Ah, the month of April. We opened the month with a few fun tricks all around and then Barry and I went off to celebrate the first days of Passover. What did you (and I) miss in the week of search? Let's take a look.
April 1st: Funny?
Barry found some great Google Maps April Fools Day finds. He then created some funny maps with screenshots including an earthquake in NYC, an alien bug just north of Central Park, and a sinkhole over Manhattan zipcode 10025 (where I used to live! Hmph!).
The Search Community also participated in April Fools Day. Search Engine Roundtable (yes, that's us) had a silly red background, ad-free WebmasterWorld put up AdSense for a day, and Matt Cutts had only 5% of us fooled with his hacked blog. I covered the other Google jokes (Google TiSP and Gmail Paper) in this week's Digg Digest.
Click, click: Microsoft and Yell
Is Microsoft buying Doubleclick? The cost is apparently two billion dollars too steep, so Microsoft will probably pass for now.
Yell appears to have launched its own PPC advertising solution. They're a little late, but evilgreenmonkey thinks that they have a lot of potential.
Google's Forever-Changing Algorithm
Chris Boggs wrote an interesting post about freshness of Google results and says that updated content does play a role in the results. I followed up a day later with some other similar findings on the Google algorithm, this time related to relevancy of Google results. That makes me think: is Google putting more emphasis on more updated content instead of on relevancy? I guess we'll have to wait this one out.
Ads? What ads?
Google made its way into radio, mobile phones, and now ... it's Google TV. This week, Google announced that it forged a partnership with Echostar and Astound Cable to offer targeted television ads, since yes, people (like Danny) still do seem to watch TV.
Ask.com is under fire this week for its very questionable tactics in the Information Revolution marketing campaign. Should Ask really be trying to hijack small companies' traffic onto its search engine? Where would you draw the line?
Google Announces My Maps
Speaking of drawing lines, I had great fun this morning when I illustrated the nifty little Google Personalized Maps tool. Great fun! Check out the coverage on Google My Maps at Search Engine Land for coverage into this new tool, including comparisons from other search engines.
Yahoo Wants Elevator Pitches
Yahoo has asked advertisers to shorten their Yahoo Sponsored Listing descriptions by May/June of this year. The new character requirement has been shortened from 190 characters to 75. That's even shorter than Twitter! As many of you know, I like to microblog, so this hurts. (By the way, Matt Cutts, after all I wrote about you, you hurt me too. Sigh.)
Contextual Ads For the Win, Banner Ads -- Not So Much
Okay, so I made a booboo. Ben blogged about the banner blindness study in my absence, which indicated that people are starting to ignore ads that seem too obvious. I, confused from a real delayed flight, wrote about the same thing a day later. Ben then called me out on it. The joke's on me. Regardless, the findings are pretty important, especially if you're an advertiser, so maybe it does deserve two posts after all.
Search Engine Optimization
Barry, Ben Pfeiffer, and Chris Boggs are just three of over thirty well-respected industry experts who were asked to submit feedback for SEOmoz's updated Search Engine Optimization ranking factors. This chart is pretty cool and very flashy. Great design, guys!
The question has arisen yet again. Should you outsource your link development in SEO? No! The discussion goes on to defining what a quality link is and what to look out for. Ben's post is a great read.
Chris also writes about how to cajole developers into creating search-engine friendly URLs. He references a thread that tells you to buy them a beer. I suppose that is a good way to lead me into next week's events...
Search Engine Strategies NY
Remember, Search Engine Strategies NY is next week. As we wrote last week, will have complete coverage of the sessions, but new this week is the SES NY 07 party schedule. SES is a great place to network, so be sure to check out the events after the daily sessions.
Next week in search
Barry and I are off on Monday and Tuesday once again for the last days of the Passover holiday, but we'll be joining the rest of you at SES on Wednesday. We have a few posts lined up for next week already, but you can expect for the SES coverage to be massive. I am truly looking forward to meeting you all!