Did Google's Gary Illyes say on Twitter that an affiliate site is not a quality site? He said "perhaps affiliate sites are not quality" when someone complained that affiliate sites aren't ranking well after an unconfirmed Google algorithm update.Here are the tweets:We know Google is tough on affiliate sites but affiliate sites by definition are not spam or against Google's guidelines. You just need to make sure your affiliate sites adds significant value.What do you think?Forum discussion at Twitter.This post was scheduled to go live today but was written earlier - I am currently offline today. … [Read more...] about Did Google Say Affiliate Sites Are Not Quality Sites?
Last week, Google promised to shut down Google News in Spain after a new Spanish law required them to pay licensing fees for content included in Google News.Google has changed the Google News home page in Spain, which is at news.google.es to redirect to this help article. We’re incredibly sad to announce that, due to recent changes in Spanish law, we have removed Spanish publishers from Google News and closed Google News in Spain. We understand that readers like you may be disappointed, too, and we want to share the reasons behind this decision.Google News is a free service, loved and trusted by hundreds of millions of users around the world and available in more than 70 international editions, covering 35 languages. It includes everything from the world’s biggest newspapers to small, local publications and bloggers. Publishers can choose whether or not they want their articles to appear in Google News -- and the vast majority choose to be included for very good reason. … [Read more...] about Did Google Shut Down Google News In Spain?
So after some time testing both hotel pricing labels and local panel highlights, Google seems to have rolled out both features to searchers. Our man Sergey Alakov reported on both going live this week.Here is a screen shot of the local highlights feature, which I can replicate:Here is the hotel price labels, which I can also replicate:Do you see it?I asked Google about this a few days ago but no response yet.Forum discussion at Twitter. … [Read more...] about Did Google Launches Local Highlight Icons & Hotel Price Labels?
Matt Cutts, the currently on leave head of Google's search spam team, posted on Google+ last night about a rosebush he planted a few years ago with his wife in his yard. He said it is the Yahoo rosebush and then went on to talk proudly of Yahoo's new leadership and success since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO, after leaving Google's executive team a few years ago.Here is Matt's post:A few years ago my wife and I got a rosebush that I considered to be a "Yahoo" rosebush. It was some sort of hybrid that had yellow and purple flowers, which are the Yahoo colors. The purple blooms have faded away, but the yellow flowers are flourishing. I'm happy to see Yahoo flourishing in several ways too, from redoing their search contract with Microsoft to sponsoring the show Community. I'm all for more competition in the Internet space, and I think Marissa Mayer is doing a great job at Yahoo to foster that competition.SEOs and webmasters and the whole industry is reading into it.(1) Is this Matt … [Read more...] about Did Google’s Matt Cutts Hint He Is Going To Work For Yahoo?
Gary said in his response to questions about this Fred update that when they discussed the industry chatter on this update, his "search leads" (I guess his bosses) decided not to discuss it with the public. Then Gary said he will say one thing, that the sites impacted by this update should have been because what they are doing are specifically against Google's webmaster guidelines. Gary said the answer to why sites got hit by this is in the existing webmaster guidelines. I did try to get Gary to give us one specific guideline that these sites violated but he wouldn't add anything more about this update. Again, if I had to guess based on reviewing over 100 sites that saw significant drops on March 8th, I'd said most had low value content with the goal of revenue generation only. Here are all the tweets I could find covering this from the session, which I sat in and heard myself: Google talked to the leads up Fred, and we decided to not talk about this update. said @methode #smx— … [Read more...] about Did Google Confirm The Fred Algorithm Update?
