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The Search Engine Update - Number 202 - Aug. 1, 2005

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In This Issue

+ SES San Jose Next Week!
+ Daily SearchCast: SEW's New Podcast
+ Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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SES San Jose Next Week!

Search Engine Strategies show comes to San Jose next week, August 8-11, and there's still time to register.

As a reminder, Ask Jeeves CEO and director Steve Berkowitz will be doing the keynote conversation with me on August 9. Berkowitz To Keynote SES San Jose at the SES Blog tells you more about the session.

The full agenda and and more about the show can be found on the SES San Jose 2005 web site itself. There are a ton of new sessions, as well as returning favorites. The conference features speakers from major search engines, along with experts on search marketing.

At the web site, you can also view the entire program at-a-glance or use the session planner to get itineraries designed for those new to search marketing, interested in ad issues, interested in organic/free listings or even what's new in the Been Before category.

On the SES Blog, the SES San Jose 2005 Sessions section gives you a rundown on each session of the show. As I wrap-up and confirm a session, I'm letting people know this and telling them a bit more about what to expect. I've got more sessions I'll be posting about this week. The Attendee Advice section has information on getting more out of the show. Expect even more content to grow on the blog in the weeks ahead.

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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Daily SearchCast: SEW's New Podcast

Want to keep up with the latest in search news while you're on the go? Try our new podcast, The Daily SearchCast. It's a 10-15 minute recap of the previous day's news. It involves either I or Gary Price doing an off-the-cuff look at the previous day's search news, accompanied by a guest host from the producers at WebmasterRadio.FM. How to tune-in?

  • Subscribe to our main SEW Blog feed, and you'll receive the podcasts automatically when we alert readers to them each day.
  • Subscribe to our special podcast feed, and you'll receive an alert only about new podcasts that we've posted.
  • Tune into WebmasterRadio.FM, where we go out live at 11:30am Eastern and then repeat at 2pm Eastern. The show archive at WebmasterRadio is here.
  • Listen via our Odeo channel, where it's easy to see our past shows and hear them by using little play buttons right within your browser.
  • Select any of our search podcasts via the The Daily SearchCast home page. All previous podcasts are archived there.

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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.

=== Aug. 1, 2005 ===

New Ask Jeeves Sponsored Listings Program Lets More Advertisers Buy Direct - Ask Jeeves has officially announced a new automated paid listings service today, "Ask Jeeves Sponsored Listings." It will let anyone purchase ads directly on the Ask Jeeves network rather than having to buy placement via Google or work through an Ask Jeeves account rep.

Search Engine Watch members should see the version that goes into more depth on topics such how Ask Jeeves may cope with the "hassle factor" of convincing advertisers they should go direct, how it may show more than three of its own ads, making use of the "standard" Googe format, issues with potential ad duplication and how Ask says it developed most of the technology internally, though it won't name the third party company also involved -- and isn't worried that Yahoo might seek a patent infringement claim on paid listings.

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Revisiting Hijacking & Redirects: Moving To A Solution - What are redirects, how have they caused "hijacking" at Google, potentially elsewhere, and what as Yahoo done to solve the hijacking problems. All this and more is covered in this article that invites you to contribute to how search engines should established an across-the-board standard on dealing with redirects.

=== July 29, 2005 ===

MyJeeves 1.2 Released - Ask Jeeves has just released version 1.2 of their MyJeeves personal information management tool.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: SEO Is A Lot of Work, Is It Worth It? - Getting from Point A to B with Search - New Ask Jeeves Paid Listings Program Said To Come August 1 - Low Quality Clicks - Google's Cash Cow - Did Google Just Target Directories?, and more.

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Google Seeks Patent On RSS Ads: Filed In Dec. 2003 - Google's Advertisements in RSS Patent App in our SEW Forums covers how Google has applied for a patent on putting ads into RSS and feeds. You can discuss in that forum thread, plus Threadwatch has some talk. It's important to realize that this patent app was filed with the US Patent and Trademark office in December 2003. In other words Google has been thinking about and developing methods to place paid advertising into RSS feeds for at least 18 months but likely much longer. However, it has only been in the past few months that Google started to test this type of service.

