The names of three banks and the word “stocks” beat “sex” to become four of the most Googled words in China last year, according to a Google China list seen on Thursday.
China Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank ranked second, third and sixth, according to a list supplied by Google China on its website (www.google.cn).
“On the Chinese mainland, it was money and technology that took the honors last year,” the China Daily said, pointing out that “sex” was the most popular keyword for Google users in some other countries.
Fourth on the list was “stock,” not surprising with Shanghai shares having risen 97 percent last year. At number 1 was “QQ,” a Chinese instant message service and a brand of car.
China’s Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and Banking Regulatory Commission ranked first, third and fifth in the “Most Popular Departments” list, the Web site said.
In another list named “qiu zhi,” or “seeking knowledge,” “what is a blue chip” and “how to invest in the stock market” were the most searched questions on Google in China, while “what is love” and “how to kiss” ranked top of the global list.
China keeps a tight rein on Internet content and has launched several campaigns to root out online pornography, perhaps one reason why “sex” did not score so well.
US Search engine giant Google is to launch its own version of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia in a bid to increase its stranglehold over online advertising revenue
Google is building its own version of communally-constructed online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, which consistently ranks among the most visited websites in the world.
The internet search powerhouse is inviting chosen people to test a free service dubbed “knol” to indicate a unit of knowledge, vice president of engineering Udi Manber said yesterday in a posting at Google’s website.
“Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it,” Mr Manber wrote. “There are millions of people who possess useful knowledge that they would love to share, and there are billions of people who can benefit from it.”
While Wikipedia lets visitors make changes to its online pages, trusting that people with accurate information will correct errors and misleading entries, Google is inviting folks to author their own articles.
Technology queries dominated the list of fastest rising overall search terms of 2007.
Unsurprisingly, Facebook topped the list in a year when the social-networking site gained critical mass and snowballing membership. It was followed by video-sharing site YouTube, and competing social networks Bebo and MySpace. Interestingly, a number of child-orientated websites also ranked high on the search list: Club Penguin, in which youngsters adopt a penguin cartoon character and interact with other members through the snowy virtual world, was number five on the list; and StarDoll, a website that allows you dress cleverly sketched pictures of celebrities in the latest fashions, made an appearance at number seven.
Wikipedia, Gumtree and eBay made up the remainder of this category, and arguably demonstrate that people perhaps do not know how to use search engines properly – most of these websites simply need a “.com” added to the end of their name in a web browser to take you straight through to the site, and yet people persist in circuitously accessing these pages via Google rather than by going straight there.
Gadgets, celebrities and strange diets top Google’s list,for the first time, the internet search giant has produced a city-by-city list of the most Googled words across the UK.
Google by area: Farnborough inhabitants are looking for love while London seeks shopping info
People in Gateshead searched most often for “Gordon Brown”, while those in Oxford Googled “David Cameron”. The inhabitants of Swindon are either suffering from a crimewave or are closet Sting fans – the most searched-for term there was “Police”. Bristolians searched for “takeaway” most often, while it was “love” in Farnborough, “shopping” in London, “holidays” in Bletchley, and “weather” in St Albans. “Beer” dominated online search habits in Cambridge, while in Sheffield it was “baby”.
Fun-loving residents in Nottingham searched for “party” most often in 2007, while the ever-optimistic folk of Leeds searched for “sport”. In Edinburgh, “Xmas” was the most searched-for term of 2007, rather suggesting that no-one used the internet in that city before November.
Recently, a conference was held in Las Vegas, the Publishers Conference (pubcon.com). Lots of discussion around search marketing and opportunities to generate traffic and business online: Link building, universal search, local search, social search, personalized search, web 2.0, social media optimization, content strategies and much, much more.
One of the top videos that came out of the conference that’s available now is the Matt Cutts interview for top SEO advice. You will also find more tips on WordPress and its recent release.
Lastly, some tips on YouTube and Google Video optimization, which is important for possible massive exposure.
Watch the video here
Maybe it’s a symptom of Christmas shopping fever, but the struggle between Google, Yahoo and Microsoft for Internet Advertising dollars seems to be hitting a new high.
Google, the top dog in the online advertising kennel, taking part of the growing trend for online shopping by offering a number of deals tied up with its Checkout purchasing system.
For each $1 spent by American consumers, it is offering two frequent flyer miles on seven major airlines, and is also offering discounts of between $5 and $50 at many different merchants, the New York Times reports.
eBay, whose PayPal system is Checkout’s chief rival, also has top deals with brands like Toys ‘R’ Us and Hewlett Packard.
Google’s deals are sure to drive sales and bring its share price closer to the $900 predicted by Credit Suisse.
Meanwhile Yahoo is looking to capitalise on internet retail, although its hosted shopping services suffered outages on Monday (November 26th), traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
The problems were down to heavy holiday traffic, with perhaps even the leading internet companies underestimating how many consumers would flock to the web to make their Christmas purchases.
