Google Details How It Responds To Government Requests For User & Search Data

Google has written a blog post documenting their legal process and approach to dealing with government requests for user and search data, highlighting a new section now available in Google that also answers more of these questions.

Governments routinely ask search engines like Google for access to user data for various reasons. From search logs, to email accounts, to browser history, to purchase history. Google says they take each request incredibly seriously.

They post transparency reports for all user data requests issued by governments around the world. In the U.S. they even document if the requests are subpoenas, court orders and/or warrants.

For more info:

5 feb


Bing’s Social Sidebar Lands On The iPad

Bing has announced that searchers on the iPad will start seeing its “social sidebar” over the next few days. That includes the iPad Mini.

Today’s announcement comes just days after Bing finalized a new design for those social results.

The social sidebar integrates friend and expert content from a variety of social sources that might be relevant to a user’s search term. Bing says the display will adjust appropriately for either portrait or landscape mode.

As always, searchers will need to login to/authenticate their Facebook accounts (via Bing) to see the socialsidebar.



What Is Foursquare’s SEO Strategy?

Two weeks ago, Foursquare launched a new version of its homepage which Greg Sterling touted as “taking on Yelp” by adding a search box. Naturally, my first reaction was to figure out what Foursquare’s new SEO plan. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was none…

First a bit of data. According to SEMRush, Foursquare’s organic traffic has been growing aggressively since July of 2011:

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Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results. You’re likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide, because they’re essential ingredients for any web page, but you may not be making the most out of them.

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How a Search Engine Works

Search engine is the popular term for an information retrieval (IR) system. While researchers and developers take a broader view of IR systems, consumers think of them more in terms of what they want the systems to do — namely search the Web, or an intranet, or a database. Actually consumers would really prefer a finding engine, rather than a search engine.

Search engines match queries against an index that they create. The index consists of the words in each document, plus pointers to their locations within the documents. This is called an inverted file. A search engine or IR system comprises four essential modules:

  • A document processor
  • A query processor
  • A search and matching function
  • A ranking capability

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What Is SEM / Search Engine Marketing?

SEM stands for “search engine marketing.” It is the process of   gaining traffic  from or visibility on search engines. The phrase is  also sometimes shortened to “search marketing.”

SEM is an  umbrella term that covers two broad areas:

  • Gaining traffic  through free SEO efforts
  • Gaining traffic through paid search  advertising

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