Archive for January, 2017

A Brief History of Google

Two PhD students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started a search engine named BackRub in 1996

Fortunately in 1997, they changed the name to Google! and moved their operation into a garage.

A rather decent chap named Milton Sirotta devised the name Google by altering the word “googol”, which is a mathematical term for the number one followed by 100 zeros.

Google has not yet reached this number by any metric, even if you count the total number of bits processed by their servers since day one. Or the total number of atoms that make up the entirety of Google, or the planet Earth.

But what is clear is, they are having a mighty good whack at somehow getting close to that number, even if you count the number of electrons used to power the entire entity that is Google for 1000 years, you still don’t come close to a googol.

Here is the current warm and safe Google front page at the time I am writing this article

Pretty slick eh?

Clean, uncluttered, easy on the eye. Bear in mind though, we have almost 20 years of familiarization with this brand. If you were seeing this for the first time, you would have no clue what it’s all about.

Google became a registered domain on the 15th of September, 1997. The initial idea was that it was just a searchable database that would return information from said database, triggered by queries.

Here’s how the front page looked back then:

Google began as a research project by two Ph.D. students at Stanford University, but it didn't become a registered domain until September 15, 1997. The goal of the website was to provide users with a database of information that could be easily tracked down based on queried searches. The name Google was taken from the mathematical term "googol."

Not too shabby, actually, even for the ’90s.

Nowadays, almost everyone is at least a ninth dan in Google-fu, but earlier on, instructions on how-to-use were necessary:

Other features then were Google Friends, a newsletter service that updated users on new searchable areas (now we just assume that we can search for absolutely anything) and Google Stickers, which you could embed in your own website and save the searches you made there. Very different form how we use Google today.

Google has come a long way, and can still go further. Here’s a list on Wikipedia of all the products and services available today on Google.

SEO – Google Likes Facts As Well As Backlinks

The credibility of web content will be taken more into account in Google’s search algorithms to determine its position, not just that of inbound links

Image result for just the facts ma'am

Would anyone really tell lies on the internet?

The answer is yes. Not only that, but given the chance they will push their unsubstantiated information all the way to the first position on page one of Google herself.

There is no shortage of fringe groups and whack-jobs online with an agenda to push.

As things have stood for a while, these types of dubious web pages have been able to rise to prominence on Google simply by gaming their main criteria of determining rank.

Just make a nice backlink profile referencing your wild delusions and the world’s your oyster.

The backlinking system stands on the principle that if a number of established websites are linking to your page, then it must be “good”.

On the face of it, this idea is almost overly simple and leaves the search results wide open to abuse and manipulation. However, it’s cheap computationally and generally produces reasonable results.

The evolution

Google is now looking into more sophistication in the way that it processes its ranking algorithm.

A research team within Google is developing a means to quantify the “trustworthiness” of a given piece of content. We can infer that the intention of this research is to gain the ability to use the metric in isolation of inbound links.

That doesn’t mean that Google will stop using backlinks in search algorithms, just that they will have an extra dimension to evaluate against a web page.

Put simply, Google will read the “facts” presented in content and count every  “wrong” fact which will add up to a score. The fewer wrong facts Google finds, the higher the trustworthiness of the page, therefore the higher up the rankings it can go.

“Wrong” and “facts” are in quotes above because the question still hangs – how does Google know what a “right” or “wrong” fact is?

The answer is that Google maintains a gargantuan Knowledge Vault, which they got from…er…the internet. So we’re back to square one as to what is a “fact” on the internet, but these are facts that have unanimous agreement. Also, Google considers them to be facts, so that’s that.

Cynicism, you say that you detect? Well I never.

Very Cool Infographic On Video SEO

Video is massive

You, as an internet using professional, are well aware that video is becoming more and more vital to your online presence.

In many cases, video has overtaken written content in driving traffic and generating leads for businesses.

No doubt about it, video marketing is a searing hot topic right now as we speak (or you read).

