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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.

Microsoft’s quarterly profits fall

January 23, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Gaming, Microsoft, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Microsoft’s profits in the three months to the end of December fell as lower computer sales hit its core Windows business.Microsoft's quarterly profits fallThe world’s largest software firm made a net profit of £4.27 billion ($6.624 billion), against £4.42 billion for its second quarter last year.

Revenues rose 5% to £13.47 billion, slightly down on some analysts’ expectations.

Revenue at the Windows operating system division fell, but rose at its server, Xbox 360 and online services arms.

Wall Street welcomed the figures, with Microsoft’s shares rising 2.1% in after-hours trading.

Tighter cost control and a continuing reduction of losses at the Bing search engine helped boost the figures.

Analysts were expecting a fall in business at the Windows division due to slower sales of PCs.

The computer industry is facing a worldwide shortage of hard disk drives due to flood devastation in Thailand whit hit the global supply chain of suppliers in November.

But Windows is also facing competition from the growth of tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad and mobile devices using Google’s Android system.

However, Microsoft is hitting back with the release of Windows 8, an operating system for PCs and mobile devices.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said in a statement: “We delivered solid financial results, even as we prepare for a launch year that will accelerate many of our key products and services.”

During the quarter the Windows and Windows Live division posted revenue of £3.05 billion, a 6% fall on the previous year.

The Entertainment & Devices division saw the sharpest revenue rise, up 15% to £2.78 billion.

Google updates search engine rankings for newer results

November 07, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Customer Service, Google, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Results, search engines, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Google has updated it’s search engine results algorithms in response to timely search queries.Google updates search engine rankings for newer resultsThe update is designed to work out whether a person wants up to date timely results or historical data.

The search engine estimated the alterations to its core algorithm would make a difference to about 35% of searches.

The changes try to make results more relevant and beef up features which Google believes set it apart from rivals.

By contrast, Microsoft’s Bing search engine emphasises their results from social search news.

“Search results, like warm cookies right out of the oven or cool refreshing fruit on a hot summer’s day, are best when they’re fresh,” wrote Google fellow Amit Singhal in a blogpost explaining the changes.

The changes sought to understand whether a searcher wants results “from the last week, day or even minute” said Mr Singhal.

The update is supposed to offer a better guess of how “fresh” the results should be.

For instance, said Mr Singhal, anyone searching for information about the “Occupy Oakland protests” would probably want up to the minute news.

These need to be distinguished from searches for regular events such as sports results or company reports.

Other types of searches could call on older results, he said. Those looking for a recipe to make tomato sauce for pasta quickly would be happy with a page that is a few months or years old.

The update to improve the “freshness” of results builds on the big update made to the underlying infrastructure of Google’s core indexing system in August 2010 known as Caffeine. That change made it easier for Google to keep its index up to date and to add new sources of information.

Writing on the Search Engine Land news site, analyst Danny Sullivan described the changes to google’s search engine results as “huge”. The last big update to the Google algorithm, known as Panda, affected only 12% of searches.

The update could have potential disadvantages, warned Mr Sullivan.

“Rewarding freshness potentially introduces huge decreases in relevancy, new avenues for spamming or getting “light” content in,” said Mr Sullivan.

The Google search engine algorithm changes are announced at:

Google to charge for using their maps on your website.

November 02, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Customer Service, Google, internet, search engines, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Website Design, Yahoo

Google is to charge websites for adding their maps to your website.Google to charge for using their maps on your website.Google Maps wants to charge larger websites for heavy usage of the service.

From 1 January 2012, Google will charge for the Google Maps API service when more than the limit of 25,000 map “hits” are made in a day.

Websites, especially travel firms, use Google Maps to link customers to a view of the destinations they inquire about.

Google is rumoured to be charging £2 per 1,000 views in excess of the limit.

Google maintains the high limit of 25,000 free hits before charging “will only affect 0.35% of users”.

Google said it was aware that developers needed time to evaluate their usage, determine if they were affected and then take action as appropriate.

“We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning,” said Thor Mitchell, product manager of the Maps API at Google.

“However, with the continued growth in adoption of the Maps API, we need to secure its long-term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest-volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable. ”

Dr Search has long debated the accuracy of Google Maps- they are linked to the flawed StreetView and Places options within the Google databases.

