Bing Improves Search Auto Suggestions: Now Faster & Better

Dan Marantz, Senior Program Manager Lead at Bing announced on the Bing Search Blog that they have made two improvements to the auto-suggestions.

Bing’s auto-suggest is now faster and a lot more accurate, according to Bing. Bing said two “themes” are behind the change including navigational queries coming to the forefront of auto-suggest and search history being more extensively used within auto-suggest.

They sped up the auto-suggest by using a technique called “ghosting” where Bing will show the suggestion in blue highlighted text in the search box and then show alternatives below. You can tab or press the down arrow to access those suggestions and press enter or click to search for that query. Bing said this has sped up user searches by over 16%.

Google obviously uses the technique called Google Instant which actually loads the search results almost immediately as you type. Google launched Instant on September 8, 2010.

Known Issue With Google Sitemaps Index Count

The Google Webmaster Central team posted a known issue report with a bug in the reporting engine within Google Webmaster Tools. The indexed URLs report is currently showing 0 pages indexed for most sites who have submitted sitemaps to Google Webmaster Tools.

The notice reads:

The indexed URL counts for Sitemaps that you have submitted in Webmaster Tools may be showing zero (0) indexed URLs for some sites. We are aware of this issue and are looking into it; you do not need to take any action. This will have no effect on your site’s performance in search results.

That being said, many webmasters are unaware that this is a wide-spread issue. There are hundreds of webmasters resubmitting their sitemap files or trying to fix an issue that does not exist with their sitemaps files. I have linked to these reports at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Best advice is to sit tight and wait it out.

Postscript: JohnMu from Google commented at about 4pm (EST) that this should now be resolved. I personally see my sitemaps showing the proper index count. John said:

For what it’s worth, this should be resolved now. It may take a bit for the data to propagate to all accounts; you can speed that up by resubmitting your Sitemap file in Webmaster Tools.

SMX-less in Seattle – SMX Advanced Conference

In case you’ve been under a rock the past 6 months or perhaps taking a well earned internet hiatus, Danny Sullivan’s new conference series kicks off this week with Search Marketing Expo Advanced in Seattle.

You can be sure to see session by session coverage from Barry and his crew at Search Engine Roundtable. Matt McGee from Small Business SEM who will also be doing some conference coverage has already posted photos including a few shots from the MSN party as did Karl Ribas. Matt Cutts shares a few thoughts of the event here.

Other SMX Advanced coverage will be coming from Marketing Pilgrim and of course both text and video from WebProNews. Alas, Online Marketing Blog will not be attending SMX Seattle, but hopefully we can cover future events. With two east coast speaking gigs this month, attending/blogging a third conference simply isn’t doable for me.

Note to people attending and covering the event: please agree on a common tag for Technorati and Flickr such as “smxadvanced2007″ or similar. That will make it much easier to track posts and draw attention to the coverage you’re providing.

3 Reasons It’s OK That Non-Brand Paid Search Keywords Don’t ‘Work’

Have you ever done a search for a non-branded term that didn’t work for your brand, but saw ads for all your competitors? What do they know that you don’t? Are the metrics really that different from brand to brand?

For many of the world’s brands, non-branded paid search keywords don’t “work” from an ROI perspective.

It’s perfectly understandable why this is such a greatly debated topic.

PPC originally gained traction with a promise to clients: if you give us your money, we will tell you exactly what you got for your money, down to the penny and keyword. This was appealing because marketers could walk into their boss’s office and show them a positive ROI was that tangible.

Now PPC marketers find themselves arguing that search is effective even if it doesn’t directly translate to a positive keyword level ROI.

The origins of PPC have made this argument so hard to win, while TV thrives without directly trackable figures due to the way we taught marketers to originally think about the medium. We find ourselves fighting against the very reasons we told brands to shift their dollars originally.

There is no right or wrong to this based on your business.

Here are three reasons brands should consider spending on smart non-branded terms that don’t “work” – and still be OK.

1. Portfolio ROI

This is probably the most common approach that brands use today to justify non-branded spend. They work under the same assumption as a stock portfolio. You take the best ROI terms (i.e., brand) and combine them with lower ROI terms and manage to a blended ROI that achieves your targets. This allows you to buy keywords that wouldn't be attractive on an individual basis.

The example below illustrates this example where using the portfolio approach enables an incremental $10,500 in revenue while still achieving the overall goal of a 2.0 ROI.

Each business chooses if the accompanying incremental spend is worth it as well. This is where the next two arguments come into play.

2. Offline Impact

More than a few studies have shown that the value of paid search has a direct impact on offline sales. A Google report in Q4 2012 noted that 51 percent of shoppers researched online and bought offline. There are many reports that show similar results.

We recently had one client in the retail space run offer ads on Google. The results showed that 65 times the orders were completed offline from that online offer. If you choose to use a previously published test, or your own offer code test it is important piece to why non-brand matters.

3. The Halo Effect

No ad operates truly on its own. Frequently the impact of an ad is the combination of many various touch points both online and offline.

Non-branded paid search is about entry into the consideration set. If a consumer is searching for cars if they are unsure about what type they want they may start by searching for “new car.” At this point that consumer is creating a consideration set.

How many sales might you lose if your brand isn't included in the consideration set? This idea was a main theme behind the Zero Moment of Truth.

A strong analytics capability helps to understand how multiple digital interactions lead to the end result. Below is one example of how PPC spend impacted other channels. For this example ~7x the sales occurred as a result of paid search spend:


The true value of non-branded terms will continue to be a hot topic for a long time to come. The goal is to take the argument away from just a discussion and create a data driven case that proves the value of non-branded terms.

Hopefully these three points provide some thought starters about ways to value these terms without true last click ROI positive results. Your business results will be better off because of that understanding.

French Court Fines Google $660,000 Because Google Maps Is Free

Google faces a $660,000 fine after a French court ruling that the company is abusing its dominant position in mapping by making Google Maps free.

According to The Economic Times, the French commercial court “upheld an unfair competition complaint lodged by Bottin Cartographes against Google France and its parent company Google Inc. for providing free web mapping services to some businesses.”

Bottin Cartographes provides mapping services for a cost, and its website boasts several business clients such as Louis Vuitton, Airbus and several automobile manufacturers.

The French court ruling requires Google to pay $660,000 (500,000 Euros) in damages and interest to Bottin Cartographes, along with a 15,000 Euro fine. That means Google’s total cost from the ruling is about $680,000.

A Google France spokesperson says the company is still studying the court’s decision and reviewing its options, adding that Google is “convinced that a free high-quality mapping tool is beneficial for both Internet users and websites.”

As you can see from the related stories listed below, this is far from the first time that the French have raised legal issues with Google.

YouTube Live Adds Real Time Analytics, Paid Live Streaming & More

YouTube Live did something completely different to celebrate its first birthday. Its engineers gave three gifts to YouTube Partners, wrapped up as new features:

Wirecast for YouTube Live: This new software allows partners to produce and stream professional-looking live events directly from their desktops to YouTube for free. It allows partners to capture and switch between multiple video and audio sources, roll in media files and images, as well as add live effects and overlays. If you are a YouTube Partner who is enabled for livestreaming, you’ll see a link to download Wirecast for YouTube in your YouTube account.New publishing flows and real time analytics: Partners now have a guided flow to set up and preview live events before they go live. They can also see real time access to data like playbacks and concurrent viewers of their live streams by geography and format.Monetize live streams: Partners can now monetize their live events with advertising or other paid options. For example, a live event can be claimed in the new video manager like any other video and monetized with instream ads or paid options where partners can set different prices by country.

When the initial rollout of YouTube Live was announced on April 8, 2011, there was some confusion over the name because YouTube’s first official community celebration on Nov. 22, 2008, at the Herbst Pavilion in the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco had also been dubbed “YouTube Live.” That event was also streamed live on YouTube, enabling millions from around the globe to partake in the festivities.

In September 2010, YouTube started rolling out an unnamed live streaming beta platform, which allowed certain YouTube partners to stream live content on YouTube. This platform integrated live streaming directly into YouTube channels. All a broadcaster needed was a web cam or external USB/FireWire camera. The test included a live comments module that let users engage with the broadcaster and the broader YouTube community.

Based on the results of its initial tests, YouTube decided to roll out the platform more broadly to its partners worldwide.

On April 8, 2011, YouTube closed what had been called the “YouTube Live channel,” effectively removing all the videos from the 2008 event. In its place, YouTube rolled out a brand-new YouTube Live browse page where users could find featured, live, and upcoming events happening on YouTube.

Here are some of the more interesting ones from April 2011 to present:

In April, Brazil’s Carnival channel launched on YouTube and live streamed a full six days of coverage.On April 29, The Royal Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was live streamed 72 million times to 188 countries at The Royal Channel.On June 6, E3 carried live stream coverage of the gaming industry’s annual tradeshow in Los Angeles on the E3 channel.In June, Dartmouth College and Stanford University used YouTube’s live stream platform to broadcast their commencement ceremonies.On June 13, you could watch the Webby Awards Gala on YouTube.On June 15, you could watch the live stream of a rare 100-minute long total lunar eclipse on the Google channel on YouTube.On June 30, the red carpet event of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 was live streamed from Trafalgar Square in London on the Harry Potter channel.On Aug. 5, YouTube livestreamed the 20th anniversary Lollapalooza music festival.On Aug. 18, the America’s Cup World Series was live streamed on the America's Cup channel.On Sept. 15, fans of comedy star Jonah Hill could watch the live streamed interview about his new movie, Moneyball.On Sept. 21, some of the biggest bands in the world were live on YouTube performing at Rock in Rio 2011.On Nov. 3, the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information live streamed the Hajj on YouTube for the first time.On Dec. 28, Geoffrey Canada’s keynote speech about education reform was streamed live by Capella University.On Dec. 29, Professional Bull Riders turned a classic sport into a global league with more than 100 million fans tuning in from around the world.On Feb. 9, YouTube Live from the Runway was your ticket to the hottest shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

What does this mean to marketers? YouTube Partners have live streamed a broad range of events. This opens up a whole new category of content for partners to create and advertisers to consider.

