Weekly SearchBuzz RoundUp: December 19, 2008 - Google's Enhancements, Yahoo's Data Retention & YouTube on Google Maps

Dec 19, 2008 - 10:30 am 1 by

search-buzz-roundup.gifIt's almost the holidays! PARTAY! But until then, I have a recap for ya without any special frills. This week, we have some reports from SES Chicago, some news from Google, Yahoo's 90 day data retention policy, and then some. Keep reading for more.

Blackhats = Whitehats After SES Chicago last week, Doug Heil is starting to see more like a black hat (or so he's changed his vision from 4 years ago when he may have thought differently about buying paid organic links). Today, he calls that paid advertising. He also considers some very well known blackhats in this industry "whitehat." Are the lines blurring? Maybe with the big players, we suspect, but there are definitely other blackhats out there who will practice until they realize that their strategies are not going to last.

Microsoft Live Search Update There's really nothing to see here, but there was a Live search update that let a lot of spam on the top of the SERPs. This is why Microsoft isn't really getting that search share it wants, I suppose.

Google's Enhancements Google will soon be sporting page enhancements, such a pagelinks (contrary to sitelinks, they link to your internal anchor text on one single page), reviews, and spelling correction (misspelled options plus the rightly-spelled option). Perhaps more worrisome is the fact that Google wants to add ads to Search Suggest. Ugh.

On the other hand, we're still wondering about the post counts we see in the SERPs and how inaccurate they seem. JohnMu, we're counting on you to help us figure this out.

Finally, some sitelink URLs are cut off and some people want to know why. In these particular instances, it seems to be related to a period in anchor text (or title tag). Apparently Google thinks that's the end of a sentence even though it refers to ASP.NET or VB.NET. Whoops.

Watch Your Videos on Google Maps Cool stuff for videophiles: find more about a specific geographic region using Google Maps now via YouTube. You can now get a lot more information about a specific region with Google Maps's integration of YouTube. Search for something famous and look at what Google/YouTube offer you. Cool stuff.

[On a separate note, yesterday I realized that YouTube gets way too much attention and Google property GrandCentral is languishing. How about Google think about these other awesome properties that really can have potential? Or maybe Google can let someone who wants to invest their time in the property take the reigns on it instead. Please?]

Yahoo's 90 Day Data Retention Plan Yahoo has decided to retain data for 90 days which is way shorter than other search engines. This will put pressure on Google, perhaps, but I don't think people will switch to any specific search engine for a data retention reason. Surprisingly, nobody is buzzing about it like they were last year.

Google AdWords Editor 7.0 Google took advantage of a holiday month to release AdWords Editor 7.0 but it doesn't come without bugs. That might be why nobody is really talking about the new release -- 6.5's release was announced, a lot of people downloaded it, and it was also laden with major bugs.

Google AdSense Not Faring Well Lately There are two negative reports about Google AdSense lately. The first is that Google AdSense is targeting the wrong ads to sites -- including children's sites -- and people are pulling out of the program. The second is that the Google AdSense team is supposedly sending out holiday cards that look no more fishy than spam. Nobody wants to even come close to the emails. I'm not sure what's happening there but Google's desire not to embrace publishers because they appear to need money is starting to upset people a lot.

Cuil is Not Comment Spamming Cuil says that they are not spamming your blog comments but some people believe that they may have hired someone to do their dirty work. In fact, why would anyone go such lengths to make the search engine look so bad (unless, of course, they WERE hired?) I don't know, but something smells fishy.

Does the ALT Attribute Improve Search Rankings? YES We polled you and you said that the ALT attribute improves rankings. Well, 20% of you didn't agree with that, but the rest of you did. I'd love to know if either side has empirical evidence for backup.

That's all. So much for holiday cheer this week. Maybe next week. :)


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