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The Search Engine Update - Number 210 - Dec. 2, 2005

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In This Issue
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+ SES Chicago Next Week!
+ Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ Daily SearchCast: Search News Via Podcast
+ Our Search Newsletters & Feeds
+ About The Newsletter

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SES Chicago Next Week
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I'm off to Chicago tomorrow, and I look forward to seeing many of our readers who are also heading out for our Search Engine Strategies show out there running from Dec. 5 through 8.

Still thinking about going to the show? See my What's Going On At The Show? post on the Search Engine Watch Blog. The post covers all of our new sessions, plus special tracks for search marketing agencies, "in house" SEMers, retailers, link building and much much more.

The show also has two days of expo hall action, and our special "Birds Of A Feather" seating for lunch returns on the first three days of the show, allowing people to easily find and network with those having similar interests. A full agenda and details can be found here.

For the 2006 line-up, including our New York show from Feb. 27-March 2, see the Search Engine Strategies site. For news as each event approaches, check out the SES Blog. That's also the place to look for speaking opportunities for any of the shows.

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Top Stories
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Below is a recap of major articles from our daily SearchDay newsletter and important Search Engine Watch Blog postings since the last newsletter. Want to receive these stories daily or via RSS/feed? See the Search Engine Watch Newsletters & Web Feeds page for sign-up instructions.

=== Dec. 2, 2005 ===

Google Sandbox, Sandbox-Like Filters & Escaping With Trusted Links - For well over a year, there's been massive debate and speculation that Google puts all new sites into a "sandbox," preventing them from ranking well for anything until a set period of time has passed. Now we get more confirmation from Google that if there's not a sandbox, there's at least part of its algorithm that may make it seem that way for some sites -- plus thoughts on how trusted links may help sites escape those filters. This roundup for for Search Engine Watch members looks at some of the discussions and articles that have fueled this over the past few weeks.

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Search Engines Forum Spotlight -Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Just how Important is SEO in a Business Start Up - Dealing With Negative Listings About You - AdWords No Longer Human Reviewed? - SEO Myths - Niche Sites And AdSense Resources, and more.

=== Dec. 1, 2005 ===

New Players in Shopping and Comparison Search - Although established players continue to dominate the shopping and comparison search space, a number of new companies have launched promising alternatives that offer even more features for searchers and merchants.

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More On Microsoft Classifieds Service -- And Why Comparing To Google Base Doesn't Make Sense - More on the forthcoming Microsoft classified ads service is coming out, with some good remarks on why Microsoft's service may be more suited to classified searching than Google Base -- though as I'll explain, Google Base isn't what people should be using to measure Google's entry into the classified listings space. See also Microsoft's "Google Base" is Code Named Fremont & MS Receives Patent For Semi-Auto Annotation of Multimedia Objects.

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Humans Still Part Of Google Ad Review Process - Yesterday I posted about concerns over the relevancy of ads at Google and the question of whether human review was still being done. Yes, humans are still involved as part of the overall process, though it doesn't seem as if they review each and every ad. See also Irrelevant Google Ads, Due To Humans No Longer Checking For Relevancy?

=== Nov. 30, 2005 ===

What's New in Shopping Search 2005 - The second installment of Shopping Search Week 2005 features a rundown of key changes and new services offered by the major players in the comparison and shopping search arenas.

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Yahoo Mail Beta Gains RSS Reading Feature - The new Yahoo Mail that's in beta has gained a new way to add RSS feeds into your mail folder. For me, it's nothing shocking. I already pull RSS feeds into Outlook folders and read them in exactly this way. But it's nice for those who want this feature in a web-based email system.

=== Nov. 29, 2005 ===

Shopping Search Week 2005 - This week, SearchDay features our annual roundup of new developments in the shopping and comparison search arena. A special page for Search Engine Watch members provides detailed statistics of the shopping and comparison traffic search leaders in different markets around the world.

