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The Search Engine Update - Number 193 - March 17, 2005

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In This Issue

+ SES Munich, Toronto & London
+ Nominate Your Choices Now For The SEW Awards
+ Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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SES Munich, Toronto & London

After what turned out to be our biggest show ever in New York, Search Engine Strategies now heads outside the US. Our search marketing event arrives in Munich in April, Toronto in May and London in June.

As with our US shows, each event will feature speakers from major search engines, along with experts on search marketing. Details about all the events can be found via our Search Engine Strategies site. It also has preliminary details of our next US show in San Jose this August.

The Munich show is conducted mostly in German and focuses especially on German search marketing issues. The Toronto show will focus on Canadian issues, while the London show emphasizes UK and European issues.

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Nominate Your Choices Now For The SEW Awards

Search Engine Watch members can now use this form to nominate search engines that should be put forward as finalists during general voting for the 5th Annual Search Engine Watch Awards to be held next week. The form will let you chose from a number of short-list candidates or you can write-in a favorite, if who or what you like isn't shown. The nomination round will run through next Monday (the form says this Friday, but I'll let it run a few days longer). Next Tuesday, you'll be emailed a special one-time use URL letting you vote in the final round. Voting will run through Friday of that week.

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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:

Lessons Learned from Eye Tracking Studies
SearchDay, March 17, 2005

You've optimized your web pages to be search engine friendly, and they're ranking well in search result pages, but so whatif users don't actually do what you'd like them to do once they arrive at your web site.

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MSN To Launch Its Own Paid Listings Program
SearchDay, March 16, 2005

MSN has announced it will enter the paid search arena with a full-blown self-service paid listing program similar to those run by Yahoo and Google. The longer version of the story for Search Engine Watch members goes into more depth on how the program was developed, why France and Singapore are pilot countries, more details on the program's features, ad targeting capabilities and how targeting is done, how the program makes automated ad management even more important and the challenges in rolling the program out in the US market..

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How to Hack Your Own Search Engine
SearchDay, March 15, 2005

Got the itch to go head-to-head with Google, Yahoo and all of the other big search players on the web? A new book provides a detailed blueprint for using and customizing Lucene, open-source search engine software that's freely available online.

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OpenSearch: Add Your Own Search Engine To A9 (Or Potentially, Anywhere)
SEW Blog, Mar. 15, 2005

A9's new OpenSearch program out today allows anyone with search results to create their own "button" that can be added to the A9 search engine, allowing users there to get custom specialty or vertical search results. More in this story.

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Claria Debuts RelevancyRank: Search Ranking By Behaviorial Activity
SEW Blog, Mar. 15, 2005

Claria, the company behind the Gator eWallet software, has released new search relevancy ratings today examining how the top search listings on Google, MSN and Yahoo compare to pages the company says its research shows are actually most relevant. More important, the ratings mark the first use of technology Claria hopes will let it improve the results of major search engines or perhaps offer its own improved search engine. More in this post. For Search Engine Watch members, the Claria Unveils Behaviorial-Based Search Ranking article goes into more depth on this "third generation" of clicktracking.

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Google's Redirect Hijacking Problem Gets Slashdotted
SEW Blog, Mar. 15, 2005

I've mentioned Google's problem with 302 redirects possibly "hijacking" someone else's page in passing before, always meaning to do a longer article explaining the situation more. The new Page Hijack: The 302 Exploit, Redirects and Google article up from Claus Schmidt looks to do an admirable job of explaining the situation, so check that out if you want to come up to speed. More on that and a round-up of similar information, in this post.

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Google Local Gains Tools For Businesses
SEW Blog, Mar. 15, 2005

Just launched, the new Google Local Business Center allows US business to find their listings in Google Local. It also allows those not already listed in Google Local to gain new listings. A bit more on how it works, in this post.

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Google AutoLink, Meet Butler, Which Enhances Google Results
SEW Blog, Mar. 15, 2005

Upset about Google AutoLink, the new Google Toolbar feature that adds links to web pages that it feels are appropriate? You might try a new tool created by Mark Pilgrim that inserts links on Google's own pages. A look at the tool and a revisit over developments with the AutoLink system, in this post.

