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The Search Engine Update - Number 199 - June 15, 2005

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In This Issue

+ SEW Forums Live Atlanta & SES San Jose
+ Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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SEW Forums Live Atlanta & SES San Jose

Our Search Engine Watch Forums is having its first official gathering, Search Engine Watch Forums Live. It's happening on June 28 at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta, from 8:00am - 1:00pm.

SEW Forums editor Elisabeth Osmeloski will be moderating the event, which kicks off with a panel on the latest trends, hot topics and issues in today's SEM marketplace.

After the panel, there will be organized roundtable topics with discussion leaders to get into specific tactics and SEM strategies. In "speed dating" style, attendees will have a chance to move onto another topic they've indicated interest in during the registration process.

For more information or to register, visit the Search Engine Watch Forums Live site.

Meanwhile, our Search Engine Strategies conference returns to the US in August. coming to San Jose from Aug. 8-11. Basic details are available here, and a full agenda will be posted later this month. The conference features speakers from major search engines, along with experts on search marketing.

After San Jose, SES comes to Stockholm in October, and the year's tour ends in Chicago in December. Links to sites about those shows can be found via our 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.

=== June 15, 2005 ===

Report Suggests Paid Search Disclosure Could Be Better - Last week, I participated in a panel at the "Trust or Consequence: How Failure to Disclose Ad Relationships Threatens to Burst the Search Bubble" conference backed by Consumer Reports' WebWatch. Wait a minute? Aren't ad clearly disclosed these days? Depends on what you consider clear. A recap of issue and coverage out of the event.

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MSN Censorship & Revisiting The Need For Better Disclosure - The Associated Press reports on how those in China wishing to blog on MSN's new MSN Spaces service will find certain words such as "democracy," "freedom" and "human rights" are deemed taboo, with the cooperation of Microsoft. It raises anew the issue censorship by search and portal companies and that if they're forced to do it, couldn't they better disclose this?

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Replacement For Jux2: DoubleTrust - We loved Jux2, the meta search engine that let you compare search results from major search engines. It sadly closed last month, as we reported earlier. However, DoubleTrust is a new service that offer similar features. More about how it works.

=== June 14, 2005 ===

Yahoo Acquires VoIP Net Phone Provider DialPad & Blo.gs Ping Service - Yahoo has acquired acquired VoIP internet telephone service provideer DialPad and the blo.gs ping and blog/feed tracking service. More in this post.

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Search Marketing Isn't Just Math & Machines - Search is all about math, right? Throw everything into a black box, let the ad management systems run, and you can forget about creativity. I don't buy into that at all. Yes, search -- especially paid search -- has a strong analytical side. But to think it's all about math and machines is dead wrong.

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Google Scholar Link Showing Up For University Users - Some going to Google from within university campuses are seeing a new Google Scholar link on the Google home page. More in this post, as well as how to customize some options at Yahoo and A9.

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Google Denies Pulling Anti-Clinton Ads - Running Anti-Clinton Banners from DMNews.com has Google saying no. Ads that were initially approved continue to run. However, Google admits that some ads were rejected as advocating against a person, as opposed to a political agenda. The author and publisher of a book about the Clintons claims that all ads were removed. More details in this post.

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MSN Shopping Partners With PriceGrabber - We wrote in March about MSN beta testing a new shopping search engine. That public beta has since closed. When the improved service relaunches later this year, it looks like it will be at least partially powered by shopping search engine PriceGrabber. MSN and PriceGrabber has just signed a deal to put PriceGrabber listings on MSN by the fourth quarter this year. More details from MediaPost in MSN Shopping To Add PriceGrabber Listings.

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Yahoo News Beats Google News In Jackson Verdict - The fact that Google News uses automation to decide what to feature on its home page versus Yahoo employing human editors is often raised as a issue when comparing the services. In the case of the Michael Jackson trial, it looks like the humans won out. More details in this post.

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Financial Times Carried Hidden Paid Links - The Financial Times has been spotted carrying hidden paid links on its pages, the latest in a string of high-profile sites involved with search spamming issues. More in this article.

=== June 10, 2005 ===

AOL Moves TV Spend To Search; Rodney Dangerfield Of Online Advertising No More! - AOL is ironically turning to search ads on rivals Google and Yahoo to attract people to its new public portal offering. Apparently, $50 million intended for television ads is instead going to search because AOL realized search was already the biggest driver of traffic to its free music site. It's enough to warm the hearts of search marketers over the years who've had to scrape, lobby, beg and plead for more spending on search. More in this article and the follow-up post, More On AOL's SEO/SEM Campaign.