Don’t worry if you do feature Google Maps on your website as there are FREE alternatives available from at least Yahoo and Microsoft at: and

How to use LinkedIn for your business

November 01, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Customer Service, Dr Search, Google, internet, LinkedIn, Links Building, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, search engines, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Yahoo

LinkedIn now has over 120 million users worldwide, including six million in the UK. How to use LinkedIn for your businessTwo new members join every second and there are nearly one million groups on the site.

It is now the mainstream tool for professionals to network online – and that is why it can’t be ignored as a marketing tool.

An increasing number of businesses are promoting their brands through staff profiles and presence on LinkedIn.

However, making the most of the social media website is a science- as with all social media websites information and security are key issues.

Here are some hot tips on how you can market your business successfully through Linkedin:

  • Tell a compelling and authentic story about who you are, how you got to where you are, what you do and why you enjoy it. It is critical that a profile is “personally professional”. Individual profiles that only talk about the company or brand are a big turn off. Encourage your staff to take the same approach.
  • Join relevant discussion groups and get involved in them. This can be interesting and rewarding and helps to raise your company’s profile.
  • Make sure that your profile and all employees’ profiles link directly to your company page. An individual’s profile should also include information about your company, its products and offerings.
  • Ensure you have a comprehensive company page including detailed pages on all products and services.
  • Ask for and publish recommendations from satisfied customers for your products and services section on your company page.
  • Ensure staff have profiles that are 100 per cent complete. LinkedIn is not like Facebook – individuals are representing a company or brand in a professional capacity on LinkedIn. The more visible your staff are on this network, the greater the visibility of your brand. But this only works if your employees are actively using their LinkedIn account.
  • Encourage employees to use blogs, PowerPoint presentations and videos promoting your brand in their profiles and help them with the material.
  • Provide guidelines on how to effectively communicate, reminding staff that their activities are representing the company- and can be read my literally millions of people- including your competitors.
  • Provide all staff with copy to use to describe your company within their profiles. This ensures a consistent approach and helps avoid disclosing commercially sensitive information to competitors.
  • Start your own group to build a community where you can indirectly promote your brand.
  • Remember that search engine optimisation is important for every article, profle and group. LinkedIn allows open profiles which means that the search negine will alos pick up on your activities.

How links building can help your online business

September 07, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Dr Search, Ecommerce, Google, internet, Links Building, Search Clinic, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, search engines, SEO, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Website Design, Yahoo

You’ve got a wonderful new website- so the world is going to be knocking your door down. Or so you hope.How links building can help your online businessAfter the initial disappointment comes the realisation that it’s a big world out there.

If your website starts with the word “welcome” congratulations- there are over three billion other websites listed by Google making the same mistake.

Go on- ask yourself how often do you search for “welcome”?

To get online traffic depends on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and SEO has a number of factors:

1. Technical (how well can it be crawled by the search engines)
2. On page (what’s on the page being crawled)
3. Off page (mainly building links)

Google and most other search engines use links to determine reputation. A site’s ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to it.

Link-based analysis is an extremely useful way of measuring a site’s value and has greatly improved the quality of web search.

Both the quantity and, more importantly, the quality of links count towards this rating.

Of course Google does not just use links; they use over 200 indicators such as:

  • domain name
  • meta tags
  • alt tags
  • directory names
  • filenames
  • heading tags
  • link popularity (how many links back to you there are)
  • link text (anchor text indicating the subject of the link)
  • page title
  • Page Rank

PageRank™ is Google’s patented method to assign a numerical algorithm and weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents that provides a rough estimate of the overall importance of a web page.

In short the whole basis of Google’s success- is that success of website pages breeds success.

If you think that buying links is the key to your future success- hold on!

To find the pitfalls of blindly building links, just have a quick look at Google’s own links building rules .

As the article on paid links makes clear: “Buying or selling links that pass PageRanking is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results”

So, what you need are good quality links and lots of them.

But what is meant by good quality links?

The seven most important factors for link quality are:

Contextual links. One way is obvious and contextual just means appearing within the natural flow of a page’s text. If the link is reciprocal, Google sometimes discounts some of the value of that link.

