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May 2015

Google is known as an innovator, but sometimes the best solution to a search problem comes from outside the company. That's the case with a recent op-ed by Danny Sullivan, who basically just solved one of the most annoying issues in the world of search: paywalled news stories. These are stories that are published on the internet but can't be seen without paying a subscription fee. The practice is one of of the dinosaurs of the digital era, but also a necessary bread and butter for news outlets. So how do you make news more accessible without bankrupting the publisher? Danny has an idea. The State of the Paywall To understand the problem, and

Launching your new website is a moment of truth. Does everything work? Does it all look good? Are sales still coming through? But even after you breathe a sigh of relief, you could find out weeks or months later that your traffic has declined. Where did it all go? That’s what Patrick Stox sets out to solve for us in a fascinating how-to that highlights one of the trickiest problems in SEO: lost links. Links are one of the main drivers of SEO; the more sites that point at you, the more relevant you must be, and your rank in the search results rises

For the last few months news from the SEO community has been centered mainly on whether websites are "mobile friendly" and how much this will help them. If you're sick of talking mobile, or haven't gotten your own site up to snuff yet, you may groan to hear that Bing is now launching its own mobile search algorithm. But don't worry: this one wears kid gloves. Many view the move as copycatting Google, which just finished rolling out its own mobile algorithm. I doubt that's quite the reason behind it, though. Bing has been working on its mobile search factors for at least a year, and both search

With all the recent emphasis on going mobile friendly, more businesses are wondering if they should have their own custom app---after all, that's what the kids want these days, right? But actually, as it turns out, no they don't. That's according to a recent survey of consumers' mobile website preferences. It turns out the most popular way to find information online is on a regular old mobile browser, using plain vanilla mobile websites. Only a tiny fraction of people prefer to use an app. A Startling Change These results are fascinating, because the main point of the survey was actually to find out what consumers want in a

Want to find only the most advanced information on a topic? Well, Google is no longer the place to go. The search engine has dropped a long time search filter that lets you find content by reading level. Smarter Words The feature has been around for nearly five years, and allowed you to choose "basic," "intermediate" or "advanced" content. For 2010 it was quite cutting edge, and was built much the same way Google Translate was built: experts were hired to evaluate specific pieces of content, until the search engine learned from their patterns how to evaluate on its own. In this case the experts

Google has released new data on its most popular Youtube videos, and it turns out that most of them aren't cute babies. Instead, they're tutorials. According to Google, the total amount of "How To" content has grown substantially, and "How To" searches on the site are up by 70 percent in the last year. In total, Youtube hosts over 100 million hours of how-to's. Tutorials are on fire. From a marketing and SEO standpoint, that makes perfect sense. Here's why: "How To" signals valuable information. When people search for info they want meaty, useful answers---not just fluff pieces. That's why "How To" blog titles repeatedly outperform other types

It's been nearly a year since the EU passed its "Right to Be Forgotten" law (RTBF). Under the law Google established an application process for Europeans to get information about them expunged from searches, if it met certain criterion. So how have those requests been going? Well, decide for yourself: Google has denied 70 percent of them. The figure comes from an advocacy site run by a European reputation management company. Google has received more than a quarter of a million RTBF requests, and by the company's count over two thirds of them have been rejected. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. The majority of RTBF claims (58 percent) are "invasion

We all use Google to look for images. Normally you type in a keyword and you're given millions of pictures that match it. But how often do you use a reverse image search? A reverse image search is what you do when you already have the image in hand, but want to find out more about it. Generally you upload the image to the search engine, or type in the URL of the image you have in mind. Then the search engine checks its database and shows you everywhere on the web that your image is posted. Not too shabby. Reverse image searches are nothing new, but they've been improving a

It wasn't long ago that Pinterest tried to "man up" its image by tailoring search results based on gender. The site has far more female users than male, and previously had the image of being for ladies only. Did the new search results change that image? It would seem not, based on a great spoof by the New Yorker: Getting out of her vintage cast-iron bed, Pinterest trips on a pile of antlers. Whoops! She must have been arranging wall clusters in her sleep again. She puts the antlers back where they belong—on the head of the live deer that hangs out by her window. Then she puts a flower crown

Most of us shop online, and that means most of us do at least some of our shopping through Google. Google makes it easy to find the product you're looking for, and typically shows results from multiple vendors in a sidebar. But what if the search engine did more---what if they actively helped you save money? That seems to be the idea behind Google's newest experimental feature, the value alert. As reported by Search Engine Land's Ginny Marvin, the feature puts a highly visible "value alert" tag next to the product listing that they believe will save you the most money. Cool. A lot of ink