Global PPC Spending Up 23%, Mobile PPC Jumped 132% YOY In Q2 [Covario Report]

Covario reports overall pay-per-click (PPC) spend accelerated, rising 22 percent from Q1 and 23 percent year-over-year.

Mobile PPC spending outpaced overall growth, increasing 39 percent from Q1 and 132 percent year-over-year. Mobile accounted for 16 percent of global search spend. Smartphones claimed 40 percent of the mobile spend allocations, tablets 60 percent.

Smartphone CPCs remained 40% lower than desktop CPCs, but have been rising nearly each of the past five quarters, the exception being Q4 2012. Interestingly, Covario saw tablet CPCs decline below desktop for the first time in several quarters, coming in 12% below desktop CPCs.

Global CPCs Rise Across Major Platforms

Global CPCs rose 10 percent for the quarter. Report author, Alex Funk, attributes the uptick in CPCs in part to increased competition among the company’s consumer electronics and enterprise technology clients. In addition, Funk said, �There have also been several platform changes over the past three quarters, including Google�s Product Listing Ads and the new Enhanced Campaigns, but it�s too early to tell if the latter has really affected CPCs yet since much of the market is taking a wait-and-see attitude.� This conclusion that the market hasn’t seen a real impact from enhanced campaigns yet is shared by others.

Baidu saw a 27 percent increase in CPCs quarter-over-quarter. Google CPCs rose 16 percent quarter-over-quarter. Yandex and Yahoo-Bing CPCs are both down compared to last year, but rose 10 percent and 4 percent respectively for the quarter. South Korea’s Naver saw CPCs shoot up 32 percent quarter-over-quarter.

Google’s Domination Remains Unchallenged, Yahoo-Bing Keeps Growing

Google’s global PPC market share domination continues. The search giant has 86 percent share of spend and impressions and 62 percent of click share. Spending on Google rose 13 percent from the previous year.

Growth hasn’t slowed for the Yahoo-Bing Network (Bing Ads). Spending rose 23 percent year-over-year and 7 percent from Q1. The network has 6 percent market share in spend and clicks.

Baidu still has a stronghold in China, and saw media spend increase 22 percent year-over-year and rise an impressive 70 percent from Q1. Baidu has greater global market share than Yahoo-Bing, with roughly 7 percent of global spend share, 11 percent of impressions and 27 percent of clicks.

While Covario says it’s too soon to see an impact from enhanced campaigns on Q2 results, the company does expect to see CPCs for tablets and smartphones increases accelerate more than they have in the past few quarters as mobile advertising gets more competitive.

From Keyword to Products Sold: Use Your Data to Gain PPC Optimization Insights

Let's be honest with ourselves and agree that in paid search we are driven by keywords. It seems obvious, but think about it.

If there is a new product launch, what is the first thing you do in paid search? Keyword research. If there is sale or promotion, what is the first thing you do to ensure that it is supported? Keyword research.

Now, some of you may argue this, but the whole medium is based on the intent driven by a keyword.

The question I'd like to raise here is what is the downstream impact of the keywords you select? If you run out of inventory for a specific product, do you pause the keywords that relate to that product, or do you try to understand what keywords actually sell the product you are out of?

To better understand this, I took data from various clients to understand how often the keyword searched was a part of the actual product bought.

For example, if a consumer searched for "pen", did the product they ended up buying contain the word "pen." This certainly isn't a perfect science, but it does help understand how frequently a consumer knows exactly what they are looking for and buys it.

The findings of this data were interesting. Overall:

Slightly more people know and buy exactly what they are looking for via paid search. This is mostly likely due to a consumer knowing what they want and clicking on the top listings vs. reading down further in the page to "find" it.Google actually had the lowest percentage of matches at less than 3 percent. My theory on this has to do with the sophistication of Google's matching algorithm versus other engines. I believe the complexity here is what is driving this down compared to other engines by 1 or 2 full points.Yahoo has the highest overlap, and is the only engine where SEO has a higher match percentage than paid search. This one is confusing to me. Seeing the search results page and the paid listings having such prominence I would have thought the opposite. This is why data is king. It helps battle against a hypothesis.

So what? What does this mean for my campaigns?

Here are some thoughts to leave you with when you optimize your campaigns:

Understanding this relationship overall, and even at a category/subcategory level, can be helpful when thinking about pausing or activating sets of keywordsUse this data to find out what things consumers are buying with various keyword sets. If, for example, you find that a large number of people buy smartphones after searching for the keyword "digital camera", you might have a cross-sell or optimization opportunity. The same can be said when you're out of stock where you might redirect someoneConsider the variances in your data set by search engine. This is true for more things than the keyword to product purchased relationship. It can include bids, ad copy, landing page, and other performance metrics.

Leveraging data is one of the reasons why we all love paid search. Finding new and interesting ways to cut that data up to identify optimization worthy insights is what will ultimately set apart the best performing campaigns.

6 Big Mistakes Companies Make in SoLoMo Marketing Efforts

In an increasingly digital marketing world that where the lines are blurred between search, social, local and mobile marketing, it's hard to keep pace with all the changes that take place, big or small. A lot of these changes, and how quickly they happen, can overwhelm any marketer dedicated to the space, let alone a small business owner who has a hundred other items on their agendas when running their business.

So what's a local business to do?

While it's tough to keep up with everything, here are six big mistakes that you can avoid that will help keep you on the right path even with all these constant changes.

1. No Phone Number on Homepage

According to BIA/Kelsey and vSplash's survey, more than 60 percent of small businesses miss a huge opportunity by not including their phone number on their website or homepage.

In today's more mobile, smartphone-based world, it's even more important that your business's phone number be actual text on a page and not incorporated into a graphic or a banner. Why?

Our smartphones are actually "smart" in that they can recognize the format of a phone number and turn it into a "click to dial" link. If your phone number is in a graphic, a smartphone can't recognize the phone number, it only sees the graphic.

2. Not Claiming Social Media Profiles

You're likely overwhelmed by the number of social media sites that are present on the Internet today, and each day there's a new "go to" site listed in the news, it's tough to keep on top of that.

The truth is, you don't have to be engaging in every social site on the Internet, but you should be claiming your social media profiles on them. This means listing your address, phone number, website URL, and any other information you'd like someone to see know.

It also saves you from having to battle with getting your name back from either a competitor or a fan who could be misrepresenting your company. Trying to rightfully reclaim a social media profile that should legally be yours is a process that can take months and time you can't afford to waste.

Registering your profiles on social media sites is no longer a daunting task as it used to be either, with tools like KnowEm, you can register your profiles in mere minutes.

3. Monitoring Their Business Name

Not everything happens in the comments on your blog, website or on Facebook. People can talk about you, your products or employees anywhere on the web where there is a box to type in and button to press.

You also can't be everywhere at once, nor can you afford to spend 8 hours of your day scouring sites for what people are discussing issues about you. That's where a simple to use tool like Trackur comes in.

Tools like Trackur scour blogs, forums, message board, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so on, for the keyword(s) or key phrase(s) you put in. What's even better is that these tools can send you daily updates that compress the data into easy to read reports, only taking you minutes to get a handle on what's going on and possibly alerting you to problems or, better yet, opportunities.

4. No Email Contact on Homepage

Just like the issue stated before with businesses not having a phone number listed on their home page or website, an email contact information is just as important. Rather than hunting around your site for a contact form, some customers just prefer to email you.

If you're afraid of too much spam, then this can be put into an image or graphic. Just make it visible and easy to find.

In today's "drive-through" society where quickness and ease are top priorities when getting people to speak or engage with you, being able to find an email contact is important.

5. Ignoring Social Media or Removing Negative Comments

Ignoring social media in today's world is likely one of the biggest mistakes a company can make. Whether it's Facebook or a niche forum or message board, people will engage about you. It can be good or it can be bad, but burying your head in the sand and ignoring it won't make it go away.

In the same token, removing the negative, such as comments and postings, will not only not make the issue go away it will mostly like do the opposite, inflame the situation.

In today's world, people expect your company to be engaging on social media sites. In fact, 85 percent of them do, according to a study done by Vocus. They also expect you to address their complaints, in a study done by American Express 25 percent of customers who complain online expect you to reply to them within 1 hour.

6. Website Isn't Mobile Ready

Last, but by no means least important on this list is having a mobile ready website. According to a study done by BIA/Kelsey and vSplash, more than 93 percent of SMB websites aren't mobile compatible and won't render successfully on mobile devices or smartphones.

People are increasingly reliant on their smartphones and go to them to get information. If your site isn't mobile ready, your business is missing out, not only by it not rendering on a smart phone but also by it possibly not appearing in mobile search results.

MarketingProfs B2B: Case Study on Email, CRM & Social Media

I decided to do a little liveblogging at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum and picked this session: Why email CRM and social media have become the tools of modern B2B marketing where a case study was presented by Genworth Financial.

