Optimising Images for Search Engines – SMX West

The following is a special report from SMX West 2009.

Peter Linsley—Google

google-image-search-454w

First up Peter Linsley of Google ran through some of the concepts behind Google images and also factors that may influence ranking of images on Google which included some of the following:

  • Number of referring sites—so whether the image is used on more than one website is a key metric in Google’s ranking Algorithm.
  • The text around the image and the kind of words contained is also a factor taken into account by Google.
  • Also placement of image—and whether it is above the fold

Peter also suggested that other dynamic features were in play. For example can a user comment on the image via a comments box? Or whether the image could be rated somehow.

Goliath Picks on David: The Tweet-Wars Begin

by Matt Rebeiro

Just a thought: who else finds that Twitter is their new RSS feed? Yep, me too!

Further observation tells me there are only two things being discussed in the news: the global recession and Twitter. Seriously, when was the last time you read a news story that wasn’t about how we’re all poor and talking to each other in 140 character bursts?

In the case of the former (the global recession), Google has once again leapt to the rescue and are offering a Google branded solution; their ‘Tip Jar‘. Financial panacea? Hardly. Interesting bit of digital fluffery? Probably.

Anyway, when taking time out from solving the world’s financial ills one tip at a time, Google has decided to get—how to say—’snarky’ about Twitter’s increasing popularity.

Google’s New Social Bar: Who’s Using It?

Google’s Friend Connect got a new gizmo, or should I say gadget? Technically it isn’t a gadget because its main purpose is to organize the Friend Connect gadgets that a site uses. The Friend Connect social bar is designed to simplify the process of using multiple Google Friend Connect gadgets on your site.

social-bar

The 36 pixel high bar runs across the top of a site and contains a site wide activity feed, a comments section, and a list of site members. Installation for the social bar is relatively easy with Google providing a video demonstration. Google also provides an example site that showcases the social bar in action.

The social bar was announced on Google’s new Social Web Blog, which has the motto, “News and updates about Google products that are helping to make the web more social”

Monetizing Mobile: Google Launches AdSense for Mobile Search

by Rene LeMerle

Building on the initial AdSense for Mobile launched back in Sept 2007, Google have just unveiled their new mobile AdSense product.

AdSense for Mobile Search, as it’s been labeled, is aimed squarely at mobile network operators and mobile website owners. The new offering will allow them to embed a Google search box on their mobile sites and cobrand the results pages.

According to the release post:

mobile phone users will get instant access to Google search including comprehensive web search, local, image, and news results — all formatted for their phones. Mobile operators and website owners share in the ad revenue generated by searches originating from their sites.

In Search of the Perfect Page: Google Offers Insight into SERP Testing

By Peter Young

One of the best things about Google is the simplicity of its search results pages—clean, generally uncluttered and logical. Over the last couple of years these pages have seen some significant changes as Google bring new technologies to the table, with first Blended Search and more recently SearchWiki revelutionising the way we use the search pages. 

It is therefore interesting to see some of Google’s own research into the impact of their changes on user behaviour, something I personally have only seen on studies such as those done by the likes of Enquiro.

Is Search Weathering the Recession Storm?

By Peter Young

Depending on who you decide to subscribe to it appears to have been a bit of a mixed bag for search spend during the final quarter of 2008. Recent reports by both Covario and Efficient Frontier have both released slightly differing reports on how search has fared, however there is one consistency that seems to be common to be both—search in comparison to nearly every other channel appears to be holding its own, in what can only be described as extremely trying times.

According to a report by online analytics firm Covario, search spend actually ‘surged’ during the final quarter of 2008, 43% YOY increase over the same period in 2007—a 7.2% gain over 3rd quarter 2008 spending. Such figures are all the more impressive given the circumstances experienced during the latter part of last year. It however should be noted this report was based on 12 of Covario’s U.S.-based high tech and consumer electronics customers—and thus is fairly limited in terms of scope.

The Plot to Kill Google? Google’s Secret Weapon?

A recent article in Wired called The Plot to Kill Google details some of the major legal and political battles that Google finds itself in with corporations that have a shared interest in the evolution of the web. The authors describe Microsoft as being a major enemy of Google, and responsible for spearheading an advocacy effort to thwart the now botched Google/Yahoo ad deal.

Apparently, Microsoft was successful at convincing Tom Barnett, assistant attorney general for antitrust, that an ad partnership between Google and Yahoo constitutes a monopoly.

Traditional advocacy efforts entail organizing consumers/voters around a specific issue, and leveraging their voice to push through a specific set of policies. However, Microsoft took a different approach by rallying up corporate entities, to lobby on behalf of Microsoft’s cause.