10 Things We Didn't Know A Week Ago [Week 16]

by Ruud Hein April 19th, 2013 

1. One Box Results Can Decrease Click-through On Organic Results By 65%

In a working paper, Zhenyu Lai and I measure the impact of OneBox by using a quasi-experiment before and after the introduction of Google Flight Search. Using a third party data service, we compare user behavior on searches across thousands of search queries like "cheap flights from sfo to san " (which displayed a OneBox for Google Flight Search), and similar search queries like "cheaper flights from sfo to san" (emphasis added) (which did not display OneBox). We find that Google's display of Flight Search in an exclusive OneBox decreased user click-through rates on unpaid search results by 65 percent, and increased user click-through rates on paid advertising links by 85 percent. This effect was disproportionately evident among online travel agencies that were popular destinations for affected search queries.

Ben Edelman

From the same man who, among other things, brought Google's typo-squatting monetization to light, remember?

2. Shodan Is The Search Engine That Finds All Internet Connected Devices In The World

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In a talk given at last year's Defcon cybersecurity conference, independent security penetration tester Dan Tentler demonstrated how he used Shodan to find control systems for evaporative coolers, pressurized water heaters, and garage doors.

He found a car wash that could be turned on and off and a hockey rink in Denmark that could be defrosted with a click of a button. A city's entire traffic control system was connected to the Internet and could be put into "test mode" with a single command entry. And he also found a control system for a hydroelectric plant in France with two turbines generating 3 megawatts each.

CNN

This is public. Nothing secret here. Meanwhile some countries strip you of your dignity and shampoo bottles when traveling because otherwise we wouldn't be safe. "Have your bags been in your possession the whole time? … No."

3. Jennna Marbles Is The 1 Billion Click YouTube Woman

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She has more Facebook fans than Jennifer Lawrence, more Twitter followers than Fox News and more Instagram friends than Oprah. Her weekly videos on topics as quotidian as "What Girls Do in the Bathroom in the Morning," "My Favorite Dance Moves" and "I Hate Being a Grown Up," place her in an elite club of more than one billion YouTube views, with more than eight million subscribers and growing.

New York Times

4. 560 Million Chinese Are Online

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Now the cage strains to hold in excess of 560m, almost as many as the online population of North America and Europe combined. The fastest growth in internet use is in China's poorer, more rural provinces, partly because of a surge in users connecting via mobile devices, which now outnumber those connecting from computers.

Economist

5. Google Agrees To Legally Binding Changes To Search Results Presentation

In what's an historic first "Google agrees to clearly label search results from its own properties, like Google Plus Local or Google News, and in some cases to show links from rival search engines" in Europe.

Herbert Hovenkamp, a professor of antitrust law at the University of Iowa, said the penalty faced by Google was light. "The 'no fine' conclusion is a pretty important one," said Mr. Hovenkamp, who has in the past been a paid adviser to Google. "The question you have to ask is: Is labeling going to change any consumer behavior? And if the answer is no, then it's not going to do any good for Microsoft Bing or for any rival search engines."

New York Times

Search marketers know enhanced results equal SERP optimization. I bet you the labeled results will get better click-through. Well played, Google, well played.

6. Cell Phones Don't Have A Dial Tone To Limit Connection Time

Meanwhile, Phil Porter, who had worked with [Richard] Frenkiel on the original system, came up with a permanent answer to an interesting question. Should a cellular phone have a dial tone? Porter made a radical suggestion that it shouldn't. A caller should dial a number and then push "send." That way, the mobile caller would be less rushed; also, the call would be connected for a shorter time, thus putting less strain on the network. That this idea-dial, then send-would later prove crucial to texting technology was not even considered.

The Idea Factory (via Dan Goldin)

7. The Native Matrix: Understanding The New Content Buzz Words

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Felix Salmon

8. Google Kenya's Home Page Was Hacked

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Standard Digital

9. UK Supreme Court Rules Web Pages Cached In Your Browser Don't Infringe Copyright

The page was "the automatic result of browsing on the internet" and would be overwritten as the reader continued to browse or the cache timed out and was different to downloading or printing out an article, which would be seen as breach of copyright.

The supreme court said if it had found otherwise, it would have been "an unacceptable result, which would make infringers of many millions of ordinary users of the internet across the EU who use browsers and search engines for private as well as commercial purposes".

"The supreme court has ruled sensibly that merely viewing material on websites does not infringe copyright,

The Guardian

What was this? An insanity plea?!

10. Google's New Image Search Decreases Image Traffic By 63%

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Presented by Google as "The domain name is now clickable, and we also added a new button to visit the page the image is hosted on. This means that there are now four clickable targets to the source page instead of just two. In our tests, we've seen a net increase in the average click-through rate to the hosting website.".  More at Define Media Group

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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