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The Search Engine Update - Number 197 - May 18, 2005

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In This Issue

+ SES London & SEW Forums Live Atlanta
+ Search Engine Watch Member Articles
+ Other Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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SES London & SEW Forums Live Atlanta

SES London is less than a month away, arriving in the city June 1-2. As with our US shows, the London event will feature speakers from major search engines, along with experts on search marketing. Unlike the US shows, there's a special emphasis on UK and European search marketing issues. More information can be found at the SES London 2005 web site.

After London, SES returns to the US, coming to San Jose in August. Stockholm follows in October, and the tour for the year ends in Chicago in December. Links to sites about those shows can be found via our Search Engine Strategies site.

Meanwhile, 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.

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SEW Members Articles
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Below are articles published since the last newsletter exclusively for Search Engine Watch members. In between newsletters, you can now also find any new articles listed on the Search Engine Watch Members Area home page. Past articles can be found in the Members-Only Articles Archive area. Need to come up to speed on a particular topic? Browse articles from Search Engine Watch and across the web in the Search Topics area.

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Blair "Liar" Linkbomb Highlights Country-Specific Skewing
May 17, 2005 - A search putting the UK prime minister at the top of Google UK but not Google.com highlights how search engines more and more are skewing their results on country-specific editions. A look at how and why these changes have happened, ranging from mirroring and censorship issues to specific ranking differences that are done in hopes of bettering the user experience.

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Online Poker Searches Not Driving Wikipedia Popularity
May 12, 2005 - Did Wikipedia's recent rise in popularity have more to do with a link bombing campaign by some bloggers to push Wikipedia into the top results for 'online poker' at Google? Turns out, that's not the case. So who is tops for the term? A look at that and the terms -- including one surprising one -- sending Wikipedia traffic.

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Search Ad Prices Up 11% In April 2005
May 11, 2005 - The average price for search ads rose sharply for the second month in a row, according to the latest Keyword Price Index from Fathom Online. The average price paid in April rose to $1.95, up from 11 percent from $1.75 in March.

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Click Fraud: A Legal Look
May 10, 2005 - Click fraud is a growing concern among search engine marketers, but who ultimately is to blame? Perhaps more importantly, what's being done to address this increasingly contentious issue?

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Other 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.

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Supercharging Firefox
May 18, 2005 - The Firefox browser comes pre-configured with lots of great search tools, but it's also highly customizable, allowing you to push your online experience to new and fun extremes.

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Search Engines and King Content
May 17, 2005 - Thousands of articles, books and forum entries detail how to make your site search engine friendly, but ultimately, one rule stands above the rest: Content is king.

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New Beta Release of A9 Now Available
May 17, 2005 - This afternoon Amazon's A9 went live with a new beta release of their search tool. You can find a complete list of what's new or changed here, plus a few highlights from us in this post.

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RustySearch Search Relevancy Challenge: Everyone's Pretty Average, So Far
May 17, 2005 - Barry Schwartz's Search Engine Relevancy Challenge is still going strong at RustySearch. He's had over 5,000 rated search so far and gives an update here: RustySearch Hits 5,000 Rated Searches. I like the cool little "search engine relevancy dials" he's added to show how each service is doing. Here's the non-cool bullet point rundown:

  • Yahoo, 3.4
  • Google, 3.4
  • Ask, 3.3
  • MSN, 3.1

What do those numbers mean? A score of 1 is poor, while a score of 5 is excellent. So overall, everyone's pretty much average. More details are in his post, and don't forget to participate by trying RustySearch.

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Google's AdSense For RSS Released in Public Beta
May 17, 2005 - Embedding contextually relevant ads into RSS (ATOM too!) feeds today took a big step forward today when Google announced that AdSense for Feeds (beta) is now publicly available. Google had been testing the program at a few sites. At the same time, Google released a list of best practices for publishers who want to use AdSense for feeds (beta). More details in this post.

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Google Launches Consumer Ad Campaign In Kansas City
May 17, 2005 - I asked Google last week for information about a new consumer marketing campaign I heard they were planning for Kansas City, to promote Google Local. Still waiting to hear back for the official line on this. In the meantime, the ads have been spotted by at least one good citizen of Kansas City. More details and a low-res look at the print ads, in this post. See also our related Korea: Students Hop Aboard the Google Bus post.

