Category Archives: Found in Search

How Will Google Instant Affect SEO?

Last month, Google launched a new search enhancement named Google Instant. Powered by AJAX, Google Instant displays search results as users type their queries rather than after pressing enter. By essentially predicting search results, Google Instant is intended to help save searchers time (about 2 to 5 seconds per search). However, the new feature has many of us in the search industry wondering just how it will impact SEO.

Some, like PR executive Steve Rubel, have said that Google Instant will “kill SEO.” As Rubel wrote in a blog post in reaction to the launch of Google Instant: “No two people will see the same web. Once a single search would do the trick – and everyone saw the same results. That’s what made search engine optimization work. Now, with this, everyone is going to start tweaking their searches in real-time. The reason this is a game changer is feedback. When you get feedback, you change your behaviors.”

Others, such as search marketing software company SEOmoz, take a different stance. SEOmoz founder Rand Fishkin argued in this blog post that Google Instant “changes less than your average algorithmic rankings update.” To illustrate his point, Fishkin shared this chart from Conductor that compares the visits of search term length the week before the Google Instant launch and the week after the Google Instant launch:

visits by search term length image

As you can see, numbers pretty much held steady before and after Google Instant.

Fishkin further demonstrated his point by sharing SEOmoz’ Google data from before and after the launch:

SEOmoz Google Analytics image

Again, these charts indicate very insignificant changes to web traffic.

We at CyberMark believe that, although Google Instant is likely to change search behavior over time, it’s certainly not an SEO killer. With advances in technology and updates to search engine algorithms, what it means to be search-optimized is constantly evolving. Google Instant is just one change – and a fairly minor one at that. As SEO experts, we promise to provide you with up-to-the-minute SEO advice to keep your site as visible as possible in search results.

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Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams Steps Down as CEO

Twitter birdIn a Twitter blog post Monday, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams announced that he was stepping down as CEO to focus more on “product strategy.”

In his announcement, Williams’ cites Twitter’s rapid growth as a reason for the sudden transition. From the blog post:

“By all accounts Twitter is on a roll. We’ve redesigned our web site to great user feedback. Our user and usage numbers are growing at a rapid clip all around the world. We’ve launched an early, but successful, monetization effort. And, many top engineers, product designers, sales people and other key folks have joined our quickly growing team.

In fact, there are 300 people working at Twitter today—compared to about 20 when I took the CEO job two years ago. Back then, people were creating about 1.25 million tweets a day—compared to 90 million today. In those same two years, we grew from 3 million registered users to more than 165 million today.

The challenges of growing an organization so quickly are numerous. Growing big is not success, in itself. Success to us means meeting our potential as a profitable company that can retain its culture and user focus while having a positive impact on the world. This is no small task. I frequently reflect on the type of focus that is required from everyone at Twitter to get us there.

This led to a realization as we launched the new Twitter. I am most satisfied while pushing product direction. Building things is my passion, and I’ve never been more excited or optimistic about what we have to build.

This is why I have decided to ask our COO, Dick Costolo, to become Twitter’s CEO. Starting today, I’ll be completely focused on product strategy.”

Before joining Twitter in 2009, Costolo co-founded and served as CEO for Feedburner, a web feed management program acquired by Google in 2007. Williams had this to say about Costolo:

“During his year at Twitter, he has been a critical leader in devising and executing our revenue efforts, while simultaneously and effectively making the trains run on time in the office. Dick can be even more effective at this now because Ali Rowghani, Adam Bain, Mike Abbott, Katie Stanton and Kevin Thau joined our leadership team this year and are having a big impact. Given Dick’s track record as a three-time successful CEO, I’m confident we can make this a smooth transition.”

Costolo – designated on Twitter by the hash tag #newtwitterceo — says it’s the ideal time for him to step into a new role at Twitter.

“The team is incredible, we have awesome stuff in the pipeline, and we’re ready to accomplish more in the next two years than we’ve accomplished in the last four,” Costolo said in a written statement.

