Google: Site Speed Live as a Ranking Factor

Last December, Google publicly announced a new ranking factor: site speed. Today, Google announces that site speed has joined the 200+ other ranking factors in their algorithm.

However, not all sites will be affected. In the blog post, Amit Singhal, Google Fellow, and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer, Google Search Quality Team (you’ve heard of them?), say that the change has actually been in place for “several weeks,” and isn’t even that widespread:

Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on at this point. We launched this change a few weeks back after rigorous testing. If you haven’t seen much change to your site rankings, then this site speed change possibly did not impact your site.

Google Suggest for Mobile Search Gets Universal Treatment

It looks like Google has been busy making changes to the products they are most known for as of late. This is a nice diversion from the other news they make by continuing their move to be all things to all people.

One area that Google should dominate by default is mobile search. Of course, if you sit back and rest on your laurels then you leave the door open for someone to walk through it. Then that automatic “lead dog” position is trouble. Google is not just sitting back in this important area. The latest update it is providing for mobile search is giving universal search result in the Google suggest lists. This will help mobile searchers find more information more quickly.

Now Take a Sneak Peek At Your Gmail

Many of our readers use Google’s Gmail service during the course of the day and anything that can make it more efficient is always welcome. We like to report on these updates because as marketers efficiency can mean the difference between getting work done and feeling good or being behind and feeling not so good.

When we saw TechCrunch report on a new offering in Google Labs for a Sneak Peek feature to help get a preview of your email messages we had to take a look. I’m sold. It’s pretty cool.

Did Google’s Eric Schmidt Quit Apple’s Board Over AdMob Squabble?

OK, bear with me hear, but I’m going to put some pieces together to explain why Google and Apple went from being great friends, to arch-rivals.

At the time, this looked like a coincidence:

August 3rd, 2009 – Eric Schmidt resigns his position on Apple’s board of directors, citing "conflicts of interest" in some of Apple’s "core businesses."

November 9th, 2009 – Google acquires mobile advertising platform AdMob for a reported $750M.

December 28th, 2009 - Consumer Groups start lobbying the FTC to block the AdMob acquisition on the grounds of decreasing competition in the market.

March 11th, 2010 – The FTC suddenly starts asking Google’s rivals, what they think of the deal.

Yesterday, April 8, 2010 – Apple CEO Steve Jobs let’s the following slip during his Q&A with the press:

Ninjas Are Slowly Killing Off All Social Media Gurus

If you’re one of the many people that hates, just hates, the phrase social media guru, I have good news for you.

They’re slowly being killed off by an elite group of ninjas!

According to LinkedIn, the use of the word “guru” in professional titles is on the decline.

However, in its place is a disturbing upward trend for the word “ninja.”

Really people? Ninjas? What’s next “superhero” or perhaps “rockstar?”

Annoying Your Customers? Avoid These Brand Turn-Offs

Branding is a sometimes-elusive concept in marketing. We all know we want to build consumers’ like, trust and respect for our brands, but there isn’t a set way to do that. It’s hard to quantify progress in branding (unless you’ve got the moolah to spend on large, brand-specific surveys). But a new Harris Poll may help us avoid negative branding tactics—to an extent. The bottom line: be careful who you choose as your spokesman.

Case in point: me and Local Company. I’m not sure what brand message LC is trying to portray in their commercials, screaming “WE LOVE YOU!!!” at the end of poorly made, increasingly obnoxious, obviously local spots. Probably that they may be clinically insane. (If you really loved me, you’d never make another commercial.) When I came across their ad on Facebook this week, I hit the little gray X in the corner of the ad, and gave FB the reason of “This company is so freakin’ annoying.” The Harris poll shows I’m not the only one who would do the same thing.

Apple’s iAds Bring Advertising to iPhone Applications

As heavily rumored, Apple’s Steve Jobs just announced an advertising platform for iPhone applications.

Dubbed “iAd” the new ads are designed to integrate with iPhone/iPad apps, meaning the user is exposed to the ads within the app–they’re not taken to some web page to view the content.

Apple plans to host and sell the ads, and will give the developer 60% of the collected revenues.

The ads will be interactive, take advantage of video, and allow developers to create free apps and monetize them with the ads.

iAds are not live yet, but Jobs showed-off one they created as a demo for Disney’s Toy Story:

No news yet on who creates the ads or how they are purchased. We’ll update as we learn more.