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Bing Cheating Google!

Feb 2, 2011   //   by freshtraffic   //   bing, Google, internet news  //  Comments Off

The internet was born out of the idea of collaboration. That you could work on an idea and have your coworker be from the other side of the globe and it would make everything seem that much closer to home and cozy. It’s not a huge surprise that technologies are borrowed and repackaged and used as companies own, but it’s rare that one gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar so to speak. And yet Bing, has just been caught.

Google has come out and said pointedly that Microsoft Bing has been cheating in their search results, and stealing Googles results pages and displaying them as their own. Normally this kind of finger pointing can be downplayed as a type of borrowing, as it’s mainly the idea that’s been used, but in this case Microsoft actually admitted it.

Stefan Weitz, director of Microsoft’s Bing

As you might imagine, we use multiple signals and approaches when we think about ranking, but like the rest of the players in this industry, we’re not going to go deep and detailed in how we do it. Clearly, the overarching goal is to do a better job determining the intent of the search, so we can guess at the best and most relevant answer to a given query.

Opt-in programs like the [Bing] toolbar help us with clickstream data, one of many input signals we and other search engines use to help rank sites. This “Google experiment” seems like a hack to confuse and manipulate some of these signals.

How did Google work out what was going on? Aside from doing individual searches and directly comparing results, Google started noticing a rapidly rising overlap in top 10 results pages with Bing. So in order to verify their suspicions, Google rigged some searches. They created a bunch of fake searches which returned little to no results in Google and in Bing, and then placed a page at the top of those results in order to catch them with their hand in the jar. Because the pages were artificially placed in the results, it would be easy to confirm or deny their suspicions. The full fledged experiment began in mid December, and in just a couple of weeks the results began showing up in the Bing results.

In the end, Bing isn’t really really doing anything illegal, if anything it’s like they’re cheating on their math test. Google does all of the work, Bing reaps the same reward as their search opposition. Because no action could realistically be taken, the decision is in the hands of the users, and it puts a taint on all searches performed in Bing. Are they genuine search returns? Or are they just what they’ve managed to snag from the Google results pages.

A Little Company that do BIG THINGS

Jan 28, 2011   //   by freshtraffic   //   adwords, branding, Google, internet advertising, internet marketing, online branding, online marketing, search engine optimization, seo  //  Comments Off

We heard this statement the other night from President Obama in his state of the union speech, it made me smile, why? because we are exactly that.

Since our inception on a coffee table back in the UK this is exactly how we have seen ourselves.

Over the years we’ve done big things with major brands like Sony, Sanyo & Best Buy, we’ve worked with celebrities & governments to making a small back street vendor a major player online across North America beating the likes of Sears & Costco, A little company that do big things.

What do we do? Well, everything to do with online search & branding, we have a team buying domain names daily, in fact we see opportunities before most others do, an example was the presidents quote of A little company that do big things, we bought that domain within 5 minutes of him mentioning it, a great slogan, we have done the same with others, company’s spend millions marketing there new project with traditional media, TV ads & Newspapers without first securing the web domains they will need to secure the brand first, how stupid is that at $10 a throw? then they complain when someone beats them to the punch and they have to pay Big Bucks to a little company for there ignorance, it’s just business.

We also run and manage Google Adwords accounts for clients, that’s easy considering I was consulting when the program was being built by Google, but what we really excel at is SEO, yes we know everyone can do this, if this is true then why don’t the company’s or individuals selling the service show up for themselves for major terms on the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, it’s a no brainer, if they cannot list themselves, how do they list you?

Like Obama said, The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an Internet connection.

Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution, Innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living.

Call a little company that do big things today on 204.942.4200 it could change your life.

A Year of Change

Jan 25, 2011   //   by freshtraffic   //   algorithms, Google  //  Comments Off

There is due a shake up in the Google management tree, it’s been spoken of at great length since it was announced last week. This past Friday as well, a couple of what I’d consider large announcements also came from the search giant.

Their own implementation of a Groupon discount shopping site, and the admission via Matt Cutts that yes, they know there’s an issue with spam in the index.

