2011, Google’s Zeitgeist has compiled several top 10 lists from 2011, the most prominent of which is the fastest growing global search trends of 2011, meant to capture the spirit of 2011 in search form.
The list is as follows:
- 10. iPad2
- 9. Steve Jobs
- 8. The Japanese nuclear powerplant crisis as a result of the tsunami.
- 7. Adele
- 6. iPhone 5
- 5. Battlefield 3
- 4. Casey Anthony
- 3. Ryan Dunn
- 2. Google+
- 1. Rebecca Black
We’re not sure if this list is supposed to be interesting, exciting, or depressing. At a glance it’s a semi-nostalgic overview that reminds us of all the ups, downs, and whatever random horrible fad (think the Macarena and Rebecca Black) was of the last year. After some consideration however, the list shows us that minor celebrities, electronics, video games, and social networking are very high priorities in the search universe, and of course our society.
For example, the death of a visionary like Steve Jobs is only ranked at #9 on the list, but a minor celebrity like Ryan Dunn, a guy from the Jackass show and movies (who put a toy car in his anus so he could get an x-ray of it) is #3, and where is the ‘death of Osama Bin Laden’, or Kim Jung Il?
While we can appreciate that people searched so much for information about the tsunami and the nuclear power plant that was heavily damaged in the disaster, but what about the revolution in Egypt? Or perhaps the people from nearby countries that were inspired by the Egyptian revolution to start their own like Libya? These are global trends aren’t they?
We only have one answer to all those questions: Rebecca Black. Think about it (please don’t). Of course none of this is Google’s fault, and the graphs and information are all pretty cool, so check them out!