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Google’s mobilegeddon for non responsive websites

April 20, 2015 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Google, Mobile Marketing, mobile phones, Search Clinic, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, search engines, SEO, smart phones, Uncategorized

Google is launching “mobilegeddon” by making changes to the way its search engines ranks websites.

Google’s mobilegeddon for non responsive websitesGoogle regularly changes its algorithms as it battles with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) specialists who try to understand the system on behalf of their clients and ongoing technical changes.

But this is a big change – dubbed “mobilegeddon”- which is designed to prioritise websites that are optimised for the mobile internet.

Google gave plenty of warning, telling developers about the change in a blog post in February and providing a simple tool to check whether sites were mobile friendly.

The search firm is trying to reassure website owners that this won’t be an earthquake which turns their businesses upside down but quite a subtle evolution.

But SEO specialists say this looks like the biggest change since 2011 – and for some that will unearth some unpleasant memories.

For any online retailer, appearing on page one of Google’s search results can make all the difference between a profitable business and one heading for the scrapyard

Google’s move to make mobile capabilities more important in search rankings seems eminently sensible as our smart phones and tablets become the key route to finding goods and services online.

But over the next few weeks we can expect cries of pain from those whom the all powerful search algorithm has deemed less worthy.

And, coming just days after the European Commission accused Google of abusing its dominance, it will be another illustration of just how important a role the Californian company plays in every corner of the global economy.

So if you need help with optimising my website then please contact us now either by clicking the contact us button or ring us 01242 521967:contact search clinic

Yahoo reports quarterly revenues increase

January 28, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Dr Search, internet, Search Clinic, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Results, search engines, Social Media, Uncategorized, Yahoo

Yahoo has reported fourth quarter revenues of £860 million in the fourth quarter, up nearly 2% on the same time a year before.Yahoo reports quarterly revenues increaseA one off accounting charge meant that the fourth quarter net income was £174 million, down by 8% compared to £189 million in the same period 12 months earlier.

In trading in New York the shares in the company gained 4.5%.

About 700 million web surfers visit its website every month, ranking it among the top three in the global industry.

However, it shed more than 1,000 jobs during 2012, and has long been divided over whether it should focus on media content or on tools and technologies.

Chief executive Marissa Mayer was brought in last July from Google to turn the company round, and the latest financial figures are the first full quarter’s under her leadership.

Ms Mayer has been focusing on building better mobile and social networking services.

She said that during the quarter Yahoo made progress “by growing our executive team, signing key partnerships including those with NBC Sports and CBS Television and launching terrific mobile experiences for Yahoo Mail and Flickr”.

Yahoo hired the former Google executive on a pay package of $58 million ( £37 million) which Dr Search thinks is nice work if you can get it.

Facebook announces Graph Search- a social search tools for users

January 11, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Dr Search, Facebook, internet, Search Clinic, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Results, search engines, Social Media, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Facebook has announced a major addition to its social network – a smart search engine it has called Graph Search.Facebook announces Graph Search- a social search tools for usersThe feature allows users to make “natural” searches of content shared by their friends.

Search terms could include phrases such as “friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter”.

Founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg insisted it was not a web search, and therefore not a direct challenge to Google- however, it was integrating Microsoft’s Bing search engine for situations when graph search itself could not find answers.

Mr Zuckerberg said he “did not expect” people to start flocking to Facebook to do web search.

“That isn’t the intent,” he said. “But in the event you can’t find what you’re looking for, it’s really nice to have this.”

Earlier speculation had suggested that the world’s biggest social network was about to make a long anticipated foray into Google’s search territory.

“We’re not indexing the web,” explained Mr Zuckerberg at an event at Facebook’s headquarters in California.

“We’re indexing our map of the graph – the graph is really big and its constantly changing.”

In Facebook’s terms, the social graph is the name given to the collective pool of information shared between friends that are connected via the site.

It includes things such as photos, status updates, location data as well as the things they have “liked”.

Until now, Facebook’s search had been highly criticised for being limited and ineffective.

The company’s revamped search was demonstrated to be significantly more powerful. In one demo, Facebook developer Tom Stocky showed a search for queries such as “friends of friends who are single in San Francisco”.