Joel Book from Exact Target introduced the case study: �Creating brand advocates is as important as creating brand awareness. [I would say more important. An advocate proactively shares the brand experience]. Funny, Google “brand tattoos” to see some serious brand advocate activity.

How are marketers using digital media to engage?

email + crmemail + social

Email and CRM help to automate interaction. Automation is the key because marketing staff and budgets are not increasing. In order to continue deliver personal and timely messages to customers, you need to automate.

Social participation brings customers together and provides an opportunity to include a call to action to join a newsletter.

Brands are aligning themselves with a specific cause, to add to their brand image.

Genworth Financial case study:

Genworth sells their insurance products through brokers, not directly to consumers.

Reduced marketing resources along with the expectation to have successful marketing campaigns let them to realize that more is not always better. It’s more important to send the right message to the right customer at the right time. Genworth understood the need to personalize communications and to offer in multiple mediums.

They started their email efforts with a business unit and have now expanded to 20 businesses. In 2006 100k emails were being sent and now 3.79 million emails are delivered as part of their program.

Personalized messages are critical to their email marketing. Email newsletters are personalized for the customer and according to the Genworth sales person. Open rates are 7-10% higher when the email comes from the sales person.

Email has realized cost savings as an alternative to print direct mail. Most new product introductions are launched only via email. �Emails were highly personalized and customized, which is very expensive to do in print. $3 million in print and direct mail cost savings were realized in 2009 for one of their marketing efforts.

Increased productivity is attributed to email and Genworth is able to use dynamic content and integration to create 700 highly customized emails every Friday.

Email – high ROI. Example:�A co-branded campaign delivered highly personalized emails with Genworth customer logo, contact info and was distributed on behalf of Genworth customers (insurance brokers) resulting in a 12% increase in sales ($ millions) with only a $420 spend.

Efficiency of data integration and dynamic content. Customers used to receive 1-5 emails for each product. Now they only receive 1 with all info consolidated. Genworth used to have 4 FT employees and now only need one to manage email. This is as result of integration with and using

Timeframe to get completely setup including installation and testing: 1-2 months.

Creating self serve email templates for sales teams helps them become more efficient.

Enhanced reporting and metrics are available with data integration based on custom objects. Ex: what type of customers open and click the most. What’s working and what’s not.

Email Integration with Social Media has been tentative because of working in a regulated industry. However, the need to better engage with customers motivated them to move forward, albeit, tentatively.

One example is an email newsletter and blog. The blog is hosted on Active Rain (a real estate community). The newsletter gives a snippet of information and then links to a longer form of content on the writer’s blog. On the blog, readers can make comments and ask questions. �A loop is created by including a call to action on the blog to subscribe to the e-newsletter for people that get to the blog via other means.

A Facebook fan page was used as a destination for a national brand advertising campaign designed to recognize caregivers. �Genworth used online advertising, PPC, SEO, social advertising and Genworth producer and consumer web sites to promote. They now have over 7,000 fans. Most successful was Facebook advertising.

Email was used to drive traffic to Facbook and inspire participation and engagement. More awareness and education for products are expected to increase sales.

It’s essential to deliver content in the formats and mediums that your customers want. Integrating data with dynamic content in a combined Email, CRM and Social Media effort can help marketers become more efficient, effective and profitable.

Google Doubletalk and the Three Bears

As the Penguin 2.0 dust settles the SEO pundits are racing to interpret what Google has done and what it means. But unlike many other industries where there are watchdog groups, checks-and-balances or elections, Google rules the Monarchy in SEO. The situation is untenable and the message for small businesses nearly impossible to understand.

Julian Assange Challenges Google’s World View

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, Julian Assange addressed Google’s recent PR work to position themselves as a thought leader on our digital future. While Google’s intentions may be good, Assange believes that their recent thinking represents the end of privacy for the general public and the rise of authoritarianism on the Internet.

Are we seeing the same thing in SEO via Matt Cutts? His intentions are clearly good (i.e., wanting better search results for end-users), but is he pushing the costs of SEO out of reach for small businesses? Worse, is he pitting the profits of Google Inc. against Ma and Pop’s Main Street?

SEO is like Goldilocks and the Three Bears

SEO does feel a bit like an epic fairytale (OK, maybe a recurring nightmare for some), filled with mystery, fear and vagaries. Usually the good guys win, but not always. I’ve been watching the columns, SEO publications and blogs, and Matt Cutts closely – and here are the definitive messages from Penguin 2.0:

Analyze your links closely to know you are doing SEO right and which links you should disavow, but don’t think about backlinks.Spend years developing high quality link-bait and become an Authority, and then disavow all the links from sites that Google doesn’t like (even though they voluntarily linked to you because of your great content).Select a domain name that exactly matches what searchers want, but don’t select an exact match domain name even if that’s what searchers want and that’s what you do.Share content that is newsworthy, but don’t use press releases because that’s spammy.Don’t use directories, except Yelp and DMOZ, which are directories.Develop a world-wide brand so that you will be invulnerable to Google updates, just like the Salvation Army.

Contradictory statements like these drive small business owners crazy. They barely have time to keep their businesses running, let alone learn SEO. Yes, we are clearly in fairytale land now, where small business owners can’t seem to get a grip on what real SEO is or whose advice to listen to.

Too Small: Follow Matt Cutts to the letter of the law. Build a great website and wait for business to magically appear. Do nothing to proactively seek backlinks. Make sure all press releases are no-followed. Furthermore, any time money changes hands, there can’t be a backlink involved.Too Big: Join every linking club available. Buy every blog post offer that is emailed to you. Buy sidebar links from old websites. Use reborn and exact match domains to boost page rank. Create thin, spun or machine generated content. Submit duplicate content with do-follow links to free-for-all articles sites as widely as possible. Use automated software, especially if it costs $97 or $147 (a clear sign of quality).So What is “Just Right” in SEO?

The difficult truth in SEO is that “Just Right” isn’t a simple answer. There is a wide margin between clearly Too Big and Too Small. And how far you want to push these tactics is a matter of risk / reward. The trick is to do REAL SEO that will last, avoiding silver bullets.

Ultimately, small businesses needs to be comfortable with what’s happening with their SEO. This requires a high level of transparency and education. Smart SEO professionals advocate for a balanced and diversified approach. Integrate SEO into marketing so that branding work is prioritized along with earning backlinks. Content marketing is an absolute must in today’s SEO environment. Find creative ways to use the news in SEO. And yes, Small Businesses should distribute press releases - but in moderation when there is real news to share.


Don’t expect much more clarity from Google in the future until there is a seismic power shift in online marketing. Until then, small business owners should embrace diversity, moderation and consistency to avoid the extremes. And they must ignore silver bullets as they represent fairytale thinking.

2013 Search Ranking Factors Survey Results From Moz

Moz has released their 2013 search engine ranking factors, surveying 120 SEO professionals and having them rank different search factors. While this isn't the full survey data, it does have a lot of interesting information to consider when you're optimizing websites for search engines.

Moz uses search correlations in order to make estimates as to what is being used for Google’s ranking algorithm, based upon features on higher ranking sites versus ones that are lower ranking. They used over 14,000 keywords from Google AdWords across multiple categories then use of keywords to extract the top 50 organic search results in June, post Penguin 2.0.

One interesting correlation was that despite SEOs knowing that over optimization of keyword anchor text could be problematic and a sign of spamming, they found that the correlations for exact match and partial match was fairly high. But not surprisingly, the SEOs surveyed believed that diversity in anchor text, including both branded and nonbranded terms, was more important than the number of links themselves.

Moz also looked at on page keywords and not surprisingly found a very high correlation of those keywords in body text, title, meta-description and H1 tags. Likewise, the SEOs surveyed believed that including keywords in both the title and on page are important factors.

Moz also discovered that rankings of exact match domains (ie. has declined over the past year, although the correlation is still high. While having the keywords in the domain name was extremely important many years ago, SEOs have definitely shied away from exact match keywords in favor of partial match domains or branded URLs.

The look Moz took at social signals and its correlation with ranking factors is important. Google +1’s came out ahead of Facebook shares and tweets for correlated factors, although the surveyed SEOs did not believe that social signals are very important to Google search algorithm.

Their last look at ranking factors was in 2011, when they were still known as SEOmoz.

The full survey will be released by Moz in a few weeks.

4 Frustrations for In-House SEOs

We've all had those moments where we feel that we've explained our point perfectly, there's no way they can say no, none whatsoever. Then the daftest most inane negative response leaves their mouth and you wonder why you ever bothered in the first place.

Sometimes working as an in-house SEO can feel like a Sisyphean task, if Sisyphus had been told by his boss that once he was done he had to go clean out the Augean stables before leaving for the night.

Here are four examples of frustrating scenarios that many in-house SEOs will encounter over the course of their career, along with some ideas for how to work them to your advantage.

The Adamant Refusal

I received an email last week from a student in my SEO class at Georgetown University. He'd listened to what I'd said, about how having multiple URLs for your home page wasn't an ideal situation.

Looking at his work site he realized that both the www and non-www versions worked with no redirects, and no canonical tags. So he contacted the IT team to get it fixed. They responded with a resounding "NO".

In fact, they claimed that canonicalizing to the www version would inform the Internet that their domain no longer existed, which would cause disasters such as stopping their email from working, while also causing the death of several kittens (that last one was implied, not explicitly stated in the email).

