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Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

A Few Excellent Posts of the Day

Today I have been busy polishing off a feature article for tomorrow’s SEO newsletter but in the midst of that I came across a few articles and posts that caught my eye:

  • My Twitter friend and social networker extroardinaire Tamar Weinberg wrote a great article that shows which social media networks she networks across different social sites:
    How Do You Network On Social Sites?
  • ResourceShelf has links to recently posted research papers by Google employees. These papers can be gems for foretelling the future of search: Recently Posted Research Papers and Biblographic Info by Googlers. Special thanks to Barry Schwartz and his helpful Tweet that brought me to this info.
  • The unofficial Facebook blog (“AF”) discusses the incredible potential of social shopping heralded by Facebook’s recent Beta test of a payment system. You will be hearing a LOT more about this very soon.
  • Did you know that Democrats “participate more fully in social technologies”? This is just one of the interesting nuggets found in this fascinating post by Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research: Social Profiles of Political Candidates. The posting has excellent information sourced from a Forrester research document.
by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

Back in August I wrote an article called “Is Wikipedia Corrupt?” which looked at the concerns caused by controversial editing in the popular Wikipedia online encyclopedia. In the closing section of that article I stressed that Google needed to move away from highlighting Wikipedia in favor of increasing the diversity of its encyclopedic references. In that regard I would like to introduce a great introduction to Citizendium written by Russ McGinn, a Citizendium Editor and former participant at Wikipedia. Read more…

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

40 Languages for Google Custom Search

StepForth has used Google’s custom search for nearly a year now to allow a powerful but free search option for our website. Well it turns out Google’s custom search is now available in 40 languages according to the a posting today at Google’s Official Blog:

“Today, we’re pleased to tell you that the Google Custom Search platform is available in 40 languages, in close to 80 countries worldwide. And now you can search your Custom Search engine (CSE) in the language of your choice. We hope to see more people creating useful CSEs — we want to see more colo(u)red beams on the globe!”

Read on…

Here is a list of some articles that my staff and I came across today and thought worthy of sharing. Enjoy!

  • I, Cringely wrote an excellent article today describing Google’s plans to host all of our applications. Cringely’s insights are well founded in my opinion. This one is definitely well worth the read.
  • According to a mobile study released by Portio Research over half the worlds population will have a cell phone by 2009 and 75% of the population will have one by 2011.
  • “The Senate on Thursday night approved a seven-year extension of a moratorium on state and local taxes on Internet access.” Honestly it is amazing to me that such a tax is even being considered – damn politicians!
  • “Google Inc. is confident that its $3.1 billion bid for online ad tracker DoubleClick will win over European and U.S. regulators.” Personally I hope it doesn’t go through simply because it has a very real possibility of giving Google a very damaging advantage over other search engines. I am still holding out hope that another player will steal more market share from Google because I prefer a more level playing field but I am well aware that is unlikely anytime soon.

And since we are approaching Halloween, here is something a little frightening for your day. A Zogby/463 Internet Attitudes poll states that 1 in 4 Americans feel the Internet is a decent substitute for a significant other for a period of time. Yikes. Oh and some other very interesting and occasionally boggling data was collected in the same poll so check it out for a laugh or two.

On Wednesday the news lines were afire as Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs announced a $200 price slash on the iPhone. Ever since the announcement there has been rampant speculation on Job’s move…

Why, why, why?

Well I came across a fantastic character profile on Bill Gates and Steve Jobs by Robert X. Cringely; a man with abnormally deep insight into both men. The article is fascinating and I strongly recommend the read. After all, these are two people who have serious influence over the technological world we live in.

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Black Hat Style PPC Techniques

The Fantomaster (a fabled SEO black hat guru) really caught my attention today by noting an article on Search Engine Watch that he admired! In case you don’t know when Fantomaster admires an article you can be relatively certain the article is worth a read. Written for Search Engine Watch by Rob Kerry the article titled “Playing Dirty with PPC” lays out the steps to get around the editorial controls on the major pay per click search engines.

Here are the interesting but somewhat chilling techniques that Rob outlines in his article:

  • How to sneak in advertisements that under normal circumstances would never make it past editorial control.
  • How to steal ALL of the top 10 pay per click positions.
  • How to get your competitor’s campaign dropped in a single, swift move.

Here is the complete article to read if you are interested. Of course I don’t advise ever utilizing the tactics that Rob outlines; however, I believe it is worthwhile understanding the morally challenged tactics that competitors could use against you.

Monday, August 27th, 2007

The Gphone Hype

News of the potential Google Phone (gPhone) has been slowly but surely taking over the net over the past 6 months or so. As of late, however, the hype is louder than ever since recent (supposedly more concrete) evidence has appeared of its existence. At this point there is simply too much hearsay to really know what the heck is going on but a bit part of my gut says this may just be the biggest bad rumor ever. Unfortunately the other half of my gut wonders why Google’s Marissa Mayer never actually denied the existence of the gPhone at the latest Search Engine Strategies conference. Read more…

In my recent article “Is Wikipedia Corrupt?” I asked other online encyclopedias to speak up and introduce themselves so that users could explore alternatives to Wikipedia. The lines had been silent until I received a kind introduction to an alternative site called Citizendium from the founder, Larry Sanger. Incidentally, and quite ironically, Larry Sanger is the co-founder of Wikipedia and another property called Nupedia. Read more…

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Will Yahoo Offload to Google?

An interesting story currently highlighted at Techmeme discusses Yahoo’s shakeup over the past year and the potential that Yahoo’s new CEO Jerry Yang might make the tough decision to fork over some of its search monetization business to Google. The well written article by Kara Swisher also discusses News Corp’s recent MySpace profit hype and how it might just be trying to look pretty for potential buyers.

The thought that Yahoo might go for MySpace was also mentioned but I have to say… that is unlikely. I can’t imagine making a big buy during a house cleaning would be a move taken by anyone as smart as Jerry Yang but I guess Swisher felt it worthy of stating.

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Recommended Reading this Friday

Here are a few articles I came across today that I felt would add some richness to your Friday:

  • Interview with Google’s Sep Kamvar, Lead Software Engineer for Personalization
    Are you curious how Google’s drive toward personalization might affect your privacy or the quality of search results? This short interview might answer some questions you have.
    >> thanks for the tip from the blog “Geeking With Greg
  • doMobi: Growth in the .mobi mobile web is undisputed in this post. Skip to the bottom if you just want that facts ma’am.Huge kudos to James Pearce and the gang; I am a big fan of the .mobi concept and frankly the great support and awareness the .mobi squad brings to the mobile revolution.
  • Matt Cutts published a blog posting with Whitehat SEO Tips for Bloggers. I haven’t read it all yet but by nature these posts are often interesting.
  • Listen Up (Why your customer’s native tongue matters)“: Marketer Drew McLellan explains that for sales content to be effective you need to make sure your content is written in a fashion similar to how your customers speak.

All the best and I hope you all have a great weekend wherever you are. – Ross Dunn