Marketing-Jive, formerly SEO-Space, was established in 2006 and since then we have noticed significant increases in both traffic and feed subscribers. If you want to promote your business to thousands of visitors who understand digital marketing, you’ve come to the right place. Sign up and start receiving qualified leads right now. Your ad will be visible on every unique page on our blog.
Well right around this time last year, we launched our very first post of SEO-Space. Initially this blog set out to be an experiment to communicate organic SEO tips for the B2B marketer. However it has become so much more.
We frequently report on financial information for the major search engines
We are big fans of usability and improving the online user experience
From time to time we promote the activities and projects happening with our team at Enquiro Search Solutions Inc.
Random thoughts and predictions.
We've feature some of our top SEO posts on special occasions and we hope to continue to bring our perspective and views on search and online market as they relate to B2B sites and all sites in general. Moving forward we are going to feature some new guest bloggers, interviews with key industry folk and we might even have a few other surprises in the works. Thanks for taking the time to check us out.
As the ghosts and goblins prepare to roam the streets this evening, financial advisors who once thought that Google stock was a scary proposition must be scratching their heads. Amongst rumors of a Google Phone, talks with Verizon about putting Google applications on phones it offers, and plans for Google to get further involved in the social network space, Google shares surged passed $700.
Google (GOOG) is a powerful entity. How powerful you ask? Well when compared to its search competition, Google revenues are higher than those of AOL, MSN and Yahoo combined. The key for Google is innovation. While some suggest the Google Phone is just an Urban Legend, it is no secret that Google is developing operating software to power mobile phones. It is also no secret that the mobile arena is one that Google is very interested in. In fact Marissa Mayer of Google hinted at this at Search Engine Strategies San Jose in August.
John Gapper over at the Financial Post.com had an interesting post on "how mighty Google is ringing the changes". Google has is definitely a mover and shaker. The fact that their shares continue to rise is not a surprise. Expect this trend to continue for some time.
As per usual ASK has the coolest homepage this Halloween with a scary trio of Jack O'Lanterns. The search engines usually do a little something with their logos on Halloween. 2007 is no different. Last year their were some interesting logos as you can see here.
You have no doubt heard about Alibaba's IPO being the second largest web-based IPO since Google's in 2004. Google raised $1.5 billion while reports claim that Alibaba raised $1.5 billion. This is great news for Yahoo as Yahoo (YHOO) owns a 39% stake in Alibaba.
"Yahoo shares are up on anticipation of a very successful Alibaba.com IPO," said William Lefkowitz, options strategist at brokerage firm vFinance Investments in New York. "That will help Yahoo in a big way.
Can you imagine if Google was around in the 50's when television was in its infancy or prior to that when radio came across the airwaves? We all know that Google dominates online advertising with their Google Adwords program (a pay per click program where advertisers/webmasters can create their own ads and bid on placement for their chosen keywords) and their Google AdSense program (a contextual advertising solution to web publishers/site owners that delivers text-based Google AdWords ads that are relevant to site content pages. You earn revenue by showing ads that are relevant and targeted to your website's content.).
So I would like to throw this out there. What if Google set their sights on traditional marketing media such as television and print? Hear me out, wouldn't this be an interesting approach? Focus on the Internet and on online advertising, which is how Google makes money Think about this; Google dominates the online ad space so everyone else is playing catch up and just when they are not looking, Google reverts their focus on traditional forms of marketing media such as television and print.
Sound far fetched? Well maybe it's not as "out there" as you think. In fact Google has already began down this path. I have heard various rumours and read countless articles on Google looking to expand its wings into areas such as TV advertising, in newspapers and other print destinations.
Ever heard of Google TV ads? Probably not, but they exist. Google is smart enough to figure out that users spend a lot of time watching TV so improving the relevance of advertising information on that medium is important. The goal of Google TV ads is to:
Deliver more relevant ads to viewers and provide better reporting for advertisers
Bring more advertisers to TV and help inventory owners
Create efficiencies in the existing model
We're not the first to throw out this theory of Google becoming a traditional marketing machine. Earlier this year, the NY Times had an interesting article about Google's ambitions in the advertising world. The article points out that may in the traditional markets may indeed fear Google:
Many in the radio industry are determined to keep Google at arm’s length, suspicious that its technology-based approach will turn their business into a commodity and take away the relationships with advertisers that stations have spent years building.
While analysts and traditionalists will question whether Google will be successful in this arena, you can be sure that if anyone can do it, Google just might be the one entity that can be successful in the television and print advertising space. Google has the ability, the passion, the innovation, the resources and the drive to change the way advertisers market their products via these traditional source. Factor in Google's mission to make the world a more "relevant" one by organizing the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful and you might just have the secret sauce to dominate all forms of advertising.
Google: The Ultimate Answering Machine?
Yet there are those who continue to bash Google and look to exploit the search giant. Google just keeps on innovating and pushing the envelope on the advertising world. Is Google the closest thing that the Web has to an ultimate answering machine? Well this can be debated as there are other such as ASK that are working to provide a tremendous user experience when they search for information. The fact is Google, even as an online advertising pioneer, seeks to ultimately provide the best possible user experience for both the end user and the advertiser.
If Google has indeed set their sites on traditional marketing media, their strategy is an interesting one. Dominate the online advertising space and then go back and look at traditional marketing channels that include newspapers, television and radio. In 10 years, Google may just become the ultimate advertising resource, and for many may indeed become the ultimate answering machine when it comes to advertising.
I thought that I would throw this out there. If anyone is looking for a career in online marketing and looking to relocate to Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada we just might have something for you. Check out Enquiro's job postings in Kelowna. We have some interesting jobs available including positions for:
Search Marketing Strategist
Technical Search Strategist
Enquiro is a fantastic place to work and Kelowna is a great place to live. Be sure to visit our Kelowna job postings on Enquiro.com for more information.
Various reports suggest that IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI) may be looking to acquire movie-centered social network Flixter. In fact reports suggest that the parent company of ASK.com may have already submitted a letter of intent to acquire Flixter.
