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The PubSubHubbub (PuSH) logo by Google If you have a blog or a website with a RSS (real simple syndication) feed and you haven’t heard of the new PuSH protocol then I have a treat for you. A little while back, Google announced a new open source protocol quirkily called PubSubHubbub, or PuSH for short. In Google’s own words PuSH is “a simple, open, server-to-server web-hook-based pubsub (publish/subscribe) protocol as an extension to Atom and RSS.”

And now, without further adieu, here it is in English:
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Well it’s official. Google is now incorporating site load speed into its ranking algorithm according to a Webmaster Central Blog post earlier this morning.

There has been chatter about this addition being in the works for some time, and if you ask me, its one that will significantly help to improve the overall quality of search results and end user experience. Read more…

Yesterday Google announced in the Webmaster Central blog the added expansion for images within XML Sitemaps.

By expanding your XML Sitemap to include images in the new format, this will allow Google to easily learn which images you consider important. With image related queries being performed at Google every day, this extra step may help you to benefit from a bit of increased image related traffic. Read more…

When I was at SMX West 2010 in Santa Clara a couple of weeks ago, I attended a session called Technical SEO. One of the speakers was Maile Ohye (one of the best Google speakers in my opinion)  who showed a very cool comparison of the various URL structures that can be used for multi-regional sites. Maile also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using a country code top level domain (ccTLD = .ca, .co.uk, etc.) or a global top level domain (gTLD = .com, .net, .org, etc.) for multi-region websites.

Anyway, Maile mentioned the URL structure comparison chart from her presentation would be available online soon and here it is reposted in along with other great information by John Mueller. This should be very handy as a reminder for anyone planning their multi-region web marketing. Note that I quickly whipped up a slightly easier to read & print PDF version of the table shown in the article. Read more…

According to breaking news from the Wall Street Journal, Google will be resuming talks with China after the Chinese New Year holiday over the future of the company’s search engine in the heavily censored country.

Why is Google Considering Leaving? A Basic Timeline of Events

If you have missed the boat on this story then here is an timeline overview:

1) 2005: Google opens in China and censors its content heavily to ‘respect’ the Chinese legal system. Many scuffles over free speech occured over the next few years but  Google ultimately buckled to Chinese law. (more on Google China at Wikipedia)

2) Mid-December 2009, Google gets hacked by cyber-terrorists and after some research, deduces that China was the source of the attack.

Here are some excerpts from  Google’s extensive media release about the cyber attacks:
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Just a few hours ago Google announced an enhancement to Gmail called Google Buzz that will be rolled out over the next couple of days. What is Google Buzz? Essentially, it is the incorporation of an important part of what made Google Wave so sexy for many people (me included) – the ability to manage conversations on other platforms (like Twitter) from a central location that we already frequent – GMAIL.

So how does Google Buzz work? Below is a video outlining the cool new capabilities but if you can’t access that at the moment, here is much of the key video transcribed to text:

“Buzz goes beyond status messages. It automatically pulls images from links, shows videos in line, and lets you flip through photos the way they were meant to be seen – big and fast. You can connect to other sites you use; like Picasa, Flickr, Google Reader, and Twitter. So your friends can keep up on what you are doing on the web, all in one place.

“Buzz makes sure you see what matters most. The best part about sharing is getting responses to your post; Buzz sends these comments to your inbox to make sure you don’t miss them. You can respond right from there to keep the conversation going. If you want to make sure you friends see something, you can send it right to their inbox by adding them with an “@” reply.

“You’ll sometimes see recommended Buzz from someone you are not directly following. Buzz identifies posts that may interest you or are popular among your friends and recommends them to you so you don’t miss out. And it works on your phone, so you can keep up with what your friends, or people near you, are Buzzing about.”

Here is the official Google Buzz video followed by why Google Buzz could help Google advertisers and those with high Google rankings: Read more…

On Thursday, Jan 21st, Google will be releasing its fourth-quarter earnings and stockholders are likely to be very happy with the results. That said, what will happen in 2010?

Google’s 4th Quarter Results Expected to be Great

In this Reuters article Kaufman Brothers analyst Aaron Kessler is quoted as saying, “the unofficial ‘whisper’ numbers among investors have Google’s fourth-quarter net revenue growing between 13 percent and 15 percent from the third quarter’s $4.38 billion.”

So just how well is Google doing in comparison to the markets? Read more…

Google is changing, and becoming far more effective than ever before. With personal and universal search we have seen results and information more relevant to our searches. Now with the relatively new real-time search, we are starting to see just how it can have a positive impact on results, and also give us more reason to trust in social media. Read more…

This time of year, there are often few big stories to report on, but that does not mean there isn’t some interesting search engine news happening out in the world!

It seems that there is no escaping the legal system for any of our leading search engines these days as all three, Google, Yahoo, and MSN, are the defendants in a few new cases: Read more…

How does Google determine which real-time results will appear? They have to filter through an unimaginable volume of information and make a decision in mere seconds. This is a billion dollar question that will be on the minds of search marketers around the globe. Indeed, the question was so on the minds of marketers that in less-than-subtle ways the question was probed throughout the conference yesterday.

As expected the Google representatives at the Search Event 2009 press conference easily danced around related questions but there were a few nuggets worth taking away and mentioning. Essentially Google has applied a new form of algorithmic indicator that Marissa Mayer subtly called an Update Rank.

Here is exactly what she said about real-time data:

“… authoritativeness exists there as well and there are signals there that indicate it. So for example, retweets and replies and the structure of how the people in that ecosystem relate to each other. You can actually use some of our learnings from PageRank in order to develop a, say, a Updates Rank, or an Updater Rank for the specific people who are posting. So this is something we are beginning to experiment with but it is interesting to see that same parallel where PageRank looks at links you can actually look at the very mechanisms inside of these update streams and sense the authoritativeness the same way.”

So based on Marissa’s words and the other take-aways from the conference here is my first draft on what real-time results are based on: Read more…