Earlier this week, Twitter announced a roll-out of a major re-design that includes important features to allow brands to improve the way they communicate and engage with their followers.
Hot on the heels of brand pages for Google+, and of particular interest to marketers, are the new, enhanced Twitter profile pages. These brand pages will offer your business more control over how you present your company’s Twitter presence.
In an article that reads more like a plot-pitch to the BBC for a new crime drama, Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land explains how Google ran an elaborate ‘sting’ to prove that its search arch-enemy, Bing, was copying its results. You should certainly take the time to read the original article but if you’re in a hurry, here’s the main thrust.
In 2010, Google suspected Bing of using Internet Explorer or a mechanism in the the Bing search toolbar to collect search queries being carried out by users on Google. The Google search results for these queries were allegedly (a nod there to my Lawyer – if I had one) copied by Bing in its search results.
But how to prove this? Google had a great idea. They made up 100 or so random search queries that had little meaning and no results on either Google or Bing (one of these was ‘hiybbprqag‘). Then, and this is the clever bit, Google gamed its own search results so these queries returned Google’s specially created ‘honey pot’ pages in the No.1 slot even though they had no relevance to the originating query.
All they had to do now was to get a few Google Engineers to search from home for these so-called synthetic search queries using Internet Explorer and click on the links to the honey pot pages in the results. This they did on 17th December and by 31st December some of the honey pot pages started appearing on Bing for the same synthetic search queries.
So far Microsoft has not denied Google’s allegation.
In this BBC interview, Google’s Eric Schmidt discusses his new role as Executive Chairman and why the decision was made to hand-over his CEO role to Google co-founder, Larry Page.
All interesting stuff, particularly, his response to suggestions that Google is ‘straining to innovate’, that it missed out on social networking (anyone remember Google Buzz) and that it is attempting to copy Facebook…though he does admit that Google ‘was late in adding social capabilities to its core products (i.e search) and we’re working to add that.’
He also expresses his concerns over ‘walled-gardens’ such as Facebook that don’t let the search engines index their content and calls on them to be more open. Well he would, wouldn’t he?
Shed E-tailer Competes for Retail Systems and DADI Awards 2010
It’s great when a team-effort gets recognised, particularly when that recognition is by way of nominations for two prestigious e-commerce awards. It’s also great when I’m part of the team…
Against stiff competition, my client, Buy Sheds Direct, a leading UK web retailer of sheds, garden buildings and associated garden products, has been short-listed for ‘Retail Website of the Year’ in this year’s Retail Systems Awards and ‘Retail/E-commerce Website’ in the DADI Awards.
The judging panels for both awards include well known European brands such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer. Winners will be announced in November 2010.
You realise just how dependent you are on something when it gets taken away: I, like many others, was denied access to Google Analytics (GA) yesterday. All we got was a cryptic splash screen with the text:
An Error Has Been Detected Please try again. Thank you for your patience.
I don’t have a huge amount of patience, I admit, particularly when it’s ‘Client Report Tuesday’ but try again I did. And again. And again. Cue frantic emails to Google.
The GA login problem was a system error. According to @googleanalytics there was an issue that prevented a ‘subset of users’ from logging in to Google Analytics but this should now be resolved.
Note the use of the word ‘should’. If you had (have?) the login problem, the good news is that none of your data has been hurt in the making of this glitch. The bad news is that some of your accounts may be ‘missing’, at least in my case and a couple of others I’ve heard of. After a bit of digging around it seems that the Google Analytics glitch has removed my access to the missing accounts…
The Google Analytics login error is not new and pops up from time to time. So what can you do if you’ve been affected by it?
There I was minding my own business, just checking out my email and then wham! I lose 1hr of my working day trying to sort out what Google Buzz is all about.
It’s my own fault: if there’s something new to be added or downloaded I just can’t resist it. And there it was. The “Add Google Buzz to your Google Mail?” opt-in, or words to that effect (I accepted it so quickly I didn’t read it for too long).
Suddenly I was thrown into a world I didn’t understand and compelled to immerse myself in a privacy controversy I didn’t want to understand on a Thursday morning at 08:30 am!
One of the first things I do when configuring Google Analytics for a client is to make sure they are able to analyse segments rather than some homogeneous blob of traffic which provides little insight into the performance of their website.
To do this, I’ll create multiple filter & profile combinations – and lots of them! Effectively, my profiles are the segments I’m most interested in for ongoing analysis and for optimisation of traffic and conversions. Continue reading…
With all the recent column inches in the media surrounding Google’s First-Click-Free (FCF) programme, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was some new service that Google is offering to keep publishers happy. A way to stop Google’s search users from accessing premium content for free via the back-door. Not quite.
So what is FCF, why do publishers need it and what’s the announcement about? Continue reading…
Yesterday’s live-webcast ‘launch’ of Google Chrome OS, their new operating system, wasn’t a real launch, rather a release of the code and design documentation to the open source community (so don’t expect to pop into your local PC dealer to pick up a copy).
Nevertheless, it looks impressive and Joe Public should be able to get its hands on it before Christmas 2010 according to Sundar Pichai, Vice President of Product Management, the key speaker at the webcast. Continue reading…