When news of the discount shopping branch was put out on Mashable, a lot of the ruckus I found pertained to the failed bid to buy Groupon. And while it’s been said it’s just a copy cat of the successful sale site, it’s more a copy of the very successful Groupon formula. There’s a dozen other sites out there which have done the same, and Google being Google, they’ve put their own twist on it. Groupon for example pays out 50% of the amount to the business providing the deal advertised. Google, will pay out 80% of the amount immediately, and hold the remaing 20% of the income for 60 days, to assist dealing with returns and what not, and pay the remaining amount out to the advertiser. Google it seems, will survive on interest alone. There’s no initial cost to setup an ad, and just being able to accomodate your offer is often costly enough.

The other big news to come out last week was the blog post from Matt Cutts admitting that yes, spam is starting to populate the search results again. It’s been long speculated, and now that it’s confirmed, we can all wait for the out come. Spam can be characterized as link farms, content farms, content scrapers and aggregating news and information websites. While the latter aren’t technically spam, they’re still not the original creators of the content they may be hosting. With the arrival of Caffiene as the driving force behind the SERPs, Google’s results pages have been devoid of the quality results that many had come to expect. The spam of the internet didn’t go away, it’s worth mentioning, Google merely provided a filter for it. Expect a strong algorithmic change and for your sites to shift in the coming months.

Shaking the Google Tree

Jan 21, 2011   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, internet news  //  Comments Off

In a shift from the norm, with Google’s fourth quarter posted, near at the top of the list was a shake up of management structure. Eric is moving, Larry is in and Sergey will be coming up with new ideas.

Starting from April 4, Larry Page, Google Co-Founder, will take charge of Google’s day-to-day operations as Chief Executive Officer.Sergey Brin, Google Co-Founder, will devote his energy to strategic projects, in particular working on new products.

Eric Schmidt will assume the role of Executive Chairman, focusing externally on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership–all of which are increasingly important given Google’s global reach. Internally, he will continue to act as an advisor to Larry and Sergey.

It’s not a reflection on the news that’s been made in the last year in the privacy debate according to the trio, but it’s about streamlining the decision making process.

Eric said: “We’ve been talking about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making for a long time. By clarifying our individual roles we’ll create clearer responsibility and accountability at the top of the company. In my clear opinion, Larry is ready to lead and I’m excited about working with both him and Sergey for a long time to come.”

Larry and Sergey of course have nothing to say poorly about Schmidt, as fulfilling the role of CEO for the last 10 years he’s piloted Google to the top of the internet and made the company profitable hand over fist. The proof of such can be seen in the earnings report, in the fourth quarter of 2010 revenue was up 26% from 2009 to $8.4 billion. You can read the full disclosure on the Google news release.

Mobile Search Advancement

Jan 15, 2011   //   by freshtraffic   //   algorithms, Google, keyword, marketing, mobile, mobile advertising, online marketing, search engine optimization  //  Comments Off

With how compact, powerful and convenient todays smartphones are becoming. The rise of the netbook and tablet pc, it’s not a surprise at all that mobile search, search using the aforementioned techonologies, is growing in leaps and bounds. A very general breakdown of Googles numbers were posted in their blog this past week:

Over the past two years, Google’s mobile searches have grown by more than five times. Furthermore, in the third quarter of 2010, Google mobile searches jumped 130% year over year.

Percentages are amazing to look at and all, but they should also be taken with a some thought; they can make the actual results seem much larger than they are. But onto mobile search! Google, like Bing and other search companies, have their own keyword search tool. They have however, recently added the ability to check which terms are being used in mobile searches.

The Keyword Tool now helps you build a better keyword list to target mobile users. Under “Advanced options,” you can now search for keywords for devices with mobile WAP browsers, mobile devices with full Internet browsers (think iPhone and Android phones), or all mobile devices.

So your site, which by now is hopefully mobile friendly (it is 2011 after all), can be optimized with the mobile market in mind. With the billions of dollars in revenue this past holiday season which were made via mobile techonology, it’s well worth the investment.

The Greatest Guessing Game

What is the greatest guessing game you ask? It’s the game which has made Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, as well as other search engine start ups and even failures, piles of money just by mention of the word. Search, is the greatest guessing game.