The Flixster movie community includes movie ratings and showtimes, movie reviews, movie layouts, movie pics & posters, movie news, video clips, movie fan clubs, actor profiles and fan clubs, celebrity news, celebrity photos, celebrity layouts, and the never ending movie quiz. The site launched in January 2006 with around 9 million users as of September 2007 (based on reports from ComScore.) Rumors have the company valued at around $150 million.
Continuing with a bust month of change with their search product, Live Search announced additional upgrades on Monday. These updates include:
Equivalencies - ie bio=biography, CA=California (why not Canada?). Working to improve the relevance of their search engine, the goal of this feature is to move past simple keyword matching, and into understanding the intent of the user's query.
Intelligent “stop word” Retention - Live Search defines "stop words" as "...words that oftentimes may not contain much “meaning” in the query - words such as (a, the, in, etc…) and hence it may not be crucial as to whether they are found on the desired results page or not. " In their example they mentioned that there are certain instances when a "stop word" should not be dropped from the query such as if you were searching for the popular television show "The Office".
There is nothing over the top astonishing here, but this is a move forward to provide more relevant results on their search product... something that was long over due.
Check out the official post from the Live Search Blog
Just the other day as I posted the Top Search Stories of the month I was "complaining" that there was a lack of search news this month, boy was this premature...later in the week we have seen some pretty big stories come through the wires. Here's a quick look at some of the more interesting search related stories of the past day or two.
Google is working on a "big brand marketing dashboard" that will integrate data from advertisers regarding search, display and offline marketing efforts.
Live Search rolled out some new features including improvements with word stemming (unlike Google Live Search lets you stick with the precise spelling you entered...)
Google is Re-Designing products for Chinese users (specifically for mobile users)
To help with the Website Optimizer program, Google has launched a series of online seminars
Yahoo's Search Assist is now available in the U.K.
Of course there was the Google PageRank update that appears to have targeted those sites participating in paid links (ie. link farms). All of you link brokers figure it out, it's about relevancy. While you may be able to "manipulate" the search results temporarily, if he page isn't relevant the engines and more importantly the users don't want to see it.
Firefox made $56 million from Google last year
Of course you probably heard of the little story that Microsoft purchased a 1.6% share in Facebook. (This story is totally over-inflated.. the fact is that Microsoft still needs help when it comes to search...)
B2B search engine marketing - where are we in 2007? Over the past year or two, we have seen online marketing become more popular with the B2C genre. Yet in the B2B arena we are still seeing a large number of companies who are hesitant to participate in Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising and more so with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Our experience shows that B2B marketers are not part of the early adopter stage when it comes to search engine marketing.
Maybe it's because with some B2B companies when they finally understand the value and necessity of search marketing they have deep enough pockets to purchase an SEO firm or work with an agency that has purchased an SEO company.
Why are B2B companies so timid when it comes to investing in an online marketing campaign? Well the answer is simple. The stakes are high and really online marketing (in terms of SEO and PPC) is still fairly new to traditional marketing managers and C-Suite Executives. By nature these traditional marketing managers and C-Suite Executives do not like change. "If it's not broken don't fix it." I've written numerous articles on the importance of a well-balanced online marketing campaign specifically on organic search as it pertains to SEO. So I'm not going to go into it in great detail here, simply put the importance and benefit of SEO as it relates to B2B marketers can be summarized in the following:
The Internet is not going away - Online marketing will always be there in some manner (whether it is through organic optimization, paid inclusion, universal search, widget marketing, social media marketing etc.)
Online Marketing (SEO) is cost effective - when compared to traditional marketing media, SEO is very cheap. PPC can be expensive but only if it is mismanaged.
Competition is getting worse - with technology and innovation comes an easier way for businesses to compete. The fact is that if you are not working on a sound, strategic online marketing plan now, you will need to in the future to simply keep up to your competition. If you are not promoting your brand through the YouTubes, Google's, Facebooks etc. chances are your competition is.
Traditional Methods of Lead Generation will not be able to compete with online lead generation - The Web is a vast place visited by billions of people. A few of these "people" may be looking for your product or service. Online marketing through SEO and PPC provides you with a means to intercept your target market through thousands of different avenues via the Internet (whether it is through vendor sites, re-seller site, search engine results pages, Facebook Groups, YouTube videos, Google AdWords etc. The fact is you cannot afford to not have dedicated marketing budget for SEO and PPC.
As Bill Gadless pointed out in his article "The true state of B2B Search Engine Marketing":
According to MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Guide 2008, “Small B-to-B marketing organizations are spending a bit more than one-fifth of their (marketing) budgets online, with one-third of that going to paid search and less than 10% of it going to SEO”
If you want to be successful in the B2B arena, you need SEO, you need PPC and you need adequate budget to perform. Do not expect to move mountains over night. Success tales time. The fact of the matter is, is that B2B marketers can no longer ignore search engine marketing. You must participate. SEO is a tough sell, but it must be sold to your company.
Yesterday afternoon, Google held their annual Google Analysts Day in Mountain View, California. There were some interesting Internet stats that came out of the meeting including:
there are over 1.2 billion users on the Internet (1.244 billion approx.)
there are 459.5 million users in Asia with only 12.4 penetration
there are 234.8 million users in North America with 70.0 penetration
Google discussed their integrated strategy which consists of search, ads, and applications. ZDNet has some great coverage of the event. ZDNet also had a great follow up entitled: "Google's Sergey Brin: We don't need to own everything..."
In other coverage, Tameka Kee over at Mediapost's Online Media Daily had an excellent piece on how Google is prepping a big brand marketing dashboard. According to Tim Armstrong, president of advertisinf and commerce for North America, the dashboard will be designed to "integrate data from advertisers' search, display and offline marketing efforts, allowing them to "look across assets, metrics and user engagement cycles..."
Check out Tameka's full review of Google Analysts Day here.
YouTube as we all know is one on the most popular online video destinations out there. So for those of us who would like to upload video but haven't or do not know how, here are the steps necessary to upload your video to YouTube.
Of course you will want to ensure that your video has been edited, is less than 10 minutes long, is smaller than 100 MB and is in an acceptable format (.AVI, .MOV, .WMV, and ,MPG etc.).