=== July 28, 2005 ===

Microsoft Gets Temporary Restraining Order in Google Case - A Washington State Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order today barring Dr. Kai-Fu Lee from performing his duties as the recently appointed head of Google China. See also Lee Hits China For Google, Didn't Foresee Non-Compete Problems and The Hiring of Dr Lee: Google Strikes Back.

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AOL Offers Personalized Home Page, RSS Feeds - AOL has launched a beta version of MY AOL, a customizable portal that provides access to AOL.com's entire suite of features and allows users to add their favorite RSS feeds to the page.

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And More On Search Hiring! - "Where have all the engineers gone? Off to Google, Yahoo and MSN." Sounds better if you hum the tune of "Where Have All The Flowers Gone." Thought it was a bit lame so cut it -- then just came across Anyway, Revenge of the Nerds -- Again from BusinessWeek, where Ben Elgin looks at the brain drain happening as Google and Yahoo suck up tech talent. Geez, 230 engineers hired by Google in the second quarter of this year! A nice recap of who's gone where. See also: Yahoo Hiring From IBM

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AOL Unveils New Mobile Search Services - This morning AOL is online with a mobile web search beta. AOL has offered some mobile services (for example, AOL Instant Messenger, mail, news, etc.) for years and has been testing new features since April. Here's a rundown on what's new on the web search front.

=== July 27, 2005 ===

Thinking Outside the Search Box - Sometimes, looking beyond search engines is the best, if not only way to find the information you're looking for.

=== July 26, 2005 ===

Former Google Exec Files Suit Over Alleged Pregnancy Discrimination - The NY Newsday article Suit accuses Google of pregnancy bias reports on a new lawsuit filed by Christina Elwell, a former director of national sales for Google who saw her star dropped after she became pregnant...[MORE”

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Search Marketing UK: A Buyer's Guide - We review yet another buyer's guide to search engine marketing, this one focused exclusively on agencies operating within the United Kingdom.

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RSS Search & Add Option Now Available For Google Personalized Home Page - In the past few days, Google has unveiled a new "look-and-feel" along with a couple of new features to their personalized homepage including the ability to add RSS feeds to the page....[MORE”

=== July 25, 2005 ===

Microsoft Launches MSN Virtual Earth - Microsoft has released a beta version of Virtual Earth, a web-based application that combines local search with maps and aerial photography.

=== July 25, 2005 ===

Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: July 2005 Yahoo Update - Redirecting Thousands of Dynamic URLs - Hiring An SEO - Do Search Engines like my-widget or my_widget.html best? - Myths - Never mind the top ten tips, and more.

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

=== Aug. 1, 2005 ===

Shari Thurow Chats Shopping Search with Become.com's Jon Glick - In the first part of a two part interview, Shari Thurow chats with search industry veteran (Yahoo, AltaVista) Jon Glick, presently the Senior Director for Product Search at shopping research and comparison shopping engine, Become.com....[MORE}

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Baidu.com Gets Ready For IPO - Although a specific date hasn't been set yet, stories about Chinese web search engine Baidu.com, and its upcoming IPO continue to appear. The AP's Joe McDonald does a nice roundup of info about the company....[MORE”

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Local Paper Profiles InsiderPages.com - The Whittier (CA) Daily News article: Web search engine finds niche in local advertising, provides a profile of local search/social networking tool, InsiderPages.com. Last month, SearchDay took a look at Judy's Book, another service that combines local search and social networks. For more on both services, see these blog posts:

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Yahoo News Adding More Video Content - A brief AP article reports that Yahoo News will soon add streaming video news clips from CNN and ABC News. No word about whether or not the clips (either metadata or transcript search) will also be searchable via Yahoo Video search....[MORE”

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Google Considering 1 Million Sq. Foot Googleplex in Valley - The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal story: On hiring binge, Google prowling for additional office space, discusses Google's efforts to find more space in the Mountain View/Silicon Valley area. The article notes that the company is, "probing development of a million-square-foot headquarters-type campus." During Google's recent conference call, we learned that the company hired 701 new employees in the first quarter of 2005. They did not say how many of these new employees work at the Mountain View Googleplex.

