Google’s Bing Sting and Facebooks fail clicks

2 02 2011

“Facebook Advertising Performance Benchmarks & Insights” is the latest whitepaper from Webtrends and it brings some sobering news. In short, Facebook ads aren’t turning out to be the gift to marketing we’d hoped and maybe Eric Schmidt was right, Google has nothing to worry about.

This chart shows that basically clicks have declined and prices have risen.

Thanks to Andy Beals Marketing Pilgrim

In other news:

Last year, Google published an SEO Report Card of 100 Google properties. In it, they rated themselves on how well the sites were optimized for search. Google’s Matt Cutts presented the results at SMX West 2010 in Ignite format. Could be some interesting information here

And then there’s this story which is pretty much everywhere right now:

As reported in SMH, “Google is accusing Microsoft of cheating as the two duel for internet search supremacy, but Microsoft denies the charge, saying it’s just using all the tools available to lessen its rival’s dominance.

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Web spam team, said the company noticed last year that Bing was returning search results that seemed a little too close to Google’s own – especially for obscure, misspelled queries.

Google suspected Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser and various toolbars and plug-ins were feeding information back to Microsoft that would help Bing’s results become more Google-like.

And so, Google laid a trap. The company made a list of gibberish or obscure search terms and manually linked them to unrelated websites. Then, 20 Google engineers took home laptops loaded with Internet Explorer, searched Google.com for those terms and clicked on the artificial results. Soon after, searching for the same odd terms on Bing would call up the same odd results.

Cutts likened the trap to a mapmaker drawing a fake street or the Yellow Pages adding a fake name to its directory to flush out copycats.

The “Bing Sting” was also detailed on the Search Engine Land blog. Harry Shum, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Bing, responded during a panel discussion with Cutts at the San Francisco event, which was streamed over the internet.

“It’s not like we actually copy anything,” Shum said. “We learn from customers who are willing to share data with us, just like Google does.””

My impression of this is Bing is definitely using Internet explorer to steal search results from Google. Shum’s response was pretty weak and was pretty much a confirmation buried in a denial.

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