I recorded the last Daily SearchCast of the year last week. You can get it here -- it's an hour-and-a-half long. After doing that show, I also decided it was time to hang it up on the show.
I've been doing the show for over three years now, and I've really enjoyed my time with it plus the many positive responses I've gotten back from listeners. And I feel like I'm letting a number of you who listen in the car or at the gym or other places down on getting your dose of search news in audio format.
Unfortunately, I just don't have as much time as I used to. I'd hoped that going to a weekly format temporarily might help. It did a bit, but I'm still short of time. Plus with trips or meetings coming up, I've found that "Weekly Daily SearchCast" was rapidly becoming the "Monthly Weekly Daily SearchCast."
If I'm going to do something, I want to do it as best I can -- and I don't feel I'm doing it with the show. So, that's it. Never say never, of course. There's a chance I might dig deep in the future and try doing some video updates, with audio for download. I'll leave the feed going, just in case. But I don't have any immediate plans to do so.
I'd like to thank all the great folks at WebmasterRadio.FM for their support and help in making the show a success over the years. And, of course, thanks to all my listeners.
See below for links to more information about stories discussed.
Upcoming Seminars: SEO and Conversion Rates: Hand-in-hand - RX for Large Paid Search Advertising Campaigns: Anatomy of an Enterprise Solution - Big Brand Search Engine Optimization: Managing Large Campaigns
Yahoo Layoffs Happening Live Online
The Yahoo layoffs are underway, and are happening live online. Blogs, news sites, and social sites like Twitter are filled today with live reports about what's going on inside Yahoo's offices. Here's a rundown of what we've found. Silicon Alley Insider is posting updated comments from the now ex-Yahooers, who are describing the scene at various Yahoo offices around the country:
Search Biz: Ex-Yahoos Doing Well; Yahoo Shutters Brickhouse; Google Chrome
Out Of Beta Soon & More
With Yahoo layoffs underway, Forbes shares a reminder that there is life after a layoff, and it's sometimes better. Forbes tells the story of ex-Yahoo bizdev guy Rob Bailey, who left the company in 2006, and is now an award-winning winemaker. While Big Business is laying people off left and right, Bailey's wine operation has grown from two to eight employees. Also mentioned: ex-Yahoos Jennifer Dulski and Neil Budde, who now run Center'd and DailyMe, respectively. Sometimes the grass is greener....we sure hope so.
Yahoo Board Mulls CEO Pick, Layoffs Loom
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal Yahoo's board is considering offering the CEO job to Arun Sarin, the newly retired CEO of EU mobile carrier Vodafone. It's merely speculation at this point but Sarin is attractive for several reasons:
Yahoo BOSS Now Serving 100 Queries Per Second
The Yahoo Search Blog announced that BOSS, Yahoo's build your own search service, is now serving 10 million queries per day. That is about 100 queries per second and according to Yahoo, who cites comScore, that is just behind Ask.com's search volume. Note, these queries do not count as part of Yahoo's search network, because they are technically served at third party web sites.
More Yahoo Search Image Ads; Promotional Ads
TechCrunch reported spotting a image ad that is more interactive for a search at Yahoo on eBay. Here is a picture of the ad:
Jeff Weiner (Ex-Yahoo) Lands At LinkedIn
TechCrunch is reporting that former Yahoo Network chief Jeff Weiner is taking on the role of interim President at LinkedIn. Weiner left Yahoo this summer and took an executive role at venture capital firms Accel Partners and Greylock Partners. He was one of Yahoo's top executives, overseeing all of the company's consumer-facing products. Just last week, LinkedIn added Dipchand "Deep" Nishar from Google. Weiner's addition at LinkedIn is one of a couple management changes. TechCrunch says founder Reid Hoffman is retaking the CEO job, and current CEO Dan Nye will leave next month.
Google Image Search Now Trying Text Ads Instead Of Image Ads
When Google started officially placing ads on Google Image search, they used banner or image ads. I am now seeing reports that Google is going towards a text ad format. Michael Gray noticed, as did the folks at AccuraCast.com that Google is now placing three text ads in Google Image Search. In the past, Google placed one image or banner ad in the image search results, either at the top or at the bottom.
