Jolina Pettice

SES Session: Personalization, User Data & Search

Personalized Search Panel - SES Chicago 2007

Whether you’re part of the search industry or just affected by it, you’ve probably not only grown used to change but are excited by it.

Attending a session this morning about personalized and universal search, we had a panel full of excited folks and audience members all bursting at the seams to discuss what these two types of search bring.

Panelists included:

Moderator:
Greg Jarboe, President and Co-Founder, SEO-PR

Speakers:
Dave Davies, CEO, Beanstalk
Jonathan Mendez, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, OTTO Digital
Richard Zwicky, Founder and CEO, Enquisite
Aaron D’Souza, Software Engineer, Google
Bill Barnes, Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Enquiro Search Solutions Inc.
James Colborn, Director, US Trade Marketing, Microsoft Corporation

Lee Odden

Google: “You are not getting the option to cancel your account”

Lee Odden     Google, Online Marketing

I recently discovered a test AdWords account setup by an ex-staffer and while there was never any activity, it didn’t make sense to keep the AdWords or User account live since it would never be used. A cancel request was sent to Google and this was the response:

“Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear that you want to cancel your AdWords account. After reviewing your account, I see that you have not submitted your billing information, so your account was never activated. Therefore, you are not getting the option to cancel your account.”

You’d think it would take as much time to just delete as it did to “review” the account and write the email saying “no”. I am curious what the policies are with other search engines that offer paid search advertising? If someone creates an account and then decides not to use it, do they say “no” when the customer asks to cancel?

Lee Odden

Poll: Will OpenSocial “Maka-Maka” Facebook Obsolete?

The hot potato in social media this week is the OpenSocial web standards initiative (see screenshots here) promoted by Google involving numerous social applications, platforms and partners including: Ning, LinkedIn, Friendster, Oracle, Plaxo, Orkut, Salesforce, iLike, and Slide. Reported first on TechCrunch, “OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks”. That information includes: profiles, friends and activities.

A distinguishing feature of OpenSocial is that applications will be created with normal HTML and JavaScript. Facebook requires development using it’s own markup language making the apps unusable elsewhere. With the recent $240 million Microsoft investment in Facebook and a $15 billion valuation, the stakes are very high. Some say OpenSocial isn’t really opening any doors or isn’t a threat to Facebook. What say you?

TopRank Marketing Editor

Google Webmaster Tools Review

TopRank Marketing Editor     Google, Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tools

SEO Tool ReviewGoogle Webmaster Tools Logo

Google Webmaster Tools is a great resource for any site owner. It’s designed to inform webmasters about how Google bot is interacting with their website. It gives detailed information on broken links, popular keywords and how often Google is stopping by. It’s Googles way of giving site owners the information that they need to be successful.

The Setup

Getting started with Google Webmaster Tools is not to difficult. The first thing you’ll need is a Google account. Since all Google services use the same login, you may already be setup. If you have Gmail, Adwords, Analytics, iGoogle or one of the many other services, then you are ready to go. If not, sign up for a free Google Account.

Lee Odden

Small Business Guide to Optimizing Universal Search

SMB Universal Search Engine Optimization
The buzz in the search marketing media and increasingly, the business press, on the importance of unified or universal search is gaining momentum and is unavoidable. Small and medium sized business web site owners and webmasters are now presented with the challenge of making sense out of the recent rash of search engine interface and functional improvements and how to adjust their online marketing efforts accordingly. Many are not sure what to do. Hopefully this short guide will shed light on the fundamentals and give some basic direction on next steps.

Lee Odden

SES Video: Vanessa Fox Google Webmaster Tools

Even though she’s moved on from Google to Zillow, Vanessa Fox still carries quite a bit of passion for her creation, Google Webmaster Tools which was renamed from Google sitemaps about a year ago. She was even spotted at the Google Dance giving advice to SES attendees at the Google Webmaster Tools product demo table.

[youtube]FtqPjmBrJ1g[/youtube]

Many webmasters and beginning search marketers could benefit a great deal from the features offered by Google Webmaster Tools so I asked Vanessa if she’d do a short video with me to provide a few tips.

For more info on Google Webmaster Central visit the blog.

