This week in search we’ve got a super-sized round up of Internet happenings from Andrew Ganesh & Jeff Palmer including tricks to an effective Google search, Britney Spears on Google +, Foursquare check-ins on Black Friday, Google saying goodbye to products, how to optimize for search quality raters and Google teaming up with Mickey Mouse while Bing teams up with Rudolph.
Google+ is really starting to pick up in popularity. Up until recently, the top followed people on Google+ were tech celebrities like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Larry Page. But now there is a new champion in town…It’s Britney Bitch! Britney Spears overtook Larry Page this week as the most followed person on Google+. What does this mean? It means that Google+ is becoming more of a “normal” social network where your typical celebrities rule the top follower lists. In my mind, this is the first indication that a more general populous is growing on Google+, and not just the tech savvy, digital enthusiasts who have been using Google+ since day 1 of its launch. Google+ will only continue to grow exponentially as Google integrates it more and more into its search engine.
Foursquare recently released some impressive stats on Black Friday from 2010 (see below). Most check-ins occurred around 2pm while 58% of all check-ins that day were from malls, department, clothing and electronic stores. The department store “Target” received the most check-ins. The Internet has changed drastically from only a year ago, and as a search engine marketer, I am truly excited what the stats are going to be this year. With the explosion of mobile search this past year; are brands mobile ready? Customers are going to be searching products, prices, and the best deals, and if your company could be missing out on some serious sales.
It’s unclear whether or not search quality raters have a significant effect on Google’s algorithm, but is it possible to optimize for better ratings? Ratings seem to be based entirely on first impressions because 30-60 combinations of URLs and queries are evaluated per hour. Raters look at three things when evaluating a query’s relevance to an URL:
- Does the searcher have a specific intent (Do), are they looking for information (Know), or are they trying to get to a specific page (Go).
- Is the page vital, useful, relevant, slightly relevant, or off-topic/useless to the query?
- Should the page get a spam flag?
Miranda Miller, from Searchenginewatch.com states that “Anything you could possibly do to influence a human rater could be considered a best practice in SEO, anyway. Don’t kill yourself over this.”
Thanks to a study conducted by Illinois Wesleyan University it appears that the majority of people don’t understand how to use Google effectively. Fewer than 25% of students at the university lacked theability to perform a “reasonably well-executed search.”
Google is in the process of cleaning out some products that did not have a significant impact. This isn’t unusual for Google, since this is the 3rd announcement for shutting down unsuccessful products since September. This time around we can say goodbye to:
- Google Bookmark Lists
- Google Friend Contact
- Google Gears
- Google Search Timeline
- Google Wave
YouTube just landed Disney’s massive catalogue of movies and TV shows. YouTube’s less than 1 year old rental service may now have the brass to compete with Netflix and Amazon. Disney-Pixar and DreamWorks are also joining YouTube. This is a huge advantage over Netflix, which has deals with Disney, but mostly with television shows. Anyways, the standout piece of information here is that Pixar and Google now have ties. Steve Jobs wouldn’t be happy…
Bing teams up with characters from the classic Holiday special, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.