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Looksmart Averages 15 Cents Per Click; Contextual Text Ads Coming - LookSmart's Q2 2005 earnings were released last week and losses were greater than in Q1. Looksmart reported a net loss of $5.4 million on revenue of $10.2 million, down from $12 million in the first quarter. However, average revenues per click were -- excluding run of site -- was 15 cents, up from 14 cents in Q1. The company also said that contextual text ads will soon be available on their vertical sites like FindArticles.com. More in articles from Media Post and ClickZ.

=== Jul. 31, 2005 ===

Gigablast Debuts Toolbar for Internet Explorer -

Gigablast has released a toolbar for Internet Explorer that offers a couple of features I haven't seen elsewhere: (1) Search the sites linked from the current page and (2) search the sites in your bookmarks. A Gigablast toolbar for Firefox isn't available yet but a MyCroft plug-in can be found here. Presently, the Gigablast index provides searchable access to over 2 billion pages.

=== Jul. 29, 2005 ===

MyJeeves 1.2 Released - Ask Jeeves has just released version 1.2 of their MyJeeves personal information management tool.

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Comprehensive Blog Comparison Review Offered - Mary Hodder at Nasperization.org has done some very impressive research and put together a great post that offers comparisons of how several of the major weblog/rss engines work. She also has placed much of the material into a very handy chart (PDF). Excellent work Mary! If you decide to do more blog search research, here are some things we'd love to learn more about....[MORE”

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Big Brother Enters Top Search Term List In UK - HitWise UK sends us news that "big brother" has become the third most searched-for term among all UK web searches, beating out both "easyjet" and "amazon." Based on searches the company has tracked over the past for weeks, ending July 23, 2005....[MORE”

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Threadwatch Thumbs Up For SEO Book eBook - Review: The SEO Book has Nick Wilson doing an in-depth review of Aaron Wall's long-standing eBook, SEO Book. Verdict? Highly recommended to anyone of any skill level to purchase the US $79 guide.

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Google Analytics? New Domains For Those Who Like To Speculate - Since the blogosphere is always ripe with speculation, I'll toss an item out. Does Google have plans to either begin offering expanding what they currently provide and/or rebranding their services as Google Analytic or Google Analytics in the near future (maybe SES)? We're watching. Why am I mentioning this? In the past week Google has registered both Googleanalytic.com (and other domains) and Google-analytic.com (and other domains). A company that often "holds" domains for Google (before the product/service is launched) has Googleanalytics.com registered. Stay tuned.

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View Google Maps & MSN Virtual Earth Side-By-Side - Spotted via Phil Bradley, Virtual Earth and Google Maps, side-by-side lets you see the same area's satellite view in Google Maps and MSN's Virtual Earth service. Slick! I've found that copying and pasting a url works best. Otherwise, you'll need to be very specific when entering an address of a location. For example, entering only a city name doesn't appear to work. Also, this tool doesn't allow you to see how far you can zoom-in to a location. Although this varies from address to address and from service to service, I've noticed that for many of the locations I've searched for, Virtual Earth offers a "closer" look.

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Goin' Mobile With Technorati - Word from Technorati today that they've just released Technorati Mobile. Technorati's mobile home page consists of a search box, a list of the hours top search terms, and links to top stories in three categories...[MORE”

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And Now, A Yahoo Sandbox? - Debate still continues on whether Google has a "sandbox," the idea that new sites simply can't rank well for anything that perhaps their own names until a set period of time has passed. Now rumors and talk of a Yahoo sandbox have begun....[MORE”

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Google & Search Pulling From Offline Real Estate Ads - First Craigslist, Now Google: Newspaper Classifieds Woes Worsen from Poynter covers two research reports out that highlight how search engines -- in particular Google -- are attracting local real estate advertising money. Google said to have three regional sales teams devoted to going after real estate and classified ad money. The company's gone into pitching major real estate firms. One realtor is quoted as dumping print ads after the Google ads caused leads to shoot up. An executive summary of the Borrell report can be requested from here.