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SEMs: Your Days Are Over (Not)
SEW Blog, Mar. 14, 2005

Search-Specific Agencies Fight for Survival from MediaWeek comes away from the SES NY show earlier this month with this frightening sounding conclusion: "Many SEMs also likely wondered whether the event might be their last trip to New York." While there will be more acquisitions, I think SEM firms will still survive. More in this post.

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Search's Long Tail
SEW Blog, Mar. 14, 2005

If you've somehow missed discussion of "The Long Tail," it's a reference to a landmark article of the same name by Wired editor Chris Anderson that ran last October. It covered how the media and entertainment industries will succeed not by pushing only mass market hits that are popular among many but by also mining the "long tail" of interest among a few in less-popular books, songs, movies and more. And in this article, a look at how search has long tail, too. Many search marketers have already understood this, the need to tap the "search tail." If you haven't, learn more in this article.

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Who's in Charge of the Internet?
SearchDay, March 14, 2005

Ever wondered about the organizations that oversee the architecture and operation of the Internet? A recently published article provides an enlightening glimpse behind the scenes of the net's governing bodies.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, March 11, 2005

Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Cloaking and Keyword Loading On Pages - Load Balancing and Its Effects on Search Engine Optimization - Changing Domains To Be Re-included In Yahoo - Google is Now Asking for a Code if You Use a Rank Checker - Google Adds Weather Feature, and more.

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USA Today Profile On Google AdSense; I Riff On It Still Not Being Search
SEW Blog, Mar. 11, 2005

USA Today looks at how Google's AdSense program has grown to help publishers make money: Google's AdSense a bonanza for some Web sites. I get to be one of the voices in the article not seeing things as so rosy. A closer look at AdSense having nothing to do with search and the irony of how it now fuels the same search spam that Google has to combat.

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New Customization, Personalization Features at Google News
SearchDay, March 10, 2005

Google has enhanced its news service with a number of new features that make it easy to modify your own version of the Google News page by adding or deleting sources, and to share the customized page with others.

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A Cool Blog Discovery Tool
SearchDay, March 9, 2005

There's a lot of great content out there on those millions of blogs, but finding the good ones related to your own interests can be a challenge. A set of tools from Blogstreet can help.

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Google Admits To Cloaking; Bans Itself
SEW Blog, Mar. 9, 2005

No, it's not April Fool's Day. Google has indeed cloaked pages on its own search engine and now banned those pages from its index. More in this article.

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Yahoo Directory Makes Changes & Further Directory Decline
SEW Blog, Mar. 8, 2005

The Changes in the Yahoo Directory thread in our Search Engine Watch Forums notes that the Yahoo Directory home page has gained a new look and feel. In addition, sites are now sorted by popularity, as I'll explain more below.

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A New F-Word for Google Search Results
SearchDay, March 8, 2005

A new study has added tangible evidence to the widely held view that top-ranking search results get the most attention from users, and that lower-ranking results are all but invisible to most people.

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Google Desktop Search Moves Out of Beta
SearchDay, March 7, 2005

Google has formally launched its desktop search application, after a comparatively short beta test period of just five months.

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Web Research "Dashboard" Nextaris Formally Launches, New Services Added
SEW Blog, Mar. 7, 2005

Nextaris, a web-based "dashboard" for the researcher was formally released today. Chris had several positive thing to say about this feature-filled service in his September 2004 Search day review: Nextaris: An Integrated Web Research Dashboard. He concludes his article by saying that Nextaris is, "blazing a trail for the next generation of web research tools." A longer look at what's provided also, in this post, including a mobile version.

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Most Conversions Happen Offline; You Need To Measure These!
SEW Blog, Mar. 7, 2005

In his ClickZ article, Nonconverting Keywords and the Search Continuum, Fredrick Marckini is stunned that some comScore and Overture research about conversions released at the end of last year hasn't been more widely discussed. It should have been, because it revealed how important tracking offline conversions is to search marketers. More on why it's so crucial to improve online and offline tracking, to better compete, in this post.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, March 4, 2005

Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: SES New York: Live Coverage - Google Hires Top Windows Programmer - Yahoo's Contextual Ads in the Wild - Can Google Push Users To Yahoo & MSN? - Overture Services To Become Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions - The Best SEO Tactic: Do Nothing at all?, and more.

