Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Google Gains, Yahoo & MSN Mixed Bag

Nielsen//NetRatings reported a week ago that Google had more than 50% of the search market share in December 2006. The data for the top three (compared with comScore Networks’ data from the same period, released Jan 15):

Provider Searches (000) Share of Searches comScore Queries/Share
Google Search 3,035,617 50.8% 3.2 billion / 43.7%
Yahoo! Search 1,412,904 23.6% 1.9 billion / 28.5%
MSN/Windows Live Search 499,946 8.4% 713 million / 10.5%

Clearly, and unsurprisingly, comScore and Nielsen differ on their estimations of each search engine’s popularity. comScore’s stats give MSN and Yahoo a better projection than Nielsen.

Inside Google at the Blog News Channel noted that Yahoo! is growing at a faster rate than Google (Yahoo’s growth rate: 30.1%; Google’s: 22.6%). Of course, it’s easy to grow faster when you’re half as big.

Yahoo Delete URL Feature Disaster Waiting to Happen

Yahoo announced a number of very nice new features for Site Explorer today. The Yahoo Search Blog has a full list.

The feature I am most interested in and also worried about is the new “delete URL” feature. It is literally a disaster waiting to happen. There is zero verification other than being logged into the proper Yahoo account to delete an entire site from the Yahoo index.

With Google you are required to upload a robots.txt file to the webserver that verifies the same information being requested through the Google delete URL/Site tool. With Yahoo, you just log in, click delete, click confirm, and it’s gone.

Most SEOs are crooks?

It appears that even local newspapers have gotten in on the SEO-bashing. On Sunday, the Rapid City Journal published what appears to be a column entitled “Optimizers not optimal for getting site noticed.” The author, Claire Scholz, states:

For the most part, search engine optimizers are — do I dare say it out loud? — crooks. They promise the sky and all the golden-top-10-Google-rankings beneath it. They make cold calls or send cold spam (yuck) to otherwise smart business owners and, within minutes, the owner is rattling off the company’s credit card number to his or her new best friend.

I understand that there are many unscrupulous “SEOs” out there, but I wouldn’t say that “most” of them are “crooks.” The ever-skeptical Scholz offers four guidelines to avoid these bad guys, some of which are decent:

ECommerce Rocks With Video Tutorials for Web Site Owners

As you know, I’ve been consulting with Gareth Davies of the UK search marketing firm GSINC Ltd. Gareth’s background not only includes search marketing and web development, but he’s also a whiz when it comes to video production.

Seeing an opportunity to bring web marketing lessons to the masses, Gareth has thrown out the notion that all advice must be delivered by means of a 800-1000 article and decided to expand on his recent video tutorials.

We asked Gareth to provide us with a sneak peak of his new ECommerce Rocks series, which you’ll find below. This preview is just 1 minute long, but I guarantee you’ll be blown away by the production and content.

Google Upgrades Mini Enterprise Search Appliance

Google has taken the younger sibling of its Google Search Appliance for corporations, Google Mini, and added a number of new features.

According to the press release, new features include:

– Secure Search

Specially enhanced to support the information-sharing needs inside of small businesses and departmental workgroups, the Google Mini offers document and user-level security across all business content.

– Google OneBox for Enterprise

Introduced last year as part of the Google Search Appliance, the Google OneBox for Enterprise feature lets businesses provide secure access to any information – such as contact and calendar info, HR benefits, sales leads, or purchase order status – through the convenience of a Google search box.

– Site Search Improvements

Why We Can’t Trust Click Fraud Numbers

Back in December, I caused a little bit of a ruckus when I posted information from Google that suggested click fraud rates were a fraction of a percent. The majority of readers and linkers suggested that the rate was far too low and that you couldn’t trust data supplied by the search engine.

Fast forward six weeks and we find ourselves confronted with new data from Click Forensics that suggests industry click-fraud rates have increased to 14.2 in Q4, versus 13.8% in Q3. Bids for amounts over $2.00 achieved click-fraud rates of 20.9%.

Not All Google Referrals Are Search Related

Although the new Marketing Pilgrim Job Board is only a few hours old - awww, look at him, he has his father’s eyes – I’m already digging into the referral stats.

One thing I’ve noticed – and had noticed before with this site – is that not all Google referrals equate to search engine traffic.

I use both web logs and Google analytics to keep track of my traffic, but GA is the one I use for drilling-down into data. When looking at referral traffic for Google, I often see “google” sending me a lot of good traffic numbers. Over the past few months, I’ve also noticed an increase in the number of visits from “google.com”.