Search algorithm quirks – brought to you by the letter S and the number 6

Ever run a search engine query for a single letter or digit, e.g.  to get a stock quote for Ford?  Sometimes, the organic results aren’t what you’d expect: A:  Altavista (Yahoo), Apple (Google) G:  Gmail (Google) I:  iTunes (Google) M:  Microsoft (Yahoo) S:  McDonalds (Google), Standard & Poor’s (Yahoo), Gibson’s Anti-Semitic Tirade (MSN) 2:  WordPress […] Restaurants

Have you ever noticed restaurant listings on  They aren’t available from the home page or any of 32 product categories.  There isn’t any mention in the press releases or investor relations.  However, you can search the site for "restaurants" and something interesting shows up – menus from local dining establishments.  Don’t search for "restaurant" […]

Proof of what search marketers should already know

Seth Godin conveys "good news for Google investors" from a lesson learned with Squidoo and WWE Smackdown! superstar Rey Mysterio.  The other side of this coin is terrible news for Google advertisers – which smart search marketers should already know. To quote Mr. Godin:  "…the efficiency of using means that many people (perhaps most […]

Yahoo bans trademark keyword bids

Cross this one off of your guerilla marketing to-do list.  According to CNet and other sources, Yahoo will prevent advertisers from bidding on competitor keywords starting March 1st. My understanding, mostly derived from hearing Alan Rimm-Kaufman speak on the subject, is that current law is meant to prevent deceptive or misleading advertising – like if […]

Guerilla keyword buying

In the wake of "google pontiac," I was checking Google and Yahoo! during the Super Bowl to see if anyone was trying to piggyback on major brand investments.  Sure enough, terms like "whopperettes," "brown bubbly," "dove," and "godaddy" were purchased by companies offering services totally unrelated to the keywords.  It looks like the 3 companies […]