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Google Funds Local Photo Mapping Project; 3D In The Works? - News emerges of how Google is funding a photo mapping project of city streets and may be doing a 3D modeling project, as well. Links and info in the post. Also see the follow-up post, Google Already Has 3D City Maps.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Sitemaps Now Accepting Web Page Feeds - SEO Easy To Sell, But Can You Deliver? - AdWords Untargeted Ads Disappearing? - Significant Changes In Google Results: May 2005 - How to Find Thousands of Quality Backlinks - Shopzilla is Sold for $525 Million, and more.

=== June 9, 2005 ===

A Search Tool for Your Online Passwords - Here's a interesting twist: A search toolbar that can be configured to use your favorite engine, and securely manages all of your online login details and passwords to boot.

=== June 8, 2005 ===

Search Marketing in a Box - Looking for a comprehensive guide to search marketing that's filled with tons of practical, no-nonsense tips and techniques? The Search Engine Marketing Kit may be just the ticket.

=== June 7, 2005 ===

Search Ad Prices Down 15% In May 2005 - The average price for search ads dropped sharply last month, according to the latest Keyword Price Index from Fathom Online. The average price paid in May dipped to $1.66, down 15 percent from $1.95 in April.

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Tracking Trends via the Blogosphere - Want the latest buzz about what's going on in politics, sports, entertainment or other current events? BlogPulse maps trends by mining the hot topics appearing in millions of blogs.

=== June 6, 2005 ===

More Questions On Adware & Search Ad Distribution - Last month, we wrote about allegations that Ask Jeeves was gaining distribution through misleading installations of software. A month later, and the allegations continue, plus the issue grows to involve the entire industry more generally. A recap of some recent stories, plus a closer look at how I come away mislead by one of Ask's bundling partners.

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Shopzilla Sold to E.W. Scripps for $525 Million - Shopzilla (they also operate BizRate) has by acquired by E. W. Scripps Company for $525 million in cash. Scripps owns numerous newspapers, TV stations and satellite TV networks (HGTV, Food Network, Fine Living, etc.). Want to discuss? Visit our forum thread, Shopzilla / Bizrate Acquired.

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FindWhat, Espotting Rebrand As Miva - FindWhat is undergoing a name change and taking Espotting along with it. Miva, formerly the name of the FindWhat-owned Miva Merchant ecommerce storefront tool, is now to serve as the new umbrella name for all of FindWhat's operations. What are those now and how will they be rebranded? A rundown, in this post.

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Contextual Search with Firefox - Found something on a web page you'd like more information about? A nifty plugin for Firefox lets you highlight text and search using any of Firefox's built-in search engines with a simple right click of your mouse.

=== June 4, 2005 ===

Now Available: New Version of Start.com, Microsoft's Customizable Home Page - Microsoft has released (IE only) a new version of their Start.com customizable home page. More details in this post.

=== June 3, 2005 ===

Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Secrets of eval.google.com Revealed? - Q&A Session With Jim Lanzone, VP of Ask Jeeves - What Should Google Do About PageRank In The Toolbar? - Jeeves Showing AdWords Ads on BitTorrent - Framesets: The Kiss of Death, and more.

=== June 2, 2005 ===

New "Google Sitemaps" Web Page Feed Program - Google has unveiled a new Google Sitemaps program allowing webmasters and site owners to feed it pages they'd like to have included in Google's web index. Participation is free. Inclusion isn't guaranteed, but Google's hoping the new system will help it better gather pages than traditional crawling alone allows. Feeds also let site owners indicate how often pages change or should be revisited. In this article, a Q&A on the new program with Shiva Shivakumar, engineering director and the technical lead for Google Sitemaps. Also see our forum thread Google Sitemaps Now Accepting Web Page Feeds for continuing discussion and answers. In addition, see also the follow-up posts Should Google Sitemaps Take Pings? How About More General Compatibility Generally? and especially Google Sitemaps Gains List Of Supporting Programs & Web Sites.

