Facebook Stock Gets A Bump, Millions Of Sites Have GoDaddy Issues, Google Alters Its Human Search Quality Instructions, & More

Facebook Stock Gets A Bump, Millions Of Sites Have GoDaddy Issues, Google Alters Its Human Search Quality Instructions, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Tweaks Its Human Search Quality Instructions

As Google’s Panda and Penguin updates mature, so do their Search Quality Rater Guidelines. The newest version of the human-driven process features 32 expanded pages, four of which are notably concentrated in the “URL Rating Tasks with User Locations” section. Many of these additional questions concern specific on-page features as they relate to usability, such as layout, content quality, and content quantity.

Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook Launches Real-Time Ad Platform

Facebook began allowing partners in its Exchange cookie-based real-time bidding retargeted ads program to share results this morning, and data from AdRoll, Triggit, and TellApart show the ads earn businesses up to 16X what they spend. Facebook revealed the new ad format in June, and by August we were already hearing the ads were performing very well, but now the data shows Facebook Exchange (FBX) ads may be cheaper, get higher click through rates, and have higher post-click conversion rates than retargeted ads on other exchanges, including Google’s AdX.

These results are based on limited early trials so they aren’t definitive. One problem is that FBX ads are only showing on the desktop site right now, and Facebook’s user base is increasingly accessing the service from mobile.

Source: TechCrunch

More Google Data Unearthed From Political Conventions

With both the Democrat and Republican presidential nominations locked up (SPOILER ALERT: It’s Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney), search engines and social media websites have gradually been trickling out data detailing how each party was received online.

According to recent Google and Yahoo data, Democrats held a sizeable advantage in terms of search activity. Google also said that three of the top four most searched convention speakers were Democrats (Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton), with Romney serving as the lone Republican. They also released a few graphs about search activity during both nominees’ speeches.

Regardless of your political affiliations, this is fascinating insight into how the American public responds, in real time, to contemporary politics and elections.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Removes The Pirate Bay From Auto-Complete

Google has removed The Pirate Bay from its search suggestions within Google Instant Search in its continuing effort to address piracy and copyright infringement concerns. In January 2011, Google axed several popular piracy terms and sites from its auto-complete feature including “torrent” and “BitTorrent.” The Pirate Bay is now part of that list although, to be clear, the site is still listed in search results.

Source: Search Engine Land

Bing To Be Default Search On New Kindle

Bing will be the default search engine for the Amazon browser on the latest Kindle. The tablet’s reasonable price should generate a lot of sales, which could prove to be a substantial boost to Bing, especially in the mobile/quasi-mobile format. In most instances, “default search” deals come with revenue, so it’s likely Microsoft is paying Amazon for the honor. That’s probably one reason the device can be priced so competitively.

Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook Stock Gets A Post-Zuckerberg Interview Bounce

Good news everyone! Facebook’s stock is up 4.6% since Mark Zuckerberg sat down for his first interview after the IPO. Most analysts have called the interview a success from the start, as Zuckerberg was honest about his disappointment in the IPO while assuaging fears that he just didn’t care about the shareholders.

One of the most interesting things to come out of the interview was his admission that building Facebook mobile app in HTML5 was his biggest regret. He also acknowledged that mobile is the future of Facebook, and will be their biggest priority in the coming weeks, months, and years.

Source: Mashable

Millions Of Sites Taken Down By GoDaddy Outage

Millions of sites hosted by major web host and domain registrar GoDaddy were down Monday. The outage affected GoDaddy hosted email accounts, their phone service and all sites using GoDaddy’s DNS service as well. GoDaddy claims the outage was due to internal errors, specifically the inaccessibility of their DNS servers, and not due to a DDoS attack. Originally, a member of Anonymous took credit for the outage on Twitter, while making it clear it wasn’t an Anonymous collective action.

