Certainly by now everyone is aware that Google has implemented a rather dramatic update to their algorithm. They’re calling it the “Webspam Update” and it’s had quite an impact on search results today. Word has it that this update is affecting about 3% of all searches done on Google, but if you believe what you read in the forums & blogs, it’s much higher than that.
So, what’s really happening? It’s tough to say because there is really crappy stuff ranking #1 for some highly coveted keywords right now. Just do a Google search for “make money online” and you’ll see what I mean. Click the first listing and you’re whisked away this bevy of useful information:
That site looks like this when you open it up:
Zero content, PR3 AND a #1 ranking…nice work, Google! Yeah right.
All kidding aside, there are plenty more examples where that came from.
So, what should you do?
If your site was affected, wrongly or rightly, I’d begin by cleaning up what you can on your pages. Axe the duplicate content, over-use of internal anchor text & keyword stuffing (both in copy and in tags). It’s also probably a really good time to review your outbound links and remove (or nofollow) any links to sites that might be questionable. And take a good look at your inbound links and try to manage your inbound anchor-text diversity as much as you can. (This isn’t always easy..especially with older links…but if you have the option to diversify your anchors, do so.)
What you should NOT do is knee-jerk and strip away all of the genuine work you’ve put into your sites until we know more. SEO’s tend to get panicky when things like this happen and end up undoing things that shouldn’t have been undone. And if you think this is only happening to you, spend some time reading about all the people who are freaking out due to this horrible update on WMT Blog and WebmasterWorld.
There’s no secret that Microsoft is trying everything they can to reach Google’s level when it comes to search, while Google is trying everything they can to reach Microsoft’s level in everything else. I don’t think either have come close to taking over the others areas of expertise.
Microsoft’s new “decision engine”, BING, is their latest attempt to attract more search users and hopefully some of the advertising that comes with it. The results, to me, seem almost just like Google’s results, just with a bit more fluff involved.
Usually when Microsoft launches these new attempts, it seems Google doesn’t do much to react…except this time. According to the New York Post, Sergey has jumped in to run a team of the top cats to improve their search engine.
Since I read this story, I’ve been paying closer attention to the Google feed and they are having a lot of “improvements” popping out faster than normal.
Then today I was doing a search and noticed they are labeling listings in their SERP’s that are forums. They are giving the total number of “posts” and total number of “authors“. I actually kind of like this because if you’re looking for help with something like a computer issue, I usually look for forum url’s but you never know what you’ll get until you open it. Now I can find the listings that are busier with the expectation of finding a solution. Here’s a screen shot:
The one thing I haven’t tested yet is when they show a listing that might be page 10 of 200 within a thread. Does it count the number of authors for the entire thread? Or is it just page specific?
Have you tried BING yet? I have to admit it’s kind of nice. Catchy name, results are very similar to Google and while they still have some kinks to work out, I think it has some advantages over Google.
Whether BING does well or not, at least they’re keeping Google from becoming complacent with their search product.
All you need is a “smart meter” that allows Google to tap into your energy usage and they’ll tell you where you can save money based on consumption.
I have to give it to Google…they sure do have some smart people that come up with unique ideas. Go read more about PowerMeter over at their .org site.
Next on the invention table? Keyboards for your computer that read your fingerprints so online billing information is no longer needed. You go to a shopping cart and they know who you are already. The project will then turn into small electrical currents that are sent through the keys into the human body where they can read your brain and index your entire life.
Microsoft Live Search, the third most used search engine after Google and Yahoo with less than a 10% market share of online searches usually doesn’t come up in the conversation too often, but it made an interesting ripple last week when it was incorporated in the social search results of the immensely popular social networking site Facebook. This got me thinking about who stands to benefit more from this action, Facebook or Microsoft? While I’m sure both sides stand to benefit; Microsoft can potentially increase the use of Live Search by tapping into the social networks millions of users and Facebook adds yet another functionality to their site. However upon reflection I believe the convergence of Search and Social is clearly more important towards the Social Network, which has yet to establish its ability to effectively monetize through ad revenue the same way Search Engines have successfully done.
In the last two years Facebook has made continual changes in their advertising platform, they call “Social Ads”, hoping to increase their ad revenue, which like many other websites is their primary method of income. The selling point for these ads is the ability to target market to very specific audiences based on the information in user profiles (location, interest, hobbies, age, gender, religion, favorite music, books, movies, etc). They have also implemented several free tools such as Facebook Pages to help companies build brands on Facebook, pushing companies to promote these pages through paid Social Ads. Yet among Marketers the success of Pages and Social Ads is often a matter of controversy on whether or not advertising on Facebook yield desired results. They have ad models for both PPC and CPI, but the results of these ads have been abysmal when compared to the results of attainable through Search Engine Marketing.