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Google Rater Hub - Details Of Human Review System Unveiled - Google Secret Lab, Prelude from Henk van Ess's new Search Bistro blog looks at how Google uses human reviewers to improve search quality. Ess has a screenshot and a Flash movie of how the system works, for Google's temporarily hired Q&A checkers. Very nice details so far that I've never seen posted anywhere before. However, this type of system isn't new. WebCrawler used to have a feedback system like this back in the late 90s, and other major search engines have had human reviewers, as well. Gather enough data of what's deemed good and bad, and the hope is that you can create a better search algorithm to improve relevancy. What almost certainly is not happening is that the human reviewers are actually moving sites up and down with their ratings. Want to discuss? Visit our forum thread, Secrets of http://eval.google.com revealed? See also Interested in Evaluating Search Quality and Advertising for Google?, which covers how Google is still hiring evaluators.

=== June 1, 2005 ===

Searching for Bloggers Near You - Want to meet local bloggers in your area? A new service from Blogdigger pinpoints bloggers by their physical location in the United States, with coverage soon to be extended to cities throughout the world.

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eBay Goes Shopping and Acquires Shopping.com - eBay has acquired comparative shopping search site, Shopping.com. According to the Wall Street Journal (sub. req) and TheStreet.com, eBay will pay about $620 million in cash or $21 per share for all of Shopping.com's outstanding shares. Shopping.com became a publicly traded company in October 2004. The news release announcing the acquisition is here.

=== May 31, 2005 ===

Shmoogle: Randomizing Google Results To Show Good Stuff Beyond Top 10 - Shmoogle is a new service takes Google results and shows them in a random order, to illustrate why good pages may still not be visible since they aren't ranked well. More in this post.

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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.

=== June 15, 2005 ===

Search Trends & Seasonality - With proms in the US happening in May, those looking for dresses clearly get going the month before, right? That's what Hitwise's Bill Tancer thought. But interest actually starts as far back as November. Search Timing: The Next Competitive Edge from Bill at MediaPost shares a few other charts showing things like how dieting queries DO mesh with New Year's Resolutions and how LCD TVs are growing in popularity as the technology matures. What to do if you can't tap into the great but expensive historical data that Hitwise can provide? Priority Submit's Keyword Research tool can also give you some glimpse into seasonal changes. But don't forget that you can test seasonality at any time. Consider keeping a seasonal campaign running at a low budget level. See a spike? You may have stumbled onto a seasonal spike you didn't expect.

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C'mon In Brand Owners, The Search Water's Fine - It's not all about conversions, in the search marketing game. I was at a conference two months ago where a brand marketer said he didn't care about conversion. He wanted brand impact and was willing to pay for it, to the horror and fear of the mostly conversion-driven audience. More on making brand fit into search and measuring right, in this post.

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SMAUK Releases First Year Program; Names Officers - The votes have been counted, and the fledgling Search Marketing Association UK has named its officers for the first year as well as a proposed program of goals. More in this post.

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Search? Email? Banners? Get A Common Metric To Balance Right - Debating between putting your money into search, or email, or banners (or anything, for that matter). Jeanne Jennings in Search, Banners, E-Mail: A Tale of Two Marketing Plans at ClickZ looks at how understanding your reasonable cost per order is important when comparing advertising options and determining the right mix.

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Top UK Shopping Sites For May 2005 - Top 10 UK shopping comparison sites from Netimperative runs down the top 10 shopping search engines for the UK market in May, as provided by Hitwise. At the top, by a wide margin, Yahoo-owned Kelkoo UK.

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Looking At AOL's inStore Shopping Site - inStore Online from Internet Retailer is a nice look at AOL's shopping site, inStore, from a retailer and strategic perspective. Launched last September (see our review), it examines how AOL hopes the service will attract searchers and retailers alike. Nice details on how AOL hopes it can drive traffic using its various properties but also how unlike other shopping search sites, inStore saw a recent (and slight) traffic drop. But AOL said those coming to the site are converting better than with the previous shopping site it ran.

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Searchblog's Battelle Launching Blog Ad Network - Wired Co-Founder Nears Launch of Blog Ad Network look at how John Battelle, author of Searchblog and the upcoming book The Search, is branching out into running a blog ad network. The idea is to have a small selection of high-quality blogs that will take ads through his new FM Publishing company (but ads from others are also allowed). John talks more about this directly on the FMPublishing blog.

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Tips On Improving Landing Pages - 11 Ways to Improve Landing Pages at Digital Web looks at simple things to consider to ensure that when people land at your web site, they don't take off immediately for somewhere else.

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Case Study Of Copy Changes To Improve Rankings - Copywriting Makeover: Search Engine-Friendly Can Also Mean Visitor-Friendly from Search Engine Guide gives you a before and after look at how copy was changed on a page to achive better search rankings yet remain appealing to human visitors.

