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The Search Engine Update - Number 195 - April 20, 2005

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In This Issue

+ SES Toronto, Eh?
+ Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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SES Toronto, Eh?

In just two weeks, our Search Engine Strategies search marketing conference comes to the Canadian city of Toronto, for its second-ever run there. I missed the fun last year due to a last minute family emergency, but I'm looking forward to making it out this time. As with our US shows, the SES Toronto event will feature speakers from major search engines, along with experts on search marketing.

Following Toronto will be our SES London show, with our next US show coming to San Jose in August. Links to sites about those shows -- and all the upcoming ones planned -- can be found via our Search Engine Strategies site.

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Top Stories
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Here's a recap of major articles, important blog postings and some interesting forum discussions from Search Engine Watch since the last newsletter:

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Google Personalizes the Web
SearchDay, April 20, 2005

Say goodbye to bookmarks: Google has rolled out a seriously cool search history feature that automatically keeps track of all of your web searches and every page that you view from search results.

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Ask A Question and Get an Answer at Wondir
SEW Blog, Apr. 20, 2005

Sometimes it's much easier to get the answer you need from another person than to spend time searching for it. A service called Wondir, makes it possible to ask questions on any topic and get answers from other members of the community. The service is completely free and supported by advertising from Google. It official launches today, though it's been out for a couple of years. Some more background in this blog post.

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Google Addressing 302 Redirection Hijacking Issues
SEW Blog, Apr. 20, 2005

Google Tackles the 302 Redirect Issue at Search Engine Roundtable highlights comments from GoogleGuy in this WebmasterWorld thread that Google is making changes to help ease concerns that by using redirection, others might hijack your listings in Google. Page Hijack: The 302 Exploit, Redirects and Google from Claus Schmidt provides excellent background on the issue and does some revisiting in this Threadwatch post: Google's 302 problem solved? Also see Google's Redirect Hijacking Problem Gets Slashdotted and Redirection Problems With Google, Yahoo for more background and links.

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Dissecting Yahoo Search Redirection Codes
SEW Blog, Apr. 20, 2005

Last year, I did a breakdown for Search Engine Watch members of what all those parameters mean that are embedded within a Yahoo redirection string. Huh? When you click on a listing at Yahoo, you're actually redirected through Yahoo's own servers and certain information embedded in the redirection URL is recorded. Nacho Hernandez spots some new one ones since I wrote about this last year and tries his own dissection in Stripping out the Guts of a Yahoo Search URL at Search Engine Roundtable. Ideally, no one would have to dissect at all -- Yahoo would just explain what the codes mean. I asked last year, but no one ever got back on that particular question :). OK, I'll be asking again. Meanwhile, want to discuss or contribute? Visit our forum thread, Defining the Yahoo Search URL Parameters.

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Stanford University's Student Paper & Selling Links
SEW Blog, Apr. 19, 2005

The Stanford Daily Selling Links thread at our Search Engine Watch Forums looks at the ironic situation of the student newspaper at Stanford University -- the birthplace of Google, Yahoo and owner of the PageRank patent -- selling off-topic links to advertisers who almost certainly are trying to get better rankings on search engines. For Search Engine Watch members, the extended version of this article goes into more depth of how why these links have raised eyebrows, given that some would view them as hurting search relevancy. It also looks at why university newspapers have become a popular source for those wanting to buy links to influence search engines, including a short tour of how papers beyond Stanford are selling. The members version also covers how link selling has become commonplace and why publishers wary of a public relations problem might wish to sell only redirected or nofollow links.

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Search Advertising that Makes the Phone Ring
SearchDay, April 19, 2005

There's a new kid in town in the search advertising arena. No, it's not another search ad vendor, nor a new conversion tracking tool. This innovative pay-for-performance marketing technique brings together both the internet and the phone. Say hello to pay-per-call advertising. See also AOL Introduces Pay-Per-Call Ads from April 15.

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Overture Becomes Yahoo Search Marketing & Comparing Listing Products At Yahoo To Google
SEW Blog, Apr. 18, 2005

The rebranding promised in March has happened. Overture has officially become Yahoo Search Marketing, marked by the launch of a new Yahoo Search Marketing site that lists all of Yahoo's search-related listing products. It's a good change that ought to help new advertisers. But with rebranding can come confusion, so I thought it would be helpful to look at all the products listed at the new site and also compare them to Google products. This post provides a chart-form summary. Search Engine Watch members should read the members version that provides commentary and additional advice and information about each listing area.

