After six monthsof testing, Google has formally rolled outKnol, a service designed to letpeople create pages of knowledge on any topic they choose. While Google saysKnol is not designed to compete with Wikipedia — and there are goodarguments to back this up — I still think the easiest way to describe theservice is Wikipedia with moderation. Below, more about this, the service ingeneral, and some of the issues it may raise for Google. As many are aware, Wikipedia allows anyone to create and edit pages onall types of topics. Need to know about the BS 546 electrical plug used byold houses in Britain? I once did, and the Wikipedia community has created apage about the topic. The collaborative advantage to Wikipedia is also its disadvantage. Sinceanyone cancontribute, some introduce factual errors or overtlyvandalize articles (seeGeorge WashingtonDid What According To Wikipedia???). It’s one reason that Wikipedia isconsidering moderation. Like Wikipedia, Knol (unlike many … [Read more...] about Google’s Knol Launches: Like Wikipedia, With Moderation
Back in March 2007, Google promised to begin anonymizing log data to better protect user privacy. That kicked off a wave of privacy pledges from competing search engines. In addition, by agreeing to limit itself, it inadvertently got the European Union to demand even faster data destruction. Below, a look at Google’s progress toward its initial 18 month anonymization plan, the 9 months it recently agreed to and that question about cookies — are they really deleted or not? Question: When did you start anonymizing data, and what’s been changed so far? We began implementing our 18 month anonymization policy this year and will apply it retroactively. We started anonymizing in May 2008, and we’re continuing to anonymize as data comes in. Although we had originally planned to begin anonymization in January 2008, we started anonymizing in May 2008 because we were working on better ways of anonymizing cookies and believed it was important to get it right the first … [Read more...] about Anonymizing Google’s Server Log Data — How’s It Going?
Google’s obsession with usability is well-established. They use human evaluators to test search results and many algorithmic methods to establish quality scores that can impact rankings, such as the recently introduced site speed value. There are a number of common usability elements of business websites which I believe could be leveraged for rankings in local search. Here are ten. Further background: In 2005, Google began introducing various factors in calculating a Quality Score which can impact PPC ad rankings and minimum bid amounts. As details of some of the factors involved were emerging, a few of us could see that Google was likely using similar Quality Scores as part of ranking webpages for organic search rankings. In 2008, Google added landing page load time as another factor feeding into the AdWords Quality Score calculation. So, in the summer of 2009 after Google deployed page speed, a Firefox extension for measuring and diagnosing web page load times, I theorized that … [Read more...] about Google’s Usability Fixation Reveals Local Ranking Factors
If you’ve noticed things shifting in Google’s SERPs, you’re not seeing things. This week, Google has been increasing the frequency of its paid search listings, showing up to four ads above desktop search results, and simultaneously removing the ads on the right-hand side. Read on to learn what it’s going to mean to your PPC and SEO campaigns. Google has been testing four ads above the organic results for years, though only for a small subset of searches. Now, a greater number of searches — specifically “highly commercial queries” — are likely to serve four ads. The impact of seeing four ads above the search results is yet to be seen. As I see it, there are positives and negatives in this move. Why Is This Good? According to analysis across all iProspect UK clients, ads in the banner positions receive 14X the click-through rate of the same ad on the same keyword on the right-hand side. This is partly a selection bias (ads with a better CTR … [Read more...] about What Google’s New Layout Means For Search Marketers
In a keynote discussion at SMX Advanced Thursday, Google’s Sundeep Jain, Director of Product Management for Search Ads, discussed the rollout for Expanded Text Ads, what brought about the green Ad label for text ads and a couple of product announcements, among other topics. Jain oversees ads quality, personalization, formats, user interface and optimization for text ads. He also leads the product strategy and design of some of the vertical-specific search ads, like the interactive automotive ads on mobile. Here’s what Jain shared in his wide-ranging keynote: Expanded Text Ads: a total rethink We know some advertisers have already been white-listed to start testing the new ad format that allows for two longer headlines and a longer description, but little has been said about what the rollout will look like. Jain said that first and foremost, advertisers need to rethink their entire creative. Do not try to tack copy onto existing ads. Initial tests show that advertisers that … [Read more...] about Google’s Sundeep Jain on the Expanded Text Ad rollout, device bidding, similar audiences & more