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Enhancements Made to Google Local
SEW Blog, Mar. 3, 2005

Google Maps are now available on Google Local on both the US and Canadian sites. Before today, Google was using maps provided by a third party on Google Local. More detailed business information is also offered. A rundown, in this post.

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Finding Free Content in the Creative Commons
SearchDay, March 3, 2005

Looking for photos, music, text, books and other content that's free to share or modify for your own purposes? The Creative Commons search engine can help you find tons of (legally) free stuff on the web.

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Newer, Fresher Google Hacks
SearchDay, March 2, 2005

One of the best books about Google has just been updated with new content and useful tools that make it even easier to exploit the full power of the popular search engine.

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So Long Overture, Hello Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions
SEW Blog, Mar. 1, 2005

A bit of re-branding news to begin the month of March. The Overture brand is no more. All of Overture's and Yahoo's marketing services will now use the name: Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions. Details in this news release.

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A Search Tool for Name Brands
SearchDay, March 1, 2005

Looking for the official site of a major brand? VisioBrand is a comprehensive directory of major global brands, organized by category, and presented in a highly visual, easy to use format.

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Envisioning the Web, 60 Years Ago
SearchDay, February 28, 2005

Sixty years ago, Vannevar Bush laid out a passionate vision of an 'information appliance' of the future. Looking back, we find a remarkably prescient description of what we today call the world wide web.

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More From The SEW Blog
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France, Google, And The Need For Digitization Projects To Cooperate
By Gary Price, Mar. 17, 2005

A month after we posted on the head of the France's national library (Bibliothhque nationale de France) being concerned with Google's ambitious program to digitize library materials from several large libraries "favouring Anglo-Saxon ideas and the English language." Today we're reading about President Jacques Chirac of France calling for a European project to digitize library books. In this post, links to the translation of his statement and the bigger issue that it's not Anglo-Saxon domination to worry about but that none of the many digitization projects underway right now are cooperating.

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Colin Powell Invades Google
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 17, 2005

Google's notable for having many Democratic dignitaries show up, but worth a note that former US Secretary Of State Colin Powell -- and big-league Republican, stopped by the Googleplex earlier this month. More from GoogleBlogoscoped: Colin Powell Visits Google.

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Getting Answers From Answers.com's CEO
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 17, 2005

The answer man from News.com has GuruNet CEO Bob Rosenschein -- whose company runs Answers.com -- answering some questions of his own, such why the company will succeed at making money this time, when it failed previously, how it's not competing with other search engines, even though some think it is. And in this post, a bit more on how search engines themselves are indeed changing their DNA to provide direct answers.

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New Tech Buzz Game from Yahoo Research Labs
By Gary Price, Mar. 16, 2005

Yahoo's new Tech Buzz Game is "a fantasy prediction market for high-tech products, concepts, and trends. As a player, your goal is to predict how popular various technologies will be in the future." More on the game and some PowerPoint slides from a presentation about it, in this post.

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Where Did Google X Go?
By Gary Price, Mar. 16, 2005

Earlier today Danny blogged about the new Google X interface from Google Labs. Now, a day after launching the service, it's already offline. Philipp and News.com report that Google X was taken down sometime this afternoon. Why? Google isn't saying. Earlier, Danny wrote, "Google X comes from apparently similar functionality in the MacOS system." Hmm, perhaps Apple had a few issues with the "look" and "feel" of the service and Google decided to simply kill their "homage" to OS X. According to the News.com article, both Google and Apple were unavailable for comment. As of 9pm EST, the Google X remains unreachable. Want to discuss? Visit our forum thread, Google X.

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Feedster Improves Advanced Search Syntax
By Gary Price, Mar. 16, 2005

Feedster has just made some of its already robust advanced search syntax easier to use. It's all documented here. Impressive! I'm very happy to see that the proximity operator (near) remains available. You're even able to specify how many words "term a" can be from "term b." If you don't specify a number, the default is ten words in either direction. Presently, the only large general web engine to offer a proximity operator is Exalead. Too bad. When available, proximity operators can help deliver more precise results. Kudos to Feedster on improving their already robust search syntax.

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New Firefox Toolbar from Ask Jeeves
By Gary Price, Mar. 16, 2005

A post on the Ask Jeeves Blog informs us that the company is now offering a version of the AJ Toolbar for Firefox users.

