Google Now Shows LINKS, Adwords Ads in Search Suggestion Dropdown!

Just stumbled on this today –

Apparently Google is including actual hyperlinks for SOME websites – directly in the search suggestion box on Google’s homepage. I’ve included some screenshots to show how it appears, in case you’re not seeing it when you search.

I started looking for a cosmetic dentist, when lo and behold....

I started looking for a cosmetic dentist, when lo and behold....

I wonder how much this is costing these advertisers…

Of course CNN should have a link. Not like Google doesn't already love them.

Of course CNN should have a link. Not like Google doesn't already love them.

I wonder if they’ll give a link to Fox as well  –

guess that answers that. Maybe they're not paying enough, or anything at all.

guess that answers that. Maybe they're not paying enough, or anything at all.

But wait, it doesn’t stop there- they’re even shoving in adwords ads.

Because there's just not enough places to cram a text ad already.

Because there's just not enough places to cram a text ad already.

For now, it looks like it’s only happening with big budget advertisers, and only on their brand names, but I didn’t really spend a lot of time researching – so I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.  If you know anything about this rolling out for everyone, please let me know too!

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How Twitter is Killing Blog Authority

twitter_blogThere’s been a building consensus that twitter (and microblogging in general) has caused many in the blogging community to forego the long form prose and spit out content in short tweets instead. I certainly have seen evidence of this – especially since the beginnning of 2009 when Twitter went main stream.  Sure, the big bloggers are still blogging – just not as much.  

Unfortunately, it appears all the tweeting is causing the link authority from blogs to slowly decrease, or at least that’s Technorati‘s spin on things. And I can’t say that I completely disagree. 

They argue, with some pretty revealing stats, that the number of inbound links to Engadget from external blogs has decreased by half during the last 6 months.  This isn’t to say that those bloggers aren’t still pointing links to them, just that they’re not doing it from their blogs anymore – instead using url shortening services like tinyurl, etc.. from within Twitter. It’s simply a matter of time before the authority of that linked to site starts to fade in Google’s eyes because new links aren’t appearing. Maybe it’s time for Google to rethink the whole pageRank thing,……yeah.right.

Does this mean we should stop blogging? I don’t think so – I actually quite enjoy a lengthy post from time to time. The problem is that as of today Google and the other search engines haven’t begun to put any authority to the links or content providers on the micro blogging platforms. The main issues being the fact that all the links are no-followed, and difficult to track in analytics due to external url shortening services, although there are some link shortening options that do work.

Give it some time, though. Even Matt Cutts has stated that Google may selectively follow “no-follow” links if they feel they provide merit. For now, just keep plugging along – and if you’re not on twitter – what the heck are you waiting for!?

How to Lose $100,000.00 for Critizing Google

What’s that saying? Oh yeah-

“Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”

Don't Give them Money...or Else We'll Lower your PageRank

Don't Give them Money...or Else We'll Lower your PageRank

Apparently, our “do no evil” company (Google), is turning to the dark side with the recent revelation that Bob Boorstin, Google’s director of policy communications, sent an email to a charity group (Rose Foundation) asking them not to donate funds to Consumer Watchdog, a patient’s rights advocacy organization that had accused Google last month of lobbying Congress for the right to sell patient’s medical records. Boorstin asked the Rose Foundation in the email to “consider whether there might be better groups in which to place your trust and resources.

The Center for Digital Democracy chimed in on this as well, with executive director Jeff Chester stating-
Google’s letter sends a strong message to the foundation world that they shouldn’t support groups that question the company.”

Associate director Lillie Coney of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said she was “speechless” that Google would attempt to cut off a group’s funding. Um…yeah, no kidding.

This came to light when the Rose foundation replied to Boorstin’s request (demand, threat, whatever…) and CC’ed Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court, who publicized it earlier this week. Boorstin (who worked as Clinton’s national security speechwriter, and was once a reporter for the New York Times) gave a half hearted apology for sending the email, prefaced with a long-winded comment about how Consumer Watchdog’s allegations are baseless and were only thrown out there to attract media attention. Google vehemently denied the claim on their corporate policy blog.

Hmmm….so Google’s brilliant solution was to strong arm or coerce a charity organization?!

