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April 18, 2007

Google the SEO, Personalization, Cookies and Fun Finds

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Google, Your Trusted SEO

Forget organizing the world’s information, Google’s new goal is to be your search engine optimization campaign’s best friend. A few weeks back we wrote about Google Aiding Your Search Engine Optimization Efforts highlighting Google Website Optimizer and the monthly optimization reports coming from AdSense. Then, yesterday Google migrated its URL removal tool into the Webmaster console so site owners can ask Google to remove content that has already been indexed. The tool also lets site owners ask for content to be removed that resides on someone else’s Web site. Pretty sweet.

Google’s shaping up to be a nice little search engine optimization company, aren’t they? :) I kid, I kid. Put the torches away.

Query-less Searching

Google’s rolling out more personalization features for users who allow them to store their search history. The first feature involves a recommendation button that pulls from a user’s search history to pair them up with new sites they may be interested in. The second gives users the option to add a "magic tab" to their Google Personalized Homepage that will give them a page of recommended gadgets they may be interested in.

Fun, I guess.

The timing of this is very interesting. Both the "recommendation" button and "magic tab" sound a heck of a lot like the services offered by, what’s that company’s name? Oh yeah — StumbleUpon, which just so happens is rumored to have been bought today by eBay after being in the middle of a Google bidding war. I’m not saying there’s any correlation that we’re getting both stories on the same day, it’s just interesting, that’s all. Move along. Nothing to see here.

Users Skewing Your Analytics Data

MarketingVox reports on a comScore study that shows you may not be receiving as many unique visitors to your Web site as you originally thought (sorry!). comScore found that 31 percent of users delete their first-party cookies during the month, with 7 percent of users deleting them more than 4 times. This means a cookie-based count of the visitors coming into your site may be overstated by 150 percent when old visitors are counted as new. Yowsa.

I was surprised to hear that number was so high, but I hope you didn’t need that report to tell you that cookies are not an accurate way to calculate site visits. I wonder how long it will take for our big brother paranoia to make cookies completely irrelevant?

What is Ask Doing?

I heart Ask.com, I do. Meeting Apostolos Gerasoulis at last week’s SES New York was one of the coolest things to happen to me as of late, however, Ask.com is confusing me to no end right now.

First, we have Ask.com trying to explain the somewhat odd The Algorithm Constantly Finds Jesus campaign that’s been running on billboards lately. I get that we’re promoting the importance of the algorithm and all, but tell me again why we’re talking about Jesus? When is bringing religion into a conversation a good idea?

Second, what’s with this "Black" online community? The community has yet to be named but the press release issued says it will "specifically cater to the community’s distinct needs and interests". Um, okay. I’m so confused. However, the two-year-old in me is giggling over IAC’s President of Programming, Michael Jackson, talking about creating a community for African Americans. I know, I know, I have issues. But Ask.com does too. They’ve been creating all sorts of odd press for themselves lately. The guerrilla marketing campaign that ended in backlash, the random billboards, the Jesus-finding algorithm and now a somewhat random venture into online communities? What is Ask doing? [Getting you and everyone else to talk about them? --Susan] — You’re so predictable; Don’t speak.

Fun Finds

Nathan Weinberg reports that Google has gone bankrupt. Oh, no!

ResourceShelf tells us that The State of American’s Libraries 2007 has just been released. I like books.

Happy Birthday to Matt McGee’s Small Business SEM! To SBS, May Matt recount many fond memories about you today, always standing up. ;)

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One response to “Google the SEO, Personalization, Cookies and Fun Finds”

  1. Matt McGee writes:

    Thanks Lisa. :) Nice one on the ‘standing up’ comment, too — let’s keep that our little joke.



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