Archive for the ‘Google Search’ Category

YP.com: Great Domain For Shortening URLs

April 5, 2010

I was speaking with a friend of mine who sat with Randall Stephenson at a recent technology conference.

He was proud that the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of AT&T was born and raised here.

Stephenson has taken great strides in making AT&T more relevant at a time when brands mean less to consumers than since when brands were first conceived.

One brand struggling to remain relevant and retain what value it has left is AT&T’s Yellowpages.com

A Google search for “yellowpages” finds the Yellowpages.com domain and their YP.com brand atop the search results page.

Kind of confusing… which domain is it YellowPages.com or YP.com?

Yellow Pages Search

Yellow Pages Search

Based upon this ambiguous messaging, its unclear to me which brand and domain AT&T actually sends its visitors to let alone which brand its actually using.

Kind of reminds me of the MSN – Live – Bing drama.

Mr. Stephenson – which brand is it – YellowPages.com or YP.com?

Anyway one thing is for certain, if I were running the site I would turn YP.com into a url shortener for both YellowPages.com advertisers and its users so they could share information with each other via their mobile phones.

YP.com looks like the perfect branded url shortening service to me.

I am sure some legal department somewhere could think of a hundred reasons not to do it but from a relevancy stand point – what could make the Yellow Pages any more relevant than deploying its YP.com brand as a url shortening service for its advertisers?

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Google Local Search Results Lotto

September 30, 2009

Mike Blumenthal recently reported several instances of Google delivering authoritative OneBox results for general search phrases.

His “Big Boobs Bounce Back to Top of Google Maps” details how aggressive optimization has been used to produce multiple listing results for the same business yet under different but related general keyword phrases.

As Blumenthal points out. the new spammy results probably weren’t the type Google had intended to produce when they instituted changes to their local search results recently.

Whether Google’s local search results tweak was intended to produce the results it has or not, their changes have introduced a variety of new and different results types for local searches across several different business categories.

Businesses who have received an authoritative Onebox as a result of these recent Google changes might feel they have won something akin to the Google Local Search Lotto.

For those businesses on the other side of an authoritative Onebox result and the now non-existent “more results near” link who have seen their local search presence and traffic disappear the feeling most certainly isn’t mutual.

I came across one such category – luxury apartments – where Google’s new local search results are uneven at best.

Searching for luxury apartments in New York – surely the largest luxury apartment market in America – produces an authoritative OneBox result for a single property.

Luxury Apartments New York

Luxury Apartments New York

The same search in Boston for luxury apartments also produces a single authoritative OneBox result.

In both these examples, the most disconcerting aspect of their OneBox result is that Google has also removed the “more results near…” link to additional listings which are otherwise offered in location specific general category searches.

Luxury Apartments Boston

Luxury Apartments Boston

The same category search for luxury apartments in San Francisco produces not an authoritative Onebox result for a single luxury apartment building but three luxury apartment listings.

Luxury Apartmetns San Francisco

Luxury Apartmetns San Francisco

Same search phrase, different city, different number of results.

Why just one result in New York and Boston, but three in San Francisco?

To complicate matters further, the same search for luxury apartments in Dallas produces a list of ten results.

Luxury Apartments Dallas

Luxury Apartments Dallas

In both the San Francisco and Dallas examples, Google provides links to additional results while in the New York and Boston examples Google doesn’t.

Why do some market category search results produce clear Google Local Search winners while other markets do not?

Have the odds of a finding a business under its respective category in a location specific Google web search grown as long and as remote as winning the lotto?

Or has the presence of authoritative Onebox search results created a new class of local business winners and losers?

Google Maps Search Results and Local Business Center Analytics

July 25, 2009

Drilling deeper into my Google Local Business Center account analytics has produced some unexpected findings.

Long before there was a Google Local Business Center, I became convinced of the importance of having my website appear consistently atop Google search results for heavily searched keywords.

So much so that I spent several years running my first major website: MarketingPrinciples.com as a test site for what worked and what didn’t within Google.

After testing confirmed a particular strategy or tactic, I would then apply it within the site or a client’s site.

Although MarketingPrinciples.com isn’t the traffic generation machine it once was  – with over 500,000 visitors annually – it still generates some interesting results from my original programming.

Most notably – MarketingPrinciples – according to my Google Local Business Center analytics appears first for “google search” in Google Maps queries  – above Google’s office locations.

Google Maps Google Search

Google Maps Google Search

Granted, the search query isn’t exactly a barn burner for producing clients for my marketing consulting practice.

However as a result of my early research and trials, my site and brand are receiving approximately 50,000 impressions from across the United States annually.

Google Local Business Center Analytics

Google Local Business Center Analytics

I think the results are acceptable for a guy and his laptop.

An aside: I searched for “google search” in Google Maps from several different computers with different IP addresses and got the same results.

What does your Google Maps search for “google search” produce?

Twitter Search Failure

March 17, 2009

Twitter began promoting Twitter Search and Twitter Widgets underneath account holder Profile and Settings yesterday on Twitter.com.

Twitter’s real time search capabilities have been mentioned with increasing frequency lately.

Twitter Search

Twitter Search

Twitter Widgets help Twitter users distribute their Tweets to other locations on the web.

Twitter Widget

Twitter Widget

With Twitter Widgets, Tweets can be easily cross-posted to MySpace, Facebook, Blogger and Typepad.

