A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including a list of 17 top social media niche sites by Andy Hagans, Microsoft adds new features to adCenter, Ask will launch contextual advertising program at the end of May, Danny Sullivan authors a concise guide on PageRank for both searchers and webmasters, and finally, Google Desktop version 5 is released which is now available in 29 different languages.
- 17 Top Social Media Niche Sites - In the light of Digg getting more hostile towards SEOs all the time, Andy Hagans provides us with a list of 17 social media niche sites where we can obtain links and traffic. These include sites focused on deals, autos, social action, health and medicine, web design, sports and videos just to name a few. Andy points out that its very likely that most linkbait would fit in at at least one of these sites. He therefore recommends making “niche social media submission” part of your regular launch to-do list.
- Microsoft Adds New Features to adCenter - Microsoft has added some new features that will make managing adCenter campaigns easier. Enhancements include improved navigation, ability to edit keywords by bulk, enhanced campaign reports, option to download all adCenter data sets to Excel and a full text search option. These features should be available by Thursday, April 26th. Full details can be found at the adCenter Blog.
- Ask.com To Launch Contextual Advertising Program - Ask joins the contextual advertising arena by launching their own product, designed to compete with rivals AdSense and Yahoo Publisher Network. Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal points out that unlike the two competing products, Ask will allow publishers to customize the font, layout and graphics which are served within the ad. Initially, Ask’s contextual advertising network will launch with sites from IAC’s portfolio of brands including Match.com, Ticketmaster, Evite and Citysearch (reaching over 34 million unique users each month). Thereafter, the contextual ads will be expanded to publisher sites. Additional coverage at Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Land.
- PageRank Guide for Searchers and Webmasters - Danny Sullivan has put together a concise guide to Google’s PageRank so that both the searcher and webmaster can easily understand its origin and functionality. The guide begins with a definition of what PageRank is and ends with some technical talk. In between, Danny looks at topics such as “PageRank For Searchers: Google Toolbar,” “Seeing PageRank In Search Rankings,” and “(real) PageRank Versus “Toolbar” PageRank.”
- Google Desktop Version 5 Released - Google releases the fifth version of Google Desktop which is now available in 29 languages, the newest being Hindi. With this release, they’ve redesigned the look and feel of the sidebar and many of their most popular gadgets. There are also previews for search results and warnings for suspicious websites, whether you’re clicking on links from documents, IMs, websites, and more. They have recently release a version for the Mac as well.