This is symbolic of the massive audience for internet advertisers.
Meanwhile, commentators are predicting that Microsoft may buy Yahoo, or that Yahoo may buy AOL, in order to compete more effectively with the behemoth that is Google.
“Google has locked up the number one spot in the sector, and the market won’t support more than three competitors,” said Henry Blodget writing in the Silicon Alley Insider.
Search marketing can improve your website’s position on Google and the other search engines.
As anyone who has a product they can sell through a website will know, Marketing plays a vital part in reaching out to an audience. It’s all very well having the best product in the world, but if no-one knows about it, it’s not going to sell. Marketing, including Internet Marketing, is the best way to address this problem.
Marketers need to identify the needs and desires of consumers, and then to raise awareness of a product that will be useful or desirable for them. Essentially, marketing is a means of recruiting new customers and retaining existing ones – and in today’s fast-changing retail world, it is quite simply critical.
The internet provides a ready-made audience of millions, but marketers need to take the correct steps in order to put their product before them. Website owners have an advantage in that online audiences are growing, while newspapers, radio and (to a lesser degree) TV are in decline.
This is illustrated by the fact that Google recently overtook ITV1 in terms of advertising revenues. Figures from the search engine showed that it made £327 million in advertising for the July to September period, as opposed to the £317 million made by the TV channel.
Another key benefit is that smaller businesses can effectively compete with larger companies using internet marketing, because they don’t need a huge budget for an expensive print media or billboard campaign.
But how do small businesses and other webmasters take advantage?
Search engine marketing
One tried-and-tested method is search engine marketing. This can include search engine optimization (SEO), whereby websites are boosted in Google, Yahoo, etc by containing more relevant keywords and fresh, ever-changing content, as well as through Link Building.
As the BBC notes, “one of the most important factors in deciding how relevant particular sites are is to count how many other sites link to it”, and responsible link building increases a site’s credibility.
Paid search is also popular, with companies bidding on certain keywords and having their ads displayed at the side or the top of the main results pages of the search engines.
Finally, a fast-evolving method is viral marketing,
whereby social networks are used to spread awareness of a brand or product, in a self-replicating way similar to the spread of a virus.
The internet is particularly well-suited to this process because of the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, and because of the emerging trend for other collaborative projects and spaces.
A recent example was the Guinness viral campaign that trailed the launch of its latest television ad.
Google shares are set to reach $900, boosted by Credit Suisse, which has raised its target price from $800 to $900 due to anticipated growth over the coming five years in online advertising.
Google’s shares rose by more than five per cent on the news, eventually settling at three per cent higher ($645) on the Nasdaq.
Should the search engine’s takeover of internet advertising firm DoubleClick be finalised, Google will be able to consolidate its already strong grip on the online advertising market. Advertising on web-enabled mobile phones is set to further boost the company’s cofers.
Credit Suisse analyst Heath Terry told Reuters: “We believe that search is a natural monopoly business and expect that over time Google will continue to gain share until they have effectively reached 100 per cent.”
He believes that Google’s search business can grow at the astonishing rate of 38 per cent a year over the next five years.
Search marketing is an effective way for website owners to boost their online presence.
A new poll from market research firm Harris Interactive shows that computer usage in the US has increased more than any other kind of leisure time activity.
This means that there are more Americans online, more often, spending money and presenting a fantastic opportunity for internet marketers.
Computer activities are now the fourth most popular thing to do, after reading, watching TV, and spending time with the family.
The proportion of time spent on the computer is nine per cent, compared to 29 per cent reading, 18 per cent watching TV, and 14 per cent with the family. Other popular activities include going to the movies, fishing, gardening, and walking.
However, it is computer activities that have enjoyed by far the greatest increase since 1995, growing from two to seven per cent. Meanwhile, TV watching has declined from 25 per cent to 18 per cent over the same period.
At the same time, more money is being spent on internet advertising, as companies shift their advertising budgets from TV and other media such as newspapers to the web.
A clear example of this is the fact that Google’s advertising revenues have now overtaken those of ITV1.
For some reason, some clients tend to look at Organic SEO like a vending machine. Almost as if they want to put their money in a slot and instantly want the prize. Organic SEO depends on the climate of the competition, the industry and variables such as the content on your pages, if your site is new, if your website has links or if it is virtually unknown. The list of potential obstacles that an optimization specialist has to overcome oftentimes seems insurmountable in comparison to the expectations of a client.
In the event that time is not a luxury one can afford for long term results, there is pay per click marketing. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for solid organic placement, but before getting there, oftentimes an education and above all clarity needs to be established between the SEO company and the client before embarking on a voyage into the raging waters of the search engine marketing.
