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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Is Dominating Search Results Near Yours?

I'm a long-time subscriber to Google News and Blog alerts. They're a great way to stay up to date with any topic and I subscribe to several alerts on subjects, companies and categories I'm interested in across a wide range of topics. Something rather startling has occurred to me in watching those results across multiple categories. The new site is dominating search results for both news and non-news (blog, web) alerts.

Also noted is the interesting fact that many more results appear across dozens of other search results. Since I make my living optimizing search, this tends to stand out for me more than it has for friends and relatives I've asked about it. So tell me - Are you seeing any of your search terms threatened by

Because they are considered a "News" source, the site gets indexed instantly for almost any topic. Their "News" results appear in Google Universal and Yahoo Blended search results in the top five rankings.

Interestingly, you needn't be a trained journalist to write for and it appears they are actively recruiting writers.

I haven't yet had the opportunity to review their site structure or on-page optimization efforts - but whatever they are doing, it is landing the site in lots of top ranked spots for hotly contested search phrases. This will be interesting to watch.

Meanwhile, take a look at the video below for the root of the story, which is tied to the demise of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver - especially since the biggest name behind the is Denver Billionaire, Philip Anschutz. The video below includes an interview with CEO Michael Sherrod

They are using the tilde for the first time in years in their URL's. I thought that had died long ago. Interesting trend to watch. I also see that Google news shows over 28,498 results for in their site search. More than the 9600 for the New York Times or the 7500 for the Boston Globe. Hmmm - that bears watching as well.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Washington Post Running Old Jerry Yang Search Ads

This is an interesting case of what appears to be a forgotten SEM Campaign at the Washington Post. I've been intrigued by Adwords campaigns which promote newspapers through headline keywords in search ads. Clearly they are meant to gain readership for those publications running the news-focused ads.

Since virtually all major pubs cover big stories like the Yahoo vs Microsoft acquisition fight, it isn't that odd to see search ads run against news. Here's an Adsense ad that popped up on a blog post I wrote pondering why everyone is out to lynch Jerry Yang. The ad simply uses the headline "Jerry Yang" and the copy reads "Yahoo CEO steps down, cofounder takes his place"

Now that isn't so odd that the Washington Post wants to advertise against news, but the odd thing is advertising against OLD NEWS. Did they forget this campaign? Who's managing those ads guys?

My headline on the post that produced that contextual ad was "NY Times as Yahoo Armchair CEO for Jerry Yang" so it is well targeted, just old, since it is currently pointing at the story about Terry Semel stepping down and Yang taking his place - which ran exactly one year ago at the Washington Post.

When I saw the ad, my heart sank, as I'm seriously opposed to Yang stepping down. I hope he displays as much fortitude against the rising tide of opposition to his leadership as he did against the monster Microsoft as they distracted him for 5 or 6 months from running his company. But when I visited the page the ad linked to, I felt relieved since it was inaccurate.

Should it be journalistically acceptable to run ads against news that is completely wrong? Yes, I know if you read it carefully, you'd figure out it's not likely Filo stepping in to fill Yang's shoes - but those ads are not meant to be read carefully - they rely on impulse. My immediate response was "Oh, NO! Say it ain't so!" when I looked at the display URL in the ad and it said

Fortunately, that ad was not what it seemed. But this suggests to me that search ads that are run against news headlines should be VERY carefully managed.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yahoo Open Strategy Unchained as Microsoft Wilts

Microsoft is backing off of the takeover attempt on YAHOO! So glad to hear it. The cultures clash, the combination would have been absurdly bad for search and Yahoo can now fully embrace and promote the YOS! (Yahoo Open Strategy) concept they've been discussing since the San Francisco Web 2.0 conference about six weeks ago.

I'm also glad to see that the silly Carl Icahn tantrum is over, and they he probably lost big money on the dumb proxy fight move. What was he thinking?

I've not been a fan of Yahoo due to their odd monetization and content corralling practices in which they insist on hosting content produced by others so they can advertise around it - and not even link back to the content producers in most cases. No wonder they weren't liked by most SEO's - they won't give links. They bought dozens of companies to gain the audience share, but let them die over time.

BUT! I've been excited by the prospects discussed at Web 2.0 by Yahoo around opening the network to developers and the ideas of others. It's a social network play that deserves to succeed in it's own way - a way that will be mostly determined by how freely those external developers and partners are allowed to create and explore the Yahoo network through YOS!

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