Google 'Enhances' Ad Sitelinks, Google Health Queries Get Smarter, There's More Good News For Mobile Advertising, & More

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This Week’s Industry Update

Compiled By Rocket Clicks

Google Ad Sitelinks On Steroids

Google recently activated an “Enhanced Sitelinks” feature in AdWords, which essentially mimics their organic version of enhanced sitelinks. Google justified the update by claiming clickthrough rates are 30% higher for ads with the original sitelinks. In order to use the feature, your ad has to show up above the organic results and must include active ads similar to your campaign’s sitelinks.

Google AdWords Sitelinks

Source: Google Inside AdWords Blog

Mobile Search Report Yields Good News For Call Drivers

According to xAd, a local-mobile ad network, 52% of local-mobile search clicks result in a call to that business. Most local-mobile searches involve restaurants, gas stations, and shopping. The report also compares local search vs. local display advertising, demonstrating very different intention and interaction trends among users based on these actions. Source: Search Engine Land

Microsoft Sends Google A Valentine’s Day Gift: Malware Classification For Four Hours

An awry software update on Valentine’s Day left many Internet Explorer users unable to access Google for a few hours. Microsoft’s anti-virus software flagged Google as malware for four hours, and since it’s the most popular search engine/website in the world, you can imagine the damage caused by Hurricane Outrage as it swept across the Internet. Source: Search Engine Watch

INFOGRAPHIC: Men, Students Enjoy Google+ The Most

Males (67%), students (20%), and software engineers (2.65%) comprise the majority of Google+_ users, and India appears to be the most Plus-engaged country (Three of the top 10 cities using Google+ are located in India). This infographic breaks down other various demographical features of the typical Google+ user. Source: Mashable

Google Streamlines Health Related Search Results

Hypochondriacs rejoice! Dr. Google is here to make your symptom/illness search diagnosis quicker and easier. Google determined that people often search for illness symptoms, then conduct a new search for illnesses related to those symptoms. Instead of searching twice, Google has squeezed the process into one search that includes symptoms, as well as related health conditions.

Google Health search

Source: Search Engine Land

Google’s First Employee Resigns

Craig Silverstein, Google’s first-ever employee, resigns to work at Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organization. His initial strength as the ‘first-hire’ was his ability to compress all links to run faster. A Star Trek lover, he one day hopes Google will reach the same level of intuitive intelligence as the Star Trek Computer. Source: Search Engine Watch

Google’s Cookie Bug Has Been Squished

Google recently fixed a bug that was requiring some Firefox users to accept cookies before using the search engine. Google also reiterated they do not plan on requiring users to enable cookies in order to use their services. Source: Search Engine Land

Chinese Workers Receive 1.6% Of Every iPad 2 Sale

A report has unearthed a fairly startling, yet unsurprising, fact: For every $499 iPad 2 sold, the product’s Chinese builder receives $8 of pay. Apple, by comparison, pockets $150 in profit off each device. Perhaps more startling is that the factories producing iPads (Foxconn) pay their workers above average salaries compared to the rest of China. Just remember this story the next time your iPad lags. Source: Mashable

Twitter Takes Your iPhone Contacts … With Your Permission, Of Course

Congratulations, you just bought an iPhone! You want to use the awesome “Find Friends” Twitter app, so you allow the social network to crawl your phone looking for contacts that are already tweeting. Congratulations, now all of your address book names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses are saved in Twitter’s database for 18 months! While this service requires consent from the user, Twitter omitted the explicit details of the practice from their privacy policy until recently. You can erase your contacts from Twitter’s database on its desktop-compatible website, but that’s probably too much work. Source: Mashable

The Next Generation Of Facebook Sponsored Stories

In conjunction with Facebook’s January release of brand apps accompanied by “want” and “own” actions, Facebook is testing the next wave of Sponsored Stories among select advertisers. These ads are geared towards these action verbs, and will be monitored to see how users respond to the change. Source: Search Engine Watch

DuckDuckGo ‘Quacks’ The Million Person Search Mark

DuckDuckGo has reached the one million daily search milestone, and should celebrate accordingly. Compared to Google, and even Bing, that number may not seem very high. However, DuckDuckGo hit just 175,914 on February 13, 2011, and 211,669 on Valentine’s Day a year ago, so their growth to one million per day should be commended. Source: Search Engine Watch

Here Are Some Recent Google-Bought Domains…

Google is purchasing domains related to their Screenwise, AdWords, and Labs projects. These include: GoogleWebLab.com, ChromeWebLab.com, screenwisemedia.com, screenwisefuture.com, adwordscommunity.com, adwords-communities.com, communitiesadwords.com, and many more. This is the point where we all slap ourselves for not having the foresight to buy these domains two months ago. Source: Search Engine Land

ClickEquations Is Now A Part Of Acquisio

A strong partnership was recently forged in the e-commerce world, as Acquisio has acquired ClickEquations and formed an alliance with Channel Intelligence. Acquisio plans to incorporate ClickEquations’ seamlessly into its reporting engine and overall platform, and the partnership between CI and Acquisio makes it easier for both companies to compete against other PPC bid management systems from Marin Software and Kenshoo. Source: Search Engine Watch