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France: Google Loses Appeal of Trademark Case
By Gary Price, Mar. 16, 2005

Google has lost an appeal of a trademark infringement case in France and will have to pay $100,300 in damages. "The court in Versailles, west of Paris, found that Google Inc. was guilty of "trademark counterfeiting" and ordered it to pay the damages originally awarded to French travel companies Luteciel and Viaticum, as well as costs." More in the article: Google Loses French Trademark Appeal.

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Hiring An In House Search Marketer
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 16, 2005

How to Find an In-House SEM Specialist from Patricia Fusco at ClickZ looks at how to find and bring someone in to do search marketing in house, if you've reached that need.

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Yahoo 360 To Offer Photo Sharing, Social Networking & Blogging
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 16, 2005

Yahoo 360 is a new online photo sharing, social networking and blogging service that Yahoo is privately beta testing. Interested? You can sign-up via a waiting list link on the site. Well, you're supposed to be able to. That wasn't working when I tested it. Yahoo 360 takes spin through blogosphere from News.com has a few more details on the service. Charlene Li at Forrester has more in Yahoo announces blogging and social networking betas. Yahoo 360 Fuses Social Networking and Blogs from the AP has details of a March 29 release date.

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Will Gmail Officially Launch on April 1, 2005?
By Gary Price, Mar. 16, 2005

Arik Hesseldahl over at Forbes writes about Gmail being made available to even more people. He reports that "random users" at Google.com are being invited to open Gmail accounts. Arik then goes on to speculate that Gmail might "officially" launch on April 1st, exactly one year after the beta became available amidst talk that Gmail was just an April Fools Day prank from the Googleplex. I've heard other Google "watchers" (myself included) also speculating that April 1, 2005 will be the date of the "official" launch. Finally, a note to Forbes, it's Gmail not G-Mail. More in the article: G-mail Nearing Prime Time.

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RSS Delivered via SMS: FeedBeep Opens Beta
By Gary Price, Mar. 16, 2005

A few weeks ago I mentioned a new service called FeedBeep that notifies users of new RSS headlines (based on keywords) via SMS (text message). I just learned that the beta is now open to anyone (in the U.S. or Belgium) who can access text messages on their phone or mobile device. Registration is free and takes only a few seconds. Details on the site. I'm off to give it a go.

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More On FAST's Mobile Search & Better Change That Name!
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 16, 2005

Gary blogged earlier a new mobile search product that FAST has rolled out. FAST Into New Mobile Search from InternetNews.com provides a few more details about the mSearch service. Pity about the name, though. mSearch also the same name for the new search marketing agency brand being rolled out worldwide by WPP that I wrote about earlier this year. I mean, it's exactly the same right down to the use of a little m before the word search!

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The Second Rule Of AdSense Is That You Can Now Talk About Earnings
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 16, 2005

Back in 2003, Google took a lot of flak for banning its AdSense affiliates from criticizing the service and if I recall correctly, discussing how much they earn. New changes to the terms say that it's now OK to talk about earnings. But you still can't be disparaging! Plus, direct deposit options and other changes, covered in this post.

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Poking At Search Marketing Myths
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 16, 2005

Popular Search Marketing Myths Debunked from Jennifer Laycock at Search Engine Guide takes a nice look at some of the popular search marketing wisdom you may hear out there and explains that it ain't necessarily so.

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A9 is Now in the Weblog Search Business
By Gary Price, Mar. 15, 2005

A brief addendum to Danny's post about A9's just announced OpenSearch service. When you review the list of databases already available you'll see that A9 has also launched their own weblog search engine called "A9 Top Blogs Search." It currently provides searchable access to, "a constantly updated set of recent blog entries from over three hundred of the most influential English language blogs on the web." I was unable to find a list of what 300+ blogs are being searched or what criteria A9 uses to determine a blogs influence.

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SEMPO Elects New Officers From Board
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 15, 2005

Last month, SEMPO elected a new board of directors. Now that board has selected from among themselves a new chairperson, president and other officers. A rundown in this post.

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Looking At ClickTracks Optimizer
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 14, 2005

Jennifer Laycock does a rundown on key features of the new mid-range ClickTrack Optimizer product released in January. ClickTracks Optimizer Offers Must Have Reporting for Small Businesses is the title of her article on Search Engine Guide, and as you might guess, she loves the web analytics tool, as do I.

