Yesterday Google announced it will change its Product Search to a new Google Shopping system, which will require merchants to pay for inclusion.
Since its launch as Froogle, later named Merchant Center, ecommerce sites could see their products included in Google’s Product Search for free. As the database of products and sellers fueled Google’s universal shopping results, this proved to be a very effective way to gain traffic and conversions from Google’s search engine users.
It has been coming for a while, Google was focussing on local elements a lot as well as Google+. Now the both are combined within Google+: Just now Google rolled out Google+ Local.
Google+ Local is what Marissa Mayer calls “a simple way to discover and share local information featuring Zagat scores and recommendations from people you trust in Google+.”
It does what it is expected to be doing: giving you local information and recommendations by your network. It suddenly got a lot more interesting to get local people connected to you on Google+. (more…)
With the current ‘clean up’ of the Google result pages with updates like Panda and Penguin the need for ‘quality’ links has never been higher. But more importantly: site owners, and especially linkbuilders, want to know if they have any ‘bad’ links pointing to them which could potentially hurt them in the long run. The newest update from linkresearchtools adds 7 new SEO metrics to the tool to determine just that. (more…)
There are millions of business owners out there. Some big ones, but most of them small ones. Each of them has the same issue: getting online integrated in their business. But how?
The bigger companies hire agencies to do the online part for them, but there are many who can’t afford that or simply want to do this themselves. Google acknowledges that there is a big group out there looking for information just on how to get started.
That is why last week the search giant decided to launch the “Webmaster Academy“. A new online resource platform just for small businesses to learn about Google… (more…)
Again the search industry is once again in uproar. Why? Because somewhere somebody took a wrong turn, someone else saw it and told Google. And now Google is upset.
To be honest, it’s like looking at my kids sometimes, but that’s a different story. What is more interesting at this specific point is Google’s reaction yesterday to the alleged buying of links by search agency iAqcuire: they didn’t kick out the clients for who they may have bought links, they kicked out the agency.
It was smart find by Barry Schwartz at Searchengineland last night when he did a site command search for [site:www.iacquire.com] and didn’t get any results back. There was no site there, which usually means either the company has withdrawn itself from Google or has made a mistake (I’ve seen enough ‘no index’ which shouldn’t have been there in robots.txts around the globe over the past few years) or the company has been penalized by Google. (more…)
Every year Google looks back to the past and forward to the future with their ‘Zeitgeist’. A few days ago Larry Page, CEO of Google, held his ‘Zeitgeist’ talk in the UK.
Wearing his Google Glass he talked for twenty minutes about where Google is heading. You can see the entire video here, below are some highlighted quotes from the talk.
A few interesting remarks from Page:
“I think that the pace of change is really accelerating.”
“It is not a question of “if” now, it is just a question of “when.” “
“we have an awful lot of products, some of which people don’t seem to care that much about. So we went through and we — we went through kind of a painful process where we shut down or closed over 30 different things.”
“Google+ which is our social efforts, and people are a bit confused about this. I’d say that we think it’s really important that when you’re using Google, you be able to easily share things.”
“And the other part where people are a little bit confused about what we’re doing, that’s the social spine of Google. That means everything in Google gets better by being able to share and have identity and things like that.”
“I think if you used Google from five years ago, you’ll be astounded at how bad it is. Or how bad it was, right? And, you know, search has gotten a lot better.”
“Also maybe in the last week or so, we released this thing called the Knowledge Graph, or Knowledge Panels, we’re calling them, and those actually give you — if you search for “Tesla” now, “Tesla,” then you get the car and you get the scientist, and we know lots of things about them. So, you know, if you search about, you know, a different — a lake or something like that, we’ll know the depth of the lake.”
“And what we’re really trying to do is to really get to the point where we can represent knowledge and we can do much more complicated types of queries.”
“Search also is not just about finding things. It’s really about taking actions”
“You don’t want to just look at 10 different links but you want to actually buy something or you want to book a flight or you want to know what the weather is”
“Android’s really on fire now, which I probably don’t have to tell you all, and it’s very, very exciting. It’s a big area of focus for us, obviously.”
“We’ve actually been doubling revenue every year on YouTube for four years”
Oh and one more thing, you know, Larry says “you know” 70 times in twenty minutes…
Google once again has to answer to the EU. Yesterday Commissioner Joaquin Almunia wrote a letter to Eric Schmidt containing four major ‘concerns’ that the EU has when it comes to their investigation of several antitrust complaints which were issued last year.