The response to something like this is to use facts. Gently explain to them why they're wrong, and what the opportunity cost is of not actually doing something beneficial to the site.

The response my student gave to his IT team was to type in and, and look at what happens to the URL (they each move to the www version), then he asked them to think about whether they've ever received an email from someone with either an or account.

Experts Don't Work Here

It's a sad state of affairs that in some in-house positions, if the SEO has not made a name for themselves within the company, then their voice may not be heard, as the perception is that "well if you were any good, you wouldn't be working here." But once an external "expert" comes in and makes the same recommendations, they're listened to and their advice is acted upon.

This can be a frustrating experience for the in-house SEO, but it can very easily be turned into an opportunity to get projects pushed that wouldn't have been possible otherwise. The in-house SEO needs to make sure to be as involved in the selection process as possible, to ensure that the agency / consultant hired is someone who knows what they're doing and that it's someone they can work with.

Any decent consultant is going to want to get some subject matter expertise from the inside. That's a great opportunity to talk through stalled initiatives and potential projects with them.

If all goes well, this can serve to push progress on your initiatives, and to validate your expertise assuming the outside expert validates your views / recommendations.

Post Launch SEO

"We launched the new site / feature last week, but we're not seeing any organic traffic, would you SEO it for us now?"

Sadly this sentence, or one like it, is said way too often in companies around the world. With the sister question being one where the in-house SEO is given a ridiculous turnaround time to "SEO the site" before it launches.

In this situation the in-house SEO has to just bite their lip and set expectations. If the site isn't a high priority one, then they may have to wait, and the SEO should explain that next time they need to be involved much sooner in the process.

We'll Circle Back Later for the SEO

Your recommendations have been made, you've put together a full raft of necessary and valuable modifications that need to be made to get the site upwardly mobile as soon as possible. The project manager who brought you in has parsed out the work and has it sitting in the roadmap waiting to be worked on.

Then the site is launched – and the majority of the SEO projects haven't been completed.

But it's OK, because you've been told that trouble tickets have been generated and the developers will circle back post launch to work on them. Only they don't – and they don't because the site's launched and they have to go off and work on the next site or the next piece of functionality for the site.

This is then where the in-house SEO has to use their powers of persuasion. Management needs to be aware of the opportunity cost, they need to know what they're losing out on by not doing things in the right manner.


Have regular touch points with the various teams. Make sure you know what they're up to, and on the other side conduct training so that they know what you can and should be doing to help them.

While the tendency when encountering one of these frustrations is to slam your head repeatedly into your desk, or to whine about those [expletive deleted] pain in the [expletive deleted], look on it instead as an opportunity to educate and improve for the next time a situation like this could occur.

Google Hit With Patent Lawsuit Over Chrome for Mobile Technology

Google is being sued by California-based EMG over technologies used in its Chrome mobile web browser.

EMG filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleging that Google's Chrome web browser infringes patents relating to its zooming and scrolling functions.

EMG is seeking financial damages from Google and wants to prevent the company from distributing the Chrome mobile web browser in the U.S.

"Google's Chrome Mobile Browser directly infringes the patent by displaying mobile web pages on smartphones and tablets using EMG's patented simplified navigation system, which permits users to navigate a touch-screen with unique inputs," said Elliot Gottfurcht, lead inventor of EMG's patent portfolio. "Mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, made by Motorola - which is owned by Google - and Samsung, use Google's Chrome Mobile Browser to navigate mobile websites using EMG's patented simplified navigation system."

Google isn't the only company on EMG's radar, as it has also sued Apple, Chrysler, and Radio Shack for infringing the same patent.

This story originally appeared on The Inquirer:Carly Page wrote Google gets sued over technologies used in Chrome mobile browser

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

Google CEO Larry Page Returns to Work After Illness

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that CEO Larry Page returned to work last week following an unspecified illness.

Speaking at a conference in Idaho, the former Google CEO said that the company's current CEO and co-founder is still recovering from an unspecified illness which had caused Page to lose his voice.

"He's still recovering. Larry is doing much better. He was in the office on Monday," Schmidt was quoted as saying by Reuters. "Larry ran the meeting. He is talking, but talking softly."

The illness, which was not specified and has not been reported to be serious or life threatening in nature, had caused Page to miss the company's shareholder meeting.

Page's recovery comes as good news to Google as the company moves forward with the release of its Nexus 7 tablet. Unveiled late last month, the tablet is slated to arrive in the coming weeks and will look to take on Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet.

Recent teardown reports suggest that while Google will see a slim profit on the low-end model, the 16 GB Nexus 7 model will offer Google a much better margin.

The Nexus 7 could soon face stiff competition in the market. Multiple reports suggest that Apple is working on a 7 inch iPad model which could hit shelves in the fall.

This article was originally published on V3.

Google Sends BBC News A Manual Link Penalty Notification

Google has sent the world’s largest broadcast news organization, BBC News, an unnatural link notification last Saturday.

The Search Engine Roundtable reports Nick, a BBC News representative, posted in the Google Help Forums about the notification. Nick was seeking advice from Google or SEOs on how he may find those unnatural links so the BBC can remove them and submit a reconsideration request.

Nick wrote:

I am a representative of the BBC site and on Saturday we got a ‘notice of detected unnatural links’.

Given the BBC site is so huge, with so many independently run sub sections, with literally thousands or agents and authors, can you give us a little clue as to where we might look for these ‘unnatural links’.

An unnatural link notification is nothing new, it is sent out by Google representatives after manually review sites with link issues. Receiving one of these notifications are not uncommon, they account for about 1-2% of all webmaster tools notifications, or about 7,400 notifications sent to webmasters in September 2012.

David Naylor believes the reason the BBC received this notification was due to how RSS scrapers abuse the BBC.

It is quiet surprising that a news site as authoritative as the BBC would receive such a notification. It is of course possible that someone within the BBC sold links on some section of the web site. But we have no easy way of telling that. Google did recently penalize dozens of UK news sites after Interlora was penalized for advertorial links.

We do not know if the BBC link notification led to a downgrade in their rankings or traffic from Google.

We’ve asked Google for a comment and will post if we receive one.

Postscript: Google has declined to comment on this story.

Related StoriesGoogle Says No Comment On Why Interflora Was PenalizedGoogle�s Chrome Page No Longer Ranks For �Browser� After Sponsored Post PenaltyGoogle Now Reports �Practically 100%� Of Manual ActionsOfficial: Google On How & When Ranking Penalties Are RemovedGoogle Reminds Webmasters: Selling Links Can Lead To PageRank PenaltyMatt Cutts On Penalties Vs. Algorithm Changes, A Disavow-This-Link Tool & MoreGot A Google Penalty? A Workflow For Managing Google Penalties90 Days Later, J.C. Penney Regains Its Google RankingsiAcquire Banned From Google After Link Buying AllegationsGoogle Eliminates Another Link Network, � Just One Of Several?

Twitter Vine: How 5 Brands Make the Most of 6 Seconds

Have you heard any of these questions in any meetings recently:

"What's this Vine I hear about?""Should we be on Vine?""We only have six seconds?"

While Vine was acquired by Twitter and released in January 2013, consumers have instantly jumped all over this mobile app, making it a top free download app in the iTunes store for weeks. Users are experimenting with the innovative editing techniques to string together sometimes a complicated story into just six seconds.

But consumers aren't the only ones testing their creativity and video shooting skills with these six second videos; many brands like Taco Bell, Tropicana, and General Electric, have incorporated the platform into their overall digital strategy and are seeing immediate results with consumer engagement.

According to Unruly Media's research, branded vines are shared four times as often as branded online videos and branded content accounted for 4 percent of the top 100 tracked Vines.

Kicking around the idea of starting Vine for your brand? How should your brand use Vine? Take a look at some brands below who have activated the platform in a unique and compelling way for consumers through a creative use of just a few seconds.

1. Tips Made Simple

Lowe's Vine accounts focuses on home improvement and life hack tips (#lowesfixinsix) by using stop-motion animation to show consumers how to keep a rug from sliding to using tin foil as paint tray liner.

2. Sneak Peek Opportunities

Not only does Kate Spade post weekly product-focused vines of shoes, fans can also get a sneak peek of the latest campaign in six seconds before it hits the big screen or magazine.

3. Showcase Your Product in a Unique Way

Urban Outfitters uses models to show off new products from baby doll dresses on a twirling model to showing women how to use the ombre hair chalk set in just a few frames.

4. Sharing Sales and Promotions

Nordstrom is known for impeccable service as much as it is known for its equally fabulous half-yearly sale. To promote the upcoming sale, Nordstrom crafted a creative way to show a consumer's excitement of the upcoming sale in a fun and cheeky way with a pair of sunglasses and iPhone.

5. Providing Inspiration

How does a magazine bring its content to life? Lucky Magazine has managed to do that through a series of advice from editors as well as lessons in how to layer and apply eye makeup.

What other brands have you seen harnessing the power of Vine to connect with consumers?

How to Use the Google Analytics New vs Returning Report

The New vs Returning report in Google Analytics, found under Audience > Behavior, is a great place to understand how people who have been to your site before behave differently to those who are new to the site. However, there are also some important things to know about this report before basing too much on it.

Caveat: How Google Analytics Collects Data

Before we start analyzing the data, we need to know how it is collected.

Google Analytics uses cookies to track user's behavior. With the classic asynchronous version of Google Analytics, these cookies are specific to the browser and device which is being used.

