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Top 10 Search Events of Q1 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Can you believe that we are close to wrapping up the first quarter of 2010?  Where does the time go?  Well we thought that we would revisit some of the top SEO/Search related events from the past quarter.

#10.  Facebook prepares to launch "Zero" for mobile phones - In February, Facebook revealed details of a stripped down text only version of their mobile site which they are calling Facebook Zero.  According to Facebook, more than 100 million people now access Facebook from their phone. 

#9. comScore Releases 2009 US Digital Year in Review - In a report that summarizes 2009 digital marketing trends and implications for 2010, in early February, comScore launched a report stating that 2009 proved to be a critical year in digital marketing as the economic environment brought unprecedented challenges to the industry. After years of strong growth across the digital economy, the recession introduced softness to many digital business sectors.Some key points from the report include:
  •  Six out of seven U.S. Internet users now view online video content in a month, with YouTube and Hulu continuing to experience rapid increase in viewership.  Video optimization is something that we continue to be big fans of.
  •  Social networking continued to gain momentum in 2009 with nearly 4 out of 5 Internet users visiting a social networking site on a monthly basis
  •  The U.S. core search market grew 16 percent in 2009, driven by a 6-percent gain in unique searchers and a 10-percent gain in search queries per searcher.
#8.  SMX West 2010 - maybe it is just me, but coverage on SMX West 2010 seemed a little skimpy this year.  Virginia Nussey of Bruce Clay did have a nice post on 3 takeaways from SMX West 2010 that you can check out here.

#7.  SEMPO Releases Results for Annual Search State of the Union survey - details will be out later this week as to the results from the annual SEMPO.  Expect an update on the rising popularity of social media and the impact it has had on search engine marketing.   SEMPO mentioned that they have had a record number of respondents, as well as a record number of countries participating in the survey.

#6.  SES NY 2010 - I attended this show last year and though that it was actually pretty decent.  Taking place from March 22 to the 26th, SES NY again featured some great keynote speakers including:
  • David Meerman Scott - Author, World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas.
  • Avinash Kaushik - Author, Blogger, Analytics Evangelist, Google
  • Yusuf Mehdi - Senior Vice President of the Online Audience Business, Bing
This is a great show, but really they should have better price points as conference attendance might improve as a result.  This year, they offered something new in terms of Advertiser and Agency passes with prices starting at $10K for 10 passes.   http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/newyork/

#5.  Yahoo Celebrates its 15th Birthday - could this be its last?  Although started in 1994, Yahoo was incorporated on March 1, 1995.  They posted a Yahoo timeline on flickr to celebrate. 

#4.  Google Crawling AJAX - in late January, Vanessa Fox shared a great piece on the fact that Google is continuing to crawl AJAX, sharing some Google advice on using AJAX.
As to whether or not you should start implementing Google's AJAX proposal whereby an AJAX-generated URL that contains a hash mark (#) would also be replaced with a URL that uses #! in place of #, Fox states:
Should you start implementing? Depends. If you’re able to implement another method for search-friendly AJAX, I’d suggest going that route, since it will make your site available for a wider audience, including those on screen readers, mobile devices, and who use search engines other than Google. If you just aren’t able to implement another method and it’s either this method or nothing, well, then it’s better than nothing. Should you start now? Google doesn’t seem to have everything polished, but there is evidence that they’ve begun crawling these URLs. It seems inevitable that Google will support this implementation, so if you’re planning to use this method, you may as well get started.
#3.  Google Releases Their SEO Report Card - confirming many SEO best practices, Google released their SEO report card.  Intended to  provide Google's product teams with ideas on how they can improve their products' pages using simple and accepted optimizations.  Simple practices such as fixing 404s and broken links, simplifying URL choice, and providing easier-to-understand titles and snippets for their pages to benefit both users and search engines.  The SEO report card can be viewed here.  More information on Google's SEO report card can be found at:

#2.  Facebook Surpasses Google in Traffic - in early March, Facebook surpassed Google in terms of visitor traffic.  According to Hitwise data, for the week ending March 13, visits to Facebook.com accounted for 7.07 percent of all Internet traffic in the United States compared to Google's 7.03 percent.  A sign of things to come?

#1.  Google Leaves China - lots of Google vs China news leading up to this decision, but on March 22, 2010, Google announced its departure from China.  While Google will retain their office in China, the company decided to redirect Google.CN to Google.com.HK.  Google Hong Kong offers simplified Chinese results with one major exception, the results are uncensored. Google's announcement, included the following:
 earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement.
 Google was also quick to add that "these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them."

Of course there were numerous other events that transpired in Q1, but these were a couple that we had on our radar.


posted by Jody @ Monday, March 22, 2010  
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