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mbzrxpgjys - Bing Copies Google - The Bing Sting - But Who Cares

The newswires are today reporting that Google is accusing Bing of copying their results. In a ridiculously dorky plot, Google spent months developing a Bing sting operation. They created random words such as "mbzrxpgjys" or "hiybbprqag" that had no legitimate matches on Bing or Google searches.  Google then it created its own "honeypot page" (yes, they actually called it a honey pot page! lol) with Research in Motion at the top of the page.

Within a couple of weeks Research in Motion began appearing at the top of Bing searches for mbzrxpgjys. The following screenshot illustrates the search results for mbzrxpgjys on Bing and Google: Stefan Weitz, director of the Bing search engine at Microsoft, admitted in an interview that the company studies how certain users interact with Goog... > Read more

February 02, 2011     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 4

Google Changes Algorithm to Appease Media ... Or Not

On Black Friday, the New York Times ran one if its oh-so-savvy pieces about Google, demonstrating once again its deep understanding of SEO. </sarcasm> The article, titled "A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web," tells the story of DecorMyEyes, an eyeglasses business with an ungrammatical brand and a bad attitude.

The owner, whose name, believe it or not, is Vitaly Borker, claims that horrible service – we're talking criminally bad – is his business strategy, because (ex-)customers leave negative reviews on the Internet, driving up his rankings: "I never had the amount of traffic I have now since my 1st complaint. I am in heaven." Danny Sullivan did a long write-up of the article, calling it "great." But I was immediately suspicious of the NYT bla... > Read more

December 03, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 1

Google Insights for Search Categories Are Largely Useless

Seeing as 2010 is winding to a close, I had the idea to do a sort of year in review for keywords, using Google Insights for Search to find patterns in the year's keyword trends. However, I got so distracted by the screwed up categories, I abandoned the post. Instead I'm just going to complain about how useless they are.

When you filter your Google Insights results for a given time period (I used 2010), the default results call into "all categories," but you can further sort those into 27 (by my rough count) categories, including "Business," "Entertainment," "News & Current Events," "Shopping," "Sports," and so on – sounds potentially useful, right? Unfortunately, whatever method they're using to sort the rising search qu... > Read more

December 01, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 1

Google Launches Instant Previews

Yesterday Google launched a new feature in Instant Search: Google Instant Previews. When this feature is activated, you can click the magnifying glass icon to the right of a search result to view a pop-up preview of the page before clicking through. It appears that the preview is sometimes an accurate representation of the page, as above; in other instances Google will remove and/or magnify a portion of the page to show relevancy, as below: The pop-out quotes show where the keyword ("civet coffee") appears on the page.

 On this particular SERP, Google altered the appearance of the preview for about half the results on the first page. It's not entirely clear what governs this. Will this affect the behavior of the typical Google user? It's hard to say what impact this will ha... > Read more

November 10, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 3

A Google Sandwich with Google on the Side

As I went through the blog rounds this week collecting interesting links, I noticed a pattern: everything was turning up Google. Not exactly shocking in the search industry, I know. But for some reason this week seemed especially Googley. Here are some of the many Google stories I read this week. First up, Google has made a significant change to its local search results pages called "Place Search.

" According to Google, "We've clustered search results around specific locations so you can more easily make comparisons and decide where to go." As Patrick Altoft puts it, Google is phasing out organic search results for local queries, giving local results all the prime real estate: "The impact of this change is that in the long term any site that doesn’t have a physical address in the location... > Read more

October 29, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 4

Google is Testing New Sitelinks

It appears that Google is testing a new sitelinks format in the SERPs. I haven't seen this mentioned before in the blogosphere and it's the first time I've seen this new format so it's new to me. Anyway, I'm only seeing the new format with branded/navigational queries. With the new sitelinks format, Google has rolled up paired listings along with multiple domain and subdomain listings for a brand into a new expanded sitelinks format.