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New Estimate Puts Web Size At 11.5 Billion Pages & Compares Search Engine Coverage
May 17, 2005 - It has been ages since I've seen anyone try to estimate the size of the web. Now a new paper puts it at 11.5 billion pages or more. More details and a look at how figures compare to self-reported sizes at each major search engine, in this article.

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MSN Toolbar with Desktop Search Officially Launches
May 16, 2005 - After five months in beta, Microsoft has released the final version of its desktop search application, incorporating many new features based on extensive user feedback.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
May 13, 2005 - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Buys Dodgeball - Yahoo-FindWhat Patent Lawsuit Ends In Mistrial - More AdSense Ad Units = Less Money? - #1 Ranking A Business Asset? How much is it worth? - and more.

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Report from Google's First Annual Shareholder Meeting
May 12, 2005 - After the year that Google has had with their IPO and the success of their stock, I would have thought that Google's first annual shareholder meeting would be one big one event that every shareholder would want to attend. Instead, it drew fewer than 200 people. More details in this post. See also these related and follow-up posts from us: Google Files Complete Quarterly Report With SEC, Slides, Transcript Of Google Investor Day & Google's 70 Percent Core Time and Time Warner Sells 5.1 Million Shares of Google Stock.

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Dogpile Enhances Meta Search, Offers Comparison Tools
May 12, 2005 - Dogpile has redesigned its meta search site and introduced a nifty new utility that visually displays the overlap (or lack thereof) of results from the multiple search engines it queries.

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Mistrial In FindWhat-Yahoo Patent Lawsuit Over Paid Listings
May 12, 2005 - A patent dispute over paid listings between Yahoo and FindWhat has ended in a hung jury, with the judge declaring a mistrial. More details in this post, and also see the follow-up post, Yahoo On Patent Lawsuit: Jury Was With Us.

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If Search Engines Could Read Your Mind
May 11, 2005 - What if a search engine knew exactly what you were thinking, and unerringly provided perfect search results? The idea is not as farfetched as it sounds.

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New Google Toolbar 3 With AutoLink Leaves Beta
May 11, 2005 - Google has released an update of its Toolbar for Internet Explorer, addressing many, but not all, of the concerns with the controversial AutoLink feature that adds additional hyperlinks to web pages that contain package tracking, U.S. addresses, book or automobile information. The changes are both cosmetic and functional. More in this post.

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Google Makes An Acquisition: Dodgeball.com
May 11, 2005 - Reuters is reporting that Google has acquired dodgeball.com. Will Sergey, Larry, and Eric soon be out there promoting dodgeball games around the world? Nope, not even close. Google is now in the mobile social-software business. More in this post.

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Converting Searchers to Buyers
May 9, 2005 - Attracting people to your Web site through optimized content or sponsored links is just the first step in an effective search marketing campaign.

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Flap Over Political Ads Underscores Problems With Google Delay In Reviewing Ads
May 9, 2005 - More calls that Google might be to slow in reviewing ads to ensure they meet its guidelines are covered in this Media Post story, Google Slow To Police AdWords. The article focuses on last week's removal of ads from both conservative organization RightMarch.org and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Highlights in this post, plus links related material.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
May 6, 2005 - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: SES Toronto Live, Google Windows Web Accelerator, Where To Get Links?, AskJeeves Will Drop Ads by 31% - Yahoo To Test Banner Ads - SEO & The Zen Factor - and more.

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What Clicks with Web Searchers
May 5, 2005 - How do searchers find what they want online? Not the way you might think, according to a number of new studies that examined searcher behavior in a variety of situations.

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New Content Added to Yahoo Video Database
May 5, 2005 - Yahoo has just added a bunch of new content to their video search database as Yahoo Video Search leaves beta and moves to version 1.0. Material comes from a variety of new content partners. More details in this post. See also these related posts, Singingfish Gains Reuters News Clips and Other Sources for Reuters Video and Local TV News Video Clips.

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Going Under Cover with Book Search Tools
May 4, 2005 - Google, Amazon and others offer really useful 'search inside the book' tools, but they're not always the easiest features to use. Here's a closer look at getting the most from online book search services.

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New Google Software Attempts to Speed Up Your Web Browsing Experience
May 4, 2005 - Google Labs has just released Google Web Accelerator software that's designed to speed up your online experience and make your surfing faster and more efficient. More details in this post. Also see our follow-up story, Google Web Accelerator Raises Worries. It covers concerns about data privacy and webmaster issues. Be aware that Google says the beta program has now reached its maximum capacity and isn't taking new people -- the first time Google's closed a public beta.

