It's September, school time for many and moving time for me. I'm in the new place, baby! Now I need about a year to unpack, but I've made good progress. ;)
This week, we celebrated Labor Day and saw a bunch of new Google developments, particularly Google Chrome's debut. Let's take a look.
Google AdWords Gets Spiced Up
The new Google AdWords Quality Score has been spotted and there are some screenshots available. The Quality Score is now on a ranking of 1-10, which should give you a lot of room to make changes and optimize your ads better.
Google AdWords also launched a new feature, the Geographic Report, where you can see how your ads are performing in each geographic region. It should give you some good idea of how to make improvements and hopefully that will trickle down to improve your Quality Score.
Google Chrome Released
Google Chrome, its open source web browser, was launched on Tuesday. Google is a bit late to the browser wars, as some people suggest, but we polled the audience and 44% of you think that Google won't make any impact on the browser wars. From what I've been reading, Chrome is super fast, but that's all it really has going for it for now.
Already, though, we're seeing a large percentage of users using Chrome to surf web pages, but I'm going to assume that it's just the early adopters who will probably use Chrome and then go back to their preferred browser of choice. I may be wrong if Chrome gets consistently updated, but I'd love to hear your thoughts regardless.
Speaking of which, Barry thought of a clever title for the Google Chrome thread where we told people where to suggest their Google Chrome feedback. Of course, a lot of people who read blogs don't actually read beyond the title, so apparently that thread is more active than Google Groups where we actually tell people to go. After this weekend, I'm sure that post will have more than 100 comments. It's at 90 now. (People, learn to READ. That post isn't even long!)
Google's Image Filter Never Works
Google can't figure out the best medium for its image filter. When they tweak the algorithm for the image filter, either it lets in too much porn or not enough...oh wait. But sometimes it makes too much of an algorithm adjustment on the other end and legitimate non-pornographic images get filtered out too. I guess Google is finding image algorithms a lot more difficult since it's not text-based. In due time.
Yahoo Site Explorer Updates their Link Data
Earlier this week, Yahoo Site Explorer updated its internal data and a lot of webmasters are now seeing that the numbers of links reported by the tool is substantially lower than before. Is it temporary? We don't know yet. But since this happened in March, this is hardly the first time we've seen it.
Ask.com Flaunts its Google Image
Ask.com is showing Google ads and is happy to do so, even to the Firefox and Safari audience who is likely more technical savvy. At this point, I suppose that Firefox users don't mind the Google ads on Google's results, so why not try the same thing on Ask?
Your Private Domain Registration Won't Affect Your Search Rankings
Got your domain registration hidden behind WhoisGuard? That's okay -- it won't kill your Google rank. However, keep the information behind that screen up to date for ICANN. Also, if you're a public facing business, don't hide that information at all. It doesn't reflect well on your company.
We Ran a Few Polls this Week
In addition to the Google Chrome poll we ran this week, where 44% of you said that Google won't win the browser wars, we also asked if you should issue refunds to your clients for SEO services. So far, 75% of you do.
Would you start a new site after you get penalized? I think it'd be silly to do that, to be honest. That's why over 78% of you will clean up your site and request reinclusion. I hear that. It would be hard to create a new brand on another domain, yanno?
Canadian Exchange Rate Issue to be Resolved
If you live in Canada and use Google AdSense, you should note that Google is going to fix the issue with the exchange rate, so hopefully you'll see better payouts soon.
Check Your Rank Using WebPosition Gold
Google has addressed the problem with rank checking software and you can now use tools like WebPosition Gold to check your site rankings. Will that make all people happy? I know a previous commenter who thought rank checks are a waste of time, but I know others who will appreciate the fact that it works again.
Googlers and Yahooligans Work on Labor Day
That's the sense I get when I see no logo for Labor Day on either search engine. However, Dogpile and Live.com played along. Search Engine Roundtable did too, but most of us actually did work. :)
Have a great weekend!