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Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Noteworthy Websites and More

There are quite a few online subscriptions I read regularly and the one I read pretty much on a daily basis is ‘The Best Article Every Day’. The articles tend to be short and informative.

For example, today there was an article entitled; ‘15 Noteworthy Websites That Changed the Internet’ by Cameron Chapman. Pretty much everyone agrees that Wikipedia, Facebook and Amazon changed how we search for, relate to, and purchase items online. But did you know Project Gutenberg has changed the way people read, as they created the first ebooks for free and Pandora, one of my favourites, allows me to create my own playlist that reflects my personal musical interest vs listening to a pre-programmed radio station that tends to play the same songs to ad nauseam. And of course we all know Google keeps changing how we interact with the internet. Read more…

I was doing some of my daily news digging when I came across the following chart on showing the Share of Ad Spending by Medium as of September 2008. With all of the discussion these days about TV and print advertising suffering during the (brace yourself for the phrase we all hate) economic downturn it will be interesting to compare these numbers to data a year from now. Read more…

Friday, November 21st, 2008


A lot of people are unaware of, the philanthropic wing of Google. Since its inception, has been involved in a variety of initiatives covering such global issues as health and disease, climate change, education, poverty and alternative energy.

Their involvement includes grants for a wide variety of projects, encouraging employee involvement and use of their own innovative technologies to help make the world a better place. Read more…

Last week Google began turning PDF files of scanned printed documents into digital text, and as a result their searchable index has expanded once again.

Previously, only rarely would a scanned document appear in the organic search results. With the technology of optical character-recognition (OCR) implemented now these scanned PDFs will find their way into the results. Read more…

Google, Yahoo, and others are already there, and now Microsoft has decided to follow the leader with the launch of Mobile Display Ads.

On Tuesday Microsoft Announced it had opened the doors for advertisers to display banner ads directly to Windows Live Messenger and Hotmail mobile users.

Microsoft also rolled out its beta for keyword based advertising using Live Search Mobile, to be expanded in the second half of 2008. A select group of “invited advertisers can create keyword campaigns through Microsoft adCenter that target customers on the go. This will be the first time that Microsoft has enabled advertisers to monetize its popular mobile search service.”

Mobile advertising and search is still in its very early stages and, in keeping with tradition, Microsoft has followed behind Google and Yahoo. If they ever hope to boost their market share and better compete with the two leaders, Microsoft should really try launching initiatives like this first rather then constantly playing catch-up.

The service is currently available to advertisers in France, Spain, the UK, and the US. As keeping with the trend of new web developments, Canada is still left out in the cold.

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Today's Social Media Linkforth

Google has added a “search box” for sites chosen to have “a high probability that a user wants more refined search results within that specific site”. Without leaving Google’s results page the “search box” will help find information within that website and hopefully the exact page people are looking for within a site. The “search box” will gather query specific results from within the site and display them on a new refined results page.

Facebook is currently translated into English, French, and Spanish and is now in the process of being translated into German. Sehr gut!

An interesting article about how top newspapers are spreading their news and brand via social media sites. The findings are that UK newspapers stories are making it to top positions within sites like Digg because they are considered authorities when it comes to breaking news.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

A Peek at Microsoft's Webmaster Tools

Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Round Table posted screenshots of Microsoft’s Live Search Webmaster Portal in Beta. Head on over and check it out. So far nothing appears to be all that dissimilar to the other portals out there but it is still an interesting peek

Yesterday Danny Sullivan posted an interesting walkthrough on a new technology that Yahoo is currently testing called Yahoo Search Assist. Throughout the following I will give a quick rundown and explain why Search Assist may help sites found in the bottom 5 of the top 10 search results.

What Do I Mean by Search Assist? First Some Background
You may have noticed over the past couple years that whenever you search for an item in Google or Yahoo you were provided with word completion suggestions. For example, if you typed in ‘boat’ then the suggestions that appeared in a drop-down (which you can select from to complete your search) might be ‘boating’, ‘boat sales’, ‘boat magazine’, ‘boating tips’… or something like that. These suggestions came from the search engine’s analysis of the most common searches related to what you are typing in. This functionality is useful but Yahoo Search Assist promises a more intelligent search experience. Read more…

This morning Search Engine Land released details of a “robots-nocontent” tag that has just been adopted by Yahoo. The tag will allow site owners to block portions of a page from searches. This means that blocked content will still be indexed by Yahoo!’s search engine spider but it will not be among the searchable content at Yahoo.

What would be the purpose of such a robots-nocontent tag? Perhaps you have a few paragraphs of generic content duplicated across several pages of your website and you are suspicious the dupe content is hampering rankings. In this case you can now block that specific content from searches and test your assumptions. It remains to be seen how well this tag will work but it is always favorable to have more tools in the optimization tool chest.

The new tag must be included as a “class” in these exact words “robots-nocontent” and can be included anywhere in the page. If wide areas need to be blocked then simply use DIV tags to encapsulate the content.

Additional notes:

  • At this time it is not known if any other search engines will follow suit.
  • Yahoo has provided official word of this launch on the Yahoo Blog.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Microsoft Pre-Fills Search Box

There have been reports at search engine land and Search Engine Roundtable that MSN UK has been pre-filling their search box with “The Apprentice BBC”. I went to to see for myself and sure enough, there it was:

I am not sure how I feel about this form of advertising, or how large of an impact it would have on searches. And what happens if the BBC Apprentice site slips from the number one ranking spot? Is their top ranking also being influenced by this?

I do not see this technique catching on as it would likely just irritate searchers forcing MSN to pull the idea. I for one do not want search engines telling me what to search for, but I am curious to know what the BBC has paid for this.