Our favorite (and least favorite) search engines have had a share in the spotlight this week, with news coming from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Ask, and we're here to summarize the happenings of the week. To start off, what do you think about security? I know our kids -- Gen Y -- doesn't mind about their information being all over the internet. Others, however, don't feel the same way. That brings us to ...
This past week, we saw the launch of Google Trends, and many webmasters were disappointed in the new tool with regards to how it's providing information that should be private -- public. Barry writes in a detailed post about the practical applications of the tool, but many people don't want to share their data as freely. Michael Gray, specifically, thinks it's not cool that Google is providing data about websites whereas google.com is nowhere to be found. He's got a point, guys.
After Google Trends was released, Google Ad Planner was also released. It's still invite-only but gives you detailed demographic information so that you can target your ads better to your site visitors. In a detailed screenshot tour, Barry sums up his ad planner walkthrough as "wow" since there's so much information available. It's scary to know how much they know about us.
Use Your CMS Wisely
I'm always happy that WordPress allows you to edit your post slug so that you can shorten your URL where necessary. This is coming to be an issue especially due to a report this week that long URLs can hurt you. Keep it short, sweet, and descriptive. A spammy URL doesn't add value and probably confuses people. The URL in particular in that post (http://www.gadgetguy.com.au/small-kitchen-appliances-toaster-kettle-coffee-machine-blender-juicer-channel7-sunrise-australia-42.html) is way over my head, for example, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Why is there a coffee maker in sunrise in Australia? What?! And what happened to channel 5? I like it better than channel 7.
Want Porn? Surf Google
With universal search still in its infancy (though in tech years, it may be in adulthood -- I really don't know), people are finding ways to take advantage of whatever they can. In this case, comes down to pornographic images in universal search results. If you ever want a new bathroom, chances are it's going to come with a sexy naked blonde chick, according to Google. Hot. But in the post, Barry notes that if you're offended by the unwelcome guest, you can report images and have them removed. The party's over, guys.
RIP Overture... and maybe the rest of Yahoo
Yahoo's massive staff reorganization comes at the same time as the death of Ovetrure's keyword tool, which is a shame, since people liked it so much. I wonder if that has anything to do with the people behind it no longer being at Yahoo. Either way, from an observer's perspective, there's a lot of movement going on in Yahoo, with staff reorganization and unexpected departures, so maybe everything is intended to crumble at once.
Google Won't Let You Point AdWords Display URLs to Itself
First, you were able to manipulate Google AdWords and set the landing URL as google.com. Since Barry reported on it though, Google disabled ads that had Google.com as the landing URL. In other words, don't try to dupe the system because you will get owned.
Google Webmaster Tools API Launched
There's a new API in town: the Google Webmaster Tools API. This is really exciting news, albeit with a catch: right now you can't do anything with linkage data, and that'd be sweet so that you can do some analysis. However, it's not an option -- yet. I hope Google takes note!
Ask.com is Not Focused on Core Search
Barry had a lengthy chat with the busy Jim Safka of Ask.com 3 weeks ago while Safka was traveling, since I guess he doesn't have much time to sit at a desk and have a real heart-to-heart with Barry. That's a shame. I don't think I could ever get on a business call that would be on the record while I'm traveling through tunnels with poor cell reception. It makes it seem that his heart and mind is in the wrong place. Also, Ask.com's core search is in the wrong place too. And that's sad, because the old Ask.com crew really did seem to care about everything about the little engine that could.
A Prodigy of a Baby
We'd like to extend a happy birthday to Google AdSense. It's now 5 years old and has made people millionaires. So, thanks Google AdSense, and keep it up until 120! :)