October, 2009

  • The Search Blog

    Corporate SEO news update (13th Oct 09)

    • 0 Comments

    image This regular post will provide you with the latest news highlights from the SEO industry, with a emphasis on news stories related to corporate search engine optimization.

    I manage enterprise level SEO, and I found these stories interesting and relevant to my work, so if you are also interested in search engine optimisation for large sites, I think you will find these latest news headlines useful to know. . .

    StumbleUpon launches new site included updated search functionality…

    image

    StumbleUpon is a popular social bookmarking website which allows users to bookmark sites they ‘stumble upon’ and share the bookmarks with their friends, or the rest of the community of StumbleUpon.com users.

    The site recently released an upgraded experience which includes the ability to be able to search the huge database of links they have stored (both within your network, and within the wider public community).

    The links search results are ordered based on relevance to the keywords, as well as the number of views from StumbleUpon users (tracked via a StumbleUpon toolbar which can be installed in a web browser).

    This example search for ‘Windows 7’ shows a variety of links, covering reviews, product guides, wallpapers and a lot more.

    The results from StumbleUpon are all based on user submission and activity, so they are likely to differ from traditional search engine results.  It seems that user generate content (blog posts, reviews, etc…) is ranking higher than corporate website landing pages and product pages.

    Have you tried searching for your content on StumbleUpon yet?

    Got problems with duplicate content?

    image

    A new parameter handling function in Google Webmaster tools allows you to specify parameters which should be ignored in your urls. This page provides a description of how this feature helps with removing duplicate content from the index.


    Mobile search suggestions synced with desktop

    image

    Google announced the extension of personalised search on the mobile version of the site.  The Google suggest function which suggests searches based on your previous searches will be synced between your desktop and mobile device.  You will need to be signed in with the same account on both devices for this feature to work.

    Google announced a proposal for making AJAX crawlable

    image 

    AJAX enabled websites provide a richer in browser experience than a standard website.  A great example of this can been by logging in to http://mail.live.com, and seeing how the browser application acts like a desktop app, allowing you to drag and drop, right click and perform other advanced user interface actions.

    The problem with AJAX websites is that they do not fit very well with requirements for search engines to be able to crawl effectively e.g…
    Most AJAX sites have a single URL, where all of the content updates without changing the URL in the address bar.  Search engines will only reference a page if there is a URL which can be used to access it, so they will only ever index the first ‘page’ of an AJAX application

    Google have come up with a proposal to make AJAX content crawlable.  The details can be found here.  This idea is still being developed, so it not yet implemented by the Google crawler.  It is not yet clear if Bing will support the proposal, or something similar.

  • The Search Blog

    Integrated Bing voice search

    • 0 Comments

    image Anyone who has seen the voice chat app from Google on the iPhone will understandably be impressed.  However, the whole point behind voice chat is that you want to use it in situations where reading/using the screen is difficult. Having to find turn on your iPhone, scroll through your list of programs, find the Google App and then initiate a search is not ideal in critical situations.  This video shows how the new Samsung Intrepid plus Windows Mobile 6.5, an integrated ‘TellMe’ button and Bing search make it easier than ever to search when on the move. . .

  • The Search Blog

    How Q&A contributed to Baidu’s market share in China

    • 0 Comments

    image I am very excited to be able to bring you a guest blog today from our local site management team in China.  Charles Li has done some fantastic research in his region to get a better understanding of the local search engine and social networking market.  In the post below he has shared his analysis in to the local Chinese search engine Baidu, and provided some of his own thoughts on why the search engine is so popular in the region.

    Since many of the valuable online discussions about Baidu are in Chinese, this is a rare opportunity for non Chinese speakers to get some insights on a very significant search topic for any websites aimed at internet users in China.

    chali_24161104082009 (2) Guest Post
    Author: Charles Li
    Country: China (Shanghai)
    Job: International Site Manager

    Did you know that in China, in January, 71% of internet searches were made on Baidu.com and only 13% on Google? There are lots of discussions and researches around this interesting topic already. Recently Manshu Verma has a very good summary to talk about why, which got lots of echos in China. He listed 5 major reasons why Google trails Baidu in China. . .

    1. Google is not a natural word for the Chinese: Google is not a natural word for the Chinese and people had trouble remembering it. This played as a big negative, and eventually Google got hold of g.cn – which is its Chinese version. That may be the shortest web address ever, and it was bought to overcome the problem of introducing a product that the locals can’t remember.
    2. Search results in traditional characters: I read this interesting comparison between Google and Baidu, and one of the things it mentions is that on occasion Google returns more search results in traditional Chinese character (which is spoken in Taiwan, Hong Kong and by overseas Chinese). People in mainland China are not too comfortable with the traditional character, so they shy away from such results. These search results make Google look foreign to mainland Chinese users.
    3. Better in localized searches: The same comparison uses a local phrase and finds that although Google returns a much larger number of results, they are not relevant. Baidu comes up with fewer but far more relevant results.
    4. East is best: Another interesting article I found said that a lot of times Baidu has smartly positioned themselves as knowledgeable locals while portraying Google as clueless foreigners.
    5. Download music on Baidu: One of the big things about Baidu is that it is used to download music, much of which is copyrighted, but Baidu says that just linking to such music doesn’t break any law. This was something that Google didn’t do initially, but later started doing through its intermediary Top 100. This gave Baidu a distinct edge over Google.

    These five are very true. But I would like to add the 6th reason which could be the most important one from a native Chinese speaker’s viewpoint: Baidu is not only the largest Chinese search engine but also the largest Chinese Questions and Answers Community. Which means Baidu is not only taking customers to the right destination but also is actually generating answers for customers’ questions. This gives Baidu huge competitive advantage.

    Take a look the following example: Search “XP SP3 cannot be installed” in Chinese on Google. Guess what? The top results in Google are all pointed to zhidao.baidu.com (Baidu Answers Platform means “Baidu Know”).

    image

    It’s not limited to computer problems but covering all kinds of questions in your life. You will see similar results when searching answers like “Which mutual fund perform the best in last year?”, “how to cook a special Salad”. Etc.

    Answers Communities in China

    The market surged in 2008. The following chart shows the visits and increase rate of this market since 2007Q4. As you can see, the total visits in 2008Q4 exceed 4 billion per quarter (not limited to computer related).

    image

    Source: www.iResearch.com.cn

    The following chart shows the market share of key players in this market.

    image

    Source: www.iResearch.com.cn

    • Baidu has about 50% of this market.
    • Soso Wenwen has 25% of this market. It’s owned by Tencent, the biggest internet company in China
    • Yahoo Answers is the 3rd. Yahoo brand is not operated on their own in China. It’s a joint venture with Alibaba.com, and operated by Alibaba.com.
    • Interesting Movement of Google. Google announced to have a strategic partnership with Tianya, who has about 7% of this market, and make Tianya Answers as one of its service in China. See screenshot below:

      image

     

Page 3 of 3 (9 items) 123