Facebook’s Graph Search Isn’t That Great | MIT Technology Review: "I’ve had some time to test it out, and I believe it has huge potential. I don’t see it taking the place of Google, but I can imagine a future where we turn to Facebook first to find restaurants, potential dates, and job hookups—a terrifying prospect for sites like Yelp, LinkedIn, and Match.com (see Facebook’s “Graph Search Won’t Hurt Google Without Your Help”). But there is a long, long (long) way to go before Graph Search gets to that point. It might be useful to those who “like” and check in at lots of places on Facebook, but that behavior hasn’t really caught on within my tiny social circle, which means that, for me, at least, Graph Search isn’t very good."
Despite Strong Earnings, Google Is Still Stymied by Mobile - NYTimes.com: "Google has been trying to improve its mobile products — from developing new kinds of mobile ad campaigns to building devices like the Nexus 4 smartphone — and its executives say it is a matter of time before the numbers improve. Already, in the fourth quarter, the cost per click rose 2 percent from the previous quarter.
“We’re in some uncharted territory because of the rapid rate of change in these things, but I’m very optimistic about it,” said Larry Page, Google’s chief executive, on a conference call with analysts after the earnings were announced. “I think the C.P.C.’s will improve as the devices improve, as well.”"
Google Search Market Share Slips as Bing & Yahoo Gain - Search Engine Watch (#SEW): "Google couldn’t grow its record-breaking U.S. search market share beyond 67 percent in December, comScore reported. Meanwhile, Bing continued its incremental gains, as Yahoo’s share grew for the first time in longer than a year.
In November, Google claimed an unprecedented 67 percent market share of searches conducted at home and work. Google’s rankings dipped slightly in December, however, down to 66.7 percent. In December 2011, Google still dominated with 65.4 percent share of the search market.
Meanwhile, Bing grew its search market share to a new company high of 16.3 percent in December (up from 16.2 percent in November). Bing’s U.S. market share was at 15.1 percent in December 2011."
ReadWrite – Microsoft's Bing Wins With Facebook's Graph Search - Or Does It?: "When you launch Graph Search (and just a few hundred to a thousand people have it at the moment) Facebook suggests results to the query as you type, Google style. Although Facebook subtly teaches you what types of searches you can make against it, it will defer to Bing in certain situations: "restaurants in San Francisco," for instance. Facebook assumes that you'll want recommendations from friends, but can't be certain. In the latter case, a Bing results page will appear, surrounded by the Facebook framework. If you need to click further, it will open up a separate tab."
EU antitrust chief growls at Google, hopes to avoid sanctions • The Register: "Many of Google's competitors, including a bruised Microsoft, have long complained that the ad giant favours its own services over its rivals' products in web search results. Google could be fined $4bn - 10 per cent of its revenue - if no deal can be reached and it loses a subsequent legal battle with the European Commission. But Almunia is keen to stop short of such sanctions. . . . "
Desktop Search Is Down For The Fourth Straight Month - Business Insider: "We estimate that as much as 25-30% of all Internet search traffic could be coming from mobile devices as of year-end. Moreover, in certain categories, such as restaurants, we believe that well more than 30% of queries are already coming from mobile devices (other key categories such as Consumer Electronics, Beauty & Personal, Finance/Insurance, and Autos also have a meaningful share of mobile queries)," says Schachter. This isn't good news for Google, but it's not entirely bad news either. The bad news: Mobile search isn't as lucrative for Google as desktop search right now. And on mobile, the importance of apps drives a wedge into Google's search business. The good news: Google completely dominates search on mobile with something like 90 percent or more of share. It's the default search engine on the iPhone and its default on Android, the most popular mobile operating system. It's well positioned to take advantage of a mobile transition."
3 Predictions for the Future of Google + Profiles in Autosuggest: "Prediction 1: This will result in less traffic to non-Google+ Profiles - As more people connect on Google+, these profiles will become increasingly prevalent. If this is the case, more people will be drawn to them in search results. This will result in more traffic to Google+ and more people being followed and added to circles.
Prediction 2: Google could charge businesses for this . . ."