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MSN Shopping Gets A Blog - Spotted via the Organized Shopping blog, MSN Shopping Insider is a new blog from MSN that is aimed to discuss MSN Shopping. The first two entries cover the PriceGrabber alliance and how the beta of the new service has been closed to the public. More details on both of those moves in our MSN Shopping Partners With PriceGrabber post from yesterday.

=== June 14, 2005 ===

Google Software Gets Bundled - BetaNews is reporting that Google has a deal with WinZip to bundle both of these pieces of software with downloads of the popular utility. This is not the first time Google software has been bundled. As the article points out (we also blogged the news last month), you'll also find Google software included with downloads of InterVideo's DVD duplication software and with RealNetworks RealPlayer. Yahoo bundles its toolbar with downloads of Adobe Acrobat and Macromedia Flash.

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BlinkxTV Inks Deal with iFilm - iFilm, the treasure chest of viral videos, music videos, short films, and more has announced a content deal with Blinkx that will make its database accessible via the BlinkxTV video search engine. A bit more, in this post.

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WashingtonPost.com Says Goodbye to Google and Hello to Yahoo - In case you haven't noticed, web search and keyword ads on the popular online news site, WashingtonPost.com are now powered by Yahoo. This recent Forbes.com story points out that Yahoo "may have won" the Washington Post business, based on information from Standard & Poor's Equity Research. S&P tells us it spotted a switchover at the Washington Post site on Sunday, causing it to issue the guidance.

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Survey Looks At Spend On Clothing, Personal Care Products & Electronics - Shopping.com has released a new Smart Shopping Index, a quarterly survey of online shopping behavior based on a sample of 1,000 adults in the US, 18 years and older. It gives some details on spending on clothing, consumer electronics and the fact that nearly 20 percent of us will indeed buy toothpaste and other personal care products online. Highlights in this post.

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Google Video Said To Have User Contributed Clips Up By Summer - Google readying Web-only video search from News.com says relatively little more than what we've already known. Google Video, launched in January, will expand to include contributed video clips. When? That's the new part. Sources tell News.com that this will happen by the summer. Another new part is that people will be able to see short 10 second clips. Currently, Google Video only provides video content gathered from monitoring television broadcasts and some additional resources. Video clips are not show, but rather static thumbnail images are displayed, instead. Google launched an uploading service for user-contributions to the service in April.

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Google & Yahoo Services, Side-By-Side - Spotted via Search Engine Roundtable, Google vs. Yahoo Interface Design despite the title doesn't really get into interface design issues. Instead, it's an easy-to-read side-by-side look at similar offerings at Google and Yahoo, ranging from alert services to email.

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Search Engine Roundtable Named Best Search Blog - Barry Schwartz's Search Engine Roundtable blog has always been one of the best places to keep track of what's happening on various search forums if you're too busy to read through all the material on the forums themselves. Now it's been named the best search marketing blog for 2005 in the recent MarketingSherpa awards that were announced. Congrats, Barry!

=== June 13, 2005 ===

My Encounter With Search Spam On Blogger - With 100 million billion trillion new blogs springing up every day, some of them are going to be spam. And with Google operating one of the biggest blogging services, it's not surprising that Blogger will be host to a few search spam sites. Indeed, I've seen complaints about this in the past from others. But today, Blogger spam got in my face. More in this post.

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In-Depth Review of Google Scholar & Why You Should Consider HireWire Press - Some of the most well-known, comprehensive and respected reviews of reference books and databases reviews come from Dr. Pete Jacso, a library science professor at the University of Hawaii. A look at how he finds Google Scholar OK but an alternative service much better.

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Google America, Europe & Asia: Domains, Not Results - Google has domains for each region, though not actual sites doing anything special. Brief details, in this post.

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Vertical Search Conference Later This Month - Vertical LEAP is an all-day event on June 18 in Santa Clara, California, exploring various topics in vertical search. Nice line-up of speakers and low $75-$200 admission price, depending on when you sign-up and if you are an SDForum member. More info and coverage out of the event via the show's wiki.

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China's Sohu.com Refocuses on Search - A new Reuters article reports that China's Sohu.com, is in the process of refocusing on its search services after neglecting the area for several years. Also a summary, in this post.

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Yahoo & Google Paid Programs Compared - Yahoo SM vs. Google AdWords from Search Engine Guide is a short summary covering some differences between buying paid listings with Google versus Yahoo. If you've been doing this for a while, there's no major surprises. But it has some nice highlights. Be wary of the claim about Google conversions being better, however. This seems based on one single ad campaign. Your own mileage may vary and dramatically so.