The Texas Patent Troll Has Been Removed From Under Its Bridge

Michael Doyle has picked a fight with web companies frequently for the past decade, claiming his company, Eolas Technologies, had patent rights to anything on the web that was “interactive.” This would’ve entitled Doyle to royalties on pretty much everything anyone uses on the Internet, since he basically claimed he owned the <embed> tag, among other things. Last Thursday, a federal jury in East Texas ruled that Doyle’s technology ownership claims were invalid, thereby canceling his upcoming trial for copyright infringement and damages against Google, Yahoo and other companies with gobs of money. Source: Wired Epicenter

Notable Commentary

Staying Neutral In The Patent Wars

Temper Expectations With AdWords-Based Keyword Research

The Google AdWords Keyword Research tool has been a go-to program for SEOs in need of a keyword data fix. However, Rand Fishkin cautions against putting too much weight behind AdWords findings. He exposes a flaw in the system that allows quality keywords to fall through the “suggested” cracks unless you manually enter them into the tool’s query box. Analysis By: Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

Wikipedia Is Not The Google 99%

When a recent Intelligent Positioning study revealed that Wikipedia shows up in 99% of Google UK searches, the SEO world got talking. However, Matt McGee argues the findings are inflated because average user queries are longer than the ones used in the study, and since Wikipedia is a catalog of nouns, Intelligent Positioning was playing right into their hands by searching only for simple nouns. Analysis By: Matt McGee, Search Engine Land

Big Data Is In Big Demand

We live in an age where everything in business is measureable down to the amount of sand on the world’s beaches, why they got there, and how to improve their feeling under your feet. The New York Times has a fascinating article exploring the high demand for data experts, and what it means for the economy and job market at large. Analysis By: Steve Lohr, New York Time

A Common Link Building Question Gets An Answer

Eric Ward provides an answer to the ever-present question, “How long does it take for new links to impact my site’s rankings?” Like every similar, open-ended SEO question, he starts with “It depends,” before diving deeper into a wide range of Google-related explanations for quick or lagging link impacts. Analysis By: Eric Ward, Search Engine Land

Inside The Creation Of Google’s Blended Search Results

Videos, News, and Images have been a mainstay on Google’s main search results page for a while now, but it’s been unclear how Google determines these sections are relevant to basic organic searches. Bill Slawski delves into a recent patent from Google that helps explain some of factors that decide when to blend search results together. Analysis By: Bill Slawski, SEO By The Sea

Wading Through A Saturation Of Opinions On Website Structure, Internal Links

Website architecture and internal linking are two issues SEOs often discuss, but rarely finish in unanimous agreement. Tom Schmitz provides a good architectural blueprint for website linking and navigation, while interpreting Google and Bing’s stated definition of a “quality” site structure. Analysis By: Tom Schmitz, Search Engine Land

Six Examples Of Businesses Doing Google+ Right

Kaila Strong provides a six pack of great social media initiatives undertaken by businesses on Google+. She also gives insight into how these successes are transferrable to businesses looking for a social media edge in their industry. Analysis By: Kaila Strong, Search Engine Watch

Dispatches From Ian Lurie’s SPYworld Experiment

Around 30 days ago, Ian Lurie announced a research experiment centered on the traffic impact of the Google Search Plus Your World changes to Google’s SERPs. It’s fairly early on in the experiment, but it’s interesting to read how fellow SEOs are reacting to the change and how it has quantitatively influenced their businesses. Analysis By: Ian Lurie, Conversation Marketing

The Wishful Web Crawler

Ian Lurie lists the requirements for his $6 million perfect site crawler, and explains the concept in a simple enough fashion for people unfamiliar with the workings of web crawlers. We can build it. We have the technology. Analysis By: Ian Lurie, Search News Central

Guest Post Experiments, Complete With Actual Data

There are many theories about demographic, job title, timing, and personalized influences on whether a guest blog post is picked up or left to die in a Gmail trash bin. Utilizing 400 guest post submissions compiled over a three month timeframe, James Gate at SEOmoz tests many of these conjectures and offers some conclusive, and some debatable, answers to these theories. Analysis By: James Gate, SEOmoz

Yellow Pages Are Not Long For This World

Yellow Pages and other companies like it need to keep up with the constantly morphing nature of the Internet if they want to survive. Nick Stamoulis says companies that fail to address the ever-changing marketplace will be left behind. Analysis By: Nick Stamoulis

(INFOGRAPHIC) Amazon Prime-Free Shipping Works

With enough dough to buy everyone in the U.S. a Kindle and still have some left over, Amazon has more online web sales than all of its competitors put together. Thanks to the introduction of Amazon Prime in 2005, 75% more customers have purchased more free shipping when offered to them. Analysis By: Melissa Fach, Search Engine Journal

Pinterest As A Business Source

Sean Weinberg would be a big advocate of RocketClicks’ new ‘Get Pinterested’ project. He preaches that Pinterest is the most complementary social media site as it grooves easily with Facebook and Twitter and makes information exchange easy. Weinberg says Pinterest is more than cute puppy photos, artsy crafts, and beautiful wedding photos; Pinterest is becoming a new hub for business. Analysis By: Sean Weinberg, Mashable

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