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San Edinburgh & Other AdWords Documentation Bloopers - AdWords Bloopers! over in our SEW Forums is a short but funny look at a few errors that crept into Google's AdWords documentation when it was reworked for the UK web site from the US originals....[MORE”

=== Jul. 28, 2005 ===

A Look at Search Interface Protocols and Specifications - Developers and other search geeks out there might find this draft document that lists and discusses a number of search interface protocols and specifications worthy of a read/bookmark. The paper comes from the CORDRA project at Carnegie Mellon University. Thanks to Puzzlepieces for the tip. Btw, Michael Fagan (publisher of Puzzlepieces) also notes several other protocols/specifications that aren't listed in the paper.

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Google Ads, a Feud, and a Barren Rock - Stories from the Canadian Press and Reuters report about how ads on Google are coming into play in a an argument betweeen Canada and Denmark over Hans Island, a barren rock near the North Pole....[MORE”

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Yahoo Research Labs Releases Redesigned Site - It's quite the busy day at the Yahoo Research Labs (YRL). First, news that Dr. Prabhakar Raghavan is joining Yahoo to run the YRL. Second, a redesigned version of the YRL web site is now online....[MORE”

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Yahoo Yammys To Honor Online Video Through Contest - Yahoo wants to drum up interest in its Yahoo Video search service, so it's handing out "Yammys" to recognize what it thinks is the best in online video content. To enter and learn more, visit the new The Yammys site. You can submit as of now and have through Aug. 17. Audience voting will happen from August 30 through Sept 12, then a panel of celebrities will judge. Semi-finalists will get digital cameras, movie tickets, DVDs. The grand prize winners get to go to a premiere, plus get a plasma screen TV and a DVD player. No news of Google have Gammys yet, but I wouldn't be surprised.

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Official: Google & Univision Partner - We wrote last month about how there was a partnership coming between Google and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision coming. In fact, it was visible to anyone visiting the Univision site. Now the marriage is official. The two have issued a press release announcing a multiyear partnership bringing Google's search results and ads to the Univison site.

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Battelle On The Birth Of Google - The Birth of Google at Wired has John Battelle recounting how Google came to be. Fast, easy read and tantalizing glimpse of John's "The Search" book due out in September, from which its excerpted....[MORE}

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Yahoo Partners With ITV & Rounding Up TV Search Partners In The UK - News from Yahoo that ITV -- on of the UK's major television channels -- will be featuring Yahoo search results, search ads and contextual ads on its site. At the moment, search listings appear to come from Miva -- the former Espotting....[MORE”

=== Jul. 27, 2005 ===

Technorati Founder and CEO Chats with BusinessWeek - Technorati's Founder and CEO David Sifry, chats with BusinessWeek about competition from the "big guys", system architecture, growing pains, advertising, and a new service aimed at "people who need a deeper view of a company or its products." Unfortunately, you'll not read about what Technorati is doing to combat the rapidly increasing amount of blog and feed spam out there. Also, no info about what criteria Sifry and crew use to reach the currently posted number of more than 14 million blogs that Technorati claims to be tracking.

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Yahoo Toolbar for Firefox Leaves Beta, Version 1.0 Now Available - After about 5 1/2 months as a beta release, version 1.0 of the feature-filled Yahoo Toolbar for Firefox has just been made available....[MORE”

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New Google Backlink Tool - Quick note about a new tool to show backlinks to a domain as listed in Google. OK, so we all know (or should by now) that Google doesn't show all the backlinks it knows about. Still, interested to see how what links it does show are listed with this tool along with their PageRank score, last cache data and listing in the Google Directory and ODP.

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Cairo.com Beats ShopLocal.com in WSJ Test of Local Shopping Engines - In today's Wall Street Journal (registration not required), Walt Mossberg reports recent test of two local shopping engines, Cairo.com and ShopLocal.com. Cairo comes out the winner. More about Cairo.com in this SEW Blog post from last October.

