google logoGoogle announced yesterday morning over at the two improvements they have made to the search results. These improvements include more refined results for specific searches, and longer snippets for long tail searches.

Search Refinements

This refinement will allow Google to offer more “related searches” for various queries that users perform. Now when you do a search in Google, at the bottom of the results there is small section of links titled “Searches related to:” These are links to other related searches. Read more…

 newssift logoA new search engine, Newssift beta was recently launched by the Financial Times Group in an attempt to attract business users to search. It allows users to build incredibly specific queries to help return very specific and relevant results. Newssift also tend to focus on business oriented sources, including magazines, blogs, newspapers and other credible sources to help maintain higher quality results.

The site will be supported financially by the sale of ad space down the right hand side of the search results. Currently these ads are not contextually driven based on a user’s search, but plans for the change are in the works for a future release. Read more…

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Monday, March 16th, 2009

Blogs, WordPress and Google

WordPress Blogs & GoogleIt’s no secret that a continually updated website with new content being added regularly stands a good chance of doing well in Google. One of the long standing methods to regularly expand a site’s content is through the use of a blog.

While there are numerous platforms to choose from for managing a blog, few can compare with the immense flexibility offered with WordPress, and at a cost of free, the price can’t be beat either.

Google likes fresh new content, and setting up a blog on your site, assuming it is updated often with interesting and relevant material, can be one of the best things you can do to help out your search rankings. The beauty behind WordPress is that there is a wide array of totally free plug-ins you can easily install that will make your blog totally search engine friendly. Read more…

StepForth Web Marketing is excited and proud to announce that on Tuesday, Ross Dunn, StepForth Web Marketing CEO/Founder was named as one of two finalists in the 2009 Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Business Awards in the category of “Young Entrepreneur of the Year(pdf).

The award “honours a business owner or founder under the age of 35 who has excelled in business; exemplified leadership and entrepreneurial skills; and demonstrated exceptional vision that has contributed to business success”. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony taking place April 21, 2009 at the Fairmont Empress. Read more…

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Monday, February 16th, 2009

Air Miles Offered for Yahoo Searches

Yahoo AirMiles ToolbarFor all our Canadian readers out there, if you find yourself collecting Air Miles, searching Yahoo may help you get that free flight just a little bit quicker.

The Air Miles Yahoo Toolbar was recently launched, and for every 50 searches performed using the Air Miles toolbar you will earn 5 Air Miles, up to a maximum of 30 Air Miles per month. Read more…

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Monday, February 16th, 2009

Google PowerMeter

Google is developing a service to try and impact electrical energy consumption by allowing users to easily track their energy usage.

PowerMeter software will tap into the information provided by “smart meters” installed currently on many homes. It will display to customers exactly how they are using power and relate it to specific appliances in the home to help them to pin point the biggest contributors to their consumption.

google power meter

Read more…

Fourth quarter financial results for 2008 are in at both Yahoo (pdf) and Google, and while Google still showed a sizable profit, the numbers show that 2009 may be a tough year for both search giants.

Yahoo
In Q4, Yahoo saw revenues down 1% compared to the same period, ringing in at $1,806 million. While revenues approaching $2 billion sounds good on the surface, when you take away the expenses and the dust settles, they were left with a net loss of more than $303 million!

2008 on the whole wasn’t a total loss for Yahoo. Their revenues finished with a 3 percent increase compared to 2007, at $7,209 million and an overall net income of over $424 million. This number is certainly reasonable, at least by my standards, but when you look at the huge loss in the 4th quarter alone, unless things get turned around, 2009 could show to be a tough year for Yahoo.

Yahoo Q4 and 2008 Financial Results

Google
Just like Yahoo, Google also took a hit in the fourth quarter of 2008, only their hit managed to remain on the plus side. Compared to the three quarters preceding (all over $1.2 billion) Q4 saw a net income of only $382 million.

While 2008 saw total revenues reach nearly $5 billion more than 2007, at $21.7 billion, Google’s net income for 2008 was nearly identical, only about $20 million more than 2007.

GoogleQ4 and 2008 Financial Results
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009

SEO Results Take Time

SEO Results Take TimeThere is one important factor to remember whenever you are involved in improving the organic rankings of a website, and that factor is time. One of the most common questions I receive as an SEO is “How long till I start to see results?” This article is dedicated to anyone who has ever asked that question.

It doesn’t matter what industry you are involved in, or what techniques you follow, in all cases you will be a prisoner of time. In the vast majority of cases search engine rankings don’t come over night. Read more…

If you find that your Yahoo email account is being hit with too much spam, all that junk may be significantly cut back in the very near future.

On Jan 20th, it was announced that Yahoo will begin using the anti-spam services of Abaca to help protect Yahoo users from spam, phishing, and other email attacks.

Abaca is the only anti-spam company to guarantee a rate of 99% accuracy.

“As one of the world’s leading Internet companies, we take the security of our users very seriously,” said John Kremer, vice president of Yahoo! Mail. “Abaca offers superior e-mail security capabilities and has built a reputation for reducing unsolicited e-mail within mailboxes. We believe that by deploying Abaca’s solution with our anti-spam toolkit, we will offer Yahoo! Mail users not only added email security, but an enhanced user experience as well.”

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Google Market Share Down for Dec 2008

Google Market Share for 2008Google market share is down – or level, depending on who you trust most. The December numbers are in over at both Nielsen and Comscore, and while both agencies are reporting very similar figures for Google, one is actually showing a loss.

Comscore is reporting Google seeing no change between November and December with back to back months being at 63.5%. Nielsen, after reporting a jump of 2.9% for November, is showing a 1.2% drop for December, down to 62.9%.

This drop in Google’s shares is really quite minor if you look at their performance over all of 2008. Nielsen figures show Google’s share increasing by 6% from 56.9 in Jan 2008. Comscore shows a similar increase of 5% over the same period up from 58.5.

I suspect that Google’s market share is not on the decline and that in the coming months we will continue to see their figures rise.