Monday, February 16, 2009

Section 2 - Around the Net: What If Google Bought Twitter?

, February 16, 2009 Subscribe | Back Issues | Reply to Editor | MediaPost Home

SEO Becomes Hot Political Lobbyist Tool
National Journal
When two right-leaning advocacy groups wanted to influence Internet users that could push lawmakers to vote for or against certain legislation, they relied on search engine marketing to get across the message. Amy Harder suggests the tactic has become a tool for lobbyists to reach millions of Web users around the country.

Harder tells us how the groups analyze public opinion and that they get the message through organic and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. "This latest round of online advertising suggests a future for lobbying that's less about cocktail parties and K Street and more about reaching as many people as possible around the country through the Web and e-mail," writes Harder. - Read the whole story...

Spammy Valentine's Day
Dylan Morss details the increase in spam related to the Valentine Day's holiday, tracking the top 20 Valentine's Day-related spam subject lines for February. The first three are St. Valentine's bonus, Casino St. Valentine's Day, and St. Valentine's Casino.

Morss has seen a 700% spike in spam messages with a Valentine's Day theme since the beginning of February. The biggest increases by percentage were seen in the phrases "February 14," with a 200% spike; "Valentine's Day," with a 500% increase, and the term "Valentine," with a whopping 9,000% rise. - Read the whole story...

How To Use The Hash Symbol
Rand Fishkin calls the "hash" or "pound symbol" a "powerful SEO tool" that many experts rarely use. Demonstrating ways to use it in his video series Whiteboard Friday, Fishkin says that "search engines don't index anything after the hash" sign in a line of code. "The hash is essentially a stopping point, an on-page anchor."

You can use the hash sign in applications including canonicalization and affiliate URLs, and when you want to show limited content on a page. The video provides reasons for using the hash sign in these applications, as well as the proper ways to insert the symbol in the code. "Consider it as a URL parameter that doesn't get separately indexed, or segmented, from the engines," Fishkin says. - Read the whole story...

Patents Suggest Analysis Finds Search Intent
SEO by the Sea
Bill Slawski believes search engines are attempting to understand the intentions behind search phrases, to show searchers the pages they believe will match the intent of the search. He points to a few patent filings for products that focus on this and suggests search engines could try to match intent through analysis of query logs.

Analyzing two patent filings from Yahoo, Slawski explains that while it's difficult to know the extent of the methods incorporated in Yahoo's search results, it's evident "the intent behind some query terms in a search can influence the types of results we receive at the major search engines." For instance, "navigational queries showing a top result with sitelinks, or a local type query showing one box or ten box map results." - Read the whole story...

What If Google Bought Twitter?
Search Engine Watch
I've heard the question repeatedly these days: Should Google buy Twitter? After all, Frank Watson writes, Open Social and Friends Connect demonstrate the company has a commitment to social media, but efforts haven't proven as popular as Google Search or Gmail. Watson takes us through a few hypothetical scenarios.

For instance, Watson writes, Google could integrate a similar Twitter technology into Gmail, where it could become much more viral with a simple click. But most Twitter users want to see the tweets remain "real" and "free," both monetarily and from bureaucratic strings often found in corporate environments (yes, even Google). - Read the whole story...

Search Insider - Around the Net for Monday, February 16, 2009


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