Google Ads For Hard Alcohol & Liqueurs Now Allowed
The Google AdWords blog just announced they are now allowing search ads for hard alcohol and liqueurs. Just a couple months ago, they allowed beer ads and now they have expanded this to hard liqueurs in the US. Why did they change this? They said based on "advertiser feedback we've received over the years." But if you ask me, it is more about generating more revenue from their search ads, especially these hard times. The company has done a string of rollouts related to showing more ads, as our Drill, Baby, Drill: Google Finance Gets Ads; Google News Testing Them covers.
Google AdWords Adds New Mobile Targeting Options
Google has announced new mobile advertising options to target the iPhone, G1, and other mobile devices with full HTML web browsers. Advertisers can now create separate campaigns that are targeted specifically toward mobile searchers with smart phones. You can write mobile-specific ads and get performance data separate from your other AdWords campaigns.
Google Search Suggest Get Ads, Links & Answers
Earlier this year, Google Suggest finally made it to the Google home page. The feature suggests queries as you begin typing in the search box. Now Google is testing providing links to web sites, direct answers and even ads that appear within the Google Suggest list.
Google Expands AdSense For Domains - Enough Already
The Google AdSense Blog announced they have begun rolling out the AdSense for Domain product to US based publishers and will continue to roll this feature out to all publishers in the future. AdSense for Domains allows publishers to place ads on domains that have not yet been developed yet, also known as parked domains. Google said they would show "ads, links, and search results on the pages, and may add other useful information in the future," on these pages. You have to understand that AdSense for Domains, formerly known as Domain Park, is a product that has always been extremely controversial in the ad space market. Since 2005 and likely before then, Danny Sullivan has called for major reform of the product, because it delivered poor quality traffic sparked huge controversy. Not only that, we have reported lawsuit after lawsuit over the product and even with the reformed opt out feature, it still has resulted in more lawsuits.
Google Testing Enhanced Listings, “Pagelinks” & Auto-Spelling Correction
Google is testing a number of changes to its search results, including a way for select publishers to enhance their page descriptions, a way for searchers to jump to sub-sections of a web page and automatically correcting misspelled queries, to some degree.
Google Cancelled Yahoo Search Deal To Avoid “Monopoly” Designation
Fearing a protracted legal battle, damage to its reputation/brand and perhaps even to its stock price, Google abruptly pulled out of the proposed Yahoo paid search deal. It was revealed at the time that the US Justice Department was planning to file an action against the deal. Now in an interview in AmLaw Daily, the attorney spearheading the potential case against Google, Sanford Litvack discusses what happened.
Search Biz: Ballmer Talks Yahoo Deal; Google Slows Down In NC & Fires Back At
Net Neutrality Critics
In a fairly lengthy interview this morning, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer tells the Wall Street Journal that he's still interested in a deal with Yahoo, but says there are no talks happening right now. Perhaps to get that ball rolling again, though, Ballmer says a deal "would probably be better for both us, and certainly for Yahoo, if we were to do it sooner than later." He also reiterated that Microsoft can compete with Google without it, but outlined what he sees as the benefits of a deal with Yahoo:
Dr. Qi Lu Named To Run Microsoft’s Online Services Group; McAndrews Departs
The rumor becomes reality. Microsoft has named Dr. Qi Lu, formerly of Yahoo, to run its Online Services Group. And Brian McAndrews, as AllThingsD highlights, is leaving Microsoft. More details in the release below:
SearchBiz: Microsoft Search General Manager Brad Goldberg Leaving, Twitter
Gets Serious About Revenue & Google Gives Good License
Microsoft's GM of search product management (on the marketing side), Brad Goldberg, is leaving the company to become CEO of online business at investment firm Peak6. This doesn't impact the technical side of search at Microsoft, which just hired former Yahoo search exec Qi Lu to head up its overall online business unit. There's also much speculation today about what Microsoft may do with its "Kumo" domain/brand. When the name initially surfaced last week the conjecture was that this would become the brand for search at Microsoft, replacing Live.
Live Search Launches Instant Cashback For eBay Purchases
Microsoft just announced Live Search instant cashback rewards. This instant reward currently only applies to items purchased at eBay. If you make a purchase at eBay, using Live Search Cashback, you should see the rewards instantly in your PayPal account. Yes, you won’t have to wait 60 days to see the money. Clearly, having instant cashback rewards with all their partners is something we would love to see. But for now, having eBay give you instant cash back is really nice to have.