Steps for Uploading Video to YouTube
1. Create or Login to your YouTube Account. You can signup by going to: http://www.youtube.com/signup.
2. Click "Upload Videos" in the upper-right-hand corner of any YouTube page.
3. Enter as much information about your video as possible, including Title, Description, Tags, and Category. The more information you include, the easier it is for users to find your video!
4. Determine if you want your video set to Public or Private.
5. Simply click the "Upload a Video" button.
6. In the next window, click the "Browse" button to browse for the video file. Select the file you want to upload.
7. Click the "Upload Video" button.
There you have it, that's it, seven easy steps to upload your video to YouTube.
Well tonight the 2007 World Series begins between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies. So care to make your prediction as to who will win? Or if you are researching the two teams, you might want to start with Google. Early favorites suggest that the Red Sox will win, but according to Google Trends, momentum may very well be with the Colorado Rockies.
Interesting to see that since September, search volume in Google for the Rockies has jumped ahead of the Boston Red Sox. This coincides with the amazing run that the Rockies have had over the past month and a half. (Colorado, is in the midst of one of the greatest runs in baseball and sports history and has won 21 of its last 22 games to get to this point.)
While I tend to be one to root for the underdog, I think that the Bo-Sox will take the 103rd World Series title this year. Colorado is looking for their first ever Fall Classic World Series title while Boston is in search of their seventh (having one their last title in 2004, their first since 1918). The Sox have a number of key components such as Big Papi (David Ortiz) and Medium Manny (Manny Ramirez) that may prove too much for the Rockies. Having said that, with the roll that the Colorado Rockies are on, you just never know, they could keep on rolling and win it all. According to Google Trends this may just happen. Good luck to the participants and may the best team win!
Is it me or has it been a fairly quiet month from the search engines in terms of "earth shattering" news and announcements. Maybe its just the fact that I have been busy (I got married in Las Vegas)... Regardless it just seems like the news this month has been a little, dare I say, boring? So let's take a look at our picks for the top search stories of the month for October 2007.
Top 7 Search Stories of October 2007
#7. Google Celebrates their Ninth Birthday - I know, I know the actual true burthdate of the search giant is not in October but this story broke after last month's list so we that it was worth mentioning as Google's worth continues to soar with strong thrird quarter earnings report.
#6. Google Analysts Day - 2007 - set to take place on October 24 (which at the time of this writing is tomorrow) where Google's management team will be making a number of presentations to investors on the latest Google endeavors.
#5. Google Stock Tops $600 Plateau - Google shares are a hot ticket right now. October saw Google Stock top the $600 mark for the first time.
#4. iGoogle Tops Top 100 Search Engine Features of All-Time - ok so there's a little bias here, but SEO-Space conducted a fun poll of search engine users to see what their favorite search engine features were. Surprisingly there was a diverse reaction, but of the features mentioned, the personalized iGoogle page came out on top as the favorite search engine feature of all-time.
#3. Google Dominates Worldwide Search Engine Usage - How long will we continue to hear this? According to comScore data, Google continues to dominate as the search engine of choice for users around the globe. Today we noticed that Google's share price was exactly double that of popular Chinese search engine Baidu. Yet Baidu is the number one engine in China. Rest assured Google will remain the global leader in search for some time.
#2. Google Announces Third Quarter Earnings - Google reported a 46% jump in profit as they announced their 2007 Q3 earnings. This topped analysts' expectations as Google controlled spending and hiring costs.
#1. Yahoo Updates Search Offering with Search Assist - it's not often that Yahoo tops our list, but this was well warranted. The Search Assist feature released by Yahoo is designed to better understand user intent and get consumers to the results they are looking for in one search. This is very cool as we are strong believers that the focus on the user experience should always be what the engines work towards. Great job by the Yahoo Search team.
Wow this is pretty impressive as Google dominated the Top 7 search happenings of the month, yet it is Yahoo! who obtains the number one position on the charts. We'll have to see if they can remain on top next month.
So Monday morning as I go through my various feeds and information sources, I come across a number of interesting stories. Here's just a sample of what we're talking about.
Yahoo CMO, Cammie Dunaway is the latest to leave the Yahoo! Family perhaps setting her sights on Nintendo, Disney or Apple. Laurie Petersen over at MediaPost discussed this pointing out that this is just the latest in a recent series of senior-level execs leaving Yahoo!
We thought that this was pretty funny. Bill Hartzer reported a story whereby the Dallas Cowboys attempted to purchase the domain name cowboys.com for $275 not realizing that the asking price for the domain name was actually $275 thousand.
Over at Search Engine Round Table, Tamar Weinberg poses an interesting question for debate on whether organic SERPs on Google are being manipulated to increase ad revenue. While we don't think that Google is doing this, (as they simply have no need to at this point) we're not so sure if the simple fact that paid listings may have some impact on organic results. Paid campaigns that cannibalize an organic campaign happens all of the time. In fact we have seen Paid Inclusion in Yahoo having a definite impact on organic results with some of our our clients. It simply cannot be a coincidence.
Pepsi goes retro with "vintage TV show minisodes". Pepsi is currently working on a bit of re-branding to include logos from the past and in doing so are directing consumers to a new site, ThrowBackPepsi.com to watch new ads on the Minisode Network (via Crackle.com). Get the full story here.
That's just a few examples of some of the stories crossing the "Netwaves" in the past day or two.
Reports from seattlepi.com have confirmed that Yahoo has joined Google and Microsoft by securing a location in to put a large engineering outpost in Bellevue, Washington, just down the road from Google's Kirkland branch and Microsoft's Redmond campus.
According to the report:
Yahoo confirmed last week that it will lease 115,000 square feet at Bellevue's One Twelfth @ Twelfth, enough space for 500 to 600 people. One of the people leading the push to establish an office in the Seattle region was David Sobeski, 39, Yahoo senior vice president of platforms and architecture
The addition of the new Yahoo office will increase competition for talented young employees which could benefit the University of Washington's computer science department. It could also mean that Yahoo could also be looking to lure away key Microsoft employees for the next generation of Yahoo's online service offering.