=== Nov. 28, 2005 ===

WebmasterWorld's Brett Tabke Speaks On Rogue Spidering Woes, Plus The Need For Expanded Feeds - Brett Tabke from WebmasterWorld dropped me a note about a new thread where he's answering many questions about WebmasterWorld banning all spiders, while Barry over at Search Engine Roundtable also has an interview with him. In both places, you'll learn of spiders being an increasing burden to the site, though I still am very, very wary that others should follow the route that Brett's taken. See also WebmasterWorld Out Of Google & MSN.

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1 Million Digitized Images Now Available Online from The Library of Congress - Long before The Library of Congress (LC) made the announcement last week about planning a World Digital Library (WDL), they've been digitizing material of all types for many years along with cataloging books (as you might expect) and offering MANY other services.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Click-To-Call - Is Top 30 Good Enough? - Google Running Ads At Bottom Of Search Engine Results Pages - Anyone Use MSN Search As The First Choice? - How to Identify a Scraper Site, and more.

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More From The SEW Blog
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Below are posts from the Search Engine Watch Blog since the last newsletter and not mentioned above. Want to keep up on daily news from the blog? Visit the home page or subscribe to the blog feed. Note that references to "I" may becoming from Danny Sullivan, Gary Price or Chris Sherman, all of whom post to the blog.

=== Dec. 2, 2005 ===

Yahoo Impulse & Search Behavioral Ads - Yahoo executive vice president Greg Coleman talks about the "new, new thing" where Yahoo banner ads are targeted based on search behavior and other activities. I guess it depends on how you define new. As even Coleman says, Yahoo's had variations on this for some time, literally years. But the latest rev of Yahoo Impulse that he's talking about has been running since at least June of this year....[MORE”

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After Product Pitch, Google Won't Call Back But Still Tests The Product - Spotted via Threadwatch, search tech start-up Kozoru finds that after presenting to Google, they won't return emails or phone calls -- but will happily continue checking out the service through the private access they were given. From Kozoru founder John Flower's blog post....[MORE”

=== Dec. 1, 2005 ===

The UK Goes "Searching" for Broadband - So what's the most popular product search in the UK? According to Hitwise and this article from Netimperative it's "broadband"....[MORE”

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Blinkx Announces Co-Branding Deal with The Times of London - The Times of London has signed a partnership agreement to offer a co-branded version of Blinkx that utilizes Blinkx's Smart Search technology....[MORE”

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Vivisimo CEO Doubts On Personal Search - Searchblog has some comments including a link to a new paper by Raul Valdes-Perez, CEO of Vivisimo, titled, Why Search Personalization is a Dead End (PDF)....[MORE”

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Danny's Personal Blog Is Live - A non-search item here, but some of you may be interested. I've finally gotten my personal blog going, Daggle. I've actually been posting to it since the beginning of the year. I've just lamely never gotten any of it live until now. Topics range from reading books to the kids to living in the UK as an US expat. Topics do NOT include search. That stays firmly over here! Now that it is finally live, I'll be posting to it on a more regular basis.

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Simultaneously Search and Browse All of Google's Many Blogs; RSS Feed Also Available - Philipp over at Google Blogoscoped is one of my favorite people in the blogosphere. I just mentioned yesterday what a great job he does. Today, Philipp created and Danny posted about what can be best be described as, "so many Google Blogs, so little time." Philipp's service creates a single feed for all of Google's many blogs. See also:

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Google Brings Anti-Virus Scanning to Gmail - Word from Gmail team at Google this afternoon that they've just launches anti-virus scanning to the service for all incoming and outgoing attachments....[MORE”

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Google Builds Anti-Microsoft War Chest, Expect Ads To Keep Booming & Yahoo The Stealth Search Warrior - Three business items I'm throwing into one post, Google explaining it has built up cash to fend of an unnamed big competitor, Google expecting online ad sales to keep booming and Yahoo as the missing third player in the Google-Microsoft battle....[MORE”

