Monthly Archives: October 2011

Google Drops Plus Sign from Search Operators

Up until last week, searchers could use the plus sign on Google to tell the search engine that particular terms must be on the page for which they’re searching. For example, if I wanted to search for craft magazines that mention crochet, I could put [magazine +crochet], without the brackets, into the search box. I can’t use that strategy anymore. Since this is still a useful function, Google co-opted quotation marks to take it over. You may recall that quotation marks in Google indicate that an exact phrase must be present; you can now use them for a single word. So my search would now be in …

Many Question Google`s Intent in Bidding Wars for Yahoo

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources to report that Google has solicited the help of two or more private equity firms to aid in the bidding for Yahoo. Several reports had already discussed Microsoft’s interest to offer a new bid for Yahoo in recent weeks, and it appears as if Google has been paying attention. While Google’s discussions with private equity firms are not entirely formal as of yet and lack a true proposal, the move does show that the company refuses to sit still as its competition remains active. As for Google’s intentions, analysts are split. Some …

Mozilla Releases New Version of Firefox for Bing Users

Building off the partnership that kicked off last year, Mozilla and Microsoft have just announced the existence of another joint venture with the rollout of the Firefox with Bing browser. As the name suggests, the new version of Mozilla’s popular browser uses Microsoft Bing as its search engine of choice in the search box and AwesomeBar. In addition, it sets the default home page to Bing.com. Mozilla officially announced Firefox with Bing in a short blog post. Microsoft’s Bing team did the same, noting that they were excited to make it even easier for members of the Mozilla Firefox communi…

Convert Visitors with Content

What exactly do I mean by that? Stoney deGeyter uses the analogy of being in the middle of a brick-and-mortar store without any sales assistants around to help. Looking up and down isles, not finding an available employee within driving distance, I get the urge to shout, ‘I’m going to steal something!’ just to see if anyone cares. I can do him one better than that. Stuck in a store with employees that won’t help, I’ll walk right out the door and go visit their competitors, who are more than willing to give me all the assistance I need. So think about that for a second. If I’ll go to the effo…

Google Hides Referrers: Privacy or Money?

I’ll state right up front that both the technological and (for lack of a better term) political issues on this topic are a little confusing. I read both of Danny Sullivan’s excellent explanations of the issue, and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. So let’s take this apart piece by piece. We’ll start with the initial news point. Last week, Google changed the way it handled search results to make them more private, at least in theory. Those who search Google and are logged into Google.com via a secure connection now get their search results encrypted. Searchers won’t notice a differen…

Ballmer Blunt at Web 2.0 Summit

Not surprisingly, Yahoo was near the top of Battelle’s list of questions. The software giant tried to purchase the company a few years ago, but was rebuffed. That rejection looks foolish now, in the wake of the beleaguered search engine’s woes. So how does Ballmer feel about it now? In a word, relieved. When Battelle asked Ballmer if he was glad that Yahoo didn’t take his company up on its unsolicited $47.5 billion bid back in 2008, Ballmer laughed and said You know, times change. When you ask any CEO [that type of question] after the market has fallen apart, it’s ‘hallelujah.’ He added, So…

Yahoo Profit Beats Estimates

Demand for advertising on Yahoo’s network was stronger than expected, which enabled the company’s third-quarter profit to exceed analysts’ estimates. On average, they projected a profit before some costs of 17 cents a share, but Yahoo reported 21 cents a share. Unfortunately, the rest of the report wasn’t quite so rosy. Sales, for example, dropped more than four percent to $1.07 billion, which at least matched the average estimate. Another bright spot in Yahoo’s financial report came in the form of a continued agreement with Microsoft. This revenue per search agreement, originally scheduled to…

Schema.org and Microdata Markups for SEO

At the time of writing (June 2011), schema.org uses microdata (HTML5), which is basically a specification to convey semantics within an existing web page’s content. Search engines, like most machines, can only read and extract information on the page, but are not capable of understanding the real meaning of the content as intended by the content’s author. Using Schema.org and microdata makes it possible for search engines to understand your website content beyond simple HTML and text analysis. Schema.org markup has some highly specialized markups that will tell search engines that the content …

Google Selling Music Soon?

A number of sources have been quoting leaks from music companies as saying that Google has been in active negotiations with the four major music production firms. Supposedly, only the smallest of these, EMI Group, has inked a deal with the search company. Some observers believe that Google will launch their service in a matter of weeks even if they EMI Group as their only partner initially. The New York Times notes that Google most likely plans to link it to Music Beta, the company’s existing cloud service. For those of you not familiar with it, Music Beta lets users create a music locker of…

When to Use Reciprocal Links

Let’s start by considering why reciprocal links got a bad reputation. Way back before Google’s algorithm became so sophisticated, it only considered a site’s incoming links from other sites in rating quality and relevance. A link to another site was a vote for that site. When SEOs and site owners realized that they could simply trade votes with reciprocal links and improve each other’s standing in the SERPs, reciprocal links became very common. Not long after that, such links began to be abused. Link farms started cropping up. Some black hat SEOs even built three-way link schemes to hide t…