Have you noticed any changes in the way Google search engine results pages look when searching for local businesses? They just announced today the closer integration of maps, address and contact info and even reviews of local business when they detect a local search query. In fact, Google states that we will see this kind of information every time we search for a place, business, or other local information. In addition to providing the basic contact information and map locations for several choices at the top of the page, they will also show ratings and provide one-click access to reviews.
Jeff Behrendt of Aviva Directory has conducted an in-depth interview with Greg Hartnett, president of best of the Web, one of the oldest and most trusted directories on the Internet. In the interview, Greg talks about Best of the Web’s past, present and future.
A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including Wikipedia adds NOFOLLOW attribute to all outbound links, SEMPO launches a series of online training courses, Google releases new version of Google Groups, Google announces future plans for recently acquired YouTube, and finally if there was not enough Google items already, they announce an algorithm change designed to combat Googlebombing.
Michael Gray (Graywolf) writes an excellent post highlighting two areas of hypocrisy currently practiced by Google – the nofollow tag and paid reviews by bloggers. He points out that Google is using fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) to corral web publishers to their way of thinking. No doubt that when Google is responsible for 50% or more of your web traffic they can easily bully webmasters into submission.
Threadwatch is sponsoring a contest to see who can rank # 1 for the name “Dave Pasternack” by March 1st, 2007. Why? Because SEOs are tired of hearing this man continue to beat a dead horse. I wrote about his latest ramblings yesterday where he compared SEO to baking a cake.
Mark your calendars – as promised, February 5th is the date set that Yahoo! will switch over to a new ranking algorithm for their PPC ad platform. In the same way that Google’s AdWords works, Yahoo! will now factor in the ad’s quality as well as the bid amount. The old system awarded the highest position to whomever spent the most. Now they will consider how well the ad actually performs along with actual bid amount for each ad. This has been expected since Yahoo! started converting advertisers to their new platform but now has an actual date attached to it.
At least that is what Dave Pasternack of Did-it.com is saying. Yes he has stuck his foot in his mouth once again. Are you tired yet of hearing from this guy? I know I am. In this latest DM News article, he answers a series of questions, one of which he compares SEO to baking a cake. Sound foolish? Wait, there’s more.
A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including Pandia looks into the future, predicting what search might look like in 2015, a new Wikipedia search engine is launched called WikiSeek, Google and Yahoo! gain market share while Microsoft loses ground, phishing scammer could get 101 years in prison, Nick Wilson gives us his 2007 linkbaiting guide, MySpace hit with online predator suits, and finally a funny video that proves that cars are not good at ice skating.
Google has made some changes to its AdSense policy, some minor but another that may have a major impact on many publishers. Jennifer Slegg provides a detailed run-down of the changes at JenSense. The minor changes deal with their referral program, using images next to ad units, AdSense for search, and copyright material. The bigger change that will impact publishers deals with their Competitive Ads and Services Policy.
Chris Logan in conjunction with Small Business Brief has launched a new site called Free Links which offers a venue for individuals to share their experiences with free advertising and marketing opportunities. Free Links provides ways to advertise and promote a website or business. Currently there are over a hundred opportunities listed including gaining inclusion in web directories to promoting podcasts.
Fred Vogelstein from Wired News has put together a lengthy article on how Yahoo! has blown it over the years in trying to position itself as the leader in search. The article looks at the many mistakes Yahoo!’s CEO, Terry Semel, has made along the way which to this day still has them playing catch up to their biggest rival, Google. It all began with their failure to buy the search giant back in 2002 and the cycle has continued up to today.
After speculation as to the future of DMOZ (Open Directory Project), it seems that they are accepting submissions once again. However will we see any change in the degree of difficulty many have experienced over the last few years of actually getting a site listed? Its quite possible, at least for the time being. Search Engine Journal reports that old submissions in the queue were lost during the recent crash in October. That means there are no longer thousands of old submissions sitting in a queue waiting to be reviewed. Therefore if you have been trying to get a site listed with no success, now may be the ideal time to re-submit not only because your prior submission is gone, but to also get in before DMOZ gets backlogged once again.