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The Search Engine Update - Number 214 - Feb. 8, 2006

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In This Issue
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+ SES NY 2006 Agenda Posted; IAC's Barry Diller Keynoting
+ 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 NY 2006 Agenda Posted; IAC's Barry Diller Keynoting
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Barry Diller, chairman and CEO of InterActiveCorp, will be kicking off our Search Engine Strategies show in New York at the end of this month with a keynote on the morning of the first day, February 27. IAC owns Ask Jeeves along with a variety of vertical search properties.

The entire show agenda is now available online, and over 60 different sessions are offered. We also have a number of cool sessions you won't want to miss, such as:

  • Pundits On Search: What do big voices have to say on search issues? Come ask them yourself! I'll be moderating a panel featuring John Battelle, author of The Search; David Vise, author of The Google Story; blogvangelist Robert Scoble and others to be confirmed.
  • Search Advertising: Now & Future: What's the state of search advertising now and where's it going, especially as search leaps out of the browser and into places like our TVs, phones and music players? This session with search engine executives explores the topic.
  • Searchonomics: Serious & Fun Stats - Get up to speed with stats on the growth of search, then enjoy the lighter side of how we search online.
  • The Search Landscape - Who's winning the search engine wars and how? This session has some of the metrics that help tell the story.
  • Auditing Paid Listings & Click Fraud Issues: Did you really get that much traffic from paid listings last month or is something funny going on? Reviewing your paid traffic is an essential task any serious search engine marketer should undertake. Tips and issues are covered.
  • Practical Copyright & Trademark Guidance for Webmasters and SEMs: Your competitor is bidding on your trademarked name. Some splogger is profiting off of your copyrighted work via RSS ("really simple stealing"). What's a law abiding netizen to do? Come find out from our panel of experts in this highly interactive session.
  • Who's Watching Whom: Search & Privacy: Over the past year, search engines have rolled out or enhanced personalized search and search history features. New search behavioral targeting systems are also developing. Add to that a recent US Department Of Justice request for search query data, and you've got growing search privacy worries. In this session, a lively discussion of the data search engines collect when you conduct a search, how such data is/should be handled, whether the government has any right to subpoena it and other issues.
  • Ad Agencies & Search: As search continues to get hot, are ad agencies missing out on one of the most important online advertising venues going? Some ad agencies are now acquiring SEM firms to enlarge their portfolio of services. Others continue to outsource. Some may still not tap into search at all. This session explores what agencies may need to consider as the search space grows and how to ensure they aren't falling behind.
  • Putting Search In The Ad Mix: Search engine marketing should be considered as an essential part of any overall marketing campaign, online and off. In this session, we look at successes from considering search from the very beginning, failures that result if this is not done and how other marketing can also help search.
  • Branding & Search: What impact does search have on branding? This session look at the role of search in building brand, as well as how branding can support search.
  • Lunch With The Google Engineers - Just confirmed and soon to be posted to the agenda, this will run from Noon through 12:45pm on the first day of the show, Feb. 27. Grab your lunch, grab a seat, get updated on Google web search and lob some questions at the assembled panel of engineers.
  • Evening Forum With Danny Sullivan: No PowerPoints, no set agenda. I just guide the audience into a giant group discussion on topics they are interested, with a lot of fun along the way.

There are many, many sessions beyond those above, in tracks such as:

  • Fundamentals
  • Stats & Research
  • Vertical Search
  • Search Advertising
  • Search Issues
  • News & Blogs
  • Organic SEO
  • Advanced Organic SEO
  • Linking
  • Retailer Issues
  • Agency & Branding Issues
  • In House Issues
  • Local Search
  • Measuring
  • Site Clinics

The Conference at a Glance page gives you a fast look at everything, and from there you can drill down into more detailed information for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4. Whatever your particular search marketing interest or skill level, there are sessions designed for you.

Since the show runs virtually an entire week -- Feb. 27 through March 2 -- we're dubbing the entire period to be "Search Week" in New York. Last year's New York show was our biggest ever, and strong registrations so far make it likely 2006 will be another record breaker. In fact, one of our conference hotels has already sold out, so make your room reservations now! And book your SES ticket by Feb. 15 in order to get an early bird price break.

Want to keep up on the latest show news? Keep an eye on our SES Blog, where I'll begin doing more updates about the show as it draws closer.