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Complaints Over Wikipedia Accountability With Bios - Daniel Brandt's been upset over the accuracy and presence of a page about him at Wikipedia, and now John Seigenthaler, the former assistant to US Attorney General Robert Kennedy, is upset as well over his Wikipedia biography, venting his frustration in a USA Today article....[MORE”

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AOL Mobile Search Exits Beta - Late word from AOL that after about a four month beta period, AOL Mobile Search (you can take a look with a regular web browser) is being officially released today. I've posted the complete news release here but from the way it reads and from what I can see on my mobile browser, things are pretty much (from the searcher perspective) the same as they were when AOL Mobile Search launched in beta mode in July....[MORE”

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"Hypermaps" of Boston From StrataVarious Using Google, MSN, and Yahoo Maps - The StrataVarious HyperMap Atlas comes from Boston based StrataVarious and are available in three mashup flavors: Google Maps, MSN Virtual Earth, and Yahoo Maps. Trust me folks, this is some cool stuff for both Boston residents and those who plan to visit the city. It's also a great way to look at the mapping services from all three companies....[MORE”

=== Nov. 30, 2005 ===

Locally Targeted Ads, Links, and Offers Coming to CBS Station Sites - DMNews reports in the article: Viacom Eyes Local Sponsored Links for CBS Station Sites, will soon launch locally targeted ads on CBS sites powered by Kanoodle. Visitors will see on content pages and search results pages customized links and targeted advertiser offers. More in this news release from Kanoodle.

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Mobissimo Launches One-Box Air Fare Search - Mobissimo, a travel meta search site that brings together results from many travel databases and sites (137 to be precise), has released a new feature that allows the searcher to enter a query in a natural language format in what Mobissimo calls a One-Box search....[MORE”

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Advertisers Offer Google Kudos for Allowing Separate Bidding - Christine Blank's article: Agencies Like Bidding Separately for Google Content, offers kudos from advertisers to Google for giving them more flexibility and options in bidding for keywords, "on content sites separately from bids for ads that run on search sites on Google's network."

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Google Looking For Interactive TV Engineers; Yahoo Needs Search Relevance and Monetization Researcher - Yes, it's time for another Google TV job posting! This time for engineers, while Yahoo seeks a Search Relevance and Monetization Researcher....[MORE”. See also Yahoo Sponsored Search Simulation Job & Google After API Developer Relation Specialist.

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Answers.com Now Embedded into Firefox 1.5 Search Toolbar - A quick note from Answers.com that a link to this ready-reference database is now embedded directly and automatically into the new Firefox 1.5 search toolbar....[MORE”

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Keyword Searching of Podcasts Using a Variety of Tools - Kim Zetter's Wired News article, Podcast Chaos Be Gone, takes a look at some of the search tools out there that allow you to keyword search the transcripts (creating using speech recognition technology) of podcasts and then allow to listen online. Several have been mentioned on the SEW Blog in the past....[MORE”

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Yahoo Now Default Search Engine on Asian Versions of Firefox 1.5 - Yesterday, Firefox launched version 1.5 of its browser and at the same time announced a "stratgic partnership" with Yahoo in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Previously, Google was the default engine for these versions of Firefox.

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Another Google UI Experiment, This Time With Google Images - Philipp over at Google Blogoscoped has the story about text snippets seen below each image found via a Google image search (as seen below image search thumbnail)....[MORE”

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Clusty Launches Japanese Version of Its Metasearch and Dynamic Clustering Service - Word from Pittsburgh today that Vivisimo (the company that powers Clusty, the metasearch/dynamic clustering engine) have just released a version of for Japan. Clusty Japan is available at Clusty.jp. I've posted the complete news release about the launch here.

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Need Your Questions For Future Of SEM Panel - At Search Engine Strategies in Chicago next week, I've got a Future Of SEM panel happening where a diverse group of search marketers will discuss and offer opinions on where search marketing is heading. I'm looking for good questions to put to them. Got some you'd like to offer up? Please post over in the Need Your Questions For "Future Of SEM" Session thread at our Search Engine Watch Forums.

