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Last week I commented on Google’s plan to integrate news results with organic results. Search Engine Land noted the change was suppose to be completed by last Saturday but I have yet to see the integration anywhere.

Is this perhaps a limitation of my region? Is anyone seeing this update completed? I would appreciate any news on this. Search Engine Land is oddly quiet regarding the update so I wonder if they are waiting for the change to complete just as I am.

In a recent update to the Search Engine Land blog, Chris Sherman announced that Google will be mingling the latest news headlines into the main body of search engine results; wherever searches appear relevant to the news. According to Marissa Mayer, VP of search products at Google, “this allows us to rank news according to relevance in search results rather than at top of the page.” The Google update will be happening over the next couple of days with a planned completion of the role-out on Saturday. It was not noted whether a organic algorithmic update would also take place but I highly doubt it since they will have enough on their hands with this change alone. Read more…

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Friday, April 6th, 2007

Yahoo! Slurp Gets a New Home

Today Yahoo posted news that its search engine spider, Slurp will now resolve from a different domain: crawl.yahoo.net.

So what does this mean to you? Likely nothing unless you have some custom access filters setup for spiders. Priyank Garg of Yahoo noted that “if you do any reverse DNS checks for the crawler identity or have any network access rules to allow inktomisearch.com, please also update them to allow for crawl.yahoo.net.”

The change will be incremental so it is important to provide access to both domains until the transition is complete.

Danny Sullivan wrote an article today describing Flash optimization and how it is unlikely that Flash will be a completely spiderable medium anytime soon. The article is sobering for those of us who were hoping for a 100% optimizable version of Flash, but at the same time I must stress that there are ways to optimize around Flash if no other alternative is possible. Danny points to a blog describing Flash workarounds that I had not previously seen and I enjoyed a great deal. Read more…

chart of search engine user behavior - courtesy of JupiterResearch and iProspectCourtesy of JupiterResearch and iProspect, this chart provides a glimpse of the number of search engine results surfers will review before choosing their path.

As an admitted stats junky I really enjoy this kind of data. I hope you find it enlightening as well. It may be these numbers are far from a surprise but at least they confirm your beliefs which is a comforting thought in itself.

Yahoo has revamped its paid inclusion program and it appears to be the forefront of a push to revitalize this archaic submission format. More on the history of paid inclusion and my opinion later, for now let us review the changes.

What Does it Cost to Submit to Yahoo?
The price to submit a URL is $49 which guarantees (for sites that are accepted):

  • Addition to a database of sites “that powers algorithmic search results for Yahoo! and other major web portals such as AltaVista and AlltheWeb.”
  • URLs are refreshed (essentially re-indexed) on a 7 business day rotation.
  • Access to a new personalized reporting centre that provides:
    - top 10 click through information itemized by the keyword clicked (see sample here)
    - trend charting which provides a visual reference for ups and downs in traffic
    - best practices SEO information Read more…
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Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Canada Exists? "Yes" Google Concedes

Google took a big step recently by finally allowing Canadian companies to become Adwords Qualified; a stamp of a approval previously denied to Google’s ignored neighbors. Yes, that is ever so subtle bitterness you sense. Thankfully however I can begin to put to rest my ill will now that Google has come to its senses.

What does it take for a company to become Adwords Qualified? Read more…

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has ordered Google to change the wording of Adsense contracts to comply with domestic fair trade law. Here is a snippet from the YONHAP News article that broke this news and handily describes some of the more crucial issues:

The FTC highlighted several clauses in the AdSense contract that violate domestic fair trade laws, of which one provision allowed Goggle to “reserve the right to refuse participation to any… participant at any time in its sole discretion.”

It also pointed towards an unfair clause, which said that “Google makes no guarantee regarding… the amount of any payment to be made.”

Concerning revenue division, FTC noted the disadvantage towards website operators, as one clause stipulates that “no other measurements or statistics of any kind shall be accepted by Google,” when calculating payments.

In addition the Korean FTC is forcing Google to switch the jurisdiction for all legal complaints from California to a location within South Korea.

How Will Google React?
The online market in South Korea is booming so there is little doubt Google will be as accommodating as possible with all of the issues raised. Still I have to wonder what will happen if they get stuck on an issue that can be chalked up to a cultural difference in conducting business. After all, how can Google guarantee payments?

Is Adsense as we know it going to prove compatible with the South Korean marketplace, or will it need a complete overhaul? I am very interested to see what happens next.

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Friday, February 16th, 2007

Google Webmaster Tools out of Beta

Google’s Valentines gift to more than a million webmasters who have already joined is the removal of the beta status for webmaster tools. Vanessa Fox made the announcement early this morning at the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog.

“In addition to the many new features that we’ve provided, we’ve been making lots of improvements behind the scenes to ensure that webmaster tools are reliable, scalable, and secure.”

The official blog is also now allowing for comments to be posted by readers, a feature previously unavailable.

Yesterday Google’s official webmaster blog announced that Googlebombing will be soon a way of the past thanks to some targeted attention from the search results team. Here is the gist of the posting:

We wanted to give a quick update about “Googlebombs.” By improving our analysis of the link structure of the web, Google has begun minimizing the impact of many Googlebombs. Now we will typically return commentary, discussions, and articles about the Googlebombs instead. The actual scale of this change is pretty small (there are under a hundred well-known Googlebombs), but if you’d like to get more details about this topic, read on.

Ultimately they admit these algorithm changes will not catch every Googlebomb but they expect the changes will clear out the majority.

What is a Google Bomb?

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