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Google Leads in Overall Search While Bing Powered Search Leads in Success Rate

It’s time for the monthly pondering of whether Google is losing its strangehold on the lead in search market in the US. Experian Hitwise has released its numbers for February 2011.

In Google’s position any move backwards is considered trouble so a 2% decrease from January to February is not great news. Bing powered search, on the other hand, continues to show progress moving up 4% from January.

Where Bing claims victory is in Experian’s metric of search success rate. Those numbers are unchanged with Bing doing very well compared to its nemesis.

Month to month numbers are hard to draw conclusions from but Bing continues to inch forward and Google seems to have stalled. Of course stalling is relative when your market share is twice that of your nearest competitor which consists of two outlets rather than Google’s single platform.

An Ivy League Call for the Sunset of SEO

If there is any subject that riles up the readership of Marketing Pilgrim or any other Internet marketing news outlet it’s the occasional ‘death of SEO’ call to arms. It’s the time when those with the most vitriol like to come out and defend the practice and call the person writing about it an idiot and many other sundry terms. It’s a time for release and anger by the SEO community at those who ‘don’t know anything’ about the practice. In short, it’s great theater that produces nothing of substance.

The latest version of this ‘SEO is a black art and ruins the online world for the common man (and journalist)’ mantra comes from the Ivy League of all places. Richard J. Tofel has written an article for Harvard’s Nieman Foundation entitled, “Someday the sun will set on SEO – and the business of news will be better for it”. Pretty provocative title for a guy who is writing for the art rather than the traffic, huh?

35 Killer Tips from London SES 2011

SES GraphicThis year London SES was held at the Queen Elizabeth conference centre in Westminster. The London show attracted attendees from all over the UK, Europe and Asia making SES a hub for both European and international SEOs. The 2011 event showcased some excellent speakers who covered a range of topics from link building to conversions.

Here are our 35 top tips from the London show.

1. Content Marketing:

Lee Odden at London SES

“You need to understand what your customers want. What do they want to consume? What do they want to learn from or share?”
Lee Odden – www.toprankblog.com

“Rich content can open doors for influencing customers and clients, it can draw in business, attract talent and save costs on recruitment. It can also make money from marketing partners”
Lee Odden

Google Update: Who Are the Biggest Losers?

When Google set its sights on removing content farms from search results, everyone expected Demand Media to be the biggest loser. But according to a data set provided by Sistrex Demand Media’s biggest offender eHow, not only didn’t take the bullet, they actually gained in a few areas.

So who did take the hit? Sistrex compared one million keywords before and after the change and announced that the top three biggest losers were WiseGeek.com, ezinearticles and Suite 101.

WiseGeek’s owner told the Wall Street Journal:

“We got unfairly lumped with a lot of players that had much lower-quality content. We’re not perfect, but I vouch for the quality of our content.”

Does Google Algo Update Really Target Entire Content Farms?

Sometimes a farm can just have a bad year. One field doesn’t produce like it has in the past so the quality of one crop suffers while the rest of the farm does fine. Google’s latest update (which Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan is trying to call the “Farmer” update but I am going with the “Discontent” update) is really saying to everyone that general low quality content, no matter where it comes from, is going to get whacked.

Google’s official blog says

Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.

Overstock Overstocks .edu Links and Google Schools Them

Google has handed out another penalty to a high profile retail site after it discovered that the site’s techniques to get to the top of the SERP’s was not above board. This is the second high profile public flogging by Google of a rogue site in the past few weeks. Couple this with the strong ‘war on spam’ rhetoric and one might think that Google is starting to pay much closer attention to who gets where in their results and how they get there.

The Wall Street Journal reports

Google Inc. is penalizing Overstock.com Inc. in its search results after the retailer ran afoul of Google policies that prohibit companies from artificially boosting their ranking in the Internet giant’s search engine.

Into The Minds of Link Builders

This isn’t a hidden fact; link building is the missing piece of most online marketing plans. Onsite SEO and content are just part of the game, but there is no part of code you can change that will have an impact on ranking like good, strong, focused links to your site’s pages. Naturally, link building is the one thing we all hate doing. Most SEOs, when you mention link building, will either groan and put their headphones back on, or just cry. But it is a necessary part of SEO.