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Setting A Date For Search Marketing Day
May 4, 2005 - As usual, search continues to advance at a frantic pace. What we all need is a day off -- a truce, a period of no announcements, changes or major news. A holiday. Search Marketing Day, to be exact! More on the idea in this post, and you're invited to comment and vote on a date in our forum thread, Vote On Day For Search Marketing Day!

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Feeds: A New Channel for Search Marketing
May 3, 2005 - Savvy search marketers are taking advantage of an increasingly popular technology to attract traffic: RSS feeds that get picked up virtually instantaneously as they are published by specialized webfeed search engines.

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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.

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Mac and Linux Users Get Google Video Upload Tool
May 18, 2005 - Are you a Mac user who has video content you want to share with Google Video? Until today, uploading it was a challenge since the Google Video Uploader was a Windows only tool. Well, your upload problem has now been solved that to Google Software Engineer, R.P. Hughes. Hughes writes on the on the Googleblog about a new Google Video uploader he's written in Java so it works with Mac, Linux, and many other operating systems. Hughes says he developed the software during his 20% time.

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Yahoo Declares Media RSS 1.0 Official
May 18, 2005 - Yahoo says that the Media RSS 1.0 specification that it launched in December is now officially released. The spec is here.

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Bloglines Adds Weather Forecasts
May 18, 2005 - I just came across a new feature from Bloglines the delivers local weather forecasts and info. I then noticed that both the Bloglines Blog and the Ask Jeeves Blog have details. More on using it in this post.

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GoFish Releases myGoFish Music Playlist Sharing Feature
May 18, 2005 - GoFish has launched a myGoFish service allowing people to upload digital music playlists and share them with others, as well as publish to their blogs. Playlists automatically have album art, sample clips and meta data assigned to them. More details on how it works in this post.

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Google Hires Dan Senor To Head Communications; Other DC Hires & Lobbying
May 18, 2005 - Google has hired Dan Senor as vice president of global communications and strategy, replacing the spot vacated by Cindy McCaffrey earlier this year. Senor recently served as advisor to the US presidential envoy in Iraq. Rumors that he was being interviewed emerged last month. Google searches for, finds top level execs in D.C. from the Washington Business Journal has more details. The story also looks at hiring in the Washington DC area, including a manager of sales to US Defense Department agencies, efforts to apparently win more federal contracts, and the recent hiring of Alan Davidson, who apparently is heading up lobbying in Washington DC.

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Allcheckin Travel Search Engine Launched
May 18, 2005 - A new travel search engine especially aimed at the UK market has been launched. Allcheckin is backed by former executives from BT Looksmart and ebookers. I took a quick look, and a wide range of airlines are represented, as well as consolidators such as Opodo and ebookers. I especially liked the little sliders in the Refine Your Search box on the left-hand side of the page, after doing a search. It makes it easy to slide up or down the price you want to pay, as well as departure and arrival times. Hotel and car searching is also offered. Sponsored listings on the site come via Yahoo.

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ClickTracks Launches Discounted Agency Plan
May 18, 2005 - The ClickTracks web analytics service has opened a new ClickTracks Agency Program, providing a discount for agencies seeking to do web analytics for their clients.

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Google's Chef Decides to Say Goodbye
May 17, 2005 - In late December, I blogged that Google was searching for a Lead Chef. I was a bit surprised to see this. What about Charlie, Google's star chef? Today, it appears that we now know why Google was looking to fill this position. Charlie Ayers, Google's famous chef, has decided to leave the company according to this story from the San Jose Mercury News. And some additional comments, in this post.

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Clusty Now Offering Links to Cached Copies of Pages
May 17, 2005 - I just noticed that Clusty, the meta search engine that provides dynamic clustering of results, is now offering cached copies of every url found when using the Clusty Web+ database. You'll find the link to access a cached copy of a page directly next to the url in the search result snippet. Cached pages come from either MSN Search, Gigablast, or The Wayback Machine. More about Clusty in this SearchDay article.

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Plug-Ins For Flash, RealMedia Indexing Via Google Desktop Search
May 17, 2005 - IndexSWF Plug-in is 1MB shareware file that indexes and makes Flash files searchable via Google Desktop Search. If available, extracts text and creates thumbnails for flash movies. A free trial is available. GDS Real Media Indexer is a 152k freeware file that indexes metadata of Real media video and audio files.