=== June 12, 2005 ===

What About a Yahoo Web Browser?; Meet the Chief "People" Yahoo - Yahoo CEO Terry Semel said in an interview that a Yahoo Browser might "make sense" in the future (apparently referring to something other than the cobranded one Yahoo already offers) and an article about the "Chief People Yahoo" who oversees hiring. More in this post.

=== June 10, 2005 ===

Scirus Adds New Sources - This week Scirus, the search vertical/metasearch tool that focuses on science information from both the open web and specialized sources, launched the Scirus Repository Search Service. It provides direct access to searchable repositories of material (often full text) from universities and other organizations. You can select repositories and many other databases via the Scirus advanced search page. More in this post.

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From Bell Labs To Google Labs - Forget the famed Bell Labs. It's Google Labs now, says Google Recruits Mature Minds to Join Brainiac Kids, from Newhouse News Service. It looks at how Google has gained a dozen or so Bell Labs alumnus over the years.

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Where Oh Where Will My Search Ad Show Up? - Paid Placement SEM Is Dead. Long Live Paid Placement from Kevin Lee at ClickZ looks at how while you can still buy your way to the top, knowing exactly where you'll be placed is getting harder and harder as search ad delivery increasingly gets determined by many factors other than price.

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Yahoo's Jerry Yang Now a Member of the Stanford Universtiy Board of Trustees - A quick post to congratulate Yahoo co-founder and Chief Yahoo, Jerry Yang, on being elected a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees.

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Ads Coming to Mobile Search - A short article on the Netimperative site points out that Yahoo Search Marketing Services (formerly Overture) has signed a deal with Mobile Commerce to provide keyword ads, something we haven't seen much of on mobile services up to this point, on a new "mobile" travel search site that will launch later this year in the UK.

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Integrating Google Desktop Search into Firefox - If you're interested in running desktop searches with Google Desktop Search directly from your Firefox search bar, Google has just linked to a new tool from a person at UCLA that can help you painlessly create a MyCroft plug-in. Info and links here.

=== June 9, 2005 ===

Google Increases Size of Image Database - Although they're just rough estimates that are primarily best used for marketing purposes (aka bragging rights), I guess it's worth noting that Google has just made an increase to the public number they post for total number of images searchable at Google Images. The new total number is 1,305,093,600 images an increase of 117,463,600 from 1,187,630,000. I would have thought that when Google posted an increase to the total images number it would have been greater than 1.5 billion. Why? This is the number that Yahoo used in an announcement about 4 months ago.

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MSN Search Toolbar Users Get Browser Tabs - One of the great features that both Opera and Firefox offer is tabbed browsing. Having multiple pages quickly accessible in different "tabbed" windows is a huge timesaver. While it's true that some apps that utilize the Internet Explorer engine (Netcaptor, Avant Browser, etc) offer tabbed browsing, the actual IE browser doesn't. That was until today, sort of. Now, if and only if you use the MSN Search Toolbar, tabs are available. This sounds like a stop gap measure until IE 7 is released. More info on MSN Search's WebLog. A screen cap is available from BetaNews.

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A Googleplex in Michigan? - About ten days ago I posted an item about Google looking for a large amount of office space in Boston to build a Googleplex. That article also mentioned that other cities were being discussed. Today, an article in the Michigan Business Review lets us know that Ann Arbor is one of the other locations. Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan where Larry Page attended school. This article also points out that Google is also looking for 40,000 square feet, "for work related to the company's work at the University of Michigan as Google digitizes the entire library collection."

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CNET Compares Nine Web Engines - Ben Patterson from CNET has written reviews of nine web search engines along with putting together a chart that lists various features. Google is the favorite, while Yahoo is a close second. One point that should have been included in each review is where the database(s) for each service came from. For example, no mention that Google provides the web and image search databases at AOL and A9. The same is true with the Yahoo web, image, and news databases at AltaVista. Actually, instead of spending time on AltaVista why not include Exalead and Gigablast. Each of these services provide their own crawl of the web.

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A Collection Of "Forbidden" Satellite and Aerial Images - Remember, the story from a few weeks ago about someone spotting a stealth bomber in a Google satellite image? Long before Google was providing access to satellite and aerial images the Cryptome archive has been building a collection of satellite and aerial images that look at "interesting" locations using open-source imagery provided by various organizations including the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Direct access to the USGS database of aerial imagery is available here. It's uncertain if the makers of UFOs visiting earth will be upset at this spotting from Google Maps, however.

