Posts Tagged 'search'

Play a game and help Google with image search

Google has a beta application called Google Image Labeler which it describes as “a feature of Google Search that allows you to label images and help improve the quality of Google’s image search results.”

Sounds kind of boring, but leave it to Google to turn image labeling into an online game.
google-image-label-linkHere’s how it works

You are matched up with another online user and both of you are shown an image. You each start adding labels to the image until you both suggest the same label. To add to the challenge, you can’t see the labels your partner is adding. So you just keep adding labels until the game tells you that you matched — or you and your partner may click a “pass” button to move to the next image.

Once a match is made, a new image is presented to both of you and the process begins again. And just to make it really exciting, there is a time clock. You and your partner are given two minutes to label as many images as possible. And of course, it wouldn’t be a game without scoring. So there are points rewarded for successful matches.

After the clock has expired, you are shown a page containing your overall score, thumbnails of the images you saw, along with identifying information:

  • image size
  • image URL
  • whether it was a pass or a match (with matched word)
  • your partner’s labels

Google Image Labeler Screen

A little warning

Some of the images presented are a bit risque. However, Google does not believe you’ll come across inappropriate images. In the Image Labeler FAQ Google states, “While there’s no guarantee, it’s unlikely that you’ll see mature content because all images are filtered under image search’s Strict Safe Search setting.” Hmm, well I saw a few that apparently snuck past the filter.

Also, since you are playing with an unknown partner, your success – or failure as the case may be – depends in part on the other person. On one occasion, I had a partner who I couldn’t match with at all, and when the game was over and I reviewed his or her image labels, they were not related to the images at all and were rather silly like “poop,” for example.

You should give Google’s Image Labeler a try, but I’ll warn you , it is a little addictive.

Advertisements

Search Marketing is Dead – Oh wait a minute

Search Marketing is Dead – Oh wait a minute

Posted using ShareThis

December Search Volume by Search Engine

comScore (website) tracks the volume of searches in the United States each month. Following are their findings for December 2008, compared to November 2008.

December 2008 U.S. Core Search Rankings

Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in December with 63.5 percent of the searches conducted, unchanged from November, followed by Yahoo! Sites (20.5 percent), Microsoft Sites (8.3 percent), Ask Network (3.9 percent), and AOL LLC (3.8 percent). Visit the comScore website to see their full findings.

comScore Core Search Report*
December 2008 vs. November 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore qSearch 2.0

Core Search Entity

Share of Searches (%)

Nov-08

Dec-08

Point Change

Dec-08 vs. Nov-08

Total Core Search

100.0

100.0

N/A

Google Sites

63.5

63.5

0.0

Yahoo! Sites

20.4

20.5

0.1

Microsoft Sites

8.3

8.3

0.0

Ask Network

4.0

3.9

-0.1

AOL LLC

3.8

3.8

0.0

* Based on the five major search engines including partner searches and cross-channel searches. Searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the five search engines are not included in the core search numbers.

Next DFW SEM Meeting is Thursday, Jan. 15

dfwsemlogo-182x96Don’t miss the next meeting of the Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association (website) this Thursday, January 15. Featured speaker is Brett Tabke, CEO and Founder of  WebmasterWorld (website) and chair of PubCon Conferences (website). Immediately following Brett’s presentation, several websites will be selected for an on-the-spot SEO review by DFW SEM members. It’s a great opportunity to gain valuable insight from DFW’s leading SEO professionals.

The meeting will be held at the Renaissance Hotel (map) in Richardson from 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Price is $10 for DFW SEM members and $30 for non-members.

The January DFW SEM meeting is sponsored by SEMPO (website) and Lead Maverick (website).

When it Comes to SEO, the Color of your Hat Matters

SEO White Hat

SEO White Hat

In movies set in the wild west, the good guys always wore white and the bad guys donned black. The same is true in the world of search engine optimization (SEO).

“Black hat SEO” is a term referring to unethical techniques employed to “trick” the search engines to rank a web page in a top spot of its organic search, despite its true relevance – or lack thereof. Examples of black hat techniques include:

  • doorway pages — website entry pages filled with keywords that are crawled by the search engine bots, but visitors are immediately redirected to the “real” entry page.
  • keyword stuffing — placing a lot of keywords on a web page rather than quality content.
  • invisible text — placing keywords on a page in the same color as the background so that the human visitor doesn’t see them, but the search engine bots do.