Following SES NY, March sees SES coming to Germany and China, then April sees visits to Japan, Canada and Italy. At the end of May, SES London happens and July sees our first ever SES Latino show coming to Miami. For more about these and other shows later in 2006, see the Search Engine Strategies site.

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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.

=== Feb. 8, 2006 ===

Google Testing Software Distribution With Dell, Plus Details On IE7 Search Battle - Google is working with Dell to put Google's desktop search and toolbar on Dell computers, while a new battle for search in the browser is heating up.

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Super Bowl Search Marketing Scorecard - While much attention was focused on the television ads aired during the super bowl, the real winners were those firms who combined traditional media with savvy search marketing campaigns.

=== Feb. 7, 2006 ===

Udi Manber Leaves A9 to Join Google - Udi Manber, formerly the person in charge at A9 (Amazon.com's search site) is heading to the Googleplex where he'll now work. See also A9's Low Popularity & Slower Growth.

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Google Integrates Chat with Gmail - Continuing its push into communications products and services, Google has incorporated a chat client into Gmail, blending the best features of both technologies.

=== Feb. 6, 2006 ===

Google Launches Robots.txt File Checker; Now We Need Robots.txt Standardization - Wondering how a search engine will process your robots.txt file? Google now provides a way to check on that through the Google Sitemaps program. See also:

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Searching Television News - A new free service from multimedia search engine TVEyes lets you search each and every word spoken during TV news broadcasts from well-known news organizations.

=== Feb. 3, 2006 ===

Search Engines Forum Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Buying Links and Google - Yahoo Finally Changes Direct Traffic Center -Google Toolbar 4 for IE - Zip Code Range Optimization, and more.

=== Feb. 2, 2006 ===

BMW Germany Dinged For Doorway Spam - BMW Germany is found to be employing doorway page spam to drive users to its web site through search engines. See also:

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Searching for the Future - Think you're pretty good at sussing out the future? Try matching wits with Yahoo Research's fantasy prediction game that lets you bet foror againstemerging technologies and trends.

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Gracenote: The Music Info Database You've Used But Possibly Know Little About - Gracenote is a music information database that you've likely tapped when you enter a CD into a CD player or download a track but know little about.

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Google Bigdaddy Search Infrastructure To Rollout More Broadly - Bigdaddy progress update from Google's Matt Cutts provides an update on the new Bigdaddy search infrastructure that Google has been testing for several weeks. It's now rolling out to various Google data centers, but that's going to be a process that will take weeks.

=== Feb. 1, 2006 ===

Searching for a Sense of Place - Whether you're looking for the London in England, Texas or on the atoll of Kiritimati, an online gazetteer can help you locate just the geographic details you need.

=== Jan. 31, 2006 ===

Google Releases Q4 2005 Earnings - Google has released their Q4 2005 earnings which disappointed analysts that were expecting more. See also:

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Search Overhaul for U.S. FirstGov Government Portal - FirstGov's new, sparse search page is just the tip of the iceberg for a number of powerful, useful new features unveiled by the U.S. government information portal.

=== Jan. 30, 2006 ===

Google Releases Upgraded Toolbar - Google has enhanced its toolbar for Internet Explorer, introducing several new features that will appeal to regular users of the program.

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Patent Watch: Yahoo Awarded Patent, Microsoft Has Patent Application Published - Here's info about a one patent recently awarded to Yahoo on determining similarity between documents along with recently published patent application by Microsoft dealing with browsing info on the mobile web. See also:

=== Jan. 27, 2006 ===

Lack of Search Marketing During Christmas Season Hurt FTD's Bottom Line, Head of Marketing Replaced - FTD has said that not doing more search engine marketing during the Christmas season caused the consumer end of FTD not to do as well as they had planned, which changes --including replacing the head of marketing -- having been done to correct this.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Nevada Federal Court Rules that Google 'Cache' Not Copyright Violation - Yahoo Reaffirms Commitment to Search - Google Agrees To Chinese Censorship - How the Search Marketing Industry Shot Itself in the Foot, and more.

=== Jan. 26, 2006 ===

TV Commercial "Googles" Pontiac - A new television commercial for Pontiac airing regionally in the U.S. includes a Google mention and an actual shot of someone entering the word Pontiac into the Google search box with voice over saying: "Don't take our word for it, Google 'Pontiac' to find out!" See also: Mazda Taps Into Pontiac TV & Search Ads Again.

