• Google Gmail Reportedly Down In China
    Gmail, Google's e-mail service, was blocked in China in what USA Today calls a possible attempt by China's government to limit or ban access to Google's services. Data from Google's Transparency Report shows that online traffic from China to Gmail fell sharply on Friday and dropped to nearly zero on Saturday, followed by a slight rise on Monday.
  • Google Unveils Self-Driving Car Prototype
    Google unwrapped the first real build of our self-driving vehicle prototype Monday, which the company initially gave us a look at in May. The early drawing didn't have headlights, but now the company has a complete prototype for fully autonomous driving. In a post on Google+, the company said it will spend the holidays zipping around its test track and on the streets of Northern California in the new year. Safety drivers will continue to oversee the vehicle for a while longer, using temporary manual controls as needed while engineers continue to test and learn.
  • Mobile Search's Role For Last-Minute Shoppers
    Mobile will become an important research tool for last-minute shoppers as they rush to a store to grab that last forgotten gift before the holiday. The handheld device will become the product tracker, price-checker and location finder. eMarketer points to a September 2014 study by the e-tailing group that found looking up store information such as hours and location was the top method, at 78%, for U.S. digital shoppers who use their smartphone while holiday shopping. Around three-quarters of shoppers would look for coupons and promotions and check for sales and specials, and 50% said they would buy gifts through …
  • Complexities, Fixes To Support SEO On Global-Focused Sites
    Issues around language and user experience for Web sites attracting global consumers are a given, but one of the more common questions centers around using ccTLD, or the top-level domain name, such as co.uk in a domain name like domain.co.uk. The reasoning is that the ccTLD extension suggests to search engines and users the target audience. For example, a search engine and human user would know, even without clicking into a site, that a site that ends with .co.uk is targeting a user looking for U.K. content, explains Eli Schwartz. Here are some tips to keep in mind when taking Web sites …
  • Conversion Rate, Attribution Testing
    The end-of-year holidays are quickly coming to a close, but following New Year's Eve, marketers will need to quickly change course to focus on Valentine's Day. Michelle Morehouse serves up strategies to improve conversion rate, test new campaign structures, and improve attribution to help marketers refine their overall paid-search performance.
  • Another Report Identifies Growing Bot Traffic
    A report found that bot traffic volumes fell to 56%, from 60% in 2013, across of all Web visits. The steady drop in bots points to RSS services, per the annual findings from Incapsula. The report focuses on year-to-year bot traffic trends on malicious activity like hack attacks, DDoS floods, spam schemes, and click-fraud campaigns.
  • Unclear Google Ad Policies Cost SMBs Millions
    Pubshare's Peter Ogtanyan has lost nearly $1 million in revenue earned through search ads Google refused to pay, according to a copy of his lawsuit filed in a California state court, citing unclear Google policies for financial losses. The company used Google's AdSense on the company's Web sites, gaining 300 million views and 1.5 million clicks via AdSense, with a click-through rate of 0.45%, per Business Insider. The traffic generated about $1 million between September and October 2013, the suit alleges, before Google sent him a notice saying it would not pay any of the money his ads had earned.
  • Applying Information Architecture To SEO
    Rand Fishkin digs into best practices from information architects within an organization and how they can help when applied to search engine optimization. He offers advice on keywords and SEO, publishing fresh content, linking to evergreen pages, generating sub-pages and managing intent, and more.
  • Google Wants To Power Your Car
    It should come as a surprise to anyone that Google wants to power electric cars through Android. Google is planning to build the next version of its Android operating system, Android M, into automobiles, per Reuters. If successful, car companies would standardize on Android to power the car's entertainment and navigation features, and allow Google to make more use of a car's camera, sensors, fuel gauge, and Internet connections that come with some newer car models.
  • Baidu Invests In Uber
    Chinese search giant Baidu has confirmed an investment in Uber. The company's mobile search and maps apps will integrate Uber. Similar to Google Maps, Baidu Maps will integrate into Uber. The app also adds a request-a-ride button. Techcrunch reports that the deal will allow Uber to take advantage of Baidu’s app distribution channels -- including 91 Wireless, which it purchased for $1.9 billion last year.
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