Think of logos for the biggest businesses right now. Maybe you’re thinking of Facebook, or Twitter, or maybe you went towards technology manufacturers like Intel, Philips, or Dell. You may have even thought of a huge company like GE. Either way, the logos you thought of were most likely blue.

The colors of a logo are always important, as they decide how viewers will respond to your company. Restaurants or people handling food will often use green to convey a healthy image, or red because it supposedly stimulates appetite. While those colors work for that market, blue works for almost any non-food related business.

Helen Bailey from Web Designers Blog wrote one of many articles exploring why blue works so well for branding, but if you really want to explore the use of blue for branding, check out the infographic from Template Monster. The static version is below, but they have an interactive version at their site.

Google launched AdWords Express more than a year ago as a simple, no frills alternative for small business owners. Nearly all the bells and whistles have been taken out so users need only set a monthly budget and create an ad, then let Google automate the rest of the process.

Recently, Google has been pushing hard for more business owners to use AdWords Express and has even been offering free ad credits for signing up, as I mentioned last week.

Business2Community has a more in-depth article about the getting started with AdWords Express if you’re interested. But while a dumbed down version of AdWords seems like a time-saver, it also is robbing you of potential value from your online advertising. Without the ability to tweak and track your ads, you are putting a lot of faith in Google to run your campaigns properly. Sure, that saves you from putting time and money into your advertising budget, but it could also cost you sales and conversions.

Google’s Chief Economist, Hal Varian, spoke during a Google Tech Talk on October 22, 2012, and he shared some interesting information about what you see every time you use Google, as Barry Schwartz reported for Search Engine Land.

“Any time you access Google, you probably are in a dozen or more experiments.” Google is always working to improve and refine how they record data. Google releases about 500 updates to search per year, and about another 500 on the ad side. To establish what changes are needed and what works best, they run these experiments, which come to about 5,000 different experiments in a year,

The video of the entire talk is below, and the relevant information starts around the 26 minute mark.

It’s easy to get caught taking metrics at face value and not really interpreting what they mean. Benny Blum, for Search Engine Land, makes a valuable point about how time affects how you value your channels’ performances. You have to be wary of making changes too soon and effectively destroying what would have eventually been a great platform.

Obviously, there are difficult choices to make about where to allocate your ad budget across options like PPC, email, social media and organic search. However, if you looking at your click and conversion rates over an optimal amount of time, you might be overreacting to perceived underperformance.

When we talk about mobile search engines, there are really only two names in the conversation: Google and Bing. But did you know there are quite a few other options, and you probably already have them available on your phone?

Many apps offer built-in search engines, and they may be able to direct good amounts of traffic to your site, depending on your market. For example, YouTube is actually the second most popular search engine being used. Yes, YouTube gets used for searching more than Bing.

Sherwood Stranieri analyzed these in-app search engines, and has a helpful breakdown of what less recognized mobile search engines are best for your industry.

Since the release of Apple’s retina capable displays, the internet has been running behind the devices accessing it. Instead of improving the way browsing the web looks, the end result of using retina devices to look at the internet is usually blurry images.

Some have begun upscaling their images so that higher resolution images will be loaded only on these high resolution displays, but these images will only look good until screen resolution makes another leap forward. Basically, upscaling images is just optimizing your site for two different kinds of displays, and not preparing for the future.

Adam Fairhead has a different option that may help designers be prepared for future advances, as well as promising a great experience for users right now. By using Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) you can create images that are responsive to displays. Rather than hardcoding every pixel to an individual color, these graphics act as instructions for the display to show the image in the best way possible for that resolution.

If you want to not just upgrade your site to the current display standards (which most of the web has yet to actually do), you can upgrade your site’s images to hopefully be able to stand up to any advances future displays throw at us.

Many webmasters believed that the 700,000 notifications Google sent out in the first two months of this year were related to link notifications. Not true, says Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts.

According to Cutts, 90% of the messages sent out via Google Webmaster Tools are related to black hat issues. Their estimates are that only 3% of the messages were about unnatural links on a page. You can find out more from Search Engine Land

Creating a responsive website design from the ground up can be exhausting and costly. Thankfully, for those of us without the time or money to completely build a brand new site, there are lots of frameworks or boilerplates you can use.

Chris Spooner from Line25 compiled a bunch of these free frameworks, from the most popular, Bootstrap which was made by the guys at Twitter, to some more obscure but helpful frameworks. They also all have the complicated grids and layouts prepared so you can almost completely customize them.

Responsive design has never been so easy.

Google is offering up to two months of free advertising, or up to a $250 total value, for signing up for AdWords Express before December 16th. Most likely, you’ve received emails, possibly many, informing you of the promotion but it might be worth looking into for small business owners.

Find out more from Peter Kafka’s article at All Things D.

Bing published their first set of webmaster guidelines in the Help section of Bing’s Webmaster Tools to offer guidance on the best SEO practices for their search engine.

While not nearly as detailed as Google’s webmaster guidelines, hat is seemingly on purpose. According to Matt McGee at Search Engine Land, Bing aims these guidelines at “business owners” to help them “understand the broad strokes of search marketing.”

For more detailed information, look into Bing’s Webmaster FAQ’s.