Meet Google’s Knowledge Graph, Twitter Chooses ‘Do Not Track’, Facebook Is Transparent Now, & More

Meet Google’s Knowledge Graph, Twitter Chooses ‘Do Not Track’, Facebook Is Transparent Now, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

The Google Knowledge Graph Is Live

The Knowledge Graph is finally here to stay, and it has some implications for SEOs and users everywhere. Google’s semantic-driven, information-heavy sidebar appears when you search for people, places or things (i.e. nouns) is basically Wikipedia without having to click on the Wikipedia result. The most interesting part of this rollout (on par in significance with Universal search and SPYworld) is that is specifically targets informational queries (which are the most common searches on Google).

Editorial publishers that bill themselves as one-stop shops for information (IMDB, Wikipedia, fan sites) are most likely to be hit with traffic drops. Google is already planning to add “actionable” opportunities to these currently stagnant results, so it’s very possible that other spheres of the Internet world will feel these tremors sometime in the near future.

Source: Search Engine Land

Twitter Jumps On The Firefox ‘Do Not Track’ Bandwagon

Mozilla’s Firefox browser has supported a “Do Not Track” feature for a little over a year, causing a domino effect that saw adoption from Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and soon, Google Chrome. Now, it appears Twitter is jumping into the mix, announcing it will honor the privacy option. Despite the benefits of such a feature, adoption rate among users remains at 8.6% for desktop FireFoxes and 19% for Firefox Mobile users.  Perhaps the embrace of a common social website will tip that balance.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Facebook Aims For…Data Use Transparency?

In a move that is clearly unrelated to their looming IPO, Facebook has updated its data use policy to provide a more transparent look into how they share information. Facebook actually said the shift was a response to an investigation by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner’s Office.

One of the changes includes potential advertisements on partner sites, similar to targeting on the Google Display Network. Facebook now offers easier access to, and better control of, privacy setting within the dashboard interface.

Source: Time

SEOmoz Begins Spam Research

SEOmoz announced the beginning of a new research initiative to better understand how Google determines what is spam. CEO Rand Fishkin said Google’s recent update to Penguin wasn’t the inspiration for the project though.  The eventual goal is to classify, identify and reduce  the “link equity” of pages that Google probably would consider spam. Overall, while SEOmoz won’t be able to develop algorithms or identify spam on Google’s level, the project should provide marketers with a better understanding of marketing on the web including link quality and search engine penalties

Source: Search Engine Journal

Is Google Dumping Many Free Web Directories?

On Tuesday, rumors spread among SEOs that Google was eliminating a large number of free web directories from their index.  Search Engine Land’s Terry Van Horne ran a test on over 500 web directories and found that 16% or more aren’t showing up in Google searches. While it is unclear if some of these directories were ever indexed, his findings do make one question whether Panda, Penguin or Google’s other recent updates are responsible for the missing directories.

Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook’s Deal With Instagram Is On Hold

Facebook announced that its deal to acquire Instagram may be on hold for the time being. Facebook initially expected the deal to be done by the end of June, but now is vaguely offering some point in 2012 as a time frame.  The fact Facebook is being hounded by the FTC seems to be responsible for the delay. Nonetheless, even if government anti-trust enforcers veto the deal, Facebook will still be required to cough up a 200 million termination fee to Instagram.

Source: Mashable

Who Better To Judge A Google Trial Than A Programmer?

Can we get a few hundred more judges like this? U.S. District Judge William Alsup is hearing the trial of Oracle v Google, and also happens to be a fairly proficient coder when he’s not dropping the law on corporate claimants. Oracle’s lawyer attempted to make a case that a fairly routine code sequence was an example of malicious infringement, eliciting epic lulz and swift pwnage from Judge Haxorz.

A quick demonstration of how the trial is going so far:

Oracle: OMG Hax! :C

Judge: LOL Noobs! 😀

Source: i-Programmer

GM Is Not A Fan Of Facebook Ads; Apparently Ford Still Is

GM is planning to stop paid advertising on Facebook because they don’t think that the ads have a significant impact on consumers’ car purchases. This decision comes as a rather inconvenient time because Facebook’s IPO is this Friday. It may not have a huge impact on the IPO but it’s an example of potential big money spenders that may not be convinced of Facebook’s money-making abilities.

Conversely, Ford is sticking with their Facebook ad guns, and side swiping GM in the process.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Matt Cutts Mashup Video Describes How To Rank #1… In 1999

Take this (hilarious) advice at your own risk!

Source: YouTube

Notable Commentary

That Never 302s, 404s, Or 410s

A Visual Guide To Website Response Codes

If you’re new to the Internet marketing world, you may need a primer on website response codes that help diagnose the health of a particular page. Even if you’re affluent with 301s, 404s, 500s, and the like, SEOmoz has a clever animated explanation of each one and its implications for SEO and Google’s algorithm.

Analysis By: Lindsay Wassell, SEOMoz

Local SEO Resources You Haven’t Completely Exhausted (We Guarantee It)

The sooner you understand that local SEO should be approached differently than standard SEO, the sooner your business will thrive in Google’s increasingly displayed 7-Pak. Search Engine Journal has a stellar collection of useful tools to help get your local SEO strategy off the ground, as well as some tips for improving the current state of your business’ local efforts.

Analysis By: Tabita Green, Search Engine Journal

Cleansing Your Dirty Backlink Profile

Every backlink profile has its rotten apples. Jennifer Van Iderstyne has a helpful walkthrough for spring cleaning the worst links pointed to your site. Her advice should be more than enough to show Inspectors Penguin and Panda that you actively fought to keep your house of links pristine.

Analysis By: Jennifer Van Iderstyne, Search Engine Watch

(INFOGRAPHIC) Timelining The Rise And Fall Of Internet Giants

11 years. That’s the average lifespan of most of the Internet’s biggest “empires” (Digg, Yahoo, MySpace). Facebook is currently 8 years old and headed for its IPO next week, so it’s only fitting that we visualize the most important, and detrimental, points in the history of other Internet giants as we determine whether Facebook is an exception, or the norm.

Analysis By: Century Link Quote

Integrated Marketing: What It Is, Why You Should Care

Steve McKee explains the concept behind marketing “integration,” why it’s important for consistent branding and messaging, and why embracing the long term method will ultimately reap many benefits for your company or firm.

Analysis By: Steve McKee, Business Week

Nintendo Immortalized In 30,000 Dominos

Nintendo already inspires a lot of brand loyalty from its fans, but one enthusiast took that love to a whole new extreme. A 15-year-old fan encapsulated many of Nintendo’s memorable characters in a 30,000 piece domino layout. It took about three minutes for every domino to fall winding through a PokeBall,  Super Mario and other elaborate configurations along the way.

Analysis By: Peter Pachal, Mashable

Search Engine “Semantics” and Keyword Research

Google’s recent update to Penguin has made proper keyword optimization more important than ever. The days of finding a specific keyword and peppering it throughout your content as many times as you can are long gone. Part of adapting keyword research to the changing landscape will be gaining a better understanding of how search engines interpret words or phrases. Keeping search engine’s semantic indexing behaviors in mind when selecting what keywords and key phrases to target is essential.

Analysis by: Sujan Patel, Search Engine Journal