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Google & Search Engine Cached Pages Legal, If They Offer Opt-Out - A case saying the Google cache violates copyright has been ruled in Google's favor. See also our SEW Forums thread, Caching Made Legal - Do You Agree? I Don't!

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Searching For a Better Image - Ask Jeeves has launched a brand-new image search service, using some innovative techniques to identify high-quality pictures on the web. How does it stack up against the competition?

=== Jan. 25, 2006 ===

Google Now Censoring In China - Oh, the irony. Less than a week after we hear that Google is ready to fight the US government in part to defend its users, now comes news that Google will cave into the Chinese government's demands for its new Google China web site. See also:

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Beyond Beta: Google News Graduates - Google News has finally graduated from beta status, after more than three years in development, with some shiny new features.

=== Jan. 24, 2006 ===

Bush Administration Demands Search Data; Google Says No; AOL, MSN & Yahoo Said Yes - The US Department of Justice demanding last year that Google and other search engines turn over aggregate search information to help revive a child protection law. Google has refused to comply with the subpoena. A motion has been filed this week by US Department Of Justice to force Google to hand over the data. See also these follow-up articles:

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Yahoo: Not A Goal To Overtake Google In Search Market Share - Yahoo CFO Susan Decker tells Bloomber, "It's not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share," kicking off questions about Yahoo's dedication to search. See also: Yahoo Does Want To Be The Leading Search Engine.

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Marketing in the Search Tail: Is the Pain Worth the Gain? - Popular search terms tend to dominate the headlines, but there are literally millions of unique searches conducted every day, and savvy search marketers are taking advantage of the opportunities in the 'search tail.'

=== Jan. 23, 2006 ===

Terrific Real Estate Search Tools - The combination of online maps, satellite and aerial imagery and real estate have spawned some fascinating and useful search sites, allowing you to visit virtual properties all around the world.

=== Jan. 20, 2006 ===

Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Goes Into Radio - Click Fraud Report Gets Laugh From Yahoo Rep - Quaero to Take Europe By Storm? - Most Common Search Engine Un-Friendly Mistakes, and more.

=== Jan. 19, 2006 ===

Survey: Google, Yahoo Still Favorites in North America - For the second year running, a Keynote Systems study says Google provides the most satisfying search experience among North American users, despite competitive maneuvering from all of the other major search services.

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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, Jennifer Slegg or Chris Sherman, all of whom post to the blog.

=== Feb. 8, 2006 ===

Google Introduces Marked Up Version Of Privacy Policy Changes - Google Talk's privacy policy now links to a past, marked up version showing changes. Nice. Will this come to other policies at Google....[MORE”

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IAB Releases Updated Spider List - The Interactive Advertising Bureau has released a new list of spiders, part of its long-standing effort to help advertisers filter out non-human visits....[MORE”

=== Feb. 7, 2006 ===

The Wayback Machine Announces Larger Archive - We've noticed that the publicly announced total size of permanently archived web pages found in The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine has increased in size 15 billion pages today from 40 billion pages to 55 billion archived web pages....[MORE”

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Feedster Gets a New Look - A quick note to point out that "feed" search engine, Feedster, has undergone a makeover. Much cleaner and easier to read home page with a splash of color. The same look and color is also visible on search results pages. The Feedster blog has more about the new look including info about some new features.

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Tracking the Technology News Trackers - "Meme" trackers like Memorandum and Topix.net show you what's currently hot in both mainstream news and in the blogosphere. They're great services to help you keep up with both breaking news and trends. Richard MacManus has put together an excellent summary in Rating the Meme Trackers of the current generation of these meme trackers, specifically looking at how they handle technology news and postings. See also: Don Dodge Chats with Memeorandum Founder, Gabe Rivera.

