Sports fanatics in the UK have a shiny new search interface at http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/, as Yahoo Europe has gone live with an upgrade that bundles video, maps, and marketplace content into the search results. A search for "Beckham," for example, pulls up three news articles and four images above the fold, as well as video clips and a related searches pod on the right pane. Though Yahoo has already been including images and news in the results from its main U.S. search portal, the Yahoo Sport site for the UK and Ireland has a distinctly different feel -- almost …
University of Illinois Computer Science professor Clement Yu has created www.allinonenews.com, a metasearch engine for news. The homepage is decidedly lean -- with no rich media, no banner ads, and just a few Google-sponsored links -- but the engine is robust, indexing stories from some 1,800 news search engines across 200 countries. Blogger Tara Calishain gives an overview of the pros and cons, from the lack of arranging search results by date, to the availability of results via RSS.
Web sites that violate Google's tech and content guidelines (through malicious tactics like cloaking text and sneaky redirects) run the risk of being removed entirely from the search giant's index. But some sites may be penalized for unintentional missteps, and Google announced that it will resume contacting Webmasters about penalties via email. The search giant stopped emailing these notifications back in May and set up an opt-in message center, because hacks were sending fake Google notifications as a way to scam unsuspecting Webmasters.
Site managers may use multiple analytics tools to gauge their traffic and user behavior, but paying attention to the data and applying common business or life experience can often yield greater insights than software alone. Case in point, blogger Wendy Piersall of the eMomsatHome home business blog found that traffic spikes were tied to the seasonality of her postings -- and that updating the content on her page accordingly could help improve her organic search rankings. Piersall gives some basic tips for leveraging seasonality to gain traffic, as well as sources for analytics tools and trend analysis.
Yahoo has packed a number of new enhancements into its Search Marketing platform, aimed at helping advertisers create, compare and optimize their Panama ads more effectively. Marketers can group up to 20 ads and then create, manage, and compare their performance in one section. There's also a new monthly email for quality index score information, as well as a designated section in the Account Summary tab that helps advertisers see how well (or poorly) their ads are faring when it comes to Yahoo's quality index scores.
In addition to standard ad placements, Google offers AdSense publishers a referral-based revenue stream. So when a site visitor signs up to use specific products -- like an AdWords account, or the Google-enabled Firefox toolbar, for example -- the publisher gets a referral fee. But with some standard referral bonuses hitting the $2,000 mark, the search giant has guidelines in place that may prevent some publishers from nabbing their reward. David Utter details common publisher mistakes in this short piece, including an official response from the AdSense blog.
Eric Lander touches on how duplicate content and its negative impact on page ranking and link-building was a hot topic at SES San Jose, and then lists basic steps Webmasters can take to combat it. When other Web sites hijack text, images, and other material from a publisher -- sometimes stripping the ads, and other times exposing them to click fraud -- the time and energy spent fighting it can mushroom quickly. Lander also posts links for more in-depth duplicate content information.
Much of the discussion about search marketing's bad reputation centers on tactics used by organic search pros. Rob Kerry dives into the logic behind some dirty paid search tricks, from gaining the ability to buy multiple ads for the same search term (by creating multiple user accounts), to directly copying a competitor's ad (effectively bumping them out of the paid search listings overall). He also poses the question of ethics, wondering whether Web pros should use these tactics, and warning that they pose the risk of getting the offending PPC account canceled.
Google rolled out the AdWords Campaign Optimizer last month, a tool that analyzes existing keyword campaigns and suggests ways to improve performance, but StraightUpSearch blogger Matt finds that the tool falls short of its claims to help "fine tune" ad campaigns. The team at Oneupweb (parent company behind the StraightUpSearch blog) ran tests and found that the automated application's recommendations would have sent "a perfectly profitable campaign into a tailspin."
Sports search engine Enth.com has added NFL data to its info chest, allowing sports fans and fantasy football buffs alike to search for player and game stats, just in time for the upcoming pro-football season. Through Enth's partnership with Stats, Inc., a leading sports info archive, searchers have access to years of NCAA, MLB (and now NFL) statistics -- and the engine's software makes it easy to find highly specific, detailed answers to simply worded queries.