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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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