Google Webmaster Tools Modifies Some Features, Google Nabs IBM Patents, & More

This Week’s Industry Update

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Webmaster Tools Alters Process For Submitting URLs And Changes Spam Reporting

Google Webmaster Tools underwent a couple big changes over the past week, including a new way to submit URLs and a very different way to report spam. You can now publicly submit any URL without a verification of ownership requirement, and the Fetch as Googlebot feature helps you to understand if there are any crawl issues with any URL on your site.

Webmaster Tools spam

Google’s new spam reporting feature is much more specific and is broken down into multiple different categories. You can report on paid links and still report general spam issues, but the detailed requests allow Google to more easily determine if the spam complaint is valid.

Source: Search Engine Land; Search Engine Land

Google Chrome 13 Launches, Increases Brand Loyalty

Chrome 13 was recently unveiled to the public, and it features Instant Pages that pre-load your expected website, a “print preview” for Windows and Linux users, and an improved Omnibar that allows you to access previously visited sites quicker. With every update, Chrome has increased its browser market share and built brand loyalty to Google’s search engine as well as the browser.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Nabs Multiple Patents From IBM

More shots were fired in the Google-Apple patent wars this week, as Google collected over 1,000 IBM patents in anticipation of potential future lawsuits. Most of the patents are search engine and software-related, which is no surprise, but there were a few that piqued people’s interests into what Google might be up to in the mobile world.

Source: Talk Android

Google Gets In On The Dealmap

The Dealmap, a local deals aggregation service, was launched in May 2010, and will soon be adding many more users than their current total of over 2 million. Google has bought The Dealmap, which means that they’ll become a household name within the next year.

Source: Forbes

Google + Grows To 25 Million Strong, Increased Usage

Google + has grown faster than any other social network in the history of the Internet, just recently hit 25 million users. However, a recent report from Experian Hitwise suggests Google + usage has declined, but comScore disputes those findings with their own report showing Google + users have spent 50% more time on the social network in a week’s span.

Source: Mashable

Wired Goes All Investigative Journalist On KISSmetrics, Browser/IQ Study

A July 29 Wired article exposed an undeletable cookie used by the online tracking startup KISSmetrics. Over this past weekend, KISSmetrics subtly changed course on its methods, which was a contrasting response to their original rebuttal claiming the practice was legal. Apparently being dropped by major clients such as Spotify and Hulu, as well as answering the Feds’ knock at their door, persuaded the KISSmetrics team to change its policy.

Wired also has a solid breakdown of what made the recently debunked study relating IQ level to browser use a hoax. Quite a few reputable news organizations and websites were duped by the fake study, which isn’t very surprising considering the age of instant updates that we live in.

Source: Wired

Technology That Recognizes Your Face Can Also Expose Your Social Security Number

Facial recognition technology could reveal your Social Security number, according to a recent study from Alessandro Acquisti, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. The study relied on three separate experiments, the spookiest of which exposed Social Security numbers and other personal information about someone simply by starting with a photograph. If you’ve ever considered becoming a plastic surgeon specializing in facial reconstruction, now would be the time to start studying.

Source: Phsyorg.com

Notable Commentary

That’s Totally Bunk

Eight Theories On How Landing Page Design Murders Click-Through Rates

The correlation between a solid landing page and an optimized click-through rate is strong, and Unbounce offers eight common ways that a landing page can kill CTR.

Analysis By: Jen Gordon, Unbounce

Google And Total Domination

James Gleick systemically breaks down how Google dominates our daily lives and influences our social interactions. It’s especially interesting to read his take on how much Google is mentioned incorrectly nearly every day.

Analysis By: James Gleick, The New York Review Of Books

Ian Lurie Justifiably Rants About Wall Street Journal And Subdomain Importance

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article detailing how a website was spared during the Google Panda update because they relied on multiple subdomains. For anyone familiar with SEO, this was obviously important even before Panda, but Ian Lurie entertains us by going off in classic Ian Lurie fashion on the Journal’s unqualified analysis.

Analysis By: Ian Lurie, Conversation Marketing

More Detailed Contracts Equal More Skepticism

The more details a contract tries to enforce, the less likely there is to be trust between the two parties, which is in turn paired with quality of performance.

Analysis By: Roger Dooley, Neuroscience Marketing

A Trifecta Of Strategies For Local Search Reviews

Local search optimization has changed frequently, thanks to Google’s regular focus on improving this feature for the increasing number of users interested in localized results. Search Engine Journal discusses three pillars in local search reviews that can withstand any Google updates.

Analysis By: Mike Ramsey, Search Engine Journal

Do Passion And Authenticity Influence Google’s Search Rankings?

Rand Fishkin lays out his theory that Google’s algorithm has a way of targeting and rewarding great content that may not be optimized for search engines from a technical standpoint.

Analysis By: Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

Microsoft Needs To Stick With Bing

Google may continue to dominate the search engine world in terms of market share, but Bing has come a long way since its roll out two years ago (doubling its search share from 7.2 to 14.4 percent over that time span). Despite its parent division’s lack of profits from the second most used search engine in the U.S., Tim Carmody explains why Microsoft should like Bing enough to put a ring on it.

Analysis By: Tim Carmody, Wired

Google And Apple Shouldn’t Be Enemies

It’s assumed that Google and Apple are major rivals, given their place as the two most successful and visible tech companies in the industry. However, both companies have different goals and draw their revenue from different product types. Mike Elgan lays out the argument that Google and Apple shouldn’t be the Joker to the other’s Batman, and rather could be walking on a beach skipping together, hand-in-hand.

Analysis By: Mike Elgan, Cult Of Mac

Replicate Google’s Panda Questionnaire To Improve Site Quality

What Will Critchlow has done here is just brilliant. This is an extremely worthwhile 10 minutes of your time for not just the best use of Mechanical Turk that we’ve seen in a while, but an excellent persuasion tool as well.

Analysis By: Casey Henry, SEOmoz

Google + Policies Change Amid Criticism

Wired offers insight into why Google + was resistant to changing their “Real Names Only” policy and the privacy issues with this requirement. Basically, a real name allows Google to connect your information with advertisers, and Google + is the social network most likely to blur the line allowing people to simply build a connection instead of become just a targeted customer.

Analysis By: Tim Carmody, Wired

Why Simple Passwords Can Be More Secure Than Random Numbers And Letters

Vivek Girotra explains why a password like “This Is Fun” can be much more secure than “4H5F2.” Of course, “This Is Fun” probably isn’t safe anymore, but you get the point.

Analysis By: Vivek Girotra

I, Robot

The Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan has built a robot capable of using its own reasoning to complete a given task or assignment. We’re one step closer to a Will Smith/Keanu Reeves/Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster becoming reality.

Analysis By: Katie Scott, Wired UK

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