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Yahoo Acquired VerdiSoft Mobile Sync Company - VerdiSoft acquisition could help Yahoo users stay synched from SiliconBeat notes that Yahoo acquired start-up VerdiSoft in February but news has apparently only come out now. The company has a Connected Life product designed to let mobile operators keep their customers in sync with data. Makes sense with other Yahoo moves that have happened, to tap into the growing mobile platform.

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Goodman Revisits AdWords Changes & Importance Of Clickthrough - The Importance of Clickthrough Rate (CTR): Has it Changed? from Andrew Goodman at Traffick is a very long look at recent changes to how Google is making use of clickthrough rate as part of its ad system. He highlights that AdRank is no longer CPCxCTR but instead takes in some other factors such as historical performance or ads with certain unspecified characteristics. In short, it's CPCxQS, with QS being a quality score made up of some things an advertiser can't visibly see. So an end to the importance of clickthrough? Andrew hopes not, seeing clickthrough as still a great indicator of quality and relevancy to the searcher. Good, well-written and fun read.

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Complaints Over Yahoo's Direct Traffic Center - One of our SEW Forums moderators sebastian has had it with Yahoo's Direct Traffic Center, the administrative control center for those running paid search campaigns. He created a 10 Reasons Yahoo Should Kill Direct Traffic Center thread listing his concerns and problems and found others sharing their problems. Want to see improvements? Jump in and sound off. Think things are fine? Then say so as well.

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New MSN Screen Saver With Search & RSS Integration - Need a screensaver? The new MSN Screen Saver puts a search box on display, plus shows you RSS feeds, photos from your desktop and more. Seem odd to have a search box in your screen saver? Yes and no. It's odd in that if you go to use your computer, you want your screen saver to go away. But it's smart in that if you like the other things the screen saver offers then realize you need to search for something, there's a search box -- and MSN's search box -- ready to go. Yahoo and Google don't offer screen savers that I know about. I'm sure they'll come. More details on the MSN Search Blog: MSN Screensaver with Search & RSS

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Yahoo Search Takes To The Air With Connexion By Boeing Wi-Fi Partnership - News comes from Yahoo that they have partnered with Boeing to be the "exclusive search engine" for the Connexion by Boeing in-flight Wi-Fi service in what's termed as a "multiyear" deal....[MORE”

=== Jul. 26, 2005 ===

Yahoo and Motorola Announce Partnership - Yahoo and Motorola announced a partnership today that will provide optimized versions of various Yahoo services on Motorola Linux-based mobile devices, broadband-enabled products for the connected home, and through Motorolas forthcoming iRadio service. Motorola's Yahoo optimized products are expected to be available to consumers in major markets starting in 2006. Additional details in this news release.

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Amazon's A9 Adds Online Calculator - Amazon.com's A9 has joined other web engines in offering access to an online calculator that's accessible from any A9 search box. Results appear at the top of a web page results list. You'll spot an icon of an abacus located next the result. This page contains a examples of what the calculator offers. I'm betting that more special features and shortcuts are in the works at A9.

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litefeeds: A New RSS/XML Aggregator for the Mobile Web - Litefeeds is a new mobile web RSS/XML service to put feeds on cell phones na mobile devices....[MORE”

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Google's Brin On Keeping The Googlers Happy - Can Google Stay Google? from Fast Company, spotted via John Battelle, does the usual "can they stay ahead" type of thing we've seen before but with some fresh quotes from Google cofounder Sergey Brin, who disarms the interviewer with his bare legs after a volleyball game. Brin still thinks Google is the type of place he'd like to work at, if being asked to join now, because of the challenges and opportunities it offers to scientists who want to solve problems. And while Google has tons of employees now, he's still like to see new ones get the big time -- or at least semi-big time -- compensation as if Google still was a start up. Hence the Founders Awards we've blogged abut before, plus "bonuses and refreshers."

