Reviewing a Perilous Transition – The News of March 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Posted by Jim Hedger @ 3:57 pm

Below, behold the biggest or most interesting stories I found in March 2008. March was an interesting month full of debate, controversy and the first inklings that something wicked was coming this way…

March 2008

GOOG

    $457.02/share, Mar 3
    $440/share, Mar 31

YHOO

    $27.77/share, Mar 3
    $28.93/share, Mar 31

MSFT

    $26.99/share, Mar 3
    $28.38/share, Mar 31

Mar 1
IAC: Ready To Bail On Ask?
More on the impending shakeup at IAC’s long-suffering Ask. An insider tells us that IAC is considering finally pulling the plug on Teoma, the engine that powers Ask’s search, and just using Google.

Whiteboard Friday: SMX West Interviews-Matt Cutts
… we have an interview with Google’s own Spaminator, Matt Cutts. Matt was kind enough to sit down with Rand and reveal a bit more about the man behind the madness that is the Google Spam Team.

Mar 3
comScore Paid Search Data & How The Sky Might Not Be Falling
Last week comScore came out with a report that showed a 7% sequential decline vs. December 2007 in paid search ad clicks.

Compete Sold For $75 Million To Taylor Nelson Sofres
TNS’s release reports that Compete.com’s 2007 revenue was “$14.9 million, over 50 per cent higher than in the previous year.” TNS will pay in deferred cash payments throughout now and 2010, up to a maximum of $75 million.

Ask.com Calls Dumping Teoma Search Technology Rumors False
Last week, IAC Ready To Drop Ask.com Search Technology & Partner With Google? covered rumors that Ask might be dumping its own “Teoma” search technology. Just an hour ago, I received an official statement from Ask.com saying the rumor is false.

Radiohead Revisited: Nine Inch Nails Selling Album Online
Nine Inch Nails is joining Radiohead in the downloadable album arena (though it should be noted that In Rainbows is now being sold “traditionally”). The latest NIN album, Ghosts I-IV was released last night and the site was quickly mobbed.

Future of Ask.com? Layoffs, but keeping Teoma
Last week it was rumored that there would soon be some big shake-ups over at IAC’s Ask.com, including layoffs and the possible abandonment of Teoma, the technology that powers Ask’s search engine.

How Important is the Site Relevancy for Backlinks?
A WebmasterWorld member is in a bit of trouble because he feels that there are no relevant sites for his ecommerce shop. Obviously, since search engines like relevant links, this is a bit of a challenge for those who can’t possibly have relevant sites.

Google Strongly Recommends 301 Redirect Over Meta Refresh Redirects
Moving document and file locations on the web is fairly common. So what do you do when you have to communicate the move to your users and the search engines? You set up a redirect.

Google Sitelinks FAQ : Everything You Want to Know About Sitelinks
Want to learn more about Google Sitelinks? I sure do after discovering some issues with the Sitelinks of my sites not updating in Google Webmaster Tools.

Google Print Ads Running in 750 Newspapers, Yahoo Partners with 634 Newspapers
Google Print Ads, the arm of Google AdWords which runs ads in remnant newspaper ad space, is now working with over 750 newspapers

Dedicated vs. Shared IP Addresses and SEO
Is having a dedicated IP address critical for achieving great Google rankings and if an IP address is shared among many sites, is the PageRank for each site diluted?

Mar 4
also known as “the day the music died”… On March 4, Ask.com abandoned innovative thinking on this day and stopped being the search engine of choice for search professionals.
Ask.com is Dead
The very best search engine on the Internet died today. Early this afternoon, Ask.com announced the layoff of 40-key employees and a radical shift in its focus and development. The property is still active but, if new CEO Jim Safka’s comments to the Wall St. Journal are any indication, the search engine itself is, as of today, lifeless.

Apparently ASK Doesn’t Always Have the Right Answer
Ask.com is letting go of 40 employees and conceptually restructuring itself by moving away from mainstream search and focusing on question-related searches for their supposed primary audience “middle-American, predominantly female consumers.”