Microsoft’s Live Search Cashback Goes Dark On Black Friday
Microsoft’s Live Search Cashback program was reportedly down much of the day on Black Friday. This caused major concerns for customers who were excited to get large discounts on the day. In addition, TechFlash reports many customers purchased items from HP, expecting to receive 40% cash back rewards from Microsoft, only to see 3% show up after purchasing. Between Microsoft’s Cashback having major uptime issue and not giving the rewards expected, Black Friday turned out to be a big bust for the program.
Live Cashback Users Feel Cheated By Microsoft
On Black Friday, Microsoft's Live Search Cashback program went black, in short, the service went down and many shoppers were unable to use the great deals they provided with their merchants. Back then, Microsoft promised to make things right. Microsoft's Live Search Blog posted an update explaining that they have been communicating with those customers who had issues and is sad to say, they will not be able to rerun the HP deal, where you can get 40% back on those purchases. Microsoft said, "while we were hoping to be able to do that, we are sorry to report that it will not be restarted."
Ask.com Plays The Google AdWords Arbitrage Game
Ah, Ask.com. Since I wrote their obituary in March, not much has got me thinking they'll make a comeback. Sure, there was the gimmick of kind of bringing back Jeeves himself. But the spate of "hotels.ask.com" ads I see them running on Google makes me think they're dropping further from being a search engine and more into a search arbitrage play.
Microsoft Will Cut Data Storage Time If Google & Yahoo Do, Too
Responding to European demands that the major search engines cut the length of time they store records of web searches, Microsoft said on Monday it would only store that data for six months as long as Google and Yahoo follow suit. The New York Times reports, however, that neither Google nor Yahoo are ready to go along with the request. Microsoft attorney John Vassallo says the company won't change its policy alone. "We support the commissioners' recommendations but are asking them to ensure these are uniformly observed," Vassallo tells the Times. "Otherwise, to do so unilaterally would put us at a disadvantage."
Yahoo One-Ups Google With 90 Day Data Retention Policy
Yahoo has announced they will be anonymizing their user log data to 90 days, compared to Google's policy of 9 months. The data policy is not just inclusive of their search data but also their page views, page clicks, ad views and ad clicks. Yahoo does reserve the right to retain data longer than 90 days based on the exceptions for fraud, security and legal obligations. Those exceptions will typically be held for 6-months, but possibly longer based on legal requirements.
AOL Debuts Bebo “Social Inbox”
AOL is repositioning or perhaps enhancing Bebo as a kind of dashboard for the internet using the concept of a "social inbox." The Wall Street Journal has coverage of what's at stake for AOL and the challenges facing social media ad revenues. The social inbox idea is about aggregation of content and services (e.g., email) from a range of third parties and partners in one place.
Yahoo Upgrades Flickr Mobile; Google Upgrades Picasa
Photo search took a couple steps forward today with announcements from both Yahoo and Google. The news from Yahoo is a mobile makeover of its Flickr photo sharing site, while Google announced a variety of improvements to its Picasa photo service. Here's a look at the two announcements:
YouTube Continues To Dominate Growing Video Landscape
Google continues to dominate the online video market in much the same way it dominates search. Google properties set a record in October with more than 100 million video viewers -- 99.5 million of whom watched videos on YouTube. Those are some of the numbers issued this afternoon by comScore from its Video Metrix service. Google's video market share represents more than two-thirds of the estimated online video watching audience for the month. As the chart below shows, Fox Interactive and Yahoo ranked second and third, respectively, in audience share.
Google Maps Integrates YouTube Videos
No surprise here: Google Blogoscoped has spotted YouTube videos showing up on Google Maps when you click the "more" button (upper right) and select video.
Meet Pegman: Google Makes StreetView Bigger, Easier To Use
Who knew that the little “man” that helps users navigate StreetView is called “Pegman”? As much as I’m a fan of StreetView, there was always something a bit awkward about maneuvering the little man on the map to launch the StreetView image window. But Google has now made a number of improvements that make it easier to use Pegman himself and StreetView in general.