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Search Engine Showdown Posts New Items
By Gary Price, Mar. 14, 2005

Greg Notess (also a librarian) has posted a couple of new and interesting items on his Search Engine Showdown site. You'll find a Premlinary review of Exalead, a look at how the major web engines handle long words and an item about how Yahoo is now searching stop words in phrases and how it "breaks" several "hacks" for Yahoo proximity searching. I agree with Greg, Yahoo needs to bring back both truncation and the proximity operator that were once available at AltaVista.

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Clusty Now Offering Government Info Search and Cluster
By Gary Price, Mar. 14, 2005

Word of something new from Vivisimo's Clusty.com this afternoon. The company has just launched a new "government tab" that allows you to search and cluster results from a variety of government info sources including FirstGov, MSN limited to the ".gov" domain, DefenseLink, political news from Reuters, the Associated Press, and CNN, and a number of prominent American think tanks, including RAND, The Brookings Institution, and The Cato Institute. An advanced search interface is available. Also, Clusty continues to make search/cluster versions of key government reports and documents available. They're now providing a search/cluster version of the 2006 U.S. Budget. Finally, Clusty now offers a shortcut to find info about members of the U.S. Congress. Enter a state name, postal abbreviation, or Zip Code in the search box and at the top of the page you'll find pictures, links to voting records, and email info.

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Big Brands Need To Do SEO, Too
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 14, 2005

Big brand? "Get over yourself," says Shari Thurow, when it comes to SEO. In her Big Brands Equal Big SEO Opportunities column on ClickZ today, she looks at how being a big brand can give you opportunities in search engine optimization but doesn't mean guarantees if you aren't willing to accommodate search engines. That's especially so give there are smaller, nimble companies who will.

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On Google Jets, Google Bras & Removing Michael Wolff's Talk From Google
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 14, 2005

SiliconValley.com points to a transcript of keynote speech by Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff, where he tells a story of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin discussing the coolness of owning your own 767 while traveling on the private jet of an unnamed billionaire. The duo also discuss the idea of Google branching off into making underwear and bras. If that's not strange enough, you'll note that before you get to the actual transcript, the site hosting it is printing correspondence telling it to remove the transcript because of copyright issues. The site obviously disagrees. But that didn't keep it from being pulled out of Google, as this post looks at more.

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Blogger's New Blog
By Gary Price, Mar. 14, 2005

For those of you who want to follow the latest happenings from the Blogger team at Google, you can now read them on their new blog, Blogger Buzz. BTW, nothing about the no-follow tag in the first few postings. In fact, I still haven't noticed any info about no-follow anywhere on the Blogger site.

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More Mobile Search and Info News
By Gary Price, Mar. 14, 2005

Yahoo and AOL have both announced deals that will provide Blackberry users with preinstalled versions of Yahoo Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger clients on their devices. Versions of Yahoo Messenger and AIM are already available from several wireless providers. Also, more about other mobile services AOL plans to release in the Infoworld article: AOL unveils set of new mobile services. And FAST Search and Transfer has launched a new mobile product called Fast mSearch that can intergrate a variety of mobile content. More info here.

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Leading UK Travel Providers Stop Keyword Advertisers from Using Their Trademarks in Google Ads
By Gary Price, Mar. 13, 2005

Interesting read on the Silicon.com site about three leading UK travel providers (First Choice, Thomas Cook and Thomson) telling travel agents that they are no longer allowed to use their trademarks in keyword advertising on Google. More in the article: Travel companies ban trademarks from Google

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Mobile Access to Your My Yahoo RSS Feeds
By Gary Price, Mar. 12, 2005

This CMPNet Asia story points out that the mobile version of My Yahoo now allows you to view your RSS feeds via your WAP browser. In other words, My Yahoo joins Bloglines from Ask Jeeves as services offering mobile tools to access your feeds. More info and details about how to access your feeds via My Yahoo Mobile in the story: Yahoo Launches Mobile RSS News Feed and in the Yahoo Search Blog post: My Yahoo Mobile RSS.