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Found in Search This Week: October 1, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Pew Study: 58 Percent of Americans Research Products Online

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 58 percent of 3,001 Americans surveyed said that they head to the Internet to find out more about products, up from 49 percent in 2004. Strictly among the Internet-using population, 78 percent of adults in the U.S. conduct product research online. (Read more)

AOL Shuttering Social News Site Propeller

Following an announcement posted last week on the Propeller home page, AOL disabled Propeller, its social news site, on October 1. (Read more)

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Posted in Ecommerce, Found in Search, social news | Comments Off

Found in Search: September 24, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Wikipedia Tests Article Feedback Tool

Collective encyclopedia giant Wikipedia introduced an article assessment tool that will allow readers to rate articles according to several criteria, including sourcing, completeness, neutrality and readability. The new tool is part of Wikipedia’s Public Policy Initiative to create better content.

Google Places/Maps Now Supports Rich Snippets

As Google announced on the Google LatLong Blog and Google Webmaster Center yesterday, Google Maps/Places now support the display of rich snippets, or rich data such as reviews, people and events to add more context to local search results. (Read More)

Google to Dispense Mobile Devices to Small Businesses to Allow Check-ins, Reviews

In order to compete with popular location-based social media services on Foursquare,Yelp and Facebook, Google is reportedly sending out 8 million custom mobile devices to small businesses around the U.S. These mobile devices will help encourage customers to check in to, rate and write reviews of businesses and possibly use Google Checkout. (Read More)

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Posted in Found in Search, location-based services | Comments Off

Wikipedia Tests Article Feedback Tool

wikipedia imageCollective encyclopedia giant Wikipedia introduced an article assessment tool that will allow readers to rate articles according to several criteria, including sourcing, completeness, neutrality and readability. The new tool is part of Wikipedia’s Public Policy Initiative to create better content.

“The goal of the project is to improve the quality of public policy-related articles,” said Wikipedia on its technical blog. “Comparing standard community self-assessment processes, opinion sought from external experts, and article feedback from readers (with the test tool) will help to provide the community with a better understanding of the strengths and limits of each system.”

The new tool became available to the public Wednesday on select Wikipedia articles. As the tool is still in development, no official word has been issued on a wider release for the feature.

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Posted in Found in Search, social media | Comments Off

Found in Search: September 17, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Twitter Rolling Out Major Redesign

Twitter announced dramatic changes to its interface this week. Some of the highlights of the “New Twitter.com” include a streamlined timeline design, a details pane and, perhaps the most notable change of all, embedded media.

In addition to displaying 140-characters-or-less tweets, Twitter will also display videos and photos due to partnerships with DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube.

The “New Twitter.com” will be rolling out to users over the next several weeks. To preview the redesign, check out this information page from Twitter.

Microsoft Launches Internet Explorer 9 Beta 1

On Wednesday, Microsoft released an ambitious new version of its Internet Explorer browser. Focused on “beautifying the web,” IE 9 includes a wealth of advanced features that cater to developers and designers. The revamped browser offers:

  • Hardware acceleration
  • Site-centric user interface
  • HTML 5 support
  • Pinning to add favorite websites to the task bar for easy access

“The Web is about sites, and your browser should be, too,” says Dan Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Internet Explorer. “IE9 puts you and your site at the center of the browser experience.”

For more information or to download IE 9, go to http://www.beautyoftheweb.com.

According to Nielsen, Bing Is Now No. 2 Search Engine in US

Nielsen released data Tuesday that indicates that Microsoft’s Bing surpassed Yahoo to become the second most-used search engine behind Google in the U.S. As of August 2010, Bing has a 13.9 percent share of the U.S. search market, compared to Yahoo’s 13.1 market share. Accounting for 65 percent of all search volume, Google stayed the same in August.