What happened when Google took the game and applied it’s own rules, was dominate the online community as it propelled itself forward, clawing and fighting for all of the infomation it could find. There are various illustrations of the web which come to mind when it’s pictured. Firstly as a web of course, of interconnecting websites and pages, all of which the search bots, spiders naturally, navigate their way around and build up this interconnectability between them. I’ve seen pictures of the internet visualized as planets in galaxies and solar systems, as continents on a map and even as a DNA strand at one point. The best visualization I can come up with is that of an ocean, and all of the websites and pages of the internet are just kind of floating around. People are like little fish, darting around from point to point, sometimes finding what they want, sometimes not. But it’s a fluid environment, never the same from day to day and always on the move.

An article written about which search engine is better at delivering relevant results was the inspiration for today. It tried to demonstrate that by using identical results in different search engines, that one could clearly deliver better and more relevant results than the other. The reality is I believe, much murkier than that. Google is absolutely a brand name, and used extensively in all walks of life. Bing is working hard on branding itself as a decision engine and not a search engine, but in the end both algorithms do primarily the same thing. They guess at what you’re looking for, they guess that they’re delivering you what you want to see and they guess mostly correct only because you’ve already told them what you want to see. Whether it’s via your search history, cookies saved on your computer or even your directly typed search query. Search is still just a game, and for now Google still plays it best. The internet and online technology being what it is, we’ll revisit the topic in a year and everything may be upside down.

Google Honeycomb and Mobile Technology

Jan 7, 2011   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, mobile advertising  //  Comments Off

Cell phones, tablets and cameras and moreare on the display block at this years CES. One of the biggest tree shakers thus far, has been Googles Android product, the tablet version dubbed Honeycomb. It debuted in all it’s glory and power on a Motorolla Xoom tablet and by Googles admittance it was developed for tablet computing.

Just a few of the powerful, and sometimes flashy tools and apps built into Honeycomb, chiefly a completely virtual holographic ui to use your device and customize to your liking. With over 100,000 apps available already on the Android marketplace, Honeycomb for tablets is poised to be the goto OS for tablet makers looking to push into the iPad marketplace.

As fun and as much cool factor that having a holographic controlled tablet would be, the resounding theme from CES this year is ‘mobile mobile mobile’. Processors are getting smaller, and more powerful in implemetation, the internet is becoming more and more accessible by more and more devices. Search, listings, useability and ecommerce are shifting inexorably towards the mobile marketplace. Desktop PC’s and use aren’t disappearing overnight of course, and a tablet currently can’t compare in terms of flexibility in use, yet. The necessity for websites which can be navigated and searched for both mobile and traditional is getting nearer by the day.

Now is a very exciting and fast paced time to bring your businesses online efforts to fruition; expanding your online marketing spending, developing customer relationships via a blog, Facebook, Twitter or email and driving customers to your website will all help improve your presence online. For the marketing efforts needed to place you organically within the SERPs for Google and Bing, that’s what the search experts are here for, to put your website, and online brand where it belongs.

Searching in the Future – The Web Squared

Jan 6, 2011   //   by freshtraffic   //   algorithms, business, ecommerce, facebook, Google, internet, local search, media technology, New Media, search marketing, twitter, web development  //  Comments Off

With the rapid advancement of the web, the technologies that control it and the methods that people interact with it, it makes me wonder sometimes what’s going to happen by 2020.

*cue time warp*

Your morning might be something like while getting ready for work, you’re receiving all of your local newsfeeds directly to your 3D/Holo television already sorted and delivered relevant to your interests. News snippets, weather announcements followed by sports results all fully controllable should you desire more information. The commute to work, in a hands free car navigating itself to your meetings. No one works in offices anymore, the instant web and cloud offices makes physical locations a throwback to the previous centuries way of doing business.

With cloud computing being fully integrated into mainstream business, social and common use, communication has never been simpler, or faster. Terabit internet in the sprawling cities ensures that there’s always enough bandwidth. And for those with pockets full of money, neural interactivity direct to a focusing lens you wear like glasses; providing a vast, interactive surface with which to work and play.

Online search, commerce and social activities will most likely be completely merged; think of a mega company the likes of a Google and Facebook merger. We’ll call it GoogleBook. A complete portal, with news, social feeds from friends and family, shopping via search and instant messaging for friends, family and clients. Micro-blogging sites like Twitter, would be absorbed and added to the already potent offerings provided by such a massive company. The idea of privacy online has matured and changed with the baby boomer generation gone offline to relax in peace, and the tech savvy information generation coming into it’s prime as the dominant work force population.