SEO Salvage Operation: Saving Websites Hurt by Google Updates - Search Engine Watch (#SEW): "Whether most of your problems lie in your content or your links, the one thing that’s the same is that if you want to get back to where you were, or even close, it’s probably going to take something major. So if you’ve done a few minor tweaks, added a little content here and there, or only distance yourself form a few links and are now just waiting for the next "refresh" to restore you to your former glory… you may be waiting for a long time. Husbands buy their wives flowers when they screw up, not because pretty plants fix problems, but because it’s a grand romantic gesture. If you want to fix your site’s relationship with the Google rankings, it may take something extreme. You can try sending roses to the Googleplex, but you’re probably better off turning those pruning shears on your site instead. It may hurt a little, but it’s also your best shot at recovery."
Facebook Graph Search Is Humorless, Creepy And Doomed To Disappoint | TechCrunch: "Facebook’s newest feature Graph Search (so new it’s still in beta) can apparently tell you lots of stuff. Which of your friends are into surfing, hiking or drinking cups of tea. Or, delving into darker territory, which of your friends are sexist or racist — as this Gizmodo article points out. (Ewww.) But Graph Search also shines a massive illuminating spotlight on something else: why Snapchat has captured people’s imagination. And the answer is simple: because it does something Facebook does not. It lets data disappear, rather than stockpiling it until it starts to stink."
Facebook's Graph Search v Google+: two icebergs on a collision course | Technology | guardian.co.uk: "But that's not the same as the fluid way that preferences change among friends on Facebook, and the dynamic way that those social searches you make will change. So in that sense, Graph Search stands well apart from web search. But it's noticeable that both these giant companies are starting to move into the same place - social search. Google's coming at it from the "search" side, and Facebook from the "social" side. That means, as such searching becomes more useful, that the two companies are on a collision course. It won't happen immediately; these are more like two icebergs heading towards each other across a calm sea. But in time, the crunch will happen. Google is using its automatic signup to get more Google+ users, but that doesn't automatically make them sociable. Facebook has the benefit that (pretty much) everyone is there - but as we get more conscious about privacy settings, we're not necessarily going to make ourselves searchable."
What should Google do about Facebook Graph Search? | Internet & Media - CNET News: "It's important to note that several major categories of Google search are as yet unaffected by Facebook's entry into the space: video search, product search, flight search, and maps. But Graph Search is still in beta. Rasmussen and Stocky said they both have "years" of work ahead of them. So far Graph Search is available only in English, to a select few beta testers. It can't search status updates or notes. The recommendation engine for things like plumbers appears to rely heavily on "likes," and how many people have ever liked their plumber on Facebook? Still, it's easy to imagine where Graph Search might lead. And even in beta, there's one search Facebook does better than anyone else: photos. Facebook is the world's largest storehouse of pictures, and Graph Search makes them searchable in a way that is not only functional but fun. It handles vanity searches ("photos of me"), creeper searches ("photos of friends of my friends who are single"), and searches designed for pure exploration: photos of Paris, photos of puppies, photos from 1980. It's a rabbit hole every bit as fun to fall down as Wikipedia -- or, more to the point, Google Images."
Do We Really Want EU Bureaucrats Deciding What Google Search Results 'Should' Look Like? | Techdirt: " . . . After a 20 month investigation, the FTC -- whose boss made it clear he absolutely wanted to bring down Google if he could -- couldn't find any evidence that Google's search results were somehow anticompetitive. All of the evidence pointed to the same basic thing: what Google did was for the benefit of its users. . . . Of course, those competitors who spent so much effort pushing to force Google through the antitrust gantlet were pretty upset about the end result. However, they knew what was coming next and warned that Europe would come out with an answer that was more to their liking. And the latest on the EU antitrust investigation suggests that, indeed, European bureaucrats somehow believe that they know better than Google what its search results should look like, and they're planning to force Google to change its results to the bureaucrats' liking. . . . "
izik, a new search app designed specifically for iPad and Android tablets | TabTimes: "Do tablets need a different kind of search engine? Startup Blekko says the answer is yes, specifically its new app called izik. The approach Blekko is taking is that tablets have a very different role than notebooks or desktop computers. “Laptops are for work; tablets are for fun. Laptops are task-oriented (‘what’s the capital of Bulgaria?’); tablets are more exploratory (“what’s Jennifer Lopez doing these days?”),” Blekko said in a blog post. "
Bing Tests Weird Competitor Links Under Google Search Result | WebProNews: " . . . Essentially, Bing was sending users to Google competitors. You may not always consider sites like Facebook Craigslist or eBay competitors to Google, but Google has a social media service, and it has a shopping service. At some level, Google competes with all of these sites. I’m surprised they didn’t just put a “Go to Bing.com” link there, or even a “Go to Yahoo.com” link. At least you can still access Bing results from Facebook. McGee posted a Q&A with Bing about the test. He asked how Bing would respond if a search for “bing” on Google included Sitelinks to Twitter, Amazon or Kayak. Bing’s response was, “We appreciate all customer-focused innovation.” Something tells me Bing would throw a fit if Google did that. Perhaps it would even get another anti-Google campaign from the company. It’s been over a month since they started one."