Lee Odden over at Top Rank Online Marketing had a great overview of Universal Search. For those looking to understand more about Universal Search and the importance of optimizing for Universal Search be sure to give it a read.
Lee reviews each of the major engines' approach to Universal Search results and provides some great tips for optimizing for Universal Search. A number of these items we have discussed here on SEO-Space ourselves. Including topics such as the ASK 3-D experience, video optimization, Google Universal Search and more.
This is a great review of universal search. Thanks Lee!
Yesterday, comScore released their September U.S. Search Engine Rankings and to no surprise Google actually increased their share slightly.
Amongst the findings from the report:
Google Sites remained the top search property with more than 5.3 billion core searches conducted. This represents a 57 percent share of the search market.
Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 23.7 percent
Microsoft Sites had 10.3 percent share
Ask Network came in at 4.7 percent for fourth place
Time Warner Network rounded out the top five with 4.3 percent share.
In addition to topping the search engine market share, Google also topped the Expanded Search rankings of the top 50 Web properties. ASK saw an increase of 10% in this category over the previous month of August.
The full report can be found by visiting comScore.com.
By now you have no doubt seen the reports that Google's quarterly earnings were up 46%. This, a result of tighter budget control and increasing market share by th search giant. Google just keeps making money. According to Reuters:
Shares of Google rose about 1 percent. The stock climbed to $645.18 from a close of $639.62 on Nasdaq.
Wall Street was looking for a net profit, on average, of $3.22 per share, according to Reuters Estimates. Excluding one-time items and stock compensation costs, the average analyst estimate was $3.77 per share.
Overall third quarter profit climbed to $1.07 billion. Google reported that revenues in the third quarter were $4.23 billion, up 57 percent from a year ago. Even with the great numbers there are still analysts that say this is not "mind-blowing" as some predicted a share price as high as $4.04 per share. Google (GOOG) came in at around $3.38 per share with the 46% increase. A classic case of "what have you done for me lately?"
CNN Money on Google Profit Increase
View the webcast of Google's Q3 earning report here.
In other trading news, Bank of America (BAC) posted a nearly 32% (31.7% to be exact) loss in profit for the third quarter versus 2006. Shares of the company fell $1.30, or 2.6%, to $48.73.
We have had a few questions on the status of Google Health. Earlier today Google's Marissa Mayer said that users can expect to so the Google Health Project to be launched in Spring of 2008. Loren Baker over at Search Engine Journal has the full report. According to Search Engine Journal,
Today at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Google’s Marissa Mayer outlined the ways Google can leverage its intense data storage capabilities to bring the medical field a new way of storing and sharing medical information.
Microsoft has launched the beta version of their Health Vault Search and earlier this year, acquired Medstory, a Foster City, Calif.-based startup specializing in search software optimized for finding health information. In addition, Yahoo has their Yahoo Health portal where you can find information on wellness, diet, fitness, weight loss, mental health, anti-aging, conditions & diseases, and drugs & medications. It will be interesting to see what Google does with the vast health information that they have compiled and stored.
There are currently a number of great health related sites out there which are used by the masses depending on what you are looking for in terms of health related searches. The health industry is a vast area of interest as users vary from those who may be researching a disease or illness, legal professionals researching health matters, or healthcare professionals who are searching for tips and products dealing with accreditation, regulation and healthcare compliance.
With a topic such as health and wellness, you can never have enough trusted results. Google Health should be another great resource for those looking for such information.
Rock Legend, Guitar God, Poet Extraordinaire Chuck Berry turns 81 tomorrow. Thursday marks the eighty-first birthday of one of the greatest poets and entertainers of our time. Berry, the duck-walking, guitar-playing, song writing genius who defined rock n' roll music with such classics as"Johnny B. Goode,""Sweet Little Sixteen"and"Maybelline," still packs 'em in after these years.
He use to carry his guitar in a gunny sack
Or sit beneath the trees by the railroad track.
Oh, the engineers used to see him sitting in the shade,
Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made.
The People passing by, they would stop and say
Oh my that little country boy could play
- Excerpt from "Johnny B. Goode"
The legendary Chuck Berry was born on October 18, 1926. To many, myself included, Chuck Berry is one of rock and rolls greatest pioneers. Born Charles Edward Anderson Berry, he is The Man or as many call him, "The Prime Minister of Rock 'n' Roll". There are a number of memorable quotes that people have used to describe Mr. Berry over the years.
"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'." --John Lennon
"[My mama] said, 'You and Elvis are pretty good, but you're no Chuck Berry.'" -- Jerry Lee Lewis
"There's only one true king of rock 'n' roll. His name is Chuck Berry." -- Stevie Wonder "Jimi Hendrix played guitar, the Beatles wrote songs, Kiss perfected theatrics and stage presence, but Chuck Berry did it all." -- Jody Nimetz SEO-Space Author
Ridin' along in my automobile
My baby beside me at the wheel
I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile
My curiosity runnin' wild
Cruisin' and playin' the radio
With no particular place to go.
- Excerpt from "No Particular Place to Go"
The man is brilliant. There's not much more to say about Chuck Berry. In preparation for this post I used a number of search engines to try and learn more about Mr. Chuck Berry. The results from the different engines were interesting. ASK.com was by far the leader in terms of providing the best results and information on Chuck Berry. Throughout this post, you will see how the SERPs looked when I performed a search for Chuck Berry.
Just let me hear some of that
Rock And Roll Music,
Any old way you choose it;
It's got a back beat, you can't lose it,
Any old time you use it.
It's gotta be Rock And Roll Music,
If you want to dance with me,
- from "Rock and Roll Music"
We've been conducting some exciting research at Enquiro lately. Our latest research deals with B2B technical buyers and what influences them during the purchase process. We discuss:
How do users navigate from awareness, through the research and negotiation phases to the actual purchasing decision?
What is the balance between online and offline influences?
Do purchasers use search engines and, if so, which search engines and why?
Marketers have a 76% chance of engaging and influencing technical buyers' B2B purchasing decisions through search marketing, according to a new study from Enquiro Research. This and other study findings are available in Enquiro's newly-published B2B whitepaper which focuses on marketing specifically to the technical buyer - namely, the person within an organization who ensures that a purchased solution meets the company's technical requirements.