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President of University of Michigan Talks Google Book Search - The president of the University of Michigan, Mary Sue Coleman, defends Google Book Search in a speech to the Association Of American Publishers....[MORE”

=== Feb. 6, 2006 ===

France's Exalead Continues Growing, Database Passes 4 Billion Page Mark - Today, we've learned that the Exalead index has now passed the 4 billion page mark. Yes, of course, total database size means little, but it's great to see Exalead not only expanding their overall size and continuing to develop their services....[MORE”

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Rupert Murdoch on Web Search, No Assault on Google or Yahoo in the Works - A brief article on News.com.au titled: News Corp won't take on Google, reports that Mr. Murdoch and crew does not plan to get directly involved in the web search business taking on Google and Yahoo. These comments came in an interview that Rupert Murdoch gave to Newsweek....[MORE”

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Report: Lycos May Have Laid Off Most Its Search Team Go - Battelle over at Searchblog reports that two sources have told him that Lycos may have let most of its search team go and will keep just a skeleton crew in place to run the service....[MORE”

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PayPal Chief Doesn't Believes Google's Statements About Online Payment System - Mylene Mangalindan's article in the Wall Street Journal (free to all): PayPal Prepares For a Challenge From Google takes a look at how online payment service, PayPal is preparing it's forces and resources against Google's plans to make a play in the online payment space (formerly Google Wallet) or what is now being referred to as GBuy....[MORE”

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Ask Jeeves Opens European R&D Center; Several Interesting Live Demos and Papers by AJ R&D Center Leader Also Available - Ask Jeeves has opened an R&D center in Pisa, Italy....[MORE”. See also:

=== Feb. 5, 2006 ===

Google and Others Invest in Wireless Servies Company - Om Malik reports that Google, Skype, and others have invested in FON, a wireless services startup....[MORE”

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The Ethics and Politics of Search Engines - A panel discussion, "The Ethics and Politics of Search Engines," is coming up on Monday, Feb. 27, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Benson Center, Santa Clara University....[MORE”

=== Feb. 4, 2006 ===

Targeting Local Searchers - Although SEM on local search verticals bears many resemblances to global search marketing, there are subtle nuances and differences in searcher behavior that you need to take into account to ensure a successful campaign. ClickZ columnist Phil Stelter is devoting his next few columns to the art of SEM for local search verticals, kicking off the series with a Q&A with MSN, specifically looking at the Search Local (beta) and Windows Live Local services. Targeting Local Audiences With Search, Part 1: MSN is packed with great advice for reaching people searching in the virtual 'hood.

=== Feb. 3, 2006 ===

Google and Fiat Partner to Offer Google Earth Game - How about creating a Google Earth game that's also a marketing tool? Sounds like a smart idea to me and it's precisely what Fiat has done....[MORE”

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New Gossip Rag On Google Execs Dating - New gossip rag ValleyWag discloses that Google cofounder Larry Page and Google vice president of search products Marissa Mayer apparently used to date....[MORE”. See also: Interview with Tim Mayer.

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Mossberg Positive About Rollyo and PubSub, Rollyo Adds New Firefox Search Bar Feature - The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg has positive comments about two services, PubSub and Rollyo, two services that we've posted about several times....[MORE”

=== Feb. 2, 2006 ===

Yahoo News Not Competing With Content Owners; Personalization, Better Recommendations May Come - Greg Linden points to the Budde Outlines Yahoo News Future article at MediaPost, where Yahoo News general manager Neil Budde reassures content owners that Yahoo News doesn't want to compete with them with its own original news content. Um, then why does Yahoo have it at all? Budde says Yahoo's own content will only be in areas underreported by the mainstream media. He also covers plans to create personalized news pages and the possibility of a better recommendation service, perhaps more Digg like in nature.

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TrueLocal Australia Users Crash Into TrueLocal North America - A new Rupert Murdoch/News Corp/News Interactive-backed truelocal service has launched, only to find users going to a different TrueLocal already established in North America....[MORE”

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Oops, Specs for Dell Computers Found in Google Cache - Once again a company, in this case Dell, has learned the hard way that what's put on a public web server is open to crawling, caching, and discovery....[MORE”

=== Feb. 1, 2006 ===

Marketers Find Google Ads Slightly More Effective Than Yahoo & Well Above MSN - Survey: Advertisers Say Search Ads On Google Better Than Yahoo, MSN from MediaPost reports on an Outsell survey of 1,200 advertisers last November that found 71 percent found search ads on Google were effective, compared to 62 percent on Yahoo and 49 percent on MSN. But those most likely to find Google as "extremely" effective had slightly smaller average budgets than Yahoo and MSN spenders.

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Google Cofounders Visit Brazil Office - On their way back from Davos, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stopped by Google's offices in Brazil. Marcelo Sant'Iago has a brief on it here, along with a picture of the duo decked out in Google Brazil football jerseys and some news links.