IAC Cuts 8% Of Ask.com & Kills Search Engine
IAC’s Ask.com to Cut Staff, Outlines New Search Strategy from the Wall Street Journal reports IAC has cut 8% of Ask.com’s workforce, by letting go 40 people.

Ask.com Cuts 40 Jobs, Gary Price Among Those Laid Off
8% of its employees, totaling 40 people, will be laid off. Gary Price, a strong ambassador for Ask.com, librarian research advocate and author of the Resource Shelf blog was among those let go.

Goodbye Ask.com: A Brand Evangelist Hangs It Up
… a few hours ago the story went live on Search Engine Land: IAC Cuts 8% of Ask.com & Kills Search Engine (via WSJ.). That bullet was followed with another: All Things Must Pass. Gary Price, a good friend and industry mentor, has left Ask.com.

All Things Must Pass; Moving On from Ask.com
Earlier this afternoon I learned that Ask.com is taking the company in a new and different direction and I will not be a part of it.

Lose Diller, Not The Ask.com Engine
The truth is the search industry needs a small, innovative engine like Ask. Ask is the kind of company that keeps everyone else on their toes. They give Google complete concepts to steal from and everyone else ideas to “borrow”. You know all those search refinement tools we’re seeing sprout up? Those were ideas first tested in the Ask engine.

Facebook Hires Sandberg to Make Microsoft’s $240 Million Investment Pay Off
A senior executive jilted Google for another search engine – and it’s not Yahoo or MSN Live. In the strange bedfellows game in tech, the Google exec will help Microsoft profit from the $15 billion Facebook valuation Microsoft’s $240 million investment created.

Link Building Secrets Revealed by Top Linking Experts
Patrick Altoft, Hamlet Batista, Jim Boykin, Rand Fishkin, Peter van der Graaf, Bob Gladstein, Michael Gray, Debra Mastaler, Maurizio Petrone, Peter da Vanzo, & Eric Ward

Load Time Impacts Google Quality Score
A member over at WebmasterWorld found that web page load time is now a factor in Google’s Qulaity Score for AdWords.

Quick Tip: When Google Tries to Correct Your Spelling
Turns out Google was politely correcting my spelling when I DIDN’T WANT IT TO BE CORRECTED and searching for scanner instead of scannar.

SMX West Round-up
The Santa Clara convention center is rather big. Its sprawling footprint crosses seven or eight zip codes, several counties and encompasses at least three unique ecosystems.

Gates Talks Smack – Google Talk Crack
This piece contains THE best play on a phrase of the year.
Gates at the Barbarians: “In terms of Google, not to overstate it, but they really don’t understand the special needs of business”…

Mar 5
Obit: A West Coast Digerati Deadpools Ask.com
Goodbye, Ask.com. You caught my eye back in 1997 as an unusual meta search engine that asked questions to get answers. By 1998, I counted you alongside Google and Direct Hit as shining examples of what to watch in search.

7 Reasons We Will Miss Ask.com
… most people in the search marketing community literally loved Ask.com/. We loved former CEO Jim Lanzone. We loved evangelist Gary Price. We loved hanging out with Patrick Crisp and the hilarious characters from the PR department.

SEO Site Audit: A Wise Investment For All Companies
More and more savvy companies are undertaking search engine optimization (SEO) site audits to assess the current search-effectiveness of a site, what needs to be done to improve it, and to track a site’s performance over time.

Yahoo Celebrates Its 13th Birthday; Will There Be A 14th?
As Yahoo celebrates its 13th birthday, the looming question is: will the company be able to find an alternative to the Microsoft offer, or will Steve Ballmer & Co. prevail?

Google Debuts “Search Within A Site” Search Box Feature
Yesterday Barry blogged about Google testing a search box for site search within general search results. Today the feature is being fully rolled out for selected queries.

The Beginning of the End? Or the End of the Beginning?
The data doesn’t lie; unless you torture it and force a false confession. The latest barrage of “be afraid” and “see I told you” press surrounding Google and its less than satisfactory CTRs had me (like many in the search business) staring sideways at the data – and more importantly the conclusions drawn.

