So Euro 2012 is well under way, the first matches have been played, each country knows where it stands. Our traveling blogger Jo has already seen the first matches with locals, keep an eye on that. There is a lot going on around the games and there are many fans from the different teams present in the Ukraine and Poland. However, most people watch the games from home or in the pub. They don’t get to see the stadiums from inside.
Luckily there is Google Streetview. Somehow the Streetview cars have made their way inside the stadiums and they took pictures. You now can virtually walk around the grounds on which your countries team is playing. We’ve lined them up for you below.
Even though Twitter and Facebook now seem to be a continuous stream of webmasters asking if other webmasters have seen drops or changes in their rankings it still is an indication of something changing at Google’s algorithms. Webmasters and especially SEOs are constantly looking for signals to find out if Google is ‘up to something’ again.
The ‘rumors’ got stronger this weekend with webmasters seeing changes again and yesterday Google confirmed that indeed something was going on: Google’s Panda Update has had a refresh on June 8th, so before the weekend.
Google immediately added to their tweet that less than 1% of searches would be affected in the US and about 1% world wide. This indicates it is a small update, but knowing the number of searches being done on Google (towards 3 billion a day) it might still be an interesting number of searches being affected.
Update, not algorithm change
It is important to know that this is not a new algorithm change. It is a refresh, which means the same algorithm is run again. Different sites can be hit, but it is not as if this changes the rules again.
Google is now on a schedule which has an update to Panda and Penguin every six weeks or so. So the next refresh (this one was numbered 3.7) we can expect end of July.
Russia is one of the few places where Google isn’t the most dominant force when it comes to search engines. There Google ‘only’ has 26,5%, where local search engine Yandex takes about 60 percent of the search market.
Google however might be winning a small part of this market share with a change which has been made right away: Firefox is replacing Yandex with Google as their default search engine in their Russian version of the browser.
The change is a bit surprising since it is changed starting June 1st, where the commercial agreement between Mozilla and Yandex doesn’t end before December 2012. Even though the browser setting is not part of the agreement, it seems like a drastic move but is probably part of the global agreement Google and Firefox made recently.
So does this mean Yandex will be losing a lot of market share to Google in Russia? Well no, it won’t go that fast. Yandex itself thinks the losses will be very minor, both the revenue losses as well as the market share.
“Default search in a browser is not the only or the key factor that defines a share in the search market. As before, we will keep making our services better, improving their functionality, design, efficiency and comprehensiveness – as it is our firm belief that no matter what service the browser is equipped with, it will be used only if it satisfies users’ demands.
Yandex’s search share in Google Chrome that has more complicated settings for changing the default search than Firefox, is bigger that Google’s, which is the default search engine in this browser.
A default search engine, however, does matter for beginner internet users or for those who still are not sure what search engine they prefer. That is why we will keep offering to visitors on our websites an option to choose Yandex as a default search engine in their browser – this is an easy way to use Yandex without typing the address for those who have been using it anyway.”
On top of that Yandex announced it will continue to offer the Russians a customized version of Firefox, which has Yandex as the default search engine.
Yandex.Maps for Turkey
Meanwhile Yandex keeps expanding outside of Russia, going towards the South of Europe and Asia. After launching their search engine in Turkey last year they are not yet gaining much market share there and have now launched Yandex.Maps for Turkey. Maps usually gets Yandex ‘on the map’ in countries and helps increase the market shares. Yandex CTO, Ilya Segalovich even said he was aiming for 20 to 30 percent market share in Turkey.
See below an interview of the Wall Street Journal with Segalovich
With A4U Expo Barcelona around the corner it is interesting to hear from speakers about their talks, about their views on the conference and the future of search and social. A4U Expo interviewed one of the speakers Richard Baxter exclusively for State of Search.
Richard Baxter from SEOGadget shares some tips and future predictions for the search giants, and how affiliates can leverage their listings.