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Gmerge, a Google Maps Hack is No More - At about the time that the AP published a story about how cool, useful and interesting some of the hacks using Google Maps/satellite images are, word that G had sent a takedown notice to the developers of one such service, gMerge, a service that created wallpaper from Google Maps. It looks like that the Google developers "heard" what Google had to say and have removed the service from the web. Of course, Google's satellite images and hacks are cool. However, they're not the only ones out there providing useful satellite tools. I've posted in the past about TerraFly (click on a satellite image, get local info) and World Wind, an open source tool that allows you to interact with satellite images from different repositories.

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AOL Makes Deal for Yellow Pages Listings - The Business Week article: YellowPages Goes for Gold on AOL, takes an in-depth look at the SBC-BellSouth to supply Yellow Pages listings to AOL.

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Conversation with Co-Founder of Vertical Engine Koders.com - socalTech.com has publsished interview with vertical search engine Koders.com co-founder, Jorn Teutloff. Koders allows users to search for open source software code. It officially launched a few weeks ago.

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Full Text Databases That are Just a Click or Two Away - I'm always mentioning the specialized databases often containing the full text of articles, reference books, etc. that libraries make available for free. These tools (think of them as powerful vertical engines) can be accessed from your home or office, 24x7x365. If you're interested in learning more, I've written a guest column for BetaNews that provides and overview about some of what's out there. Yes, in the web age, the world of the library and the skills of the librarian extend well beyond the four walls of the traditional library building.

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New Study Reports Consumers are Suspicious of Paid Listings - New and very interesting research out of Penn St. University says that consumers have a strong bias against paid listings -- or at least listings labeled paid. "Free" results put under a paid heading didn't attract click but did when placed elsewhere. You can read more in this summary. The full text of the research is also available (PDF) here.

=== June 8, 2005 ===

SingingFish Adds New Video Content Partners - Singingfish, the multimedia search engine that's owned by AOL, has added several new video content partners. More details in this post.

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Bloglines Adding More than 2 Million Articles Each Day to Its Database - Those of you who track the steady stream of blog, blogosphere, and RSS stats might want to add some new numbers from Bloglines that were released today to your files. 500 million blog and news feed articles are now stored and made searchable in the Bloglines database. Between January and June of this year, the size of the Bloglines index doubled. Each day Bloglines adds 2 million to 2.7 million new blog and news feed articles to the database. FYI, Bloglines is planning on launching an improved search tool sometime this summer.

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New Korean Search Service Now Available - The Korea Herald reports on a new search service from Empas (it sounds like a metasearch tool) that launched last week in Korea. Google is also trying to increase market share in Korea. Recently, Googlers hit the road in Korea visiting universities aboard the Google Bus.

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UK: New Service Offers Aerial Images to Real Estate Buyers - You've likely read about the Google satellite images "hack" that provides satellite/aerial images for properties available for rent via the Craiglist database. Now, the always useful MultiMap service is working with UK real estate agent, Spicerhaart, to provide aerial images of properties to people looking to purchase real estate. More info in this Netimperative article. 192.com is another database that provides free access to satellite/aerial imagery for many United Kingdom locations. Details in this post.

=== June 7, 2005 ===

Become.com Now Providing Dynamic Search Term Suggestions - Become.com is now providing dynamic search term suggestions that can help the searcher create a more precise query (with little effort) even before clicking the search button. More details and similar services to check out in this post.

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MeeVee: A New Search Vertical for TV Listings - MeeVee and allows the user to search a database of U.S. television listings and offers several other features. This AdWeek article offers details. An article in the San Francisco Business Journal also has a bit more including details about a new deal with NBC that will provide preview clips to listings for NBC programs. The article also mentions that MeeVee was originally launched in 2000 as MyDTV. We plan to do a full review of MeeVee in the near future and look at how it compares to similar search services from the likes of Yahoo, TV Guide, and Zap2It, others. FYI, Choicesteam's MyBestBets also provides a television program (U.S. only) recommendation tools.

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Tough Love For Those Hiring SEM Firms - Do SEM work for other companies? Shari Thurow's How Not to Work With an SEO/SEM Firm article from ClickZ will have you nodding your head often in agreement, at what clients will demand, expect and refuse to do. Hiring an SEM firm? Consider it tough love from the folks who really do want to help you.