Since August 2009, Bing’s search market share has increased 30 percent. In the last year, Yahoo has seen an 18 percent decrease in search traffic.

According to Chitika, an advertising network, Bing took over the no. 2 spot back in January 2010.

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Posted in Bing, Found in Search, Search Engine News, Twitter, Yahoo | Comments Off

Found in Search: September 10, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Google Launches Google Instant

On Wednesday, Google announced Google Instant, a new AJAX-powered feature that displays search results as users type. The new search enhancement is designed to save users time while searching in Google.

Google Instant is currently rolling out to users on Google domains in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia who use the following browsers: Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8. Google said that it will continue to add new domains and languages over the next several months.

For more information on how Google Instant works, check out this video.

New Study Reveals that Users Spend More Time on Facebook than Google and Yahoo

According to comScore, U.S. Internet users spend more time on Facebook than any other website on the Internet, including runners-up Google and Yahoo.

In August, users in the U.S. spent an average of 41.1 minutes (9.9 percent of total surfing time) on Facebook per month. This is compared with 39.9 minutes (9.6 percent of total surfing time) on Google sites, including YouTube, Gmail and Google news, and 37.7 minutes (9.1 percent of total surfing time) on Yahoo.

In August 2009, the average U.S. user spent 5 percent of their total time on the Internet on Facebook, 5 percent on Google sites and 12 percent on Yahoo. In 2007, time on Facebook comprised less than 2 percent of all Internet usage, Google accounted for less than 4 percent and Yahoo took up more than 12 percent of users’ time on the web.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0 Beta Lets Users “Visualize Sound”

Earlier this week, Mozilla unveiled a new audio feature that visually interprets audio. Using HTML 5, Firefox 4.0 Beta translates sounds into a variety of ways, including streams of numbers, waves and abstract 3D animation.

“With this new API,” reads a post on the Mozilla blog “developers can read and write raw audio data within the browser, presenting audio information in completely new ways that could allow, for example, for people to visually experience a speech or a song through Firefox.”

For a demonstration on Firefox 4 Beta’s new audio features, watch this video from Firefox 4 developer David Humphrey.

Firefox 4 Beta is available for free download.

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Posted in Facebook, Found in Search, Google | Comments Off

Found in Search: September 3, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Sponsored Google Maps Icons Testing in the U.S.

Google Maps is currently testing sponsored map icons, in which a company logo would represent a place instead of a generic icon, in the U.S. The feature was previously tested back in March with the Australian version of Google Maps. Presently, Google Maps displays icons according to the popularity of the business.

According to Google product manager Matthew Leske, the feature is currently being tested with a few recognizable bands, including Target, Bank of America and Public Storage. The test is intended to see how users interact with the company-specific icons. If the reaction is positive, Google will release the option to more companies.

The sponsored icons can be viewed in web search and mobile search results.

Google Simplifies Finding Blogs in Google.com Search

Google added a filter to Google.com search that makes it easier to find blogs, not just blog posts.

When users search blogs on Google.com for a certain topic, the filter appears on the left-side menu. The default view is individual blog posts, but users can opt to see the homepage of the blog as well.

Google Blog Search does not have this filter, but it does list blog homepages at the top of search results.

Yahoo Adds Geographically Based Suggestions to Search Assist

Yahoo announced earlier this week on its blog that its Search Assist, which makes search suggestions based on popular searches as users are typing, will now make suggestions based on the location of the searcher. For instance, when those searching in the Phoenix area type in “Diamondback,” “Arizona Diamondbacks” appears first.

The new feature is designed to simplify the search experience by taking users’ search location into account.

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Found in Search This Week: August 20, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Facebook Allows Location-Based Check-Ins

Earlier this week, Facebook launched Places, a geolocation feature that allows users to share their whereabouts with the rest of Facebook. Places rivals popular check-in features pioneered by Foursquare and Gowalla.