Check out the official press release on what influences B2B technical buyers during the purchasing process.
I love search engines. In fact, working with search engines is how I earn my living. In the beginning, my original search engine of choice was ASK Jeeves (now known simply as ASK.) I also used Netscape quite a bit and then of course Google. I wasn't a big MSN user even though my first email account was a hotmail account. Still I did use it from time to time along with Yahoo and the odd time AOL. (Remember I live in Canada, so AOL wasn't really that popular up here.) The point is that I used search engines then and I use them now. In fact I probably use them hundreds of times a day. Each of the engines have various features that we use with some being better than others. A few weeks ago I began a little project and began polling some of my co-workers and friends at Enquiro to see what some of their favorite search engine features were.
The response that I received were quite interesting. Varying from ASK's cool SERP interface to Google's iGoogle page to Yahoo's music search. I compiled a list of nearly 200 search features that we use or were mentioned. How did we define a "search feature"? Well we defined a search feature as any service provided by the various engines that help a user find information through a search engine. This could be anything from the SERP page itself to photo sharing services or vertical search services.
The end result we are dubbing, "The Top 100 Search Features of All-Time". With that lets have a look starting with #100.
The Top 100 Search Engine Features of All-Time
100. AOL Movie Search – synopsis and reviews of movies. A number of interesting lists. Check out the Top 31 Horror Movies of All Time.
99. ASK Homepage Skins
98. Windows Live SkyDrive – password-protected online file storage
97. Google Scholar - Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.
96. Search By Number - Use Google to access package tracking information, US patents, and a variety of online databases.
95. Windows Live Video Search
94. Yahoo People Search
93. Windows Live OneCare – All in one security and performance for your PC. Check out their Windows Live OneCare Family Safety section.
92. Google Weather - Check the current weather conditions and forecast for any location in the U.S.
91. Windows Live QnA
90. Live Search Feeds – not as cools as ASK’s feature
89. Google Translate
88. Google Patent Search
87. Yahoo Education - Everything you need to help you find, apply, and get into the right school. School search, admissions tips, test preparation, financial aid, scholarships, school rankings, and more. Also features a free online encyclopedia contains over 50,000 entries and more than 84,000 hypertext cross-references covering a wide range of research and reference topics.
86. AOL Search History – allows you to view previous searches that you completed on AOL
85. Windows Live Writer – allows you to publish rich content to your blog
84. ASK Stock Search
83. Google Currency Conversion
82. Google Product Search
81. ASK RSS Feeds
80. Google Street Maps - Use Google to find U.S. street maps.
79. Yahoo Calendar – you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all… Or have you?
78. AOL Travel – includes travel guides, weather reports, flight status checks, fare watcher, maps and directions.
77. ASK Movie Search
76. PhoneBook - Use Google to look up U.S. street address and phone number information.
75. Yahoo Mobile - Yahoo! oneSearch reinvents search to give consumers exactly what they want on their mobile device - instant answers.
74. Windows Live Personalized Page
73. Yahoo People Search
72. Google Music Search - Use Google to get quick access to a wide range of music information.
71. Yahoo Desktop Search - Indexes files on desktop machine and allows searching via software interface.
70. Google Catalogs - Google Catalogs helps you browse and search merchant-provided catalogs right on your computer. You can flip through any catalog to find what interests you, or simply type in what you're looking for, and you'll find every place that your search term appears in the catalog.
69. Google Books Search
68. Google Travel Information - Check the status of an airline flight in the U.S. or view airport delays and weather conditions.
67. Windows Live Spaces - Provides users with the ability to publish a weblog via mobile phone, add music lists and manage friends.
66. Google Q&A - Use Google to get quick answers to straightforward questions.
65. Yahoo Real Estate - search for home values, places to rent, real estate listings and more.
64. Windows Live Search Academic - Search for scholarly journal articles, conference proceedings, dissertations and academic books.
63. ASK News Search
62. ASK White Pages Search
61. Live Search Image Search – try a search for Van Halen and see what you come up with.
60. ASK Image Search
59. Google Desktop Search
58. ASK Blogs
57. Windows Live Alerts - Get headlines from your home town, scores and updates for your teams, stock quotes, traffic for your commute-just about anything.
56. Yahoo Instant Search – With InstantSearch, results instantly appear for Yahoo!
55. ASK Dictionary Search - Need to know the definition or pronunciation of a word, origin of a word or just a new word altogether? Quickly search the online dictionaries, encyclopedias and thesauri for the information you need.
54. Microsoft HealthVault Search
53. ASK Advanced Web Search
52. Google Specialized Search - Google's special searches enable you to narrow your search to a specific topic.
51. Yahoo Widgets - always-updated, at-a-glance view of your favorite Internet services right to your desktop. The Yahoo! Widget Gallery offers over 4,000 desktop Widgets.
50. Google Calendar
49. ASK Conversions - perform any number of conversions using this cool feature from ASK.
48. Yahoo My Web - Save favorite web content so you can easily re-find it, connect with others so you can selectively share the sites you save, benefit from other MyWeb users by tapping into their collection of sites, browse tags to identify active taggers on any topic.
47. Windows Live Local Search
46. ASK Search Toolbar
45. AOL Music Search – features full CD listening parties, AOL radio, video countdowns and more
44. Yahoo Instant Search - Instant Search gives you answers as you type -- no more waiting!
43. Yahoo Buzz Search – see the hottest searches in Yahoo.
42. ASK Blog Search - sort for your favorite blog posts. Sort by relevancy, most recent and popularity.
41. Windows Live Search Maps aka Windows Live Local aka Virtual Earth/Live Maps - this has potential to be a very powerful feature if thye could just improve the Local Search product.
40. Google Definitions - a quick way to look up definitions.
39. ASK Video Search - maybe you're searching for video of Britney Spears or a recent news story, try ASK's video search to find what you are looking for.
38. Yahoo! 360° – Post a picture of yourself, Create a blog, Upload photos, Post a Blast - one idea, all your friends. Things start to happen.
