Web to Become Top U.K. Ad Outlet

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Internet advertising spending will pass print and TV outlays this year, making online the top ad medium in the U.K.

June 30th 2010 News

Yahoo Promises Customer Care In More Languages

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Yahoo’s products and services may soon establish a larger following among non-English speakers.  This morning, Yahoo promised to introduce new customer care services in nine different languages, with Arabic being a top focus.

YahooThe other eight languages are French, German, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish, meaning Yahoo’s aiming at some pretty large groups of people.  It doesn’t look like the company plans to just roll out some automated email systems, either, promising "world-class customer care" instead.

In an odd twist, IBM will actually handle the operation, though.  And it’ll do so out of a call center located in Cairo, Egypt.

Amr Talaat, Country General Manager of IBM Egypt, explained his company’s involvement by stating, "The services delivered from this center will help Yahoo!’s Middle East, North African, and European users benefit from the talent pool and customer care solutions deployed here.  It will provide them with best-in-class user experience and customer services that are an industry benchmark."

Dr. Hazem Abdelazim, CEO of Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency, then added, "Our global offering not only provides reputed multinational companies with a cost-competitive location, but also a location that operates as a multilingual platform for world-class operations."

This could have a significant effect on Yahoo’s popularity.  Individuals and businesses should be much less hesitant to use something when they know real help is just an email or a phone call away.

June 30th 2010 yahoo

Getting Your Blog In Google Blog Search

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A Google Webmaster Help thread has advice from Googler, JohnMu, on how to help get your blog included in the Google Blog Search index. John said to basically manually ping Google with their pinging service.

To do so, go to http://blogsearch.google.com/ping and add your blog.

John said:

We use blog-search pings to pick up blogs. From what I heard back, at the time of the last ping there were some small technical issues with your site, making us abort the fetching for Blog-Search. A simple solution to that is to just do a manual ping via the web-interface ( http://blogsearch.google.com/ping ), which is what I did yesterday. Apparently it’s been picked up now and should be trickling through the pipeline soon’ish :-). This is usually not a problem, especially when the blog regularly adds content, then missing a single ping won’t break things. But if we really rarely see blog-search pings, then missing any of them can cause hiccups like this.

So my recommendation to sites in a similar situation is to do a manual “ping” (and double-check to make sure that you’re really pinging Google’s Blog-Search automatically), and generally to work on regularly adding content to your blog. That said, keep in mind that your content will be available through our web-search regardless of whether or not it’s seen as a blog or also indexed in Blog Search 🙂

The pinging service launched in October 2006 and Google Blog Search in general launched September 2005.

To be honest, it seems to me that Blog Search is slowly being phased out in exchange for a focus on real time search. The last time we really wrote about Google Blog Search was just about a year ago. So I am just under the impression that Google is not caring much about blog search and focusing efforts in other areas – which is fine.

Do you think this is true and if so, is it a bad idea?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

June 30th 2010 News

Amazon Introduces 70% Royalty Option For Kindle Digital Text Platform

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Right off the heels of announcing an expansion of its Kindle Digital Text Platform to authors and publishers around the world, Amazon announced back in January that it would introduce a new 70 percent royalty option in the program that will allow them to to earn a larger share of revenue from each Kindle book they sell.

Well, it’s the middle of the year, and it has now landed.

For the record: the new royalty option comes will not replace the existing DTP standard royalty option but rather complement it.

As could be expected, option is currently only available for books sold to United States customers.

The new royalty option basically means that for each book sold from the Kindle Store for Kindle, Kindle DX, or one of the Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, PC, Mac and Android phones, authors and publishers who choose the new royalty option will receive 70 percent of the list price, net of delivery costs.

Those costs are based on file size (pricing is set at $0.15/MB), and Amazon claims today’s median DTP file size to be 368KB, which means delivery costs would be less than $0.06 per unit sold.

To qualify for the 70 percent royalty option, books must satisfy the following set of requirements:

– The author or publisher-supplied list price must be between $2.99 and $9.99.
– The list price must be at least 20 percent below the lowest list price for the physical book.
– The title is made available for sale in all geographies for which the author or publisher has rights.
– The title will be included in a broad set of features in the Kindle Store, such as text-to-speech. This list of features will grow over time as Amazon continues to add more functionality to Kindle and the Kindle Store.
– Under this royalty option, books must be offered at or below price parity with competition, including physical book prices.

In addition to the 70 percent royalty option, Amazon also announced improvements in DTP such as a more intuitive “Bookshelf” feature and a simplified two-step process for publishing.

June 30th 2010 News

IMDb Rolls Out Android App

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Amazon.com’s Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has launched an Android app and a new mobile and social feature called "IMDb Everywhere."

