Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shorten URL for Gmail on SERP

This is quite odd SERP - when I search "", It shows Gmail as 2nd result but I am quite surprise that the URL is not from, it is shorten URL. Have you ever seen this one? 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How Site Map Beneficial to Search Engine (Information from Google Employee)

I found very great answer from John Mueller that he posted about Site Map in Stackexchange. . 

Sitemap file helps search engines to discover new and updated URLs on your website. In particular, if your website is fairly large, then this can help them to be able to focus on the new & updated content, instead of having to blindly crawl through everything to see if anything has changed. That can result in new content being found much faster, which can be quite noticeable especially if the site is larger or more complex.
  • Find the number of indexed URLs for your website:
  •  These statistics are recalculated daily and very accurate. You can find these in the Sitemaps detail page.
  • Discover canonicalization issues:
  •  If the numbers there don't match up, that's frequently a sign that you're specifying URLs in the Sitemap file that don't match what we find during our crawling. That's usually a sign that you need to work on canonicalization.
  • Help with canonicalization:
  •  When we find multiple URLs on your site that show identical content, we will give any URL that's listed in a Sitemap an extra edge, even if you don't use other canonicalization methods.
  • Find badly-indexed parts of your site:
  •  These counts are supplied per Sitemap file, so you can create separate Sitemap files for logical sections of your site, to discover areas where Google isn't indexing as much as you'd like.
  • Prioritize crawl errors:
  •  In the crawl errors section, URLs that were specified in Sitemaps files are listed separately. Since you specifically supplied these URLs, we assume that you want them indexed, and that any crawl errors there are important.
Additionally, you can use several extensions in Sitemaps files (eg for images, video, News, or internationalization), should you choose to do that. These extensions are all optional. 
For most websites, the most visible element of Sitemaps files is that you can see the indexed URL count. It can take a day or so to appear, so if you just submitted a Sitemap for the first time, you may need to be a bit patient. While other ways (eg a site:-query) are very, very rough approximations, this count is extremely acccurate.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brand Hijacking on Google Places?

I always concern about the Google Places Quality. I found another one that made me so disappointed. You try query for "Intercontinental Hua Hin", so surprise that their competitor (Accor) listed #1 on Google search result, if you click the listing, it goes to Ibis Hua Hin Hotel. The address appears on the result is Ibis Hua Hin Hotel address not Intercontinental Hua Hin.

Why Google not use local information (e.g., Address, Telephone) on the official site?  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How Google Test New Search Algorithms?

I read one interesting interview with Amit Singhal - the guy behind Google search algorithms. This following is highlighted what he explained about how Google test new search algorithms. 
"We have the entire web in a sandbox that only our engineers can see, and our engineers can take their new algorithm and see it change millions of queries. If it works, we send it to testers, whom we pay, but we don't tell them what they are testing.
If the tweaks are still deemed useful they are unleashed into the wild - but only to some users.
Then we take a tiny slice, one per cent of our users, and expose them to this change. We measure things such as where on the page they click, when they click higher - that's good for us.
That one per cent are not told but it's just an experimental algorithm, and the changes are potentially beneficial, so not hurting the user's experience.
Concurrently we have approximately 100 ideas floating around that people are testing - we test thousands in a year. Last year we ran around 20,000 experiments. Clearly they don't all make it out there but we run the process very scientifically.
Once the tests are done, a report is built by an independent statistician. "We look at that with a group of senior people who come together every week, and we decide if it's good for users, the web ecosystem and for our systems."
One Percent of Google users - Is it means Page Layout Algorithms is still experimental algorithms? Regarding to this blog post, Google said "This algorithmic change noticeably affects less than 1% of searches globally." How much different between number of Google users and number of searches?

Most interesting part is the last sentence : "We decide if it's good for users, the web ecosystem and for our systems." I always hear Google emphasizes on "Users" word when they are talking about search quality. 

What do you think about this? 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Google advises on website testing for improving user experience

Google has posted an incredible article on how to do testing for your website. Testing doesn’t have to be a costly operation. You can simple try this tips from Google as following.

  • Sample size: Just five people can be a large enough number of users to find common problems in your layouts and navigation (see Jakob Nielsen’s article on why using a small sample size is sufficient).
  • Choosing your testers: A range of different technical ability can be useful, but be sure to only focus on trends—for example, if more than 50% of your testers have the same usability issue, it’s likely a real problem—rather than individual issues encountered.
  • Testing location: If possible, visit the user in their home and watch how they use the site—observe how he/she normally navigates the web when relaxed and in their natural environment. Remote testing is also a possibility if you can’t make it in person—we’ve heard that Google+ hangouts can be used effectively for this.
  • How to test: Based on your site’s goals, define 4 or 5 simple tasks to do on your website, and let the user try to complete the tasks. Ask your testers to speak aloud so you can better understand their experiences and thought processes.
  • What to test: Basic prototypes in clickable image or document format (for example, PDF) or HTML can be used to test the basic interactions, without having to build out a full site for testing. This way, you can test out different options for navigation and layouts to see how they perform before implementing them.
  • What not to test: Focus on functionality rather than graphic design elements; viewpoints are often subjective. You would only get useful feedback on design from quantitative testing with large (200+) numbers of users (unless, for example, the colors you use on your site make the content unreadable, which would be good feedback!). One format for getting some useful feedback on the design can be to offer 5-6 descriptive keywords and ask your user to choose the most representative ones.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SEO (Domain Strategy) Failure Case Study at Google

I found one interesting on how Google fail to embrace SEO when they release the new content. What Google usually do when they have new section, they either created on sub-domain ( or But I found Google Zeitgeist for this year (2011), they created the new domain name ( As the result when you search for "Google Zeitgeist" in,  this new content is no where in top 5. I have checked the ranking of this site, it ranks #10.

Can anyone tell me any reason why Google need to use microsite (new domain) instead of keep using their sub-directory as they always do in 2010, 2009, 2008?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

YouTube Analytics

Google replaced Insight with YouTube Analytics.  Check out some of the latest features in Analytics:
  • A Quick Overview: A new overview provides all of the information that you care about quickly, while also enabling you to easily access more detailed information.
  • More Detailed Reports: Analytics now includes more detailed statistics so that you can have a more precise understanding of your content and audiences.
  • Audience Builders: Discover which videos are driving the most views and subscriptions.
  • Audience Retention: See how far viewers are watching through your video in the new audience retention report.

I tried it and found there are many useful features to help you understand more about audience, engagement. For example, Traffic source data, it allows you to understand how effective of Video embed on other channels beside YouTube itself.

You can also take a look on infographic here that show you how to use your new Analytics to build and engage with bigger audiences, earn more money, and make better videos.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Evolution of Search

This is the latest video from Google - 6 minutes video with short history of the evolution of search, highlighting some of the most important milestones from the past decade—and a taste of what’s coming next.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

New Google Ads Format for Online Hotels

I just noticed new Ads format for hotel keyword (i.e., "New York Hotels").  The display looks like hotel listing thumbnail on online travel websites that most users are familiar with. Interesting to see how this impact to CTR. Of course, it will kill meta-travel search like Kayak again! Let share what do you think about this? 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Google Adds Custom Search to Google Webmaster Tools

Today I have noticed that Google adds Custom Search into Google Webmaster Tools. This is still testing ground for experimental feature. What I predict here, Google might migrate from Google Custom Search ( to here as they try to make Google Webmaster Tools as portal for Webmaster.