Two weeks until SMX Advanced. Four weeks until SES Toronto. Stuff is looking up after a conference-free (and relatively busy/boring/slow news) month. I'm getting excited :)
Webmasters Report Big Google Update
The biggest news of the week, perhaps, is the fact that Google is undergoing a May 2008 update. Many people are reporting a huge shift in their rankings this week and drop in traffic.
On a similar note, the floating four doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. A theory by Tedster has been proposed that this may have something to do with the number of URLs indexed. Hey, you never know.
Case Sensitivity Matters
While people have debated the previous impact of case sensitivity, Barry performed a test with different case and found results that weren't consistent. In other words, it looks like Google is somewhat testing out theories related to case.
Google's Minus X Penalties
In an interesting analysis of the minus X penalties, an SEO Google is performing a review of his site, but one webmaster is worried that the hundreds of visits from Google may result in a penalty. What say you?
Ask.com Shifts Algo
Microsoft's Cash Back Program
Want some money? Most people do. If you want to get cash back on your purchases, check out the Microsoft Live's Cash Back program which offers you money based on products purchased through the search engine. I think it may work for those who really want the money, but Barry disagrees. He's probably right.
Google's Crown Jewels Discussed
They say Google has the best search algorithm in town, but people are curious about it. Google VP Udi Manber wrote a blog post on the Google Blog about quality factors, and I have to say it's a pretty interesting read -- one of my favorite posts on the Google blog of all time. If you haven't read it, go. Now.
Yahoo is Playing with Ads
Yahoo is performing their own tests with ads, and while the changes are subtle, this is what A/B testing is all about. Will it improve CTR? I guess Yahoo will find out.
Google AdWords Billing Page Update
If you want detailed information about your Google AdWords billing, hop on over to Google AdWords and take a look at the new changes. Looks good, right?
Controversial Google AdWords "Automatic Matching" Beta Launching
A small amount of Google AdWords advertisers are currently being selected for the automatic matching beta launch within Google AdWords. The ads will go live in June 3rd and those who don't agree with the suggestion can opt out beforehand.
Google Supports Third-Party Ad Serving Technology
Google is now supporting third party ad serving technology, and AdSense publishers can partake in this as long as they opt in for image ads, enable advertisers to target your AdSense channels, and opt into placement targeting.
You Don't Report Your Competitors
...because if you did, you'd look pretty silly, wouldn't you? We ran a poll and asked you if you report your competitors to Google and most of you (70%) said no. That's good to hear.
Google Health Launches
This week, Google Health launched which somewhat is a journal of the kind of medicinal information that you may see for emergencies for babysitters on your refrigerator door. Now, it's all online. Useful? Depends. A privacy concern? For most of us, debateable. For Gen Y'ers, probably not.
That is all for this week. Have a nice long weekend!