You may or may not be aware, but in New York City this week is a little convention called SMX East. This is one of the famous conferences put on by Danny Sullivan and team. SMX East usually draws a big agency crowd, but as with so many conferences, is a great place for companies to make announcements and try to one-up each other.
So far, Yahoo I think has the biggest news. In a blog post it announced a ton of big updates, include Rich ads in search, Network Distribution reporting (to show which websites are actually serving your ads), and my favorite, the Yahoo Desktop Publishing tool. FINALLY!
Y! Desktop Publisher
I’ve been part of the beta for quite some time, and it’s been killing me not to talk about it due to NDAs, but now that it has been made public, I can go into a little detail. It runs on the Adobe Air platform, which makes it look really pretty, but runs fairly slow. Yahoo makes great use of the real estate with expandable tabs for research and side windows to display secondary–yet still important–data about the campaigns and ad groups. It’s almost too busy with as much data displayed as possible, but I see that as a feature more than a bug. In fact, there is so much data being displayed I couldn’t even show screenshots without making it look like a declassified government document that’s been blacked out that it’s virtually useless. The downside is it’s slow, and still acts more like a Yahoo bulk sheet instead of Adwords Editor. It’s still a huge improvement over having nothing, but my main warning is to check the error sheet in the upload section of your Yahoo account, because I occasionally find stuff that doesn’t pop up as an error in the Desktop Publisher. Oh well, it’s still in private beta.
Google Mobile Search & Local Search
There has been a ton of announcements this week surrounding mobile search. Adsense will allow website publishers to post mobile ads (Adwords has allowed iPhone/smartphone targeting for some time now in the campaign settings), and announced an Android deal with Verizon. This means that Verizon will be the largest American network to carry Google Mobile OS phones. This also opens up the realms to much better location-based advertising. However, for any of this to mean anything, Google’s location-based advertising needs to stop sucking.
Meta Keyword Tag is Dead
If you remember search in the 90s, relevancy was often no more than how often the keyword showed up on a page. This led to someone trying to get to the top of a SERP for the term “shoes” to write a page that went something along the lines of “shoes, shoes, shoes. We have lots of shoes. We have blue shoes, red shoes, old shoes, new shoes.” Then they would stuff their meta keywords tag with all those same keywords so engines knew that’s what keywords you thought were important to the page. Google was the first to stop using it, and even told people to stop sueing each other over it. Well, during a SMX panel this week, Yahoo said that they stopped considering meta keyword tags for search rankings several months ago, which means none of the big 3 players use it. What this means to you is if you have a limited time to do your own SEO and can’t afford a pro, don’t bother with the meta keywords tag. It will literally be a waste of your time.
On a more humorous side, I got a kick out of this admittance from Google’s CEO about how sometimes Larry and Sergey buy companies and don’t tell him until after the fact. Apparently Sergey found Keyhole (now Google Earth) on the web, bought the company, then later walked into Eric’s office and mentioned it. Eric’s response: “‘for how much, Sergey?’ And it turned out to be a few million.”