Yahoo Desperately Seeking Suitor: Time Warner
Yahooo’s desperately seeking a suitor. With a Microsoft proxy battle expected soon, Time Warner’s emerging as a white knight for the Sunnyvale search engine.

Yahoo Fires Back
Yahoo retaliated in the ongoing saga of Microsoft’s hostile takeover attempt today by extending the deadline for nominations of its board of directors to some future date 10 days after it announces the date of its annual meeting.

Ask.com to Become Women’s Site
This sounds like an April Fool’s joke, but the source is Associated Press, via San Francisco Chronicle

Mar 6
EU to say Yes to Google DoubleClick Deal
The CBC, Bloomberg and the New York Times are reporting that European regulators are expected to approve Google’s $3.1Billion acquisition of display ad network DoubleClick sometime next week.

AdWords Annouces, Explains Load Time Usage In Quality Score
The Adwords blog just announced the details of the inclusion of page load times in calculating Quality Score. This is an important announcement for all AdWords advertisers as it is a direct impact on your pricing.

Ziff-Davis Declares Bankruptcy
The Microsoft of high tech publishing has fallen as far as you can go down: into bankruptcy. In the 90’s, Ziff Davis was huge – 300 page issues of PC Magazine, dozens of titles, conferences — they had it all.

Microsoft Should Give Up On Yahoo
Some relationships (like Kid Rock and Pam Anderson, or any involving Britney Spears) just aren’t meant to be.

Getting into Twitter: My Take
It took me a while but I’m finally a Twitter fan.

Did Commission Junction Act Fairly, Break the Law, or Simply Overstep its Power Against Pepperjam?
… most networks have reached out to Pepperjam and want to work more closely and strategically with us, while others, such as Commission Junction, has decided to conclude that we are now competitors that pose serious potential harm to the Commission Junction business and decisive action must be taken against us.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta Is Out
You know you’re installing an important program when you need to reboot your computer to finish the setup. When you need to reboot twice, you know you’re installing something really important.

Has Yahoo Lost Its Yodel?
Is Jerry Yang ready to throw in the towel and partner with Microsoft? It seems like only yesterday that Yahoo was the darling of the Web.

March 2008 Google AdWords “Slap”: Minimum Bids Surge
There seems to be a ton of discussion going on at DigitalPoint Forums and some at WebmasterWorld about a recent Google AdWords Quality Score update where many AdWords advertisers saw their minimum bids spike up.

Conference Controversy: Paying Speakers & Sponsor Paid Sessions
Two threads erupted yesterday all on conference controversy in the search industry. We have a thread on the controversy of paying speakers at Cre8asite Forums and a thread on the controversy of sponsor paid and run sessions at Sphinn.

Mar 7
15 Ways to Be a SEO Conference Douchebag
I love SEO conferences and meetups. I’ve met most of my favorite people on the planet at them. There’s also lots of douchebags, who really don’t get what an incredible community of people it is most of the time.

Google Gives in to Pentagon Demands to Remove Images of Military Bases
After detailed, street-level photographs of Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas appeared in Google’s controversial “Street View”, the Pentagon acted quickly to have the images removed, calling them a threat to national security.

Microsoft in Hot Pursuit of Google
Yesterday, Steve Ballmer told a room of 1,500 software developers that the software giant has its eyes set on catching Google.

Is Creating a Facebook Study Group Cheating?
An 18 year old freshman at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, could be expelled his first year of college because of a Facebook group he was the administrator of.

Best of the Web SES New York Charity Party
In what has become a yearly tradition, Best of the Web (BOTW.org) is hosting the Internet Marketers of NY Charity Party on Tuesday March 18th.

Google Analytics Why Do You Make Me Distrust You?
So I logged into Google Analytics this morning and I get the following message…

SEO Analytics: SEOmoz & Enquisite
The other day, SEOmoz released what they named SEO Analytics. The beauty about this package is that nothing needs to be installed on your site, all this does is watch the search space for signals on your domain.

