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Category: Search Engine News

War of Words: Microsoft vs. Google

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War of Words: Microsoft vs. Google
For those who aren't aware of it yet, Google recently announced that it would be making some changes in its privacy policy. Under these changes, Google will consolidate more than 60 privacy policies into one document. In other words, there will only be one privacy policy for several Google products, including Gmail, Calendar, Search, YouTube, and more. Set to take effect on March 1st, this change will give Google the right to combine information that you've provided from one service with information from other services. According to Google, these changes will improve search, because they'll be able to get to know you better, figure out what you really mean when you type in ambiguous terms such as "Jaguar" (which could either mean the animal or the car) or "Pink" (which could either mean the color or the singer). Most importantly though, this new privacy policy will also affect the ads that Google displays. This means that...

Google Search Plus Your World Is A Hit, Despite Outcries In The Blogosphere

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Google Search Plus Your World Is A Hit, Despite Outcries In The Blogosphere
It's been just two weeks since Google launched "Search Plus Your World" (SPYW) to the Internet. The result? People love it. Rather, it appears that users love it. The blogosphere is up in arms over the whole deal. Google's SPYW is really an integration of normal Google search and Google +. This venture is an attempt to make search results more "social." However, the big "G" can really only display search results from its own social network because companies like Twitter and Facebook won't play nicely with Google. Other social media companies won't share data with Google in a way that Google wants. In some cases, they won't share user data at all. Thus, the end-user is left with search results that look like they favor Google's own products. This has drawn sharp criticism from some bloggers who see Google as a giant in the industry that is becoming biased - taking the focus away from the user...

Is Google A Drug Dealer?

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Is Google A Drug Dealer?
Google's having another difficult month. A recent Wall Street Journal article dishes up new details about a government sting operation that compelled Google to fork over $500 million in a settlement offer. Big "G" acknowledged that it allowed, and even helped, Canadian pharmacies to sell drugs in the U.S. in violation of federal law. Google's not one for playing by the rules. It's even been caught red-handed buying links in violation of its own TOS. However, by breaking federal drug laws, Google may have goofed up on a scale much larger than "best practice violations." Even if you think drug laws are irrational, and immoral, and you think the government shouldn't have the right to make drugs illegal, the point of fact is that the government forces everyone to comply with its drug laws. The Department of Justice investigation and the resulting settlement with Google is over. There's nothing new happening there....

Search Quality Raters: the Human Eyes behind Google's Algorithms

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You know how search marketing experts are always saying that websites should produce content for people and not search engine bots? Well, here's yet another reason to follow that advice: Search Quality Raters. These are individuals that are tasked to evaluate search results and websites to determine their relevancy to queries. The existence of these raters isn't exactly a secret, as there have been several reports about them before, thanks to some leaked Google documents. Leave it up to Search Engine Land to conduct an interview with an actual Search Quality Rater. Last Friday, the popular SEO blog published a Q&A with this person that details how Quality Raters are hired, how they are trained, and most importantly, how they evaluate search results. Check out the details of their interview below: Who are they? Google contracts and outsources several of its positions, and Search Quality Raters are no different. According to Search Engine Land, the...

Google Updates Algorithm to Target Pages with Too Many Ads

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Google Updates Algorithm to Target Pages with Too Many Ads
Yesterday, Google announced that they released an algorithm update that factors in "the layout of a webpage and the amount of content you see on the page once you click on a result." The algorithmic change is targeted towards sites that have too many ads located at the upper-hand part of the page (also known as "above-the-fold.") This means that if someone visits a website and that user doesn't see a lot of content right away because of excessive ads, then the site could see a drop in traffic, because of this new update. What's with the change? Apparently, Google has received a lot of complaints from users having unpleasant browsing experiences due to the imbalance between content and ads. According to a blog post by the search giant: Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don't have much content "above-the-fold" can be affected by this...

Google & Facebook, What the Heck are You Guys Doing?