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Keyhole: Another Google Revenue Stream
By Gary Price, Mar. 12, 2005

Since Google purchased Keyhole (a 3D satellite imagery product) last October there has been plenty of talk about how Google will use the technology. While that talk continues, Google is growing a team to sell the product to people/companies in various industries. I was just perusing new job openings at Google and came across one for an "inside sales rep" (aka telephone and email work) selling Keyhole to the real estate, architecture/engineering/construction, telecommunications, transportation and other markets.

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Looking At Become.com
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 11, 2005

Who's Shopping? Who's Researching? has ClickZ executive editor Rebecca Lieb coming away impressed with the research versus shop search options that new shopping search engine Become.com plans to roll out. But as an "elephant" of a feature, it's something that the bigger search engines could also do, given that they do have "pure play" shopping search engines of their own. The article has some more details on Become, including the use of human editors to select sites with reviews. Consumer Reports content is mentioned being crawled -- Yahoo Shopping has long offered some of this content as well. Our own look at Become and how it is shaping up against other shopping search engines is in the works, so stay tuned.

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You Had Them At Search; Keep Them With Email
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 10, 2005

Hey, I love it if you search for something and found my site about search engines. But it's always been my goal since the very beginning (that's 1996!) that if you find me, I want you to leave your email address to I can continue to reach out to you (with your permission, of course). If the excitement over search and enthusiasm over RSS has made you forget email, don't. It's still used by lots of people and is a great way to convert and stay connected with the people who found you the first time. Search and Retain: The Search/E-Mail Combo from ClickZ looks at this more.

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Amazon's A9 Reaches To India
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 10, 2005

Amazon's A9 team may be based out of California, but the company also has a dedicated development team in Bangalore, India that's working on the push into search. More in Amazon cooking up search, Web products in India from IDG.

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Contextual Ads As Search Alternative
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 10, 2005

Contextual ads aren't search, but being sold alongside search means that search marketers may tap into them as a way to gain more traffic. Marketers Split on Contextual Ad Effectiveness from ClickZ takes a brief look. Don't expect search-like conversion, but also remember that if they convert higher than your cost, contextual ads can still be great.

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Looking At Chinese Search Censorship
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 10, 2005

China's search engine censorship continues from Pandia recaps Chinese government pressures to censor search results, along with its funding of the Accoona search engine.

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WebmasterWorld Search Conference Hits The Big Easy In June
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 10, 2005

The next WebmasterWorld Search Conference is slated for June 21-23 in New Orleans. Basic details can be found here, with a conference agenda promised soon. For a flavor, see our round-up of coverage out of the last one: WebmasterWorld Conference Coverage: Day 2 (also links to Day 1).

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Search Players Want Your Mobile Phone
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 10, 2005

Local mobile search? Hold the phone from News.com takes a look at how search companies are eyeing the mobile market as a way to extend their reach.

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WSJ's Mossberg Against AutoLink
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 10, 2005

Wall St. Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg has come out against the AutoLink feature in the new Google Toolbar: Google Toolbar Inserts Links in Others' Sites, And That's a Bad Idea. Mossberg was instrumental in getting Microsoft's Smart Tags killed, as my earlier article explains more.

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Google Makes Suggestions in Japanese
By Gary Price, Mar. 10, 2005

Here's one for those of you who search in Japanese, or know people who do, a Japanese version of Google Suggest is now online.

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Gigablast Increases Number of Pages Indexed
By Gary Price, Mar. 10, 2005

Those of you who track total index size (or at least what the engines tell us) might be interested in learning that Matt Wells and his team at Gigablast have posted an increase to their total. Gigablast now lists 1,500,103,760 pages indexed on their home page. The total previously listed was 1,014,325,120.

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FareChase Announces Enhancements
By Gary Price, Mar. 9, 2005

FareChase, the travel search site that Yahoo acquired in 2004 is announcing a few enhancements to the service. A post on the Yahoo Search Blog says that FareChase is now available for Firefox and Safari users and offers more search and refinement tools including the ability to sort results by price and departure times. FareChase is one of a growing number of travel research tools that simultaneously search and aggregate results from disparate databases. Competitors include Mobissimo, Kayak, and SideStep. More about these services in the Charlotte Observer article: Search engines revved up for one-stop travel service.

