Google seems eager to for its new +1 feature to be useful to everyone, so much so that it is displaying +1 annotations on some search results even to searchers who are logged out. If you’ll remember, the original rollout of the +1 feature required that you be logged into a Google account in order to see +1 data.
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Now, as discussed by Barry Schwartz in Confirmed: Google Showing Google +1 Counts To Logged Out Users, aggregate +1 numbers are appearing even to users not logged in. These notations show up at the bottom of a listing, in grey lettering, and simply announce the number of people who have “+1’d this.”
The information is only available on some search results; mostly those for Google’s own properties, as well as a few other large sites like Facebook and Mashable. And logged-in users still get much more information, including how many friends within their +1 network have +1’d a result, along with pictures of a few of them.
It seems likely that Google is trying to encourage wider use of +1 with this change. Since the feature does seem to be catching on, it might be time to join the party. Even if you’re not interested in +1’ing search results or websites yourself, you should consider adding the +1 button to your own site, if you haven’t done so already. The +1 data from your website will appear in both organic and paid search results.
It’s not clear how Google is choosing which sites’ data appears to logged out users, so yours may or may not. But with Google pushing the social aspects of search, it’s only a matter of time before this metric affects click-through rates from all users. Get ahead of the game and start building your +1 reputation now.
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For now, Google is only running a pilot program, and Rob D. Young explains how it currently works in Google Tests Content Authorship Spotlighting. Authors with a Google Profile can link their profiles to their online content. Then, when that content shows up in SERPs, the author’s name and Google Profile picture will appear to the right of the listing. Both link to the author’s profile page.
For now, only a few authors will be highlighted, and you need to have a Google Profile that you’ve linked to your content. Google’s Webmaster Tools Help provides instructions for linking all your content and author profile pages to your Google Profile and to each other. Google’s Inside Search blog even suggests that if you miss some links, Google will be able to add them to your Google Profile automatically, as long as you’ve tagged them.
This feature is likely to be a welcome one that benefits everyone involved. Authors get wider exposure and, potentially, a stronger relationship with their readers. Searchers can easily find the authors they trust most, as well as feel more confident in content linked to an author profile. Google benefits because its users will trust results linked to a profile and spend more time on Google exploring those profiles.
If you write content, why not take the time to beef up your Google Profile (or create one) and link it to your content. Even if you’re not part of the pilot program, you’ll be set when Google expands it to all authors.
A San Francisco personal injury lawyer at Michael & Michelle Mandel Law Firm has assisted the CaseDetails editorial team in identifying topics of importance to readers of this blog.
Rob D. Young explains the filter bubble and DuckDuckGo’s anti-filter promotion in DuckDuckGo: Ditch Google, Bing for Unfiltered Search. As he explains it, the filter bubble exists because a search engine’s goal is to return the most relevant results for each search. But people may be looking for different things with the same keywords, so Google, Bing and other search engines track things like your:
Over time, the sites gather information on your apparent preferences. They use this data to filter your search results and show you sites similar to ones you’ve shown an interest in before. This can be useful, for example, when someone searching for “shoes” in Albuquerque sees different local results than someone searching in Miami. But it also means that people in the same room may see different results based on their perceived preferences.
This may not have serious consequences for something like shoes (although you may never discover the brand new boutique down the street if your preference appears to be big-box stores), but it has larger impacts for subjects like politics or world events, or when evaluating your SEO results.
To be fair, typing &pws=0 on the end of a Google search will tell it to return unfiltered results for that search, but that fact is not widely publicized. And it’s hard to remember. DuckDuckGo lets you escape your search engine filter bubble without memorizing another command, giving you more opportunity to make your own choices and discover new things.
Foursquare, the mobile app that allows you to “check in” to share your current location and thoughts about it, began in March 2009 and hit 10 million users slightly more than two years later, in June 2011. This impressive feat becomes even more amazing when you realize that it translates into 1,000 percent annual growth.
Foursquare had 100,000 users in August 2009, expanded by 1,000 percent to 1 million users in August 2010, and saw additional 1,000 percent growth by June 2011 to 10 million users. Think about it. That’s one million new users per month.
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Rob D. Young discusses Foursquare’s extraordinary success in Foursquare Hits 10 Million Users: Yeah, That’s 1,000% Annual Growth. He points out that a combination of factors account for Foursquare’s massive expansion:
Geolocation marketing is effective for businesses of all sizes, but it’s especially valuable for small local businesses. The Foursquare Merchant Platform lets you offer specials to attract new business and retain current customers. And while that 1,000 percent growth rate can’t be sustained forever, it has created a huge user base that’s not likely to go away. Foursquare will be a viable marketing channel for a long time.
It’s also interesting to note that 358 million check-ins have occurred outside the U.S., and U.S. users have checked in from 169 countries. Foursquare is truly a global phenomenon.
If you’re already checking into Foursquare, you know how easy (and addictive) it can be. Harness some of its power to grow your own business. If you haven’t tried it yet, at least learn more about what you can do with the Merchant Platform and how it can help your business.