So when a user visits a site via their computer at home, then on their mobile phone, they will be classed as a new visitor on both occasions. If they then look at the site on their PC at work, they are a new visitor again. Likewise, if they clear their cookies on a device, they become a new user again.

This means that this report is often not 100 percent representative of user activity.

With Universal Analytics, the functionality attempts to resolve some of the previous discrepancies by tying each user's activity together across different devices. However, this can only work when users log in to the website while browsing. For those websites where users log in, the data in this report should now be much more accurate.

What's in the New vs Returning Report?

The report has two rows of data: New Visitor and Returning Visitor.

By default you see the site usage data which includes Visits, Pages per Visit, Average Visit Duration and Bounce Rate for each row. Immediately you can use this to see which one has a better interaction with the site and which you see more of.

The Pie Chart image is good to quickly visualize and report on what percentage of users are new or returning:

These two reports show that returning visitors have much better interaction data, but represent a smaller portion of the traffic. This immediately raises the goal to encourage visitors to return to the site.

By having Goals and Ecommerce tracking set up you can also see the two segments against conversions to see which is most valuable for your website. This can also help you work out whether you need to aim for more returning or new visitors:

Taking it Further

This report may be insightful, despite its discrepancies, however – why not track this yourself to avoid some discrepancies and include more than just new and returning visitors? You should set up Custom Variables to track different user types on your website.

This works by adding additional code to your Google Analytics tracking code. The code can be set to record different user types based on the activity of the user on the website.

So, if a user has been to the site and converted in the past you might want to call them an "existing customer". For users who have been to the site before and visited lots of pages, but not converted you could call them a "browser".

Here are two articles which highlight the possibilities of custom variables to help you get the most out of them, and understand your users better:

20 Ways to Use Custom VariablesBrainstorming Event Tracking and Custom VariablesTime to Start Analyzing!

Using the New vs Returning reports will help you realize the potential for different types of visitors to your website and how you can best make the most of your traffic. Adding custom variables will take this analysis to the next level and really make the data matter more to you.

Whichever route you go down you can now plan your marketing campaigns more effectively to reach the best type of visitor.

Apple Makes Bing The “Default Search Engine” For Siri

One of the things that you might have missed if you weren’t paying really close attention to the live blogs of the Apple WWDC keynote is that when iOS 7 comes out Siri will be able to directly search Twitter, Wikipedia — and Bing. From a search perspective that’s potentially huge news.

I’m speculating that you’ll still be able to ask Siri to “search the web” and it will use whatever search engine you’ve chosen for Safari (still Google unless changed by the user). However Siri is now much more a legitimate “search engine” with Bing as the index.

Integration of web search more directly into Siri was a missing piece and the thing that made it weaker than what Google has recently put together with Google Now and “conversational search.”

In a way the new Siri-Bing relationship is very much like Yahoo-Bing. Yahoo is the UI on top of the Bing index. Now Siri is the UI for Bing results on the iPhone.

Of course Siri pulls “answers” and content from numerous other sources. How those other sources will interact with Bing results, if at all, remains to be seen. What happens if I ask for movies, sports scores, weather or restaurants? These are all categories where Bing has content but there are existing third party data providers for Siri.

I’m also making the assumption that in iOS 7 if users ask a question without literally saying “search the web” the resulting answer or information will be provided by Microsoft. One could thus argue that Bing now becomes the “default search engine” on the iPhone (more like the default “Siri engine”).

Saying “default search engine” isn’t entirely accurate however. That’s because most people don’t use Siri to search the internet today. Most people use Google either through the browser or the Google app. But as Siri’s capabilities and utility expand it may see increasing volumes of search queries. This partnership could be instrumental in that change.

Here’s how Microsoft describes how it will work:

Starting this fall with iOS 7, Bing will power Siri’s new integrated web search. When users ask Siri a question either the specific answer or web search links will now be delivered automatically so users can find information even faster.�

Bing was designed from the outset to be a great place for web search helping customers quickly find what they are looking for and get more out of search. We are thrilled that all the great results people have come to know and love on will now be available to Siri users on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.��

We won’t know until we can get our hands on it what the Bing integration into Siri truly looks like. But it could be quite significant for both parties. If it’s a well-done integration it could also start driving lots of search volume for Bing. In order for that to happen, however, Apple and/or Microsoft will have to educate users about the capability.

We’ll wait and see what the actual user-experience is like (recall the promise vs. initial reality of Apple Maps) but this could be a very big deal for search on the iPhone.

Postscript: Danny speculates (perhaps correctly) that this deal may well be a prelude to replacing Google on Safari as the default search engine. However the consumer preference is still strongly for Google, which may prevent that from happening any time soon.

Google’s Matt Cutts On Why Links Still Rule & How SEOs Go Wrong In Getting Them

Eric Enge has published an interview with Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam. The interview is similar to the format he published in 2010 with Cutts, but in this interview, the topic revolved mostly about link building and what is wrong with how SEOs do it today.

In short, Matt Cutts would love a world where link builders thought first about the content or web site and why that web site is worthy of a link, versus first being concerned about getting links. In the interview, the two discuss if link building is legal or illegal, if press releases should be used for link building, the problem with content syndication and guest blogging – plus much much more.

Here are some key takeaways from the interview, but make sure to read the full interview over here.

Link Building Is Not Bad: Just don’t try to get the link first, have compelling content people want to link to instead.Press Releases Links: They still “probably not count” but your goal should not be the link but the exposure the press release gives you to editors who may read them and cover your story.Content Syndication: If your content is being syndicated on other sites, give Google signals to know you are the original source. Make sure you publish well before others, possibly use rel=canonical, link to main source of content, and maybe use authorship.Problem With Guest Posts: A large number of people are doing it the wrong way, guest posts have become more like article directories or article banks these days.Links: Links are still “the best way” to rank content.

This interview was conducted in person between Eric Enge and Matt Cutts while at SMX Advanced 2013 a few weeks ago.

Image credit to

Want Your Video Ads to Go Viral? Stop Trying to be Funny [Report]

If advertisers want their video ads to go viral they need to stop trying to be funny, according to new research published today by Unruly.

Unruly's Science of Sharing white paper, which gives brands and agencies actionable insights on how they can maximize their online video campaigns, found the two most popular ads from this year's Super Bowl attracted the most shares on Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere because they did not try to make people laugh.

The report also found that Wednesday was the optimum day to release a new campaign across the social web based on average daily share rates.

The key findings of the report were:

Wednesday is the best day to launch a campaign. This is based on two factors: First, 48.3 percent of the weekly video shares occur between Wednesday and Friday, with the peak of shares occurring on a Friday and the lowest point being the weekend. Second, a quarter of a video's total shares on average occur in the first three days of launch;Humor is very subjective and brands need to be extremely funnyto impress consumers worn down by a glut of ads which try to be funny (and usually are not). The two most popular ads from this year's Super Bowl attracted the most shares on Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere because they evoked a different set of emotional triggers from the rest;Ads must also give viewers a strong reason to share – and ideally more than one emotional trigger - to generate earned shares and views. Ads that offered weak social motivations, even when paired with strong psychological responses from viewers, had very low share rates;Year-on-year sharing of Super Bowl ads grew by 118 percent from 2012 to 2013, with Super Bowl teasers and ads generating 7,739,917 shares in 2013, up from 3,546,560 shares in 2012.

"For brands looking to optimize their chances of viral success, the video really needs to reach a critical mass of viewers within the first 24 hours of its launch," said Sarah Wood, co-founder and COO of Unruly.

"Creating shareable content is half the challenge; it's equally important to get the ad seen by the right audiences, where consumers are discovering and sharing video content in their native environments. With social video, brands can win fast and lose fast, so it's important to optimize the launch date for 'shareability' and get content trending quickly across the right distribution channels," continued Wood.

The report analyzed 12 commercials from Super Bowl XLVII, which aired on February 3, 2013, to uncover why some ads performed well online while others did not. The ads involved in the study were from the automotive, CPG/FMCG, entertainment, and technology sectors.

The most shared ads from Super Bowl XLVII evoked intense emotional responses, including warmth, happiness, awe and pride. These ads also offered strong reasons for people to share. These include "reaction seeking" and the desire for others to feel the same way about the ad's content.

The least shared ads triggered low levels of hilarity and surprise, and didn't resonate with audiences. These ads also caused viewer confusion.

The chart below illustrates the intensity of two of the key factors in an ad's "shareability" – psychological responses and social motivations.

The strongest ad was Budweiser's "Brotherhood".

The second strongest ad was Ram Trucks' "Farmer".

Both ads elicited intense psychological responses and strong motivations to share.

Visit Unruly White Papers to download the full report.

How to Introduce a Politics-Free Prioritization Model for Analytics Reporting

Building a center of excellence analytics practice, whether it's web analytics or data analytics, is bound to get you a lot of attention. The self-perpetuating cycle of asking business questions, diving deep into analytics data, providing actionable insights, and testing data-driven recommendations often scales by orders of magnitude quicker than the human resources and tools often allow.

Eventually, every practice runs into the problem of having to prioritize competing stakeholder demands, which is a great problem to have, but without the proper prioritization model in place, many shops can quickly fall victim to politics and worse yet, analysis paralysis.

Establishing a prioritization model is fairly simple, and doesn't have to be overly complicated or involve any specialized tools of any kind. An Excel spreadsheet on a shared drive can do wonders, but here are some guidelines you can think about when starting your own prioritization model.

