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Friday, September 12th, 2008

Google Results and Webposition Gold

webposition gold logoFor those of you out there who use WebPosition Gold, you will be happy to know that it is now properly reporting on Google results. While news had circulated all over the forums and various SE News sites that WebPosition had been banned by Google, apparently this simply was not true.

Supposedly Google had changed the way in which they display results within the HTML of the site, a change not visible on the site when performing a search. As a result of this change, it essentially broke WebPosition, and the software then required some updating to correct the issue. Back in August Google posted to the official GoogleBlog that they were testing a number of items within the search results. One test included creating slightly more whitespace between the first and second listings. It is some of the small HTML changes like these that are likely the culprit to the temporary down time experienced by WebPosition.

As of earlier this month, the leader in reporting software did in fact complete the update and now reported results do appear to be correct. While there is much speculation as to how long reporting software will continue to work without being permanently banned by Google, for now, things are working once again.

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Google and Your Private Data

Google Privacy & IP AddressesLike most websites Google keeps a log of IP addresses in order to track visitor behavior, and to help serve up more useful ad targeting. Previously they held onto this non-identifying information for 18 months following your visit to their site.

Over the past couple of years regulators and policymakers have had privacy concerns over the storage of this data, and as a result Google has cut the time it holds onto this information by half, down to 9 months. Read more…

At some point, most people have had some sort of encounter with internet scams, viruses, spyware or other security problems. Hackers and scam artists are a pervasive reality in today’s world and making assumptions about security is unwise. A pay per click account makes an attractive target to a technically savvy criminal and gaining access to someone’s account allows them to promote their schemes at someone else’s expense.

Originally trained in Network Security, I have always taken such precautions very seriously and now even more so, since a recent fraudulent act affected one of our client’s accounts.

Early this summer I arrived at the office on a Monday morning and proceeded to check my weekend mail. Two emails caught my attention right away. The first from AdWords, informing us that the client’s credit card was declined and the second, from the client asking ” What is the campaign “Qwasde” – Campaign #1″? Read more…

Poor Matt, he is always getting the brunt of the abuse when Google does something that could, even remotely, be monopolistic. Fortunately, Google Chrome, in my opinion is yet another great idea from a great company that is slightly evil but much less than most 😉

Check out Matt’s blog for his detailed “Answers to Common Google Chrome Objections” and get the low down directly from a straight-talker; the image on the right is from a fun set of Google collector cards created by Philipp Lenssen.

PS. I forgot to mention in my previous Google Chrome post that Google has earned another star in my book for creating such a cool logo for Google Chrome! Hmm, now I just need to get my hands on a sticker for my laptop! Hint hint Google!

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

Google Chrome, Google’s unexpected open source web browser was announced over the Labour Day weekend and launched only a day later – it is now available for download in more than 100 countries.

Here are some excerpts from the Google Blog announcement on September 1st, 2008 “A Fresh Take on the Browser“:

“On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn’t the browser that matters. It’s only a tool to run the important stuff — the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go” Read more…

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Google Cows Point North

cow compass

The Los Angeles Times reports German researchers, through the help of Google Earth, have discovered that 2 out of 3 cows point North.

Using Google Earth, the researchers studied more than 300 herds of cattle from around the world. Of the 8510 cows they observed, two thirds of them had aligned themselves to face magnetic north while grazing or resting.

This is the first discovery of large land mammals to have this built-in compass. Other animals such as birds and most bees have a similar trait to aid with migration.

So, if you ever find your self lost out at the farm, take a look at the near by cows to help guide you safely home.

Is there no end to lawsuits against Google? On Tuesday Judah Klausner, an inventor from San Francisco, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google, Verizon, LG, Citrix Systems, Comverse Technology, and Embarq.

Klausner’s company, Klausner Technologies, filed a patent back in 1992 for “visual voicemail”, a way to apply a graphical means of interacting with voicemail messages, similar to the use of e-mail.

Back in June, Klausner had a similar lawsuit settled against Apple, AT&T, and eBay (Skype) over its “visual voicemail” features on iPhone devices.

Verizon apparently had anticipated the lawsuit from Klausner and two weeks ago filed their own lawsuit in US District Court, to have the inventor’s patent declared invalid.

In an article published on Reuters Tuesday Jim Smith, a Verizon spokesman stated: “We anticipated Klausner’s action. We are seeking a declaration that Klausner’s visual voicemail patent is invalid and that Verizon’s system does not infringe the patent in any event.”

The latest lawsuit is just a series of suits filed by Klausner dating back to the first in 2005 against AOL.

Last week’s Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose was awesome! The content was exceptional – a cut above previous conferences – and the parties were a blast. To drive all of this home I invite you to check out the photos from the conference that I posted a few minutes ago.

A number of the photos include the following SEOs that you may know: John Carcutt, Darrell Long, Matt McGee, Andy Beal, Lisa Barone, Loren Baker, Leif Nissen, David Snyder, Jeff Quipp, Jennifer Osborne, Jeremiah Andrick, Daron Babin, Chris Boggs.

There are more photos to come too but for now enjoy!

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

Google Dance 2008 was, as usual, a great time and I felt it was time to share the festivities with the rest of the world that can’t make it and may just be a little curious about Google’s headquarters. So here we go, welcome to Google Dance 2008:

I hope I can count on seeing you at Google Dance 2009! Just sign up for Search Engine Strategies San Jose when it comes around and in addition to learning about web marketing you will enjoy some great parties (that includes the spectacular Search Bash!).

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

Possibly the most exciting post for me was from Oliver Marks at ZDNet . Here is a company that is thinking outside the box and developing an alternate interface for search on the internet; it involves returning results based on aggregate sets of information. Freebase Parallax is a fascinating peak into the future and it utilizes the strongest attributes to browse and explore data, a sort of marriage between Google and Wikipedia. This article has been placed under the Google section because I predict they will quickly snatch up this company and its revolutionary approach.

“Still technically in alpha, Freebase will be the underpinnings of many future companies – some would say this approach is the future of the entire Internet. Read more…