One billion people visit Google sites every month, according to a recent comScore report. That’s roughly 14 percent of the world’s population. Google is the first company to reach this notable milestone, although Microsoft isn’t far behind, with slightly more than 900 million unique monthly visitors.
Bernfeld, DeMatteo & Bernfeld, L.L.P. a New York City criminal lawyer has assisted the CaseDetails editorial team in identifying topics of importance to readers of this blog.
As Rob D. Young explains in Google Hits the Billion Monthly Unique Visitors Mark, as impressive as Google’s feat sounds, this doesn’t tell the whole story.
Google received its one billion unique monthly visitors despite slowed growth and increased competition recently. Its still-robust 8.4 percent increase over the past year is not only lower than the 12.7 percent traffic growth it saw the previous year; it’s also significantly lower than its closest competitor, Microsoft, which showed 15 percent growth this past year. Yahoo now has almost 700 million unique monthly visitors, a 10.8 percent increase. Facebook’s 30 percent increase—to just over 700 million visitors—puts it slightly ahead of Yahoo.
It’s worth noting that comScore’s data is based on just two million users, not every user in the world. This can introduce some error into the data, but probably not enough to change the numbers significantly.
The numbers also include all properties owned by the companies, not just search. For Google, that means traffic to popular sites like Gmail and YouTube is included. Granted, Google retains its number one spot when looking strictly at search, but its competitors shift position.
Yahoo claims the number two spot in search share, although its 2.7 billion searches are still dwarfed by Google’s 11.2 billion searches. Microsoft comes in third with 2.4 billion searches. Other search competitors are far behind. Ask, at number four, gets 502 million searches, and number five AOL gets 254 million.
So what does one billion visits really mean? Probably not much in the long run, but it is an impressive statistic.
Google is committed to providing its users with the most relevant information it can. It doesn’t always succeed, but it regularly rolls out algorithm changes and personalization options with that goal in mind. In May 2011, it started giving users the ability to block blogs and press releases from appearing on their Google News page.
As long as you are logged into a Google account, you can adjust your Google News preferences to show you more, fewer, or zero blogs. You have the same options for press releases, and the default option on both is “normal.”
Danny Sullivan explains this feature in more detail, and shares communication he received from Google about this option in Look Out Blogs: Google News Gains Options To Drop Blogs & Press Releases.
He asked Google if the News preferences applied only to the homepage, and Google clarified that as long as users have logged into their Google Accounts, their preferences would apply across all News-related sections, including News search results.
As Danny also points out, it’s not entirely clear how or why Google classifies some sites as blogs but not others. Sites with multiple authors that are built on a blog platform aren’t necessarily classified as blogs. Search Engine Land, for example, is not a blog in Google’s eyes. Google claims to rely mostly on self-identification.
If you provide timely news updates on your blog, you might want to check how Google has classified your site, especially if you notice a drop in traffic. Sites that have been misclassified can report an update to Google requesting reclassification. In the meantime, you might have to increase your traffic generation efforts.
What do you Like? Bing knows, and it’s sharing with your friends. Bing told us back in October 2010 that it was integrating Facebook data into its ranking algorithm. In May 2011, it announced that it would be making even more use of that data.
A Mesa attorney with The Law Firm of Paul M. Fischer has assisted the CaseDetails editorial team in identifying topics of importance to readers of this blog.
Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling covers the new components Bing is adding to make its search experience even more social in Bing Ups Ante In Social Search, Adds More Facebook “Likes” To Search Results.
In short, Bing plans to customize your search results based on:
Bing also offers additional conversation features in Travel and Shopping. Get your friends’ advice about your travel wish list or shopping list, or find out who is familiar with a particular destination so you can ask for advice. Add your advice to their lists.
For better or for worse, Facebook makes it simple to connect and communicate with far-flung family, friends and acquaintances. Now Bing is bringing that conversation into search.
On March 30, 2011, Google unveiled +1, their answer to the Facebook “like” button. Searchers who are logged into a Google account will be able to see which search results—both organic and paid ads—other Google users have +1’d.
Searchengineland’s Greg Sterling explains how +1 works with paid search in Google’s +1 A Potential Boon To Paid Search Marketers. In essence:
+1 information will appear on ads that:
Google anticipates a positive response from advertisers and searchers. So far advertisers do seem to like the program.
Google apparently plans to use +1 as a factor in ranking organic search results, but let’s hope they don’t roll that out too soon. The +1 program will need a large user base before it becomes a reliable measurement of a page’s usefulness, but currently Google is severely restricting its use. Only logged-in users with a Google profile can +1, and logged-in Google account holders without a profile can see what’s been +1’d and get personalized recommendations, but cannot +1 themselves. Everyone else can only see how many people have +1’d a listing.
Webmasters and AdWords advertisers will no doubt encourage people to +1 them relatively quickly, but getting the average Google user to fill out yet another profile could be more difficult, and is likely to limit the program’s usefulness at least in the short term.
Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers with Dattilo & Associates, P.C. have assisted the CaseDetails editorial team in identifying topics of importance to readers of this blog.