Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Battle Royale for "Queen of Search" Title

A couple of days ago, I asked who you thought was the “Godmother” of search. Jeremy already had the rights to find the “Godfather”, so we thought we’d find the industry’s most powerful woman.

Currently, Jill Whalen is in the lead with 27% of the votes, followed by Kim Krause Berg with 19%. We’re sure this has nothing to do with the fact that each own a popular message board, with many members. ;-)

Anyway, if you’ve not voted, make your voice heard. Who is the Queen of all things Search?


Google Changes Layout of Google Images; Copies Microsoft?

If you hate “echo-chamber” posts, cover your eyes now.

Search Engine Land points to a Philipp Lenssen post on a design change for Google Images. They’ve removed a lot of the information that used to appear alongside each image, and instead show just basic information when you mouse-over any image.

It’s certainly a sleeker interface and now looks a lot like Windows Live Image Search. If they’re going to imitate, I’d love to see them also adopt the infinite-scroll interface that Microsoft uses on their image search.

Yahoo’s Q4 Better Than Expected – Panama Fully Deploying Feb 5

Yahoo just released their Q4 numbers, and their profit is better than expected. Revenue was up 13% to $1.7 billion and profit was $268.7 million for the 3 month period.

If not for certain tax benefits, Yahoo said it would have earned 16 cents per share, exceeding the average analyst estimate by 3 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial.

I still think that a successful launch of the new paid search platform and algorithm will be a huge boost for Yahoo and help them close the gap on Google in 2007.

Now all eyes turn to Google to see what their numbers will be.

UPDATE: Rob Hof must be listening to the conference call as he has further news that Yahoo will fully deploy the new ad platform on Feb 5th.

UPDATE 2: Official word from Yahoo…

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide, today announced that it will launch its new search marketing ranking model in the U.S. on Monday, February 5. With the new ranking model, all Yahoo! search marketing ads in the U.S. will be ranked by quality in addition to keyword bid price. As a result, Yahoo! will be able to provide a more relevant search experience to users, more valuable customer leads to advertisers, and additional opportunities to its distribution partners.

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.