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When Google deliberately flouted censorship rules in China, they were promptly booted out of the country. Australia has been slowly moving towards ratifying a policy to prevent its citizens from viewing particular content, most notably adult material – although this hasn’t proved popular with all, including the US. Now it appears that the UK might be next to follow suit, albeit with the option to opt-in.
The issue arose back before Valentine’s Day, when Interflora noticed something amiss when customers searched for ‘Interflora Flowers’ within search engines. They noticed that Marks & Spencer were showing for their brand related key terms within the paid-for search results.
As if local SERPs weren’t enough, what with Places integration and ever-expanding descriptions, Google is now rolling out City Pages. This new innovation is designed to provide a locals-eye-view of any destination. With inhabitants providing reviews on businesses within the city limits.
This is being rolled out in a few U.S. cities currently (Portland, Austin, Madison and San Diego to be exact), with information built up over a number of months and using a variety of quirky techniques. Essentially the idea is to develop a broad overview of what is actually happening locally, rather than simply relying on algorithms.
If you have seen a few extra words crop up in your Google Maps listing, you’re not hallucinating. The latest in a long series of tweaks has seen the search engine integrate descriptive keywords into the SERPs listing.
This new feature, which is simply a number of descriptive words or phrases, is designed to make a business stand out. Therefore it will look to highlight the terms that best describe an individual company, rather than the more generalised keywords you can expect to see in SERPs.
In a bold move, the FT has decided to produce an App that can be accessed easily across the proliferating number of devices and different Operating Systems [See: FT Bypasses Apple’s iTunes, Launches HTML5 Web App | TechCrunch].
IAC announce they have renewed their sponsored listings agreement with Google in a deal until 31st March 2016. The existing agreement, worth $3.5 billion expires at the end of 2012 and IAC seem to be keen to keep their pact going.
So what does this ‘agreement’ involve? Well simply enough, the deal sees Google provide IAC’s search engines (most notably Ask.com) and other partners with sponsored listings and related services. It is not exactly clear what the deal specifically involves, but in the IAC Press Release they explain the deal is ‘comparable to the previous agreement’.
A larger percentage of consumers are going on the internet to research a product before committing to a purchase.
Yahoo achieve ‘artificially’ inflated market share in the US, whilst Google extend their UK search engine market share to 91.7%.
Slight rises for Yahoo and Bing in the UK (to 2.51% and 3.02% respectively) were eclipsed by Google’s continued dominance of the search market, growing their share to a lofty 91.7%.
While Google faces censorship to some extent in a quarter of the jurisdictions in which it operates, search is typically not affected, according to the company.
Latest figures show that Google has continued its search engine market dominance, Bing has made small gains and Yahoo are spiralling into search oblivion.