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Make Your Own Tag Clouds With TagCloud.com - I wrote earlier of "Yahoo News Tag Soup," which automatically groups Yahoo News stories into tag categories in a "cloud" format. Want to do the same to your own feed or a collection of feeds? Yahoo News Tag Soup creator John Herren sends news of his new TagCloud service. Sign-up for free, enter your feed, and you'll have your own tag cloud. Or give it a list of feeds, and you can make a cloud in particular subject areas. More in this post, along with some search cloud examples.

=== June 6, 2005 ===

Balancing Search Privacy & Data Storage - "Google's long memory stirs privacy concerns" out today from Reuters should have been called "Search's long memory stirs privacy concerns," but as usually, everything has to be a Google issue, even the bad stuff that isn't Google specific. Revisiting privacy fingers that could be pointed elsewhere.

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LinkCounts & LinkStats From PubSub's Only Rough Picture, So Far - There seems to be no end to blog search tools wanting you to have cool looking charts to prove your popularity. To prove the point, here's another one. LinkCounts from PubSub gives you an overview of top sites getting links and giving links. But the stats count links only in a feed, raising some issues. More in this post.

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Internet Marketer Corey Rudl Killed In Racing Accident - Plenty of people were introduced to search marketing by way of internet marketer Corey Rudl's writings and speaking. Sad news to report. Rudl was killed last week during a racing accident. More details in this article, with tributes and discussion in this WebmasterWorld thread: Corey Rudl Dies at 34. A memorial site has also been set up here.

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Gambling Ads Lawsuit Against Search Engines To Go Ahead - According to this press release, a case against major search engines and gambling ads filed last year in California is to move ahead. The court failed to strike down core allegations in the case, says the law firm behind the action. Lawsuit Filed Over Search & Gambling Ads from Search Engine Watch last year has more background on the case.

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US Search Players Moving More Into China - U.S. Web Giants Target China from BusinessWeek is a general overview with lots of stats on US search players moving further into the China market.

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Gary Price Gets Distinguished Alumnus Award - What did Michigan's Wayne State University ever do for anyone? For searchers, the university's Library and Information Science Program produced our own news editor Gary Price, who received the "2004 Distinguished Alumnus Award" from the program's alumni association on Saturday. Congrats, Gary!

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The Other Local Search: Craigslist - You've heard plenty about how general purpose search engines like Google and Yahoo are developing local search. They want good local listings that will pull in users, so they can in turn deliver up local ads. But if you're thinking local, you probably should also be thinking Craigslist. No, it doesn't scan the entire web. However, people in various local communities contribute apartment rentals listings, items for sale and other information around a geographic point. What eBay Could Learn From Craigslist out today from the New York Times looks at how the grassroots service has grown and remained largely ad-free. It's a counter-balance to those who want to charge for listings, like eBay, in the same way Google is a challenge to search engines that was to charge for inclusion of some listings, such as Yahoo. Mr. Craigslist, Master of the Nerdiverse from Wired last year is another good, longer read about the service.

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Spam Spotted on Yahoo Developer Network Wiki - One of the great things about wikis is that anyone can easily contribute. At the same time, the ability for anyone to contribute can also cause problems. While reviewing a page on the Yahoo Developer Network wiki this morning, I noticed (screen cap) that sometime over the weekend some "wiki spam" with links to purchase drugs (like Viagra) appeared on the page. Of course, it just might be that some YDN member is working on a way to search Yahoo and take care of "other problems" at the same time.

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Speakwire Adds New Feature, Listen to Any RSS Feed - Speakwire now allows you to listen to any RSS feed, not just selected ones. Look for the box near the bottom of the page labeled "custom feed." Enter the feed's URL and you're ready to listen. More about Speakwire and its sister service Speegle, here. See also Another Service To Read Feeds & Search Results to learn about similar services from Advanced Chatbot Solutions.

=== June 5, 2005 ===

Variation on a Theme: A New George Bush Linkbomb? - Politics aside, the classic "linkbomb" continues to tell us that President G. W. Bush is a "miserable failure" on multiple search engines. Now he's coming up just for "failure," as well. More details in this post.

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German Publishers Plan Major Book Digitization Project - Since Google announced their book digitization plans we've read about a major book digitization project across Europe being lead by France and recently learned about some U.S. publishers having "issues" (at least as of now) with Google's library digitization program. Today, the International Herald Tribune reports in the article: German publishers' Google challenge, that another large book digitization project is in the works. More details and highlights in this post.

