Vanessa Fox

Vanessa Fox is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. She built Google Webmaster Central and went on to found software and consulting company Nine By Blue and create Blueprint Search Analytics< which she later sold. Her book, Marketing in the Age of Google, (updated edition, May 2012) provides a foundation for incorporating search strategy into organizations of all levels. Follow her on Twitter at @vanessafox.

SEO

Super Bowl 2014: How We Searched

I know, I know. Kids today are all about the hashtags and the Twitters; but it turns out, we’re pretty good multi-taskers and are still really into searching, too. As has been the case all six years I’ve been looking at how the Super Bowl impacts how we search, we use Google (and Bing and […]

Bing

The Curious Case Of Bing Search Results In Google Search Results

Over the weekend, Bill Hartzer noticed that some Google searches returned Bing search results. As of last night, Google search results are once again Bing-free. What happened? Taking a closer look, the Bing search results weren’t www.bing.com/search URLs, which are correctly blocked by Bing’s robots.txt file. They were coming from www.bing.com/entities/search. This pattern is not […]

Bing SEO

What The Government Shutdown Means For .gov SEO

As part of the US government shut down, many .gov sites have also shut down, replaced by messages like this: “Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.” But one day, the government will start up again and government agencies will once again focus on ensuring […]

Google

The Definitive Guide To Technical Mobile SEO

At SMX Advanced, I moderated a panel about technical SEO. Google’s Maile Ohye spoke about SEO best practices for technical implementation of mobile sites based on how Google crawls, indexed, and ranks mobile content and presents it to searchers on mobile devices. She also talked about Google’s recent announcement that the mobile user experience is […]

Google

Google Expands List of “Generic” Top Level Domains and Makes Them Geotargetable

Typically, the country-code top level domain (ccTLD) is just that — a country code. For instance, example.co.uk has content for the UK, and example.com.au has content for Australia. Usually, registration of these domains is restricted. You have to prove that you are operating the site from the designated country. However, some countries have opened up […]

Google

Google Launches Help Center For Hacked Sites

Google has just launched a help center for hacked sites, complete with step-by-step instructions and videos that outline each part of the process. The videos feature Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead at Google (and her Googler colleagues), who told me “we wanted to connect our capability to detect and alert site owners of their hacked […]

Commerce

Super Bowl Commercials 2013 Edition: For Search Visibility, Most Brands Bought AdWords Too

Super Bowl commercials aren’t typically about direct purchases. Brands run them to create awareness and buzz and to make us feel all soft and fuzzy towards them through our adorable-foal/hot actor reunion-induced tears (thanks a lot, Budweiser!). For the last five years, I’ve tracked where advertisers are trying to send viewers, where those viewers are […]

Commerce

Searching for The Super Bowl Start Time: 2013 Edition

Surely every organization managing an event site knows at this point that people want to know what time things start. And that those potential viewers are likely to turn to Google to find out. This year, Google just provides the answer right at the top of the page: February 3rd at 3:30 pacific. Just as […]

Amazon

The Lead Up To the Super Bowl: How Are We Searching?

Since 2009, I’ve been writing articles here on Search Engine Land about how Super Bowl commercials influence online behavior and how well (or not) advertisers have taken advantage of that online opportunity. One clear trend has been that each year, these commercials trigger increased online activities. This is both because each year, we are more likely […]

Amazon

Will [Not Provided] Ever Reach 100% In Web Analytics?

With the news today that Chrome is moving to secure search, marketers may be wondering about the larger picture of using search data in Web analytics. The searches people do that lead them to a site is valuable data to an organization. What other data source do we have that gives us direct access to […]

Google: SEO

The Algorithm Updates Google Announces Aren’t The Only Changes They Make

Yesterday, Google’s Matt Cutts tweeted a reminder that Google makes one or two algorithm changes every day (around 500 a year). Google talked about this in a video they published last year, but it can be easy to forget. The algorithm changes that Google announces are only a tiny fraction of the changes they are […]

Google

Google Updates Their Webmaster Guidelines To Include Details On Rich Snippet Abuse

Google has published “information for webmasters” as least as far back as 2001. The original information included “do’s and don’ts” and “fact and fiction”. In 2003, Google expanded this information to include a specific set of “webmaster guidelines”:   In 2006, www.google.com/webmasters became Google Webmaster Central, and the information for webmasters became a complete help […]

Amazon

Yahoo BOSS Expands To Offer Geolocation Data

Yahoo’s Build Your Own Search Service (BOSS) has recently expanded to include geolocation data from two Yahoo services: Placefinder and Placespotter. BOSS is Yahoo’s Search API, available for a fee based on usage. From the blog post, it sounds like Yahoo is closing down Placefinder and Placespotter as standalone, free services, and is incorporating them […]

Google

Is Google’s Synonym Matching Increasing? How Searchers & Brands Can Be Both Helped & Hurt By Evolving Understanding Of Intent

In the beginning, Google matched the words in a searcher’s query to the words on a web page and ranks those pages (roughly) based on how many external links each had. Over the years, Google’s algorithms have evolved  in numerous ways, including with how Google figures out what the searcher is really looking for. Now, […]

Google

Google Webmaster Tools Adds Clarity to Traffic Alerts: What To Do If You Receive One

For some time (since at least March), Google webmaster tools has been sending messages to site owners about substantial traffic changes (increases or decreases) to pages of a site. Some site owners found these messages perplexing as they weren’t sure exactly what was actionable about the messages. Were the messages just informational, intended to help […]

Google

Google “Reveals Index Secrets”: Charts Indexing of Your Site Over Time

Yesterday, Google webmaster tools launched Index Status (available under Health) that charts the number of indexed pages for your site over the last year. Total Indexed Count Google says that this count is accurate (unlike the site: search operator) and is post-canonicalization. In other words, if your site includes a lot of duplicate URLs (due […]