Cingular and Apple Dropped the SEO Ball with iPhone

There is a reason that smaller agile companies and entrepreneurs will always have a place on the web. Big corporations just don’t get it sometimes.

Take for example Apple’s iPhone launch. Both Cingular and Apple where in the perfect position to dominate the free market for the product. After all, they are the source and in the end, it all comes from them. So how is it that when I search Google for iPhone, Cingular is not anywhere on the first page and the only place you find Apple is in the sponsored results?

In fact, let’s look at the site searches on Cingular.com and Apple.com for iPhone. There is not a single page on either site that is optimized for the iPhone.

Google and CSS Files, It’s Not What You’re Thinking

It seems like every other week, someone will come out with a story that just catches fire in the SEO community. After all, we SEOs need something to gossip about don’t we? The story of the week has been Google indexing CSS & JS files. From there Threadwatch & Wolf Howl picked it up.

I think most of these people have it wrong though. Do we really think that Google is worried about hidden text in this day and age? There are so many legitimate ways and reasons to place text on a page that the users do not see when it first loads. Just look at Yahoo’s homepage and use of CSS on-page tabbed browsing. I believe the only on-page spam techniques they really care about are auto generated content, cloaking, and redirects. Hidden text is just no longer a factor in Google’s SERPs.

Community Driven Yahoo Local Database

Maintaining a national online local database is a daunting task. Errors are very common in local search results. In an effort to clean up their data, Yahoo is promoting user editing of local business listings.

From the Yahoo Local Blog:

It’s time to announce a new feature on Yahoo! Local which empowers you to add your favorite new local business, alert others when an old favorite has closed, and add or change business info quickly. Now you can truly be our eyes and ears in your community!

When a new business is submitted, they promise to have it live within 24 hours. With business listings that are already live, they are testing requested changes by giving future users a pop up and asking them if the requested changes are correct.

Google, The AJAX Killer

AJAX is not the page view killer some would suggest. It will suffer the same fate as Flash, and Google will be holding the smoking gun.

AJAX is the latest and greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s going to change the way we surf the web if you believe the hype.

I personally love it. The problem is search engines don’t and when I say search engines, I mean search engine. If you actually take a step back and look at the landscape, you will see it is Google who is in charge of deciding how we develop our websites. They tell us what other ads we can use if we want to run adsense. They dictate what links we must place nofollow tags on to stay within their guidelines. Their algorithm determines how we should link our sites if we want proper link weight distribution to obtain rankings. Google for the most part controls the flow of traffic and revenue on the web.

Google to be Most Visited Site in 2007

It was all the news when Microsoft took over as the worlds most visited web property this year and it looks like Google has set the stage to play leapfrog in 2007. USA Today is running a story indicating YouTube’s visitor count will be added to Google’s overall ranking by the major traffic measurement services.

Google’s revenue hit $7.2 billion for the first three quarters of 2006. Its stock topped the $500-a-share mark (now at $468). Most significant, Google in October acquired highflying video site YouTube for $1.7 billion. Measurement services ComScore Media Metrix and Nielsen/NetRatings plan to add YouTube to Google’s overall rankings next year.

That “assures that Google will be No. 1 in both worldwide and U.S. visitors,” says Danny Sullivan, editor of the Search Engine Land blog.

Google “Tip” at Top of Search Results

While doing a site search today that included the word “blog” in the domain I noticed something new. At the very top of the search results was an ad disguised as what Google called a “Tip.”

Blogger Ad

I tested additional keyword searches for which Google has related or competing services but they seem to be drinking their own koolaid and running Adword ads for their other branches. Blog searches seem to be the only results which contain this type of ad.

I find it deceptive on their part to call this a “Tip.” This is a blatant ad which I’m sure is getting some amazing CTR due to having the only other image on the page besides the logo.

Anyone else see this type of ad for any other Google service?

Arbitrage Defined

Arbitrage is a hot topic these days. American Heritage Dictionary defines arbitrage as “The purchase of securities on one market for immediate resale on another market in order to profit from a price discrepancy.”

A YouTube video titled Adwords Abuse which was uploaded back in April has begun re-circulating. The video highlights some of the issues surrounding arbitrage but it only discusses one form of the problem. Arbitrage is not a one size fits all practice.

So let’s look at the different types of arbitrage.

PPC / Adsense Arbitrage 1.0
A website or web page which contains no content. The page is filled with PPC ads such as Adsense or Yahoo Search Partner Ads. This is the most blatant form of Arbitrage and the one the majority of people are talking about.