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New FyberSearch Tool Helps Find Tutorials on the Web
May 17, 2005 - Nathan Enns, the developer and proprietor of FyberSearch has released a new interface that allows the searcher to quickly find tutorials on the open web. More details in this post.

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Google Ranking Alternative Domain Tops For Searches On Google
May 17, 2005 - The Google.com does not rank #1 for Google thread in our Search Engine Watch Forums looks at how Google has recently been returning not the URL of its own home page first in response to a search on Google but instead a redirected URL. An overview of the issue, in this post.

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Discussions On Travel Search
May 17, 2005 - Have Search, Will Travel from MediaPost has David Berkowitz looking at travel search, the topic of three separate panels at the recent TravelCom conference. Some nice Yahoo stats on 76 percent of travel purchases being preceded by search -- and it taking six searches before a purchase is made. Some debate among a panel of newer travel search engines on how much information is too much. And a hushed room as an Avis rep downplays the need for meta travel search much less the internet: "The brand would be better off if the Intenet didn't exist." But it does, of course -- so the brand better get smart to it. Other panelists pulling in traffic from search certainly seemed to be.

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Yahoo News Turned Into Tag Cloud
May 17, 2005 - Yahoo News Tag Soup takes Yahoo News stories, extracts key concepts from article headlines and summaries, then automatically tags them into different categories. The results is a list of tags shown in "tag cloud" style, where the most popular topics show up bigger. Click on a category of interest, and you'll see all the related stories for that topic. More details in this post.

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SMA-EU Formally Launches; SMA-UK Names Executive Committee
May 17, 2005 - Via Threadwatch, news that the SMA-EU European search marketing organization has formally launched. What's that mean? Nominations for a 12 seat executive committee will open later this month and memberships are being accepted. Meanwhile, SMA-UK has posted results of its executive committee election. A list and more details in this post.

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Search Marketing Firms On Parade In London
May 17, 2005 - NetImperative is sponsoring a search marketing firm beauty parade in London on May 26. Ten firms each have 25 minutes to pitch for your business. Well, nine firms and Yahoo. More details here.

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Issues Facing Search & Search Marketing
May 17, 2005 - Where Do We Go from Here? from Kevin Ryan at iMediaConnection has him surveying members of a panel he's assembled on the topic of the future of search, to see what they think the top issues are that need to be addressed. Meanwhile in our forums, the SEM Industry Biggest Growing Pains thread is pulling in a variety of comments about challenges to be addressed. A summary of issues raised in both places, in this post.

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Bids Going Up? Boost Conversion To Compete!
May 17, 2005 - PPC Advertising Connects to Conversion Rate at ClickZ from Fredrick Marckini looks at why understanding your conversion rate -- and getting it higher -- means you'll stand a fighting chance as bid rates for terms continue to go up. And you'll do even better if you can factor in some additional factors that justify higher costs, even if they don't happen directly from conversion. That's touched on at the end of the column, but also see Search Worth More Than The Clickthrough and Most Conversions Happen Offline; You Need To Measure These! for more on this.

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Questions Raised On ClickTracks Use Of Alt Text
May 17, 2005 - A Threadwatch discussion raises issues of how ClickTracks tracking code made use of an ALT text attribute in a way that may have helped the company rank well for "web analytics" on major search engines. More details in this post.

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Gigablast Now Indexing More than 2 Billion Pages
May 16, 2005 - Matt Wells over at Gigablast has had his web crawler really cranking lately. According to the Gigablast homepage the database now provides access to 2,024,193,536 pages. Previously, the total listed was 1.504 billion pages.

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Google and Google Bombing Now Included New Oxford American Dictionary
May 16, 2005 - A brand-new edition of the "classic" New Oxford American Dictionary was released today and includes over 2,000 new words. Among the new words added to the dictionary are Google and Google Bombing. See this post for the specific definitions.

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Latest Google Parodies
May 16, 2005 - Spotted via Google Blogoscoped, Google Content Blocker is a parody of a pretend Google feature that blocks editorial content on pages, leaving only ads. But hey, not just Google ads. Any ads, in order not to be evil. Meanwhile, spotted via Threadwatch is Marissa (Beta), a fake blog for Google's Marissa Mayer, director of consumer web products. Marissa often gets called out to defend Google if it takes heat for some product features such as Google AutoLink. We'll see if that lasts longer than the fake blog created for Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin back in 2003 :)

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Giant Lists Of Search Blogs
May 16, 2005 - Need more search blogs? Here are two resources that aim to point you to all the search blogs out there! Details and links, in this post.