I thought it would be interesting to see what else Boorstin has said in the past that may give us insight into how his mind works, and I came across this-a discussion from Bob about the effects of the internet on politics. Here’s just a FEW snippets of what he said, from June 2008:

  • Internet means that anyone is free to publish the truth as they see it.

  • The Internet offers new ways to break the monopoly on information…..faster and easier now to catch both politicians and governments when they make mistakes or try to cover things up – and hold them accountable.

  • Users of the Internet – are not shy. Now about 113 million blogs. (wonder how many of those will be mentioning you this week.)
  • The Internet has helped create new political voices and networks –Nowhere more clear than in the United States with the Obama campaign – fundraising, volunteers, and dissemination of message.

  • trend – the Internet has created the potential for a fundamental shift in power.

  • trend – one of the biggest impacts of the growth of the Internet is a loss of control among traditional institutions of power.

  • and in the “Freedom of Expression as a Security Issue” workshop held in Paris at the UN Internet Governance Forum, November 2007 – Boorstin “stressed that his company always tries to maximize freedom of expression for all users…”

….except those that criticize us.(i said that.)
Read more about the story here: Publications Google Tries To Kibosh Funding Of Critic 02/25/2009

Evidence that Spamming Google Improves Ranking

Normally I would be hesitant to write anything too negative about the big G, but I think they deserve it on this one.

Anyone who does search engine optimization is well aware that Google is NOT that fond of SEOs. Understandably so, as there are those out there that do whatever they think they have to in order to achieve 1st page rankings-keyword stuffing, link farms, forum spamming, cloaking, page scrapers, etc…..

That’s fine, Google. I have NO issues at all with that, in fact I’ve reported some who have done it.

But I DO have a problem with Google not being able to keep it’s OWN HOUSE CLEAN. Take a look at the search engine results below-just a cursory check to see who pops up for “tampa seo firm”. (yes, I know you can’t trust rankings anymore, blah blah…that’s not the point here.)

hmmm? a listing from groups.google?

hmmm? a listing from groups.google?

I know it’s hard to read – sorry- Lets take a closer look….

Wow. THIS beat out the dozens of other competing sites?

Wow. THIS beat out the dozens of other competing sites?

Interesting for sure, but not really a reason to get ticked off. Yet. Let’s see where it goes

THIS is a relevant search engine result? Cmon!

THIS is a relevant search engine result? Cmon!

…but wait-it gets even better! Check out their profile!

Of all the places to spam....

Of all the places to spam....

Oh yeah158 spam messages in 156 groups on groups.google – in one month. Apparently, this is a pretty common (and apparently effective) practice- I spent half an hour flipping around through different groups-packed with spam everywhere I went.

So here’s my REAL problem. Google wants to remove the value of anchor text pointing to our home page from other sites, even if it’s accurate and not overdone, they want to remove the value of links in forums and social sites. But we can SPAM THE HELL out of Google INSIDE their own house and get rewarded for it? Screw you Google.

Want more proof? Here’s another one for you-it took me all of about 2 seconds to find it.

Check out this link to the Search Engine Results for outsourcing SEO services- look who’s # 1.

Grabbed a snapshot just in case...

Grabbed a snapshot just in case...

..and let’s check google groups, shall we?

Well, what dya know...

Well, what dya know...

-pay close attention to the date. JUNE 2008. It’s not just an issue of Google not catching them yet-If I can find them in 5 minutes, why the heck can’t GOOGLE find them in 6 months?! Oh yeah, probably because they’re too busy going after LEGITIMATE SEO COMPANIES.

I found dozens more, some with a PR of 3+ that were engaged in this tactic.

Sorry for the rant, but it’s getting really, really old being told what you can’t do when the real jerks are walking away scott free.

Did Google Suckerpunch YOUR WordPress Blog?

Thanks, Google.

Well, it seems that free blog hosting isn’t what it used to be. At least not if you’re doing internet marketing or SEO and you’re on WordPress.

Caveat– This may or may not affect those of you who have several years of posts, but I definitely took a hit.

If you’re interested in reading more about this recent pagerank update from google and the different ways they treated SEO type blogs in WordPress as opposed to Blogspot, you can check it out here – at THIS AWESOME TUMBLELOG.

If you noticed anything odd with YOUR WordPress ranking recently, I’d love to know. Thanks!