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Google & Facebook, What the Heck are You Guys Doing?
We all know that the first few weeks of 2012 have not been kind to Google. We've witnessed one mess after another unfold for the search giant, and none of these issues show any signs of slowing down. But is Google the only company in hot water? Maybe in the public's eye, but in reality, it's not the only tech giant that's doing questionable things. Its social media rival, Facebook, may also soon go under fire because of a recent "political" update that's being frowned upon by a lot of users and privacy watch dogs. (More on this later.) Let's break down the recent actions of our admired tech companies, shall we? 3 Strikes for Google: Buying Links, Antitrust, & Fraud Strike 1: As we previously reported, Google was recently caught in a fiasco that involved buying links and posting thin content, in efforts to promote the Chrome browser. The search giant immediately reacted and put the blame on third-party companies that...

Google+: Love It or Hate It, You Ought to Be In It

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Google+: Love It or Hate It, You Ought to Be In It
Google+ may not be the hippest or most mainstream social network yet, but that shouldn't stop you from jumping in right now. The search giant is taking huge strides in bringing its own social community to the forefront, so like it or not, people are going to notice Google+. This post will summarize some of the not-so-little things that Google is doing to promote its social network. Additionally, if your brand is already on Google+ and you're thinking of ways to increase your presence, check out the latter part of this post that provides a quick overview of the social network's most important features, together with some tips on using the site. Google indexes G+ profiles like crazy If you type in a person's name on Google, chances are their Google+ Profile (if they have one) along with their photo, will appear on the first page of search results. Displaying a photo in search results is a big plus (no pun intended) for the search...

Google Found Guilty of Buying Links, Penalizes Itself

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Google Found Guilty of Buying Links, Penalizes Itself
It looks like Google is off to a rough—and ironic—start this year. The search giant, which is known for its strict policies against buying links and publishing low-quality content, was recently caught breaking its own rules, Search Engine Land reported. According to the popular SEO blog on Monday, a search for "This post is sponsored by Google" returns over 400 pages, all written in line with a Google Chrome Marketing campaign. Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan found that lot of these "sponsored posts" contained a video advertisement for the browser, together with supposed articles or reviews about Google Chrome. What's fishy about them though is that most of the posts contain "thin content" –the very type of content that Google's Panda update aims to curtail. The articles may have a sentence or two with the term "Google Chrome," but the essence of their content doesn't really say much...

Google's Dirty Little Secret: Whitelisting

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Google's Dirty Little Secret: Whitelisting
Have you ever wondered why some websites just seem to have all the luck in the search engine results pages? How does Demand Media, for example, keep sites like eHow at the top of the search results for all of those long-tail keywords? Recent Panda tweaks have hit some of Demand's properties, causing a decline in traffic no doubt. However, much of Demand Media's authority remains in the search results. There's something that can explain this kind of phenomenon, as well as other SEO oddities. For example, why do some websites seem destined for the fabled "sandbox" while other websites rank well for keywords right out of the gate? A recent slip by Google may shed some light on this matter, and serve as a warning to you when you try to compete in a crowded niche. Searchneutrality.org recently profiled Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt and his recent testimony to the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee. One company, which was the focus of...

5 Google-Related Changes That Could Affect Your Online Business

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Some important changes have been taking place recently in the Internet marketing world. Don't make the mistake of ignoring these, since the impact to your business could be huge: 1. Google Currents. Google's newest offering is called "Google Currents," and it promises to allow you to share content in a unique new way. Actually, the application is marketed towards users, so it could technically be described as viewing content in a new way. The application allows you to add your favorite content from all over the web, follow trending stories, and it's supposed to look stunning on both the iPhone and Android phones. Currents looks like a direct competitor to Flipboard (that reader designed for Apple's iPad). Currents is supposed to allow you to bring together entire websites, photos, individual articles, videos, and the kitchen sink so that you can view it in a magazine format on your Apple or Android device. So far, Google has partnered with...

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