Qihoo Soars as Google to Ignite Revenue: China Overnight - Bloomberg: "Qihoo, which offers anti-virus programs as well as the most-used web browser in China, jumped 86 percent in 2012, the biggest gainer of the China-US gauge’s 55 stocks. The company’s tie-up with Google will start soon and contribute $140 million of revenue this year, Juan Lin, an analyst at Wedge Partners Corp. wrote in a report. Data showing Chinese factory output grew at the fastest pace in 19 months in December also boosted stocks traded in the U.S."
Moving to a new domain name: " . . . . Having a ccTLD (Country specific top level domain) is only part of the picture. Search Engines determine your target regions via several signals. The ccTLD is an overriding one while hosting is normally the last ditch attempt to work it out. Other factors include your content (do you state your country on the website) and if you have backlinks from a country. With Google at least you can actually tell them what region your based on. Register with Google Webmaster Tools and it's one of your first setting options. So you can save some time and effort if you want and just set that to the UK. Saying that, having a ccTLD does provide an extra signal to users that you are local, which can help on click through rates. If you decide to to the switch, for SEO you want to make sure you 301 Redirect every page on your old domain to their equivalent page on the new domain, and keep that going for as long as possible. You may also want to chase down all the links you have to the old domain and try and get the owners to update them. I'd do the WMT region setting now and give it some time, see if it makes any difference. Then reconsider switching over. I'd suspect switching domains will have no ranking benefit. Your ranking issues may lie somewhere else."
Lycos to Return to Search Engine Business: " . . . Today, Lycos is owned by India-based digital marketingcompany Ybrant Digital and includes a network of sites such as Gamesville.com, Tripod.com, Angelfire.com, and of course, Lycos.com. Ybrant CEO Rob Balazy recently shared plans that the company plans on returning to the search market with the idea to show content on the results page itself without requiring users to click away to other pages. "In the coming year you will see us introduce a new proprietary search product," Balazy told The NextWeb. "I don’t want to say too much about it as it’s still in the planning stage but we have a vision to merge the notion of a search-type activity with a curated content experience. […] We think the benefit to the consumer is huge. It removes the process of trial and error from clicking on search results and hitting ‘Back’ in the browser.". . . "
Five Linking Myths That Need To Go Away In 2013: "As long as there have been SEOs or link builders making claims that come across as absolutes, I have argued vehemently that absolutes are a trap. You give me the topic and tactic, and I can find useful, or useless approaches. Call it link tactic profiling. Sadly, once a tactic gets labeled as worthless, it’s hard to fight that label.
This also represents a great opportunity for the forward-thinking link builder, because while others abandon a tactic they have incorrectly deemed as useless, you can deploy that tactic in a more nuanced and smarter way that will make it quite useful, indeed.
Have a good linking year!"
Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook vs. Amazon - WSJ.com: " . . . Meanwhile, all four companies see search as a big opportunity for retaining and profiting off customers. While Google's paradigm of typing queries in a search box has prevailed for years, now its rivals want to undercut the Web-search giant through mobile search on smartphones and other devices, and a slew of search services that allow recommendations from friends. Apple's foray is Siri, a voice-activated service that answers queries about topics like the weather or sports scores from the iPhone or iPad homescreen. Next year, the company will continue its hunt for new data to power the service, making it useful for a broader number of queries. And at a conference in September, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg riffed on the myriad ways that friends could provide useful answers. He said the company would expand its search capabilities in the future. . . ."