Local News Roundup: Google Shuts Down LBRR, G-Maps’ Double Coverage, Yelp
Updates iPhone App & Yellow Pages
Think of this post as a SearchBiz for Local, Maps & Mobile today; there was enough news to do a bit of a roundup. First up is Google's announcement that it has dramatically expanded ("doubled") the coverage available via StreetView, including many new states such as Maine, West Virginia, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Mahalo Answers Launches, Offers Cash For Q&A
Mahalo Answers is the newest entry into the crowded Q&A reference site space, but it offers a twist that its biggest competitors don't: the chance to earn money by contributing to the service. Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis says the new service is the third and final piece of his original vision for Mahalo, making it a site that combines search, content, and knowledge exchanges. Yahoo Answers is the 800-lb. gorilla in this field, with some astonishing numbers reported earlier this year: 135 million users and 500 million answers worldwide, and growing at a rate of 11 million new answers per month just in the U.S.
Google Book Search Puts Magazines Online
First Google digitized books, then newspapers, then historic Time-Life photos and now -- magazines. Today through Google Book Search, people can search the full-text of millions of articles from more than 10 magazine with hundreds more to come, the company has announced. Eventually, content from the magazines will be available to those doing Google News Archive searches or show up in "regular" Google searches via Universal Search. For now, however, the content lives only within Google Book Search. How do you access the magazines? Ideally, Google wants you to find them in response to a search for anything at Google Book Search. For example, a search for hank aaron catching babe ruth should bring up a listing tagged as "Magazine" that leads to a 1973 Ebony magazine article about Aaron nearing Ruth's home run record (note, search functionality doesn't seem to be live yet but should be enabled shortly).
Google SearchWiki 101: An Illustrated Guide
Google SearchWiki — a new feature that allows you to move and comment on search results — has been out for less than a day, and it’s amazing to see how much confusion (as well as commentary) there is already developing. So below, some clarification on how it works, opportunities search marketers should consider, some privacy issues and ideas for improving it.
Q&A With Google On SearchWiki (Don’t Expect An Opt-Out Soon)
Four days after it launched, Google SearchWiki continues to attract much attention from critics and fans alike. Meanwhile, there remain questions on how it all works, under the hood. Below, a follow-up to my Google SearchWiki 101: An Illustrated Guide article from last week, answering some of the remaining questions. Oh, and for those looking for a SearchWiki opt-out, the short answer is don’t expect one anytime soon.
Google SearchWiki To Get Off Button, Might Get Used As Ranking Signal
TechCrunch has coverage of Google's Marissa Mayer talk at Le Web conference in Paris, France. In that talk, Mayer said SearchWiki will gain an option to let users turn it off and reiterated statements that Google's previously made, that SearchWiki data might be used in the future to help rank ordinary search results.
Google Reader Gets Cleaner, So Does iPhone Version
Yesterday, Google Reader team announced that they have released a cleaner and fresher look to Google Reader. The change incorporates a less blueish color scheme and a more whitish scheme. Google has consolidated some of the features, added collapsible navigational links on the left and rounded some of the corners. But to my surprise, the whitish color scheme is not just available on the main Google Reader, it has been ported to the iPhone version.
Google Blog Search: Now With Full-Text Post Indexing
It's been about two months since Google Blog Search was relaunched with a new front page that summarizes stories. I talked with Google more about some of the inner workings at the end of October and finally am getting around to posting this, spurred by one of the planned changes becoming official. Google Blog Search now uses the full-text of posts (in most cases), rather than using whatever was in a blog's feed (which could often be only part of a post).
- Techmeme Now Deploys Human Editing Of News
Google Webmaster Tools Adds Settings Section & Enhances Crawl Rate Controls
The Google Webmaster team announced three main things at their blog over the past day or so. The first we covered, was the new Google help discussions area. The second was adding a new settings link in webmaster tools to consolidate some features. The third item is enhancements to controlling your crawl rate. Let me take you through the last two in more detail.
Google Webmaster Help Group: Version 2
Today, Google relaunched several of their help forums, moving them from Google Groups to a new help-specific platform. The English and Polish Google Webmaster Help group have made the move to this new format, with the other languages soon to follow. Below, more details about how this change will benefit site owners and a bit of history about the start and evolution of the Google Webmaster Help group.