The web will be faster, cleaner and more relevant to each individual as the Google algorithm, Facebook social algorithm, and the Amazon shopping algorithm all become written together into a do it all super algorithm. With signing in online, it will deliver the content you’re interested in, show you what your friends have been doing the last few days and find the local best deals for the new television you were thinking of buying.

*end time warp*

It’s going to be an exciting time to be online, even in the next few years let alone in the next 10. The web and it’s technologies are growing at an exponential rate, what we’ve learned and discovered over the last 25 years online, will be doubled in the next 3-4 years; and then that time will be cut again and again. Until discoveries are coming at such a rate, that it’ll be expected to have new tech every week, instead of every couple of months.

You could also subscibe to the theory that it’s game over in December 2012 as well. No one knos what’s to come in the next few days, let alone years. Here’s hoping the web continues to grow, mature and evolve as quickly as it has been.

Online Marketing for 2011

And with the Happy New Year celebrations behind us all, it’s that time again where people make those resolutions to themselves to lose weight, be a happier person, exercise more etc. The very nature of resolutions is a noble one, but unfortunately most people shoot too high, disappoint themselves for not being able to perform or maintain and end up quitting all together. The best method, is baby steps of course.

Of course I can’t tell you if you need to exercise more, or eat better, but I can promise that if you take baby steps involved with your online marketing, you will see results, and results which will leave you very happy and in a very strong position for the next holiday shopping spree.

Your first baby step, should involve actually breaking down your current online agenda. Is your website up to date? Has your site been built with tons of active elements like Flash or Java menus? Is it easy to navigate your website? It’s hard, but try and imagine visiting your website for the first time as a new visitor, can you find information quickly and easily? It’s a small, but extremely important step in reprioritizing your online efforts in the new year. If you can realize what needs to be fixed after all, you can move forward with confidence.

Your next step, after having a good honest look at your website, should be a stark examination of your current online marketing efforts. Are you an AdWords afficionado? Does your web copy read naturally, or is it full of technical jargon about your product or services? It’s a fine line to sell yourself online to new clients, you need to be able to explain yourself as simply as possible, as accurate and concise as can be.

Now that you have a clear staging point from which to begin, it’s time to bring in the experts. SEO and online marketing experts at Fresh Traffic draw on over 25 years of experience in providing Search Engine Optimization & Internet marketing solutions. As specialists in Online Brand Development & Search Engine Optimization, Fresh Traffic makes the Internet an accessible & successful addition to all businesses, driving more unique visitors & brand impressions to websites. We’re the best at bringing you the traffic you desire to your site, start the new year right and let 2011 be your best online year yet.

Apple next for Anonymous?

Dec 24, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   apps, Google, internet news  //  Comments Off

Is Apple the next in line for ‘Anonymous’, the Wikileaks honorary guard? Companies who’ve removed the ability for money to be sent to the organization, have all in turn been attacked with direct denial of service attacks (DDOS) basically flooding the target with website requests which bring the site to a stand still.

And most recently, Apple has dropped the Wikileaks app from the App Store. “Is it likely that Apple could become a target? Of course, anyone that distances themselves from WikiLeaks could potentially become a cyber target.” said John Bumgarner, chief technology officer for the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit. In all of the interviews and known information about the DDOS crusaders, the basic idea is there is no true leadership. It’s more of a group concensus about which target is going to be flooded, and the attacks are coordinated from there. Perhaps Jobs is betting that the ‘Anonymous’ group are Apple fan boys at heart. With a demographic of no fixed size or income, it’s a stretch to make believe that’s true.

And an additional take of the darker side of search, an interesting article which was rife with blackhat truths. the column had a number of colorful quips like: “The black hat SEO is the king of offshoring. Whether it’s programmers from Russia, Latvia, the Ukraine, or content creators from the Philippines, he knows how to create leverage and do it on the cheap.” And probably my personal favorite: “What are the tactics of the black hatter? Well, if I told you I’d have to kill you. Seriously though, do you think a black hatter would actually list them all out for me to publish in an article that Googlers are going to read?”

It’s an amusing read, and offers a couple of insights into the probable targets of black hat SEO techniques. Take a look through the short list provided and take it with a grain of salt, the average time a blackhat site stays live isn’t very long, a few weeks on average, but being able to rank above them irregardless of all the tricks takes the skills and qualities of SEO experts.