Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Search Engines Working on Human Rights Charter

The Register reports Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Vodafone are among a group of tech companies looking to create a code of conduct to protect freedom of expression online.

The companies announced their “intention to seek solutions to the free expression and privacy challenges faced by technology and communications companies doing business internationally”, according to a joint statement. Later this year the group of companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will produce “a set of principles guiding company behaviour when faced with laws, regulations and policies that interfere with the achievement of human rights”, said the statement. Those that commit to those principles will be held accountable to them, it said.

As the Register suggests, it will be interesting to see how this will work, in light of Google and Yahoo’s apparent willingness to concede to oppressive governments such as China.

Overture Suggestion Tool Obituary

Over at DM News, Sara Holoubek has written an ode to the Yahoo/Overture keyword suggestion tool. For years it was a vital part of any search marketer’s toolbox, but with the upgrades to Panama, it looks like it’s headed for the grave – or at least retirement to the land of misfit search engine tools.

Sara sums-up its demise…

It wasn’t until I held a recent Search 101 seminar that I realized just how much the tool had aged. Like an elder relative, the tool fell asleep frequently at the table. Sometimes it just didn’t make any sense at all. On a call with some Yahoo employees, my greatest fears were confirmed: The tool would not longer be supported in the near future.

Google Releases Confidential User Information

Google's Security Guard While last week’s suggestion that Yahoo was switching browser preferences without explicit permission, was a black mark for the company, it doesn’t come close to the allegations that Google has revealed confidential information about its users.

TechCrunch is reporting that Google’s anti-phising blacklist contained confidential usernames and passwords of individuals, including logins for bank accounts etc.

Google has not publicly discussed the error, although they quietly removed the offending data. They have, however, acknowledged it in email correspondence with Finjan, which was forwarded to me. Google has since removed the confidential data.

Ok, I can take a search engine switching my settings, but dumping my username and passwords on to the web? Very bad! Especially as Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Marketing Pilgrim how AOL’s screw-up would not happen at Google.

The Godfather of Search? What About the Godmother?

Last week I received a quick email from Jeremy Shoemaker, asking me who I thought the “Godfather of Search” was. Shoemoney explained that he had heard many difference responses to that question, so wanted to blog about it. Seeing that “Search” has different connotations in our industry – “search marketing” or “search industry – I asked him which he meant. Wanting my initial gut reaction, he didn’t want to clarify his question any further. Fair enough, so I gave him this answer…

I’d have to say Larry Page. Assuming “godfather” means the person that controls a specific industry and has all the power, you’d have a hard time finding anyone with more power than Page (and sidekick Sergey Brin). Without PageRank, we’d have no Google, and without Google, search would not be what it is today. Google controls search, Page and Brin control Google.

Wikipedia Links No Longer Passing PageRank

SEJ reports that Wikipedia has gone ahead and added the NOFOLLOW attribute to all external links, effectively dismissing any link-juice value from Wikipedia links.

While marketers may still benefit from the actual link traffic, this marks the end of receiving any PageRank value from the highly-respected resource.

So, in response, any future links to Wikipedia from us, will include a NOFOLLOW. Maybe if we all take that approach, Wikipedia will lose its PageRank and won’t have to worry about link-spam any longer. ;-)

Join the “NOFOLLOW me to Wikipedia” campaign!

Google Allows Competing Contextual Ads on Same Page as AdSense

JenSense has the scoop on Google’s policy change that will allow publishers to display competing contextual ad units, alongside AdSense, so long as they don’t look like Google’s ads.

“When it comes to enforcing policies on third-party contextual ads, we’ll be following the updated program policies instead of the T&Cs on this point. That is to say, publishers may now display other contextual ads on the same site or page as Google ads as long as they don’t have the same look and feel as our ads,” Brian Axe tells Jennifer Slegg of JenSense.

Jennifer does warn that you still have to ensure the other ad units don’t have a TOS that prevents you showing alongside others. e.g. Yahoo still won’t let you show their ads alongside other contextual ad units, such as AdSense.

Why Marketing Agencies Shouldn’t Publish Their Fees

Karri Flatla has given me a good topic for a future article in the business coaching series. She argues that B2B firms should publish their prices on their web site

What is worse is that business owners will rationalize their choice to not list prices until they are blue in the face, claiming they want their visitors to shop value, not price. This is apparently in hopes that the unsuspecting visitor will call them up to find out the price. It’s very egocentric when you think about it. Moreover, by not listing prices, you frustrate your users and, in effect draw more attention to the “How much does it cost?” question. I doubt that is the intended effect.