Happy last week of August and happy 30th wedding anniversary to my parents! (Yes, it is today!)
While most of you are preparing for a 3 day weekend, we're hoping to give you some good reading material. This week, we've seen news about Google (surprised?) and IE8, among a few other smaller things. Here we go...
Google Suggest to Change the Search Landscape
We've received confirmation that Google Suggest is becoming the default for searchers. That is, Google will suggest keywords for searchers with a drop-down box. It's actually rather frightening for search engine marketers for a variety of reasons that have been voiced earlier this week. For one, long tail optimization is likely shot (though many of our commenters disagree). Additionally, if your visitors make a misspelling, you're SOL even though you optimized your site for that misspelling. Yeah, I know. It sucks.
Google's Anchor Text Algorithm Changes
SEMs are speculating that Google is reducing emphasis on anchor text for rankings, which is something that many people feel is the "biggest flaw" of the Google algorithm. For those fixated on anchor text rankings, it's about time that you optimize other parts of your site too!
Google PageRank Updates
This week, we also saw some PageRank updates for Google. It's a bit too soon as some forum members observe, but hey, it gives them something to talk about.
Google Runs More Ad Tests
Google is also testing ad placement and is trying something different: ads on the bottom of the SERPs. I'm waiting for the day when Google tests ads on the top, left, right, and bottom of the SERPs. Anyone want to make a mockup screenshot of what that'd look like?
Google AdSense Stops Displaying on Cached Pages
It seems that some people are no longer seeing Google AdSense on cached pages. It's probably a bug, but it's noteworthy all the same because Rae spotted the opposite, almost, when she blogged that Twitter may be cloaking to show AdSense in their cache. Interesting.
Google Analytics to Show AdSense Data
Cool news for many: Google Analytics may start showing Google AdSense data, a welcome change for those who want more integration. After all, Google has integrated AdWords statistics in Analytics since like, forever, and it'd be cool to empower publishers to see similar statistics.
Most SEOs Fear Penalties
We polled the audience and got some results: the majority of SEOs don't like Google penalties. I'm wondering if the minority is apathetic toward optimization or they feel that they are optimizing perfectly (or not at all).
Try Out Google Ad Manager Today
Google Ad Manager is now available to all publishers. It's a pretty nifty tool and something you should look into if you need to manage your website advertisements. If you don't know how to use it, read Barry's detailed explanation.
IE8 Beta 2 Out, but Yahoo Doesn't Care
Is it ironic that on the day IE8 beta 2 rolled out, Yahoo decided to launch a Firefox 3 promotion? I don't know if it was planned, but it certainly is interesting given the potential partnership we once talked about. In any event, IE8 is out and Danny has analyzed the searching features within IE8. Overall, I'm noticing that a lot of people want IE8 to include a download manager and publishers are a bit wary that IE8 will come out of the box with an ad blocking tool. I must say that even though I don't care if people use ad blocking software, this totally bites. People should be able to opt in for this -- it shouldn't be something Microsoft chooses for its users.
Have a great weekend!