Google Releases Bid-Per-Call, Google Gets A Privacy Audit, & More

Google Releases Bid-Per-Call, Google Gets A Privacy Audit, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Every Breath Google Takes, Every Move Google Makes…

For the first time ever, the U.S. FTC will require a company to make a strategic effort to protect the mass privacy of personal information. That company, if you haven’t guessed, is Google, which will now undergo auditing of its privacy practices for the next 20 years. The straw that broke the privacy camel’s back was Google Buzz, which by default when activated by users, made Gmail contacts public. Google has clearly violated its own privacy policy on numerous occasions, and those were noted in the FTC’s ruling.

Source: Talking Points Memo

Google Intros Bid-Per-Call

Google AdWords will soon allow bidding on ads that drive call leads, and will use those call volumes and bid amounts as an additional Ad Rank factor. Google has been very active in the click-to-call part of AdWords over the past year, so this move isn’t entirely surprising. Any advertiser that relies on calls to drive sales will certainly opt into this feature.

Source: Ad Week

Google Updates A Few Desktop, Mobile Ad Features

Google has revealed a few updates to its mobile and desktop ad features. These include mobile ad “circulars” that allow mobile users to transfer online deals from desktop to smartphone (not coincidentally unveiled before the holidays), and ad ranking factors based on proximity to a store (set up through Location Extensions).

Source: Search Engine Watch

Microsoft, Google Reportedly Interested in Yahoo

As Yahoo’s revenue plummets on a quarterly basis, reports have surfaced that Google and Microsoft are circling like buzzards in the Gobi Desert. According to multiple Wall Street Journal stories, Microsoft and Google may soon make bids for Yahoo. Microsoft allegedly just wants to act a a financier rather than a full owner, while Google wants to buy Yahoo to sell ads, partner more closely with Yahoo’s publisher partners, and integrate Google + into the Yahoo experience. Plus, whoever owns Yahoo screws the other competitor over, so there’s that.

Source: Search Engine Land

Advanced News Search Moves On Up To That Deluxe Placement In The Search Bar

Advanced Google News search options are now available through a scroll-over drop down triangle directly from the search bar. Google Docs already features this option, and Google Image Search, Google Calendar, and Google web search will most likely receive this update sometime in the near future.

Source: Search Engine Land

The Government Has Asked For A Lot Of User Data In 2011

During the first six months of 2011, the U.S. government has asked for 29% more information from Google than it did throughout the entirety of 2010. Google obliged 93% of the time, and also said content removal was requested at a 71% higher rate than the previous year by governments outside the U.S.

Conspiracy theorists may point to this as another example of Big Brother watching over you (which side is Big Brother is up to you), but Google said that most of these takedown and information requests are used for court documentation or violations of law.

Source: Politico

The Mom Market On Facebook Is A Difficult Sell

Roughly 23 million U.S. moms are active on Facebook (2/3 of the country’s mothers), which automatically makes them a target demographic for any marketer/advertiser. However, selling to this coveted market can be very tricky. Over a quarter of those surveyed for a recent Mom365/Direct Marketing Association poll said they felt like they were always being sold something when online, but 93% said they look for digital deals. In fact, 72% of Facebook moms “Like” a brand on the social network.

This article then goes on the give advice on how to reach out to this major purchasing demographic without alienating them. It also posts some other interesting demographical trends that indicate that moms are very willing to be vocal about their like/dislike of a product or service.

Source: Search Engine Watch

A Fifth Of December Paid Search Clicks Will Be From Smartphones

Performics estimates that the rise in mobile Internet usage will lead to it driving 20% of holiday-time paid search clicks. Google has previously stated that 44% of total last-minute gift and store searches will be from mobile platforms, so this new revelation just backs up the rising dominance of mobile Internet use.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google + Adds A Bunch Of Thingamajigs

Public share analytics, photo filters, hot stories, and Google Apps are the four most recent additions to the Google + platform. In standard Google fashion, there’s a short video describing each feature that Search Engine Land so kindly posted along with the article.

Source: Search Engine Land

Groupon Defectors Are Subjects Of A Trade Secrets Lawsuit

For the past few years, Google has notoriously stolen the best and brightest from various competitors in order to expedite their presence in different industries. As such, companies such as Paypal and Oracle have targeted ex-employees in the court of law. The most recent case comes from Groupon, which alleges two current Google Offers employees took trade secrets with them when they were hired by Google. No matter the outcome, something tells me Google can afford whatever judgment comes down.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Is It A Bad Thing If Google’s Executives Don’t Let Their Kids Use Google?

According to a New York Times report, some high ranking Google executives send their children to a private school that doesn’t introduce computers to their students until eighth grade. The report goes on to detail some other general contradictions between what Google wants its users to do while shielding their children from those same experiences.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google And Bing Leaders Channel Their Inner Ron Swanson

On the heels of the American Mustache Institute’s 2011 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American Of The Year Award (of which Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford is one of the finalists), Google’s Matt Cutts and Bing’s Duane Forrester are taking part in a Movember mustache competition. SEOs are encouraged to sign up on the website starting November 1, and any money raised will go towards the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong. Noodle strainers for everyone!

Source: Search Engine Land

Notable Commentary

With No Keywords Required

SEOmoz Responds To Google’s Data Block

Everyone in the Internet marketing world has been discussing strategies to deal with Google’s paywall of keyword data, and SEOmoz does a great job of pulling together an Emergency Whiteboard Friday to talk SEOs off the ledge and give advice on how to deal with inevitable client questions about the update.

Analysis By: Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

SEOmoz Provides A Cliff Notes Version Of The Google Quality Rater Guidelines

Leave it to SEOmoz to give us an abbreviated, easy-to-understand version of Google’s Quality Rater Guide. They admit right away that there really aren’t any SEO trade secrets to be found in this document, but it’s still worth a read if you want an idea of how Google defines “quality.”

Analysis By: Peter Meyers, SEOmoz

Is Authority The Same As Popularity When It Comes To Providing The Best Information Available?

Bill Slawski, in all his patent-reading greatness, explains an interesting question that has many different answers based on the situation: How do search engines correlate “popularity” with “authority” and “relevance,” and what are the characteristics used to judge the best information worthy of a page one ranking?

Analysis By: Bill Slawski, SEO By The Sea

Don’t Complain About Panda When Your Website Smells Like Garbage

It’s definitely fashionable to raise a ruckus every time Google announces any kind of update, but in the case of Google Panda, the source of your frustrations most likely is your own site’s crappiness. Ryan Jones explains that the Panda update was about site usefulness and quality, not about promoting one brand over another.

Analysis By: Ryan Jones, Search Engine Journal

Understanding Local Search Intent And Five Tips To Optimize For It

Localized search results have been around for quite a while now, yet businesses and Internet marketing agencies are still refining their local optimization strategies on a regular basis. Myles Anderson offers five tips for improving localized SEO and some of the most common ways that users utilized local-based search.

Analysis By: Myles Anderson, Search Engine Land

Insight Into Google’s Increased Quality Score Weight Towards Landing Page Quality

George Michie sits down with Jonathan Alferness, director of product development on the Google ads quality team, to discuss some of the implications of this update and how Google defines a “quality” landing page.

Analysis By: George Michie, Search Engine Land