Only 2 weeks till Christmas! Snow is on the ground in the northeast, and the wind is keeping people indoors. Here’s an update on the goings on in Search & Social this week to keep you warm.
Yahoo and Google add real-time search to SERPS
All this talk about real-time search and it’s taken till now before the two search giants incorporate their new projects into the main results. This week Yahoo incorporated Twitter into the normal results in a very “Google OneBox” kind of way. Google, on the other hand, took this one step further (as they tend to do) and incorporated a real time scrolling result which includes blogs, news outlets, and (of course) Tweets. Concerns about the ability to game these new results (by SEOs) have begun to surface, but either way, it’s a more direct approach to the real-time search trend by the engines.
Google update personalizes ALL search results
A new (relatively quiet) update rolled out this week for Google which personalizes all search results for users. Instead of opting in to a personalized search (as previously implemented), users can now only opt-out of these results. The personalization changes results to a user’s general preference in websites in search results. For example, if you tend to click on Wikipedia or Amazon when they appear in results, those websites may start to show up more often and higher in search results for a wider variety of keywords than normal. Privacy issues aside (more on Google and privacy later) the update may not seem too remarkable, but as Danny Sullivan warns: It “deserves extraordinary attention”
Yahoo! and Microsoft close search deal
The deal between Yahoo! and Microsoft to integrate Bing results into Yahoo! has been finalized. While the deal still must face regulatory approval, it is another milestone that puts it one step closer to being implemented. These statements were issued about the deal:
“Microsoft and Yahoo! believe that this deal will create a sustainable and more compelling alternative in search that can provide consumers, advertisers and publishers real choice, better value, and more innovation.
“Yahoo! and Microsoft welcome the broad support the deal has received from key players in the advertising industry and remain hopeful that the closing of the transaction can occur in early 2010.”
Google sends scannable decals to local business listings “favorite places”
Google started sending out window decals this week to local businesses that have popular local business listings in Google Maps which includes a scannable QR barcode. These “favorite places” (as the decal states) are chosen based on the popularity of the listing within Google Maps and includes a few statistics on how many users found their location. For Google, it’s a nice way to get in the storefront of popular businesses and increase usage of the Google Maps service. For store owners, it can be another way to encourage reviews and display a sign of trust in the front of their store. BTW: Essential Internet Marketing, LLC is a favorite place on Google! WOOT!
Facebook Goes Down for a day
Among issues with the facebook twitter app not posting all updates to twitter profiles, Facebook went down yesterday. No details have surfaced yet as to what the issue was or if the two problems were related, but the popular social media service is back to it’s normal state as of today.
Google and Facebook come under fire for privacy concerns.
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
Facebook, this week, released an update that allows more personalized privacy features for its users. Experts, however, argue that the changes (particularly how they were offered) encourage users to opt for less private settings. Here’s what the Electronic Frontier Foundation had to say:
“The Facebook privacy transition tool is clearly designed to push users to share much more of their Facebook info with everyone, a worrisome development that will likely cause a major shift in privacy level for most of Facebook’s users, whether intentionally or inadvertently … Even worse, the changes will actually reduce the amount of control that users have over some of their personal data.”
The Lighter side of Social Media
- As if you hadn’t learned your lesson yet, here are more reasons NOT to friend your parents on Facebook.
- If you think Google suggestions are inappropriate, check this out.
- Definitely the BEST Christmas decorations EVER!
- I like snow, enjoy the changing seasons, but the cold sucks and this is how I really feel about you, winter.