2009年11月30日 星期一

I Just Can't Stop Loving You: Michael Jackson is Yahoo!'s Top Query of 2009

Yesterday, we learned Michael Jackson was Bing's most popular search term of 2009. Today, Yahoo! revealed that the deceased pop star topped their list as well.

Unlike Bing's list, which featured several other deceased celebrities, Yahoo! searchers were apparently jonesin' for Vampires, Wrasslers, and tabloid starlets.

  1. Michael Jackson

  2. Twilight

  3. WWE

  4. Megan Fox

  5. Britney Spears

  6. Naruto

  7. American Idol

  8. Kim Kardashian


  10. Runescape

For top searches on mobile devices, a certain Transformers 2 star took the top spot:

  1. Megan Fox

  2. Mobile Games

  3. Michael Jackson

  4. Movies

  5. Rihanna

  6. Mail

  7. Lady Gaga

  8. NFL

  9. Ringtones

  10. iPhone


SHOP.com Launches Community Hub

SHOP.com has added a bunch of new features to enhance and encourage social sharing on the comparison shopping site.

The biggest announcement is a new social hub. It's called SHOP.com Community and it features their Facebook and Twitter updates.

Screen shot 2009-12-01 at 12.42.17 AM.png

Shoppers can already share searches with their social networks, but now SHOP.com is making it rewarding to do so with their new SHOPstar networking program. Members of the program get a little kickback when they refer sales.

Let's say you've come across the perfect snuggie for the LSU and you use a unique URL to Tweet it out to all of your friends - you'll get a little commission on the sales that come in.

Screen shot 2009-12-01 at 12.44.00 AM.png

SHOP.com is also adding a new lists feature. You can create a list of any type and share it with friends and family.

Launched right at the heart of the holiday shopping season, SHOP.com hopes to develop a few new shopping habits at a critical time.

"With SHOP.COM's new community enhancements and the SHOPstar program, we hope to harness the power of social media and help shoppers with their purchasing decisions in a relevant way," said Mondy Beller, senior vice president of marketing for SHOP.COM.

Happy shopping and sharing!


That's so 2004: Everything Old Is New Again

Taking care of the fundamentals will ensure that your business can withstand the biggest changes. It will also give you the time and resources necessary to pursue the newest and most aggressive strategies to layer on top of a firm foundation. ... http://tinyurl.com/ykrt7v9

SES, Chicago, a great showcase platform.

I'm back at my desk after an excellent SES conference in Berlin last week. This was the first time in Berlin and the feedback has been tremendous. But now it's time to focus on SES, Chicago December 7 - 11. Fondly known as the freeze-your-ass-off SES, Chicago always attracts a great crowd ready for the final annual gathering of the search community.

The great thing about the show, is that, it's not about reflecting on the past year, it's all about looking forward to the New Year. So it kind of becomes the industry showcase for examining new and emerging trends as well as technologies. And this year is absolutely no different.

We recently started a new channel over at ClickZ called "Conference Call" which is a series of columns written by presenters and moderators giving an overview of their own sessions. This is a great way to get to know more about the sessions and the speakers before you get to the show.

I did a brief overview myself of a few sessions that I really want to be sure to see. And I think it's worth a quick return, because as I think more and more about us beginning to move away from the general purpose search we've become used to and into a new era of what is largely being referred to as "suggested discovery" I think it's worth a closer look.

To be clear, general purpose search has been based around the simple principle of you give us three words and we'll give you a gazillion documents back (but you'll only be interested in the top ten, of course). And so, search engines have been satisfying a short term information need on a repeated basis.

Now, if I was a baseball fan and the Yankees were my team, I'd probably do a lot of searching at search engines about my team. What's the score? Did we buy a new player? When does the new stadium open? You get the idea. And each time my short term information need is satisfied. But here's the thing, if the service delivering these results knows I need this stuff, why do I have to keep asking? Why don't they just give it to me?

So satisfying your long term information need is very high on the search research agenda. And most certainly, one area this can happen already is in social search. In fact, in social search there are many times you'll get the answer to a question before you've even asked it.