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Apartment Rentals, Traffic -- Merging Other Data Into Google Maps
May 16, 2005 - I've been collecting a variety of ways people have been creatively merging data from various places outside of Google into Google Maps for a round-up article. But Wired's Hey Google, Map This! article out today provides all that and more. So check it out and learn how craiglist apartment rentals or Yahoo's traffic alerts are being placed into Google Maps through grassroots efforts, rather than by Google directly.

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Music Search: A New Search Battleground
May 16, 2005 - Internet search firms target music business from News.com looks at how search engines are eyeing music as a new search battleground. Interesting is the issue that more meta data -- and more consistency in meta data -- is being called for.

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SEMs: Agency Churn Is Coming
May 16, 2005 - Search agencies take note! Churn is coming to your space. So says Gary Stein of JupiterResearch, in SEM Agencies: Prepare to Play Musical Clients at ClickZ. As cost rise, clients will take a harder look at relationships. Be prepared, he warns, and offers a few tips to prepare.

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Don't Like Google? Declare Your Site A Google Free Zone!
May 16, 2005 - It's not unusual to hear people express all types of gripes about Google, but it is extremely rare for someone to actually react by blocking Google from indexing their site. Now someone's done that. Karl-Friedrich Lenz has declared his blog a Google-Free Zone over concerns about Google Web Accelerator. More details in this post.

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Dictionary Spam, Meet Number Spam
May 16, 2005 - Dictionary spam is when someone creates a web page that seeming has every word in the dictionary, in hopes of capturing someone who might be searching for anything. Now here's some number spam. Google Search by Number Spam from Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable describes how he searched for a package number on Google. Yep, he got the Google shortcut that leads to the UPS site. However, he also got a page promising adult content that came up because it lists a ton of various number combination. Note to package tracking companies: if tracking numbers have no spaces, it will make it hard for this type of thing to work.

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PageRank, Wrappers, Ranking News and More: Papers from the WWW 2005 Conference
May 15, 2005 - The WWW 2005 Conference took place last week in Japan and many of the papers presented at the conference and related to search are now available via the online proceedings. A summary and links, in this post.

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A Compilation of Yahoo RSS Feeds
May 14, 2005 - I just spotted this useful compilation of various Yahoo RSS feeds. The page contains either the actual RSS url(s) or links to pages with more RSS info. Feed categories include: Ask Yahoo, Yahoo Directory, Shopping and Yahoo Travel.

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Yahoo Sued Over Child Porn On Yahoo Groups
May 13, 2005 - Yahoo Groups is a great way to create mailing lists and interest groups on any topic. Heck, even Google jumped into this portal feature last year with its revamped Google Groups. But a child porn group could end up costing Yahoo. The parents of a child whose image was shared through the Candyman child porn list on Yahoo Groups are now suing the company for $10 million. More details in Yahoo sued over Candyman child porn site from Reuters. A copy of the complaint in PDF format is >here .

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Three Years Later, Google Demands Its $5
May 13, 2005 - Way back in March 2002, when Google launched AdWords on a cost-per-click basis, I opened up a test account to play with the new system. As is the case today, I had to pay $5 to activate that account. At least, I thought I paid that. I had to chuckle when I recently got a demand from Google for this amount three years later. A few more details, in this post.

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Search Worth More Than The Clickthrough
May 13, 2005 - Great news! Now TV ads will be charged on a performance basis, so if you don't see sales, you don't pay. Obviously that's absurd. TV ads build brand and do other things that lead to indirect sales. And so does search, which is why Gord Hotchkiss's uses that made-up TV pricing model to kick off his Search's Multiplier Effect: The Hidden Value of SEM article at MediaPost. If you only measure clickthrough and conversion from that, you might be missing the full value of search. My past Most Conversions Happen Offline; You Need To Measure These! looks at this issue more, with some related reading from Fredrick Marckini and others that underscores the need to measure the full value.

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Study On How Much Search Screen Real Estate Devoted To Paid Content
May 13, 2005 - How Much of It is Real? Analysis of Paid Placement in Web Search Engine Results is a study now out that looks at what percentage of screen real estate is devoted to paid versus editorial content on search engines. On average, 60 percent of "first screen" results were paid, the figure dropping to 33 percent if the entire first page of results were reviewed. More details, in this post.