With the launch of Google+ Local it was immediately clear this was the end of Google Places as we know it. Updating your current Google Places page might be a useless bit of work so it seems, something we also discussed in yesterday’s hangout. You can however be one of the first to have both your Google+ Local and Places pages integrated, see below how.
If you look in the search results it seems as if Google+ Local there already has taken over from Places. Do a search on “pizza London” for example and you will see map results which have reviews as well as Zagat ratings going to the Google+ Business Page, not the Google Places Pages anymore.
Integrating the pages
The management of the two pages however isn’t integrated yet, you still need to maintain both pages or you have to start moving things over. But Google is planning on integrating both, as we suspected before. And you can be one of the first.
You can now already request Google to be one of the first to be considered for upgrading your listing early. In order to be considered you must have your business verified in Google Places for Business and have created a local Google+ page, after that you can apply here and wait for Google to respond.
Reviews: a tip
As mentioned yesterday in the hangout, one of the most important things you need to do to get your business page visible for local search is to get as many (positive) reviews as you can. This means people will be asking for reviews a lot from now on probably.
Mike Blumenthal gave us a handy tip on how to get people to write a review for you. You can add ?review=1 to the end of a G+Business page and the review box will open directly once people will click the link.
Google is releasing animals this year. First Panda’s now Penguins. But what does that all mean? And how can we protect ourselves from these animals who seem to be eating away traffic from many sites. The answer seems simple: improve your meals. They seem to be eating only ‘bad food’.
The latest update is the Penguin Update. Ewebmarketing decided to take different elements from that update and put them in an infographic, so for this Friday’s infographic it’s Penguin time. And let us know what you think of this infographic! It’s different to the one we posted before! Also be sure to take a look at Bryan’ts post 10 Post Penguin Link Building Tips.
In two weeks time A4U Expo Barcelona starts. The European version of the conference has been in Amsterdam and Munich before and now for the first time has a Southern European city hosting the conference. State of Search will off course be covering the event. Going up to the conference we will give you some insights into what will be going on there, while we again have bloggers present to make sure you hear what actually goes on in the sessions.
Today we can announce that Scott Seaborn, founder of the Ogilvy Group’s mobile division as well as the Digital Innovation Lab will be talking brand-building in the mobile space during his session titled, The Evolution of Mobile from a Creative Perspective.
Seaborn will be talking about brands such as Fanta, IBM, Coke Zero and Heineken, where the focus will lie on mobile off course.
Founder and MD of A4u, Matthew Wood, comments on Scott Seaborn’s addition to the a4uexpo Europe agenda:
“It’s inevitable that we’ll see entrepreneurs embrace performance marketing based ideologies and drive revenue and interaction purely on mobile. Scott’s enlightening keynote will put to the audience a number of traditional branding strategies and expose how these can relate with mobile to fully engage and influence the consumer.”
An example of successful mobile branding can for example be what Heineken did with their “Heineken Starplayer”
There are a few things which we value highly at State of Search: we like to stay on top of things, we like to work on ‘education’ and we like to connect to our readers. So we have decided to try out something new again: a Hangout with State of Search.
Today we have seen the first ever State of Search hangout. Something no other website or searchblog has ever done like this before: a Q&A on certain topics with the bloggers of State of Search. Sam Noble and Carla Marshall, hosted by Bas van den Beld, gave their views and tips on the new Google+ Local Pages and the use of of GA Content Experiments. With questions from those attending the hangout it became a really interactive talk, which was broadcasted and viewed by almost a hundred more people live on State of Search and YouTube.
Last month Eric Schmidt visited the Netherlands. He there took part in a seminar with the Dutch Queen, but was also interviewed for the Dutch TV Show “Nova College Tour”. In this show it is an interview in a room full of students who also got to ask him some questions.
Eric Schmidt was the Schmidt we know: nice, nerdy (he admitted he was a nerd in his first sentence) and very skillful in staying away from difficult questions and difficult answers. (more…)