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May 12, 2006

Weekly Recap 05/12/2006

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It’s the entry I wait all week to write: the Bruce Clay, Inc Weekly Recap. Today’s edition is filled with Friday’s big headlines, as well as all the fun stuff we didn’t have time to include in our regular posts this week! You may want to grab a cup of coffee, because this is going to be a good one.
Actual search news first: Google has launched a standalone tool that allows advertisers to calculate traffic and cost information for their keywords without having to log in to their AdWords account. Users can calculate keyword/ minimum bids, search volume, estimated average CPC, ad positions and other data. Of course, by not logging in, you won’t have access to any of your settings or account history, but still interesting. Especially for users just starting out who don’t yet have an AdWords account.

If you haven’t noticed, the search engines are getting catty this week! Yesterday Terry Semel told Microsoft they had ‘no chance’ in the search market and today Microsoft is taking their own shots at Google, accusing the Goog of wanting special treatment in IE7. Right now, the IE7 toolbar offers a drop-down menu with an alphabetical list of search sites (go Ask!) so that users can pick which they prefer, not that that will satisfy Google. Ballmer quipped Google will likely still have complaints, saying they probably ‘want to see a list of search providers, with the No. 1 search provider listed first’. Heh! I love when grown men act like little girls.

The Wall Street Journal uncovered a new study that suggests 3.1 percent of organic results and 8.5 percent of paid search results lead to ‘dangerous’ content that may harm your computer. Even innocuous searches for terms like ‘birthday cards’ or ‘care bears’ brought up dangerous content 15 percent of the time. C’mon, for care bears? Way to ruin my childhood memories. Don’t worry guys, ‘snuffleupagus’ still looks pretty clean!

I supposed you can’t blame the engines for the organic results. After all, they just index what’s out there. But 8.5 percent of paid search results? That’s troublesome. As Andy Beal said, if they can’t control ad quality, what hope do we have they can control the quality of the clicks?

Well, I received a shock this morning. I logged into my Bloglines and discovered the Ask blog had posted three new entries. This made me pretty excited. I hurriedly moused over to see what they had to say only to find it was a false alarm. No new entries. Again.

Ask, where are you? I’m beginning to worry, and apparently so is my Bloglines. Come back to us Ask. We miss you.

Andy Beal just about killed me this morning with his Something Is Missing post. I won’t ruin it for you; but you’re going to want to check it out. Trust me.

People are having way too much fun with Google Trends. Steve Rubel presents us with 25 Things I Learned On Google Trends and a battle of the bloggers, while Nathan enters Jesus in a high-school popularity contest and then points us to a fight featuring our favorite superheroes! And you thought my Red Sox/ Yankees example was bad.

Lastly, you also may have seen the marriage proposal Nathan found on Google Earth earlier in the week. It was impressive only for the childish writing ability of the asker. (To the asker, we’d love to hear what the response was!) Well, Gray Hat News has one-upped that guy by posting messages they ‘found’ while perusing the London landscape via Google Maps. Highly amusing. Overall, I’d say it’s been a fun week!

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