Source: TechCrunch

iPhone 5 Released, Consumer Insanity To Ensue

Thinner profile, lighter weight, and a larger screen are just three of the many changes incorporated into Apple’s iPhone 5. Apple also unveiled the newest versions of the iPod and iTunes in San Francisco this week, as well as the new iOS6 operating system that runs the new iPhone.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Zuckerberg Says Facebook Will Develop Social Search Engine

Mark Zuckerberg revealed in an interview at San Francisco’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference that Facebook plans on unveiling a social search engine that could challenge Google. Zuckerberg said the social network already fields one billion search queries a day, which is 20 times the amount Bing receives and a third of the amount Google tackles. Volume isn’t the only area where Facebook could possibly compete. It collects a wealth of socially-relevant information from its users that could be used to compile results.

Source: Wall St. Cheat Sheet

Facebook-Voter Turnout Study Concludes Social Media Can Influence Real World Actions

Is social media capable of having a profound real-world impact, or like Malcolm Gladwell argues, do online interactions have no meaning for real world events? As with most things in this world, it falls somewhere in the grey area between the two extremes.

According to a recent study published in Nature, around 340,000 extra people voted during the 2010 mid-term elections thanks to an election day Facebook message. Splitting 61 million users into three groups, the researchers discovered that those who received the message that displayed a random assortment of Facebook friends who had clicked on the “I Voted” button were more likely to seek polling information, vote, etc.

They also discovered that when these friends shared the message on Facebook, it had a direct influence over whether or not their Facebook friends headed to the polls. You can read the rest of the details in this post, which opens the door for all kinds of different discussions about the real-world impact of social media initiatives.

Source: Scientific American

The Closest Thing To An Actual Holodeck You’ll See In 2012

Trekkies have an extremely long wait before they see an actual holodeck, the Star Trek technology that allows users to travel through simulated realities without leaving a single room. But Belgian band Willow came pretty close to recreating the feel of the technology in their latest music video using nothing but three video projectors, a blank room and a disguised treadmill. Check it out!

Source: Gizmodo

Sunglass Merchant Vitaly Borker Is Headed To A Presidential Term In Prison

Remember our good friend Vitaly Borker? The sunglass merchant who was essentially the Freddy Krueger of Internet salesmen? Well, Borker was recently sentenced to four years in Federal prison and forced to pay $100,000 in fines and restitution for incessantly harassing customers, thereby compelling them to write negative online reviews, link back to his site, and temporarily push him to the top of Google’s results.

Source: Search Engine Land

Notable Commentary

That Will Beat You In Fantasy Football

The State Of Exact Match Domains

The general assumption in the SEO world is that exact match domains are decreasingly influencing Google’s search rankings, but there’s little empirical evidence to support these claims. Dr. Pete at SEOmoz has a great post filled with useful data that demonstrates, whether correlated to or directly caused by Google updates, exact match domains have indeed experienced a reduced presence in search results.

Analysis By: Peter Meyers, SEOmoz

INFOGRAPHIC: Surviving The Post-Penguin World

Google is stepping up their Penguin updates in a more aggressive way, which forces SEOs to better anticipate where Google is headed, or risk bigger ramifications. Search Engine Journal has a checklist to help determine whether your website passes the Penguin test.

Analysis By: Aleh Barysevich, Search Engine Journal

7 Helpful Chrome Extensions

Grace Nasri details seven Google Chrome extensions that can increase productivity at work, make email more efficient and help multi-taskers better manage their tabs.

Analysis by: Grace Nasri, Mashable

Is The Internet Dumbing Down Our Thinking? Inconclusive

“The Internet is making people stupid.” We’ve all heard this sentiment expressed, in one way or another, since the advent of the World Wide Web. Indeed, the Internet exposes the idiotic, troll-happy underbelly of our society, but the debate over whether it is changing our cognition and learning process for better or worse is still up for debate. Kyle Hill argues that this rush to judgment may be premature, and much more scientific studies are required before we can accurately say the Internet is having adversarial (or positive) effects on the learning process.

Analysis By: Kyle Hill, Scientific American