I'm sure you all had a wonderful week learning about the numerous conferences that we didn't liveblog -- Blogworld Expo (blogged by The Lisa and Lee Odden, adTech (blogged by a bunch of people, including the guys at Mashable), and well, that pretty much kept most of us busy. My next conference stop is Pubcon, guys. I intend to be quite busy. :) (By the way, if you're going to be there and want to blog, let us know.)
So, now that an entire week has passed, what is new in our little search bubble? Let's take a look.
Microsoft Live Webmaster Portal: Exclusive Screenshots
Barry walked through the brand new Microsoft Live Webmaster Portal earlier this week and offered some screenshots of the features. It looks pretty cool. I want access. kthx.
Google was under fire earlier this week because of the ineffectiveness of its image-labeling algorithms. In fact, they need a lot of work. Two African American leaders were accidentally paired up with monkeys in an image search, obviously giving off the wrong impression and disappointing many. But is Google racist? I would think not. This is the nature of building up technology that hasn't been recognized yet. And the algorithms are far from perfect, but at least more of the relevant results
especially as purchased through text links show up in the SERPs. (Hi Matt!)
Google Expanding Western Union Payments to Africa... but Patience is a Virtue
For those of you overseas, be advised that you'll soon be able to use Western Union payments. However, Google jumped the gun on this one -- it's not available yet.
Google: Update or No Update?
A few people reported earlier this week that Google's search results were being updated. A few people have lost considerable traffic and rankings. One pinpoints the problem to Google starting to take more aggressive measures on duplicate content. What are your suspicions, and have you noticed anything?
AOL to Acquire Quigo
AOL is buying Quigo for $300 million. The purchase includes two Quigo products: AdSonar, which is like AdSense, and FeedPoint for search engine marketing. Congratulations to both parties. You've been patted on the back by forum folks.
Google has finally activated its g.cn domain name, making the shortest domain name ever owned by the search engine giant of the Western Hemisphere.
IAC Splits Companies and keeps Ask.com
IAC, the parent company of Ask.com, has split into 5 publicly traded companies. IAC will still be the umbrella company for Ask and Bloglines (which just came out with a pretty awesome Top 1000 Feeds this week).
Google Mobile OS: Yes, it's True
Well, rumors about the Googlephone have finally been addressed: there is no phone. Instead, Google is coming out with an open source mobile operating system. Would you use it? What about those awesome iPhones? I still love my Treo. Commitments, commitments...
Google AdSense Management Features Rolled Out, and it's Quick Too
Look out, publishers: there are some changes to AdSense code that will require you to update your web properties. And don't be afraid to implement this change: it takes about 10 minutes to go into effect.
Want to Get Google to Speak at an Event? Just Ask
Dear Google: my birthday is in 2 months. I was hoping you can speak at the party.
If you're one of those people who wants to have Google speak at an event (not a birthday party -- sorry), you can simply ask Google for their presence by filling out a speaker request form. Now you know.
If you do end up having a Googler attend your birthday party, please be sure to invite me.
Speaking of Events: Susan Clarifies Sitelinks
At a recent speaking engagement, Susan Moskwa answered some questions regarding sitelinks and said that if you have a maximum of 8 sitelinks but remove 2 of them (in hopes that you can supplement them for another 2), unfortunately, that's not how it works. Google will not pick out another two links to make up for the ones you blocked. Sorry Charlie.
Google Third Party PageRank Tools are Broken
Apparently, third party Google PageRank tools are broken. I'm not sure what that means but I hope that my tools are accurately giving me the correct PR. I don't think so anymore, then. Does that mean that all the sites I'm visiting are PR10 rather than PR4? How about it, Google?
You Can't See More than 1000 Results On Google Anymore
Google used to show 1000 results in the SERPs. Not anymore. Why is that anyway? I'm not sure why people are going to page #742 but I'm as curious as the next guy.
Google Acknowledges AdWords Bug
There's a bug in the AdWords console that indicates that your ads aren't showing. Thing is, they are. It's a bug that Google is aware of, and this has been confirmed by AdWordsAdvisor. Guess it'll be fixed soon.
Advertisers Seeing Category and Domain Ads AdWords Exclusion Feature
I checked two accounts, and I don't see what some members report is the new category and domain ads exclusion feature for AdWords. That would be quite cool, though.
ASP.NET Websites were in Trouble
If you have an ASP.NET website, shame on you. It's all about Apache these days, baby. But if you were
unfortunate enough to go with Windows unable to get a Linux web host, you were unfortunately a victim of a recent issue with Googlebot where the user-agent would trip the code and return a 500 unavailable error. That sucks.
You Guys are Old
There's hope for me when I'm about to go into retirement: opt in to be an AdSense publisher and score. In a recent poll, we found out that 51% of respondents were over 30. Wow. How's that for interesting?
Bounced Check? Now You Know Why
If you've ever gotten a Google AdSense check bounced, you may be confused. Google has billions of dollars. So what is it about Google that causes this strange incident? Well, in one instance, a bank thought that the publisher was defrauding Google! You bank people are stupid. How about you verify with Google instead of bouncing the check and then incurring $10 fees on innocent people? (I have had bank issues lately myself. I hate you.)
Matt Cutts at Pubcon: Grill Him like a Cheese Sandwich
Okay, I'm kidding about the headline. But as I mentioned, I'll be at Pubcon, and so will Matt Cutts. In fact, Matt Cutts is giving the Keynote presentation at Pubcon, so if you have questions, ask now.
That is all. Have a nice weekend. :)