• The Search Blog

    Bing is used to change the past (time travel)


    If you have seen the trailer for the new ‘Source Code’ time travel movie, you may have noticed that Jake Gyllenhaal uses Bing.com for a mobile internet search whilst trying to change the past…


    Here is the full trailer…

  • The Search Blog

    +1: Google’s version of Facebook ‘likes’


    imageThere can be little argument that Facebook is the global leader when it comes to owning the social graph of online interpersonal connections.  It’s also no secret that Bing now uses Facebook ‘like’ data as a ranking factor for search results.  However Google has had some disputes with Facebook, and for one reason or another – do not currently use Facebook ‘likes’ as a ranking factor.

    In fact, Google have in the past made it clear that they want to build their own social graph and use that to improve search results.  The announcement made by Google yesterday may well be a real boost for building their own social graph, and a blow for the Facebook ‘Like’ button (which has been around for about 1 year now).

    What is +1?

    Fundamentally it is a similar concept to the now familiar Facebook Like and Twitter Tweet buttons.  It enables users to easily, with 1 click (assuming they are signed in with a Google account) vote their support for a particular webpage. 

    For now, the button is only available for SOME users and only within the Google search results list…


    Voting for a particular page can be done with a single click on the +1 icon next to the page title. 

    Users will then be shown pages which have been voted up by their social network (based on a Google account connected to others by Gmail, Google Reader and other services)…


    Eventually Google +1 will also be available to add on to websites (as the Facebook ‘like’ and Twitter ‘tweet’ buttons are today)…


    This video provides a nice summary of +1…


    So what?

    Facebook and Twitter buttons are already widely adopted, so will  people bother to add another (Google ‘+1’) button to their sites?

    In short – YES.  At least I believe so.

    Google have actually been quite clever here.  They have used their greatest asset (search) and targeted a desire of every single website manager in the world (to increase traffic from Google). 

    Yes it’s true that +1 is ANOTHER voting button on top of the already widely adopted implementations from Twitter, Facebook and others.  Yes it’s true that for website users to use the +1 button they will need to sign up for ANOTHER account, on top of their Facebook and Twitter accounts.  But Google +1 does offer something unique which website owners do not get with the Facebook and Twitter buttons…

    From launch, it is clear that use of the +1 button will enhance Google search results by highlighting pages which have been voted by a users social network.  However, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Google will at some point start to use those votes as ranking signals as well.  +1 votes will most likely become a necessary factor for website managers to monitor for improving their Google referrals (as Facebook ‘likes’ are becoming for Bing.com referrals today).

    In fact, perhaps +1 will at some point replace PageRank?!  Even if it doesn’t I suspect that the ‘fear’ of it will prompt many site owners to adopt the Google +1 button as soon as they can.

  • The Search Blog

    A great example of how Quora enabled a valuable and open discussion


    A recent post on Quora provides a good open discussion about the best SEO tools available on the web. 

    Whilst the content of the post itself is extremely useful for SEO, that was not actually what got me excited.  What I loved about this post was the way that someone was able to ask a random question about products from three different companies, and within just 1 day have it answered by the founders of each of those companies!




    I also very much respected Rand’s first answer which provided incredibly open customer feedback information (good and bad) about his own products. 

    Rand and SEOMOZ create a great set of products, show open respect for their ‘competitors’ and are seemingly completely open and constructively critical about their own work on a regular basis.  In a word of Quora, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogs with open comment boxes, etc… this type of relationship with the online community makes a lot of sense to me. 

    Whilst I have a lot of respect for the skills sales people have, I can’t say that I respect the tendency many have for avoiding discussions about negative customer feedback, or worst the habit of criticizing competitor products just purely because they are competition.  I think that Rand and many other successful people in the evolving world of online communities would agree with me. 

    • Rand knows his company makes great products
    • Rand knows that his respectful and honest reply in the Quora post would result in equally respectful and honest replies
    • Rand knows that deliberately avoiding a mention of negative product feedback would simply result in someone else mentioning it in the replies
    • Rand knows that criticizing a competitor (even in a politically correct way) will simple result in retaliation from the competitor, their affiliates or just someone who didn’t like the tone of Rand’s message

    Gone are the days when the only ‘customer testimonials’ are those which a company has chosen to publish on it’s site.  Gone are the days when the only way of getting your complaint heard was to threaten with some kind of publicity stunt. 

    Oh and by the way, the only was I discovered this post was because Quora knows I am interested in SEO, so it made me aware of the discussion in my news feed.  So GONE are the days where someone who wants to start a discussion has to proactively go out and find people who are interested in participating!

    Quora is just on example of how online communication and reputation has changed/is changing.  If you haven’t already, get on top of it now.  I will be paying a lot more attention to the site after this experience.

    Just in case you are still wondering whether the SEO post is worth your attention, here are the tools it mentions and compares…

    • SEOMOZ
    • Raven SEO
    • Hubspot
    • In less detail…
      • SEO Book
      • Buzzstream
      • Ontolo

    Check it out Smile

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