Hello from sunny Austin Texas! I'm at South by Southwest for the week but I couldn't possibly go without giving you the highlights of the week in search. So, without further ado, here you go!
From Barry: I put a ton of effort into this video to improve it and make it more "fun" to watch. I added illustrations, screen captures, captions and music throughout the video. Please take the time to watch it and give me your feedback via comments or the contact us form. Thank you!
We saw it was coming, and then it happened: IAC has laid off 8% of the Ask.com workforce and decided to change their search strategy. Unfortunately, all brand evangelists (including my BFF) have decided to hang up the coat; Ask had promise and unfortunately money was more important. Danny's harsh obituary for Ask.com also expresses resentment and disappointment. My favorite part was this:
You've decided that Ask is going to be reconfigured to appeal to women. I guess I missed the memo where women said they somehow needed a search engine that was different for them. What are you considering? Pink and lots of flowers? A recipe search? Maybe a section for working moms? Any more stereotypes you think might fly? Hey, why don't you change CEOs again and put an actual woman in charge of the company that wants to build a search engine for women. That might be a good marketing move. Maybe bring back Jeeves the butler as we've all been expecting, but this time as a shirtless beefcake.
For the record, Mr. Safka, I'm a woman, and I'll never use Ask again. I might poke fun at Jeeves and do what I did when I was growing up alongside him (asking "are you gay?" and seeing Jeeves answer "that's not a nice question, is it?"), but that's all. You lost a fan in me too.
On the same note, people are seeing that Ask.com is replacing its search with Google results. That's just really sad. I have to express my disappointment in losing some wonderful colleagues, including Jim Lanzone and Gary Price. It's a stupid stupid move. As many of my friends would say, gg (see definition #2).
Yahoo's Search Update: March 2008
Yahoo is in the process of updating its ranking, indexing, and crawling algorithms. So far, nobody has spotting anything different, but we'd like to know if you see something.
Google Sitewide Search Results in SERPs
If you search for "wikipedia" in Google, you'll now see a sitewide search box. It's live as of Thursday morning to everyone, but beforehand, only a few people saw it (and I tipped Barry off on it and Search Engine Land hit Techmeme! Score!)
Yahoo Buzz Takes On Digg
While late to the game, Yahoo Buzz has been launched and can be likened to a quality Digg -- using editorial consideration. I'm game, baby.
Google Cached the Wrong Page
A number of webmasters have reported that Google is caching the wrong pages. I haven't really been paying attention, but this isn't the first time I heard about this. Are your pages cached correctly?
Your Minimum Google AdWords Bids Are Going Up
If your Google AdWords bids have been going up, you're not alone. Advertisers report the "Google slap" where they are seeing that their minimum bids have gone up the wazoo. It started on the 5th. Why? We don't know...
The Google Oops!
Google forgot to renew their SSL certificate for conversion tracking and then fixed it almost instantly. We know that it happens to us small folks, but it also happens to the big guys (and in that case, the whole world knows pretty quickly).
Exclude Certain Categories from Google AdWords
Selling blue widgets and don't want your site to appear on sites that don't have any relationship whatsoever to blue widgets? You can now exclude categories of sites from displaying your ads. I have to say that this. is. awesome.
Does Sculpting or Siloing Really Control PageRank?
A lot of people are in disbelief that sculpting and siloing your pages controls PageRank but others think that it helps. If your site is so optimized that there's nothing left (from what you can tell), why not try it out and see what you can do? Then report back to us with your findings.
Your AdWords Quality Score Depends on Page Load
If your site loads slowly, you're in big trouble if you want a high quality score. It is now known that page load does factor in on quality score and if your site can't meet demands for users, you'll unfortunately suffer the consequences. It's time to consider what's more important: cheap hosting or reliable service?
Have a great week(end), everyone!