One guy who really gets the whole "suggested discovery" idea is Bill Scott. Bill created and led the IBM Digital Media Consulting & Systems Integration practice until he recently left to form his own company, Easel TV. He'll be speaking on two panels at SES, Chicago. The first is Search on the Edge - From Search to discovery. During this session Bill will explain what his company is doing with suggested discovery on the television.

I asked Bill if he could give me broad brushstroke (pun intended) of what he'll be covering.

This is what he told me:

First, I'll be talking about the connected TV in general and how the TV will increasingly get content over broadband as well as over Cable, Satellite, Terrestrial and closed IPTV networks. I'll also talk about why the TV is a very different environment to the PC and why just putting regular websites on the TV won't work. This includes the fact that search on the television is the wrong model and that we need to move towards suggested discovery. No-one is going to type into a Google type search box on their TV when using just a remote control!

Then, I will explain what we're doing with Suggested Discovery and how you can use more and more sophisticated technology to create a more and more simple experience that is appropriate for the television. I'll cover how we aggregate data and results from multi-modal sources to offer consumers a range of appropriate and relevant content that retains the serendipity of television - "Beyond the recommendation engine." And finally I'll talk about how the same concepts can be used to enhance TV programme-making - so that the content itself can be dynamically tuned to the audience based on the audience's response to it.

Yes, when Bill expanded for me on the idea of being able to monitor the audience viewing habits and then begin to create content specifically for that audience segment, you begin to see how beneficial this is to both audience and marketers.

Bill will also be on the " Beyond Googling: 5 Years Later it's a Different Audience" panel. Here he'll give us even more insight to where he sees search going.

In particular he'll be talking about "Relevance" - How will brands deliver a fresh and relevant experience to consumers, in whatever context and on whatever device?

Really, he says, the future of search, discovery or whatever it becomes is all about data, permission & trust and business rules. He also says we need to collect and maintain more data - preferences, behaviour, context, community - from more sources than ever before. This will happen naturally as both devices and the companies that provide services become ever more sophisticated. Of course the generic provider will evolve and become much more intelligent and will aggregate from multiple data sources - not just a crawl - however it is the combination of the two roles (maybe but not necessarily by the same organisation) that will deliver real value to the consumer.

Bill goes on to say that, the consumer is now in control: How do we reach them? How do we raise our proposition above all the others that are fighting to be in the consumers' domain? How do we understand which rules our target market has defined? And how do we conform to those rules in order to reach our target? Can we identify the individuals at the hub of social groupings who have disproportionate influence? Can we offer them something extra in return for endorsement?

A whole bunch of extremely interesting questions to ponder.

I can tell you, after doing some checking around, this Chicago SES is about to be one of the best ever. And there's already a great buzz going on. And BTW, a little birdie (no, not Twitter) told me that there are still some rooms available at the Hilton at this time.

Okay, let me go and cherry pick another session to highlight tomorrow.


Search Month European Edition, November 2009


Win the largest marketing library next week at SES Chicago 2009

At SES Chicago 2009 on Wednesday, December 9, at 12:30 p.m., there will be a drawing to give away the "largest marketing library." Attendees of Search Engine Strategies Chicago can enter their business cards up until just before the drawing.

The drawing will take place in the Exhibition Hall, and the lucky winner must be present to claim the prize. (If you are a twin or triplet, use the canonical tag to show that you are the original winner, not a duplicate.)

Here is a partial list of the titles to be given away:

"World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories" by David Meerman Scott.

"Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time" by Joel Comm, Anthony Robbins and Ken Burge.

"Taming the Search-and-Switch Customer: Earning Customer Loyalty in a Compulsion-to-Compare World" by Jill Griffin.

"33 Million People in the Room: How to Create, Influence, and Run a Successful Business with Social Networking" by Juliette Powell.

"Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion" by Gary Vaynerchuck.

"Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers" by Seth Godin.

"Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone" by Mitch Joel.

"Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust" by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.

"Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversion" by Tim Ash.

"Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online" by Andy Beal and Judy Strauss.

"Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results," "Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing" and "Always be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer" by Bryan Eisenberg.

"eBoot Camp: Proven Internet Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business" by Corey Perlman.

"Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business" by Erik Qualman.