IMDb’s Movies & TV App for Google Android devices features voice search, sharing and option menus. The Android app allows users to look up local movie show times, TV listings, watch trailers, buy movies and share.




IMDb’s new "Like" and "Share" buttons allow users to indicate their favorite movies, TV shows, actors and publish their preferences on Facebook and Twitter.

IMDb has added "Like" and "Share" buttons to all movie trailers, character pages and news stories on the site.

IMDb has also launched a Twitter page @imdbbot that allows users to tweet a question about a celebrity name or movie and receive an answer.

"We’re making a significant commitment to our ‘IMDb Everywhere’ initiative, expanding our footprint across the web and onto emerging technologies and platforms," said Col Needham, IMDb founder and CEO.

"Our customers want to socially engage with IMDb’s comprehensive and authoritative entertainment content anywhere they are – from IMDb.com to their mobile phone to Facebook and Twitter."



June 30th 2010 Android, Facebook, Social Media, Twitter

Google’s Matt Cutts Says Again, Don’t Use Nofollow For Internal Links

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Google’s Matt Cutts posted a video yesterday on the topic of PageRank sculpting using the nofollow attribute and/or using the nofollow attribute on internal links. Here it is:

In short, Matt says do not use it for internal links – never.

But do you agree? Some webmasters do and some don’t. Here is one SEO on Twitter that said no:

Don’t follow his advise 🙂 @mattcutts from @google on nofollow used for internal links http://youtu.be/4SAPUx4Beh8 /via @rustybrickless than a minute ago via Twitterrific

But in a WebmasterWorldthread, Tedster said it does work and shared a story. He said:

Last year I was asked to look at a site that had major ranking troubles. They had used nofollow extensively, trying to sculpt PageRank to go only to those pages they wanted to see in search results. Even some main menu items had nofollow!

At the time they were below 10% of total traffic from search. I suggested they remove all of the nofollows and they did. One month later they were up to about 30% traffic from search. I haven’t checked in with them lately, but I’d guess they continued to improve – unless they got tricky again.

Do you use it at all? Take my poll below:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

June 30th 2010 News

Ad.ly Launches its In-Stream Monetization Platform

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Ad.ly announced today that it has launched its in-stream monetization platform for apps and websites. This means that apps or sites that publish streams from any source (like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.) can use Ad.ly’s API to serve contextually and locally targeted ads based on streams they are reading and where they’re located. The platform is called Ad.ly for Apps.

Ad.ly Launches New platform "Apps are key constituents in the stream ecosystem, yet they have very limited options for monetizing their streams. At the same time the inventory they represent is very attractive to our current base of marketers," says Ad.ly CEO Arnie Gullov-Singh. "We built Ad.ly for Apps to connect the dots and help both apps and marketers create more value out of the stream."

Apps and sites can join Ad.ly’s network by going to its developer page. "Once approved, these applications and websites can implement the Ad.ly for Apps API, which take as its input the contents of the stream and returns one or more targeted in-stream ads, which the app can stylize and display adjacent the given stream," the company says. "The Ad.ly for Apps API is flexible in that it works with any stream on any application on any platform, enabling applications and websites to monetize all their available stream inventory."

First Ad.ly is launching the product with its existing advertisers and partners, but they’ll be adding a self-service buying interface for advertisers in the coming weeks.

Earlier this month, Ad.ly announced a partnership with MySpace.

June 30th 2010 Marketing, Social Media

Use A Cheap Bracelet To Fix Your iPhone 4 Signal Woes

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You’ve got a new iPhone and you’re a bit blue because apparently you’ve been holding phones wrong your whole life. No need to buy an expensive case to fix your phone-holding habits and weak-signal woes. Fix it with a cheap bracelet. (more…)

June 30th 2010 News

Yahoo, Once King Of Keyword Research Tools, Now Recommends Others (Including Google’s)

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Yahoo published their very own Yahoo Style Guide this week. We took a look at the SEO basics section of the style guide and noticed Yahoo has a list of keyword research tools. In that list, Yahoo recommends everyone from their competitor, Google to 3rd party tools from WordTracker and Keyword Discovery.
Many of […]

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June 30th 2010 News

GoogleBot Acting Weird

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Around June 15th, GoogleBot reportedly slowed crawling of web pages and documents. Then ten days later, GoogleBot started crawling again. Today, I am seeing new reports of sporadic, somewhat spastic crawl behavior.

A WebmasterWorld thread has reports that GoogleBot stopped crawling some sites late June 28th and then started again early this morning. It seems that maybe GoogleBot gets stuck on some sites or something has changed.

Maybe this is the new behavior since Caffeine launched or maybe there is a bug, I am not sure. But the reports come from obsessed SEOs and webmasters that track Google like they would their own daughter.

Are you seeing weird crawl (or lack there of) patterns from GoogleBot?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

June 30th 2010 News