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A Roundup of Local Mobile Search Tools
SearchDay, April 18, 2005

Google's new local search for mobile devices is garnering a lot of press, but there are a lot of other alternatives that are worth a look. See also Yell.com Offers Local Search For Mobile Searchers in the UK.

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Google Tests Three Ads At Top Of Results
SEW Blog, Apr. 15, 2005

Did you see three ads at the top of Google search results, rather than the one or two that sometimes appear? If so, it wasn't your imagination. AdWordsRep, Google's official rep for AdWords who participates in our Search Engine Watch Forums, confirmed to a member asking that there's a test going on. "AdWords tends to test stuff from time to time, and you're seeing one such test. Probably only a few folks will see it, and then not for long. It's not a permanent change." Want to comment or discuss? Visit the thread he commented in, 3 Ads at top of Listings. How do you get into the existing two "text banner" positions that have traditionally showed? Top position? Impossible? is another thread with AdWords rep explains how some ads end up in this position.

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Search Engine Rep Spills On Click Fraud
SEW Blog, Apr. 15, 2005

Pay Per Click Advertising Fraud - The Inside Story from Joe Holcomb, senior vice president of marketing at the Blowfish search engine, comments on his personal blog about click fraud. His goal? "My only concern is that someone from inside the pay per click industry finally address the issue of click fraud, head on, without skirting the truth." Holcomb then goes through a litany of complaints and concerns in his article. Highlights and comments, in this post. Also see these related, recent posts: Washington Post Looks at Click Fraud & Google Is Responsive On Click Fraud -- How About Some Balance, Says Goodman.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, April 15, 2005

Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Coke vs. Pepsi Challenge for Search Engines - How Many Impressions Does AdWords Keyword Get Before It's Disabled? - Bid Management Software - Does Yahoo/MSN Like High PageRank Links? - New Google Answering Facts, and more.

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Search Engine Algorithms & Research
SearchDay, April 14, 2005

As a searcher or search engine optimization specialist, do you really need to understand the algorithms and technologies that power search engines? Absolutely, said a panel of experts at a recent Search Engine Strategies conference.

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Another Poke At Tags As Search Savior
SEW Blog, Apr. 14, 2005

I've been dubious before about tagging in relation to search, but Steve Rubel's Targeting Through Tagvertising article makes me want to poke at them a few more times for a reality check. A look at how tags aren't the only way to get query refinement nor the best way to stay alerted to topics of interest. More in this post.

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B2B & B2C Search Marketing Closer Than You Might Think
SEW Blog, Apr. 14, 2005

The Shortest Distance from B to C from David Berkowitz at MediaPost recently really resonated with me. He reflects on a B2C speaker being at a B2B breakfast and finds that the differences between the two may not be as great as some assume. More in this post on B2B versus B2C.

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Yahoo Offers Free Business Web Sites
SearchDay, April 13, 2005

Yahoo is expanding its Yahoo Local search service by providing a free web site to business owners that will automatically be integrated into Yahoo Local listings.

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New Look and Features Unveiled in Yahoo News Beta
SEW Blog, Apr. 13, 2005

A new beta of Yahoo News features a new home page and other layout changes and features, including the ability to pick your own sources in various categories. More details in this post.

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Google Wants Your Video
SEW Blog, Apr. 13, 2005

Google is taking what it calls the first step toward a video search service, asking for submissions from anyone who wants to share their video on the web. Google will index the video and will host video content on its web servers. More in this post.

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Google Debuts Local Mobile
SearchDay, April 12, 2005

Google has added a new service that enables cell phone users in the U.S. to use a remarkably robust version of Google Local directly from a mobile handset.

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Yahoo Acquires TeRespondo Latin American PPC Search Network
SEW Blog, Apr. 12, 2005

Yahoo has acquired TeRespondo, a Brazillan PPC search network that plays in the Latin American market. ClickZ provides more details in Yahoo Buys Brazilian PPC Search Network. See also Yahoo Buys TeRespondo.com to gain market share in Latin America from Nacho Hernandez at Search Engine Roundtable for some stats on why Latin America growth was of interest -- and why he feels it was easier for Yahoo to buy the company than try to steal its distribution partners. He also looks at Google hiring for Brazil and Mexico. Want to discuss? Join Nacho and others in our forum thread, Yahoo Gains Market Share in Latin America with TeRespondo.

