As always, there are lots of new announcements floating around at Google. This is equally important for an internet marketing agency as it is for the casual surfer. For instance, in the never ending quest to make things easier for web users, Google has a new tutorial aimed at making video publishing easier to understand. Nelson Lee, the Video Search Product Manager, has narrated a new video, “Video Sitemaps 101: Making your Videos Searchable” that explains how videos are indexed, and how to create sitemaps for videos.
Google has also recently acquired a new company known as Metaweb. This is a company that maintains a database of real world things that is going to combine with Google to help make each user’s search a better experience. Google has recognized over time that providing meaningful results is largely about providing results that offer information about things that exist in the real world. This is where Metaweb is going to help provide better results.
Metaweb works to help provide answers. They will assist in providing richer snippets and a search answers feature. So you can ask the engine about events in a given city and quickly get a list of events that are taking place, as well as what dates they’re taking place on. You can ask questions, such as which women have won Oscars in their twenties, and quickly see the results. Practical answers to specific searches are getting better than ever.
Location Extensions have been altered slightly as well. Now, instead of just being able to attach a single business address to an AdWords ad, you can now attach multiple addresses. That way, if a business has more than one location in an area, a customer can quickly find the closest and most convenient location to them.
Google is viewed by Microsoft and Yahoo as the largest threat online, and the two companies are combining to help each other try to supplant Google at the top of the search engine heap. They are currently doing this by having Yahoo display Bing search listings, in exchange for search traffic (up to 25%).
This has had some effect. ComScore has recently appraised that the search market share enjoyed by Google has fallen in June. In May, the figure was 63.7%, but in June it dropped to 62.6%. For four months now, Google has been losing in its share. Its recent high was at 65.5% in February. Part of that loss can be explained by the growth of Yahoo. Currently, its rate is set at 18.9% of searches, an increase of .6% from last month. In February, when Google was at their recent high, Yahoo was down to 16.8%, for a 2.1% growth over the last four months.
Bing has been the company that has seen the steadiest growth in the search sector. For thirteen months in a row now they have been growing their search presence. In June, they came in at 12.7%. A year ago, they were only at 8.4%.
Yelp offers some important information about their review filters. First of all, it’s intentional that they don’t disclose too much information about their criteria for ‘established users’. Otherwise, the system would be too easy to abuse. They also try to discourage people that own businesses from soliciting reviews. Otherwise, it’s too hard to get unbiased and honest reviews.
Sometimes, a legitimate review might get filtered. This is a process that happens due to the algorithm and, while it’s unfortunate, it’s all part of the greater effort to make a better review site that people want to use. It’s also important to note that the review filter doesn’t actually delete reviews. Reviews are still on profile pages, they just don’t get syndicated onto business pages. When reviews come and go on a business page, it has to do with the user’s status, not the review itself.