Verizon Picks Microsoft for Mobile Search Deal

It’s been a year of rumors and intrigue for Verizon. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that dramatic, but there has been a little sturm-und-drang surrounding the soon-to-be-largest-in-the-US mobile carrier’s next mobile search deal. MSFT CEO Steve Ballmer is going to be announcing this tonight during his CES keynote, according to Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg—Verizon has chosen Microsoft to provide its mobile search.

Over the last few months, there have been rumors that Google or Microsoft would be the pick, but not so much for Yahoo. As one analyst told Reuters:

“It’s certainly a feather in Microsoft’s cap. Tough news for Google and tougher news for Yahoo,” CCS Insight analyst John Jackson said of the agreement.

Facebook Hits 150 Million User Milestone

Just a few weeks ago Facebook reached 140 million users. We reported that Facebook was growing at a jaw-dropping 600,000 users a day, and thanks to that growth they have hit the 150 million user milestone.

My first instinct was to question how active users were. After all, I get 10+ Twitter friend requests a day almost none of which are legit. According to Search Engine Watch, half of Facebook’s users use the site every day. Amazing!

Mark Zuckerberg wrote on the Facebook blog stating that Facebook has users in every continent in the world, including Antarctica. With over 35 languages spoken on Facebook and a users from over 170 countries and territories.

Google Trends Attacked – Again!

It appears Google needs to take Google Trends attacks more seriously. Just six months ago Trends was displaying a Swastika as one of the top searches for the day. Yesterday’s trend showed a plane flying into the Twin Towers:

Google Trends Attack

Google’s statement on such attacks is as follows:

The Hot Trends list is automatically generated by machines and algorithms that detect hot or breaking queries. In this case, it appears that the html code for this query was posted on a popular internet bulletin board, which led to quite a few people searching to find out more about this symbol. The Hot Trends list reflected that surge due to people searching with this query.

Perhaps its time to allocate a few more resources to prevent these types of messages from being spread.

Why a Single Yelp User Could Bring Consumer Review Sites to Their Knees

Update: Both parties settled the case in mediation today.

As consumer review sites continue to gain popularity, they appear destined to play an important role in the public perception of any businesses’ online reputation.

That is, unless the consumers screw it up for themselves.

You see, over the past few months I’ve noticed a growing trend of consumers making vague, petty, or downright defamatory complaints. Apparently, I’m not seeing things as CNET reports that a Yelp user is being sued by a chiropractor who claims his review is defamatory.

The lawsuit, filed February 25, 2008, alleges that Biegel [the chiropractor] has suffered loss of reputation and business as a result of the review and seeks punitive damages. According to the lawsuit, the review allegedly contained false statements and inaccuracies that suggested Biegel was dishonest and accused him of fraudulent billing practices.

Google Wins Lawsuit Over Chinese Brand

By Carrie Hill

In a somewhat confusing set of events Google has been awarded the use of their country-specific brand, Gu Ge, by Chinese courts.  Bejing GuGe Science & Technology Corp was ordered to pay Google 100,000 yuan or about $14,624 in the suit and to relinquish the brand to Google.

According to a Reuters report from 2007, Bejing GuGe initially filed suit against Google for alleged trademark infringement.  It’s unclear when the turnaround came and Google filed the countersuit against Bejing GuGe. 

Articles I found offered conflicting information. It seems the trademark timeline in question was pretty rocky.  One source indicates Google filed their initial trademark paperwork in January of ’06 while Bejing GuGe filed for their trademark in March 2006.  Another article indicates Google filed for the trademark in November of 2006

How to use Google Analytics to Track SEO Rankings

With Google and other search engines continuing to roll out personalization updates, it is becoming increasingly difficult for SEOs to get an idea of their true ranking position. A personalized search result page can look completely different than the results a ranking tool would provide.

André Scholten wrote a guest post on Yoast explaining how Google Analytics users can get a better idea of where they rank for specific keywords. Although users will not be able to get the exact position, they will be able to figure out what page of the SERPs they rank on.

How do you do it? Google Analytics allows you to create custom filters for your analytics data. In this case, an advanced filter. I don’t want to steal André’s thunder, so head over to Yoast and read how you set it up.

Redirect Case Study: Transferring Google PageRank

Barry Schwartz reports that an old WebmasterWorld thread has been revived with data on how long it took Google to reassign the PageRank of the URLs he had redirected.

According to Barry, the author had set up a new URL structure and had redirected the old URLs to the new ones using a 301 redirect. If you have ever done this with a client, you know the next thing that happens is their PageRank disappears and they call you frantically at 2am wondering what went wrong.

In an effort to help us better prepare our clients for the impacts of moving a page (or site completely), the author put together the following timeline:

  • October 2nd - Site migration and 301’s implemented