Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Google UK botch security certificate


Hasbro UK in the Google malware trap

This certainly isn't on the same scale as a toy recall prompted by safety fears but Hasbro's UK website currently finds itself in the pittrap that is Google's Malware filter.

Google thinks that will try and install either a virus or spying software on your machine. In fact, all Hasbro offers is a flash heavy website.

You can imagine what a message like this will do to Hasbro's traffic. Many surfers will see this warning from Google and flee.

You can also imagine what damage something like this will do to Hasbro's brand? The URL is owned by Hasbro and they use it to redirect to or More than a few people will encounter this error screen this month.

It's also worth noting that this false positive is becoming increasingly more common. Google's started to blog advice on how to recover from the warning/get it removed once you're sure your site is clean.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Google: The 2016 Olympics are 46% more popular than the 2012 Olympics

Over at Search Engine Land Danny Sullivan has used the Olympics as a Google Suggest example.

Look at the match count for Olympics 2012 and Olympics 2016. The 2016 tally hits 1,080,000 whereas London's 2012 only makes 738,00. That puts 2016 at about 46% higher.

Of course, the actual search results don't match up. An actual search on [Olympics 2012] comes up with 2,030,000 matches whereas [Olympics 2012] hits 2,100,000.

The same search with exact match/quotes gives 2012 a total 533,000 of and 2016 32,600 hits.

Looks like 2016 is a more popular year than 2012.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Orange search disaster or sly ploy?

On UK TV and on posters around the country (my rushed London Tube photo below) the mobile network Orange are encouraging people to search for [I am].

Trevor Ginn is calling it an SEO disaster because of the microsite's dreadful SEO score.

I'm not sure about that. Did Orange expect to do SEO here?

My hunch is that Orange simply decided the business case to try and SEO a microsite wasn't there - perhaps they're planning to retire it in just a few months1. In fact, you could argue that Orange have done well in coordinating their SEM with their off-line media buying and TV. So many companies still fail to do so.

I've been spot checking Yahoo, Live as well as Google over the last few days and Orange are running the ad across all three and seem to have enough budget. The 'I am' creative is usually there.

You can see the 'I am' ad in the top slot... but look to the right. Notice also the advert for Orange's shop.

Google's rules on double serving are pretty clear. You only get to run two ads like this if the web sites each ad points to are very different.

Yeah... the 'I am' microsite certainly isn't an Orange shop. Feel free to check out the site and let your eyes drift to the top right again. There's a very clear call to action to go visit the Orange shop.

So, is this double serving?

To be honest - it's a grey area. If I was running the PPC for a competitor to Orange I would be on the phone to Google to argue that it is. I'd note that the rules for gambling and gaming sites were pretty clear on this; when Google UK banned such sites that also included sites that advertised gambling even if they didn't have the functionality themselves.

Of course; Google may also rule that this isn't double serving. The 'I am' site clearly isn't an Orange shop. However, if this is the case then it opens the doors to the microsite/biography site tactic being used again and again...

1 Yeah; there are very good SEO tactics for this sort of microsite. If Orange do retire the site shortly then we'll have to see how well they do.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

iGoogle London


Here'a video of Google's new flash banner pimping iGoogle to Londoners. The geo-targeting still needs some work as I'm in Edinburgh atm.

Brands like The London Paper and Gumtree where lucky enough to get a mention.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New? Google changes personalised alert

I think this is new. Google's changed the top right hand-side message it shows when SERPs are being personalised.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Google Alerts experimenting with tags?

The screen show below is from my work webmail with a Google Alert for [bigmouthmedia]. Notice anything odd about it?

It's the display URL. It's quite common for Alerts (web, news or blog) to have no display URL below the alert snippet at all. Most times the display URL shows the domain of the site that triggered the alert.

It is also possible for a folder or directory to be included in the display URL. It's less common but not unheard of.

Is this the big deal about the displayURL above? Nope. In fact, is an entirely diffrent page on the site (the legal policy).

The Mediaset story, however, has two tags: Google & Legal.

After about 5 minutes of thought then we might theorise Google either messed up on showing the right URL or might be testing showing blog tags in Alerts. I would image many blog platforms would list all posts tagged with 'legal' on a URL that ended /legal/.