37. Orkut - online community from Google designed to make your social life more active and stimulating. orkut's social network can help you maintain existing relationships with pictures and messages, and establish new ones by reaching out to people you've never met before.
36. AOL Video Search – upload your own videos to AOL. AOL Video has millions of free, high quality videos including music videos, news clips, movie trailers, viral videos, and full-length TV shows.
35. Yahoo Pipes - An interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. List of 'hot pipes' to subscribe to, and ability to create your own (yahoo account required).
34. Google Blog Search
33. ASK MyStuff - Personal page option
32. Google Web Page Translation - Provides you access to web pages in other languages.
31. Google Search Suggest - As you type, Google will offer suggestions.
30. ASK Search Suggestions
29. Google Video
28. Google Reader - constantly checks your favorite news sites and blogs for new content.
27. Yahoo Health – find information on medical and health related resources.
26. Google Image Search - perhaps the most comprehensive image search on the Web.
25. Yahoo Toolbar - available for I.E. and Firefox on Windows, Mac, and Linux
24. ASK's Famous People Search - this is just a fun feature.
23. ASK's Smart Answers - Ask's Smart Answers provide key information right at the top of the page. Smart Answers can be found on the web results page of many searches, like for a band or famous person, and contain a brief bit of information and links to more information.
22. Yahoo Alerts – a great tool for help with monitoring your brand and your online reputation. Monitor your competition, employees, stock, products, weather and more.
21. ASK's Zoom Related Search - Narrow or broaden your search with possible alternative search terms which appear on the right hand side of the Ask results page. Narrow Your Search: helps you to drill down into topics that are specifically related to your search. Expand Your Search: allows you to explore topics that are conceptually related to your search. Related Names: presents a list of names that are conceptually tied to topic options within the "Narrow Your Search" and "Expand Your Search" lists.
20. Yahoo Finance - get free stock quotes, up to date news, portfolio management resources, international market data, message boards, and mortgage rates.
19. Google Maps
18. ASK Maps & Directions - Find the maps and detailed directions you need for locations in the U.S. and Canada. Use the drag and drop feature on the map to get driving or walking directions from point A to point B and beyond.
17. Google Finance - Perform a search for your favorite stock such as Google (GOOG).
16. Yahoo Answers – Have a question? Yahoo community members may have the answer.
15. Yahoo News Search - Use Yahoo! News to find breaking news, current events, the latest headlines, news photos and more.
14. Google News
13. Google Toolbar
12. Flickr – Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Yahoo operated online photo sharing service.
11. YouTube - can you say 1.6 billion dollars?
10. MapQuest – I don’t use this much as I should. This is a pretty cool feature from AOL.
9. ASK Binoculars Site Preview - This was a very cool feature that was featured on ASK.com's overview page with the link to binoculars (as of October 2007) now redirecting to this page.
8. Google Alerts - easy to set up email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
7. Google Local Search - Search for local business listings by name, key word, or location with satellite maps.
6. Google Earth - Google Earth combines the power of Google Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips.
5. Yahoo Search Assist - one of the newest features to make the list, Yahoo Search Assist is a very cool feature that is used on a regular basis.
4. AskCity - combines Ask.com’s existing maps product with great local content such as information, reviews, etc. The premiere resource for maps and local business information
3. Yahoo Site Explorer - allows you to explore all the web pages indexed by Yahoo! Search. View the most popular pages from any site, dive into a comprehensive site map, and find pages that link to that site or any page.
2. The ASK SERP - the coolest search engine results page on the planet. / Google Webmaster Tools - free and easy way to make your site more Google-friendly.
1. iGoogle - Add news, games and more to your very own personalized Google homepage. I love this feature as my iGoogle page acts as my portal to the Web.
OK so we had a tie at the number two spot. Let's just call this the Top 101 Search Engine Features of All Time. Google reigns supreme. Of course there are always exceptions and omissions to any list. If you feel that we are missing any search engine features that should be on this list, let us know and we will consider them for next year's list.
The other day I was reading a fantastic article in Wired magazine entitled "Your Outbound Brain Knows All". The article, written by Clive Thompson, describes how according to recent research we are remembering fewer and fewer facts in this day and age. With the innovation of technologies and search engines, we really don't need to memorize as much as we once did. We can simply "Google" the subject at hand or go to ASK.com, or Yahoo and perform a query to find the answer.
I agree with the statement by Thompson where he says "...the line between where my memory leaves off and Google picks up is getting blurrier by the second." But isn't that why we love and use search engines so much? Or are we just becoming lazy? The fact that we have "outsourced important peripheral brain functions" to the search engines is a sign of the times. Think about it, can you remember all of your friend's phone numbers or are they simply stored on your cell phone? Can you recall your father's birthday? Do you remember your LinkedIn login and password? The fact is we don't tap into out memory as we once did. We simply use technology or a search engines to remember things for us. Sure we still files facts and figures in our memory banks but it is nowhere near where it used to be.
Search engines are convenient. We use them to find movie titles, song information, food recipes, important dates, and yes maybe even friends phone numbers. Technology has changed the way we process information and has changed how we communicate. For me I prefer email to a phone conversation. For others they would be lost without their cell phone or blackberry. Sheesh, how did we ever survive without this technology?
Are we simply freeing our memory so that we can focus on other activities, or are we just relying on technological innovations? There is something to be said for someone who can remember obscure facts, or words to every Van Halen song, or scenes from every movie they have ever seen. Yet I would just as well use a search engine to do this for me.
I can take solace in the fact that at least I can remember my mom's birthday and my own phone number.
Google announced earlier today that it will host an Analyst Day meeting on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 in Mountain View, California. Presentations by Google's management team are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time and conclude by 2:30 p.m. PST.
The live webcast of Google's Analyst Day can be accessed at http://investor.google.com/webcast. The archived webcast version of the event will be available through the same link.
A couple of week ago, Yahoo (YHOO) released their Search Assist feature. It is a pretty cool tool that many have been raving about. It's clear that Yahoo is working to improve the user experience. According to Yahoo, "a search company's mandate is clear: help people find exactly what they're looking for as quickly as possible." So it was interesting to see what Yahoo had to say about the product themselves. On Friday they released the following commentary:
The Other Half of the Search Equation
A search company's mandate is clear: help people find exactly what they're looking for as quickly as possible. For well over a decade, search companies have taken the approach of focusing almost all of their efforts on making their engines smarter, with better indexes, better ranking and faster servers.