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Become.com Launches Shopping Search Engine
SearchDay, April 11, 2005

The founders of pioneering shopping search engine MySimon have teamed up again to produce Become.com, a new service that provides information and options for all aspects of the shopping experience. See also More Buzz for Become.com; BrilliantShopper.com to Launch Soon.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, April 8, 2005

Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Bookmarks Seen by Search Engines? - Of Sandboxes and Toolbars: Google's New Patent Application - Attaining Quality Ranks on MSN Search - High/Low Bandwidth Version of a Site: Spamming? - Google Dynamically Changing Page Titles - Keyword Density Analysis Nonsense, and more.

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Searching Books at Google; Comparing Coverage with Amazon's Search Inside the Book
SEW Blog, Apr. 8, 2005

For several weeks I've noticed that using the trigger word "books" or "book" in a Google search always included a OneBox with results from the Google Print program. That's now an official feature. More in this post, as well as comparing Google's book search to that offered by Amazon.

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Ask Jeeves Enhances MyJeeves; Tagging Option Added
SEW Blog, Apr. 11, 2005

Ask Jeeves has just released an upgrade to their MyJeeves personalized search tool that Ask.com launched last September. This post covers features such as the ability to add your own tags, or categories, to any item.

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Blogs, Boards, and Posts: Capturing Consumer Buzz Online
SearchDay, April 7, 2005

A new category of software tools has emerged that uses search engine technology to find and organize consumer-posted thoughts and opinions. These tools not only help marketers discover what is being said about their companies and brands, they also allow them to use that insight to drive new campaigns and even develop new products.

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Google Launches Q&A Service, Answers Directly on Results Pages
SEW Blog, Apr. 7, 2005

Google joins other search providers by offering answers (they're calling it Google Q&A) on results pages. Answers, if available, are placed in a OneBox at the top of the results list. A look at the new feature, in this article.

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Google SEO Support Given To Advertisers
Search Engine Watch, Apr. 6, 2005

Google & SEO Support For Advertisers now posted for Search Engine Watch members looks at how increased editorial listings support being given to large advertisers is raising concerns with search marketers and threatening the "church and state" division between ads and editorial results that Google has long sought to maintain.

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More From The SEW Blog
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You Gotta Try To Succeed With Expanding Keywords
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 20, 2005

In Accelerated Keyword and Engine Testing from ClickZ, Kevin Lee looks at why every keyword you try is a gamble, but a necessary one if you're going to expand the audience you reach out to. He then provides tips to increase the odds of success, including key factors that should be considered. Part 2 continues on with more.

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Directories Still Have Value To Search Marketers
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 20, 2005

Directories have diminished in importance, given how the major search engines have abandoned them, as I've written about in the past. But in Directories: Love 'em or Leave 'em from Search Engine Guide, David Wallace takes another look from a search marketer's perspective about why you might not want to scratch them off the list entirely. Sure, they aren't giant traffic generators any more -- but they do send noticeable traffic. Plus, they remain important links to the crawlers. He concludes with a few major free directories you can submit to plus some paid ones, as well. Need more? Bob Mutch maintains a list of directories here and here.

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Study Ties Online Strongly To Offline Purchases
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 20, 2005

Some interesting stats on local shopping offline and how it is influenced by online are out via a new study. Moral from the stats? Having a presence online seems pretty likely to help influence those purchases in your bricks-and-mortar stores. More in this post.

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Google.org For Google Foundation's Philanthropic Activities
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 20, 2005

Nathan Weinberg at InsideGoogle spots that a new Google.org site is up. At the moment, it has nothing much other than a promise of more to come. Sounds like this will be the new home for the Google Foundation that's been in the works since last year. An executive director is still being sought for that, and some background on the foundation is here from News.com: Google readies charitable foundation.

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Google Ransom Notes To Block Automated Queries, Submissions
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 20, 2005

Aaron Wall reports in Google Taking Action Against Automated SEO Software that new "ransom note" style codes are being used by Google to block the OptiLink link building software -- causing OptiLink to suspend its Google functionality for the time being. Note that ransom notes were also added recently to a number of other Google services that might get hit by automation, such as its Add URL page.

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SEO Criminals
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 20, 2005

I mentioned the Search Champs are meeting again up at Microsoft. One champ Mary Hodder takes a swing at the SEM people invited. "There are about six search engine optimization people here. Kind of like being at the FBI and having criminals helping out in the room." In this post, a bit more on why that's a pretty sweeping statement to make for all of SEO. Sigh.