Twitter Widgets

Twitter Widgets

The Twitter Search promotion must have generated more traffic than anticipated because it hasn’t been available to deliver search results this morning.

Twitter Search Error

Twitter Search Error

If Twitter outsourced its search functions to Google’s cloud, they probably wouldn’t experience 500 Internal Server Errors or deliver the search results free cloud pages like the one below.

Twitter Search Failure

Twitter Search Failure

Google Innovations

February 28, 2009

David Pogue with The New York Times recently created a list of  innovations Google has produced or bought in its relatively short corporate history.

His list consists of Google products most any consumer who has been online in the last year would recognize including Google Earth, Gmail, YouTube and Blogger.

Some of the lesser known Google products and tools mentioned in Pogue’s New York Times article are: Google Docs, Picassa, iGoogle, Google Reader, Google Trends, Google Maps, Street View, Translator, 1-800-Goog411, Google SMS, Google Alerts and Google Sets.

Although the article begins by mentioning Google’s search box, Pogue doesn’t mention the greatest commercial result to come from Google’s search box by name: Google Adwords – arguably without which – none of Google’s other products would exist.

Maybe therein lies the keys to Google’s success.

Google Coupons @ Google Code

November 19, 2008

Google offers merchants the ability to provide coupons that will be included in Google search results via their Google Code site.

What better time for brands to distribute their coupons for free via the web – than now?

Consumers can search for coupons on Google, print and then redeem coupons at participating merchants.

Google Code offers businesses five different methods for feeding their coupons into Google’s coupon distribution system.

1. Coupon TSV Feed Documentation

2. Coupon XML Feed Documentation

3. Coupon Feed XSD

4. Basic Coupon Sample XML

5. Complex Coupon Sample XML

Visit the Google Code site to learn more about how to upload and begin distributing your brand’s coupons via Google search.

Flu Season and Google Search Trends Flu Tracker

November 12, 2008

Google.org has launched Google Flu Trends to provide up-to-date estimates of flu activity in the United States based on aggregated search queries.

Search queries related to flu can be viewed at the United States level or on a state by state basis.

Based on search data from years past, flu season in the United States begins in mid November and ends by early April depending on where you are located.

Search Google Flu Trends to see your particular state’s historical and present flu search activity.

Google Flu Trends Tracker

Google Flu Trends Tracker

Overall, California appears to have less search activity than other states during flu season.

Low California Flu

Low California Flu

While most other states appear to share the same flu season with the exception of Maine and Texas.

Moderate Maine Flu

Moderate Maine Flu

Maine’s flu search interest appears to indicate Maine has a longer flu season than other states.

Minimal Texas Flu

Minimal Texas Flu

While flu season in Texas appears to start later and end more quickly than in other states.

Check back with Google Flu Trends after you have had Thanksgiving Dinner to begin monitoring when flu search activity increases and thus when flu season has begun in your state.

Targeting iPhone Users with Google Adwords

October 9, 2008

Adweek reports Google has had discussions with ad agencies regarding advertisers targeting their ads to iPhone users specifically via Google Adwords.

While in Utah yesterday, my fly fishing guide Justin Harding and I noticed when using Google search from his iPhone Google Adwords advertising was sparse.

Initially, I thought it was because of the type of search we had ran.

However, after further investigative searches under highly competitive and advertised keywords, we weren’t ever able to see Adwords sponsored links on the right rail – only above the first search result.

Can a iPhone Google search display more than two Adwords advertisers ads as is now?

We weren’t able to generate any.

How is Google parsing iPhone search ads results for display? If they are, is Google distributing advertising to the iPhone with the same formula they use for displaying search results elsewhere?

Are iPhone screen real estate limitations the reason why we could only get two ads?

Even when we rotated the search results screen for horizontal viewing – under a Google search term that would typically have had up to ten sponsored links ( both above the search results and running down the right rail ) we were only able to generate two Adwords advertisers ads.

Will Google Adwords advertisers soon be able to select “iPhone” as a search distribution option along with “Google Search” and “Search Partners” within their campaigns Networks and bidding settings?

With 10 million iPhones in use and Apple’s iPhone supplying Google with its largest source of mobile search traffic, adding iPhone distribution to Google advertising campaigns will give Google Adwords advertisers another way to target and reach an increasingly mobile search audience.

Google Network Options

Google Network Options

eBay Being Distintermediated by Google?

August 21, 2008

“eBay will be permanently marginalized by Google.” – Inspired by Erick Schonfeld, TechCrunch

via FastCompany:

“Although eBay is making changes to its fee structure – emphasizing fixed prices over the auction model it’s known for following, Schonfeld writes, “the Web has moved on and eBay is stuck in still waters.” Page views are down 15% year-over-year, while the stock is down 26%.

eBay’s main challenge, he says, “is that it is becoming easier and easier to find things to buy on the Web simply by searching for what you want on Google. During the early days of the Web, people needed a few big e-commerce sites they could trust and that could organize everything that was for sale online. That need was filled by Amazon and eBay. But now people are comfortable trawling the Net for the best bargains, and eBay is no longer the first place they go.”

Just as the tens of thousands of middle men and their companies like travel agents were disintermediated  by Web 1.0, eBay who became the middle man for millions of buyers and sellers now faces being disrupted itself by the web’s largest middle man: Google.

Why go to eBay and pay their toll when you can go direct to any seller via a Google search – toll free?