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On SEO Myths & Getting The Balance Right - There's been a variety of articles out recently that look at search engine optimization advice that people hear, believe and perhaps act on in the wrong ways. Below, a look at some of these resources covering myths, mistakes and getting things into perspective.

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MSN Looking For Search Champs - MSN has had prior rounds of Search Champs, where it has invited people in to give feedback and ideas for directions in search. Now it is stepping back from the invite-only nature of those past events and asking anyone to apply for the next round happening in late January....[MORE”

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Threadwatch Changes Ownership - Just over a year ago, Nick Wilson created Threadwatch, which grew into a great search blog. Today in Farewell Threadwatch, he moves on. Nick's been working on a new project, Performancing, a blog and advice site for bloggers. That's now growing so much that he had to choose, and he's going with the new site. Good luck, Nick! Threadwatchers needn't panic that the site is going away, however. Aaron Wall of SEO Book has taken it over -- and good luck with the new endeavor, Aaron!

=== Nov. 29, 2005 ===

New from The Internet Archive: Hurricane Katrina & Hurricane Rita Web Collection - Brewster and crew at The Internet Archive have just debuted a new specialty collection that contains more 25 million fully archived web pages that are also full text searchable that create, "an historical record of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the massive relief effort which followed"....[MORE”

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Is Everyone Afraid of Google? - The December issue of Wired, takes a look at Google's many ventures (these days it's a challenge to keep up but we try) and reports on just who might be "scared" of them in the article and chart titled: Who's Afraid of Google? Everyone. From SBC to eBay to Microsoft to Corel, they're all listed....[MORE”

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UK: 192.com Directory Adds Genealogy Services - Netimperative reports that popular UK-based suite of directory databases, 192.com has added a genealogy service to its list of online offerings that also include business lookup, a people finder databases with material from electoral rolls, and maps/directions.

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CustomizeGoogle Offers New Option to Block Google Analytics Cookies - CustomizeGoogle is a popular Firefox extension that now allows users to block Google Analytics cookies on ANY web site....[MORE”. See also CustomizeGoogle Gains Blog; Pitches New Feature To Override Google Book Search Print Restriction.

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Film Industry Veteran Becomes Google's Newest Board Member - The latest addition to the board is Ann Mather who will also serve as Chairperson for Google's Audit Committee. Mather also served on the Shopping.com's board prior to the company being acquired by eBay. Perhaps most noteworthy is that Ms. Mather was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Pixar from 1999-2004....[MORE”

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MapQuest Versus The Mapping Upstarts - Competitors Nip at MapQuest's Biz from the Associated Press looks at how mapping leader MapQuest, owned by AOL, is being threatened by improved mapping services and mashup features offered by Google, Yahoo and MSN....[MORE”

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The Challenge In Hiring SEMers - As search marketing keeps getting hotter, so does the challenge in finding good people to do search marketing. Below, some articles on the topic that have come up in the past few weeks....[MORE”

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Google's Chef Charlie Gains Web Site - Google's legendary former chef Charlie Ayers has a new web site up. Chef Charlie Ayers offers his bio, photos and some recipes you might want to try.

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Blog On French Search Industry - Via Xooglers, former Googler Franck Poisson is running a French-language blog that covers the search industry, obviously of interest to anyone watching search and France. Long standing site French search site Abondance is well worth checking out, as well. The new Multilingual Search Blog is another resource French search watchers will also want to visit.

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Searching Via Your Camera Phone - Search technology comes to the camera phone from News.com looks at new developments in letting people take pictures with camera phones as a way to do visual searching. Take a picture of a billboard, and you'll get a film trailer sent back to you, for example....[MORE”

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Travel Searchers Still Hitting General Search Engines - Partnerships are key to online travel search survival from Reuters covers some stats and developments with travel search. Only 6.5 percent of travelers have used travel search engines, compared to 44 percent who use a travel agency, data from Forrester has found. About 27 percent turned to general purpose search engines like Google or Yahoo, rather than meta search sites -- though what's not said is some of them no doubt clicked on results that led them to more specialized travel search sites.