Almunia also posted the concerns online and in that same article seemed to be hinting at a deal with Google. This might mean the EU is not to certain about the complaints and looking at the complaints at first sight there is no need for Google to be scared of the consequences, even though some points really touch in the core of Google’s business efforts. (more…)
Every SEO wants to check his rankings. Even though the world of search is changing, rankings still play a big role when it comes to the everyday job of the SEO. Yes, we have Universal Results, yes, Search Plus Your World is playing a huge part in our visibility, but rankings still are an important relative key performance indicator.
And with the ever internationalizing world of search (we can see how important internationalization has become by all the great content coming from the International Search Summit last week for example), we want to know how we do in different part of the world, on different search engines, not just Google.
Linkdex has understood the importance of the combination of the both and has added Baidu, Yandex and Yahoo to the list of search engines you can track your rankings. It has also added language options, which means you can check these search engines in over 35 countries in multiple languages. (more…)
This morning the nominees for the European Searchawards have been announced. The nominees are divided in 13 different categories, two more categories have no nominees, but these winners will be announced on the awards night which will be held in Amsterdam on July 5th.
State of Search has been nominated in the category “best blog”, which off course we are very proud of. Other known nominees are Linkdex and Majestic SEO for best tool, Branded3, Verve Search, Carat, Latitude, Performics, Koozai and LBi/bigmouthmedia in different categories. You can find the entire list below. (more…)
Education is very important and with a quickly evolving industry like the search industry it is difficult to keep up. Especially if you are not just focussing on one specific country or region. So some extra education when it comes to International SEO and Social Media is not a luxury to leave aside.
This week at the International Search Summit LondonWebcertain, the leading international SEO company who also organize the ISS, launched the “International SEO School” in Barcelona to give marketers the opportunity for that extra piece of international knowledge. Courses so far are International SEO, PPC and the Search / Social Media connection. Trainers include Andy Atkins-Krüger, Anders Hjorth and Bas van den Beld. (more…)
Last night Amit Singhal gave the same example in a blogpost which announced the launch of the “Knowledge Graph“, it is the actual roll out of the tests we saw last week. With Knowledge Graph Google wants to “help you discover new information quickly and easily.” Simply said: its about answers, not the links. At SMX Singhal also said “Google has always been about giving the best answer on search queries” and this is an extension to that given.
The data Google is showing is gathered from specific sources which means the SEOs can’t ‘touch’ it and will be part of the discussion on whether Google is ‘stealing’ traffic from sites.
What is it?
The Knowledge Graph is about connecting people, places and things and giving facts and data about the search you are doing. You are getting more information on the query than just the links to other sites. Google is actually giving you direct information in the SERPS.
The Knowledge Graph does a few things:
Find the right thing
Google figures out, based on your personalized data, what exactly you mean when you are looking for the Taj Mahal. But next to that they also show a box with results which could be about the other meanings of Taj Mahal.
Getting the best summary
Google says it can now better understand your query so it will give you facts on the search you are looking for and primarily shows you the data which fits your needs best. This is what we spotted last week as a test.
Deeper and broader
Finally Google says they give us more specific types of information, right in the search results.
How do they know?
Two questions arise: how does Google know what exactly we want and where do they get the data from?
To start with the first question: Google studies the users and looks at relationships, not just in sites but all entities together. They are taking the social graph and the link graph and are combining the data from there together. In short: they are tracking our every move to figure out what kind of results we would like to have returned. Are you looking for (Indian) food or restaurants a lot? Your “Taj Mahal” search will show you more information on the Indian restaurants close to you, while if Google has figured out you love travel or culture you will see more about the monument.
The second question is where do they get that information? Google itself says they primarily use public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. But it could also be that the data comes from another site. Google says it “currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects.” And at Searchengineland Danny Sullivan noted that Amit Singhal has said: “Wherever we can get our hands on structured data, we add it”.
First step to the end of SEO?
In his post Singhal also points out this is “a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.” Google is moving into the direction the Wall Street Journal was talking about: giving straight answers and ‘ignoring’ the regular ten blue links.
Is Google really moving away from the ten blue links and are we as website owners doomed? Is this the actual first step to the end of SEO as we know it?
According to Singhal at SMX this kind of traffic is not taking away traffic from most sites but some sites might lose some traffic. That sounds like trying to be politically correct and it reminds me of the things that were said about the ‘not provided’ in Google Anlaytics: they said it would be a small percentage, but it seems to be growing.
SEO will not ‘die’ over this, but it does mean that search is becoming much more about being visible within the results, you need to stand out, so the focus of many search marketers will not just be on ranking, but also on optimizing for the SERPS: making sure you stand out.
Google however is step by step changing search with first Search Plus Your World and now this. Whether or not they are changing it in the right direction remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: they are far from done…