Here's one for "WordStream" And here's one for "Compete" At first blush, I'm a little torn as to whether I like it or not. It's definitely better for user experience and someone running a navigational query. However, from a SERP management standpoint, rolling up my paired listings and subdomain listings into one big sitelinks section all... > Read more

October 13, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 0

How Google Instant Changes SEO, PPC, the Long Tail Plus Your Gas Mileage, Credit Score & Sex Appeal

This weekend at home, I was surprised to find Google was giving me way more than ten results per page—more like twenty, though I confess I didn't bother to count. (It seems Google no longer does the counting for you.) I quickly sent an email to Tom and Ken about it, but it appeared it was "just me," or rather an experiment that was only affecting some users (as reported by Andy Beard and Barry Schwartz).

I was still thinking about this experiment on Wednesday, contemplating a post called "No More 'Ten Blue Links'" when Google unveiled a much bigger change—big enough to warrant a live press conference, big enough to get everyone on Twitter talking, and not just the "tweeple" in my web marketing column. This big change is Google Instant. It sounds a ... > Read more

September 10, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 8

Google Instant: Told Via Search Story

There is already lots and lots (that one's my personal favorite) and lots of great insight and analysis surrounding Google Instant, and we'll have some of our own here on the blog in the next couple days, but for now we just have a look at how an average (i.e. non-tech savvy, doesn't know who Eric, Larry, or Sergei are) searcher might hope to gain undestanding about Google Instant:    ... > Read more

September 08, 2010     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 0

Google Graveyard: A History of Google Flops & Failures (INFOGRAPHIC)

On the heels of Google closing down Wave there have been some great articles on Google's past failures, and we thought it would be fun to do an infographic on the subject; click the image below to see the larger version, and please Digg/Stumble/etc. if you like it !   ... > Read more

August 11, 2010     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 5

How Much Do People Know About You on the Internet? Facebook/Google Privacy Infographic

We created a fun (unless you're paranoid; then it's probably just unnerving) infographic that cronicles some of the things people can get access to on the Internet, particularly via Google and Facebook. You can get at the full infographic by clicking on the below. Please Digg/link/etc. if you're so inclined: Feel free to add your 2c in the comments as well, thanks! ... > Read more

July 27, 2010     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 1

The Evolution of Ranking Signals: Google Is Getting Past the Link

This is a guest post by David Harry. David Harry is an SEO and search analyst with Reliable SEO. He also writes on his SEO blog and runs the SEO Training Dojo, a top community in the SEO space. You can also track him down via Twitter: @theGypsy.   There's always been a fair amount of discussion that Google's reliance on links is the bane of the internet.

From the insanely dynamic tin foil wearing crowd to those that muse. From the link economy to the spam that litters social sites and blogs. The never-ending thirst for more links has turned some people I know into freaking link machines (yeah, I'm lookin' at you – BOOYAKA). But why? You get the impression from some folks that it is some evil master plan or sheer bumbling and incompetence. I submit to you that those people have never... > Read more

July 13, 2010     |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 30

My Take on the Mayday Update: Strengthen Your Niches or Land in the Ditches

There have been some interesting theories and observations about the Google’s recent Mayday update and how Google has "…increased the emphasis on quality and is giving smaller sites a chance." The official word out of Google is that they’ve made an algorithmic shift to "looking for higher quality sites…for long tail queries.

" Since the Mayday Update was implemented, all Hell has broken loose across the Web, with many sites reporting a sudden loss in long tail traffic. But for every site that lost SERP share, another site was there to scoop it up. Lucky for us, WordStream was one of the sites to benefit from the update. Immediately following the Mayday rollout, our organic traffic spiked 50%. So, as you can imagine, we were thrilled to hear Mayday is here to stay and there won... > Read more

June 21, 2010     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 10

The New Google UI: What this Means for "Search Wars V2"

Elisa had a great write up on the new Google design, and I was able to contribute some thoughts in a piece that ran in USA Today, but I had some additional thoughts on the new design, Bing's design, and what it all means for search marketers that I thought I'd share here. The Bing/Yahoo Merger I mention in the piece that "the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts" when Bing and Yahoo finally consumate their search merger.