Patience may be a virtue, but in SEO it is the cornerstone to long lasting organic search results. If you have a newer website that barely ranks for your company name and you hire an SEO company with the expectation of taking over a 2 word phrase with 5,000,000 pages competing for that term, what likelihood do you have of achieving search engine domination (that lasts) within a month? 2 months?, 3 months?, bleak…you see the point. To acquire such (in the real world) and not just theoretically would mean that you would have had to start somewhere (with related keywords) to chip away at the tail or the term (sometimes for 3-6 months), before even considering attacking the head. Not to mention that your ranking potential is to a great extent based on your link popularity. Now those of you who are not familiar with link building, here is an analogy.
Say for example that you want to appear for a search term that sparsely appears for a fleeting moment on your website, you don’t really want to change your content and you want fast results (all SEO’s raise their hand if they have had to deal with clients like this) then I have news for you. Your better breaking it to them that they are better off sticking risk vs. reward, no guarantee, pay per click marketing. At least then they know what their getting, a shot at the top, with no safety net. One can easily burn through 2-3 times as much money using PPC than just observing a bit of patience to organically occupy a top 10 spot and have the users click happily ever after when they visit your site free of the toll of the PPC troll. But to expect this from Organic SEO right out of the box (from a newer site – less than a year old) is simply contrary to the principles (mainly the algorithms) that control organic rankings.
What is the solution?
So what can you do if you are interested in increasing your rankings without spending a fortune? Invest your time in (a) looking at the top tier websites that are returned for the search terms you are coveting and (b) be frank with yourself to determine what those websites have that yours does not. Do they have 1000 pages and you have 3, do they have 25,000 back links to their site and you have 28, trust me details like this matter. What can you emulate and what can you do today to make changes that can provide relevance for your website aside from wishful thinking…
All kidding aside, if you are considering what it would take to be on top, usually the first thing to consider is what you need to be doing differently that can aid the process that is already known for being conducive with top 10 rankings. Because frankly, if you were doing that already, your wouldn’t need SEO to begin with. So if you are afraid of change, or quite simply just don’t have the time to commit 3 hours a day to your site (minor tweaks, revisions, polishing the content, building links, socially bookmarking to promote, etc) then your better off hiring an SEO company who does know how, and that can avoid the pitfalls in the first place.
Start from the ground up, content is the key
Organic SEO is based on maximizing the content on your pages to achieve the right balance of word density (percentage of keywords to non keywords) as well as proper use of signal flares or signifying elements that say HEY OVER HERE, HERE I AM, when it comes to that term. Not that repetition for the sake of redundancy occurs (otherwise known as SPAM), but your message should be clear, themed and concise, while being informative, compelling and engaging to consume (otherwise known as sticky) to ensure sales and conversion.
If you are a bit on the shallow side on the links, you can sign up for the Yahoo Directory to get the ball rolling, it’s the best $299 one could spend on investing in their websites instant recognition based on the process of affiliation with one of the oldest directories online. One site which was less than a year old went from a page rank 0 to a page rank 4, just on the strength of Yahoo’s back link, so this is a start.
My suggestion is to build links for about 3-5 months gradually sprinkling the terms you want to rank for in the anchor text (the text in the link) that reference your site. The idea is to have a balance of broad search terms as well as a combination of exact match terms to dial in the net and funnel the potential searches that may have any number of keywords that pertain to your industry. In this way, your site can become a catch all for various top 10 searches and create inroads with search engines as an authority in your industry.
This is what link building is for, building authority, from there once your website is viewed in that capacity, you can work smarter not harder to rank for more competitive terms. This is not intended to be interpreted as a tutorial, but rather a needed statement to address all of the misconceptions about organic rankings.
Organic SEO can work fast, but it depends on variables and since no two sites are alike, what works for one, may not work for another. Competition and the industry have the greatest impact on this part of the equation. Real estate vs. ant farming, sure you could rank in the top 10 for the best ant farmer, but then again the daily search volume may be 3 people a day if that.
The point being, the market is based on supply and demand and as any commodity is in great demand, it is taxed accordingly. In this case, the search engines view this as a commitment of time and energy. Visibility and links are crucial, but finding the right combination of old and new links as well as being present in the headlines, social scenes and other known factors that can produce rankings are all investments of time. So the next time you wonder why SEO companies charge so much, this should provide some incite into the logic behind the equation. They are essentially micro-managing thousands of steps and protocols, analyzing the results and systematically applying fundamentals to give your website the proper balance so that it appeals to the hungry, yet picky spiders and bots, whose purpose it is to catalog and retrieve useful content.
If you don’t make the grade, you can always build a few more links, clean up your code, your content and your act and then wait for them to breeze through again and catch a glimpse of your wares. If they like what they see, you should be ranking in no time flat. But if the results you are seeking fall short of your expectations, then it is either you than must come to terms with what you want and where your at, so that you can make the needed adjustments to find a happy medium between on-page SEO, off-page link building until you achieve your goal.