"What Would Google Do?" by Jeff Jarvis.

"The Truth about Search Engine Optimization" by Rebecca Lieb.

If you read even a couple of these books, then you will be the smarter than a 5th grader. But wait! There's more!

Andrew Goodman at SES London 2009.jpg The day before the drawing, there will be Author Luncheon in the Expo Hall (rear right) on Tuesday, December 8, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

You can have lunch and network with your favorite author and/or SES speaker. This special event includes:

Andy Beal, CEO, Trackur, author of Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online.

Cindy Krum, Chief Executive Officer, Rank-Mobile, LLC, author (in February 2010) of "Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are."

Dennis R. Mortensen, Director of Data Insights, Yahoo!, author of "Yahoo! Web Analytics: Tracking, Reporting and Analyzing for Data-Driven Insights."

Sally Falkow, President, PRESSfeed.

Andrew Goodman, SES Advisory Board & Principal, Page Zero Media, author of "Winning Results with Google AdWords."

Bill Hunt, President, Back Azimuth Consulting, author of "Search Engine Marketing, Inc: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company's Web Site."

Greg Jarboe, President & Co-Founder, SEO-PR, author of "YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour A Day."

Yes, yes, I should disclose that I'm the author listed above, but at least I'm listed last.

If this list looks long, it is -- but these are only some of the authors who will be speaking at the event. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there will be more than 22 authors speaking at SES Chicago 2009.

And this was just handed to me, It appears that The BuyerSphere Project is now available online!

What is The BuyerSphere Project? Well, if you didn't attend SES San Jose 2009, then you missed the session about a major B2B research initiative, conducted by Enquiro with input from Google, Business.com, Covario, Marketo and DemandBase, that showed most marketers aren't effectively leveraging online assets to their best potential.

Here's my interview with Gord Hotchkiss, President and CEO of Enquiro and author of The BuyerSphere Project.

Gord Hotchkiss, Enquiro at SES San Jose 2009 discussing Buyersphere Project

This is, indeed, a ton of books. Perhaps, this is why Cyber Monday started on Black Friday for Amazon.com, as I reported this morning. Who knows.


'Black Friday' Queries Up 20% on Google

Keywords related to "black friday" increased by more than 20% on Google last week. The data was culled over a two-day period - Thanksgiving and Black Friday - and compared to the same two days last year.

Two terms, "black friday sales" and "black friday ads," were up by over 50%.

Searchers narrowed their queries by adding a brand name to the keyword phrase. The fastest rising queries were:

  • "Walmart Black Friday"

  • "Kohls Black Friday Ad"

  • "Sears Black Friday Sales"

  • "Target Black Friday Deals Online"

Some terms pointed to the desire for more information on the in-store shopping experience, such as "Walmart Black Friday Store Map."


Signs of Recovery? Online Shopping Up 11% on Black Friday

comScore is releasing its first round of data for the 2009 Christmas shopping season, and the news is much better than last year.

Last year, online shopping on Black Friday was up only 1% from the year previous, coming in at $534 million. Well, this year online shopping on Black Friday came in at $595 million, up 11% over 2008.

Spending in November so far is up 3% compared to last year. Here's the chart for you visual types:

Screen shot 2009-11-30 at 12.43.29 PM.png


Michael Jackson #1 Bing Query of 2009

Bing has released its top queries for 2009. The late King of Pop tops the list, followed by a popular social network and a pandemic disease.

  1. Michael Jackson

  2. Twitter

  3. Swine Flu

  4. Stock Market

  5. Farrah Fawcett

  6. Patrick Swayze

  7. Cash for Clunkers

  8. Jon and Kate Gosselin

  9. Billy Mays

  10. Jaycee Dugard


Cyber Monday: Not the Biggest Online Shopping Day of the Year (Yet)

Over at Focus.com, they've graphed out some juicy data collected by the National Retail Federation and comScore showing that Cyber Monday is not the biggest online shopping day of the year. Not yet, at least.

Every year, the biggest online shopping day of the year becomes earlier and earlier. In 2000, it was December 18. Last year, it was December 9, a Tuesday.

Most of the biggest days of the past 9 years have landed on Mondays.