High authority websites. Getting one link from the Telelgraph or DMOZ is possible worth more than 10,000 links from your new site. Authority does not
just mean high PageRank- but a site that is also well established as one of the most important sites for a topic.

Relevant / related links. If you have loads of sites that are irrelevant / unrelated to your sites topic you will probably lose out. In natural linking by people, they tend to link to one another within the same topics and industry. Spammers- like addicts don’t care where they get their fix- or link.

Diversity of link sources. Having many links from another site is good but it’s probably better to have one link each from many sites. The former could be spam. The latter is harder to achieve.

Deep links. If you only have links pointing to your homepage and no deep links to other pages in your site then you will probably have less success than with a proportion of deep links.

Different anchor texts -the actual text of the link. For example “Dr Search is an online marketing professional” is something we might be able to place with small variations, but hundreds and thousand of individuals who may link to us will vary the text they use just because they will as they all think slightly differently.

Consistent links growth. Link building is a marathon, not a sprint. Acquiring 20,000 links on one day unless your marketing goes viral is very unlikely for the vast majority of sites, so any search engine will rightly be suspicious.

Search engine latest results- Bing continues to grow at Google’s expense

May 23, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Customer Service, Google, Online Marketing, Search Clinic, search engines, Uncategorized, Yahoo

In the latest search engine usage results from comScore Bing again continues to grow in search numbers- whilst Google continues to decline.Search engine latest results- Bing continues to grow at Google's expenseAs the Search Clinic mused last month Could Bing overtake Google in the search engine rankings? Microsoft’s Bing is continue to grow in it’s usage.

However the growth is still not meteoric as Google still holds a commanding 65.4 per cent of the market.

But those results numbers show a trend over the past year in which each month Bing grabs a slightly bigger slice of the U.S. search engine pie, while Google sheds a tiny amount or stays flat.

For the month, Microsoft’s market share gain was just 0.2 of a percentage point, while Google’s loss was 0.3 of a point.

Yahoo, which traditionally has been losing market share, actually gained 0.2 of a percentage point last month, according to ComScore.

As always, the numbers include just explicit core searches that people manually enter on a Web page.

Reviewing the raw data- online searchers conducted more than 16.2 billion explicit core searches in April. Of those, Google had 10.6 billion, Bing had 2.3 billion, and Yahoo had 2.6 billion searches.

Google’s organic “powered by” searches, which include those at its own sites as well as Google-branded searches at AOL and Ask, accounted for 67.8 percent of all organic searches.

Microsoft’s “powered by” searches, which tap into those at Bing and Yahoo pages, took in 26.5 percent of all organic searches.

Compared with March, those numbers show a gain for Google and a decline for Microsoft. But looking at the longer-term picture over the past several months, Microsoft’s “powered by” searches have continued to inch up, while Google’s have gradually dipped.

Could Bing overtake Google in the search engine rankings?

April 19, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Customer Service, Google, Search Clinic, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, search engines, Uncategorized

Further to the Search Clinic post last week: Top UK search engine and social media websites- latest figures by HitWise research, new number crunching hypothesizes that if current search engine growth rates continue Bing will overtake Google in  2012.

According to the report from Hitwise, Bing dominated 30% of all searches conducted in the U.S. in March 2011. That’s an impressive 5% jump compared from February 2011 results.

Though Google still leads the market share with 64.2%, the search engine actually dropped 3% market share in March.

While these stats are good news for Microsoft, Google should be paying a lot of attention to these results. Its market share has been constantly dropping: from 69.7% in December to 68% in January to 66.7% in February to 64.4% in March.

So what would happen if this trend continued? Check out the chart below. Looks like Bing will take the number one spot by January 2012.
Could Bing overtake Google in the search engine rankings?Image Source: Mashable

Why is “search giant” Google seeing a decline in its market share? A WebmasterWorld forum discussion has many theories including the following from Brett Tabke:

Google has so screwed around with their serps this last year, that any alternative dependable and reliable that users can count on is going to gain share. Google has done something I didn’t think possible – they have broken the trust of the end user. While Bing has been busy showing that they are in it for the long haul and staying-the-course with a user experience that people are coming to trust.