While these are all hugely important efforts, making the engine smarter is only half of the equation. The other half of the search equation is making the query smarter -- and this was our focus in the design and development of Yahoo! Search Assist.
Recent research conducted by Harris Interactive* indicates that consumers are suffering from "Web Search fatigue." The study revealed that while the vast majority of the population uses a search engine to find information on the Internet, only 15 percent of people find what they're looking for with their first search. Typically, people need to conduct three to four searches to find the right result.
While search engines can and will continue to improve, we think making queries smarter is also part of the solution. While there are a handful of seasoned users and professional searchers out there who employ Boolean operators, site restrict and other advanced techniques, no one (ourselves included) wants to have to think hard about which search terms to use. Our vision was to build a system that helps users confidently construct more sophisticated and targeted queries without slowing them down.
In this first release, we've broken the problem into two parts. Part One provides assistance as you type. This has massively reduced the number of misspelled queries being submitted and saves typing time for slower typists. It can also link you deeper into the results space, saving you a step on those quick in-and-out sessions.
Part Two helps you move your searches forward, backward or sideways so you get the results you actually want more quickly. So if you started with a query for 'Thom Yorke,' you might get a forward (refining) suggestion for 'Eraser,' his most recent album, or a backward (expanding) suggestion for 'Radiohead,' the band he's a member of. You could also get a sideways (or related) suggestion such as 'solo albums' which, when clicking on the term in the left-hand column of Search Assist, will lead you to other lead singers with solo albums like Gwen Stefani or Eddie Vedder.
Now that you know more about the vision behind Search Assist, don't hesitate to share your thoughts. And if you're already a Search Assist enthusiast, check out the tips posted by one of our developers for some handy but "hidden" shortcuts.
Larry Cornett and Tom Chi
I like the approach that Yahoo has taken. Communicating their thoughts and insight with "hidden tips" is a great step in improving user engagement with their search product. Great job to the team at Yahoo Search.
According to a recent comScore report, Google continues to dominate in search and not just in North America. The report suggests that in August of 2007, Google was the search engine of choice for more than half of all search queries carried out around the world.
TOP SEARCH SITES - AUGUST (according to comScore)
Total Worldwide Searches: 61 billion
Google sites - 37 billion searches
Yahoo sites - 8.5 billion
Baidu 3.2 billion
Microsoft sites 2.1 billion
NHN 2 billion
eBay 1.3 billion
Time Warner 1.2 billion
Ask 743 million
Fox 683 million
Lycos 441 million
It's interesting to see China's Baidu ahead of Microsoft and eBay ahead of both AOL and ASK.com.
Further details of the report can be viewed from comScore's official press release.
Last week we (Enquiro) released our latest research findings in a whitepaper entitled "Marketing to a B2B Technical Buyer". We've segmented the data from our B2B survey to provide real insight into what Technical Buyers want, need, and respond to. What's more, we've used our SEM knowledge and 3rd party studies to take the implementation and analysis out of the equation.
The paper, sponsored by kellysearch.com, will teach you how to connect with Technical Buyers and close the consideration gap. The research study includes:
What Influences a Technical Buyer throughout the purchase decision, and how to leverage those influencing factors on your website.
What Technical Buyers are looking for on your website, and how to build up your "content arsenal."
How to get Technical Buyers to put you on the top of their short-list.
The download is free, just visit Enquiro Research to check it out.
Google stock is big news. So much so that even in Las Vegas Google (GOOG) is making headlines. I arrived in Las Vegas yesterday for a week of relaxation and fun. It was a long trip in thanks to Horizon Air being late forcing me to miss my connecting flight in Seattle (more on that another time...) I finally managed to get to Vegas early Monday morning (9-10 hours after I was supposed to originally arrive).
So after we checked in to our hotel we decided to walk the Vegas Strip and as we were walking along I see this huge ticker reporting sports scores and latest news.... As I was going down the escalator I see the ticker display "... Google stocks sets new record.. stock hits $600 mark..." I tried to snap a pic but was a little late on the draw. I was amazed though, even in the City of Sin, Las Vegas, Google is still headline news. On Tuesday, Google replaced Johnson & Johnson as the 10th most highly valued company in the US, just three years after going public.
Over the past few weeks, we've had a few posts on rumors of the Google Phone. We've even had a few folks contact us saying the a major announcement is imminent. You've not doubt heard the stories of people who have seen prototypes of the "gPhone". However there are those who have doubts that Google is looking to market their own phone.
Richard Martin over at Information Week has outlined 6 reasons why Google won't sell a gPhone. He lists the following reasons as to why Google may not release the phone for public consumption. At least the gPhone may not be what you expect.
Google is a software-and-advertising company, not a hardware manufacturer.
The margins are low.
The competition is fierce.
No carrier will sell it.
It's not fun.
Google doesn't need to market a phone.
Well it's an interesting read, but I still can help feeling that Google will be releasing a phone product within the next year. (It may not be a traditional mobile phone as we have become accustomed to. Think of VOIP and other technologies.) Others think that the gPhone may be coming sooner than later.
Google (GOOG) is an innovative company. A gPhone isn't all that far fetched.
Editor's Note: I'm off to Vegas for a few days, but I hope to add posts from the desert. Have a great week everyone.
I must say that I get a kick out of all of the self-proclaimed so-called link building experts that are out there. You need to do this, you need to get links from this directory or this resources, you need to buy these types of links..... yada yada yada. For the most part there are often questionable tactics associated.
So we can appreciate it when a true link expert such as Debra Mastaler posts a great list of link building tips such as this one. There are some unique and creative tips for building your link inventory. There is nothing here that takes a link building expert to implement. Take things such as creating a corporate blog and invite bloggers, journalists, and your customers to contribute. Continually promote the site and it's writers and in turn, they'll support your site by linking to it. Don't forget to add an RSS feed as well. This is something that any site owner or webmaster could implement. It just takes time. To build a strong link inventory it takes time.