You’d Be Wise To “NoFollow” This Dubious SEO Advice
For the past few months, I have been listening to some of my colleagues talk about the nofollow attribute and how to use it to sculpt a page’s PageRank

Save Money to Make Money : Paid Search Auditing & Quality Control
There’s an old adage in business that says, You have to spend money to make money. As anyone who has experienced the power of effective advertising will confirm, the adage rings true time and time again.

Mar 8
Jason Calacanis TechCrunched in Techmeme: Deathmatch at SES New York
Another Civil War in Silicon Valley? Well, it’s war anyway–even if not civil. Aussie Duncan Riley of TechCrunch fame bodyslammed Jason after his Calacanis.com post on how to run a startup. Duncan said “Calacanis Fires People Who Have A Life.” So far, 164 comments on TechCrunch about firing anyone who’s not a workaholic …

Mar 9
Trademark Law and Domain Names: ACPA or UDRP?
Fuel up on that caffeine because today I want to discuss how trademark law plays out in the course of a domain name dispute. We’re going to compare and contract the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act with I-CANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

Are Google Competitors Throwing in the Towel?
If you were to stop for a moment and take a look at the market, it could definitely seem that things stand this way. After all sorts of scenarios regarding possible mergers, after all of the controversy generated by the possibility of Google finally having a decent competitor, what do numbers tell us?

Mar 10
Best Web Site Traffic: PPC vs. SEO (Search Engine-Optimized) Sites
How does your PPC traffic compare to natural search traffic and direct navigation?

CAPTCHA Systems are Under Attack
For a long time we have come to rely on mechanisms such as CAPTCHA to hold spammers at bay.

Get Naked with Matt McGowan (Incisive Media, VP of Marketing)
If you’re interested in meeting Matt in person, come to SES NY…

The New Multitaskers: Kids Split Attention Between TV, Internet
A new study on social networking by Grunwald Associates reveals that kids are no longer glued to the television. Now, while the tube is on, many kids are also splitting their attention between the TV and the Internet.

Mar 11
Google Gets DoubleClick (EU Approves Acquisition)
The last official hurdle to Google’s acquisition of display marketing giant DoubleClick fell today as the European Union approved the $3.1 Billion sale early this morning.

PPC Summit Clicks to Vancouver BC – March 31 – April 1
Vancouver BC, Canada’s emerald jewel of a city will play host to one of the most rapidly emerging search marketing conferences, PPC Summit at the end of this month. (The conference was canceled a few weeks later)

We’ve officially acquired DoubleClick
(Posted by Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO) I’m pleased to share the news that we completed our acquisition of DoubleClick today.

Wal-Mart and Linux: No Surprise
I hope that nobody is surprised by Wal-Mart’s decision to stop selling Linux boxes (in the form of the gPC). Despite what some folks may think, Linux on the desktop is perpetually one year off.

Your Baby’s Ugly – Why You Need Landing Page Optimization Now
All new parents think their drooling, wailing, wrinkled little midget is beautiful – and that’s as it should be. The same seems to be true of landing pages.

When PR Means Public Relations and not Page Rank
Our session Beyond Linkbait at SES NYC has a very different approach to SEO and linkbait – how to use traditional public relations tactics to create authoritative links.

News Corp Won’t Battle Microsoft for Yahoo
In their efforts to avoid a takeover by Microsoft, Yahoo has been looking to the likes of AOL, News Corp. (MySpace), and Google to help fend off the Redmond giant. But now, it appears that at least one of them is dropping out of the game.

ISPs Won’t Win Neutrality Battle
The fight for “net neutrality” continues, with ISPs such as Comcast desiring to keep their practice of discriminating against peer to peer applications private.

Google AdWords Experiments With Automated Matching
Google is testing a system that automatically spends advertisers’ money by algorithmically extending AdWords campaigns…

Mar 12
Online Free Expression Day – March 12 – Reporters Without Borders
Today is a day of protest. It’s about truth, freedom and the right to publish without fear of state persecution. It’s an important stand to take, even for those of us who feel protected living in western democracies.