Wyzowl has conducted a survey that reveals up to 60% of online business runners have already dabbled in video as part of their business development and marketing efforts. The future for video is even more bright – 91% of entrepreneurs have the intention to invest more time, money and effort on video marketing in the coming year.

How to be a video SEO hero/ heroine

There are certain best practices to adhere to if you want your video production efforts to show fruitfulness.

The same basic rules apply to video SEO as it does to any other form of web content. You should have title, tags, description, etc all in place. Use the right keywords and stay on topic.

With videos you can also add subtitles, closed captions and transcriptions to massively boost search engine discoverability, because with all the written text, they have something to get their teeth into and figure out what the video is actually about.

Here is the infographic which I got from Take1 Transcription that really shows off some valuable information, including actionable tips about what effects you can have on video with SEO.

video seo info

YouTube’s Advertising Platform Gets Updates (p.s. Good For Advertisers)

Image result for youtube ads

The user gets more control, across the board

This is not yet fully implemented, but word on the internet grapevine says that Google is going to add an option for users to block certain advertisers.

This is already possible but now when you hit the “I hate this advertiser” button,  the block will take effect both on Google and on YouTube.

What does this mean for advertisers?

Don’t make annoying ads.

Mobile is becoming ever more important

I’m getting this information from Google’s announcement about the advertising updates on all device types.

They show that more than 50% of YouTube views now take place on a mobile device. If this were a democracy, mobile wins.

This means that Google will be putting mobile optimisations ahead of anything so paleolithic as a view from a desktop machine.

Pixels and cookies do not gel perfectly with mobile user data, so Google may well phase these methods out in favour of technologies that match YouTube’s various apps.   

Google believes that this move will benefit both users and advertisers in the long term.

Laser targeted advertising

Image result for laser targeting

This is something that Google is always working on. Those Adsense contextual ads are not always related to what is currently on the page, but more so about what your personal interests and buying habits are.

Often they get it wrong. Like if you’ve just bought a new Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera, and then for weeks afterwards you see ads for the same thing on every other page you view. You already have one, you probably aren’t in the market for another.

But I digress.

YouTube will now serve ads to the viewer based on information gathered from a user’s Google account. They will take into account everything that they know about you, including age, weight, preferred tastes, income bracket, etc, before serving you with an ad.

The idea here is the ads shown will be as close as possible to the precise ad that the user is most likely to click through and spend money on.

What does this mean for the advertiser?

Your ad may not get shown as frequently or as widely as before, but your CTR and conversions should go up.

A Search Engine that Plants Actual Trees.


You read the title right

Ecosia is a search engine that, every time you use it, they donate like half a cent towards planting a tree in Burkina Faso (that’s a country in Africa, for the geographically challenged).

The reason Burkina Faso gets the trees is that it is part of a program to reverse the massive drought that has stuck in that region for fifty years.

Trees help with that because, well, trees are just awesome.

How does it work?

You search, get your results as usual, and know that a tree is half a cent closer to being planted. That’s all. One tree costs 28 cents to plant, so after 56 searches, you’ve got a tree! Of course you wont be the only person searching, so the more people use Ecosia, the more trees get planted.


Ecosia is powered by Bing. Which you might think “meh, Bing”, but actually Bing is pretty darn good when it comes to delivering search results. Anyway, you can quite happily use Ecosia and never even think about Bing as it’s tucked away behind the scenes working busily to make Ecosia look good.

Anyway, I’m going to start using it because what other search engine plants trees?

Film Student Adds a Human Touch to Adidas Commercial

The Pro’s could take a few tips

Wow. This commercial, not even sanctioned by Adidas, really hits on the human touch. He also manages to associate those tremendous emotions with a well known and historic brand.

Eugene Merher, the German film student who made this commercial, sets the scene. We see the drudgery and dissatisfaction of a former long distance runner’s life in a retirement home.

Then he finds his old pair of Adidas running shoes. Not the latest flashy pair fresh out of the box, mind.

The end of this short story is truly satisfying.

Adidas received the piece but did not respond. Probably too dumbstruck by it’s brilliance.

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