What I mean by this is that advertisers will be more likely to move to the single platform with better reach (BingHoo), and that Bing's access to their once-competitor’s technology will (eventually) make their algorithm better. Beyond that, the increased market share will be self-reinforcing; it’ll allow Microsoft to invest more resources ... > Read more

May 11, 2010     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 1

Google PageRank Update: April 3, 2010

So looks like the ongoing rumors of Toolbar PageRank's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Amid rampant speculation that the lil' green pixel bar would soon be extinct, Google has once again updated their Tool Bar PageRank (TBPR) metrics. I can hear the collective groans of SEOs across the globe on this one.

The Google PageRank update is occurring as I write, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 3, 2010. If you're keeping score at home, this is the first PageRank update of 2010. It coincides with previous year's changes, which have all occurred in April the last three years. Maybe this is Google's way of heralding the advent of Spring. Who knows... I noticed the changes occurring while doing some client work this morning. As I was editing text on the client site's home page, I watched in deligh... > Read more

April 03, 2010     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 10

Google Buzz: Is Google's Would-Be Twitter Killer Buzz-Worthy?

Google this week took another stab at social with the release of the unoriginally named Google Buzz, which was rolled out to Gmail users soon after Tuesday's announcement. As Matt McGee points out in a post on Search Engine Land, Google Buzz – basically a stream of status updates and shared items – is intended to compete with Twitter, Facebook, and even Foursquare, given its mobile features.

There's been a lot less hype surrounding Buzz (ironically?) than there was for Google Wave, which may mean that Google was wary of more buzz backlash. Hype or no hype, among non-tech-geeks I know, the initial "buzz" was very similar to the reaction to Google Wave: What is this? What is it for? So is Buzz really a threat? According to Marshall Kirkpatrick, yes – it's disrupti... > Read more

February 12, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 7

Google: The King of Disruptive Technology

This is a guest post by Terry Van Horne. Terry is the founder of SeoPros and a 15-year veteran of Web development, currently working out of his consulting and development firm International Website Builders. Terry's interests are primarily the socialization of search and analysis of social Web traffic and applications like Twitter.

I discovered the term "disruptive technology" while dabbling in day trading. Basically it's a technology or business that enters a space and disrupts the current sales and business model -- these days, almost always using technology as a catalyst. I actually did some trading in these stocks, and here's a tip: When it seems the price is stupid ... it is! The Interwebs have proven be a very disruptive technology. The Web changed the travel industry, in f... > Read more

January 29, 2010     |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 4

Actually, Google, That's Not What I Meant

If you're interested in the semantics of search, Google's announcement this week that it is now bolding synonyms in search results probably turned your head. (In fact, you might have noticed this happening before the official announcement.) In a post titled "Helping Computers Understand Language" on the Official Google Blog, Google engineer Steven Baker writes: An irony of computer science is that tasks humans struggle with can be performed easily by computer programs, but tasks humans can perform effortlessly remain difficult for computers.

I don't know if I'd call this an irony. Humans are better at some things, computers are better at others. You can say the same thing about bees, buzz saws, and evolution. But identifying misuses of the word "irony" is so 1996, so le... > Read more

January 22, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 12

Google vs. Bing: Bing Hates Blogs

This morning, Chris Brogan wrote on his blog that he's planning to use Bing as his only search engine for 30 days. Day 1 of his little experiment didn't go so well—he found that a search for "Chris Brogan" returned, above his own blog, results for Chris Brown. His response? "Um, no." Chris Brogan is a pretty well-known name, if slightly lesser-known than "Chris Brown.

" If he can't get top billing for his vanity search, how well can the rest of us plebes fare? I "googled" myself on Bing back when it launched and remember thinking the results were inscrutable and disappointing. I decided to try the same search again to see if the Bing results had gotten better (or worse). Well, certainly not better. ZoomInfo? Really? I would only expect to see a crappy, generic result like this at #1... > Read more

January 12, 2010     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 12

Google PageRank Update: December 30, 2009

So despite claims of ditching the little green pixel bar, Google has once again updated their Tool Bar PageRank (TBPR) about an hour ago, at 8 p.m. on December 30, 2009. I noticed the change immediately when I was doing a little WordStream brand searching and saw in the SERPs that we'd jumped from a PR5 to a robust PR6.