Although black hat SEO techniques may deliver top rankings in the short run, sites employing these run the risk of being penalized — or even banned — from the search engines.

“White hat SEO” refers to techniques used to aid search engines in understanding and ranking content based on adhering to SEO best practices. There are numerous things a website owner may do to improve a site’s SEO, but it all amounts to one thing: build a site that is very rich with quality content and people and the search engines will find the site. Google provides a lot of information about SEO best practices. Give it a read for an even better understanding of white hat SEO and you’ll be sure to have happy trails.

Happy Trails for the White Hat SEO

Happy Trails for the White Hat SEO

November Search Volume by Search Engine

comScore (website) tracks the volume of searches in the United States each month. Following are their findings for November 2008, compared to October 2008.

November 2008 U.S. Core Search Rankings

Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in November with 63.5 percent of the searches conducted, up 0.4 percentage points from October, followed by Yahoo! Sites (20.4 percent), Microsoft Sites (8.3 percent), Ask Network (4.0 percent), and AOL LLC (3.8 percent). Visit the comScore website to see their full findings.

comScore Core Search Report*
November 2008 vs. October 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore qSearch 2.0
Core Search Entity

Share of Searches (%)

Oct-08

Nov-08

Point Change

Nov-08 vs. Oct-08

Total Core Search

100.0

100.0

N/A

Google Sites

63.1

63.5

0.4

Yahoo! Sites

20.5

20.4

-0.1

Microsoft Sites

8.5

8.3

-0.2
Ask Network

4.2

4.0

-0.2

AOL LLC

3.7

3.8

0.1

* Based on the five major search engines including partner searches and cross-channel searches. Searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the five search engines are not included in the core search numbers.

To Understand SEO, Get to Know Google First

When you pitch a new business prospect, you get to know a little about the company first. What business are they in? Who are their customers? Who are their competitors? How big is the company? And a million other things. You cater your pitch to appeal specifically to the prospect. The more you know in advance, the higher your odds of winning the account.

Well, it’s the same thing with search engine optimization (SEO). If you want to understand SEO, you first need to gain an understanding of how search engines work. And with a tight grip on 60+% of the search market, that means Google! Here’s a simplistic look at how Google works, from the 50,000 foot level.

Google has bots or spiders ─ programs it calls “Googlebots” ─ that “crawl” billions of web pages everyday. The Googlebots analyze the pages to determine what each page is about (keywords to match to your query) and the relevance of each page (incoming links from other pages that help determine the importance of the page). All this information is stored to create Google’s “index.” The index is constantly being updated to add new pages as well as to record changes to existing pages in the index.

When you place a keyword into a Google search box, Google checks its index to determine which pages are most relevant to the keyword and presents (or “serves”) a snippet of those pages in order of Google’s proprietary and highly complex ranking algorithm.

Here’s an illustration from Google that shows the search query process, which by the way, is usually executed in less than a half a second:

"Life of a Google Query" by Google

"Life of a Google Query" by Google

Think of SEO as a process of employing various techniques to:

    1) ensure that the pages of a website are easily and thoroughly crawled and indexed by Google
    2) maximize the relevancy of the web pages through quality links and other Google-defined factors
    3) closely match the content on web pages with targeted keywords

For a little more explanation of crawling, indexing and serving, check out what Google has to say on the subject. Soon you’ll be ready to make your pitch to Google.


Welcome

There are approximately 12 billion searches conducted on the internet each month. And that number continues to grow. As more companies look for ways to gain an advantage in an increasingly competitive environment, marketers seek to integrate search engine optimization (SEO) into their marketing communications. And with the advancement in non-technical online tools, SEO is not just for programmers and search marketers anymore. Search Matters is specifically for marketers who want to learn about organic search and how to integrate SEO into their integrated marketing communications programs.

Online Profiles

KatyBarrilleaux.com Katy Barrilleaux on LikedIn Katy Barrilleaux on facebook Katy Barrilleaux on Twitter        Join My Community at MyBloglog!

Twitter

Archives