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New Travel Search Engines Grow But Still Dwarfed By Existing Players
May 13, 2005 - New travel search engines are growing in popularity, but they've got a long way to go to rival the share established players have. Hitwise: Meta Travel Engines Show Gains from MediaPost covers how stats from Hitwise show new meta travel search engines like Kayak, Farechase and Mobissimo, along with Cheapflights, have a 3 percent share of visits for those going to "travel agency" sites. Expedia, Travelocity, Orbits, Yahoo Travel and CheapTickets have a 60 percent share. General search results from Google and Yahoo were also shown to be sending the new players lots of traffic. More details, in this post.

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Class Action Lawsuit Against FindWhat Over Alleged Securities Fraud
May 12, 2005 - A class action lawsuit against FindWhat over alleged securities fraud has been filed. Gary's dug up more information on the action here, which has Zucco Partners named as the first identified complaint. It also shows all firms currently involved in the case. Other firms are also jumping in and filing news. Here's the law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway providing info. Firm Paskowitz & Associates says the same, as does Schatz & Nobel.

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Koders Offers Search For Open Source Code
May 12, 2005 - Currently in beta, Koders will be formally launching on Monday as a way to search for open source software. The site claims to have indexed more than 190 million lines of code from leading universities, consortiums and organizations. You can search by keyword, language and license.

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Refinery Acquires directMASS Search Agency
May 12, 2005 - Another search marketing firm gets acquired -- this time, directMASS, by interactive firm Refinery, which counts Campbell Soup and Comcast among its clients. More details from the press release about the purchase.

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Yahoo Adds New Option to Advanced Search Page
May 12, 2005 - I just noticed that Yahoo has tweaked their advanced search page. You'll now see an new option that allows you to limit your query to material with a Creative Commons license. A Creative Commons "only" search interface is also available. Yahoo and Creative Commons announced a partnership in March. More in this post.

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AutoBaron For Visual Car Shopping
May 12, 2005 - Buying a car? AutoBaron is an interesting new site that lets you find the best deal using a chart format. It's one of those "got to see to fully understand" type of services. I explain more in this post.

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New Web Archive Launches in the UK
May 11, 2005 - A new and growing web archive of "social, historic and culturally significant web-based material from the UK domain" is now online. It's called the UK Web Archive. More details, in this post.

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Yahoo Names Carat, Outrider As Strategic Providers
May 11, 2005 - Yahoo has named Carat Interactive and Outrider as Strategic Providers, the highest level of its Yahoo Search Marketing Ambassador Program. The two companies join existing strategic providers Avenue A|Razorfish and Performics.

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AOL Launching Free Email But Not "Creepy" AdSense Ads
May 11, 2005 - AOL is to offer free web-based email, initially to users of its AIM instant messaging client, then later to anyone. The move is designed to help it keep up with competitors Yahoo and MSN, which have long offered web-based email as a key portal feature. Even stealth portal Google has offered its own Gmail email service for over a year. More details in this post.

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MSN Employee Who Hacked AltaVista Pleads Guilty
May 11, 2005 - A few eyebrows were raised last year when an MSN employee was accused of hacking into AltaVista. The actions happened before Laurent Chavet began working for MSN, so ideas of corporate espionage don't really apply. He's now plead guilty to charges. Alta Vista hacker pleads guilty from the San Jose Business Journal has a few details. A US Attorney's Office press release has more, with the charge being one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer and another count related to reckless damage. Chavet faces up to 5 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing will happen on Aug. 19. In a plea bargain, Chavet has apparently agreed to pay AltaVista's owner Yahoo $62,104 in restitution. For more background, see our forum thread: MSN Search Employee Arrested for Allegedly Hacking AltaVista.

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After More Than A Year, Google Remains Without Chair
May 11, 2005 - Over a year ago, Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave up his other title, that of chairman. Why? It's a growing trend that good corporations should have a chair who ideally looks after the interest of shareholders, rather than company insiders. Despite this, Google's chair seat remains unfilled. Google chairman's seat sits gathering dust from the San Francisco Chronicle looks at how the Google board has been "really busy" and so far unable to attend to the matter. Google's strong performance is noted as one reason why investors might not be concerned.

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Search Agencies Rebrand, Expand
May 11, 2005 - Search engine specialists: Agencies seek higher returns from Revolution looks at how several UK and Europe-based firms have renamed themselves. Reason? To reflect that they do more than just get top listings or to highlight that they are part of a larger agency. Aside from name changes, the article looks at how search agencies have expanded and reshaped offering, along with continuing education of potential clients.

