How Google Helped Haiti

No doubt you’ve heard by now of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti this week.

If you’ve visited Google.com since then you’ll see they’ve given up some home page real estate to highlight the tragic event. The home page now features the following sentence:

“Information, resources, and ways you can help survivors of the Haiti earthquake.”

The sentence links to an information page about how the public can help disaster relief in Haiti, complete with donate buttons for UNICEF and CARE, processed by Google checkout.

As well as using their popularity to spread the word, Google has announced they will be donating $1 million to the relief fund.

Not to be outdone, Yahoo and Bing also feature Haiti on their home pages. Yahoo highlights an article about texting to support Haiti as their lead story and also includes a small link for donation options. Bing features two small links labeled “How you can help Haiti” and “Get the latest earthquake news” below the fold, at the very bottom of the page.

If you want to donate to Haiti disaster relief, you can visit the Google link above or contact one of the many charitable organizations in the region directly.

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Tweet and Ye Shall Find (on Google and Bing)

Both Google and Bing have announced agreements with Twitter this week to ensure Twitter updates are included in their search results.

Bing has already launched a Twitter Search tool (it’s still quite buggy at the moment) and judging by their blog post about the subject, it seems Google aren’t far behind.

This is a significant step for the major search engines, because it means users are closer than ever to experiencing real time search. From Bing’s announcement:

“The idea of accessing data in real time has been an elusive goal in the world of search. Web indexes in search engines update at pretty amazing rates, given what it takes to crawl the entire web and index it for searching, but getting that to “real time” has been challenging.

The explosive popularity of Twitter is the best example of this opportunity. Twitter is producing millions of tweets every minute on every subject you can imagine… Search needs to keep up.”

How fresh and relevant the Twitter search functionality will be remains to be seen, but as Danny Sullivan points out in his post today, Twitter’s own tweet search is a lot fresher than the tweets that the search engines are currently dishing up, so they have a long way to go.

What’s more interesting to me about the Twitter search deals is how it will impact SEO. Webmasters will start using Twitter to get their freshest site content indexed by the search engines. Companies that haven’t created Twitter profiles to date may find themselves outranked by their competitors who do.

I’d also expect to see a lot more Twitter spam as people start to realize that tweeting is a fast ticket to the top of the search results. Hopefully the search engines will be able to react to this with some hefty spam filters.

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A Bing Powered Yahoo! – It’s Official

News has just broken on Twitter that Microsoft and Yahoo! have finally closed a deal where Bing will power Yahoo! search results while Yahoo! will become the worldwide sales force for both companies’ search advertising.

@Bing broke the news with this tweet:

“Bing. Yahoo! Two great tastes that are now going to be great together. Check out http://bit.ly/9eUh7″

I can hear the mobile phones of a hundred Google executives ringing from here. Talk about a wake up call!

More details available on my SiteProNews blog post: It’s Official: Bing to Power Yahoo! Search.

Added: more industry coverage here:

It’s Finally Official, Microsoft and Yahoo Make a Deal, Yahoo Gives Up on Search (Search Engine Land)

Microsoft and Yahoo Finally Announce Deal (WebProNews)

Live Blogging The MSFT – YHOO Search Press Conference (Search Engine Land)

Top 10 Things the Microsoft/Yahoo! Deal Changes for SEO (SEOmoz)

The Microsoft-Yahoo Search Deal, In Simple Terms (Search Engine Land)

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Could the Google Gigantosaurus be challenged by a Yahoo / Bing Tyrannosaurus-Rex?

Could the Google Gigantosaurus be challenged by a Yahoo / Bing Tyrannosaurus-Rex?

That’s the question I pose in my latest SiteProNews blog post Could it be Bing(o) for Yahoo? in response to the rumors that Yahoo and Microsoft are about to announce a major search advertising partnership.

What are your thoughts? Is a Yahoo / Bing T-Rex going to be strong enough to take a bite out of the Google Gigantosaurus? Please leave your comments below.

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