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Real-TimeTracking of the Space Shuttle; View Imagery of Earth Taken by Astronauts - The Space Shuttle has blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center and is currently orbiting the Earth. The Shuttle will dock with the International Space Station on Thursday. If you're interested in tracking both spacecraft, here are a couple real-time databases....[MORE”

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Feeds, Flickr, and Alerts Come to Yahoo 360 - A note on the Yahoo 360 Product Blog points out that several new services are available from their social networking-blogging-photo sharing service are now available....[MORE”

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SuperPages To Buy Ads For Advertisers On Google & Yahoo - Superpages.com Tries on Agency Hat covers how Verizon SuperPages has advertisers who can't buy enough inventory on SuperPages itself, so SuperPages plans to take their excess money and do buys for them on Google and Yahoo through a new "pay-per-click-plus" program it will begin testing in August.

=== Jul. 25, 2005 ===

Registration for Google Code Jam 2005 Now Open - Software developers who write code in Java, C++, C#, or VB might be interested to learn that registration for the 2005 Google Code Jam ($155,000 in prizes) is now open. Registration continues through August 19th.

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Searching for Podcast Porn - Podcast.net is a large (several thousand) searchable directory of podcasts and on its home page you'll find a list the top search terms users query their database with. The current list shows that Podcast.net searchers want porn on their pods (porncasts?)....[MORE”

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A Look at Yahoo's Effort to Bring Brand Advertising Online - Yahoo's Brilliant Solution from Fortune is a five page look at Yahoo's efforts to bring brand advertising online.

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Hispanics Loving Search Sites - In a post titled: Search is HOT for U.S. Hispanics, Nacho Hernandez posts a chart (via Ad Age) that he's been "waiting to see." It lists the "Top Web Properties Among All Hispanic Users." Time-Warner tops the list. Yahoo in second. MSN third. Google fourth. Ask Jeeves seventh. Note: If you're interested in reviewing the complete "Hispanic Fact Pack" where Nacho found the numbers, it's available here for free (52 pages; PDF).

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Google Korea Has Its Own Blog - Google Korea now has its own blog. If you can't translate Korea you can use Google's translation software to get an "idea" of what's being discussed. One of the first posts includes photos of the Google Korea "Bus Tour" that we blogged about in May.

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Download Aerial Imagery and Access Detailed Local Info - A couple of people emailed me asking if I knew of a specialized database where they could download (for free) high-quality satellite and aerial imagery. The answer is yes....[MORE”

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Yahoo Acquires Konfabulator - Yahoo has acquired Konfabulator, a developer of small javascript tools (aka widgets) that run on Windows and Macintosh systems....[MORE”

=== Jul. 23, 2005 ===

New "Hybrid View" From Google Maps - Now, along with "map" and "satellite" views, you'll find a "hybrid" view at Google Maps that overlays map data (street names for example) on top of satellite/aerial imagery. Hybrid view is available for the US, Canada, UK, and Japan....[MORE”

=== Jul. 22, 2005 ===

Publishers Meet With Google to Discuss Library Scanning Project - Wired Campus Blog points out that officials from The Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Google met on July 1st. The AAP had requested the meeting to discuss copyright concerns with Google's book scanning initiative. Details about precisely what was discussed and/or decided are not known. The blog post also points out that more meetings could take place in the future. You can read about AAP's concerns and review the letter they sent to Google here. Officials from the The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) have also requested a meeting with Google.

=== Jul. 21, 2005 ===

Drug Pushers Using Orkut Arrested In Brazil - During today's Google conference call, Sergey Brin said that Orkut's growth in Brazil is phenomenal. Sadly, this Reuters article: Police: Orkut used as Brazilian drug network, offers details about a few people who were taking "social-networking" a bit to far.

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Pseudo-Transcript Of Google Earnings Call - I've just finished listening to the Google Q2 conference call and what follows is a pseudo-transcript of what I heard. In all but two cases, you'll not be reading exact quotes. Nevertheless, I hope the post gives you a good idea of what was said. Below, read about the latest Google views on working with content partners, tagging/structured data, click fraud and Google's rapidly expanding work force. See also Google Releases Q2 2005 Earnings.

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Google Earth, Google Moon, and Beyond? - When Google released Google Moon yesterday I wondered if providing imagery of the Moon was just the first step. Does the Googleplex have plans to provide imagery for the entire solar system? No official word yet BUT I have learned that Google just registered domain names for the entire solar system and beyond....[MORE”

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About The Search Engine Update
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