Google’s New Fight Against Mugshots Sites Fails For Victim Profiled In New York Times

Maxwell Birnbaum - Google Search Google has a new system in place designed to prevent "mugshots" sites from ranking well. Such sites make money convincing people to "remove" their mugshots after posting them online. Only one problem. The person featured in a New York Times story yesterday as a victim of this unsavory practice still has his mugshot appearing, despite Google's supposed change. The practice of mugshot shots was profiled in the New York Times yesterday (and in our sister-site Search Engine Land earlier this year). The New York Times story leads with the story of Maxwell Birnbaum, who was upset that his mugsho [...]


No Data For You: SEO Experts Offer Opinions On Google’s Move To Withhold Even More Search Term Data

google-privacy-200 Google quietly confirmed earlier this week that it would be encrypting all search data, regardless of whether a user was signed in or not. The company offered the following statement to clarify their sudden decision to withhold the data: We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search users in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year. We're now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in. Marketing Land's Danny Sullivan wrote about Google's move to encrypt all non-paid searches, explaining, "The change makes it very likely that in th [...]


Is Adaptive Web Design Or RESS Better Than Responsive Design For SEO?

adaptive web design seo Kudos to all of you smart marketers for keeping me on my toes. At SES San Francisco last week, I was asked three good questions that I hadn't heard before and wasn't really prepared to answer. The title of this post is one of them: When it comes to SEO, is adaptive Web design or RESS (Responsive Web Design + Server Side Components) better than responsive Web design? If the person who asked the question had phrased it as, "Is dynamic serving better than responsive Web design for SEO?" it would have been an easy question to answer. Unfortunately, with so many new terms being used to describe [...]


Here Comes “100% Not Provided,” As Google Begins Encrypting All Non-Paid Searches

google-privacy-200 Ever since Google began encrypting searches for signed-in users two years ago, publishers have wondered if when we'd get to a "100% Not Provided" world, where all search terms are withheld by Google. It looks like that day may soon arrive, thanks to a new change at Google. Google has confirmed that it has begun work to encrypted all searches, even for those who aren't logged into Google. Our story on our sister-site Search Engine Land has more about this: Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks The change makes it very likely that [...]


Google Puts A Price On Privacy — Again

google-privacy-200 Almost two years ago, Google began withholding search "referrer" data from publishers, in the name of protecting user privacy. However, it left a loophole open for passing this data to its advertisers. Some viewed that as an attempt by Google to boost its ad sales. This impression was reinforced by the latest change Google made last month, which maintains the loophole and provides a new incentive for publishers to make use of its ad system. What's Search Term Referrer Data? Referrer data allows publishers to understand the exact terms used by people who search at Google and then click throug [...]


Page Speed Matters! Why You Need to Improve Yours Today

Pizza! My three-year-old daughter loves it -- which is why the delivery guy knows exactly where our house is. But… if it takes too long to arrive, she'll quickly move on to something else more readily accessible. Speed clearly plays an important role in her user experience -- much as it does for the digital user experience. Why Page Speed Matters Given my e-commerce and conversion background, I have always been obsessed with the usability aspect of digital. I see user experience as Job #1. After all, what's the point of achieving top search rankings if you don't provide a great user experi [...]


HomeAdvisor.com Rebrand Efforts Include Switching More Than 10 Million URLs

Branding After thoroughly researching the strength of its brand, home improvement company HomeAdvisor.com rebranded itself last year after 13 years as ServiceMagic. Narrowing the brand's focus on home improvement, repair and maintenance, the rebranding effort was a massive undertaking that included a broad set of corporate measures along with the decision to switch the company's URL to its new name. "We had 13 years of SEO equity in the ServiceMagic domain and ranked highly for organic search," said HomeAdvisor CEO Chris Terrill. But Terrill and his CTO Brandon Ridenour understood that the str [...]


2013: The Year In Google SEO So Far

seo-featured In the first half of this year, there has been a lot of SEO-related news coming out from Google. Google has pushed out many new algorithms, made many changes to the search result interfaces, penalized many websites and tactics, as well as sent out many warnings about upcoming penalties or actions. All of this was covered in depth on our sister site, Search Engine Land, but a recap is in order for our Marketing Land readers. Below, I will summarize the changes in order of Google's Panda algorithm, Penguin algorithm, and other algorithm updates and launches. I will then discuss some of the [...]


New Tools Bring Major Changes To Mobile SEO

adwords device filter rip I know I said I would have mobile SEO case studies this month, but I’m postponing that a  month so I can discuss two tools that will soon turn the mobile SEO world on its head: Google Keyword Planner and Bright Edge Mobile SEO. Google Keyword Planner I’ve spent a lot of time in this column talking about how mobility changes search behavior and how marketers can do mobile keyword research to take advantage of the differences (when they exist, and they don’t always) between keywords entered on mobile devices and those entered on desktops and laptops. Since early 2009, the Google Keywor [...]


The Mindset that Makes Online Marketing Work

When I started publishing online back in 1998, I didn't have a shred of traditional marketing experience. It may sound counter-intuitive, but that ended up giving me a huge advantage. The first marketing book I read was Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing in 1999, which sparked my "aha" moment regarding how the Internet worked from a marketing standpoint. Godin made it clear that the Internet was a direct-response environment that required an evolved form of direct marketing. You didn't buy mailing lists. You built audiences. Likewise, my company, Copyblogger Media, began a [...]