Establish Line of Sight

You can start establishing a prioritization model by putting the framework in place to track requests being submitted to the team and the lifecycle of insights through to completion. Think of this as your resource management cheat sheet. You only have so many resources, and you only have so much time, but sometimes you can cascade work from one resource to another, somewhat like a production line.

Allocate Business Value to Each Request

Weighing competing priorities by some kind of scoring criteria can be done many ways, but many practices seek some sense of monetary value for each request. Most leaders in the industry will look for a strategic value assessment, which is a KPI involving equal parts revenue generation potential, estimated cost savings, and increased customer satisfaction.

In many cases, if your stakeholders are asking relevant business questions, they're often looking to prove a business case with some inkling of strategic value, so you can often ask them for a conservative estimate that can be validated for reasonability.

Seek Out Executive Sponsorship

The same people who sign your paycheck and grant your practice additional budget and resources will want to know that you've been supporting their own goals and the goals of their C-suite peers.

As alluded to above, reasonability checks against the strategic value of each request should ideally come from someone in a leadership role. This also tends to reduce the potential for name-dropping and internal politics.

Maintain Strategic Alignment

Depending on where your practice lives within an organization, allocation of resources (and therefore work effort) should be determined and refocused throughout the year.

For instance, if the strategic alignment of the insights team is driving sales rather than reducing customer churn, there should be less overall prioritization granted to requests that are related to operational issues and customer experience. That doesn't mean issues of a severe nature can be ignored, but if at the end of the year the insights practice delivered 80 percent of their recommendations for customer retention questions, they may be misaligned and under-delivering with respect to their sales focus.

Keep in mind that resourcing and budget may come from other groups within the organization.

Determine Optimum Levels of Team Efficiency

As we all know, scale can easily be accomplished by driving up volume and driving down quality, but that approach is rarely sustainable, especially in a consultative business such as analytics and insights.

In order to effectively drive long-term value for the organization, and avoid potential burn-out of your team, you'll want to determine what the right mix of volume and quality might be, so that you can prove your case for additional resources, or allow your executive sponsors to decide prioritization for their business objectives based on current resourcing allocation.

On the flipside, you can also use efficiency indicators to assess leaders and laggards on your team and either balance the workload or look for coaching opportunities.


An effective prioritization model can do wonders in helping you scale your insights practice, and avoid a lot of internal politics associated with competing business stakeholders and limited resources.

By no means are the aforementioned prerequisites for an effective analytics center of excellence, but at the speed at which the big-data industry is growing are provided as guidelines to help many insights leaders scale effectively in an ever-increasing data-driven digital marketing environment.

Paying it Forward (With a Great Tip)

There's a tendency, whenever people want to learn about a particular topic, to seek the teachers, the experts, to learn from. Setting aside the often difficult task of determining who's the right expert to listen to, it's a more complicated process than it may seem. (Spoiler alert: There's a great tip at the end of this article, to tell you how to best learn who to listen to.)

I was a student, as a youngster, in another era. In those days, teachers didn't just focus on forcing you to memorize names and dates (although there was more than enough of that to ruin many a pre-exam evening). The really good ones – those who I still remember half a century later – were those that weren't content to teach what to think... they were more interested in teaching how to think.

Don't make the mistake of believing that made their job any easier. On the contrary, teaching by rote would have been a lot easier. But it would have betrayed their notion of real teaching.

And as big a pain as it was to memorize the birthdates of every human being since the discovery of fire, some things just can't be learned by memorization. So as students, our job was made more difficult, as well. But I think the results made it well worthwhile.

Paying it Forward

I built the first website my employer ever had back in the mid-1990s. Had I had even the slightest clue what I was doing, I would have been ashamed of the result, even then. Now, harakiri would be called for. But when they decided they wanted more functionality than I was able to manage (which wasn't much) and brought in an expert to do it, I got to look over her shoulder.

I was lucky. Most people don't like having to deal with someone looking over their shoulder, asking an endless stream of questions, while they're trying to work. Susan was different, though. She probably would have made a fantastic teacher, as she really enjoyed teaching not only the how, but the why. She introduced me to Lycos, Infoseek, and AltaVista and started me on the road to learning how to be found by search engines.

One could argue that she created a monster. Not me, though. She opened a new world for me... one beyond a simple Open Directory – one I've enjoyed working in ever since. It's a good thing, too, because as we all know, the how to be found techniques evolve constantly.

Susan truly was an "expert". She loaned me books on code that had her handwritten corrections of the author's content in the margins. She was as close to being a magician as I ever had an opportunity to work with. And most importantly, she taught me how to think.

I'm far from being an expert, but I've managed to learn a little in the last 20 years and I think it's my responsibility to help others learn, too. Often, in the process, I'll discover something I'd never thought of before, so I'm a student, as well.

I can't pay Susan back for what she taught me. But I can pay it forward, by helping someone else learn to think for themselves.

Every Expert was Once a Beginner

Like I said, I'm no expert. At best, I'm competent as some things. I have opinions on most things, of course, but some of them are probably wrong. That's probably why I'm a bit anal about qualifying my statements as opinions, when I can't back them up with facts.

Strangely (or maybe not), I've found that the most effective way to get someone to think something through is to tell them "I can't substantiate this, but what I've seen makes me think that X may be true", and tell them why I think that. It's amazing how often a "noob" can see naked data in a different way that often makes sense.

In the SEO and SEM world, there's no shortage of self-proclaimed experts, gurus and ninjas. I look at them the same way I would at a woman that proclaims herself to be the most beautiful woman on Earth... full of herself and little else.

I think the real test is what other experts say about someone. If someone whose professional opinion I respect says that so-and-so is a real guru, that carries some weight.

But even those proven experts out there had to start somewhere. At some point, they knew zip about their current profession. They may have studied, been mentored or experimented their way to where they are, but I think all of them will admit that somewhere along the line, they were aided by someone else, directly or indirectly. And some of those folks are in a constant process of paying it forward.

There have been many that have helped me learn my trade. As a young journalist, I dreaded the tirades of my editor when I turned in my pieces. He raked me over the coals more times than I care to remember, but I learned from him. And when I was the editor, I passed on what he taught me. Paying it forward.

Likewise, when I set out to learn SEO, I benefited from the wisdom of a number of people in the industry who like to pay it forward. Several of them, I have almost daily contact with, some of them, I follow on their blogs. All of them have taught me, and I can't pay any of them back.

The key, of course, is not to teach people what to think – what they really need to learn is how to think. That makes it harder for both of you, but like I said, it's worthwhile... also for both of you.

A Great Tip

Oh, I almost forgot that I promised you a valuable tip on how to know which "experts" to believe. It's really pretty simple:

Learn to think for yourself.

Putting a Spring in Your Marketing Step

It's that time. The temperatures are rising, the birds are singing and if you look hard enough you can see the buds on the trees.

As the world prepares to come back to life, it's not just your weary car that needs the salt and gunk washed off. Your marketing efforts deserve the same attention.

Your brand is as organic as the seasons. With proper care and attention, it will bloom and grow to be larger and stronger than ever. But it may not do so well left to its own devices without proper care and maintenance. Don't let that happen.

Below are six ways to put the “spring” back in your marketing step.

Re-evaluate Your Audience

Think back. When's the last time you stopped to really understand who your audience is? When is the last time you updated those marketing personae or questioned whether “the way you do things” is still working? My guess is it's been awhile.

Do it now.

We all fall into a rut or a certain way of doing things. We make assumptions and don't question them. We get lazy and stop tweaking.

By scrubbing the dust off our business and looking at our audience with new eyes, we're able to spot assumptions that are no longer true (and maybe never were), identify new opportunities, drop dead weight and find new areas for business that didn't exist the year before. Simply because we looked.

Markets shift. Industries evolve. Your business needs to bob and weave in tune to your audience's movements. Spring cleaning doesn't just have to apply to your garage; use it to put the life and the relevance back in your marketing.

Assess Your Situation

Speaking of things you haven't done in a while, have you checked the search landscape for some of your key search terms? Have you taken time to assess where you've gained favor, where you've lost it, and what opportunities you're not even taking advantage of?

Spot any new competitors or potential partners? See content of yours that's doing surprisingly well or competitor content that is smoking you?

What about your sitelinks? Are they still relevant or are they hawking services or employees you no longer have? Do you recognize what's showing up at all? What does Google Suggest say?

If you haven't checked recently, the time to check is now.

Plant New Assets

Maybe it's your website you haven't updated since 2010 (with a copyright date to prove it). Or the blog on your site you haven't updated in six months. Or maybe there are new assets your business could really benefit from if only you could get them started finished.

There is no better time to act than right now. Create a plan. Implement.

Make a list of the areas of your site that need to be updated and schedule them into your work queue so they get done. Create another list of things you believe are important to your business – resource guides or whitepapers or customer testimonials or a really great video about whatever it is that you do – and pick one you'll work on this month. Start there.

By investing in new asset creation you give your audience important signs of life around your business, increase your thought leadership in your industry, and also leave a little something for the search engines to find and rank you for. Plant the seed to start creating these new assets and marketing collateral.

Invest in Yourself

Wake yourself up from your winter slump by seeking out new opportunities for education, growth and networking.

Pursue national learning events like the recent SES New York conference or local seminars, networking events or meetups where you can brush elbows with smart folks without dumping thousands on travel costs. These opportunities allow you to take the relationships you established online and nurture them offline. They will also expose you and your team to new ideas, new tactics and perhaps a new way to look at an old problem.