The same technology could be used for recruitment, he suggested, using graph search to find people who fit criteria for certain jobs – as well as mutual connections.

Such queries are a key function of LinkedIn, the current dominant network for establishing professional connections.

“We look at Facebook as a big social database,” said Mr Zuckerberg, adding that social search was Facebook’s “third pillar” and stood beside the news feed and timeline as the foundational elements of the social network.

Perhaps mindful of privacy concerns highlighted by recent misfires on policies for its other services such as Instagram, Facebook stressed that it had put limits on the search system.

Yahoo hires ex Googler on $58m pay package

October 19, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Email, Pay Per Click, Pay Per Click Advertising, Pay Per Click Marketing, Search Clinic, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Results, search engines, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Yahoo

Yahoo has appointed a Google executive as its next chief operating officer- paying him a hefty pay package worth about $58 million  (£36million) over four years.Yahoo hires ex Googler on $58m pay packageHenrique de Castro had worked for Yahoo’s new chief executive, Marissa Mayer, at Google. He will oversee sales and operations Yahoo said.

Mr de Castro will get a basic annual salary of $600,000 as well as $36 million in stock options.

Yahoo has been trying to rebuild itself after falling behind its rivals.

Yahoo was one of the pioneers in internet search and email and continues to remain one of the biggest names in the industry.

It has however been losing ground as it has not been able to keep up with Google in the search engine results business.

“This is a pivotal point in Yahoo’s history, and I believe strongly in the opportunity ahead,” Mr de Castro said.

Yahoo’s share of US online advertising revenues fell to 9.5% last year, down from 15.7% in 2009.

Mr de Castro will be eligible for an annual bonus of up to 90% of his $600,000 salary, according to Yahoo’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

He will also receive a cash bonus of $1 million within one week of joining Yahoo and will be given restricted stock units and performance-based stock options totalling $36 million over four years.

That compares to Ms Mayer, whose remuneration package could top a whopping $70 milion. Ms Mayer’s basic salary is $1 million a year, but shares and share options, along with other potential rewards, could make it far more lucrative.

She was appointed in July and is the firm’s third chief executive in the space of a year.

Google is demoting websites’ ranking who host pirated content

August 17, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, data security, Google, internet, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Results, search engines, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Google has announced that it is changing its search engine algorithms to crack down on the search rankings of those websites that contain or receive a large number of copyright infringement notices.Google is demoting websites' ranking who host pirated contentGoogle has a web page dedicated to showing how many requests it receives from copyright holders and reporting organizations to remove certain websites from its search engine due to piracy and soon it will start demoting the rankings of those websites that receive high volumes of copyright-infringement notices.

Google’s senior vice president of engineering while addressing the copyright issue, Amit Singhal said in a blog post,

“In fact, we’re now receiving and processing more copyright removal notices every day than we did in 2009, more than 4.3 million URLs in the last 30 days alone,”

“We will be using this data as a signal in our search rankings.”

Google is moving to mostly penalise those websites potentially hosting pirated entertainment.

It’s positive that Google’s search algorithms are now reranking various websites which appear at lower ranks in search results criteria based on the number of copyright removal notices that Google receives against them.

The search engine said it will not demote the ranking of any of the websites from its search results unless it receives a valid copyright-removal notice from the rights owner.

Google claimed that it has already taken numerous actions against pirated websites- between July and December 2011, it claimed that it has removed 97 per cent of search results specified in those copyright removal notices.

Google’s data snooping hit with record fine

August 14, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Computers, Customer Service, data security, Google, internet, search engines, smart phones, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, WiFi

Google has been fined £14.4 million ($22.5 million) by the US Federal Trade Commission after monitoring web surfers using Apple’s Safari browser who had a “do not track” privacy setting selected.Google's data snooping hit with record fineThe penalty is for lying about what it was doing and not for the methods it used to bypass Safari’s tracker cookie settings- misusing cookies so that a user’s web activity can be monitored.

The government agency launched its inquiry after a Stanford University researcher noticed the issue while studying targeted advertising.

He revealed that the search engine was exploiting a loophole that let its cookies be installed via adverts on popular websites, even if users’ browsers’ preferences had been set to reject them.