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Google Gets An Ant Named After It - An Ant named "Google" from News.com points out that a new species of ant has been named after Google, in thanks for support the Google Earth team gave an entomologist on an ant mapping project at AntWeb. The Google ant, a native of Madagascar, can be seen here.

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30 Days To Turn An Online Profit - Jennifer Laycock has been running a great series, "Zero Cash, A Little Talent & 30 Days" to see if she could set up a new business and turn a profit within a month. I've eagerly read each installment about her new business, The Lactivist Store, where she's selling a range of merchandise for those who want to help support breastfeeding. Jennifer's finally hit some new installments that are specifically of interest to search marketers....[MORE”

=== Nov. 28, 2005 ===

1 Million Digitized Images Now Available Online from The Library of Congress - Long before The Library of Congress (LC) made the announcement last week about planning a World Digital Library (WDL), they've been digitizing material of all types for many years along with cataloging books (as you might expect) and offering MANY other services.

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Legal Issues for Google Library Project in Europe - The Information World Review (IWR is a VNU publication) article: Google digitisation faces Euro legal challenge, reports on Google's book digitisation project (the Google Library Project to be precise) facing some legal obstacles in Europe.

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Google and Yahoo Talking About Sponsorship of Manchester United Football Club - News.com reports in the story: Google to sponsor Manchester United football club?, that Eric, Sergey, Larry, and crew MIGHT soon have their Google logo appearing on Manchester United football jerseys....[MORE”

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Google & Yahoo: The New VCs? - Two articles out this week cover how Google and Yahoo are duking it out not with each other but instead with venture capital firms to gain promising companies....[MORE”

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Matt Cutts Pokes At SEO Software - Google's Matt Cutts, clearly irritated at the many worthless SEO software pitches he sees (and many of these are worthless), does some deconstructing....[MORE”

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Hey Googlers -- Let Us Manage Your Wealth! - Via John Battelle, Filthy Rich, But Froogle from BusinessWeek looks at the wealth management companies hoping to land Googlers as clients -- and what a tough crowd they are to hook. Check out the sidebar on how a homebuilder is targeting searches for goog -- which brings up Google's stock price -- as a way to reach out to wealthy Googlers.

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Lycos Europe Ordered By Dutch Court To Reveal Member's Identity - Dutch Court Orders Lycos To Reveal Client's Identity from Dow Jones has the supreme court in The Netherlands ordering Lycos Europe to reveal the identity of a Lycos user who is said to have posted slanderous allegations against an internet stamp dealer, apparently on pages that Lycos Europe provides to its members....[MORE”

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Kazaa Ordered By Australian Court To Block Searches - Via Russell Beattie, Search terms on Kazaa to be blocked from ZDNet Australia has the rather disturbing order of an Australian court telling Kazaa that it must not allow searches on certain terms, such as artist names....[MORE”

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TiVo To Offer TV Ad Search - TiVo Users Soon Can Search for Ads from the Wall Street Journal covers a new "feature" from TiVo planned for next spring to let people search for ads of interest to them. So say you're interested in BMW ads. You could search for that, then watch 30 second spots. Oh, and advertisers might get to bid to make their ads come up tops. OK, we'll see how great this might turn out to be....[MORE”

=== Nov. 27, 2005 ===

NetLibrary: Over 100,000 Digitized and Searchable Books Available Online - NetLibrary (a division of OCLC) that has been around for several years and just last week passed a milestone, they've now digitized more than 100,000 titles (mostly new content)....[MORE”

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Mashup Lover and Google's Chief Evangelist, Vint Cerf, Interviewed - Perhaps Google's most famous new hire, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Vint Cerf, has sat down with Juan Carlos Perez of the IDG News Service for a brief Q&A interview that's posted here. Here are a few selected passages from the interview....[MORE”

