A structure settlement company based in Maryland claims they were sued by a competitor for manipulating the search results to make their competitor look bad in Google.This company is seeking an "SEO expert" to write a legal letter to help them out in court. He wrote in a Google Webmaster Help thread:Our company was accused back in late 2011 (by a significantly larger competitor) of manipulating Google search engine results. The only piece of evidence provided by the competitor was a screen captures of Google search results from 2011. The competitor alleges that many of the Google search engine results were defamatory in nature and that the results were being redirected to various website’s that were owned and operated by our company.We have never been able to duplicate the searches that the competitor states were defamatory and/or results that were redirected. For that reason we have requested a copy of the data from the computer that was used to perform the Google searches … [Read more...] about Legally Accused Of Manipulating Google’s Search Results
Google manipulates search results
Last week, I wrote a post on the Webimax blog about an approach that Google might take in response to the fact that there are often so many results in response to a particular query. The post, How Google May Re-Rank Search Results Based the Context of What You Click, described how Google might re-rank your search results for related followup queries within the same search session. Search for [jaguar] and choose a result related to the Jacksonville football team, and Google might boost results related to the football team or sports in general in your search results within the same search session. Google might try to use a “Contextual Click Model” like I described in that post, to try to identify related sites within sets of search results. They would do that by looking at its search query log files for search sessions from multiple searchers to cluster those clicks into related categories. There are other ways that Google might potentially categorize documents that show up … [Read more...] about Will Google Add Categories to Search Results, and Let You Edit Them?
Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings. Bing doesn’t deny this. As a result of the apparent monitoring, Bing’s relevancy is potentially improving (or getting worse) on the back of Google’s own work. Google likens it to the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google’s test. “I’ve spent my career in pursuit of a good search engine,” says Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow who oversees the search engine’s ranking algorithm. “I’ve got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innovation, in my book.” Bing doesn’t deny Google’s claim. Indeed, the statement that Stefan Weitz, director of Microsoft’s Bing search engine, emailed me yesterday as I … [Read more...] about Bing Is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results
Images have become ever more important in online presence and marketing. It seems rare that an article, email, ad or social media post isn’t led by a hero image or graphic. There’s no question that images boost visibility, engagement and click-through rates. A study on Google+ concluded that posts with images were shared three times more than those without images. Likewise, Socialbakers reported that of the top 10 percent most engaging Facebook posts (likes, shares, comments), 93 percent of them were photos. And a study by BrightLocal found that 60 percent of consumers agreed that local results with images grab their attention and influence decision-making. The opposite is also true: A lack of images hurts. Indeed, Expedia has used the threat of pulling images to gain leverage in business deals with hotel chains. It’s a practice called “dimming” that reduces a property’s visibility and marketability in hotel listings served to users of the online … [Read more...] about 8 tips to make sure your Google profile images boost your local search results
It’s little known that Google was never meant to be a company. In fact, in 1998 Vinod Khosla (one of the first investors in Google) managed to convince Larry Page and Sergey Brin to sell their technology to Lycos, Excite, or Yahoo, the leading search engines of the time, for a paltry million dollars so that they could go back to focusing on their research at Stanford University. While each company took the time to review Larry Page’s and Sergey Brin’s work, they passed on the opportunity of purchasing it. The companies were simply not that concerned with search quality; they figured their results were good enough and that they needed to differentiate themselves from the competition by other means. When the two friends decided to pursue their search engine anyway, they made focusing on search quality their top priority. They even put it in their mission statement: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google … [Read more...] about How Google Collects Search Quality Date