This allowed the firm to track people’s web browsing- even if they had not given it permission to do so.

Apple’s browser automatically rejects tracking cookies by default. But Google deliberately got around this block by adding code to some of its adverts to make Safari think that the user had made an exception for its cookie if they interacted with the ad.

At the same time as using the exploit the search engine said on its help centre that Safari users did not need to take extra steps to prevent their online activities from being logged.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch in Google hit by record fine wrote that it was right that Google should be penalised.

“It’s an essential part of a properly functioning market that consumers are in control of their personal information and are able to take steps to protect their privacy,” he said.

“The size of the fine in this case should deter any company from seeking to exploit underhand means of tracking consumers. It is essential that anyone who seeks to over-ride consumer choices about sharing their data is held to account.”

UK snoopers’ charter faces severe criticism

June 15, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Browser, Cyber Security, data security, Email, Gaming, internet, search engines, Skype, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Civil liberty groups have voiced severe criticism over the newly published Data Communications bill aka snoopers’ charter. UK snoopers’ charter faces severe criticism   The controversial bill extends the type of data that Internet Service Providers must keep to include your emails, web browsing history and social media posts- including Skype.

The government claims that the legislation is need in the fight against criminals and terrorists.

However activists have dubbed it a snooper’s charter.

“This is all about giving the police unsupervised access to data. It is shocking for a government that opposed Labour’s plans on this to propose virtually the same thing,” said Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group.

“It will cost billions of pounds and will end up only catching the stupid or the innocent. Terrorists will circumvent it.”

Dyenamic Solutions also points out the non UK organisations may not be compelled to store your data- thus not only driving a coach and horses through the intended effectiveness, but also forcing many UK ecommerce business abroad.

Publishing the bill, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “Communications data saves lives. It is a vital tool for the police to catch criminals and to protect children.”

But Mr Killock argues that knowing where a citizen has been online is equally intrusive.

Drawing a parallel he said: “If I’m having an affair then who I’m talking to is just as revealing as what I say,” he said.

The bill – an update to the controversial RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) legislation – lays out new duties for the UK communications companies.

The new proposals would require ISPs to keep details of a much wider range of data including use of social network sites, webmail, voice calls over the internet, and gaming. Websites you visit will also be recorded.

The Internet Service Providers’ Association said that it would be lobbying MPs in the coming months.

“Ispa has concerns about the new powers to require network operators to capture and retain third party communications data,” said a spokesman.

“These concerns include the scope and proportionality, privacy and data protection implications and the technical feasibility.

“Whilst we appreciate that technological developments mean that government is looking again at its communications data capabilities, it is important that powers are clear and contain sufficient safeguards,” it added.

Please join the Snoopers Charter Petition– it takes just 2 minutes and could have a huge effect against this red tape- which the Financial Times estimates will cost us £2.8 billion over the next 10 years.

Microsoft to go carbon neutral in July

May 16, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Broadband, Computers, data security, Microsoft, search engines, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Microsoft has promised to help protect the environment by going carbon neutral and reducing its carbon footprint.Microsoft to go carbon neutral in JulyFrom July 1st 2012 its data centres, software development labs and office buildings would all be carbon neutral, the firm announced.

Environmental groups have been calling on the technology company to adopt more renewable energy sources.

Rivals Facebook and Google have already pledged to move away from coal-powered data centres.

“We recognise that we are not the first company to commit to carbon neutrality, but we are hopeful that our decision will encourage other companies large and small to look at what they can do to address this important issue,” said chief operating officer Kevin Turner in a blog post.

As part of its carbon neutral plan, Microsoft plans to charge an internal carbon fee to business units responsible for incurring emissions from data centres, air travel, offices and software laboratories.

“The carbon price and charge-back model is designed to provide an economic incentive for business groups across Microsoft to reduce carbon emissions through efficiency measures and increased use of renewable energy,” said Mr Turner.

It also plans energy efficient software solutions at its Redmond campus. It said that it hoped to achieve energy savings of approximately £937,000 ($1.5 million) in the fiscal year 2013.

Environmental group Greenpeace said that it showed Microsoft had listened to calls for a “clean cloud”.