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Not Quite A Fair Shopping Comparison Test
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 20, 2005

Jason Dowell in Comparing Search Engine Results - My Experiment at Search Engine Guide decides to pit shopping search engines against each other. He comes away feeling that Google's Froogle, Yahoo Shopping and MSN are all the same, while Become.com has many more unique URLs. The problem is that he's not comparing like-to-like. More in this post.

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Multimap: Wireless Web Access to Maps for More than 50 Countries
By Gary Price, Apr. 19, 2005

Multimap offers both web-based (some local info also available) and wireless web access to maps for more than 50 countries including Australia and Canada, along with aerial/satellite images for a fee. A few more details, in this post.

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Yahoo Profits Double; Beats Estimates
By Gary Price, Apr. 19, 2005

Hot off the wire are Yahoo's Q1 2005 numbers, and this post has a summary of the positive news culled from the company's news release. Yahoo Japan has also just reported record earnings for Q1.

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A New Dynamic Search Term Suggestion Tool from Snap
By Gary Price, Apr. 19, 2005

Searchblog clues us into a new dynamic query suggestion tool from Snap.com. It might look and feel like Google Suggest but the difference is that instead of listing how many hits a search term or phrase might have, Snap.com lists how many times the terms have been searched. Want to check out other dynamic query and search term suggestion tools? Resources from Surfwax and AOL's Pinpoint Shopping are linked to in this post.

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Search Cost Per Lead Cheap Compared To Other Ads
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 19, 2005

Gold Mine Found in Web Searches from Reuters has some nice stats at the end comparing search to other forms of advertising, from a cost per lead perspective. Citing Piper Jaffray, is says the cost to acquire is $8.50 for search, $20 for yellow pages, $50 for online display ads, $60 for email and $70 for direct mail. Cost for television leads were not covered.

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Behind The Scenes Of Microsoft Takes On Google
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 19, 2005

Search and Destroy from Fortune (paid subscription required) has some nice details on the war between Google and Microsoft, covering how the company decided it needed to be fully within search. This post summarizes some highlights. Behind The Scenes Of Yahoo Takes On Google summarizes a similar recent story from the San Jose Mercury News that looks at Yahoo getting search religion.

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Podscope Beta Now Available, Keyword Search Podcasts
By Gary Price, Apr. 19, 2005

Podscope, the new web engine that allows you to keyword search each and every word spoken in a podcast is now live in beta mode. More details in this post.

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Google UK Gets Local Listings & Maps
SEW Blog, Apr. 19, 2005

Google Local UK has now launched. Not listed? Some data is gathered in partnership with Yell.com. Want to search locally on your mobile? A Google Local SMS service is also offered, similar to what rolled out for the US last week. Texting instructions for Google Local UK are here. Google Maps UK has also now launched. Yes, you can even drag your way across the Atlantic and over to the US, if you like. Satellite coverage as provided by Google Maps in the US is not yet online. Can't wait? This post from Gary earlier this month explains another service you can try for those aerial views. You can also try TerraServer or World Wind (see Gary's review).

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Images from Five More Cities Added To A9's Visual Yellow Pages
By Gary Price, Apr. 19, 2005

A9 has added images from five new cities to their visual yellow page service: Washington DC, Phoenix, Miami, Houston and Fargo. Want to learn more about A9's visual yellow pages? Here's an overview article from SearchDay that includes info about other visual yellow pages. You can also read this ClickZ interview with the Amazon VP who led the development of the project. Finally, A9 Yellow Pages now has its own dedicated site at http://yp.a9.com.

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Searching For Gas Prices
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 19, 2005

High Gas Prices Fuel Search Engine Usage from Jennifer Laycock at Search Engine Guide talks about two gas price search engines (GasBuddy.com & GasPriceWatch.com) that help those in the US find the lowest prices to fill up. FYI, both Yahoo and Ask Jeeves have shortcuts to get you prices, as well. At either Ask Jeeves or Yahoo, enter "gas" plus a zip code, such as gas 92663, and you'll get links to the two sites mentioned above. Of course, it's faster to go to the gas price sites directly and get the answers. But, if you can't remember them offhand, this is a quick way to find them and have links already set for your local area. Now what would be really cool is if someone whipped up prices placed against a map. When it happens, as I'm sure it will, we'll bring news.

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Past 10 Years Of Online Advertising History Available.
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 19, 2005

The Decade in Online Advertising 1994-2004 is a new 21 page PDF report from DoubleClick that offers a ton of data about online ad spend over the past 10 years. Check out the nice quarterly spend chart on page 4. Page 12 has a nice pie chart showing search at having 40 percent of online spend as of the second quarter of last year. A short history of search ads begins on page 11.

