Foursquare gave local search a boost this week after announcing the 27-employee company closed Tuesday on Series B funding from Union Square Ventures, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and tech icons like Marc Andreessen's and Ben Horowitz's venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The VC funding, along with flaws from major search engines, could turn Foursquare's tool into the king of local search.
Travel-related Web sites gained insights into the 2010 travel season Tuesday. Google released a whitepaper providing highlights of search query behavior in 2009 to help advertisers plan for this year's summer excursions. The research, "A Paper of Two Halves," details query and click growth, explains why CPCs have fallen, what impact the World Cup had on search, and changes in this year's search seasonality.
Inhale, exhale. Find the center. Something as subjective as appearance plays a part in a Web site's optimization success or failure rate. Finding the formula to develop Web sites that strike a balance between text, white space and graphics can become difficult, but important, even for the most seasoned developer or SEO expert.
Microsoft and Yahoo provided an update to the transition from Yahoo Search to adCenter on Thursday. Rob Wilk, national director of search optimization & Strategy at Yahoo, and Rathna Sharad, group product manager at Microsoft, and others were on hand to answer questions. Many remain unanswered.
Microsoft Bing held a press conference on Tuesday night at the SoHo House in Hollywood to release the Entertainment section on the search engine, but the real fun began later that night when a panel of stars hit the stage in an intimate setting to talk about technology. After hearing Stone talk about Twitter you realize how poetic this co-founder can become. In a metaphor he references Twitter as a flock of birds moving around an object in flight. "It looks perfectly choreographed," he says. "But it's not."
Link building has never been easy. It's all about finding the best match. SEO professionals wanting to take the shortcut by buying links from farms can get themselves in trouble. They run the risk of getting crappy backlinks that can prevent relevant queries from floating to the top of rankings. And Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines don't like the practice. Eightfold Logic Founder Richard Zwicky thinks he has the answer.
Language moves on. Some of the same words consumers searched on in 2005 can have vastly different meanings when searched on today, or they might not have existed. For example, some words spelled the same might have different meanings, while other words have different meaning with slightly different spelling such as Microsoft "Kinect," rather than "connect." Then there's the new words all together like "iPad" that didn't exist a year ago. Ian Saunders, managing director at Crystal Semantics, says language changes about 5% annually.
Search on Facebook stinks. Let's face it. The in-site search engine works well to find people, but when it comes to optimizing information for events or recommendations for products and services on Fan and community pages, marketers struggle. Secrets to optimize successfully on the site are closely guarded by Facebook execs, but marketing professionals need to know more.
Sony's proprietary default browser on PlayStation 3 offers some search functions. Through it gamers can access Google, Yahoo or Bing. But what if the PS3 nixed the default browser and adopted Google.com? Those decisions "are made in Japan," according to Peter Dille, senior vice president of marketing and PlayStation Network at Sony. "We provided our feedback and I think it should be considered," he says. "As you point out, Sony already has a relationship with Google. We're already doing business with them."
Agencies comprise about 60% of Kenshoo's business, up from about 50% in the prior year. Ariel Rosenstein, director of product marketing at Kenshoo, says the company, which supports pay per click (PPC) campaigns has added extensive analytics and services to support that market. It gives agencies the ability to take on and scale up clients quickly, especially those that begin with smaller budgets. Kenshoo can add one more to the list.