Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Natural Search Return or Paid Result? FTC Says Its Too Hard To Tell the Difference

ad note on googleWhen looking at a page of search results I often feel like I’m playing a round of Where’s Waldo. But instead of the guy in the striped t-shirt, I’m looking for the place where the paid ads end and the natural search results begin.

I don’t have evidence to prove it, but I feel like that line used to be more clearly defined. There would be a couple of very obvious ads at the top of the page and rest would be sites that earned their spot the hard way. Results in the right hand column were always ads. I can’t remember at what point ads started appearing in the main results as well.

Google Now, Mine and YouTube Collections: I Wonder What Else I’ve Been Missing

secret_passageGoogle’s been keeping secrets from me. While researching the rumored “Google Mine” project, I found out that there are hidden pathways and content tricks that I didn’t know existed.

Those inquisitive little bloggers over at Google Operating System: Unofficial News and Tips About Google turned me on to Google Now. Visit https://www.google.com/now/topics/ and you’ll find a graphical list of topics that you searched in the past week and the past month.

It only picks up terms you searched on multiple occasions and it appears to only collect what you searched when you were logged in to your Google account.

Last week, I was looking up the movie The Internship and that led to this box. In Google’s mind, if I like The Internship, I’ll also enjoy Jurassic Park, Lincoln, Schindler’s List and ET. That’s one of the most mismatched collections of movies I’ve ever seen.

Google’s Local Search Carousel Comes to Desktop

Local search, especially for restaurants, is getting much more interesting as Google rolls out its local search ‘carousel’ to desktop search. It is available in English in the US only for now.

Basically, how one ranks in the carousel will be the new ‘victory’ for local search. The post on Google+ announcing the update tells us

Starting today, when you search Google for restaurants, bars or other local places on your desktop, you’ll see an interactive “carousel” of local results at the top of the page.

Give it a go—type or say “mexican restaurants,” or try any similar search for restaurants, bars or hotels. Click on one of the places in the carousel to get more details on it, including its overall review-based score, address and photos. If you want to see more places, click the arrow at the right of the carousel. And you can zoom in on the map that appears below the carousel to restrict your search to only places in a specific area.

While some iPad and Nexus tablet users have seen this new look since December, we’re excited to expand to desktop. The interactive “carousel” is rolling out in English in the U.S.—we’ll add more features and languages over time.

Take a look for a search I did in Raleigh.

Google Local Search Carousel for Restaurants

Google’s New Related Image Search is Cooler Than it First Appears

Google put up a short announcement post last night about the new Related Image bar in Image Search. As an example, they talk about searching the word Maui. To help you narrow down the thousands of photos of pristine beaches, the Related Image bar pulls out photos of Black Rock, Makena and Maui Beaches Maps – in other words, more pictures of beaches.

Not so helpful. Then I tried to search one of my usual TV topics and the light bulb went on. I searched “Life on Mars.”

life on mars

This bar appears above the image results. It’s a line of choices with a side-scroller (but you can’t go one by one so I had to cut off the first response. . .sorry). Am I looking for “Life on Mars” the Bowie song? Proof that there’s life on Mars? Or the TV show “Life on Mars?” Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Yahoo! Redesigns Their Search Results to Look Like Everyone Else

I know I’ve been hard on Yahoo! these past few weeks but seriously, this is getting silly. Yahoo! has become that embarrassing mom who dresses and acts like she’s her teenager’s best friend. Let’s get real. Putting your stuff on Tumblr doesn’t automatically make you part of the Tumblr crowd.

yahoo tumblr

 

When I hit this page, I thought it was a fake account. This is your “official” announcement page? I was expecting to find a joke at the end of the post. What I did find was another one of those flashing gifs. These things make me nauseous. Stop it. Flashing back and forth between “before” and “after” doesn’t allow people to compare them side by side. This is no way to announce a new feature. Especially one that is important to business owners and marketers.

Amazon Ad Revenue Continues to Grow Rapidly

Amazon is the world’s shopping place. You can buy most anything and feel like you are not getting scammed in any way so the online world (consumers that is) sees Amazon as one of the good guys. Maybe even THE good guy.

As a result it looks like marketers are seeing the benefit of advertising on Amazon. That is evidenced by their continued ad revenue growth. eMarketer predicts that the growth will continue as it rapidly approaches the $1 billion per year mark (eMarketer predicts that the US market alone (which last year was the source of about 74% of the company’s ad revenue) will get to about $1.1 billion in 2015).

Amazon Net Ad Revenue 2011-2013

So what is the source of all this ad revenue?

Google Search Results Get Healthy

avocado with options (1)Google is rolling out a new feature that will help folks who are counting calories or simply trying to undersand what they are eating.

The Google Inside Search blog tells us

Figuring out how to make smart choices about some of our favorite foods can often be a cumbersome and daunting process. So we’re hoping we can make those choices a little bit easier: starting today you will be able to quickly and easily find extensive nutrition information for over 1,000 fruits, vegetables, meats and meals in search. From the basics of potatoes and carrots to more complex dishes like burritos and chow mein, you can simply ask, “How much protein is in a banana?” or “How many calories are in an avocado?” and get your answer right away. You’ll hear the answer to your specific question, see relevant nutrition information under an expansion, and be able to switch to other related foods or serving sizes.