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?

Copernic’s Bouchard Takes Over CEO Role at Mamma.com

Congratulations to Martin Bouchard, founder of Copernic, as he takes over the role of Chief Executive Officer for meta-search engine Mamma.com.

Mamma.com acquired Copernic a couple of years ago, and Martin was serving as the company’s CTO. He replaces Guy Faure who has resigned to pursue other opportunities.

Mamma.com has been out of favor recently, so hopefully Martin will be able to get things back on track.

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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.

Email Will Become the Norm for Confidential Communication by 2009

How comfortable do you feel, sending confidential information via email? I know that I try only to ever send my bank account details and SSN to the very highest of Nigerian princes, just in case the email goes astray.

Well, according to a small survey of attendees of the ISPA’s annual Parliamentary Advisory Forum, they share your fears in sending sensitive emails.

Fear of high-profile security scares (27 per cent), a lack of adequate security offerings from ISPs (24 per cent) and the inability to guarantee sender/recipient ID (33 per cent) were cited as today’s top three obstacles to mass user adoption of email for confidential communications.

However, hope is on the horizon, with many believing email will become more secure in the future.

When Online Reputation Management Goes Wrong

Jennifer Laycock explains why not all online reputation management services are created equal. She looks at one firm that claims to “DESTROY” negative content, for just $29.95. A closer look at the fine print reveals a nightmare waiting to happen.

You authorize us to take such action on your behalf, and to identify ourselves as acting on your behalf…The Customer also acknowledges and accepts the risk that Reputationxxxxxx, Inc., may not succeed in effecting the removal and/or alteration of any Internet content about the Customer…You recognize that such contact may have unpredictable side-effects, including but not limited to negative responses from others.

Cool, so for thirty bucks, you’ll create a bigger mess than I’m already in? Where do I join?

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.

Viral Contest Campaign Case Study

I’m a huge fan of case studies. I find it inspiring to hear success stories. Sverre Sjøthun of SEOBomb has posted about his most recent viral campaign success for Crestock.com.

Sverre coordinated a photoshop contest with some very high profile judges and the results were amazing.

Crestock.com got 200,000 unique users from the contest, went on Digg, doubled their average daily traffic after the contest, got over 5000 new customers and increased their organic search engine traffic by 1258% – in one month!

With so much talk about linkbait and social media marketing lately, we tend to forget there has always been that traffic magnet for the web, viral campaigns. They are separate but the same. Most viral campaigns are linkbait but very few pieces of linkbait can be considered viral campaigns.