The Holy Grail of Long Tail Information Finally Trackable
This is a feature I’ve been asking for in analytics packages for the last 2 years:

SEO Advice: Getting Links (from Matt Cutts)
Okay, here are some ways to get high-quality links without emailing, paying, or even paying attention to search engines:

Alltop Launches, Do We Need Another News/RSS Aggregation Site?
Guy Kawasaki has launched his new news aggregation site, Alltop.

Kevin Ryan discusses SES London and SES New York 2008
Kevin talks about big-picture sessions versus tactical sessions, and how he structures SES conferences to address attendees’ needs in both areas.

Mar 13
Bebo acquisition could boost AOL
AOL will pay $850 million to acquire global social networking site Bebo.com in an all-cash deal announced Thursday.

Google Sky Site Launched
Google Sky was already a feature of desktop app Google Earth. Now it’s moved to the browser at sky.google.com.

12 Search Engines Which Can Replace Ask.com
Ask.com was/is one of the most resourceful and innovative search engines on the market and has claimed a relatively significant chunk of online search market.

The Link Building Rap : Hip Hop Meets SEO

You create a new site and its content heavy,
With the right amount of pictures you believe it’s ready,
So you launch it trying to put money in da bank,
But when you search and try to find yourself, you can’t,
So you thank until your mind goes blank,
Got titles and headers but no page rank…

Mar 14
Metamend on CBC
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is filming a short segment in the Metamend board room this afternoon.

A Search-Sized Bite Out of the Big Apple
Search Engine Strategies is in New York next week and Yahoo! will be there to discuss everything from viral campaigns, to searcher behavior research, to next generation search. With nine panels, one keynote and a booth, we’re ready to head to the Big Apple.

6 Questions With Analytics Guru Avinash Kaushik
… today’s interview features the always awesome, and always engaging, Avinash Kaushik.

Microsoft Meets With Yahoo To Make Its Case
The WSJ is reporting that execs from Microsoft met with Yahoo in an effort to convince the company to accept their unsolicited bid.

Mar 17
Live in New York – Search Engine Strategies 2008
I am sitting high above Times Square stealing a precious few minutes to get this post up. The largest and most influential search engine conference, Search Engine Strategies, is taking place a block and a half away at the Hilton Midtown.

Network Neutrality is for On-Line Marketers too!
If Internet access providers, such as telephone and cable companies, begin preferring certain web sites or content types over others, it will be harder for the marketing community to determine whether observed on-line behavior is due to customer choice or provider choice.


SEMPO: State of the Market in 2007

SEMPO, today released the results of its annual State of the Market Survey and the results indicate that the search marketing industry has exceeded the project spending allocations that were expected in 2007 and that the overall consensus from marketers it that the industry will continue to positive growth.

FTC Orders ValueClick to Pay 2.9 Million
The FTC announced today that Valueclick has agreed to pay 2.9 million dollars to settle the charges.

Mar 18
Using data to help prevent fraud – (by Shuman Ghosemajumder)
Protecting our advertisers against click fraud is a lot like solving a crime: the more clues we have, the better we can determine which clicks to mark as invalid, so advertisers are not charged for them.

Looking Back On The Future Of Mobile
Everyone’s had visions for the future of mobile, and now that the buzz on mobile marketing is back again, it’s a good time to do a spot check on my own prognosticating on mobile search.

Yahoo! & Click Forensics Team-up to Combat Fraudulent clicks
Yesterday at the Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference in New York, Yahoo! has announced that it would be joining hands with click-fraud auditing firm Click Forensics.

Can Yahoo Deliver with its Detailed Financial Plan for 2008?
If there is one company that should be reading Yahoo’s 2008 financial plan, it’s got to be Microsoft.

Mar 19
You Say Big Brother, I Say Friendly Neighborhood Peeping Tom Bearing Gifts
Today Google proved to me they know who I am! Let me explain…

Very Explicit Porn Hits Google Universal Search
Warning, clicking on the following Google search result may return an image of extreme pornographic nature.