The change literally took place before my eyes. One minute we were PR5, then next search: BOOM! PR6. Totally geeky, I know, but my heart skipped a beat. The actual SEO for Firefox Toolbar has yet to update though. It's still reading PR5, but I'm sure that will change by tomorrow. I'm also seeing changes across many of my sites, all for the better, which is a nice way to kick off 2010. By my count, this is the sixth and final update for 2009, with the last PageRank update oc... > Read more

December 30, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 15

Personalized Search: Kind of a Big Deal

It was another big week at the Googleplex. (This opener is starting to feel like the Friday roundup equivalent of "Once upon a time.") The "search giant" made about a jillion announcements—I think Google has decided to mimic Bing's ever-changing homepage image by adding a new feature every day. (Ooh, fade-in buttons! But why!) Some of these announcements had real implications for search marketers—particularly integration of real-time search and the launch of "universal personalized search," which means, in effect, there's no "real" ranking, no official SERP; like Google's homepage of late, it's always different.

(Of course, one could argue that with geo and time data incorporated it was always different anyway …) The search community is divided on the significance of personalized sea... > Read more

December 11, 2009     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 5

Google Real Time Search - How Google is Determining Where to Show Real Time Search

A lot of people have been writing interesting stuff and trying to get a feel for what's going on with Google's new real time search feature. It seems that Google is using two key factors in determing what does (and doesn't) get a real-time SERP box: Query Type - This is standard operating procedure for blended search.

Google looks at query type in determining when and how aggresively to integrate things like news, video, etc. Twitter Activity - This is the interesting piece, for me: it looks like Google is monitoring (via API or possibly by crawling) the activity of certain terms across Twitter, and integrating twitter results based on the amount of activity they see on Twitter. My methods for arriving at this conclusion are far from scientific, but it makes sense and I'll explain why I t... > Read more

December 11, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 0

Google Introduces Site Links for Deeper SERP Listings: More Evidence of Big Brand Promotion

Anybody else notice this yet? Looks like Google has just added site links to trusted domain listings that fall further down in the SERPs. I discovered the algorithmic update this morning when looking at the WordTracker home page listing. Note that this WordTracker lisiting is #8 in the rankings, on page one for the query "keyword research tools.

" Now, we've been seeing site links for trusted domains that rank number one in the SERPs for some time now. But adding site links to listings that fall deeper down the page is clearly a new feature. I interpret this as another example of the big Google move to more brand promotion in the SERPs. By incorporating this new trust signal, Google is clearly placing much more emphasis on and rewarding trusted, authoritative brands, and attempting to "so... > Read more

July 16, 2009     |   Written by: Ken Lyons   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 1

Will I Still Be Shamelessly Googling Myself in 2060?

By Sam Hawes Despite some good press the general consensus seems to be that Bing is DOA, destined to the same also-ran fate as other doomed Microsoft projects like the Zune and the PocketPC. In an interview in the Times in May, Steve Ballmer, in his typical blustery style, compared the launch of Bing to the introduction of the landmark Windows versions, 3.

1 and Windows 95, the implication being that Bing, like the early incarnations of Windows, is just the first step towards Microsoft’s eventual dominance in the Search wars. In his blog, Henry Blodgett excoriated Ballmer for using this comparison. Blodgett points out that Microsoft had the advantage of being a monopoly in operating systems, so the millions of consumers who upgraded weren’t examining a field of equa... > Read more

July 16, 2009     |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 1

Microformats, Rich Text, Google Search Options, & What it All Means

The SEO community is buzzing about Google's Searchology. In case you missed it, Google:Announced that they will support microformats and rich snippets in search resultsAnnounced that they will be rolling out search optionsAnnounced Google SquaredAnnounced some other stuffSo what does this all mean?Implications of Microformat & Rich Text IntegrationThis seems to be the most interesting announcement from an SEO perspective, at first blush.

It certainly has some implications for local search, restraunts, and people search, and it will likely eventually extend well beyond that. Michael Gray had a great article on optimizing HCards and microformatting information which is something worth reading up on if this will impact you in the near-term.Implications of Google Search Options The mo... > Read more

May 13, 2009     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 0
 
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