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Israel Will Soon Say Shalom to Google, Office in the Works - Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, reports that Google will open an office in Israel soon and perhaps expand its existing Hebrew-language Google Israel site into a content-bearing portal. Globes also has a story.

=== June 4, 2005 ===

Defining Google - Google's great for providing definitions through a partnership Answers.com -- just don't try to find the definition of "Google." Yahoo and MSN get definition links, but not Google itself. More in this post.

=== June 3, 2005 ===

Google Adds New Content to "Google Information for Webmasters" FAQ; Explains Supplemental Index - Google has posted some new content to their "Google Information for Webmasters" FAQ. A section titled, "Advanced Questions" includes answers to the following questions: How often will Google crawl my site? How can I migrate my site to a new IP address? I'd like my site to return for pages from a specific country. Also included is the official Google line about results labeled "supplemental."

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Forbes Announces Deal With Search Vertical IT.com - Forbes.com users now having access to search vertical IT.com directly from search boxes located on the Forbes site. More details in this post.

=== June 2, 2005 ===

Yahoo Gives New Life to Failed TV Music Program - We've read plenty about Yahoo's interest in offering new and original content (in many formats) on their service. Today, the International Herald Tribune/New York Times reports that Yahoo is now offering new, on-demand webcasts of a live concert music program called Pepsi Smash. What makes it more interesting is that this program failed when it aired on the WB last year. Yahoo hopes "Smash" will also be helpful in promoting its digital music offerings.

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A Look at Machine Translation from Google and Others - Google Blogoscoped points to a Christian Science Monitor article that takes a look at some of the machine translation work that Google and others are working on. Systran, the company whose technology is used Yahoo's Babelfish and other sites (including Google's) are mentioned. Another company doing work in an area related to mechanical translation is Basis Technology. According to this article, Google also uses Basis technology. Finally, if you're interested in quickly comparing a bunch of online translation programs, Michael Fagan's Translation Wizard, is very useful.

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Wayne Rosing: The Google Astronomer - About a month ago, Searchblog posted that Wayne Rosing had left his position as Google's Senior Vice President of Engineering to do work in astronomy. If you would like to learn about what Rosing is up to these days and more about his interest in astronomy, the Space.com article: The Google Astronomer, has the scoop.

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Shopping and Searching for Books Online - Michelle Slatalla, the "online shopper" from the New York Times, has written an article about several databases that can help you find books available for purchase. I'm glad to see RLG's RedLightGreen is mentioned. About three months ago, I posted this overview of RedLightGreen, a database with bibliographic informaton for more than 120 million books.

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Feedster Completes Round of Venture Capital Funding -

Earlier this week I posted about Become.com completing a round of funding. Today, word from Feedster that they've also just done the same thing. How much funding? Numbers aren't included in this news release but we do learn that some of the money will be used to greatly expand their server infrastructure.

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A New Compilation Free "Cool Tools" - Over at Search Engine Guide, you'll find a new compilation from Robin Nobles that lists a number of cool tools that just happen to be free. I'm glad to see that Robin included the "most excellent" SnapTools/WebAttack site on her list. Over the years I've used this directory to find and learn about a number of worthwhile freeware and shareware tools. Her first compilation of cool tools is available here.

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Seekport UK Offers New Refinement Service; Announces Contest - Seekport's UK engine has released a new service that tries to identify homographs (words with the he exact same spelling but two different meanings) and then allow the searcher to clarify their search by simply clicking. More details in this post.

=== June 1, 2005 ===

New Article Looks at SEO "Gone Bad" - Companies subvert search results to squelch criticism from the Online Journalism Review looks how companies are trying to squash bad public relations in search engines. "It's not illegal, but it's SEO gone bad," is one provocative quote.

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GoogleGuy Shares Advice About May 2005 "Bourbon" Update - Via Searchblog and Threadwatch some advice from GoogleGuy about the Google update named "Bourbon" that's currently underway. GG writes: "Here's the advice that I'd give now: take a break from checking ranks for several more days. Bourbon includes something like 3.5 improvements in search quality, and I believe that only a couple are out so far. The 0.5 will go out in a day or so, and the last major change should roll out over the next week or so. Then there will still be some minor changes after that as well. So my "weather report" along the lines of http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000095.html would be a recommendation that rankings may still change somewhat over the next several days."

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Yahoo Adds News Headlines "Module" to Yahoo Mail Home Page - Yahoo Mail ho


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