Election Will Be Won or Lost Online
Howard Dean may have started the Internet age of political fundraising and grass roots support, but this year, the web has taken over all aspects of campaign communications.

General Motors to Spend $1.5 Billion on Online Advertising
General Motors is leading the auto industry in shifting their traditional advertising campaigns to online marketing.

Mar 20
IMNY Charity Party a Huge Success
On March 18th the Internet Marketers of New York held our charity event and it was huge success. Thanks to BOTW and Search Engine Land for stepping up and covering the tab and donating door prizes. With their support we were able to raise over $16,000 which will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Mar 21
Google Loses Wireless Auction, But Wins Anyway
While it would have been interesting to see what Google would have done, if it had won some of the new wireless airwaves, the company’s satisfied with it’s role as disrupter.

Is Microsoft Offering a Rose to the Wrong Bachelorette?
While Yahoo plays games with Microsoft’s acquisition bid, some are beginning to ask, “Why isn’t Microsoft buying AOL?”

Mar 22
The Way That Yahoo Can Resist Microsoft
Yahoo has a lot of substance to it with all kinds of substantial products and services across the globe. Call it peanut butter or call it honey, but you have to admit, a lot of it is pretty sweet (or sticky, or both).

‘Jericho’ Canceled Again
It was the viral protest heard ’round the world. So much so that the CBS show Jericho being canceled, this time for good, was international news.

Mar 24
Yahoo Sees the Future in the Cloud
Yahoo appears to be looking to the cloud for its future. As covered by Search Engine Watch, editor Kevin Heisler today, Yahoo is using the 4th largest super-computer in the world, (owned by Mumbai based Computational Research Laboratories) to facilitate research in cloud computing.

SEO Industry Survey Results Released
We’ve been working pretty hard on pulling together the numbers from 3000+ responses to the SEO Industry Survey, graphing the results, and writing up some thoughts in an article on the SEO Industry Survey.

Jason Calacanis Is The Devil & SEOs are Children
A week or so before Jason Calacanis was due to give his keynote at Search Engine Strategies New York, search marketers decided to start a movement to “out” him as being misinformed about search engine optimization.

Google Wants to Offer National Wi-Fi for Free
Free, nationwide WiFi. Drooling yet, or do I need to say it again? Free, nationwide WiFi from Google. As we mentioned earlier, Google is lobbying the FCC for some of the wireless spectrum that will be freed next year when television will cease analog transmission. Google’s plan? “Wi-Fi on steroids.” (Without the ‘roid rage, I’m guessing.)

Microsoft & Yahoo Both Lose Ground to Google, Would Teaming Up Even Help?
Microsoft is still gunning for Yahoo in hopes that by acquiring the company they’d be able to take on and seriously compete with Google in the online realm.

Many SEOs Feel The Minus X Penalties Are Back Link Related
A month ago I wrote, Google’s Matt Cutts Replies to -60 Penalty Thread at Google where I summarize how Matt said some links are hurting a particular site.

Google Launches Demographics Targeting to All Advertisers
Google AdWords announced that demographics targeting is now available to all advertisers. Google has been testing this feature for over two years now and relaunched the test recently without comScore data, although you can still use demographic targeting with comScore data under placement targeted ads.

Mar 25
The Downturn that Isn’t – Google is doing just fine
Get ready to read some disturbing news in the next few weeks. Though not a fortune-teller or psychic, my gut-sense tells me that the search and mainstream media is going to get all apocalyptic over a perceived downturn in ad-spends in the major PPC networks. I am almost certain it is going to happen and just as certain the reports, though numerically correct, will be factually wrong.

PPC Summit in Vancouver Canceled
The emails went out last night stating that the PPC Summit scheduled for next week in Vancouver has been canceled due to lack of commitment from vendors. Having just returned from the highly successful Search Engine Strategies conference in New York, the cancellation of PPC Summit came as a shock and a disappointment.

Out of Print – The death and life of the American newspaper
The American newspaper has been around for approximately three hundred years.

