The European Commission is forcing Google to play fair and not give preference to its own properties in search results. Google has prepared some proposals for labelling its own results more clearly. But this may not address the main complaints by vertical / specialized search services such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and many more.
EC details Google’s proposed search concessions, by Stephen Shankland, CNet (April 25)
Under Google’s proposal, the company would label its own services in specialized search results and mark them off as a separate region. And it would clearly show links to at least three rival services as well.
Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land provides a more detailed look at Google’s layout proposals — Google’s New European “Antitrust” Search Results: Here’s What They’ll Look Like
If you weren’t concerned about privacy on the Internet before, you will be after listening to – Hyper Targeting – How Brands Track You Online. This is an episode by Terry O’Reilly, in the excellent CBC radio program, Under the Influence. It’s very scary business on how much is known about us and there are very few controls. Read and listen – podcast is 27 minutes – I’m guessing it will be available for 2 or 3 weeks before it’s pulled and sold through ITunes.
Will brands will help Google+ grow? This article in Search Engine Land suggest yes — 3 Out Of 4 Top 100 Global Brands On Google+, YouTube Use At 85% (Mar 12)
Google+ has now established itself firmly in the mainstream of social networking. A majority of the top 100 brands (three quarters), have active profiles. As
more brands engage users, data suggest that those who have once held reservations may soon be looking toward establishing a strong Google+ presence.
I suppose that’s ok if you’re looking for brands. But can’t we find those in regular web search? Seems people go to the trouble of following brands because the brand engages them in some way. H&M has 2.49 million fans.
Companies are also using YouTube also to “engage customers”. How?
Eighty-seven percent (87%) of brands have an official YouTube channel, engaging fans and reaching millions of viewers. Collectively, the top 100 brands on YouTube have racked up an impressive 3.15B views.
Might be a good reason to stay away from Google+.
Another prediction about search and social coming together — How Search & Social Will Hit The Fast Forward Button In 2013 by Jim Yu, Search Engine Land (Feb 12)
This was written for SEO folks, but searchers can learn.
- Huge growth in social data arising from activities on mobile devices.
- Social signals are being used to rank results. Some stunning numbers: 1 billion Facebook users, 200 million LinkedIn and 200 million Twitter, 3.3 billion pieces of content shared in Facebook in a month – all that activity will be used for evaluating and ranking results.
- As social sharing increases, SEO marketers will have to exploit it more, and it will be boosted even more.
- Local is big – “20 percent of all Google searches have local intent and 40 percent of Google mobile searches have local intent.” So – marketers better optimize for the local market.
Yes – Google targets ads to GMail users based on the content of their emails. Most GMail users must realize that and have decided to accept it. But maybe Microsoft will lead the battle to change things.
Danny Sullivan describes the situation in Microsoft Attacks Gmail Over Privacy In Latest “Scroogled” Campaign (Feb 6).
Of course, Microsoft would like GMail users to become Outlook users – where users can pay $20 to turn off the ads. Microsoft at its Scroogled site is also running a petition against Google.
Google does offer ways to opt out of the ads – as Danny explains – but they aren’t easy.
All very negative – but GMail users might check into ways to turn off those ads.
As the Internet World turns.
Microsoft is moving all Messenger(instant messaging) users to Skype. Makes sense since Microsoft owns both and they do largely the same thing in providing chat in text, audio, and video forms. Microsoft to kill the Messenger on March 15 (CNet, Jan 9)
Linked In has 200 million users from 200 countries and territories who collectively work in 19 languages. The LinkedIn Blog post, 200 Million Members! , has an infographic for the numbers and relates some of the success stories of its members.
Bulletin to all scrabble players, the most frequently used letters are ETAOIN SRHLDCU. Peter Norvig at Google analyzed Google Books Ngrams data on the number of times each word is mentioned in books Google has digitized to figure out word counts, word lengths, frequent use. Norvig presents all the data in his article, English Letter Frequency Counts: Mayzner Revisited or ETAOIN SRHLDCU.
How do you think Google and Facebook make money? Survey shows that Americans are Confused – (Marketing Land, Jan 9) Harris Interactive ran a study for The Search Agency to find out what people know. I’m not surprised that only 54% of Facebook users said they thought they knew. I’m disappointed that the study didn’t probe to find out in what ways users think Facebook makes money. People knew more about search engines – with 75% pointing to advertising. But results also suggest high distrust – “more than one-third of American online adults believe that search engines sell users’ personal data to marketers; 29% believe that companies pay annual dues for use; and 20% believe that users pay for premium search features.” (from press release)
As Amir Efrati says – There’s No Avoiding Google+ (Online WSJ, Jan 2). If you create any kind of Google account (GMail, YouTube, even Zagat restaurant reviews.), you get (are forced to have) a Google+ public page.
Here’s the reason:
Because using Google+ requires people to sign in to their Google accounts, Google will be able to blend mounds of data about individual users’ search habits and the websites they visit with their activities on Google+. That is a potential boon to Google’s ad business, from which the company derives about 95% of its more than $40 billion in annual revenue, excluding its new Motorola phone-making unit.
The more you say about yourself, and share, and click on a +1 button, the better Google can target ads. Of course, Facebook does the same.
The Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup, Rick DeJarnette, Search Engine Land (Jun 4)
If you want to be seen as an authority for what you write on the web, you’ll want to read this guide carefully. De Jarnette has succeeded in figuring out the pieces for setting up an authorship profile and being verified by Google.
Search dominates record U.S. online ad revenue, $31-billion in 2011 , AP via Globe and Mail (Apr 18)
Big money in search advertising – “Revenue from Internet advertising in the U.S. hit a record $31-billion last year”…
About 1/2 ($14.8 billion) came from text-based ads sold through search engines. Fastest growing category was mobile.
INFOGRAPHIC : Breaking Down Google’s 2011 Revenues, Make Use Of (Mar 3)
In 2011 Google had revenue of $37.9 billion, of which 96% came from advertising. See the breakdown of spending on adwords by industry in this infographic.