Google Rolls Out Verbatim Search Option, Google Updates Analytics, Matt Cutts Gets Political & More

Google Rolls Out Verbatim Search Option, Google Updates Analytics, Matt Cutts Gets Political & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Integrates Verbatim Search Into Query Options

Google has listened to numerous user complaints after dropping the “+” exact match search modifier, and now features a verbatim search option located under the “More search tools” button on the left sidebar. The tool takes whatever you’ve literally entered (without spelling corrections) and returns your desired results.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Analytics Adds More Useful Features To Its Platform

Mobile metrics, email scheduling, and PDF exporting are the newest additions to the Google Analytics interface. These three features are only available if you use the new look version, although email scheduling and PDF exports will not be officially open to the public for another couple weeks.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Microsoft AdCenter Offers Negative Exact Match Support

As part of its efforts to make holiday ad optimization easier, Microsoft adCenter now features a negative exact match option, along with some additional upgrades to its support that closes a useability gap between adCenter and Google AdWords. Previously, negative keyword flexible usage was a major difference between the two interfaces.

Source: Search Engine Land

Matt Cutts, Google Get Political To Fight Protect IP Act

Through a blog post on his personal site, Matt Cutts is urging people to contact their Congressmen and voice opposition to the Protect IP Act, a bill that aims to curb American intellectual property theft. It has a lot of financial backing from considerably large corporations.

If the Senate version is signed into law (the House’s is stricter), it would allow the attorney general to blacklist sites from the U.S. Internet without approval from any branch of government.  Some of the provisions in the bill parallel China’s Great Firewall in terms of censorship, resulting in an increasingly large pushback from the tech industry.

Source: Matt Cutts

October Search Share Results Are Conflicted, But One Word Searches Are On The Rise

Hitwise has reported Bing-powered searches rising slightly in October, while comScore reports indicate Bing-powered searches fell a tad. Disregarding that contradiction, the most interesting piece of information in Hitwise’s report is the rise in one-word search queries. Single word searches rose 3% between September (26.45% of all searches) and October (27.23%).

Source: Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal

Google Unveils 10 Recent Tweaks To Algorithm

In their ongoing efforts to prove to the world that they are, in fact, still not evil, Google has posted 10 recent algorithm updates on their Inside Search blog. Most of these changes are somewhat ambiguous (predictably), but it’s never a bad thing to continue collecting SEO intelligence from the mother-ship.

Source: Google Inside Search Blog

Google Melds +1 Counts Together, Badge Tool Produces Namesake

When Google+ Pages went live last week, the Google+ Badge tool followed suit. However, this week it has begun to produce more than just static designs, and also offers an “Add to circles” button and social count of Google+ followers next to the icon on your website. Also, in a move similar to Facebook’s treatment of the Like button, Google+ buttons are now counted all together under one number across all pages of your site.

Source: Search Engine Land

Study Finds Google’s Golden Triangle Is Alive And Well In Google Places

Previous studies have shown that user eye movement around a computer screen typically follows an inverted triangle-like path, and a recent Google Places study has confirmed this long-held rule of online marketing and advertising. Here are some of that study’s most interesting findings:

  • Users interact more with listings that feature images, resulting in a higher CTR and general attention
  • Users love maps
  • No reviews translate into minimal clicks for listings below the top spot

Source: Search Engine Watch

Yelp Hopes To Raise $100 Million Mark Before 2012 IPO

Yelp’s secret desire to go public was out once people learned of their rejecting a $500 million buyout offer from Google in 2010. Now the reviewer aggregate has made it official for 2012, and is hoping to raise $100 million before their IPO next year. The filing also revealed some interesting information about Yelp, including their 2011 9-month revenue ($58.4 million, mostly from local ads), the fact that they are not profitable (net loss of $7.6 million in that same time span), 22 million users have posted reviews, and there are 529,000 businesses that have claimed their Yelp page.

Source: Search Engine Journal

New Foursquare Design Caters To Advertisers, Users Alike

Foursquare has been a staple of fun smartphone apps since before Angry Birds, allowing users to “check in” at their favorite restaurants and hang outs. Seeing an opportunity for growth, Foursquare has redesigned itself in a way that is much friendlier to advertisers while still tending to user wants and needs. The new look offers the ability to “plan” decisions ahead of a user on a trip, also resulting in targeted ad opportunities.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Chrome Finally Passes Firefox

Surprising no one that has followed browser shares over the past few years, Google’s Chrome browser has officially passed Mozilla’s Firefox in percentage of users. The number that separates them is just .15%, but that is bound to increase in Chrome’s favor.

Source: Stat Counter

Bing Search Results Include Editor Recommendations

When deciding between two movies, it’s natural to confer with movie critics to determine which one gives you the most bang for your buck. Bing has used this philosophy in its search results with Editors’ Picks, which ranges across 140 topics and features a list of notable links recommended by prominent industry experts, or editors. This update won’t impact the Bing algorithm, and is just meant to provide the most relevant, resourceful answers to popular queries.