I think there are many factors involved in Facebook’s lack luster income but most involve the fundamental difference between Social Networks and Search Engines. Information in someone’s profile is passive in that a person doesn’t input that data hoping to receive ads for it, they put it there for their friends to see which is the cornerstone of social networks. Compare this to a search query in which a user is actively seeking information for a very specific topic of their choice at that specific moment in time. I’m not saying that Social Marketing is a waste of time, but I think it has yet to find it’s rhythm and believe me they are searching for that rhythm as we speak. There is much potential for Social Marketing, I believe that with the right strategy companies can engage their users in new and beneficial ways.
This comparison between the core products of Google and Facebook (search and social networks) is important because the two companies in some respects seem headed for a showdown with competing products such as Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect. Both companies are attempting to spread their influence to all corners of the net, with the advantage clearly to Google which has already established their dominance is so many areas, not to mention making a ton of money in the process. The underdog, Facebook admits to being focused on growth not income right now, and with their partnership with Live Search they are treading further into Google’s territory. As both companies vie for your time online, I predict we will see many interesting developments and an increasing convergence of search and social among all parties.
Google kicks ass in search. There’s no doubt there. It seems they are continually jumping into anything and everything they can, but nothing has really become as successful as their search product.
Now the talk is about their new open source web browser, Chrome. When I hear “Chrome”, I think of shiny metal on cars. I also think of a band I always dug back in the day called Catherine Wheel who put out an album called “Chrome”. Can Google recreate the word “Chrome” with a shiny, cool web browser? Tough road to climb.
I’m giving it a test run now and it will take some getting used to, but the initial look and feel is very ‘Google’; simple and clean. I’ll be waiting to hear of data collection claims by the smart people who will dissect the source code, but for now, I’ll use it sparingly.
I’m not sure why I didn’t look at the dot com while researching my last blog about Knol, but something made me think of it today. Pretty interesting move by using the name “Knol”, since someone named “H Knol”, from the Netherlands, has owned and operated Knol dot com since November of 2002. (whois source)
After translating this page correctly (Yahoo absolutely sucked at it!), presumably ‘Knol’ him/herself, discussed the recent launch of Google’s Knol,
Google is working on “Knol”
UPDATE 24-7-2008 UPDATE 24-7-2008
On various Web sites (including nu.nl, Google Blog, Blog Hosting 040) is now officially read that Google now has its own wikipedia started with the name Knol. There are articles by professionals and put these can be appreciated by readers.
And that we move google can appreciate Clearly, the focus on, especially our domain, is again grown considerably.
It needs no explanation that we are not here to follow up, as in december.
NOTE: We sell steam cleaning equipment and don’t sell our domain !!
Friday 14 december:
On a blog from Google published an article which reported that Google was working on Knol. This is a kind of combination of Wikipedia and Encyclopedia personal paginabouwer Squidoo. Advertising revenue goes to the Internet to share with the authors.
Knol is an abbreviation for “knowledge”, speaking of “nol”
Now you will think what that has to do with Tuberous Stoomreinigings Systemen?
Well, from that Friday there is immediately a true run in areas that had the word “Knol” in itself, as also the domain knol.com.
This has resulted in tens of thousands of visitors who came to take a look at the website of Knol.com! In a short time we had received visitors from more than 130 countries from around the world.
Fortunately, the website was able to be able strongholds and the site remained in the air.
But that was not in, we were also alleman by Jan and asked if we wanted to sell the domain. Unfortunately, we have to disappoint everyone, how beautiful their offerings sometimes has been.
In short, it was a special experience …
So imagine that. You sell steam cleaning products in the Netherlands operating under your last name, then one of the world’s wealthiest companies comes along and chooses your name to run one of its future products under. Would you sell? Or would you remain as is and constantly have huge bandwidth bills due to Googler’s constantly hitting the wrong site?
I checked to see what trademarks there were listed at the USPTO.gov and the only thing that came up with Google’s registration in December of 2007. I dealt with a trademark dispute many years ago in another business and can see where the original Knol owner wouldn’t have much of a dispute, other than keeping Google out of the geographic region where Knol products are sold. But how likely is that!
There are also a couple of previous owners of knol dot com that might be kicking themselves in the rears for letting the name go. Looking on Archive.org for knol dot com, it would appear a company named Knoll and Company, Inc had ownership back in 1999 & 2000, then another company called the KnollGroup ran the domain for 2001 and most of 2002. Think they wish they had a do-over? There are also 72 Whois changes for the domain, so I’m sure there are probably more.