Tag Archives: Google

List of domains used by Google Search

Google LogoThe following is a list of domains used by Google for their search engine in different markets. It can be used to achieve better search engine reporting in Google Universal Analytics and other Web Analytics systems.

www.google.acAscension IslandAscension Island
www.google.aeUnited Arab Emiratesالامارات العربية الم
www.google.asAmerican SamoaAmerican Samoa
www.google.baBosnia and HerzegovinaBosna i Hercegovina
www.google.bfBurkina FasoBurkina Faso
www.google.bsBahamasThe Bahamas
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Worried that Google may know too much if you use Google Analytics? Relax. Google already has great data.

By Lotusblak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I spy with my little eye…

When Google Trends for Websites launched, Google Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik noted it (and Google Ad Planner) might have a searcher’s bias. If one accepts that this might have been the case in 2008, it is highly unlikely to be the case today, when one considers the multiple ways Google can track internet usage. The list which follows aims to illustrate this point. I put it together as a response to clients who were hesitant to use Google Analytics as for whatever reason, they were reluctant to let Google to know everything about the use of their websites.

The reality is that resistance is futile: through services like Google Search, the Google Tool Bar and the Google Public DNS, Google already knows a lot about most websites.


Between the Lines: Google’s March 2012 Search Algorithm Updates

If you try reading Google’s search updates, it might seem as if they’re speaking another language. Reading between the lines, here’s one quick interpretation as to what the main changes are:

  • Google will now support a limited set of characters besides letters and numbers in search queries and search suggestions. This is primarily driven, I suspect, by the introduction of Google+, but will be very useful for anyone who has tried to search for an email address including the @ sign.
  • Ranking of news articles may change in the main search results. News results may be more prominent.
  • Searches for names (vanity, reputation management) will return profiles from a greater number of sources (two-hundred social sites), especially if you’re a celebrity.
  • More Sports rich snippets, including the Russian Hockey League (Yandex anyone?)
  • Less porn when you’re not looking for it
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Pimp-up search engine results with Schema.org semantic markup – before your competitors do

SEO and Schema.org presentation at SMX München, 29 March 2012 (Photo: Jan Kutschera)

Note: this article is based on my SEO and Schema.org presentation at SMX München, 29 March 2012. It is also available in Italian and German.

For all too long search results have comprised 10 sad blue links together with a summary and an URL. Over time search engines began to display other types of objects, such as images and videos, in search results, but web document display remained neglected.

Now what if a search engine could display additional information from a web page to help a user better decide if a particular search result is the right one for them? Well actually, they can.


Invasion of the results snatchers: The Many Ways Google+ invades Google Search (and how to learn to love it)

SEO For Google+ & Google Search panel @ SMX West 2012
Figure 1: SEO For Google+ & Google Search panel @ SMX West 2012: Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land; Sean Carlos, Antezeta Web Marketing; Janet Driscoll Miller, Search Mojo; Daniel Dulitz, Google; Monica Wright, Search Engine Land & Marketing Land (Photo: SMX)

The article that follows is based on a speech I gave at the web marketing conference SMX West. Jump to the slides.

Since Google+ launched in the summer of 2011, Google+ has become increasingly integrated into Google Search. This integration, what some might term an invasion of Google Search by Google+, has significant implications for the promotion of people, products and services.

Let’s take a look at the current state of Google+ / Google Search integration to better understand both the opportunities, as well as the risks, this presents us as web marketers.

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Enhanced Google+ Social Badges now in Limited Test

Google+ Enhanced BadgeGoogle is beginning to make advanced social badges available which allow Google+ Page “owners” to promote their Google+ page on their website(s), hopefully not to the detriment of their own site(s).

Enhanced Google+ badges are part of a reciprocal link, required, at least on paper, for a site to appear as a Google Direct (i.e. for a query which starts with a plus, e.g. +Antezeta) result in the Google web search box. Google Direct appears to be limited to searches on Google.com for now, so don’t get your hopes up just yet if your site isn’t in English.

To configure enhanced badges join the Google+ Platform group. ONLY those associated with the platform will actually see the advanced badges on a website. Those who log out won’t see anything.

The standard g+ logo badges are already available and visible to everyone.

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Search engine support of rel=”” link attributes – cheat sheet

Readers with a cursory knowledge of SEO best practices are probably familiar with the rel=”nofollow” link attribute which tells search engines in essence that the site owner doesn’t vouch for the quality of an outgoing link, a link which was more than likely added by a site visitor. Perhaps even the rel=”canonical”, used to provide search engines with the definitive document URL for content reachable through multiple URLs, rings a bell. But what about rel=”author” used by Google’s authorship markup or rel=”next” for pagination?

Even seasoned SEO practitioners need a cheat sheet now and then to sort through some of the more arcane HTML markup used by search engines (our comprehensive meta tag listing may be helpful as well!).

The following table is a survey of rel= link attribute use by leading search engines. Let us know of any additions or corrections!

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Search engine visibility: one more reason to participate in social networks

The modern plazas online are arguably social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, Google+ and, particularly for those selling to other companies, LinkedIn. But before a company decides to dedicate time and resources to preside over social networks, not to mention the definition of necessary processes and metrics, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages worth assessing.

Social network pros and cons

The most evident disadvantage to social network participation are the predictable expenses, such as allocating people and investing in training to avoid getting off on the wrong foot. Social network participation will also require some changes to internal processes – such as integration of social media activity with sales and service departments, and the development of policies regarding the usage of social media by employees and associates. In assessing the benefits, there are the obvious ones, like increased customer visibility and an increase in virtual word of mouth promotion. There is also the opportunity to participate in discussions which are already happening about company products and services. Discussions taking place in the online plaza can be very useful not just to understand what is important to customers, but also to welcome suggestions from customers and potential customers. Another advantage to social media participation which is easy to overlook is the increased visibility it brings to a company and its products and services in search engines like Google and Bing.

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Google’s authorship rel=”author” markup: unfairly promoting Google+?

In June 2011 Google introduced a way for content authors to enhance the display of their articles in Google search results by associating a photo and an author byline to the result. The addition of author information in search results continues Google’s rich snippets implementation, a concept originally introduced by Yahoo as enhanced results.

In implementing authorship markup, Google said they’ve used existing standards such as the anchor and link tag attribute rel=”author” from HTML5 (in reality, rel="author" has actually been around for a while) and the XFN (XHTML Friends Network) defined attribute rel="me".

Google search result with author photo and link
Figure 1: A Google search result with authorship markup; this case includes Google+ follower count


Google+ data liberation: a promise not yet fulfilled

Ever notice how MS Office can import umpteen different document formats but export options are pretty much limited to Microsoft formats (by the way, rtf is a Microsoft format)? This is by design. Smart companies have realized that data is an asset, to use strategically, including as a barrier to keep customers from jumping to the competition.

Why data portability does really matter

The ability to transfer data from one application to another, data portability, is becoming an issue for users on the social web as they try to find the social and business contacts they cultivated on one social site on other social websites. Contacts accumulated in Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and similar sites don’t happen by chance. They’re the fruit of socializing with friends and professional networking over time: activity such as photographing the moment, speaking at conferences, contributing at barcamps, and, why not, just being simpatico. Activities people do, not Facebook, not LinkedIn, not Google+. A social website is just a container, albeit a significant container. If a user has worked hard to fill the container, they should be able to transfer their contents, at will. That includes priceless contact information which has been shared with them. The user shouldn’t be locked into the container.

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