Or invest in online education for your staff members with webinar series from trusted organizations like SEMPO, Market Motive, MarketingProfs or others. These resources can pack your whole team with new insights for a much more reasonable cost.

Dare to Speak

Whether it's an event at your local chamber of commerce, an industry meetup or something on the national stage, commit yourself to at least one speaking opportunity between now and the end of summer. Doing so will reignite your passion for your industry, get you elbow-to-elbow with smart minds, open the networking gates, and make you more confident in your knowledge of your craft.

If public speaking makes you nervous, relax. You're in good company. Also, tough!

Working on your speaking skills will make you better at what you do – helping you speak intelligently about your industry, what your company does and the issues that are important to you. Plus, it's good to do things that terrify you.

Contribute Content to a High Authority Site

Creating contributed content is a great way to emerge from the frozen temperatures stronger than how you entered them. I'd really encourage all businesses to focus on at least one outlet that they think could bring value to their business and where they could bring value to someone else, and to tailor an article specifically for them.

If you're wary about giving your competitors free content, first, don't be. But second, don't be afraid to reach out to parallel industries.

For example, maybe you're a caterer located in Austin, Texas. You don't have to stick to just other catering or food-related blogs. You can hit the mommy bloggers (meals on the go), fitness blogs (a post on gluten-free or raw cooking), DIY/craft blogs (how to organize a kids birthday party on the cheap), wedding related blogs (10 tips from 10 years of weddings) etc. You are limited only by your imagination.

By investing in contributed content, you grow legs for your brand while establishing expertise and driving new traffic to your website.

We all let things go a little too long during the cold winter months. But that's over now. It's time to come back to life and shoot some extra energy into what you're doing. What's on your plate to have a more energetic spring?

Google Pushes Out 2nd Panda Refresh of Month, Surveys Users on Search Result Quality

A June 25 tweet from the official Google account on Twitter announced the release of Panda 3.8, a data refresh they said noticeably affects less than 1 percent of queries worldwide.

In their tweet, Google referred people back to their May 2011 post, "More guidance on building high-quality sites", to offer context for those unfamiliar with Panda.

The June 25 data refresh was Google’s second Panda update this month. Google also announced via Twitter (on June 11) that a data refresh had begun rolling out the previous Friday, June 8. That one was said to affect less than 1 percent of U.S. queries and 1 percent worldwide.

A data refresh doesn’t change the algorithm or signals; it does just as the name suggests and refreshes the data within the existing algorithm. Data refreshes typically affect fewer queries than algorithm updates.

Meanwhile, Google is also asking users how satisfied they are with their search results. Internet strategist Nathan Sauser posted the above screenshot of a Google pop-up on the search results page that asks searchers to rate their level of satisfaction with search results – ranging from “very satisfied” to “very dissatisfied”.

Google has been using human quality raters for some time to evaluate and troubleshoot the algorithm by rating search results. This is the first time we’ve seen a live experiment, using seemingly random users, to submit their feedback on search quality directly from the SERPs.

Have you noticed any difference in your site traffic you suspect may be the work of Panda 3.8? Let us know in the comments!

Yahoo Answers Hits 300 Million Questions, But Q&A Activity Is Declining

Against what could be considered great odds, Yahoo Answers has reached a pretty stunning milestone: 300 million questions have been asked since the service launched in 2005.

But despite that figure, activity on Yahoo Answers is on the decline.

The company’s announcement today includes these additional statistics:

On average, 2 questions are being asked and 6 answered per second. So this means there�s an astonishing 7,000 questions and an incredible 21,000 answers per hour.

That’s a total of 28,000 questions and answers being posted every hour.

But about two years ago, when Yahoo Answers announced that it had a combination of more than a billion questions and answers, the company said it was seeing more than 34,000 questions and answers per hour.

That’s a decline in the neighborhood of 17 to 18 percent.

Yahoo Answers has, for years, been considered the largest answer search engine on the web — and despite that decline, it almost certainly still is. But it’s difficult to compare apples to apples if you include sites like ChaCha, which includes voice-generated questions requesting phone numbers among its Q&A database, or, which remains something of a hybrid between a Q&A site and a search engine.

Still, Yahoo Answers outlasted Google Answers, which closed its doors less than a year after Yahoo Answers launched. Facebook Questions launched about two years ago, but that doesn’t appear to have taken off like some expected it would.

Quora has become a Q&A darling over the past year or so, and certainly has a lot of momentum in its favor. The company hasn’t indicated how many questions it has, but users have tried figuring it out themselves, using a “QID” code that’s visible in the site’s code. If that’s an accurate way to count questions, my quick digging suggests that the site has a little more than 700,000 questions at the moment.

Earlier this year, former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson promised to shut down up to 50 Yahoo properties. No one knows if current CEO Ross Levinsohn will follow through on that, but for now, Yahoo Answers keeps beating the odds and chugging along … albeit a little more slowly than it did a couple years ago.

Twitter Experiments with Retargeting for Advertisers

Last month, there was speculation that Twitter was going to offer retargeting for advertisers. Last week, Twitter announced the retargeting option. Twitter said it is currently "experimenting" with the feature, which will be available to U.S. users.

Twitter explained the benefits to users and advertisers:

"Let's say a local florist wants to advertise a Valentine's Day special on Twitter. They'd prefer to show their ad to flower enthusiasts who frequent their website or subscribe to their newsletter. To get the special offer to those people who are also on Twitter, the shop may share with us a scrambled, unreadable email address (a hash) or browser-related information (a browser cookie ID). We can then match that information to accounts in order to show them a Promoted Tweet with the Valentine's Day deal."

While this might be a nice option for both parties, TechCrunch pointed out a potential pitfall:

"Twitter can't vouch for how the advertiser picked your name up in the first place. I may have ended up on a flower shop's mailing list having never actually bought flowers there before. Or I may have thought of buying flowers but decided against it at the last minute. In that case, the last thing I would want to see is that same flower offer coming through to me. Again and again."

Of course, if users wish not to be a part of this program, there is a way to opt out: Uncheck the "promoted content" option in Twitter's account settings. Twitter said "this is the only placeyou'll need to disable this feature on Twitter."

Twitter also confirmed advertisers don't get any additional information about Twitter users if they are opted in to retargeting.

In addition, Twitter supports Do Not Track, so the company will not receive browser-related information from its ad partners if users have DNT enabled in their browsers.

The Definitive Guide To Technical Mobile SEO

At SMX Advanced, I moderated a panel about technical SEO. Google�s Maile Ohye spoke about SEO best practices for technical implementation of mobile sites based on how Google crawls, indexed, and ranks mobile content and presents it to searchers on mobile devices.

She also talked about Google�s recent announcement that the mobile user experience is a factor in how Google ranks results for smartphone searchers.

Below are more details on that, as well as resources on how best to architect your site�s mobile experience for optimal search acquisition (and happy mobile users).

Responsive Design, Dynamic Content, or Mobile URLs?

If you�re designing the mobile experience from scratch, this question is the first place to start. If you already have a mobile experience set up, then you can just jump to the section that applies to your site. All three options work well for users and for Google, so use the best implementation based on your infrastructure, content, and audience.

ImplementationURLsContentResponsive designOne URL for both desktop and mobileThe page serves basically the same content to all users but detects the device and screen size and builds the layout accordingly. As the screen size gets smaller, the page may show fewer images, less text, or a simplified navigation.Dynamic ServingOne URL for both desktop and mobileThe page serves different content to users of different devices.Mobile URLsDifferent URLs for desktop and mobileThe mobile and desktop experience might be completely different.


Responsive Design

Using�responsive design�that detects the device and adjusts the layout accordingly can be a great one-size fits all implementation. You just have one URL for any type of device and the layout adjusts. This works great for smartphones, tablets, laptops, huge monitors, and the dashboard of your flying car. The crawl is efficient, users don’t experience the slowdowns that redirects bring, and search engines have just one page to index and rank.

Users love it; Google loves it; everyone�s happy.

Google recommends that you don’t block crawling of resources such as CSS and Javascript as they need to be able to construct the responsive page elements (not blocking these resources is also something they recommend more broadly.)

One potential pitfall is page load time. Make sure that the page is speedy to download on mobile devices and that you aren�t loading a bunch of weighty content (like videos and ads that you end up not displaying to mobile users anyway) that hinders the mobile experience. If you find that’s a problem with the content on your site, that you might want to consider dynamic content.

Another facet to consider is content focus. If what you end up showing vs. hiding for the desktop version compared to the mobile version is entirely different, separate mobile URLs may be the way to go.

Dynamic Serving

With this set up, the server detects the device before returning content and serves the response on a single URL (as above with responsive design). The difference is that the content that�s loaded onto that URL may be totally different depending on the device type.

This is a good option if loading the full content from the desktop version would slow the mobile page down, but it can be more complicated to implement.

For this implementation, ensure you are using the Vary: User-Agent HTTP response header since you are serving different content in different instances. (Note that some CDNs, such as Akamai, may not cache pages that use this header. Google recommends you still use it and you can configure Akamai to ignore the header.)

Mobile URLs

Back in the olden days, when we all rode in horse-drawn carriages, churned our own butter, and had flip phones, sites couldn�t possibly have used responsive design for mobile users. That poor flip phone would have requested the page, seen the massive code headed for it, and just curled up in a corner and cried.