Screen shot 2009-11-30 at 2.00.09 PM.png

If this trend keeps up, Cyber Monday could become the biggest online shopping day of the year in about 6-8 years. But it could stabilize in the second week of December. Time will tell.

This year, December 7th is projected to be the biggest online shopping day of the year, and yes, it will fall on a Monday.

By the way - Black Friday is not the biggest in-store shopping day of the year either. The Saturday before Christmas is. This year, that's December 19.

via Consumerist


Google Takes on Ask.com in Deals, Yahoo! in Times Square

Google has launched a new Deals page, almost two months after Ask.com unveiled their new Deals site. Google's Deals page features the 900 retailers included in Google Checkout. The Deals site ain't pretty either:

Screen shot 2009-11-30 at 1.28.08 PM.png

You can access the Google Deals site at www.google.com/checkout/deals.html

Meanwhile, Google is taking on Yahoo! in Times Square. You might remember Yahoo! is offering free Wifi in Times Square. Google wants people in Times Square to search via Voice by calling 888-376-4336. Answers to the queries appear on electronic billboards. This is part of a campaign to promote the new Motorola Droid, which uses Android.googletimessquare113009.jpg

The billboard campaign doesn't run all day. You can find it going on from 12:30-2pm and 6:30-8pm most days.

(Times Square photo borrowed from the Official Google blog)


Reviews for Confessions so far

Reviews are coming in every few days now – here’s what we have so far. All have been super positive, especially a little periodical called the Wall Street Journal.

Chris Brogan, video review
Blog Critics
Developer Connection
Wall Street Journal

Promotion is in full gear, [...] http://bit.ly/5Ruh5V

Bing Top-10 Searches in 2009

It was not surprising when Bing put an ad on top of New York City cabs with a picture of Michael Jackson and a short message read: “We will miss you Michael.” Bing team blog just published a list of top-10 searches in 2009 using billions of search queries on Bing decision engine. On top of the list is a keyword searching for “Michael Jackson” followed by Twitter, and Swine Flu. Of this top-10 list, six of those were celebrities related searches, including Farrah Fawcett #5, Patrick Swayze #6, Jon and Kate Gosselin #8, Billy Mays #9, and Jaycee Dugard... http://tinyurl.com/ylpw79t

Bid Management Automation Basics: No Excuses!


Xenu's Link Sleuth - More Than Just A Broken Links Finder

Posted by Tom_C

There are literally a bazillion SEO tools on the internet (literally!), this post discusses just one such tool; Xenu's Link Sleuth. Many people in the SEO industry are already aware of this tool but many people I've spoken to only treat the tool as a broken link finder. It's so much more than that.

This post is aimed at those who haven't heard of it before and those who do use it regularly - there are lots of nifty features that solve all kinds of SEO-problems and hopefully beginners and advanced alike will learn something from this post.

What is Xenu?

Xenu's Link Sleuth is a FREE download (everyone loves free) that runs on all versions of Windows (but not quite on Macs unfortunately). It's a lightweight download and I've never had issues with it crashing or hanging. In a nutshell it's a site crawler and once you point it at a URL it will crawl around the site and spit out a report at the end. It's main focus and branding is all about finding broken links on your site (so where you link internally to a 404 error) but I've found that I use it to solve a whole host of different SEO-related issues which I will explain below.

Xenu's Link Sleuth

Problem - How do I find broken links on my site?

This is the most basic use of Xenu in my opinion, but also the most common use. Simply point the program at the homepage of your site, check 'skip external' to avoid it crawling the entire web, and set it going!

Click here to view a sample report provided by Xenu for the Distilled site (note that this is a sample report only, not run across the whole site).

You can see that there is a handy section which reports any broken links that it finds, though in this case I've chosen a rather poor example since there are no broken links on the homepage of Distilled :-)

Problem - How do I get a crawl of my site into microsoft Excel?

The answer to this one, as you may have guessed is also Xenu! Simply choose the following menu option once the report is run:

Click here for a google docs of a sample report from the Distilled site. As you can see you get some really useful data such as:

  • The status code of all pages crawled

  • The type of page crawled

  • The title tag of each page crawled

Problem - How do I check the length of my title tags across my whole site?