Mar 26
Matt Cutts 1 – DaveN 0
Not that I would ever actually keep score..(and if I was Matt would still be winning). Yesterday I posted reinclusion request indigo clothing. Today I have to issues an apology to Google… SORRY !

Network Solutions Implements New “Front Running” Policy; Is it Any Better?
After getting into all kinds of deep-water with its front running (aka domain tasting) practices, Network Solutions announced it would make changes to its policy. Thanks to Keri Morgret those changes have been spotted in the wild.

Mar 27
SuperBowl Advertising Post Mortem: Tide Sticks it Out
While I am presently an offline/online media relations guy, my background spans a variety of media and tactics. As such, I have always been fascinated with the phenomena of SuperBowl advertisements. What other event allows you to generate buzz simply by making a media buy?

Conversion Rates & The Value Of Outsourcing SEM/SEO
I recently got my hands on Marketing Sherpa’s newly released Landing Page Handbook. This detailed guide is packed full of industry information and practical case studies.

We Don’t Need SEO Standards!
I’ve come to the conclusion that not only would it be impossible to come up with standards that most would be happy with, I strongly believe that we don’t need them at all.

Drilling Into Google’s Decline In Paid Clicks
More doom and gloom on the paid search side for Google. comScore is once again reporting a drop in sponsored clicks, something that also happened last month.

Google won’t search for Chuck Norris
It’s true, sort of. The cult of Chuck Norris has won top spot under the inadvisable keyword phrase, “find chuck norris”.

Mar 28
If you use TLA read this..
you know that Google is hunting and killing sites…

Newspapers Report Biggest Drop in Ad Revenue in 50 Years
This is a particularly disturbing headline, especially if you’re in the newspaper industry.

We Do Need SEO Standards
Over at Search Engine Land, Jill Whalen writes that we don’t need industry standards and just like that my inner pit bull wakes up and starts mouthing the gate. It’s like a tic.

Google Maps adds street view for 13 cities + 1 national park
Google Maps has a really cool feature if you don’t already know about it. It’s called Street View and puts you at eye level and lets you explore the streets of supported cities.

Google Brings Robot.txt generator to the Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools has a new tool that would certainly be useful to site owners in making their site Googlebot friendly – the Robots.txt generator.

The Video Search Revolution will be Contextualized
If you’ve been wondering how online video can be adequately searched or monetized, then video search company Digitalsmiths has some answers for you

Mar 29
EU Bans Fake Reviews
Is this cool or what? In Europe, fake reviews and websites purporting to be from customers will soon be banned.

Is Google’s Price Drop A Reflection Of Recent Media Coverage
The value of Google’s stock has taken a bit of a beating recently from their high of $747 last year to yesterday’s close at $438. After doing my weekly news review, I saw a lot of articles questioning many actions Google has been doing lately.

Mar 31
Public perception, don’t leave home without it
Search engine optimization is woefully misunderstood, even within parts of the greater online marketing community. As very good SEO firms rarely have to advertise, the general public often has no idea what it is SEOs do.

Even for Google, Conversions Matter More Than Clicks
Wall Street is acting with caution when it comes to Google based on months of reporting that the search engine giant’s paid search clicks are declining. But Google insists that the click reductions are due to improvement in the quality of the ads, not because Google is somehow losing its luster.

Google + DoubleClick = 69% of Online Advertising Market
When Google raised concerns over a possible Microsoft-Yahoo merger, it may have just been the pot calling the kettle black. According to new stats released by Attributor, Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick gives them a whopping 69% of the online advertising market share. This comes in the wake of news that Google saw 59.2 percent of all US searches in February.

Google’s Not Big Brother, But It Does Provide Spooks the Technology
This will give the conspiracy theorists something to sink their teeth into; Google is providing search technology to the nation’s intelligence agencies.

23andme : Social Networking Comes to Genomics
The social feature would let users compare their genome data with that of other users and present similarities.

Can Google Stop the Brain Drain?
It takes more than an army of trained chefs and free lunch to keep Googlers happy.

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