Announced at threadwatch (Alexa suddenly relevant?) by Aaron, and a number of other places, it might be time to take another look at Alexa, with the announcement that they are opening up their data to folks at affordable prices. At least, they appear to be affordable – kind of hard to tell at this point.
Details are here: Alexa Web Search Platform (the original link on the Alexa domain is no longer around). A snippet:
The Alexa Web Search Platform provides public access to the vast web crawl collected by Alexa Internet. Users can search and process billions of documents — even create their own search engines — using Alexa’s search and publication tools.
Continue reading Another look at Alexa
Search engine optimization and paid search advertising both share a similar goal. While both try to get the right visitors to web sites, even more important is that a visitor performs some action while there that fulfills some goal of a site’s owner.
The meeting of one of these objectives by a visitor is often referred to as a conversion, and can include viewing a specific page, buying something, downloading a file, signing up for a membership or newsletter, or another action as defined by the owner of the site.
In paid search, it can be difficult to tell how effective your campaign has been. Conversion tracking is an approach that can be taken by search engines like Google to help an advertiser understand how well their advertising is working. There’s a nice summary of how conversion tracking works in the O’Reilly article Understanding Google’s Conversion-Tracking Mechanism.
A deeper look into how it works is described on the Google AdWordsTM: Conversion Tracking Guide (pdf)
Continue reading Secure Conversion Tracking at Google
I saw a reference a couple of months ago to advertising on search engines as SEA – Search Engine Advertising. I hadn’t seen the term used that often, but it oddly fits into the title of this blog.
By itself, that wasn’t enough to get me to start writing about Search Engine Advertising. But, I’ve been coming across quite a few interesting articles on the subject, and it make sense to pay attention to how the search engines earn money, too. So, I’m rolling out the “SEA” category here at SEO by the SEA.
This new category may look at things like the incorporation of landing pages into the factors looked at by Google when they assign a Quality Score to an ad in determining a minimum bid. But it will do so from the stance of keeping an eye on what the search engines are up to, rather than trying to provide advice on how to do well at search engine advertising. Or at least, that’s my original intent.
And, my next post will take a close look at some of Google’s plans for their advertising.
Back in March, I had the chance to meet Rand Fishkin, of SEOMoz, at the New York Search Engine Strategies Conference. Rand is a popular and active poster on a number of Search Engine Optimization forums, and in late February he noted that he would be wearing a pair of bright yellow shoes at the conference to make it easy to find him (optimization by shoe color?)
Rand’s popularity comes from his friendly nature, and his willingness to share with others. Since March, we’ve had the good fortune, at Cre8asite Forums to have him join us there as a moderator in the Search Engine Optimization forum.
Those yellow shoes have been featured in a couple of interesting places lately.
There’s a nice article at Newsweek about the power of SEO and taking a look at the optimization efforts of Rand at: Hotwiring Your Search Engine.
Continue reading The Yellow Shoes of Search Engine Optimization in Newsweek and Slashdot
It’s not often that we get a sneak peek at how the machinery behind the search engines work.
Luiz Andre Barroso, leader of Google’s platforms engineering group, has worked on Google’s computing infrastructure, on such things as load balancing, fault detection and recovery, and more.
In the latest issue of the ACM Queue, he writes about some of the issues that face Google from a computing standpoint in The Price of Performance.
An article at Arstechnica notes that this may lead to Google’s adoption of some new hardware in the future.
Christine Churchill has an article at Search Engine Watch on Understanding Search Engine Patents that’s worth a look.
In it she describes some of the potential pitfalls of placing too much credibility in a patent application released by one of the search engines. It’s a warning worth heeding.
In addition, she describes four presentations on search engine patent applications at a recent Search Engine Strategies conference. I wish I could have seen these presentations. It’s a good thing that Christine has shared them with us.
I spend some time every week digging through the new patents and patent applications from Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and others. Some interesting stuff shows up, from time to time.
For instance, would you consider comparing blogging to an infectious disease? A paper on how infectious diseases spread has inspired a couple of patent applications from IBM on Blogging, and how information spreads through blogs.
Continue reading Blogs as infectious diseases: how much faith do you give to search engine patents?
There have been a few stories in the news this month about the costs behind running a search engine like Google. Thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at them, and see where some of the money goes.
The high cost of jetting around the globe, by the founders of Google, was an early story broken by the Wall Street Journal, who uncovered information about a purchase of a jet for Sergey and Larry. In Google founders’ heady purchase (no longer available), we hear a little about new luxury Boeing 767-200 intended to save a few dollars while letting the heads of Google fly where they want.
Office space for the search giant was another topic that emerged lately. There are some nice pictures of new Google Office spaces on real estate blog Curbed. Take a look Inside New Gooooogle’s New Chelsea Oooooffice. The pictures are of unfinished office space, but it’s a lot of space. Would love to see what it looks like once it’s been fixed up some.
Thinking about how much furniture will cost for this space, a more important question might be how much money it costs to run all of the thousands of computers one might find at a Google Data Center. Google’s vice president of operations, Urs Hoelzle, discusses that very topic in How Google battles its increasing power consumption . Just considering it makes my own utility bills much more easy to stomach.
Continue reading The Mundane Realities of Running a Search Engine on a Budget