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New Search Shortcuts from Yahoo - The Yahoo Search Blog points out that they've added a couple of new search shortcuts for movie trailers, showtimes and maps....[MORE”

=== Nov. 25, 2005 ===

Google: The Print Ad Company Ramps Up Hiring - In the past few months we've both posted and read about Google beginning to move into the print advertising biz by purchasing space in print publications and then reselling ads on those pages to members of their ad network. It looks like 2006 will the year that Google begins to really devote lots of human resources to this ad sales program....[MORE”

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Indeed.com Releases Canadian Job Search Database - Job metasearch vertical, Indeed.com, has just launched a new Canadian version (English speaking Canada that is) of their database at Canada.indeed.com....[MORE”

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4info.net Enhances Content and Adds More Info - A quick note to point out that 4info.net, the mobile (text messaging, mobile and non-mobile web search) and email search tool has enhanced some of their impressive services and added some new content. Via the 4info blog we learn that they've upgraded their movie listings, weather info and basketball player stats....[MORE”

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Bill Gates: MSN Search Will Soon "More than Match" Google in Terms of Relevance - In an interview with Information Week, Bill Gates talks about Microsoft Research and speaks briefly about search and of course mentions a competitor that begins with the letter "G". Gates says that coming soon MSN will have "more than matched" Google in terms relevance.

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Former Google Brand Manager Blogging Days At Google - Spotted via Google Weblog (unofficial), Xooglers is a new blog run by Google's former director of consumer marketing and brand management, Doug Edwards. It promises to be "a gathering spot for ex-Googlers to reminisce and comment on the latest developments in search"....[MORE”

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The Google Battle For Hiring Tech Talent (Yahoo Sez They Win) - From the Wall Street Journal, Google ignites hiring frenzy is yet another article on how Google and other companies are after tech talent. This has a few more details and more depth about the Google recruiting juggernaut and "Google Stock Units" that are offered. Yahoo says they've won the majority of head-to-head battles over candidates.

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Google Spaces Internet Cafe At London Heathrow & Google Featured In UK TV Ads - Via Google Blogoscoped, Google turns Heathrow into testing lab from ZDNet covers Google opening a "Google Space" internet cafe at London's Heathrow airport, plus Google's been showing up in UK TV ads in conjunction with T-Mobile....[MORE”

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Daily SearchCast: Search News Via Podcast
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Want to keep up with the latest in search news while you're on the go? Try our podcast, The Daily SearchCast. It's a 10-15 minute recap of the previous day's news. How to tune-in?

  • Subscribe to our main SEW Blog feed, and you'll receive the podcasts automatically when we alert readers to them each day.
  • Subscribe to our special podcast feed, and you'll receive an alert only about new podcasts that we've posted.
  • Tune into WebmasterRadio.FM, where we go out live at 11:30am Eastern and then repeat at 2pm Eastern. The show archive at WebmasterRadio is here.
  • Listen via our Odeo channel, where it's easy to see our past shows and hear them by using little play buttons right within your browser.
  • Listen online or subscribe for MP3 player downloads via our Yahoo Podcasts channel.
  • Listen via iTunes 4.9 or higher. Click here and you should find the show will load automatically in iTunes, if you have it installed. If not, then see further instructions here.

Here are the last three days' worth of shows:

You can find all shows from previous days listed on the Daily SearchCast home page. Just select any file to download it and listed on your computer or digital audio device.

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Our Search Newsletters & Feeds
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News each day, throughout the day, alerts of new discussion threads from our Search Engine Watch Forums and more -- we have a newsletter or feed that covers all of these. See our Search Engine Newsletters & Web Feeds for a full rundown on everything we offer, as well as special buttons to let you subscribe via news readers such as Rojo, My MSN, Bloglines, Feedster, Newsgator, Pluck and My Yahoo. Thanks to FeedBurner for providing our feed tracking and management services!

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About The Search Engine Update
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