Using smartphones, users can check-in to existing places, add new places and tag other users that accompanied them. Like similar features offered by Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp, users can also sound off on the places they visit and view nearby and relevant places.

“The main thing we are doing is allowing our users to share where they are in a really nice and social way,” Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said at an event at Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters. “You can see who is around you and connect in the real world.”

The feature is currently accessible through the iPhone’s Facebook app or, for those without an iPhone, through Facebook’s touch mobile site at touch.facebook.com. Facebook plans to roll out versions for Android and Blackberries in the near feature. Users can opt out of Places by adjusting their privacy settings.

Yahoo Begins Transitioning to Bing Platform

Earlier this week, Yahoo began making the switch over to Microsoft’s Bing search technology. At the end of the changeover, both Yahoo!’s web and mobile searches will be powered by Bing in exchange for revenue from Yahoo! ad sales.

Announced last summer and finalized earlier this year, the Microsoft-Yahoo alliance was created to cut costs for both search companies as well as to become more competitive with Google, which currently comprises 70 percent of the search market share. Combined, Yahoo and Bing make up nearly 30 percent of all searches.

The transition is expected to be completed by early 2011.

YouTube Charts Rank the Site’s Top Videos

YouTube is launching YouTube Charts, virtually a Billboard Hot 100 for its videos.

With YouTube Charts, users can check out which videos are trending as well as all-time favorites. The Charts allow users to view the most popular videos and video channels by views, likes or new subscribers over the past week, month or all-time.

Currently, the all-time most viewed video is Justin Bieber’s “Baby” featuring Ludacris with more than 293 million views.

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Found in Search This Week: August 13, 2010

search engine newsEach week, we share the week’s biggest stories in SEO, social media, pay-per-click advertising, website design, website development as well as other Internet news.

Google and Verizon Announce Joint Net Neutrality Proposal

Earlier this week, Google and Verizon jointly released a proposed legislative framework for how much broadband companies can regulate content on their networks. The Google-Verizon proposal advocates:

  • Making FCC’s current wireline broadband openness policy enforceable by the FCC
  • Prohibiting discriminating against one type of lawful Internet content over another.
  • Transparency in wireline and wireless services
  • FCC case-by-case regulation of openness policy violations
  • Allowing broadband providers to expand service offerings, possibly including, as the proposal suggests, “health care monitoring, the smart grid, advanced educational services, or new entertainment and gaming options,” that would be free from regulation
  • Keeping wireless networks largely unregulated
  • Reform of the Federal Universal Service Fund in order to expand broadband service to all parts of U.S.

The joint proposal has faced considerable criticism from those who feel that this framework could lead to a corporate takeover of the Internet or the creation of small, private networks. Others such as AT&T official Ralph de la Vega have praised the proposal as “a positive sign that shows that those two companies can agree on something as different as net neutrality.”

Twitter Adds Official “Tweet” Button to Goodies

On Thursday, Twitter launched an official “Tweet” button for sharing content on Twitter. Built using HTML, website owners can customize Tweet buttons in several ways, including:

  • The display of how many times an article has been retweeted
  • The text that displays when users share articles from your website (the default setting is the title of the page the button is on)
  • URL (Default is the URL of the button page)
  • Language (Right now, users can choose from English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese)

Owners can also opt to recommend up to two Twitter accounts to follow after users have shared their content.

Not crazy about Twitter’s new Tweet button? You can also create your own using Twitter API.

Facebook Announces Facebook Fan Page Redesign

Facebook fan pages are about to get a brand-new look. On August 23, Facebook will do away with the boxes tab and shrink the width of custom tabs from 760 pixels to 520 pixels. Facebook officially announced the redesign earlier this week to give developers a chance to modify any welcome pages or custom tabs make with FBML (Facebook mark-up language) accordingly before the redesign takes effect.

According to the Facebook blog, “These updates are designed to simplify navigation for users, reduce complexity for developers, and enable us to build the next generation of tools for growing your business with Facebook.”

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