Live Search Adds Malware Warnings To Search Results
MSN’s Live Search has announced the addition of malware warnings to their search results pages. In doing so, Live Search joins Google and Yahoo in taking a proactive stance against potentially dangerous sites; Google began adding malware warnings in early 2007. Yahoo added SearchScan alerts in May of this year. The Live Search implementation is different from how the other two search engines show malware warnings. When a potentially harmful page shows up in the Live Search results, users see no warning until they actually try to click on the link. When they do click, a small “pop-up” box appears to the far right of the listing. Here’s what it says:
Has Microsoft Live Search Detected Malware On Your Site?
Recently, Microsoft Live Search added malware warnings to their search results. If a searcher clicks a result that Microsoft has detected contains malware, a popup warns then not to proceed to the site. As Matt noted yesterday, Google and Yahoo! also provide malware warnings to searchers. How can you find out if Microsoft has flagged your site for malware and how can you let them know you've fixed the problem? As part of this update, Microsoft Live Search also launched an update to their Webmaster Center that added alerts about malware. You can generate a report of all pages on your site that have malware on them, see if you link to any external pages that contain malware, and submit a review request once you've fixed any issues.
Live Search Discusses Good & Bad Links
Jeremiah Andrick from the Microsoft Live Search team has written a detailed blog post named Getting the right kind of links. In this blog post, Jeremiah explains the issues Microsoft sees with link exchanges and then gives tips on how to get "the right kind of links." Those tips include to be the "subject matter expert" in your field, give stuff away as a "free service," work closely with "industry or professional associations" to get links from their pages, and leverage Social Media. If you are in a linking drought, check out that post and also read through ...
SEOMoz’s New Toolbar & Linkscape Doubles In Size
SEOMoz has announced they have released a new SEO toolbar and they have doubled the size of Linkscape.
Crappy MP3 Sites, Comment Spamming & Enough Already
In covering search marketing for the past 13 years, I’ve tried not to be judgmental about certain marketing tactics some people might undertake. Search engines have “rules” that they themselves knowingly allow others to break. Arguments erupt over the idea that any type of marketing is “manipulation.” But at some point, enough is enough with some tactics. And today, I’m done. I’m calling bullshit on anyone who is link spamming or creating crappy nonsensical content sites. Seriously, enough. You’ve wasted enough of my time, and you’ve wasted enough time of people all over the web. I’ll give you a personal illustration of this below. Sure, I’ll skewer Google along the way.
Free Trip To SMX — Win The Biggest Search Geek Contest!
Want a free ticket to our upcoming SMX West search marketing conference this Feb. 10-12, complete with hotel and airfare? Marin Software's got a package for you to win, if you're geek enough. Biggest Search Geek enough, that is. The SMX Biggest Search Geek Contest by Marin Software tests you with 20 questions about search marketing. I've contributed a few of them on the organic search side, and there's a good dose from the paid search side of the house.
“You Could Go To Google,” Says Yahoo — But Why Not Stay Here?
Yahoo has changed the way they handle a query for a competing search engine. Now, if you search at Yahoo for google, live or ask.com, Yahoo will tell you, "You could go to [Search Engine Name Goes Here]. Or you could stay here and get straight to your answers."
Dilbert’s Scott Adams: Will Google Replace Your Doctor?
Can a search engine accurately diagnose health problems? Can it someday replace your doctor? Questions like this aren't new, but the discussion has gotten a bit louder in recent weeks. Just a couple weeks ago, I reported on a Microsoft investigation of cyberchondria, when inaccurate medical information online makes actual health problems worse. On Friday, Dilbert cartoon creator Scott Adams shared a different point of view, telling blog readers how Google helped him find treatment for a speech defect known as Spasmodic Dysphonia.
SearchBiz: Google “Less Trusted,” Eric Schmidt On Meet The Press, Yahooligans
“Vote” For New CEO, Microsoft Releases First iPhone App, Mobile To Be Primary
Internet By 2020
The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Google is negotiating with ISPs for "a fast lane for its own content" and is backing away from net neutrality. However, Google vigorously disputes this characterization and explains that instead it is seeking to "'colocate" caching servers within broadband providers' own facilities," which has the practical effect of speeding up content delivery. Google argues that these relationships are non-exclusive and that the company "remains strongly committed to the principle of net neutrality."
SMX West 2009 Agenda Is Up! Want To Speak?