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World Association Of Newspapers Dislikes Search Engine Exploitation, Clueless About Robots.txt Banning - The World Association Of Newspapers is planning to challenge the "exploitation of content" by search engines. Hey WAN. Don't like being in search engines? Tell your members to put up a robots.txt file to block the search engines....[MORE”

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SideStep Powering Travel Search on Amazon.com - DMNews.com reports that travel engine Sidestep has opened a "travel store" on Amazon.com....[MORE”

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Google Talks With Sony and Motorola About Municipal Wi-Fi Nets - InfoWorld reports that Google has had conversations with Motorola and Sony about their products could best be used with municipal Wi-Fi networks....[MORE”

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Click-to-Call Advertising: VoIP Inc. Announces Deal with Google - The News.com article: Google calls upon VoIP, reports that Google has signed a deal with VoiceOne to provide VoIP services for Google's click-to-call advertising service. Actually, VoiceOne and their parent company, VoIP Inc. have been working with Google since September....[MORE”

=== Jan. 31, 2006 ===

More on Google's Guy in D.C. - Back in October we pointed out that Google was opening a lobbying office in D.C. Today, Matt Marshall in Silicon Beat points to an article in the Wall Street Journal (subscribers only) about Google and other tech company lobbying efforts in D.C. The post is titled: Google's one employee in Washington....[MORE”

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Google Working On Goobuntu Linux Project, Denies Public Distribution Plans - Details of a desktop Linux operating system "Goobuntu" have come up, but Google says it's used internally only.

=== Jan. 30, 2006 ===

Google Has Plans to Open R&D Office in Israel - In June, we blogged that Google planned to open a business office in Israel. Today, news that Google is in the process of also opening an R&D center there....[MORE”

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New Study Reports that Search Sites Provides Twice the Conversion Rate When Compared With Other Acquisition Sources - The Dow Jones story: Search Sites Better At Getting Shoppers To Buy: Study, reports on new research from WebSideStory that shows search engines (both paid and organic listings) provide more than twice the conversion rates than other forms of Internet advertising and marketing....[MORE”

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Kanoodle Gets MSN Spaces Contextual Deal - Kanoodle has announced it will be providing contextual ads to the MSN Spaces service. What's odd about this is that MSN has their own contextual ads program apparently in the works (see here and here at JenSense). Then again, it could be that Kanoodle will serve as a stop-gap for MSN until it has its own program online, when Kanoodle might then shift to being backfill.

=== Jan. 29, 2006 ===

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AOL's "(Quick) Answer" Feature On Web Results Pages - Although we've blogged many times about search engines becoming answer engines for some types of queries with a variety of tools and services, we haven't mentioned AOL's (quick) answer feature found at the top of some web results pages....[MORE”

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Related Phrases Now Part of Google's Define: Feature - Philipp asks if a feature from Google that provides links to "related phrases" when you search for web-based definitions using "define:[foo”" is new....[MORE”. See also: Another Google UI Test? Search Tips on Web Results Pages.

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Amazon.com Considering Video Download Service to Compete With Google Video Store and Others - Both Variety and Red Herring report that Google Video Store, iTunes, and other video download services might have some new competition coming from Amazon.com sometime this spring.

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Work To Begin Next Month on Developing a Standard For Shopping and Comparison Search Product Descriptions - A DMNews.com article: Retailers, Engines Want Standard for Product Description, discusses a session at Shop.org's FirstLook 2006 event where representatives from Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Become, and Shop.com, along with several retailers and trade groups, about the need to develop, "a common standard for describing products for online SKU-based advertising and comparison shopping."

=== Jan. 27, 2006 ===

Check out Cool Bird's Eye Imagery from Windows Live Local on Bird's Eye Tourist - Bird's Eye Tourist lets you see what others have spotted and share using cool "bird's eye" imagery of places and things from Windows Live Local. See also: New "Bird's Eye" Imagery for Detroit Added to MSN Live Local Database.

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An Introduction to Mobile Search - If you want a brief overview of what mobile search is, how it differs from other forms of search, mobile business models, and more, this paper, "Introduction to Mobile Search" (7 pages; PDF) by the Mobile Marketing Association is worth a read.