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Podscope Expands To Audio & Video Searching
May 11, 2005 - Podscope, the free search tool from TVEyes that allows you to keyword search podcasts, is expanding to include audio and video content from across the web. In other words, Podscope is going beyond podcasts. More details in this post.

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Yahoo More Than Search, Says CEO & New Yahoo Music Service Coming Wednesday
May 10, 2005 - Globes Online, a business news site from Israel, has just posted an article that several comments comments from Yahoo CEO Terry Semel titled "Yahoo is more than just a search." Highlights, in this post.

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Clusty, Snap, and Answers.com Profiled in Fortune
May 10, 2005 - It's always good to see some of the newer names in web search getting the mainstream notice that they deserve. This is the case in three recently published articles in Fortune that profile Clusty, Answers.com and Snap. Links and comments, in this post.

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Software Design Legend and Guru Heads to Yahoo
May 10, 2005 - According to this report from Reuters, legendary software design guru, Larry Tesler, is leaving Amazon.com for a job at Yahoo where he will serve vice president of Yahoo's User Experience and Design Group. He will also be a Research Fellow for Human-Computer Interaction within Yahoo Research Labs. More in this post.

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Agreement Brings Product Info from Shopping.com to Answers.com
May 10, 2005 - Word in this press release that Answers.com and Shopping.com have announced a partnership that will bring content from the shopping comparison engine to Answers.com pages. More details in this post, plus news of a mortgage rate comparison database on Shopping.com.

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Google Local UK Gets Mobile Site; Google Scholar Lets Any Library Add Links
May 10, 2005 - Google Local UK has gained a new mobile site and the Google Scholar program now allows any library to establish direct links to content. More details in this post.

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European Expansion & More In The Works At Ask Jeeves
May 9, 2005 - A new Reuters article takes a look at Ask Jeeves and their plans for growth as part of IAC. Highlights, in this post.

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Display Ads Can Generate More Searches
May 9, 2005 - Pam Parker's article, Display Ads Drive Searches in Yahoo Case Study, reports on a new case study released by Yahoo that shows the "influence" of display ads on searcher behavior. "The study found that consumers who saw Harrisdirect's display ads -- which appeared in Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance and My Yahoo -- later did 61 percent more searches on related terms than did a control group who'd visited the same part of the Yahoo network but didn't see the ads."

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A Few More Web-Based Recommendation Tools
May 9, 2005 - Last week Chris wrote a SearchDay article: Searching for a Mother's Day Gift, about Yahoo's new Shopping Gift Finder service that uses personalization technology from ChoiceStream. If you're interested in trying out some other recommendation tools, in this post, a few more choices.

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New: Visualize Yahoo Results with Grokker
May 9, 2005 - One information visualization tool that's received plenty of attention over the past few years is Groxis from Grokker. Today, the NY Times reports that you can now use Groxis to visualize Yahoo Search results for free and WITHOUT having to download the Groxis client. If anyone is interested in checking out this new and easily accessible service, it's me. It's been a year or so since I used Groxis and at that point it was interesting but didn't seem to add much value to my searching. I think it's time to give it another look. More details and highlights, in this post.

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Google Says DNS Issues Caused Outage
May 7, 2005 - An internet glitch put Google offline for a short period and spurred rumors and thoughts it had been hacked. More in this post.

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Blogger Debuts Moblog Service
May 6, 2005 - Word from Google this afternoon that you can now moblog (mobile blog) with Blogger. Simply send your posts or pics from your mobile device to Blogger via email or MMS (Multimedia Message Service). More details in this post.

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Syndic8 Gets Outed for Spamming
May 6, 2005 - Remember the WordPress spamming search engines story (some might use stronger terms) from a few weeks ago? Via Google Blogoscoped we read that RSS directory Syndic8 is now being dinged for doing something similar. I Was Really Stupid, and Greedy Too has a response/apology from Syndic8.

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SEO Inc Tries To Silence Google Blogoscoped Over Rankings
May 6, 2005 - Last month, SEO Inc apparently fell out of the top rankings for the term "search engine optimization" at Google. I felt it was a non-story then. That's changed now that the company issued a cease-and-desist notice against Google Blogoscoped, implying that Philipp Lenssen there may have trade libeled them. More details in this post.