Debra's blog is a great resource for tips and advice on link building. Be sure to add it to your list of link building resources.
There has been some tremendous spikes this week in Google's share price. Today's close was at $594.05. According to Bloomberg, Google has the sixth- highest stock price in the U.S. and has surged 27 percent this year. As more companies shift ad budgets towards online campaigns, Google's wealth will continue to grow. As reported by Bloomberg,
The Web advertising market in the U.S. will grow 29 percent this year to $21.7 billion and then more than double by 2011, according to EMarketer Inc.
Google (GOOG) currently dominates the online ad market and has done so for the past five years. You want to know how Google makes money? Look no further then Google AdWords and Google AdSense.
Quite often, we are seeing more and more businesses wanting to tap into social media properties and online environments because they understand that by the time negative publicity hits the mainstream, its too late to manage the damage. News travels fast in the online world. As a result your online reputation needs to be monitored and continuously addressed to avoid any negative commentary and publicity. The need for an online reputation management strategy is vital.
Over the summer we conducted a series on online reputation management. The series discussed items that included:
Developing an online reputation management strategy
Identified helpful tools for monitoring your online reputation
How to use optimization to "control" your online reputation
Online Reputation Management Beyond 2007
Now for the first time, the entire series is available in a free PDF download. You'll notice that we have a link to the PDF download from our top navigation, but you can also download the PDF here:
I can't help walk around with a smile these days. You see for the past few years I have been wondering when we would see some dramatic changes in the world of Search. We had been wondering about the thought of personalized search and how a search engine results page would become different for everyone. In fact I have coined the phrase "The Snowflake Theory" with the idea that no two search results pages will be the same. (I am compiling notes about this for a future whitepaper and/or book. More on this later.) The gist of it is that they say no two snowflakes are the same. In a perfect world no two search results pages should be the same either. My search intent may or may not be the same as your search intent. (In fact I would guarantee that nine times out of ten it is the later.)
So it puts a smile on my face when a few months back Google (GOOG) announces and more importantly releases their initial personalized search features. (I love using my iGoogle page). ASK then steps it up and releases the ASK 3-D experience. Very cool. Can you notice the trend here? A richer search experience perhaps? Then last week after what felt like an eternity of sitting idly by Microsoft conducts their first Searchification Day and announces a number of upgrades to their Windows Live Search product. Microsoft (MSFT) addressed a number of key issues with a focus on:
Improved core relevance
Much larger index
Working towards understanding user intent
Then earlier this week, Yahoo (YHOO) announces an update to their search offering. Including their new Search Assist feature that helps users from suffering "searcher fatigue". According to Yahoo, they've been testing Search Assist over the past few months and have seen significant improvements in user satisfaction from those tests. One metric they found was a 61% increase in successful task completion when users had Search Assist as part of their search experience. Again very cool.
So why wouldn't I walk around with a smile on my face. I spend a lot of time using search engines. More than the average Jill or Joe. The fact that my user experience is being improved makes me excited. As a user relevancy is the key. A richer search experience with improved relevancy puts a smile on my face... it should put one on yours as well.
The importance of link building as it pertains to search marketing and SEO cannot be understated. Your external link inventory remains one of the key factors as to how the engines rank your pages in their index. Think about the World Wide Web in its simplest form. The Web is a series of links to and from various websites. It make sense that sites that have the best quality (but not necessarily the highest number of links) from industry related sites should be treated as more authoritative.
Enter the process of link building. Link building, in the traditional sense, is the process of improving the external link inventory of sites that link to your site. To "build" your link inventory consists of two key components:
Generating more external links to your site pages
Obtaining higher quality links to your site pages
Link Building Myth #1: He Who Has the Most Links Wins - Just because you have a large number of links to your site doesn't mean that you are the most relevant source on a particular piece of subject matter. Especially in the eyes of the search engines.
Link Building Myth #2: Link Exchanges are Good - in this case link exchange refers to web rings and sites that "link to you if you link to me". There is no longterm value here from an SEO point of view as the search engines perceive this as a tactic to manipulate them for the sake of inflating your rankings.
Link Building Myth #3: It's Ok to Buy Links - well this is true to a point. However if you are talking about purchasing a mass amount of links then you are going to run into some problems. According to Google and Yahoo, paid links are a "no-no". To clarify, sites that buy link, more specifically paid links that pass PageRank will be penalized. Matt Cutts was firm on this topic at SES San Jose in August. He basically stated that Google will have a zero tolerence rule when it comes to paid links.
So what are the available link building strategies that site owners and online marketers can utilize in this day and age of link building?
Link Building Strategy Options for 2007 and 2008
Building Link Inventory Through Content (a.k.a. Link Baiting) - By far the most effective and possibly the easiest way to build your external link inventory is through the creation of new content. Creating content that is informative, useful and most importantly unique is the best way to generate links to your site, blog or web properties. The search engines are big fans of building your link inventory naturally. The easiest way to do this is by creating new content that you are an authority on.
Request Links from Key Industry Sites - this is what we call "old school link building", where you request links from key industry sites. The search engines are beginning to focus more on site wide themes as opposed to individual page or keyword themes. Seeking links from quality sites that are related to your business helps improve the overall quality score of your link inventory.
Submit Your Site to Related Industry Directories - seek links from related categories in industry directories including the Yahoo Directory and the Open Directory (DMOZ).
Participate In Social Communities - leverage your presence in online communities such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and other online communities.
Of course there are other creative ways to build your link inventory, (but like a veteran magician we can't share all of our secrets...) The fact of the matter is, the best way to obtain links is through content.
In our experience, the best way to build your link inventory is through content. Content is king for more reasons than one. Creating content that others find useful will result in not only links to your site, but will result in traffic to your site as well. Build you link inventory naturally through content. Blogs are a great way to generate links. To be a trusted authority, you should always be updating your content anyway. Why not do it in a manner that will act as a tool for gathering links? Link building in 2007 and beyond will be through content and generation of unique elements that you add to your website and online properties such as widgets and content within your widgets that others will want to link to. When you think of link building, think of content development.