Bing Editor's Picks

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Aims To Patent Breadcrumb Linking In SERPs

Google has applied for a patent that would allow them to show the breadcrumb trail links just below website meta description in search results. Google has already done this for a select few sites, and the tactic is meant to make it easier for users to understand where they would be on the site if they clicked the link.

Source: SEO By The Sea

Google Copies Oprah With Website Giveaway In New York State

Does your small business reside in New York? If so, you get a website! And you get a website! And you get a website!

Google is now offering free websites to any and all legitimate businesses located in the state of New York. The sites are built through their new partnership with Intuit, and include free domain names and AdWords setup help.

Google is understandably using this fruitful opportunity to push their brand, but it’ll be interesting to see how and if this has any influence over the New York web design community, and if Google views the move as a repeatable venture in other states.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Bear Pillow Combats Your Snores With An Adorable Mauling

Looking for a way to combat your snoring, or the snoring of your significant other? Don’t worry; Japan has a solution that comes in the form of a robotic wuvable, huggable Ursus. A robotic bear pillow has been designed to gently “maul” your face to stifle your snoring. Just read the article and watch the accompanying creepy video.

Source: Engadget

Notable Commentary

That Achieves Maximum ROI

Not Using Schema.Org? 1996 Called; They Want Their SEO Back

If you’re not using as a common SEO practice, you’re falling way behind the times that will crash the SEO strategy party soon. Google, Bing, and Yahoo bonded together to create a universal search engine language, so it’s only logical to take the hint and jump on the bandwagon that has a few cons and a ton of pros.

Analysis By: Craig Bradford, SEOmoz

How To Deal With Duplicate Content After The Panda-calypse

“Dr. Pete” has written a lengthy, essential post on how to identify and solve problems associated with duplicate content in the wake of Google’s Panda updates. It can be a bit technical at times, but the information he discusses is vital to ensuring full site crawlability and minimal linking issues.

Analysis By: Peter Meyers, SEOmoz

The Best Uses For Google Real-Time Analytics

Real-time analytics have quite a few pretty cool features and Ian Lurie breaks down five worthy of use. Some are just technologically impressive and fun to play with, while others can be useful on a daily basis.

Analysis By: Ian Lurie, Conversation Marketing

Now Trending On Social Media In 2012…

Stephanie Schwab had a pretty good batting average on her 2011 social media predictions, and decided it might be useful to try again for 2012. Some are justified based on trends coming out of summer 2011, while others are more wild card in nature.

Analysis By: Stephanie Schwab, Social Media Explorer

Pintrest Will Continue Drawing Pinterested Users

If you haven’t heard of/used Pintrest, the odds are pretty high that you’re missing out on a very addicting social sharing network. Kerry Jones explains why Pintrest is the future of social sharing, and why businesses will soon be jumping on this soon-to-be packed bandwagon.

Analysis By: Kerry Jones, BlueGlass

Maximize Your Google+ Business Page ROI

Many tutorials have been written about how to set up and manage a Google+ brand page, but this is not one. Instead, Monica Wright goes into detail about how specific Google+ features can be a great asset to your business.

Analysis By: Monica Wright, Search Engine Land

SEO And WordPress: Covering All Your Bases

Anyone that uses WordPress is most likely familiar with its great, easy-to-understand SEO plugins. However, there are quite a few other things you can do on a WordPress-hosted site that boosts your SEO profile.

Analysis By: Kevin Gibbons, Search Engine Watch

INFOGRAPHIC: How Do Google And Facebook Privacy Concerns Match Up?

Search Engine Journal has a great pre-game football-esqueinfographic matchup of the notorious privacy and security concerns surrounding Google and Facebook. It’s safe to say that whoever wins, we lose (Yes, I stole that from the Alien Vs. Predator movie poster).

Analysis By: Melissa Fach, Search Engine Journal

Balancing SEO Content With Ad Placements

When producing and posting content, SEOs don’t concern themselves too much with ad placement on the page. However, in the wake of Panda, and in anticipation of future content-emphasized algorithm changes, quality content mixed with the right number and placement of ads will become increasingly important. Cyrus Shepard breaks down a guide to ads from the SEO perspective in easy-to-understand terms.

Analysis By: Cyrus Shepard, SEOmoz

Siri May Obliterate Localized SEO

Here’s a pretty good article about how Apple’s new personal assistant could change local search. It’s a pretty interesting read that talks up the benefits of mobile SEO, beefing up local efforts, and incorporating microdata.

Analysis By: AJ Kumar, Entrepreneur

Six Ways To Decipher The SEO X-Files

Even the smartest SEO runs into a problem without a tangible, extensively researched solution. An SES Chicago panel recently tackled the question of “What to do when there is no available answer to an SEO problem?” in six steps.

Analysis By: Simon Heseltine, Search Engine Watch

Why A High Search Volume Correlates With More Brand Links

Google rolled out brand links in May 2010 to make it easier for users searching generic terms (bike, shoes, television) to discover and explore the most popular brands that carry or make those products. Stephanie Chang explains why search volume (and a few other factors) may have much more to do with obtaining a brand link than good SEO on that brand’s corporate website­.

Analysis By: Stephanie Change, SEOmoz