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The Week We Searched For- September 2, 2011

Google changes link report in Google Webmaster Tools- Google has changed [1] the way it considers link reporting within its Google Webmaster Tools. As part of the change, subdomain links will now be considered internal links, rather than external ones. According to an announcement on its Webmaster Central Blog [1], Susan Moskwa explains, “Most people think of example.com and www.example.com as the same site these days, so we’re changing it such that now, if you add either example.com or www.example.com as a site, links from both the www and non-www versions of the domain will be categorized as internal links. We’ve also extended this idea to include other subdomains, since many people who own a domain also own its subdomains—so links from cats.example.com or pets.example.com will also be categorized as internal links for www.example.com.”

Paid version of Google Translate API now open for business- Last week Google introduced [2] a paid version of its Translate API. The offering provides businesses and commercial software developers access to Google’s translation technology. Translations will cost roughly $0.05/page at 500 words/page in over 50+ languages.

‘Google’s Ex-China Chief Raises $180 Million for Tech Incubator’- According to the Wall Street Journal [3], former China chief for Google, Kai-Fu Lee, has raised $180 million for his Beijing-based company Innovation Works, aimed at helping Chinese tech startups.

Fox News and Google to host GOP YouTube debate- Google and Fox News have teamed up to host [4] this month’s Republican presidential debate on YouTube. As in the 2007 YouTube Presidential Debate, the public will submit debate questions via YouTube. The debate will air live on September 22 in Orlando, Florida, with Bret Baier as its host.

Facebook retires Deals- Facebook announced last Friday plans to retire Deals, the daily deal program the company launched four months ago. A Facebook spokeswoman explained in a email to PCMag [5], “After testing Deals for four months, we’ve decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks. We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses. We remain committed to building products to help local businesses connect with people, like Ads, Pages, Sponsored Stories, and Check-in Deals. We’ve learned a lot from our test and we’ll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.”

Google promotes Daily Deals on homepage- Though Facebook killed its Deals service this week, Google seems to be playing up their daily deals service, Google Offers, which it promoted [6] to its homepage on Wednesday. In an email to Reuters, a Google spokeswoman explained, “We occasionally include a link on the Google homepage that points users to important information, whether it be about a relevant cause, a new product or an offer. Users can benefit from learning about great deals from local organizations.” To read more about Google’s newly heightened emphasis of Google Offers, check out Greg Sterling’s article on Search Engine Land [7].

‘Google Explores Re-Ranking Search Results Using +1 Button Data’- Google confirmed to Wired.com [8] this week its plans to integrate Google Plus data into its search ranking signals—a move that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, given Google’s investment in Google +1 and its ongoing campaign against online spam. According to an email received by Wired.com, confirming the plans, “Google will study the clicks on +1 buttons as a signal that influences the ranking and appearance of websites in search results. The purpose of any ranking signal is to improve overall search quality. For +1’s and other social ranking signals, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals are related to quality.”

Ryan Singel of Wired.com worries that Google use of Google +1 data could create a new avenue for black hat SEOs, looking to manipulate Google’s organic search results. Singel concludes his article on Google’s announcement by stating, “But if Google’s going to start using those +1 votes, the company is virtually inviting the world’s spammers and blackhat SEO magicians to flood its social networking system with fake profiles and fake votes — potentially ruining it and possibly making the problem of search spam even worse.” Others may contend that Google’s use of Google Plus data may positively impact Google’s ability to deliver relevant, quality results. How do you think Google Plus data will impact organic rankings?

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About Camille Canon

Outside of summer jobs and not-for-profit internships, The Search Agency is my first official place of employment. I recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where I studied Art History and German. I am an avid cook, baker, and destroyer of diets. My specialties are cream cheese brownies, biscotti cookies and lemon bars. I am also an Art enthusiast. Living in Berlin enables me to follow a young, emerging Art scene complete with “eccentric” performance pieces and temporarily converted butcher shop galleries. I also enjoy running, traveling, and handy work. Camille Canon + [16]