I started my Monday off with a strange phone conversation. I had put together a proposal for a potential client for both SEO and paid search management. The SEO portion of the proposal involved an initial cost which would allow us to develop and implement a strategy to optimize their site so that they could improve their visibility for organic search. Following up today with a phone meeting, my point of contact said they had just spoken to someone at Google who said that “Google” themselves would optimize their site for nothing – no initial investment, no set up costs, free. The potential client’s next question – “Why would we pay you to do something that Google will do for free?”
A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including YouTube and CNN host the latest democratic presidential debates and in doing so, could change the face of future presidential debates, AOL to acquire behavioral targeting ad network TACODA, Digg signs three year advertising deal with Microsoft, ditching Google in the process, Business.com sold to R.H. Donnelley for $245 million, and finally, Twitter raises initial round of venture capital funds.
I was asked recently if Google’s dominance in search would ever change, at least anytime soon, to which I responded that I did not believe so unless they make a major mistake. And what is the most crucial area that Google needs to pay close attention to? How they handle privacy.
It was promised last week and today when I opened my feed reader, I noticed the post, “New Look, New Awards” announcing that a newly redesigned Search Engine Watch site was now live. The new site has a much cleaner look. The header area has a much more prominent SEW logo than the old site and includes top navigation that includes a search feature, links to other ClickZ sites and some housekeeping links. The left navigation has been cleaned up and now includes the topics Blog, Forums, SEW Experts, Search 101, Ratings & Stats, Members Area, About SEW and Advertise on SEW.
A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including Answers.com buys Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com and Reference.com for $100 million, Google launches Custom Search Engine product for small to medium sized businesses, Google Print Ads comes out of beta and is made available to all AdWords advertisers, Christine Churchill provides insight into potential hazards small businesses could miss with their web sites, and finally, YouTube offers custom video player option.
WebProNews reports that the Federal Communications Commission’s official Net Neutrality inquiry ended Monday, but not before a deluge of public comments in support have flooded in. Past experiences have demonstrated that it takes very few complaints to grab FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s attention. Examples include Janet Jackson’s exposed nipple during SuperBowl halftime show, what people are allowed to say and do on subscription media services, or the appropriateness of cracking jokes about “hamsterbating” before 10 PM.
A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including Google to acquire software security for electronic communications company, Postini, for $625 million in cash, AOL launches three new personalized products into beta, Todd Malicoat provides ten tips on how to own your online reputation management, AOL agrees to change cancellation policy and shells out $3 million in settlement fees, and finally, Google is beta testing AdSense for mobile devices with a select number of mobile publishers.
In May, Google announced that they had begun to roll out “universal search” features, where their search results pages would contain more than just web pages and documents. Additional content would include videos, images, news, maps, books, and even stock quotes. In a blog post on the subject, Marisa Mayer wrote, “With universal search, we’re attempting to break down the walls that traditionally separated our various search properties and integrate the vast amounts of information available into one simple set of search results.”
Search Engine Land has launched a new social community web site called Sphinn. What is it? It is a social site for search and interactive marketers designed to allow you to share and discover news stories, read and take part in discussions, discover events of interest and network with others. I know, I know… you must be thinking, “Not another social media site to keep track of!” Get used to it as I see no end to social media sites continuing to pop up all over the place. This one is especially cool however as it is associated with Search Engine Land. We all knew it was coming and here it is.
If you are Sprint Nextel, when they become customer service nightmares. While watching the local newscast last night, a story caught my attention about cellular phone provider Sprint “firing” customers for abusing customer service. I followed up with it online and found Fox News covering the story. Apparently they are disconnecting more than 1,000 subscribers for calling their customer service lines too often and making what the company called “unreasonable requests.”
A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including Net Applications releases June 2007 search engine market share stats, Yahoo! launches Smart Ads for the travel industry, FeedBurner is now free thanks to the recent acquisition by Google, eBay launches new toolbar with Yahoo! functions, adCenter adds click quality reporting to its management console, and finally, Google adds metric to AdWords management console that allows advertisers to measure their share of total impressions.
Traditional companies have been very slow to embrace social media. In fact it seems that some are downright scared to death of it. Sites like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, even Twitter continue to grow in popularity as well as usage and yet the willingness of many companies to jump on board is to say the least – apathetic. One of the most common fears seems to be the lack of control a business has once they step into that social media space.