Google is continuously finding new ways to measure the quality of web sites, to choose which pages should be ranked higher.  Relevance is still king for SEO, but one new element for search engine optimization (listed by Google directly) is web site speed. Read more

So it’s April Fool’s Day.  And Google always has something good.  Apparently today they have announced that Google is no longer Google.  Is is now Topeka.  You can find out the details here, on their blog.

But all over the world, new things have arisen with Google.  In the UK, a video was put up on YouTube about their latest translation advances.  You can see the details of this amazing tool on the Google page here.  A similar tool is available in Japan.  Google Maps got an upgrade in Australia.

And I highly recommend going to Google Maps, use street view (drag the icon of the person onto a street), and you’ll see the latest advance in Google Maps technology.  Quite nice.

SEO is an evolving animal.  There are many techniques that worked very well in the past that no longer are as effective, if effective at all.

Read more

Matt Cutts put out his latest update with Google in his blog.  It appears that Google is now allowing bookmarking within the search engine itself.  The way it’s done is to use stars next to each page you want to bookmark (much like Gmail operates with stars and emails).  Then for any related searches, the bookmarks will show up above all the organic listings in a separate starred list.

And for editing on any of your bookmarks, there’s now a Google Bookmarks page that you can use to go and adjust your bookmarks as you see fit.  Any text you add here will be used to match searches you put in, and will display that bookmark if you search for text within these fields.

How many people use this tool we’ll have to see, but it does have some advantages for organizational use within Google.

Google released a report card last week for product pages on search engines.  This report card analyzed the levels of quality for SEO on the pages.

The short of it – Google gave themselves only one “excellent” rating, got three “satisfactory” ratings and eight “needs improvement”.

Google has stated they have taken action on these results or plan to.  It’s somewhat funny to hear that the big search engine doesn’t always tweak their own pages properly for SEO purposes.

If you want more details on this, you can check out this article from the Los Angeles Times.

Today a court order goes into effect to force Microsoft to allow Windows users a choice in internet browsers.  Previously, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was the default browser installation on Windows.  As of today, that decision is no longer enforced, and users will have a choice to make that many were previously unaware they even had.

One possibility of this outcome is that Google Chrome may now see some increase in use.  Google is doing a heavier push in the mainstream media, so everyday internet users will see the option to install Chrome.  If a lot of them choose this, this will increase Google’s hold over the search engine market, and this will also effect many SEOs in their approach to optimization.

It appears the battle between Google and Microsoft (who’s joined forces with Yahoo) may have only now just begun.  To check out more details on this story, see this article by

As everyone knows, typing in a domain doesn’t always give you the site you intended to hit.  And typos like this happen all the time.  There are people who have realized this and are making money from it.

There are two ways to make money from domain typos – either by using PPC and bidding on these typos (and then making money from the traffic you get on these usually cheap keywords), or by registering these domains and putting ads on the site for them.

The people that do the latter are called “typosquatters”.  And there’s potentially a lot of money in the ads for higher traffic domain typos.  Keep in mind that if the owners of the real domain notice you doing this, they can ask you to take the site down.

Whether or not typosquatting is ethical is a subjective question, but the fact is that some people make a ton of money from it, and so does Google.  You can find out more about this and the figures involved in this article from Sideways News.

I got an email from Microsoft adCenter promoting the new alliance between Yahoo and Microsoft.  They’re calling it “Search Alliance“.  The aim is to have their online paid advertising fully unified before the 2010 holiday season, although they did say that they’ll wait until 2011 if they “determine this will be more effective”.

Microsoft bought out Yahoo, so now the primary tool behind both search engines will be Bing, and behind the pay per click (and other paid online advertisements) will be adCenter.  The Search Alliance has stated that each company will “continue to have differentiated consumer search experiences”.  Not sure exactly how they’ll pull that off with the same search engine for both, but they may just mean the search interface.

The support will be broken apart, Yahoo supporting the bigger advertisers, and Microsoft will provide support to “self-service” advertisers.  They are combining their platforms for the advertising audience, so ads put together under this new alliance will reach consumers using either search engine.  The Search Alliance brags that advertisers of all sizes will now be able to have access to a combined audience of nearly 577 million worldwide searchers.

At any rate, this is pretty big news – Yahoo and MS pulling together to battle the mighty Google.  I expect this may be an epic battle.

The stance Google’s taken on search engine optimization has always been a little hazy.  However, they do acknowledge many elements of SEO as being important for a good web design (as implied by all the information given within the Google Webmaster Tools pages).  But it appears they’re taking it a step further.

Google has begun a small project by showing how to improve SEO for some select pages within countries in northern Europe.  They will then put up a post about each page describing their findings and what they recommend to improve listing positions.

This isn’t exactly offering SEO services for clients (like our own Tulsa SEO services), but it is showing that they acknowledge how important SEO is for improving results, and are even willing to help by giving some tips.

Mark Jackson has a good article detailing more on this in ClickZ.

It appears that Fortune 500 companies on the whole have not caught up to the internet marketing needed to rank well for their primary keywords.  And many of them still don’t use pay per click marketing, even though the combination of the ones that do spend about 3 and a half million dollars daily for their keywords.

The interesting thing here is with those millions being spent, you’d think they would put the money into SEO to push their primary keywords to the top of the listings, but it appears that they are not doing this.  The companies are still improving on their listings, but it’s still a minority that are even breaking the top 50 in the SERP list for their primary keywords.

MediaPost has an article with details on the exact figures involved in the Fortune 500 SEO results, as well as their PPC figures.