Google’s Transparency Binge Continues, A Search Marketing Agency Gets Banned From Google, IBM Doesn’t Like Siri, & More

Google’s Transparency Binge Continues, A Search Marketing Agency Gets Banned From Google, IBM Doesn’t Like Siri, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Gets Even More Transparent With Ad Serving

Google has featured the “Why these ads?” link at the top right corner of the page one ad block for quite some time. However, the search engine recently added an “Ads related to…” feature that includes the search query in bold. Google explained the change as a way to provide searchers with more up-front information about the results they are seeing.

Source: Search Engine Land

Know Your Bid Competitors With AdWords’ New Auction Insights Feature

Google’s latest foray into semi-transparency involves exposing their ad bidding process to auctioneers. Through a feature called “Auction Insights,” ad auction bidders can view the display URL for their main competitors in that placement auction. The report can only show one keyword at a time, and the display includes impression share, overlap rate, position above rate, average position, and top of page percent.

Source: Google Inside AdWords Blog

Google Bans iAcquire For Buying Links

Brands aren’t the only companies Google is targeting for purchasing bulks of links. iAcquire, a search marketing agency, has been effectively deindexed from Google for their role in paying for links for the company Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corporation. iAcquire was the “drug dealer” so to speak, selling links for companies that would likely get penalized, so it’ll be interesting to see how other SEO agencies that follow this practice react to the news.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Has a Chance To End Their Investigation In Europe

Google has the chance to put an end to its 18 month anti-trust investigation in Europe if it addresses four identified problem areas in its business practices. Antitrust officials’ concerns include the fact that Google displays links to its own search services differently than those of competitors and charges that the search giant copies content from others search engine for its own uses from competitors. The development may impact a similar ongoing investigation in the U.S.

Source: Search Engine Watch

There’s Something Missing From Google’s Search Results…

If Google’s Knowledge Graph update is any indication, the search engine is slowly giving up on full Google+ integration in the personalized search experience. Previously, Google displayed a “People and Pages On Google+” bar in the spot currently occupied by the Knowledge Graph. However, this still should’ve serve as an indication that Google is acquiescing to general Google+ user indifference. Google+ connections are now displayed in more subtle ways (linked from the Graph).

Source: Search Engine Land

Cookie, Cookie, Cookie Is Good Enough For Me

The European Union passed a law requiring websites to obtain users’ consent before they star tracking their online browsing behavior. Ideally, obtaining this consent would come in the form of a notification before entering the site.  Websites must also clearly explain what cookies they are using.  A few cookies, such as those utilized when a user buys products online, are exempt.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Google’s Legal Team For The Win!

Google has left a courtroom unscathed (shocking!), after facing patent infringement accusations from Oracle. The search engine will not be facing any major penalties, although their defense claim of “fair use” for the Java technology has yet to be resolved by the court.

Source: Marketing Land

Me Thinks Yahoo Released Their (Fairly Cool) Browser Too Early

Yahoo has plowed through a hefty collection of potholes over the past few years, heavily damaging their car’s axis in the process. Even when a product looks great, such as their new browser, aptly named “Axis,” aimed at cutting out the “distributor” in the web search process (search à results à visit page), something has to go wrong. Yahoo may have put the cliché before the horse, as its Google Chrome plugin for the browser appears to have some security issues.

Source: Mashable

IBM: Not So Fast, Siri

The nature of the iPhone 4S has presented a new sort of IT challenge to IBM’s data security. Because the device (and other voice recognition tools) transmit words they hear to an external database, IBM is worried that sensitive details are being leaked to networks outside their control. As such, IBM has restricted external cloud storage, and has directed employees to instead use IBM’s own cloud service, MyMobileHub.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Google Received 1.2 Million URL Removal Requests Last Month

Google says it has received 1,246,713 URL removal requests from 24,129 different domains throughout the month of April, including many coming from companies such as Microsoft, the RIAA, NBC Universal, and Elegant Angel. Google says they act within 11 hours on a typical day, and comply with around 97% of these requests.

Source: Search Engine Land

Hands On: Facebook’s New iOS Camera App That Isn’t Instagram

Facebook has created a new photo sharing app that they’ve cleverly titled “Camera.” More like “Instagramra.” Facebook has attempted to make clear this is a different entity from Instagram. The app allows for very simple integration with other Facebook features like messaging and status updating. Unique to “Camera” is the ability to upload many images in one status update. So if you’re at a concert and you have multiple terrific shots of Daryl Hall and John Oates and you want to get them all up on Facebook immediately with a sepia filter, “Camera” is the app for you.

Source: Wired Epicenter

Google’s Search Results Will Notify You Of A DNS Infection

Google is stepping up its virus-awareness efforts, now informing users of a DNSChanger Trojan infection with a simple display above the search box. The virus alters the DNS so users are consistently sent to fake websites. The servers for this virus have already been seized and will shut down on July 9, but the problem is that any computer still infected at that point will be unable to use the Internet. Thus, Google is attempting to help unknowing carriers with this notification system.

Google DNSChanger notification

Source: Search Engine Watch

Travel To Monmouth, Wales, Sight-See With QR Codes And Wikipedia

If you’re planning to visit Monmouth in Wales, England, bring your smartphone. The town spent six months decking itself out with QR Codes that link straight to Wikipedia pages that describe what the tourist is looking at and photographing. The project features thousands of the often useless codes,

Source: Gizmodo

Notable Commentary

Free Of Paid Links

A Quality Link Publicist Should Easily Answer These Five Questions

When Eric Ward speaks about link building, we always listen. The Internet matchmaking guru offers five essential questions every link builder should be asked before you hire…or fire them.

Analysis By: Eric Ward, Search Engine Watch

The Personal Search ‘Filter’ And Its Impact On Internet Marketing

Personalized search is a major initiative for both Bing and Google, but it isn’t just confined to search engines (Netflix, Facebook, etc.). The concern is that this filtered approach changed how we approach online marketing, and more importantly, how users are constantly inundated with selection bias that can temper their potential information discoveries.

Analysis By: Nathan Safran, Search Engine Watch

INFOGRAPHIC: Here’s Why Google Ads Will Always Be Better Than Facebook Ads

Wordstream has an infographic on why Facebook advertising sucks compared to the Google Display Network and why this could impact Facebook’s already problematic IPO.

Analysis By: Wordstream

Optimized Design By Platform Vs. Repurposing Designs

Creating a design once and using it over and over in different places saves money and time. In contrast, catering a design to meet platform specs is more expensive, but much more user-friendly. Jakob Nielsen outlines the pros and cons of repurposing and optimizing designs for certain platforms, including tablet sites, desktop sites, print media, and more.

Analysis By: Jakob Nielsen, Alertbox

Seven Steps for Dealing With Google’s Penguin Aftermath

This article lays out seven steps SEOs must take to better navigate a Google Penguin world. The Penguin update is an indication that future updates are going to come at a more rapid pace. After all, it’s a Penguin’s world, and we’re all just Penguin girls.

Analysis by: Chris Warren, SEOmoz

Bing Lends A Hand To Penguin And Panda Victims

Bing on Google violence is already well-known, and Bing fired another, albeit tamer shot recently. Bing Senior Product Manager Duane Forrester published a blog post, complete with a somewhat snarky poem, offering tips for websites trying to survive Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. The post isn’t just a veiled attack however, but actually pretty useful. The main message: don’t target Google alone as your only traffic source.

Analysis By: Miranda Miller, Search Engine Watch