My Google toolbar updated on me earlier today, and a notification window popped up, telling me about one of Google's newest features, Google Related, which has some interesting implications. Ran Ben-Yair, a Product Manager from the Google Related team located at the Israel R&D Center introduced the feature in a blog post titled Find more while you browse with Google Related I haven't had much time to explore the use of Google Related on more than a couple of sites, but I'll be looking for more signs of it on the Web. I noticed a couple of days ago a number of patents that Google had recorded as being acquired from Northbrook Digital LLC which looked like they shared some very similar features to Google Related. Interesting to see them possibly incorporated into Google so quickly. Google Related shows a toolbar at the bottom of some pages providing links to other content on the Web. An example from the toolbar help page tells us that if you are on the homepage for a restaurant in … [Read more...] about Did Google Acquire the Tech (or Patents) for Google Related from Northbrook Digital LLC?
According to a Fortune story that appeared yesterday, Google seriously considered and then decided against buying some or all of a hedge fund’s 19 percent stake in the New York Times. According to the article: Last month, sources tell me, former Hollywood mogul David Geffen made an offer to buy the 19% stake in the Times held by hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, but no deal was struck. (Geffen and Harbinger declined to comment.). And a few weeks before that, Scott Galloway, a Web entrepreneur and New York University Business School professor who is one of two Harbinger appointees on the Times board, made an overture to Google co-founder Larry Page about Google buying the Times Co. Even though Google CEO Eric Schmidt has publicly lamented the state of the newspaper industry and dismissed the notion of Google investing in it, people involved said the company looked seriously at the opportunity before deciding to pass. No one but the people involved know how real or serious … [Read more...] about Did Google Really Consider Buying a Piece of the NY Times?
Mike Arrington thinks that Google engaged in “a little stealth black ops mission” and blunted the full impact of the Ballmer Bing announcement yesterday by announcing Wave. Whether Wave represents a huge new development in digital communications remains to be seen, but almost every major news outlet had to cover it and divide its attention between Bing and Wave. Indeed, many journalists and bloggers were physically divided between the AllThingsD conference near San Diego and Google’s developer event I/O in San Francisco. Arrington also cites the lack of access to Bing/Kumo as a PR mistake. But that’s less a function of a PR miscalculation in my understanding than the fact that Ballmer had agreed to appear at the D event and knew that he was going to be probed about Kumo; so Microsoft decided to effectively pre-announce the engine before its public release next week at SMX Advanced. As a practical matter, however, Arrington may be correct: more stories and deeper … [Read more...] about Did Google Cleverly Upstage Microsoft’s Bing?
Many headlines yesterday about two bloggers who received visits — and subpoenas — from the Transportation Security Administration after publishing a security directive that was emailed to them anonymously. The source used a Gmail account. So did Google get a subpoena, too? The company says it can’t comment either way, sending me this statement: We don’t talk about individual cases to help protect all our users. Obviously, we follow the law like any other company. When we receive a subpoena or court order, we check to see if it meets both the letter and the spirit of the law before complying. And if doesn’t we can object or ask that the request is narrowed. We have a track record of advocating on behalf of our users. Google quite famously — and successfully — fought a US Justice Department subpoena in 2006 that wanted access to search records in general, in relation to research it wanted to conduct on prevalence of child pornography in search … [Read more...] about Did Google Get A TSA Subpoena Over Security Directive? It Can’t Say
At the Deconstructing Pigeon Panel at SMX, David Mihm, Adam Dorfman and I shared a lot of data about the algorithm and how it had affected the local search engine results pages (SERPs). One thing we didn’t really discuss was why big multi-location brands may have been dinged. Over the past few months, we have received reports that some big brands have lost 5-10% of their organic traffic post-Pigeon. As we discussed during the panel, Google had told Search Engine Land that Pigeon focused on the following : Increased importance of “Web ranking signals” (aka “backlinks”) Increased focus on Location Increased emphasis on Knowledge Graph results But perhaps the real insight discussed by the distinguished panelists was that Google had perhaps overdone it on its “brand” algorithm and it now was incorrectly interpreting a lot of queries as “brand” queries which was leading to a lot of spam. For example, if you search [miami movers] you … [Read more...] about Why Did Google’s Pigeon Poop All Over Big Local Brands?