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Things to Consider if Page Speed is to Become a Ranking Factor
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About a month ago, WebProNews interviewed Google’s Matt Cutts, who suggested that page speed may soon become a ranking factor in the world’s most popular search engine. Speed has been a consistent theme with the company over the past year or so, with the release of various tools and announcements. It has become quite evident that Google places a great deal of importance on speeding up the web. With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why Cutts’ suggestion could soon become a reality.

A Convenient Content Truth
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Big businesses with huge pageviews fueled by Google have emerged in recent years that exist only because of a unique SEO / Adwords relationship with Google. Google gives them a huge presence in the long tail SERPS and they in turn give Google increased revenue by being a Google Adsense partner. Not just any Adsense partner, but a Google partner that turns Google search generated traffic into billions of Adwords clicks totaling tens of billions of dollars. 

Google Shares Search Predictions
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This time of year everybody likes to start making predictions about where industries are heading. This is especially true in the search industry. My guess is that we will see quite a few pieces this month regarding where search is going in 2010. These can make for entertaining reads and get the mind going with regards to how we are going to have to plan for an ever-changing future of search engine marketing.

Google Seeking Not To Cross The Creepy Line
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Google CEO Eric Schmidt while appearing on Fox Business made some interesting comments about Google’s emergence as a huge Microsoft-like business power. I thought most interesting was Schmidt’s statement about Google becoming like Microsoft, "Hopefully, we won’t repeat the mistakes that Microsot made ten years ago that ultimately led to all these things that happened with them".

Schmidt elaborated:

Social Media Will Not Replace Search
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Nielsen has shared some interesting findings from its research on how Internet users discover content. The research mainly focused on how content is found through search, portals, and through social media.

Duplicate Content on Google, Bing & Yahoo
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Duplicate content is a common occurrence on the web and in many cases can hurt search engine rankings. While the search engines may not always technically penalize webmasters for duplicate content, there are still a lot of ways it can hurt.

WebProNews is covering the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East in New York, where representatives from the three major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) discussed how their respective web properties handle duplicate content issues. Following are some takeaways from each.

Microsoft Launches Bing iPhone App, Addresses Issues

Update: Microsoft has addressed a few issues with the iPhone app that have been discovered. On the Bing Search Blog, Justin Jed of Bing for Mobile talks about three known issues:

Microsoft Addresses Search Privacy

Sree Kamireddy, Bing Program Manager and self-proclaimed "Privacy Champ" has written a post on the Bing blog discussing how Microsoft handles your Bing search history information. More specifically, Kamireddy explains how this is actually in users’ hands.

Kamireddy explains that Bing Offers the following:

Google Puts Universal Search in Suggestions, Launches Quick Scroll
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In case you were thinking that Google hadn’t made enough announcements this week, they have made a couple more. First, they are adding universal search results to Google Suggest, and second, they have released a new Chrome extension called Google Quick Scroll.

Viewing Google Image Search Results All on One Page
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Remember when Microsoft’s Bing launched and one of the features that really caught people’s attention was the interface of its image search feature? It was unique in that you could simply scroll down on the results page infinitely. You didn’t have to go to multiple pages to find more images. You just kept scrolling. Google is now testing such a feature for its own image search results.

Murdoch’s War with the Aggregators
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Rupert Murdoch spoke last week at the FTC’s journalism and the Internet workshop and again slammed news aggregators and search engines:

Be Proactive to Avoid Duplicate Content Issues
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Google may have busted the "duplicate content myth" a while back, saying that you don’t technically get "penalized" for it, but that doesn’t mean it is a good thing. Shari Thurow of Omni Marketing Interactive says you should care about it so that your better pages are available to rank.

Is it Really Crazy to Block Google?
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After all is said and done Rupert Murdoch may still be seen as the sly old fox that really knew best. Many bloggers and journalists have pounded the insanity of Murdoch’s suggestion that News Corp publications might strike an exclusive indexing deal with Bing and delist itself from Google’s search engine.

New Google Feature Could Steal Some of Bing’s Travel Thunder

Google has launched a new "Translated Search" tool as one of the search engines search options. Google’s search options can currently be accessed by clicking "show options" on any results page, once a search has been performed (although you may not even have to do that soon). The idea is that searchers can more easily find and read content written in other languages.

Where Google Stands on the “Keywords” Meta Tag
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Google does not use the "keywords" meta tag in its web search ranking. Google’s Matt Cutts explains this in a Webmaster Central video. This is not breaking news, by any means, but there are a lot of people out there that still put a lot of stock into this.

Some Bing Users Seeing Latest Posts on Publisher Searches

Bing appears to be either testing or rolling out a new feature for news sites in its search results. The feature brings up a few of the most recent posts from a news source, when that source itself is the query.

I say this is either a test or a gradual roll out, because it is not happening in my own searches. TechCrunch has a piece about the feature (and a screenshot), which shows it, so evidently some people have it.

Google Celebrates the Barcode

Google is celebrating the invention of the bar code today, with its latest doodle. There is an interesting history of the barcode available on Wikipedia, which of course is the top natural result in Google’s search results for barcode (which you are taken to upon clicking the doodle).

The Most Loyal Traffic Comes from Facebook
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There’s no question that search engines can be a tremendous source of traffic. Social networks are also proving to be big traffic generators for a lot of content producers, and Twitter is one of the big ones.

However, it is Facebook and Digg that are driving the most repeat readers according to a study conducted by online ad network Chitika. Traffic is great, but traffic that returns is even better.

Google on What it Takes to Deliver Search Quality

We often take for granted the results we get for any given web search. When we search, we expect to find what we are looking for. That’s the way it should be. The average user doesn’t normally consider what it takes for a search engine to deliver those results, but there are so many factors at play, working behind the scenes and coming together to (hopefully) deliver the user the information they seek.

Report Says Bing Sees First Monthly Decline
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According to comScore, Hitwise, and Nielsen, Bing gained ground in August, but StatCounter has released info indicating that Bing has experienced its first monthly decline in the US, in September.

Will Google Eliminate the Need for Small Business Websites?
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Google has people riled up with its latest local search effort Google Place Pages. Place Pages are a Google Maps feature launched last week, which serve the purpose of providing everything you want to know about a place (a city or a business) in one spot. For example, if you search for a specific restaurant, you should get web pages, directions, reviews, images, street view imagery, business hours, etc. Google lets businesses submit specific categories they want to include.