Looking at the above data sheet - simply filter for html pages and then check the length of the column titled "Title" - this will give you the length of the title tag. Filter for any above 65 and bingo - there's your to-do list!

Problem - How do I analyse my site's information architecture?

Yep, you guessed it - Xenu will do this too. This one requires a little more explaining however. Firstly, you see that in the spreadsheet above there is a column for "level" - what this column tells you is the number of links away from the initial link that you entered the crawled page is. So in the example sheet all the pages have a level of 1 since I restricted the crawl to just those pages 1 link away from the homepage.

This is really useful information as it tells you how many clicks it takes to get to a given page on your site from the homepage. Useful information! Especially in a large site where you have multiple levels of information architecture and several different types of navigation. Below is a quick screenshot of a report run 3 levels deep on the site. I've pivot-tabled the data (zomg - excel ftw) and selected the following options:

Of course, the beauty of pivot tables is that I can double click each of those rows and see which pages are contained within each level. This is of course, a pretty basic application of the data. But you see that once you start getting more data you can do more powerful things.

The second application of the very same data is the useful links in/links out column which looks like this:

There are other ways of getting this data for your site, Linkscape does it for example, but the good thing about Xenu is that you get the data structured in Excel and you have all the other page metrics alongside it. There's plenty more you can do with this but at a very crude level you can use it to identify pages with more than 100 links on the page across your site!

Taking this data to the next level - here's a glimpse at what's possible, an analysis of type of page vs number of internal links shows you that for this site (not the distilled site) the money pages are getting very few internal links compared to top level pages and something is broken in the information architecture:

Problem - How do I find any 302 redirects on my site?

Xenu to the rescue! In order to catch redirects on your site you need to modify one of the settings on the crawl preferences to "treat redirects as errors":

Then, when you run the report and export to excel redirects will no longer get the status code 200 but will get the true status code, be it 301 or 302! Perfect.

Problem - How do I check the indexing of a test version of my site?

Xenu of course! If your test version lies at a public URL such as testsite.distilled.co.uk then you can just point Xenu at that URL. However, if that's not an option then you can even run Xenu off a local HTML file which is pretty nifty:

Problem - How do I generate an XML sitemap for my site?

Although there are many many ways of generating an XML sitemap for your site, Xenu does this in a quite nice (if not particularly customisable) way. This is perfect for small site owners with limited technical knowledge I think:

Problem - How do I find images missing alt text?

If only Xenu would do such a thing.... Wait, it does! Simply filter your excel download to image files, then the "Title" column is the alt text of the image:

Well that's just a few of the many many applications of the Xenu tool - hopefully it's inspired you to go out and give it a try - I know I use it a lot for all kinds of things. I mean, once you get your data into Excel the world is literally your oyster. Mmmmmm data oysters.

But wait! That's not all - I reached out to Rich Baxter as I know he's a very knowledgeable and smart SEO and he uses Xenu a lot. I asked him if he had any killer tips and here's his killer tip. Thanks a lot Rich for getting me this at short notice:

Crawling web directories, looking for errors (By Rich Baxter)

Xenu’s not just a great tool to look inside your own site, it’s also pretty powerful for crawling external resources like directories, particularly if you’re looking for a domain to buy.

Try crawling dmoz.org, being sure to restrict Xenu’s access to “editors.dmoz.org”, but allow the crawler to “check external links”.


Quite quickly you’ll start finding “not found” URL errors from directory entries that might have been forgotten, on domains that may not yet have expired. Just sort by “status” in the crawl results table in Xenu. Here’s one I found earlier. I’m pretty sure that with the right offer via SEDO, the owner of fridgemagnet.org.uk (with its 634 sub domain links) might be interested in selling before the domain expires.

I’ve always found the “Copy URL”, Google cache and Wayback Machine links invaluable on a right mouse click on the results you’re interested in:

As a side note: If you are crawling external resources, try to be a good citizen and crawl slowly. Set your maximum threads to a very low level, so as not to get your IP banned by your target host.

Thanks Rich! Great tips. Let's get link sleuthing! If anyone has any other creative/useful uses for Xenu please share them in the comments.

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