In my “how to choose a URL shortener” article last year, I warned that the country domain that a shortener used might be an issue to consider. A year later, that’s even more so, as a Libyan .ly domain used for an adult content shortener has been closed. Libyan Registrar Takes Back Domain Earlier this week, Nic.ly — a domain registrar in Libya that handles Libyans domains — took back the vb.ly domain from its American owners, after it was in use for a year. Reason? The owners, Ben Metcalfe and noted sex blogger Violet Blue, were told the domain was violated Nic.ly’s terms as it was being used to point at adult content. From Blue’s blog post, citing what Nic.ly told her: Pornography and adult material aren’t allowed under Libyan Law, therefore we removed the domain, and before doing so we warned you thru our Resellers and gave you a relatively long grace period to rectify your situation. Being that you didn’t receive/ ignored our … [Read more...] about Time To Think Carefully About Which Country Hosts Your URL Shortener
Long term care policy
It’s been long known in the industry that brand term keywords garner a much higher click-through-rate. As a result, marketers often start by bidding on their own brand terms. This however cannibalizes, to some degree, organic traffic that would have been received for those terms anyway. When bidding on competitor brand terms, you don’t have to worry about cannibalization of your own organic results; these are terms for which you probably weren’t going to rank anyway. If you were, that means you’re using competitor brand terms on your own pages – a risky proposition from a legal standpoint. Yes, the FTC does have some regulatory language about mentioning competitors for the purposes of a factual comparison, but the risk of doing this poorly and opening yourself up to a lawsuit or a false advertising complaint probably outweighs pursuing strategies involving comparisons. The Practice Is Fairly Common As far as paid search goes, in the U.S. at least, my … [Read more...] about Bidding On Competitors Brand Terms: The Complete Guide
Look out, Google! Duck Duck Go is on the rise, posting a 50% traffic increase in just eight days. Is this proof people want a “private” search engine, in the wake of allegations the PRISM program allows the US government to read search data with unfettered access? Nope. Google has little to worry about. People don’t care about search privacy, and Duck Duck Go’s growth demonstrates this. Don’t get me wrong. If you ask people about search privacy, they’ll respond that it’s a major issue. Big majorities say they don’t want to be tracked nor receive personalized results. But if you look at what people actually do, virtually none of them make efforts to have more private search. Duck Duck Go’s growth is an excellent case study to prove this. Despite it growing, it’s not grown anywhere near the amount to reflect any substantial or even mildly notable switching by the searching public. Duck Duck Go’s Growth, In Perspective Duck … [Read more...] about Duck Duck Go’s Post-PRISM Growth Actually Proves No One Cares About “Private” Search
You may have read this week that some paid ads by pro-life oriented crisis pregnancy centers have been removed by Google after pro-choice political advocacy group NARAL claimed credit for getting the ads banned, as reported by the Washington Post. In reaction, outlets on the pro-life side have cried foul with headlines like “Google Bans Ads From Pregnancy Centers After Lobbying From ‘Pro-Choice’ NARAL” of abortion. Google’s official response to the issue has been, “We’re constantly reviewing ads to ensure they comply with our AdWords policies, which include strict guidelines related to ad relevance, clarity, and accuracy. If we find violations, we’ll take the appropriate actions — including account disablings and blacklists — as quickly as possible.” The fact that is a politically and socially fraught topic has heightened questions about what it all means. Do Google’s actions mark a policy change on abortion … [Read more...] about Google Action Against Pregnancy Center Ads Stirs Confusion, But Does Not Signal Preference Or Policy Change
Editor’s Note: Since this column was originally published, we’ve received comment from Google on the matter, which we’ve included at the conclusion of the piece. Google recently posted a blog article raving about how it tackled webspam in 2015. The numbers were quite impressive. The webspam team handed out more than 4.3 million manual penalties last year, which must have been pretty labor-intensive. If only they applied the same efforts when it comes to Google My Business (GMB). Currently, the spam situation with GMB is bad. Spam is everywhere — and other than cracking down on the locksmith industry, Google doesn’t seem to be doing much at all about it. Here are the top four ways spam is flooding Google Maps. 1. Improper business names The Google My Business guidelines state the following with regard to business names: Adding unnecessary information to your name (e.g., “Google Inc. — Mountain View Corporate Headquarters” instead of … [Read more...] about Got spam? Google My Business doesn’t care.