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Google's VP of Engineering Plans to "Pull Back"
May 6, 2005 - Today, John Battelle blogs that Google's VP of Engineering Wayne Rosing is "pulling back" on his work at the Googleplex to focus on his passion for astronomy. Rosing was named VP of Engineering in 2001.

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Reuters Reports on the Google News Patent Story
May 6, 2005 - This time around, Reuters takes a look at the Google News patent story that's been making the rounds over the past week. Highlights and comments, in this post.

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Google Gulp T-Shirts For Sale
May 6, 2005 - No foolin', Google Gulp t-shirts are now available at the Google Store.

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DVD Software Company Announces Bundling Deal with Google
May 5, 2005 - Dow Jones has a brief article about InterVideo, the company that develops and sells WinDVD Creator, DVD Copy, and Media One announcing a bundling deal with Google. According to the story and this news release, Google Toolbar and Google Desktop Search will be "incorporated" into their products. Two other bundling deals that quickly comes to mind are Google's deal with Real Networks and Yahoo and Adobe.

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All About Content Based Image Retrieval
May 5, 2005 - Google Blogoscoped has a great summary of a Slashdot post concerning content based image retrieval (CBIR) and research from Penn St. University. Hightlights in this post, plus links to related research and background.

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Yahoo Hires Cnet's Editor-in-Chief, Plans to Expand Technology Content
May 5, 2005 - The Wall St. Journal is reporting (this link should work, otherwise WSJ subscribers only) that Yahoo has hired veteran journalist Patrick Houston away from Cnet where he served as Editor-in-Chief. His new title at Yahoo is general manager for technology. More details in this post.

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Now Available: Detailed Findings from Yahoo/Compete Financial Services Searcher Study
May 5, 2005 - Yesterday I posted about the release of a new study from Yahoo Search Marketing and Compete about the financial services searcher. If you're looking for more info, you can get it here. The YSM team was nice enough to share a presentation (27 pages; PDF) that contains the detailed findings, charts, etc. Also, more about the study in this Media Post article.

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NewsNow Passes the 20,000 Sources Mark
May 4, 2005 - A quick tip of my virtual cap to one of my favorite web-based and free news aggregators as it hits a noteworthy milestone today. NewsNow, based in London UK, is now aggregating content from more than 20,000 sources. Wow! NewsNow offers access to material from both mainstream news sources and the blogosphere. More details in this post.

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New Job Search Vertical Officially Launches
May 4, 2005 - A news release let's us know that longtime business search vertical, Business.com, has officially launched another vertical, Work.com. The new engine provides job listings from "premium" employers via a direct crawl of employer web sites. I haven't had a lot of time to check the site out but I'll try to get to it soon. The news release also points out that Work.com is offering a cost-per-click program. Results page offer numerous "clickable" refinements including date, job title, company, and location. Ads from Google are also visible on the page. More about Work.com soon.

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NY Times Talks Mobile Search
May 4, 2005 - Hey, this is cool. Lisa Guernsey has written an article in The New York Times: The Cellphone's Potential as a Search Tool Gets Tapped about one of my favorite topics, mobile search. Most of the services mentioned in the article have been reported on and linked to on this blog numerous times. Nevertheless, I'm thrilled to see mobile search getting attention in The Times.

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UK: Local Directory Publisher Inks Deal With Google To Sell AdWords
May 4, 2005 - Revolution reports that Google has signed an agreement with Thomson, a major player in the UK directory business to sell AdWords. According to the article, the Thomson sales force of more than 500 sales-reps will soon be hitting the streets selling AdWords to small and medium size businesses.

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Burnett Productions to Yahoo: Your're REhired
May 4, 2005 - Word that Yahoo has extended its deal Mark Burnett Productions, the producer of "The Apprentice," to produce the official site for the program. Additionally, Yahoo will also produce the official site for a new version of "The Apprentice" starring Martha Stewart. More about the Burnett/Yahoo relationship in this blog post from January.

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Google Faces Customer Satisfaction & Advertiser Trust Issues
May 4, 2005 - Google: biting the hand that feeds it? from CNN Money shows Google slipping in some aspects of customer satisfaction among advertisers. A summary in this post and links to many related articles.

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Google Lowers Urchin Price, Continues Discounting Strategy
May 3, 2005 - This afternoon the Googleplex announced that a monthly subscription to Urchin on Demand, a web analytics service, has been reduced by 60% to $199 per month. Google acquired Urchin about a month ago. More details in this post. See also the new Web Analytics FAQ that has been added to


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