I believe the reason for Google’s increase in market share is the fact that they have been playing around a lot with their SERPs over the last year. Such changes could have upset users who are looking for a more dependable and reliable source which Bing has been able to provide.

So while Google still controls two-thirds of the market, I think it should start getting concerned at Bing’s impressive market share growth.


Top UK search engine and social media websites- latest figures

April 14, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Facebook, Google, search engines, Social Media, Uncategorized, Yahoo, YouTube

The latest top UK search engine and social media figures have just been released by Hitwise for March 2011.

Google is still very much the dominant player in UK search, with Google Sites accounting for over 90% of all searches conducted by UK Internet users.

However, between February and March 2011, Google Sites lost 0.66% market share of searches, whilst Microsoft Sites increased their market share of searches by 0.28%.Top UK search engine latest traffic figuresThe growth of Microsoft sites, led by Bing, is more pronounced in the year-on-year figures.

Between March 2010 and March 2011 Bing was the only search engine to increase its volume of searches from UK Internet users.

Whilst Google, Yahoo!, Ask and other search providers all dipped in year-on-year change, Microsoft Sites improved their market share of searches by 1.43%.

This latest insight from Experian Hitwise underlines why it is important for brands to ensure they do not solely optimise content around Google at the expense of other search engines. Bing, Yahoo! and Ask each appeal to particular audiences and often send more of their traffic to key transactional industries such as retail, travel and finance.

“Microsoft is starting to make inroads into Google’s massive share of the search market, although Google remains the clear leader in absolute volume terms,” commented Experian Hitwise’s Research Director, Robin Goad. “It is vital that brands closely monitor the changing trends in the search market, as search typically accounts for between 40-50% of a website’s inbound traffic.”

As for social media- YouTube is the fastest growing social network in March 2011.Top UK social media websites- latest traffic figures

Facebook continued its dominance in the Experian Hitwise Social Networks and Forums category, accounting for over 56% of all visits to social networks from UK Internet users in March 2011.

However, Facebook’s market share of visits declined in March compared to February by 1.22%, mostly driven by increased visits to YouTube.

The UK’s most popular online video site accounted for 19.06% of all visits to social networks in March, up from 18.32% in February, making YouTube the fastest growing social network of March.

Year-on-year, the fastest growing social network was Facebook, increasing its market share of visits by 4.16% between March 2010 and March 2011. Despite Facebook’s slight drop in market share of visits in March 2011, the social behemoth is still attracting new visitors to its website every single day.

In the last three years Facebook has more than doubled its market share of visits to the Social Networks and Forums category, growing from 22% in March 2008 to 56% today.

Robin Goad commented: “The growth of Facebook is immense, and it is such an integral part of the online scene now that we would expect it to achieve a 60% market share of social visits at some point in 2011. Many companies are still apprehensive when it comes to exploiting social networks to promote their brand, but with such a huge online following, social networks are ignored at a marketer’s peril.  Facebook is now the second single biggest source of traffic to all websites after Google. As a result, it is becoming increasingly important that brands derive maximum benefit from this social network.”

The research is published by Hitwise at:

How to get the most from Twitter

March 24, 2011 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Google, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media, Twitter

There are  a number of ways of using Twitter to maximise traffic and revenue for your website. How to get the most from TwitterAs Google and Bing now count tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media activity in their search results, search engine optimisation is more important than ever.

Your profile is the starting point to any successful profile.

Firstly register an account using your most important keyword phrase. For example the Search Clinic has two Twitter accounts: and

Then use as many keywords as possible, because when a Twitter profile shows up in search results, Google may use the bio portion of the profile for the description.

Hashtags (#) are an easy way to implement keywords.

Marketing campaigns now create customized keywords for events and many people add keywords at the end of their tweet.

This is useful when the blog title or content you are sharing doesn’t list any relevant topic keywords.

Including hashtags that are broader and name the industry may make tweets easier to find. Additionally, naming specifics as hashtags in generic titles can also help.

Try to choose hashtags that are the most important keywords in the tweet and overall content that is being promoted. Hashtags make it easy to search by topic and will increase search result frequency and relevancy to the target audience.