links for 2009-02-24

  • Since the launch of Ocean in Google Earth, millions of people have started to explore the ocean, and many have been surprised by their discoveries
  • aspires to use the power of information and technology to address the global challenges of our age: climate change, poverty and emerging disease. In collaboration with experienced partners working in each of these fields, we will invest our resources and tap the strengths of Google's employees and global operations to advance our initiatives.
  • As far as malware tricks go, this one is pretty diabolical. Over the weekend, Facebook users started receiving messages saying friends had tried to view their profile but were unable to do so. The message prompts the user to install a third party app, oddly titled “Error Check System.”
    (tags: facebook virus)
  • Talk about adding insult to injury. Apparently Microsoft has inadvertently overpaid severance to some of its recently laid off employees, and is now asking for some of the money back. It’s unclear how many of the 1,400 employees laid off last month were affected, but we’ve confirmed that it wasn’t a single isolated incident (we’ve contacted Microsoft for a response). We’re also hearing that some employees may have been underpaid as well.
  • Five years ago this April, Google filed to list its stock publicly. The founders let potential investors know it wouldn’t play by some of Wall Street’s rules, including paying them a cash dividend — which, the prospectus boasted, Google had never done. And as of today, it still never has.
  • THE popularity of Google’s search engine in the United States just grows and grows. In the past three years, its market share gains have even been accelerating, making some people wonder whether the company will eventually obliterate what remains of its competition in search.
  • Search marketers are pretty good at claiming credit for online sales, and they’re getting better at measuring phone sales as well. However, there’s a huge amount of activity in brick-and-mortar stores, in terms of walk-in sales in the offline world, which is not properly attributed to online search. How can we get some of the well-deserved credit when our online campaigns contribute directly to offline sales?
    (tags: SEO)
  • Most web professionals are quite familiar with global search. Search marketing for global search can be boiled down to a two part formula: anchor text + authority.

    Local search is different. I’ve been dabbling in local search for a few months now, trying to get my feet wet for the supposedly iminent arrival of mobile search domination. In the process I’ve learned three main things.

  • Over the past year, the term “post-click marketing” has come up more frequently in search marketing discussions, especially in the context of improving conversion rates and overall search ROI. At SMX West earlier this month, Gordon Hotchkiss of Enquiro unequivocally declared that post-click marketing moves the needle for their clients more than any other aspect of search marketing.
  • I didn’t listen to the earnings call but apparently there was discussion of a site redesign with a number of enhanced features. Here’s what PR indicated is new (this their list of bullets):
  • Google Analytics provides some great information about what is happening on your website. But what if you want to take it to the next level? Thanks to the many smart people who have created these wonderful hacks and plugins to get you some powerful additions to Google Analytics. Please note most of these need the truly awesome GreaseMonkey FireFox extension.
  • Last week, as you probably know, was the Search Engine Strategies conference in London. Personally I found the event very useful and because of the wide-range of topics covered during the 3-days I’ve decided to list some of the nuggets of information I took away, rather than look into this in more detail which is already available from much quicker bloggers than myself anyway!

    To be honest I’ve always been reasonably sceptical about the value gained at search conferences in terms of new skills. To a certain extent this was true but even then the presentations were kept interesting and helped to trigger off a few ideas, plus it’s always reassuring to know that you’re doing the right thing! The event is also an excellent opportunity to meet new people within the industry (both agency-side and in-house), offering advice and learning about how they are dealing with similar situations.

  • Joining a group of more than half a dozen major US dailies, Philadelphia Inquirer has filed for bankruptcy.

    Newspaper CEO Brian Tierney yesterday said the bankruptcy filing is aimed at addressing the huge debt the company is facing right now and would not have any impact on its daily operations. It was only last year that he had bought the newspaper for $562 million.

  • I won't touch some SEO projects with a 10-foot pole. Especially when people make bad decisions or set themselves up for failure.

    Like last week, when I received a request for proposal from a ticket reselling company. In their RFP, they said they understood that their business was highly competitive for organic search.

  • Is Google going to face a monopoly investigation? from The Guardian asks if President Obama’s appointment of Christine Varney to be Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust at the United States Department of Justice, will ultimately lead to more antitrust problems for Google.
    (tags: google obama)
  • I’ve been remiss in not updating you on my experiment in using an Apple TV with Boxee’s media-center software as a substitute for my pricey Comcast service. “Life Without Comcast” may be a misleading title, since I haven’t tried to go cold turkey–instead, I’ve done some of my TV watching via cable, and some via the Internet, and have been comparing the two experiences as I did so.

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