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Study Finds TV Drives Searches
By Gary Price, Apr. 19, 2005

MediaPost reports in Yahoo: Internet Users 'Mesh' Web With Television about a new study from Yahoo and Mediaedge:cia about the very close relationship (AKA "media meshing") between the web and television. A few key items summarized, in this post. If nothing else, the study offers more evidence that traditional advertisers need to think about search because what they do on TV will generate searches.

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Bristol Buys Search Ads
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 19, 2005

Google Adds Boost to Bristol from eGov monitor covers out the Bristol City County in England is generating traffic for its Askbristol community web site through paid ads with Google and Yahoo. It's apparently the first local authority in the UK to turn to paid search ads.

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LinkedIn to Debut BtoB Local Search Service to Connect Professionals
By Gary Price, Apr. 19, 2005

MediaPost reports that LinkedIn will announce that they will offer a new business-to-business local search product called "LinkedIn Services."

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FeedPlex, An Engine for XML Content Relaunches in Beta
By Gary Price, Apr. 19, 2005

FeedPlex, an engine for XML content (RSS, RDF) is back online. The database is being revamped and expanded by Nathan Enns, the person who also runs FyberSearch.

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The Mobile Searcher and Medical Information
By Gary Price, Apr. 18, 2005

The combo of mobile and local search is all the rage these days but mobile access to health and medical info/research has been building momentum for several years. In fact, the National Library of Medicine released a mobile interface to PubMed back in 2003 and since then has released several other mobile tools. This new compilation has intro info and links to the growing list of resources that NLM offers mobile web searchers. Since the topic is mobile search and health info, I recently learned that a mobile versions of the Merck Manual and other reference tools are available (free).

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MSN Surveys Web Searchers
By Gary Price, Apr. 18, 2005

While perusing the Sympatico/MSN.ca home page this afternoon I noticed a link to a 19 question "search survey" that MSN is asking users to complete. In this post, some of the questions asked.

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MSN Results Coming to InfoSpace Sites
By Gary Price, Apr. 18, 2005

InfoSpace is announcing that they've just inked a two-year deal with Microsoft to add MSN web search results to both their branded metasearch sites (Dogpile, Metacrawler) and their private label search offerings. I just ran a few searches with both engines and it looks like MSN results haven't been added to the mix yet. InfoSpace also has deals in place with Google, Yahoo, and Ask Jeeves. We've also learned that a new version of Dogpile will be going live at the beginning of May.

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Hommingberger Gepardenforelle: German SEO Contest Announced
By Gary Price, Apr. 18, 2005

Philipp over at Google Blogoscoped has the scoop about a new search optimization contest from Germany. The contest is being sponsored by a German computer magazine publisher and will use the nonsense term of "Hommingberger Gepardenforelle." Philipp goes on to say that Google.de, Yahoo.de, MSN.de and Seekport.de will be the engines used to judge positioning.

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TiVo Talks to Google and Yahoo
By Gary Price, Apr. 18, 2005

News.com reports in TiVo courts search giants that unnamed sources are saying that the digital video recording company is in talks with both Yahoo and Google about some type of partnership. Another source says that TiVo is also talking to both companies about a possible equity investment. No one from TiVo, Google, or Yahoo would comment on the story. Last month, TiVo announced a major partnership with Comcast (a major cable tv company in the U.S.), that will allow Comcast customers that opportunity to use TiVo services. On a related note (in the sense that it involves video) is news that Sony Pictures Entertainment will announce that they will soon begin building a digital library of its film content.

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Largest U.S. Corporations: Where Do Google and Yahoo Rank?
By Gary Price, Apr. 17, 2005

Neither Google or Yahoo made the 2005 Fortune 500 (Microsoft does at #41) but both are found on the list of the Top 1000 companies. Yahoo is ranked at #502 and Google is found at #541 (based on revenues). More in this post.

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Google Sues Froogles Over Its Name
By Gary Price, Apr. 15, 2005

Last July we posted an item to the SEW Forums about Google asking ICANN (the domain name organization) to not allow Froogles (a discount shopping site) to use the domain because it was "confusingly similar" to Google. Google lost. Now the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Google has now filed suit against Froogles in a U.S. federal court alleging trademark infringement. We've also tracked down the full text of the complaint that Google filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. You can access the filing (68 pages; PDF) >here.