TopRank Marketing Editor

SES Keynote: Marissa Mayer of Google

Day three of Search Engine Strategies San Jose started off with Danny Sullivans’ last keynote presentation where he talked to Marissa Mayer of Google, who was giving her first keynote. Overall they talked about universal search, touch on video, personalized search, iGoogle and the iPhone.

Wednesday Keynote with Marissa Mayer

Marissa sated that they felt users were happy with the new universal search. A lot of work had to go into chainging the algorithm to incorporate the additional sources but they were happy. She did say that they had a long way to go yet and other sources, such as scholar, may be added in the future. Google’s goal with universal search is to be more like an encyclopedia with as much relevant information right at your finger tips.

Lee Odden

Google Dance 2007 Photos

Google Dance

Google did it again last night with a cast of thousands partying their way from 7-11:30 pm at the Googleplex. The rock ‘n roll theme with tattoo inspired artwork set the stage for another festive post conference event. There was dancing and buffets both inside and out, chess, pool, karyoke, meet the engineers and many, many kegs of beer/bottles of wine. Nothing ran out this time except the very cool looking T-Shirts.

TopRank Blogging Team

Always looking to shake things up, the TopRank blogging team convinced Google security to cough up a volleyball and promptly started a game in Google’s sandy volleyball court.

Line for Google Dance
Waiting in line for the bus to Google Land.

Bussing it to the Google Dance
Driving into the sunset, literally.

Welcome to the Google Dance!
Pretty Googlers welcoming SEOs with clapping and cheering. Riiiiight.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Session: Are Paid Links Evil?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Are Paid Links Evil? Optimus Prime versus Megatron.

As I attended “Are Paid Links Evil?” as my last session of Day 2 at SES San Jose 2007, I was glad to see that everyone there was still in high spirits after the long day of learning, blogging, networking and preparing for the Google Dance. However, I didn’t expect to see a battle of the Autobots against the Decepticons.

Are Paid  Links Evil?

First off in this battle of the galaxies was the ever-famous Matt Cutts, Software Engineer Guru at Google, stating clearly and concisely that paid links that pass Google PageRank are in clear violation of the Google webmaster guidelines. And as we all know, we do NOT want to be in violation of these. Any violation of these commandments could result in being bounced out of the Google index, which could severely impact your website traffic in a very negative way.

Lee Odden

Indexed by Google in an Hour

Today Rob Key from Converseon pinged me on how fast their work promoting reforestation through a video as part of an American Express promotion hit the Google SERPs. The project is a great example of the power of social media for a great cause.

In just 4 days the video (Second Chance Trees) ranks #2 for the phrase “American Express Members Project“. It actually ranks higher than the Amex web site for the project, which is pretty impressive with over 4 million search results for the term. Maybe after indexing this blog, the link above it’ll be doing even better. 🙂

Lee Odden

Google GrandCentral Invites

Lee Odden     Google, Online Marketing

googlegrandcentral-logo.gif
This weekend I was able to get an invite (thanks Adam!) and try out Google’s recent acquisition, GrandCentral which is in private beta.

google grandcentral

GrandCentral allows you to use one number to manage all your phones: home, cell, work, etc. The web interface allows you to manage greetings for each number, archive all voice mails indefinitely, setup notification preferences and many more options. There’s even a nifty phone spam option to filter out telemarketers and other unwanted calls. The basic idea is that if your work or home numbers change, you don’t need to update anyone because they would have your GrandCentral number.

google grandcentral

Lee Odden

Searchonomics and Future of Search

Jeremiah Owyang did some blogging of the Searchonomics conference today and captured some great info from Marissa Mayer’s keynote. Looking at a list of speakers for this event is like a who’s who of silicon valley and web 2.0 fame.
From Jeremiah’s post it looks like Google is counting on gadgets as a new advertising channel. It’s all very interesting.

He has notes on other Google initiatives as well, including:  Language Translator “Clear”, Google Book Search, Images and Video, Speech Recognition empowers Video Search, Universal Search, Mobile Search, Maps and Local, Google APIs, Gears, Gadgets, iGoogle and Gadgets Ventures.

Take a read for yourself.