=== Jan. 26, 2006 ===

Predictions and More Speculation on a Google Music Service - Elinor Mills has a brief post reporting that Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck is predicting that Google will offer a digital music download service in the three to six months. Bear Sterns is using the name the name "Google Tunes" as their "code name" for the service....[MORE”

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More IM Search: Search Air Fare Info, Flight Status and More with Kayakbot - Travel search aggregator Kayak is announcing the release of Kayakbot for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). This new feature offers flight search, rental car search and more. You can also get flight status info. Simply add "Kayakbot" to your buddy list or use this link, aim:addbuddy?screenname=kayakbot....[MORE”

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Google Engineering Director Says Google UI Is as Much Science as it is Art - Mickey Alam Khan's story on DMNews.com: Google Expects to Keep Home Page Simple, reports on a keynote address by Jen Fitzpatrick, an engineering director at Google that was given at Shop.org's FirstLook 2006 event....[MORE”

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Yahoo's Senior VP of Engineering to Become Chief Product Officer - Over on Gigaom, Om Malik reports that Yahoo will name Ash Patel, the senior VP of engineering as their new chief product officer (CPO). Patel will replace Geoff Ralston, who according to Malik, is leaving for "parts unknown." See also: Former Head of Marketing for Yahoo, Search UK and Ireland Now at TouchLocal, a UK Business Directory.

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Rich Media Advertising Coming to Google AdSense - Google AdSense has begun contacting publishers about participating in a new beta test which would see publishers running rich media advertising instead of the standard text and graphic ads. Their rich media offerings include interstitials, expanding ads and floating ads....[MORE”

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Google Repairs Glitch That Kept Some IE Users On The First Page Of Results - A coding glitch in a promo for Google Desktop at the bottom of a web results page kept some people from getting past the first page of results....[MORE”

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askSam Now Offering Searchable Databases (Free) Containing U.S. Copyright Law, The DMCA, and Every State of the Union Address Back to 1790 - askSam has just released three new databases (what they call eBooks) that might be of interest to some of you, especially those with an interest in copyright issues....[MORE”

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Watch SEOs Battle Live & New SEO Humor Site - There's a new site where you can pit various people in the SEO world against each other to say who you think would get a site ranked better in a face-to-face battle, plus a new contender in the search humor category.

=== Jan. 25, 2006 ===

New Google Study Looks at How Web Pages Are Authored - Web page authors, content developers, seo personnel and others who would like a better understanding of how web pages are built, will want to take a look at a new study published by Google that was conducted in December 2005. Google engineers analyzed a sample of slightly over a billion document and extracted info about popular class names, elements, attributes, and related metadata....[MORE”

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Google Video Now Features Premier Content, New Design Corrects "Big Mistake"

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Ask Jeeves Launches (Beta) German Site - It's official. Today, Ask Jeeves has "officially" released Ask Germany (Deutschland) in beta....[MORE”

=== Jan. 24, 2006 ===

New and More Detailed Imagery Comes to Google Local and Google Earth - Via Google Blogoscoped and this post on the Google Blog, word that Google has added some new and improved imagery offering greater detail to Google Earth and Google Local users.

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Google Quietly Beta Testing Desktop AdWords Editor - Yes, more software from Google appears to be coming. Spotted on Greg Yardley's Yardley.ca blog is news that Google is testing (via a private beta, you'll need a login and password) a desktop AdWords editor that allows you to work offline, make bulk changes, export snapshots, and more....[MORE”

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Latest NetRatings Stats Show Status Quo With Search Engines - I always warn not to worry much about month-to-month changes with search popularity stats. The now updated search engine popularity stats I've posted from Nielsen//NetRatings illustrate why. I've added data for the past four months, and it shows no real major changes over that period. Indeed, you can look at all the data going back to the beginning of last year. It shows things have pretty much not changed -- good news for Yahoo, which is happy to maintain the status quo.

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When Carl Talked to Barry: Sources Say Time Warner Investor Carl Icahn Has Had Conversations with IAC/InterActive (Ask Jeeves) CEO Barry Diller - According to this Fortune.com story: Time Warner: Is Icahn looking to deal with Diller?, that legenday investor Carl Icahn (controls about 3.1% of outstanding TW shares) and who is preparing to wage a proxy fight for control of the TW Board of Directors has had conversations with IAC/InterActive president, Barry Diller....[MORE”

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BBC Money Programme Documentary On Google - The BBC's Money Programme did a big look at Google that runs the range of all things Google, from the company's start to issues such as controversy over Google's library scanning program and click fraud....[MORE”

