In an interesting twist, Jason Tabeling tells us what SEMs can learn from Google AdWords tests. Tabeling compiled a list of changes that Google made since the first of this year, and attempts to provide insight into how each influences AdWords campaigns. He says the tests appear to coincide with some click-through rate fluctuations, but could just as easily be attributed to optimization and account goals, as well as the variance in testing.
Although necessary, most marketers know that link-building strategies are time-consuming. So Paddy Moogan tells us about "actionable link building techniques" to help folks get started immediately. For the first two link-building techniques, he points to software called Screaming Frog, and describes a couple of creative uses.
Put the Web site's name first in the title tag and add a static meta description to pages. These are among the WordPress SEO guidelines Joost de Valk shares in a list of dos and don'ts. Driving a rating system, de Valk has agreed to review WordPress themes and tell authors whether it's SEO-friendly. The results could end up in a post of his site. Authors of the theme will get a badge to post on their site.
An IDC research report released Thursday knocks Yahoo from the No. 1 spot for U.S. display ads. In first-quarter 2011, Google's share of the U.S. display ad market rose to 14.7%, compared to 13.3% in fourth-quarter 2010. Yahoo's share fell to 12.3% from 13.6%. Citing the study, Juan Carlos Perez tells us online ad spending grew 14.3% worldwide to $18.2 billion in first-quarter 2011. U.S. spending grew 14.2% to $8.1 billion.
PayPal has sued Google over its mobile payment service. Cade Metz tells us that Osama Bedier, who designed and then departed PayPal for Google in late January, "misappropriated trade secrets" by sharing them within Google and retailers. The suite also claims the former PayPal exec Stephanie Tilenius, now Google vice president of electronic commerce, violated contractual obligations by bringing Bedier to Google.
Marketers looking for more insight on search terms may want to try Correlate, a tool that mines data and finds matching search patterns that provide hints about ongoing trends. Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org, released the tool this week. Kurt Bakke tells us the tool asks for search terms and then matches closely correlating search terms against them by geographic location and other attributes.
Microsoft emphasizes its relationship with Facebook in a new round of TV spots for Bing. The ads, produced by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, illustrate Bing's Facebook recommendations by showing Facebook pages coming to life. The spots highlight the theory that friends trust friends because they have helped in the past, so why not use their judgment for searches, too?, according to Todd Wasserman.
Frank Reed sits down with Gordon Magee of Doctors Foster and Smith, an online retailer for pet supplies that ranks No. 115 on the Internet Retailer 500. Reed reminds us that the list includes names like Amazon, Staples, Apple, Netflix and about 495 others who are tops in online commerce. The company's online catalog contributes $155 million to the $250 million in total annual sales.
Aaron Wall tells us that Google recently unveiled Google Advisor, which ties together a better interface with the concept of Google Comparison Ads. While Wall acknowledges Google's full disclosure clause, he points to a variety of issues where search engine companies continue to monetize organic search results and push others below the fold.
Duncan Parry shares information on 13 Web sites to gain stats for search engine and browser market share. Marketers will likely recognize most, but bookmarking the post can provide easy access to the sites. Parry makes it clear that the methods these companies use to gather data vary -- so marketers should compare sources, but also make sure they know how each site gathers data.