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A Review of Social Bookmarking Services
By Gary Price, Apr. 15, 2005

Digital Libraries' April issue features two articles about social bookmarking services. The first article provides a review of many services and offers comments about tagging. The second article is an overview/case study about Connotea, a social bookmarking service for scientists.

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Ask Jeeves 8th Birthday & History
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 15, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me on the Ask Jeeves Blog is Ask celebrating its eighth birthday last week. It features a look at "old" versus "new" Jeeves. It also has some nice screenshots over time. Need more history? Check out the Ask Jeeves timeline here. Barry Schwartz uses that as a launching pad for his Ask Jeeves SEM Time Line of Events which ironically carries on past where Ask's own timeline leaves off. Happy Birthday, Ask Jeeves! from Chris Sherman covers some background from back when Ask turned 6.

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Yahoo Shopping Gains RSS Feeds
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 15, 2005

Yahoo Shopping has gained RSS feeds. A full list is here, allowing you to monitor products in various categories. But sadly, there doesn't appear to be a way to set up a feed that will monitor a keyword-based query of your choice, in the way feeds at Yahoo News allow.

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AOL Tweaks Search Interface; Offering Links to ITunes
By Gary Price, Apr. 15, 2005

I noticed a tweak to the AOL Search interface this morning. Until today, a tab labeled "Audio and Video" (cached version) linked to an interface that searched both types of content. You'll now see that audio and video search have separate tabs on the home page and separate interfaces (audio |video). I also noticed (possibly late to the party with this item) that some results found when searching for audio with AOL Search offer direct links ITunes. For example, I searched for Chemical Brothers and found a link labeled "ITunes" next to the first "featured" result. Clicking it opened my ITunes app and took me directly to The Chemical Brothers ITunes page.

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Gmail Gains "Web Clips" Feed Reading Feature
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 15, 2005

Blogger founder and former Google employee Evan Williams spots a new "Web Clips" feed reading feature that has appeared in Google's Gmail web mail service. Gmail adds feed reading has a screenshot and details. Not all Gmail users will see this feature -- it hasn't shown up for me yet, for example.

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Search Is Also Navigation, So Brands -- Are You Well Represented?
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 15, 2005

It's been long known that searchers don't just use search engines to find things but also depend on search to navigate to sites of interest. Search can be a sort of warp drive to get you to that site whose URL you can't remember or that you find too bulky to type into the address bar. Getting From Point A to B With Search from Gord Hotchkiss at MediaPost revisits the issue of navigational queries and how they may impact brand owners not properly indexed by search engines.

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Groowe Releases Firefox Search Toolbar
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 15, 2005

A past Search Engine Watch Awards winner, the Groowe search toolbar makes it easy to search against multiple search engines from your browser and access the special features that some search toolbars provide, all within one single toolbar. Previously only for Internet Explorer, now Groowe's out for Firefox users: Groowe Search Toolbar for Firefox.

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Internet Archive Announces Increase to Size of Wayback Machine
By Gary Price, Apr. 14, 2005

Since we all love to toss around total database size numbers, I just noticed that in the past few hours the Internet Archive has posted a total size update for The Wayback Machine. The database now contains more than 40 billion archived pages. The previous total size number that the IA provided was 30 billion pages. I'm assuming that the total page count reflects updates that have been made to the database during the past couple of years. Now, if we could only get the searchable full text access that was once available back online. (-:

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AOL Doing Some Mobile Search Testing
By Gary Price, Apr. 14, 2005

AOL, who currently offers a bare bones mobile web portal along with a mobile version of AIM has started to beta test some new services and tools according to this BetaNews.com story. The article quotes an AOL spokesperson: "The goal is to allow mobile users to browse conventional HTML Web pages, enter specific URLs and access the AOL Search, Pinpoint Shopping and AOL Yellow Pages offerings just as they would from the desktop to easily find whatever they may need." More in this post.

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HighBeam Research Launches New Tool For Blogging Community
By Gary Price, Apr. 14, 2005

The HighBeam Research Blog Enhancer allows any blogger to quickly and easily add citations or provide access to the full text of articles from the HighBeam database to their blog. HighBeam currently provides full text material from more that 3000 sources. More in this post.

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Yahoo Extends Paid Search Deal With Lycos Europe
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 14, 2005

Yahoo has extended its existing partnership to provide paid listings to Lycos Europe in what's called a "multi-year" agreement. The deal covers sponsored search results on Lycos sites and makes Yahoo the exclusive provider of contextual ads to Lycos Europe properties, bumping out Google. A bit more, in this post.

