A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including PayPerPost changes their disclosure policy, Yahoo! will support a tag that excludes their own directory results from appearing in the SERPs, Google reminds us that using images next to AdSense is a no-no, Google discontinues supports for its search API, Del.icio.us releases a new badge called the Tagometer, Lee Odden’s blog gets banned from Digg for no good reason and finally Blogger is updated with new features.
- PayPerPost Changes Disclosure Policy – TechCrunch reports that PayPerPost, a marketplace for advertisers to pay bloggers to write about their products, will make a significant policy change on Monday: Bloggers will now be required to disclose that they are being paid for their posts. PayPerPost has come under fire since their inception because they formerly did not require bloggers to disclose that posts were in fact advertisements. This move helps them to come closer to FTC guidelines which has been redefining their policy on disclosing Internet advertising from editorial content in recent years.
- Yahoo Will Support No Directory Tag in January - Tim Mayer has posted in a WebmasterWorld post that Yahoo will support a “no directory” tag starting in January. Tim writes, “We are planning to do this in the near future. It is in progress. I will check if this will go into the next update happening in January.” This after Yahoo recently added support for opting out of having Open Directory descriptions show us in Yahoo SERPs. Hat tip to Barry Schwartz for the find.
- Google Says No To Images Next To AdSense – This is something we already knew or at least suspected – Google reiterates that it is against their policy to place graphical images next to AdSense in a way that makes it appear the images are associated with the ads. From the Inside AdSense Blog, “We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship between the images and the ads. If your visitors believe that the images and the ads are directly associated, or that the advertiser is offering the exact item found in the neighboring image, they may click the ad expecting to find something that isn’t actually being offered. That’s not a good experience for users or advertisers.”
- Google Discontinues Support for Search API Key – Without warning, Google appears to have secretly discontinued the free Google SOAP API Search key. In a message that appears on the SOAP Search API home page, Google states “As of December 5, 2006, we are no longer issuing new API keys for the SOAP Search API. Developers with existing SOAP Search API keys will not be affected.” Benjamin Pfeiffer at Search Engine Roundtable points out that this key has been used for years as the gateway key used by developers, webmasters and SEO’s to track Google rankings, access Google search data, and a huge host of services Google has offered in conjunction with this API.
- Del.icio.us Releases a New Badge Called the Tagometer - The official Yahoo! blog reports that the Tagometer is like the save to del.icio.us widget, but with more stuff. “The Tagometer opens things up from there – using a JSON data feed from del.icio.us, the Tagometer includes an up-to-date count of others who’ve already bookmarked the page, as well as a fresh list of the top tags applied. Visitors can click on the count to see more detail on who bookmarked your page, when they did it, and how they tagged it.”
- Lee Odden’s Online Marketing Blog Banned From Digg – Apparently social bookmarking site, Digg, is not fond of SEOs. Lee Odden’s blog was the most recent victim, which was banned from appearing in Digg results. Why? It seems that Digg community members have decided to start getting rid of SEO sites by submitting spam complaints to the Digg powers that be. These community members’ definition of spam blogs is not what you might think. As long as the site has to do with SEO, they apparently consider it spam because the digg community generally detests anything to do with SEO. This leads me to wonder who is next? Lee is far from being a spammer. In fact some of the stories that were targeted were not even submitted to Digg by him but others. Will we eventually see a boycott of Digg from the SEM community?
- Blogger Is Updated With New Features – New features are added to blogger including the ability to add stuff to blogs (cute cat photos, lists, feeds) without needing to know HTML, the ability to create unique templates that utilize color scheme you want, without knowing any CSS, make your blog private, label your posts to group related ones together and you can now sign in to Blogger using your Google Account. Complete details at the Google Blog.