=== Jan. 23, 2006 ===

Some Advanced Search Syntax from Yahoo Hacks and the Launch of Rough Cuts from Safari Tech Books - The Yahoo Search team has allowed Paul Bausch, author of Yahoo Hacks, to share a couple of the many "hacks" from his book on the Yahoo Search Blog. The first edition of Yahoo Hacks was published in October....[MORE”

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BusinessWeek on Yahoo and Social Search - BusinessWeek's Ben Elgin takes a look at social search, focusing on Yahoo, in his article: Yahoo's Social Circle....[MORE”

=== Jan. 22, 2006 ===

The Google Podium: Home to Transcripts of Speeches and Presentations by Google Execs - A new page on the Google Press Center site titled Google Podium provides access to transcripts (and in some cases video or audio) of speeches and presentations by Google executives....[MORE”

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Google Back on Top as the World's Most Influential Brand; Skype Places Third - One of Google's most valuable assets that Google has is its name and brand. The 2005 brandchannel.com/Interbrand Fifth Annual (2005) Readers' Choice Awards have just been released and Google has reclaimed its top position as the world's most influential brand beating out Apple (now in second place)....[MORE”

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Both Yahoo and MSN Portals Now Available to Verizon's DSL and FiOS Customers - Access to Yahoo's broadband portal and services are now available to customers of Verizon's FiOS (fiber-to-the-premises network) that offers very fast Internet connections and television services....[MORE”

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More on Mobile Search, Free Directory Assistance, and Voice Activated Info Services - Matt Marshall's article: Silicon Valley start-ups rush to bring you information on the go, does a great job of not only reviewing but adding several insights to some of the mobile search news we've been blogging about. Matt also discusses a couple of services that offer FREE directory assistance information. That's right, dial a number and ask for a phone number AFTER listening to an ad or a product pitch....[MORE”

=== Jan. 20, 2006 ===

Weinberg on Blocking Certain Types of Search Queries and the Precedent It Might Be Setting - Nathan Weinberg at InsideGoogle reports that Google and MSN might be blocking certain query strings used by "script kiddies" and other hackers....[MORE”

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The Yahoo Search Marketing List of Valentines Day Terms - If you're in need of help thinking of Valentines Day terms, Yahoo Search Marketing might be able to help. Over on SEOmoz Blog, Rand Fishkin points to a new list from YSM that categorizes related to Valentines Day. Categories include, Flowers, Chocolate and Candy, Jewelry, Gifts - General, Travel and several others.

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Are Search Advertisers Paying More than they Need To? - Kevin Newcomb reports in the Clickz story: Search Ad Auction Models Flawed, Economists Say, that a new research paper reports that, "advertisers who bid what they're actually willing to pay end up paying more than they need to"....[MORE”

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Second Issue of Google's Librarian Newsletter Released and More Interesting Reading on Web Search - The second issue of Google's Newsletter for Librarians is now available. It features an article by Karen Schneider, the director of the Librarians' Internet Index, who focuses on the some of the critical information judgments needed in determining the trustworthiness of a site and the info that it contains....[MORE”

=== Jan. 19, 2006 ===

Google Updates Company Milestones Page - Those of you who track Google's each and every move might be interested to learn that the company has just updated their Google Milestones page that serves as a brief corporate history with more key events from 2005. They've also already added few events from 2006 (Google Video Store, Google Pack, and Larry Page's keynote at CES).

=== Jan. 18, 2006 ===

Author of The Google Story, David Vise, Chats Google With Readers - Washington Post writer and the author of The Google Story, David Vise, chatted on WashingtonPost.com today about Google's most recent acquisition of radio ad firm DMarc (good background on how the technolgy works) and many other topics from where to send your ideas for new Google services to wheather or not a Google Calendar on it's way. The transcript of Vise's chat is available here.

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On Yahoo Recommender Systems and a Movie Recommendation Tool from the University of Minnesota - Thanks to Greg Linden for point out this 2 page paper (PDF) by several members of the Yahoo Research Lab about recommender systems research that Yahoo was likely working on last year....[MORE”

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Ask Jeeves: Cache Includes the Date and Time Pages Were Last Cached - I was doing some searching with Ask Jeeves today and noticed that that cached pages that Jeeves includes in its database now include the date and time (to the second) the page was last cached by the AJ crawler. Look for it in the box at the top of cached pages....[MORE”

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