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Real Time Traffic Alerts via SMS
By Gary Price, Apr. 13, 2005

MSN Autos offers real-time traffic alerts delivered via SMS. More details in this post.

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Australia: Enhancements in the Works at Sensis
By Gary Price, Apr. 13, 2005

Several sources including ZDNet Australia and the Sydney Morning Herald have articles about some enhancements coming to Australian web search engine, Sensis, by the end of this month. A summary, in this post.

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Jobs at Google and Yahoo
By Gary Price, Apr. 13, 2005

I'm always reviewing job openings in the web search biz. They can be a great way to see where a company might be headed or just where they need some help. A small sampling (and I mean small) of postings that I've come across in the past week from Google and Yahoo, in this post.

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Gmail Interface Now Available in 13 Languages
By Gary Price, Apr. 12, 2005

The Gmail interface is now available 13 languages. This page explains how to change the interface to any of the languages offered.

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Rocket News Releases New Version of Desktop News Search App
By Gary Price, Apr. 12, 2005

RocketNews, a web news search resource that we've mentioned many times and like a lot, is online today with a new beta version of their desktop-based news search tool, Rocket Desktop 1.1. (Windows only). It's a free download. More in this post.

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Google Malta Suffers From Embarrassing Translation
By Gary Price, Apr. 12, 2005

Malta Today is reporting that the Google Malta home page was hacked. "The search button fittex (search) encountered a momentary metamorphosis on Tuesday evening when the word on the button was changed to the standard Maltese insult of calling somebody a penis in a can." But this blog reports that the problem didn't come from hacking but with the Google program that allows people to translate parts of the Google site.

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Local Search Goes to China
By Gary Price, Apr. 12, 2005

Baidu.com, the large web search engine from China that Google is a minority investor in, has announced a partnership deal with the China Telecom Yellow Pages.

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Mamma.com Gets Formally Probed By SEC
By Gary Price, Apr. 12, 2005

Several sources, including this Dow Jones story, are reporting that the SEC's (Security and Exchange) Montreal-based search engine, Mamma.com, has been "converted" into a formal investigation. The SEC began an informal investigation of Mamma.com about a year ago when the the government agency requested documents from the company. See also, Copernic Will Not Be Sold to Mamma.com.

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AOL Posts Spring's Top Searches
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 12, 2005

AOL Hot Searches Spring 2005 now up from AOL covers top "spring" search topics on its US service from January 1 to March 21, 2005, the company tells us. You'll see top baseball teams, players, spring cleaning related terms, top tax forms searched for, colleges, diets, destinations, flower-related, prom-related and wedding-related terms. As a reminder, top searches-style lists from other major search engines are listed on our What People Search For page.

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MSN Steals Head Of Yahoo Labs
By Danny Sullivan, Apr. 12, 2005

MSN tells us it has just hired Dr. Gary Flake as a distinguished engineer, the first such external hire for a distinguished engineer for the company. Formerly, Flake was head of Yahoo Labs. He joined Overture back in 2003 and later became part of Yahoo through its purchase of Overture. Our Gary -- Gary Price -- did a three part interview with Flake last year. You can find all parts referenced from the top of the last one: Behind the Scenes at Yahoo Labs, Part 3. See also: Yahoo Names New Head of Yahoo Research Labs, on Yahoo naming Flake's replacement, Dr. Usama Fayyad.

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Q&A Interview With an Indeed.com Co-Founder
By Gary Price, Apr. 11, 2005

Interested in learning more about job search vertical, Indeed.com? Nathan Enns from Fybersearch has posted a ten question Q&A interview with Paul Forster, a co-founder of the job search database.

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Blinkx Makes More Audio Content Searchable
By Gary Price, Apr. 11, 2005

Just up on the BlinkxTV site is news that this multimedia search tool now allows you to keyword search content from Live365, a massive web-based streaming radio network. This is the fourth radio network that BlinkxTV allows you to keyword search content from. They also provide access to material from National Public Radio, BBC, and the Voice of America. Of course, BlinkxTV also offers access to many more video content providers.

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Kayak Launches Self-Serve Ad Product; Priceline Releases Travel Search Tool
By Gary Price, Apr. 11, 2005

Kayak's new self-serve advertising service is up and running. This Reuters story has more about the patent-pending technology that Kayak.com is using. Also, Priceline.com is launching a travel search engine that will scour fares, hotel room rates, etc. from Priceline partners. This is in addition to Priceline's well-known Name Your Own Price feature. More in this Dow Jones story and this news release.