Infographic: Video Content, Especially On YouTube, Wins In Google Universal Search

Marketing Land - Marketing Land Google Universal Search is a way that Google blends in matches from its "vertical" or "specialty" search engines, like image search or video search, into webpage results. What's the best way to tap into Universal Search in order to be visible? Have video content, especially on YouTube, according to a new study. The study, by Searchmetrics, is covered in more detail by our sister-site Search Engine Land. Searchmetrics also produced an infographic summarizing the key findings (click to enlarge): As you can see, video content is far more likely to be blended into the search results than [...]


Chrome To Gain Search Encryption, Following Similar Moves By Firefox & Mobile Safari

google-chrome-privacy-featured The wave of browsers using Google SSL Search -- and thus blocking publishers from receiving search term data -- continues. Google's own Chrome browser is next up, with the latest Chrome 25 beta using encryption. Google shared the news on its Chromium blog today. Chrome follows in the footsteps of Firefox and mobile Safari, which added encryption last year. Our stories below have more background on that: Firefox 14 Now Encrypts Google Searches, But Search Terms Still Will “Leak” Out How An iOS 6 Change Makes It Seem Like Google Traffic From Safari Has Disappeared The Safari [...]


Dark Google: One Year Since Search Terms Went “Not Provided”

google-clouds-dark-featured A year ago, Google began going dark. Dark in terms of no longer sharing with publishers, in some cases, how people searched for and found those publishers through Google's search engine. The "single digit" percentage of withholding that Google predicted at the time has turned into more than 50%, in some cases. If Google's withholding were an eclipse, more than half the sun is being covered. "Dark Google" is upon us, and it will only grow darker. I'm drawing the term "Dark Google" as a play off the "Dark Social" concept that Alexis Madrigal wrote about recently in The Atlantic. Dark Socia [...]


The Return Of The Google Dance

Google Dance! Old timers in the SEO world will remember the "Google Dance," if not fondly, at least with some nostalgia. It was when Google's rankings went through a change each month, sometimes dramatically, when a new algorithm was launched. The Google Dance eventually disappeared. Who'd have thought it would ever return? But it sure has, and we're likely to be dancing even more. The Days Of The Google Dance The Google Dance took its name from how the results at Google seemed to "dance" around when it unleashed a new search algorithm -- Google's recipe for ranking web pages -- on the world. A sear [...]


Google Bows To Pressure, Will Penalize Sites Accused Of Copyright Infringement

copyright-piracy-cd Beginning this week, Google will be penalizing certain sites that are frequently accused of violating copyright laws. In a blog post Friday morning, Google explained the change this way: Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily.... Rights groups such as the Recording Industry Association of Americ [...]


Penguin’s Reminder: Google Doesn’t Owe You A Living, So Don’t Depend On It

ga1 It's one of the most important rules of search engine optimization. Don't depend solely on SEO. Especially don't depend solely on Google, the largest of the SEO sources. I'm always surprised when people fail to learn this lesson. Those hit hard by last week's Penguin Update are just the latest to learn it again. Consider some of the reactions, which are often filled with blame toward Google, or belief that there's some type of secret agenda (or two or three) behind the move or views that Google is now so "broken" with bad results that people will flock to Bing: 1) Some months ago someone [...]


Google’s New Anti-Spam Algo Causing Anger, Frustration Inside Marketing Industry

google-logo If the 130+ comments on Search Engine Land's article are any indication, search marketers are reacting with a mix of frustration and anger toward the anti-spam algorithm change that Google announced yesterday. Many search marketers are saying low-quality sites are continuing to do well in Google's search rankings, and sometimes even having better visibility than before Google's changes. Search marketers probably won't understand anything more after seeing a first "preview" list of winners and losers from SearchMetrics, a company whose visibility index has pretty accurately identified win [...]


Is Google’s “Over Optimization Penalty” Its “Jump The Shark” Moment In Web Search?

fonzie two The wolves are attacking Google again over its search quality. Last year, they were fed the Panda Update to fend them off. This year, Google may throw an Over Optimization Penalty to the pack. No, that doesn't mean SEO is dead once again. But it may sadly confuse SEO with spam. It also doesn't mean the penalty will improve Google's results. Google already has problems enforcing all the other penalties it has rolled out over the years. Jumping The Shark "Jump the shark" is a reference to a Happy Days episode where The Fonz did a water ski jump over a shark. It was later seen as a mil [...]


Unruly Sends New Guidelines To Partners To Help Avoid Google Penalties

unruly_logo-76 Remember how Google ended up penalizing its Chrome browser in its own search results because of a sponsored video campaign that violated Google's own paid link guidelines? The company behind that campaign, Unruly, has now emailed instructions to those in its network to help prevent that type of thing from happening again. How Google Penalized Itself With Unruly's Help Unruly was hired by Essence, which in turn was hired by Google to help promote the Google Chrome browser through video ads. The campaign that emerged had a video about Google Chrome appearing in posts that had little to do wit [...]


An Inside Look At What Google’s Search Quality Raters Do

google-logo One of the long-standing myths about Google's search results is that they're completely computer-generated with no human input or involvement whatsover. But, since at least 2005, Google has had a program that involves regular searchers reviewing the quality of their search results. There are several different job titles involved, but the people who get paid to review Google's search results are commonly called Quality Raters. Their work has largely been a mystery over the years, but over on Search Engine Land, we've just published what might be the first of its kind -- an interview with [...]


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