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Understanding the Changes at Google

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AdWords
Despite some misleading news from the rumor mill, Google users can take heart – Google’s new AdWords Select plan is beneficial to both advertisers and users alike. The new initiative not only enables the search engine to increase revenue but also to retain its integrity. Google’s search results will remain as unbiased as ever.

The AdWords Select program recently launched by Google allows advertisers to place highly targeted ads ranked by relevancy on the search engine site. Advertisers pay for association with particular keywords relevant to their business. When Web surfers type in those keywords, the associated ads are served up along with search results.

It’s very important for users to understand is what Google’s new service is not. Some search sites, such as Overture, mix ads into user search results. When users type terms into the search engine, advertisers paying top dollar for keyword associations receive the highest rank in search results. Commercial ads are not differentiated from non-commercial results and can confuse hit relevancy.

Google does things a little differently than Overture. Paid ads are clearly marked and are not incorporated into user search results. Ads are labeled “sponsored links” and appear to the right of user search results. In this way, search results are actually enhanced by paid ads rather than confused by them. Search engine users benefit from this practice, as the ads they receive are highly relevant to their searches, and may be as helpful as the non-commercial results they receive.

Advertisers bid against each other to achieve the top ranked spot in the list of ads. However, the amount paid by advertisers is not the only factor determining which ad will appear first in the list. The click-thru rate of each ad is also factored in – a poorly performing ad will not be ranked first simply because the advertiser paid more. This ranking system assures that relevant ads interesting to users will be ranked near the top of the list.

Another tool called AdWords Discounter helps advertisers save money on their ad campaigns. This tool continuously monitors bids on particular keywords. When bids drop, the Discounter will accordingly lower the other bids on those keywords. Calculations are performed each time a search is run, providing advertisers with constantly fluctuating rates that accurately reflect the value they are receiving for their advertising dollars.

AdWords benefits advertisers in other ways, too. If an advertiser pays more than the minimum required to win a bid on a keyword, the advertiser’s bid is automatically lowered to the minimum amount necessary to win. Paid associations with keywords resulting in less than 0.5% click-thru rate for particular ads are disabled, saving advertising dollars on keywords that aren’t getting results.

The AdWords Select initiative should prove to be a boon for users and advertisers alike. Google’s algorithms will assist advertisers in finding their market and searchers in finding vendors. Google hasn’t sold out – it’s just figured out a way to retain its ideals and stay competitive.

To Catalog or Not to Catalog
Do you have any sensitive documents on your network? If you do, try searching for them at Google. You may be shocked by what you can find, and what others can find too.

Late last year Google added the ability to search for a variety of additional document types on the Web. Cataloged documents now include files of the following types: Adobe PostScript, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPro, MacWrite, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Works, Write, and Rich Text Format. With the easy-to-use tools provided by Google, it’s now a simple matter for even inexperienced searchers to find sensitive documents not intended for public viewing.

Small programs called spiders are constantly sent out by search engines to find content, catalog it and keep search engine data up to date. Now that Google catalogs multiple document types, spiders catalog those new files too.

Google defends its cataloging practices and file type search tool. They say they only catalog what is public. Of course “public” is defined as anything that is exposed to the Internet and not specifically blocked.

While sensitive information is definitely at risk, other concerns are out there too. Infected documents can spread viruses to an unsuspecting user who’s found a tainted Word document by accident. File search tools can also expose network vulnerabilities and provide simple ways into computers for hackers.

What can you do to protect your network? Remove sensitive documents from Web servers or other Internet-accessible computers. You can also create a robots.txt file to turn away prying spiders, although such files may actually attract hackers because the presence of a robots.txt file suggests something interesting lies in that directory.

When you search for information, think twice before clicking on an unfamiliar Microsoft Office file that could carry a virus. Keeping your antivirus software up to date is a good practice in any case. Google’s file type search tool also lets you exclude such documents from your search if you wish to avoid them entirely.

Webmasters can get specific advice directly from Google at http://www.google.com/webmasters/3.html#removed, which offers tips on ways to keep documents off the Internet. Educate yourself thoroughly about the Internet and your Web server, and you’ll avoid damaging security breaches.

iEntry provides free highly informative newsletters for web developers, IT professionals and small business owners. We deliver 50 million email newsletters per month and have over 4,000,000 unique opt-in subscribers. From our extensive range of email newsletters we can provide you with a selection of newsletters that best meet your interests.

Understanding the Changes at Google
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About Web Development Writer
iEntry provides free highly informative newsletters for web developers, IT professionals and small business owners. We deliver 50 million email newsletters per month and have over 4,000,000 unique opt-in subscribers. From our extensive range of email newsletters we can provide you with a selection of newsletters that best meet your interests. WebProNews Writer
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