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Newsweek Talks Tagging
By Gary Price, Apr. 11, 2005

In the article: In the New Game of Tag, All of Us Are It, Newsweek's Steven Levy talks about the rise of interest in tagging. In this post, my look at why thinking libraries are stuck in some type of Dewey Decimal System morass isn't correct.

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Satellite/Aerial Images Plus Local Info
By Gary Price, Apr. 10, 2005

With all of the interest in satellite and aerial images these days I thought TerraFly, a service from Florida Int. University (with support from IBM), was worthy of another mention on the blog. Terrafly not only offers interactive satellite/aerial images but also provides local info for most of these images. It's very easy to try the service. More in this post.

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China's Search Market Rises 81% in 2004
By Gary Price, Apr. 10, 2005

A brief article in the People's Daily reports on the release of a report about China's search market.

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More Plug-ins For Google Desktop Search Now Available
By Gary Price, Apr. 8, 2005

Google Desktop Search users will be happy to learn that the Googleplex has just posted a batch of new plug-ins for the GDS app. You'll find all of them listed here.

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Google Files Proxy Statement with SEC; Brin, Page, and Schmidt Salary Set at $1.00
By Gary Price, Apr. 8, 2005

Hot off the press is the Google's Definitive Proxy Statement. Info about executive compensation, Eric Schmidt's employment agreement (he is currently receiving a salary of $1/per year (the same as Larry and Sergey), options, proposals to be voted on at the annual meeting, total voting power amongst owners, and other info. More about the Google filing in this Reuters story.

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Research Papers: Rankings, Link Farms, Personalization, and PageRank Collusion
By Gary Price, Apr. 8, 2005

The WWW2005 Conference features a number of interesting papers about search. A rundown on some of them, in this post. See also Updated Research Paper: A Taxonomy of Web Spam, which looks a bit more closely at one of them.

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Media Companies Buy Keyword Ads
By Gary Price, Apr. 8, 2005

I've noticed some media organizations (NY Times, Washington Post, etc.) purchasing keyword ads from Google, Yahoo, and other services for a long time. A new article in The Wall Street Journal article: News Sites Turn to Advertisements On Google, Yahoo to Boost Traffic (reg required), takes a look at the trend.

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UK's 192.com Directory Database Relaunches; Aerial Images for Many UK Locations Available
By Gary Price, Apr. 7, 2005

Both Revolution and Netimperative report that 192.com, an online directory enquiry service from the UK has just relaunched. Four categories of search are available and available from tabs on the 192.com home page: People, Businesses, Classified/Local and Maps. Need an aerial view of a location? 192.com now offers aerial views for many UK locations. Here's an example. And a bit more, in this post.

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Browse Yahoo Images with First Floor Image Search; Lenssen Releases New Version of FindForward
By Gary Price, Apr. 7, 2005

First Floor Image Search allows you search/browse (50 images at a time), increase/reduce and rotate images. It works with Firefox or IE. It uses the new Yahoo Search API. That leads to something else new that's out, an updated version of the FindForward search tool that displays the "Related Queries" (via the Yahoo API) to the right side of the organic search results.

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Price of Search Ads Increases 9% in March
By Gary Price, Apr. 7, 2005

This Media Post article and chart about the latest Fathom Online Keyword Index covers how paid search listings increased 9% last month to an average of $1.75.

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Yahoo Senior VP of Search Speaks at Wharton School of Business
By Gary Price, Apr. 7, 2005

A few weeks ago, Jeff Weiner, Yahoo's Senior VP Search and Marketplace, gave a talk at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia. This new article in the Knowledge@Wharton newsletter: One Size Fits One: Tailoring Technology to Consumer Needs, provides a summary and a few quotes from Weiner's presentation. In this post, a few key passages.

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Newspapers Branding Their Own RSS Tools
By Gary Price, Apr. 7, 2005

It seems like everyone wants something to do with RSS these days. A Wired News article talks about several newspapers preparing to launch their own branded RSS/feed aggregators and then bundling individual feeds (from disparate sources) into various topics that users can choose from. A bit more, in this post.

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MSN Officially Launches "Spaces" Blogging Service
By Gary Price, Apr. 7, 2005

A brief article from Reuters announces the fact that Microsoft has taken their Spaces weblog publishing service out of beta and is claiming more than 4.5 million users during the test phase. The Spaces home page also is sporting a new look. More about blogging tools from the major search companies in this December post from Danny and his recent post about Yahoo's new 360 service. Also, on a somewhat related note, M


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