Search Engine Land's next Search Marketing Expo conference, SMX West 2009, comes to Santa Clara, California this Feb. 10-12. The agenda has now been posted. It has sessions of interest to search marketers of all levels, and I'll be doing a longer post in the near future to cover everything in the program. But for now, a simple call out to those interested in speaking. Our pitch form is open! The form lists all sessions where we have openings. Pitch now, as the sooner you do, the more likely the chance you'll be accepted. We plan to ...
Announcing Our Newest Conference: SMX Search Analytics
Search marketing isn’t just about website optimization and paid search campaigns. To really know if your efforts are paying off, you need to test, measure and refine on an ongoing basis. Analytics tools are key to these processes, providing you with invaluable information about your visitors, customers and even those that “got away.” Our newest show, SMX Search Analytics, focuses on the processes and tools that help you maximize the effectiveness of your search marketing campaign, and give you a leg up on your increasingly sophisticated competitors. Some search marketers have reported achieving conversion boosts of 25% or more after ...
Search Engines Release Most Popular Search Trends of 2008
As 2008 comes to a close, the annual tradition of gathering up the most popular search trends continues. Breaking down billions of search queries into concise Top 10 lists isn’t an easy task but among the major search engines. Still, obvious trends emerge nearly every year, and typically revolve around international news stories, major events, celebrity news, gossip and natural disasters. (Quite often, those last few can be grouped together). Natural curiosity about political leaders, well known entertainers and amazing athletes typically fuel the daily buzz on every search engine, but major events like the 2008 Olympics and US Election always …
Google Zeitgeist 2008 Live; Lycos Announces Top Searches of 2008
As a followup to the aggregate list of 2008's Top Search Terms from the major search engines, Google has officially released its 2008 Zeitgeist, or "spirit of the times" list, covering the most popular searches of the year. This year's data includes a global look at the most popular search terms, gathering top 10 lists in 30 countries to give insight to search behavior around the world. YouTube, Facebook appear on many of the lists. Prior to releasing the full Zeitgeist for 2008, Google highlighted the fastest rising search terms of 2008, where Obama topped the list of U.S. based searches. Yet in the full wrap-up, Sarah Palin won out across the globe as the fastest rising search.
Google 2008 Year-End Zeitgeist; Fastest Rising Searches
Google’s official list of the most popular search activity for 2008, aka Zeitgeist, has yet to make its debut, but the search giant has been leaking out tasty tidbits of data to get us salivating for even more search data. The fastest-rising search terms of 2008 Obama Facebook Att iPhone YouTube Fox news Palin Beijing 2008 David Cook Surf the channel
Yahoo’s 2008 Year End Round-Up of Buzzworthy Searches
In addition to summarizing the most popular search trends overall, this year, Yahoo! dug deeper into the metrics of its vertical channels to get more granular information on what users searched for in 2008. With the launch of Buzz-up for publishers in 2008, Yahoo! also ranked the most buzzed stories and most clicked-on stories. In addition, there’s more Top 10 lists spotlighting different content around the network aimed at different usergroups including Yahoo! Food, Shine (women’s channel), Tech, Green, Shopping, Travel, Games, Movies, Music, Local and Hot Jobs.
Ask.com: Top Search Trends of 2008
“Maverick” earns bragging rights as the word of the year; Disney’s Tweeny-boppers take over the Top 10 list of celebrity-based searches; shopping for the best deals on travel and entertainment were top of mind in a tightening economy, and queries in the form of a question still reign supreme at Ask.com.
AOL 2008 Year in Review: The Hottest Search Trends
The presidential election reigned supreme in the land of America (Online), as politically charged queries ranged across more than 40 categories in AOL’s annual lists of top Web, mobile and video searches. Celebrity news, captivating headlines and pop culture continued to captivate the online audience; emerging mobile devices bumped activity for social apps like MySpace and Facebook, as well as sharing videos downloaded via apps for the iPhone.
Santa Tracker 2008: Google & NORAD Team Up Again
My favorite Christmas activity is tracking Santa’s route around the world. Once again, NORAD and Google are making it easy. The NORAD Tracks Santa 2008 site is now up, and a countdown for your iGoogle home page can now be downloaded. Google just blogged the news today. Below, what to expect.