So, mobile best practices for the Web initially called for separate mobile pages (typically at an m. subdomain), often coded particularly for mobile devices (XHTML mobile profile/WAP 2.0,WML/WAP 1.2, or cHTML (iMode).

Google�s mobile Web index stores these pages and feature phone users can search through them (yes, still). Mobile XML Sitemaps are for listing these types of pages.

But if your site has separate mobile URLs in these futuristic days (of flying cars and free espresso everywhere), it�s unlikely those pages are using one of these markups. It�s probably just a page you�ve constructed differently to better be used on a smaller screen.

Since Google sees different URLs as different pages, you can do several things to ensure that Google understands the relationship between your desktop and mobile pages so that your site is as visible to mobile searchers as it is to desktop searchers.

Google searches both desktop and smartphone users from a single index, and in cases where both a desktop and a mobile page exist, clusters them together and serves the appropriate version. (See more about this in the ranking section below.)

This implementation is still a great choice, despite the newer options available. It can be a lot easier to keep track of technically and as long as you follow the tips below, it works well for both users and search engines as well.

In particular, if the content you’re serving mobile users is fairly different from what you’re serving desktop users, this options makes a lot of sense.

Mobile URLs & Redirect Mapping

The first and best thing you can do for both search engines and users is to ensure that both your mobile and desktop pages redirect appropriately. Mobile user-agents that access the desktop pages should be redirected to the mobile versions and desktop user-agents that access the mobile pages should be redirected to the desktop versions. Sounds so simple. So many sites don�t do it.

I recommend this all the time, and I�m always asked why it�s so important to redirect the mobile pages to the desktop equivalent for non-mobile users. Beyond the SEO implications, we live in a world of mobile consumption and sharing. I might be standing in line to board a flight, reading an article while I�m waiting. I share the (mobile) link (it was a fascinating article! like this one!) via Twitter and you click on it while sitting at your desk at work.

If the site doesn�t redirect to the desktop version, you see the mobile page, which in addition to not being a great experience, doesn�t make the site any money since it doesn�t serve any ads.

See an ABC news mobile page has it looks like when I load it on my laptop:

Mobile URL

And here’s that same article on the desktop URL. So much more user-friendly! Ads!

You don�t need to do anything special for Googlebot-Mobile, as it crawls as a mobile browser, so both it and the regular Googlebot will be redirected correctly if these redirects are in place.

It�s bad enough to not redirect based on device type, but you know what�s even worse? Redirecting mobile users to the home page. If you don�t have a mobile equivalent and a mobile user accesses the desktop page, let them see the desktop page! Accessing a page on a mobile device that�s not designed for that screen isn�t great, but it�s better than being redirected away to a completely irrelevant page and� not being able to access the information at all.

What if you have a mobile page and no desktop equivalent? As with the desktop page with no mobile version, let everyone access the mobile version.

Google recommends redirecting tablet users to the desktop, rather than the mobile, version as their data show that’s what uses prefer.

Don’t block the mobile pages from being crawled via robots.txt as this prevents Google from mapping the desktop and mobile page into a cluster.

Mobile URLs &�Adding Meta Data

As I mentioned earlier, Google uses a single index for serving content to desktop and mobile users, but clusters the desktop and mobile pages together and serves the appropriate version. In addition to redirects between them, you can add meta data to send signals to Google to make this mapping clear.


Use the desktop value for both the mobile and desktop version. This consolidates indexing and ranking signals (such as external links) and prevents confusion about potential duplicate content.

<link rel=”canonical” href=””/>

Rel=alternate media

This attribute enables you to map the desktop and mobile URLs. �Use this attribute on the desktop page to specify the mobile version. (You don�t include this attribute on the mobile version to specify the desktop version.)

One the mobile page, include following (where max-width is whatever you’ve set the page to support):

<link rel=”alternate” media=”only screen and (max-width: 640px)” href=””/>”

You can also specify the alternate in the XML Sitemap.

Make sure you specify the canonical version of the mobile URL (and don’t dynamically just include the URL in the browser address bar, which might include optional parameters).


If the site includes paginated content, you would also include the Rel=next and Rel=prev attributes. However, keep in mind that if the number of items listed per page is different on the mobile vs. desktop version, you can�t use Rel=alternate media to cluster the corresponding pages together since the content doesn�t match.

Vary: User-Agent HTTP Header

Whether the site redirects based on device type or simply shows different content (dynamic serving), configure the server to return the Vary: User-Agent” HTTP response header (see more on this above in the dynamic serving section).

Rankings & Mobile Devices

When someone searches Google from a smartphone, they are searching through the same index as they would from a desktop. Because Google clusters the desktop and mobile pages, the following happens in results:

Searchers see the desktop version of the URL listedWhen the searcher clicks, Google loads the mobile version, not the desktop version (this improves the user experience because the page loads faster).

Different ranking signals for all kinds of things (type of query, location of searcher, type of device searcher is using). In the case of mobile searchers, signals include the mobile user experience of the page. (People try to pin down ranking signals, but they vary widely from query to query and searcher to searcher, so coming up with a fixed list of ranking signals is a trip to crazy town where you might end up crying in the corner with that flip phone!)

Mobile issues that prevent an ideal user experience may hinder the site�s ability to rank well to mobile searchers, but won�t impact the site�s ability to rank well to desktop searchers.

The following ranking signals are specific to Smartphone searches:

Mobile-only pages

Since Google consolidates indexing and ranking signals for pages with both a desktop and mobile version, then pages that are mobile-only will have fewer signals and may not rank as well.

Page load times

Maile showed a case study that looked at the impact of an additional 1 second latency for pages loaded on Smartphones. The study found a 9.4% decrease in page views, a 9.3% increase in bounce rate, and a 3.5% drop in conversions.

The point is that Google wants to send searchers to pages that provide the best experience, and slow loading pages hinder that. So slower pages may not rank as well.

Maile said Google recommends trying to display above the fold content in less than a second (the average load time on mobile devices today is 7 seconds).


It takes .6� seconds for a mobile device to get a connection for a page request. This means that each redirect adds a minimum of .6 seconds to the load time.

Sometimes redirects are unavoidable, but make sure that you are redirecting directly to the target, and eliminate redirect chains and loops.

Also, as noted earlier, make sure that you don�t redirect mobile users from desktop URLs to the mobile home page. As you might imagine, this could definitely impact ranking of those URLs, since from a mobile user standpoint, they don�t exist. Similarly, don’t show an error page to smartphone users, telling them that the page doesn’t exist.

Overlays and Popups

I know, you really want users to install your app. It�s a great app. Way better than the mobile site. And maybe it even makes you money, unlike your mobile pages since no one can figure out a mobile revenue model. I get it.

But Google is trying to get the searcher to an answer, and roadblocks like overlays prompting for app installs keep the searcher from that quick answer. Maile�s presentation recommended �reconsidering forcing users to make an extra click with �download our app� interstitials�.

I know. This causes the number of app downloads to plummet. But if the page stops ranking, you won�t get as many visitors, which will also cause the number of app downloads to plummet. Look at adjusting the mobile page layout to better showcase your app instead.

In the example below, The Car Connection includes both content the searcher wants above the fold and a prompt to install the app (that’s closable).

Supported Content

Make sure that the mobile page serves only content supported on mobile devices. If you serve up a page that contains only content that the user can�t see (or video the user can’t play), Google isn�t getting the searcher to the answer quickly in that case, and might not rank that page as highly.

To RecapYou can serve mobile and desktop users with either the same URL (responsive design or dynamic serving) or different URLs (mobile-specific pages)Use the Vary: User Agent HTTP header for pages that serve dynamic content based on device or that redirect to device-specific URLsUse the canonical attribute (to the desktop version)When using separate URLs:redirect both desktop and mobile users to the appropriate pagedon�t redirect users if you don�t have an equivalent pageredirect tablet users to the desktop versionuse a canonical value of the desktop URLuse the rel alternate media on the desktop version to specify the mobile versionmake sure the page loads quicklyreduce unneeded redirectsdon�t keep the searcher from the content with an interstitial advertising your app

Happy mobile!

Facebook’s Graph Search Expands To All US English Users

Facebook is opening up its Facebook Graph Search beta to all accounts that use US English.

In an announcement today, Facebook says the expansion is underway now and will continue over the next few weeks. You’ll know you have Graph Search access when you see the new search box above.

Facebook first launched Graph Search back in January to an extremely small number of beta users. (The “beta” label is sticking now, even as Graph Search rolls out to all US English account holders.) Based on that six months of testing and feedback, Facebook is touting several improvements:

Speed: Graph Search shows suggested potential searches and search results more quicklyUnderstanding queries: there are more ways of asking questions todayRelevant results: Graph Search is better today at displaying the most relevant results firstInterface: the search box is easier to see and use

Graph Search still lacks a few important features, though: searching through posts and comments. Facebook says it’s working on both of those, and also working on rolling out Graph Search to mobile devices — that’s where the nearby/places searches will be most handy for users.

During the expansion, Facebook will also show all users an alert in the upper right of the home page letting them know that Graph Search is rolling out more widely and reminding them to check their sharing settings. Facebook provided the screenshot at right showing the alert.

Results in Graph Search are limited to content and activity that’s been shared with the person doing the searching. I might see photos in my search results that friends have shared with me, but others won’t be able to see those same photos if they weren’t posted publicly.

The move comes about seven months since Graph Search first launched, and there’s been some changes to it since that happened. For more about that, see our companion story,�Facebook�s Graph Search Then & Now: What�s Changed.