Greenpeace urged Microsoft to follow Facebook’s lead and chose renewable energy when building new data centres.

Yahoo to axe non core services to improve profits

May 15, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: AdWords, bing, Customer Service, Ecommerce, internet, Microsoft, Pay Per Click, Pay Per Click Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Results, search engines, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Yahoo has confirmed plans to shut down dozens of services which are not seen as core to the firm.Yahoo to axe non core services to improve profitsAs a result they said that it would be “shutting down or transitioning roughly 50 properties that don’t contribute meaningfully to engagement of revenue”.

The CEO Mr Thompson did not identify which units would be abandoned, but noted that news, finance, sports, entertainment and mail were safe.

“Each of our products and services may individually generate more engagement than most start-ups or even mid-sized companies in certain markets, but that does not mean that we should continue to do everything we currently do,” he was quoted as saying in a transcript of the conference call by Seeking Alpha.

The chief executive also noted that its search alliance with Microsoft was “not yet delivering” what had been expected.

The two firms agreed to team up in 2009. The idea was that Microsoft would provide Yahoo with the search results produced by its Bing service, which Yahoo would tailor to its audience. In addition Yahoo’s salesforce would target “premium” advertisers on behalf of both firms.

Mr Thompson said the UK and France were currently being moved to Microsoft’s search algorithm, and that other parts of the EU and Asia would follow.

However, he added that Yahoo was “working hard with Microsoft” to address the fact that the software firm’s AdCenter technology was still not delivering the sort of revenue it had hoped for.

For the time being Yahoo is protected against the shortfall by a “revenue per search” guarantee signed by Microsoft that is due to expire next March.

Mr Thompson was also quizzed for more detail about his promise to make better use of the company’s “vast data”.

He explained that the firm would use cookies to personalise its news content.

He added that the data would also be used to help advertisers understand how visitors used the site and to request “almost real-time” analytics data.

This is the latest in a series of turnaround plans promised for the web portal.

The key will be in getting the search and banner advert revenues higher.

Google profits from illegal ads

January 30, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: AdWords, Google, Online Marketing, Pay Per Click, Search Engine Marketing, search engines, Technology Companies, Twitter

Google is profiting from ads for illegal products generated by its pay per click advertising system.Google profits from illegal adsThe ads include unofficial London 2012 Olympics ticket resellers, as well as cannabis and fake ID card sellers.

Google has since taken down links to illegal Olympic ticket resellers following requests from the police.

But the search engine confirms that the company keeps any money it might make from companies advertising illegal services before such adverts are removed.

Selling tickets on the open market without permission from the Olympic authorities is a criminal offence in the UK under the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Act 2006.

The maximum penalty fine for reselling Olympic tickets without authorisation from the Olympic authorities was raised last year from £5,000 to £20,000.

Despite this, Google has placed adverts for unofficial ticket resellers which are breaking the law by selling London 2012 tickets to customers in the UK.

But research found other sponsored Google adverts – for online cannabis sellers, fake ID cards, and fake UK passports.

Google’s Pay Per Click AdWords advertising system is partly automated and this helps make the initial selection of the advertisements which appear at the top of its search results.

Google’s AdWords does filter key words that can help sift out adverts which might be offering unlawful services.

If a filter flags an advert, then Google will run a manual assessment – a human takes a look – and if it breaks Google’s policy, the advert will be taken down.

In a statement, Google said: “We have a set of policies covering which ads can and cannot show on Google. These policies and guidelines are enforced by both automated systems and human beings.

“When we are informed of ads which break our policies, we investigate and remove them if appropriate. Our aim is to create a simple and efficient way for legitimate businesses to promote and sell their goods and services whilst protecting them and consumers from illicit activity.”

However, dubious online retailers are still finding their way to the top of the advert results and can do so by paying a higher cost per click than other advertisers.

Google says the quality of ads also plays a role in the ranking advertisers achieve, as well as the price the advertiser is willing to pay.

Google’s sponsored links have proved costly in the past and, in August, Google agreed to forfeit £324 million ($500 million) for publishing online adverts from Canadian pharmacies selling illegal drugs to US customers.