Category Archives: Search Engines
Keyword information from search referrers is in particular very important as we want to know not only where our visitors came from, but what was their intent, intent indicated though the keywords they use to express their need or desire while searching.
It was bound to happen. In an economic climate of belt tightening, Microsoft has finally done the unthinkable. First there were those 5,000 layoffs. Then there was the abandonment of adCenter Analytics, Microsoft’s web analytics solution. Yesterday Microsoft announced it was discontinuing Encarta, tacit acknowledgment that it has been trumped by Wikipedia.
So perhaps I should have seen the writing on the wall. Yet today’s announcement that Microsoft is abandoning it’s Live Search took me by surprise. Is Yahoo! next? Will we soon be looking at a Google only world?
This SMX West 2009 session looks at how internet users interact with search engines and how that might influence search engine interface design and our SEO efforts.
Moderator: Gordon Hotchkiss, President and CEO, Enquiro
- Larry Cornett (@cornett), VP, Consumer Products, Yahoo!
- Gordon Hotchkiss (@outofmygord), President, Enquiro
- Ramez Naam, Group Program Manager – Live Search, Microsoft
- Jenni Tafoya, Vice President, comScore, Inc.
Some statistics to consider
Jenni Tafoya introduces comScore; notes they have a world-wide panel of 2 million people (as far as I know, no third party audit of their claims or methodology is available – Sean).
Jenni says U.S. search activity on engines and sites is up 38% – people are doing more searches and more people are online.
Search engine growth is driven by organic (SEO) clicks.
Passing through the Frankfurt Airport on my way from Milan to SMX West, I couldn’t help but notice the front page of Germany’s weekly newspaper, Die Zeit (The Time).
Google. Der Spion, den wir lieben.
Google weiß alles. Der Internetgigant aus Kalifornien macht uns das Leben leicht. Zugleich aber folgt er uns im Netz auf Schritt und Tritt – nun auch über das Google-Handy. (Die Zeit, 5. Februar 2009)
The image, inspired by 007, says:
Google. The spy we love.
Google knows everything. The California Internet giant makes life easy. Yet at the same time Google follows our every step on the net – now through the Google cell phone as well.
Germany, with its difficult 20th century history of Nazism and a Russian/German brand of Communism, is very sensitive to the risks associated with a “big brother” watching over us. Yet as the article points out, most people are willing to accept Google’s knowing our every movement to the extent that Google unobtrusively makes our life easier.
Several Italian SEO practitioners have noted seeing Google search results with snippets about double the normal length1.
Google’s query result snippet (the result summary or description) is usually around 150 characters or so. It may be the contents of a page’s html meta description tag, especially if the tag contains the search keywords, or an abstract created by Google from the page’s content.
I hadn’t seen this behavior in English language Google results until I made a very specific search where I used more than the typical 2 or 3 keywords seasoned searchers type. Searching for google feedburner mybrand server not found (no, Google’s feedburner migration did not go smoothly) I noticed that the 4th and successive results had super long descriptions – around 300 characters or so: