Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Time to Say Goodbye to the NoFollow Tag?

Over at SEJ, Loren provides 13 reasons why the NoFollow tag simply sucks. My favorite?

Linking to someone with a NoFollow attribute is a sign of not trusting them. It’s like reaching to shake someone’s hand, but stopping to put on a pair of latex gloves.

Loren’s also turned off the default nofollow for links in comments. It’s a bold move, and I’ll be watching to see if it impacts the amount of spam or quality of comments.

We’re also going to be testing a new plugin which will reward loyal commentators with a link without the “nofollow” attribute. Stay tuned!

Google Sharing AdWords Quality Score?

According to an email received by Shimon Sandler, Google is gearing-up to start letting AdWords advertisers see their Quality Score.

…we’re making improvements to the way that we evaluate the Quality Score to set minimum bids for keywords. First, we will be launching an optional Quality Score column to provide you with more transparency into the Quality Score for your keywords. Second, we made improvements to the way that we evaluate the Quality Score for all keywords. This change will allow us to more accurately set minimum bids for keywords where the system does not have a significant amount of data.

Sharing the quality score of ads is something that Yahoo decided to do, with the launch of their new platform. It’s interesting to see Google following Yahoo’s lead for a change.

Google misspells its own name?

Google Valentine LogoGoogle wishes us all happy Valentine’s day with a chocolate covered strawberry. People are saying Google spelled its name wrong: no ‘L.’ (It’s like a Christmas joke for Valentine’s day!)

And yes, it does look that way at first glance. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that the long stem of the strawberry is supposed to be replacing the regular green ‘L.’

What do you think?

Hat-tip to Matt Bailey.

UPDATE: Google’s responded. (from Andy)

Lenoir Officials Defend $260 Million Tax Incentives to Google

It seems there’s been a lot more interest in the tax breaks to Google, since we learned the search engine could receive as much as $260 million in incentives for building in North Carolina.

Today, Lenoir and Caldwell County officials fight back against the critics, arguing why having Google build a data center is great for the local area.

“I truly believe that 80 percent of the people are tickled to death, and they are getting mad” about the criticism, Lenoir Mayor David Barlow said…”Where’s all the good talk of the millions and millions of dollars in payroll? Our people need to hear the good news,” he said.

And just because we keep hearing the $260m number, doesn’t mean that Lenoir will be worse off for having Google as a neighbor.

dMarc Founders Quit Google; Could YouTube Guys Be Next?

Mediapost is reporting that the founders of dMarc, the radio advertising company acquired by Google last year, have resigned.

It appears the recent suggestions that Google and dMarc were not seeing eye-to-eye, on the best approach for selling radio ads, was more than just a small road-bump. Add to that, the fact that dMarc was unlikely to see the full $1.13 billion payout, as part of the acquisition structure, and you can see why Chad and Ryan Steelberg decided to take their $102 million in cash, and run.

…the two companies apparently differed over the need for a “human touch” in the sales process. Although dMarc was a pioneer in automated radio ad sales, the company still employed human beings to explain the dMarc system to prospective customers and tutor those who signed up. As Google began integrating dMarc’s system into Google AdWords, it pushed to limit the number of product reps. dMarc executives in turn blamed this policy for their sluggish revenue results.

iCrossing Acquires U.K. SEM Firm Spannerworks

Now, had I known that the Spannerworks guys were about to announce their acquisition by SEM mega-firm iCrossing, I would have swung by for an interview, while visiting my home town of Brighton.

Spannerworks, a 10-year-old search engine marketing company based in Brighton, England, has done work for clients including Best Western Hotels, car insurance site Confused.com, SN Brussels Airlines, and nursery company Kiddicare.

iCrossing is rumored to announce the deal this coming week.

Yahoo Not Deleting Advertiser Accounts, Claims Account Offline Due to Spam

UPDATE: We’ve finally heard back from Yahoo. They’re claiming Florian’s account was not “lost” but taken offline for spamming.

According to Yahoo’s Kristen Wareham, “In researching his specific situation, we have come to find that his account was taken offline for quality control reasons. Our customer team reached out to Florian to explain that it had nothing to do with our new advertiser system or import tool but rather due to the lack of quality with his keywords which were not tied to any content. This is standard procedure for handling advertisers who spam our system.”