I can still remember when my when I first switched over to Google on the recommendation of my brother’s girlfriend. She’s literally a rocket scientist and carries a lot of intellectual weight with me; her endorsement was fairly simple – “it returns great results”. To understand what “great results” means, transport yourself back 10+ years ago and try to remember the search user experience – one dominated by short tailed queries and multiple paginated results until you could find what you were really looking for. We didn’t complain because it was free and much better than that old dewey decimal approach we learned in middle school. In fact, it was magical. Enter Google and the experience and expectations changed significantly. On the strength of superior results, Google’s market share skyrocketed. Over the past decade we’ve grown accustomed to results so accurate that we rarely peek beyond the top three. Yet, I have … [Read more...] about The Fallacy Of The Superior Search Engine
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Postscript, February 17: The CBC article cited below has reworded its article and now says the Canadian government is “reviewing” rather than “investigating” Buzz. A semantic distinction, perhaps, but there’s apparently no formal government investigation happening in Canada at the moment, so we’ve updated our headline, too. We’ve also received a statement from Google on this, and that’s appended at the end of this article. ————– After a “challenging” first week for Google Buzz, week number two has begun with still more concerns over privacy, not to mention a government investigation in Canada and the potential for one in the U.S., too. CBC News is reporting that Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner has opened an investigation into Google Buzz: Valerie Lawton, a spokesperson for the office, said on Tuesday that Buzz is being investigated to see whether it violates Canadian privacy … [Read more...] about Canadian Government Reviewing Google Buzz; U.S. Govt. Next?
For years now, there has been some discrepancy between statements from Google Local engineers and general optimization advice from some local search marketers where reviews and ratings are concerned. So, what’s the skinny? Rating values may simply not affect your rankings. Read on to see why. Ratings Vs. Reviews A rating is usually a qualitative measure — essentially, a numerical score which a consumer selects when critiquing a business — such as on a 5-point or 10-point scale, or one to five stars, grades between “A” or “F”, or some other qualitatively measured scale between “poor” and “excellent.” A review is typically some text one has written about a business. The two are often used in the same breath when talking about rating or reviewing businesses, and the two activities are often combined in the same process when users are encouraged to provide feedback about a business. In this article, we’re primarily … [Read more...] about Should You Count Reviews & Ratings Out In Google Local Rankings?
In 2007, I took some heat for pointing out that Google Trends showed declining searches for “yellow pages” while theorizing that this indicated reducing consumer interest in print and online YP sites. About four years later, we can now look back and see whether this turned out to be a valid prediction, and also reflect on what value YP may still have for advertisers. When I wrote that earlier article, I was aware that connecting a major shift in overall consumer behavior to a graphed trendline of searches in Google was a little loose in terms of causality. There are many reasons why people search for a particular phrase, and many reasons why cumulative searches for the phrase can rise or fall. (Not to mention, there is uncertainty about what the actual volume of searches is in the graphs since Google obscures volume amounts, and there can be error in assuming that Google users reflect the same search patterns of users who may search elsewhere, such as in Bing.) I had some … [Read more...] about Are Yellow Pages Toast? Four Years Later We Review Ad Value
Matt Cutts wrote two weeks ago at his blog a post about selling links that pass PageRank. I wanted to comment at his blog, but 500+ comments made me shy away from it and write a full post here at SearchEngineJournal.com instead. Matt presented a number of (allegedly) paid reviews/posts (there is no absolute proof that the author was paid) to demonstrate how badly paid reviews are and why nofollow should be used on any paid review because of it. I suggest reading Matts post first get familiarized with his examples to which I will refer below. Although the presented examples are bad, I would like to say something about them. First of all did I not read in most of the posts that "radio surgery" is new. It's written ambiguous, admitted, but that is not a crime and happens far too often. I remember a post of mine from March this year, where a Google engineer understood that I referred to Google as Nazis, which I did not. ? The "proud to introduce the (Leksell) Gamma Knife" is misleading, … [Read more...] about Paid Reviews Examples by Matt Cutts and Paid Links