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SEO Big For About.com
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 9, 2005

What's the value of organic search engine optimization? It apparently contributed quite a bit to the $410 million that the New York Times paid for About.com. Note the heavy discussion of how SEO has helped About in driving traffic in this Online Journalism Review article, About.com CEO explains why NYT spent $410 million to buy site. Quoted about About's SEO efforts is CEO Peter Horan. Behind the scenes, it's SEO veteran Marshall Simmonds, one of our regular SES speakers, who orchestrates the optimization and in-house training of all those guides to help their content naturally do better. Want some tips on what he does for the big site of About.com? See these past SearchDay articles and SES forum coverage: Big Sites + Big Brands = Big Search Engine Marketing Challenges, Home-Grown Search Engine Optimization, Big Sites / Big Brands

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Using Web Engines to Spread Malware
By Gary Price, Mar. 9, 2005

Websense, a computer security firm. has just released a new report that includes a brief discussion about the use of web engines to spread malware. You can read about the report in the vnunet.com article: Hackers 'poison' search engine results. If you would like to read the full text of the report, it's available here.

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Yahoo Readying Contextual Ad Expansion?
By Danny Sullivan, Mar. 9, 2005

We had plenty of rumors running around SES NY last week that Yahoo might expand its contextual ad offerings in the manner of Google's self-serve AdSense ones. Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang suggested in my keynote talk with him that this was pretty likely as well. Yahoo Mulls Expansion Of Contextual Program from MediaPost today looks briefly at further fuel after Yahoo contextual ads showed up on the blog of Yahoo product manager Ken Rudman. More from Andy Baio and Olivier Duffez. How big for Yahoo? As noted in the article, Google doesn't reveal how much its own self-serve AdSense ads generate. But I suspect it's serious money. More on why is explained in my article about the Google IPO from last year: Google IPO To Happen, Files For Public Offering. News.com also has a new story on the rumors, Yahoo seeks to expand in Google territory. Also see ClickZ's Marketers React to Yahoo AdSense Alternative.

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A9 VP Talks About New Visual Yellow Pages
By Gary Price, Mar. 9, 2005

Interested in learning more about A9's new "visual" yellow pages? During SES last week, Zachary Rodgers from ClickZ chatted with Barnaby Dorfman, a VP at Amazon's A. The Q&A style interview: Questions for Amazon.com's Barnaby Dorfman, has info about the companies providing data to the service, Dorfman's thoughts about why the images can be useful to consumers, how a9 plans to increase the user base, and much more. For an overview about what the service has to offer, see the SearchDay article: Amazon's A9 Launches Visual Yellow Pages.

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A Visit to Google's Hyderabad Center in India
By Gary Price, Mar. 8, 2005

If you're interested in learning about some of Google's operation in India, the rediff.com article: Google Hyderabad sets global trend!, is worthy of your attention.

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Google and Answers.com Announce Ad Deal
By Gary Price, Mar. 8, 2005

Word this morning that Gurunet (the parent of Answers.com) and Google have signed a deal that will place Google AdSense advertising on Answers.com pages. Gurunet also announced that they're now offering a co-branded and integrated version of Google on their site. Links are located in a box labeled "search" on the left side of pages. Answers.com provides web results via a co-branded page. You'll also see links to Google Images and Google News. Direct links to weblog content from Technorati and product search from Amazon.com are also available. At the beginning of this year, Answers.com began providing Google with dictionary definitions and other material linked from Google search pages.

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Yahoo Gets Ready to Open Digital Music Store
By Gary Price, Mar. 8, 2005

It looks like Apple's iTunes, Real's Rhapsody, and other digital music download services will have a new competitor, Yahoo. According to a Silicon.com article: iTunes gets a Yahoo rival, Yahoo will to unveil a digital music service and player by the end of this month. Yahoo recently rebranded all of their music properties, including the top-rated LAUNCH, as Yahoo Music. Last September, Yahoo purchased Musicmatch, an online jukebox and digital music download service for $160 million in cash. BTW, in case you're wondering, Google owns the domain name, GoogleMusic.com!

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Fired Google Blogger Gets a New Job
By Gary Price, Mar. 8, 2005

Mark Jen, the former Google employee who was fired for blogging, has a new job and it's also in Mountain View. According to Zawodny and News.com, Jen has landed a job at Plaxo, a contact management service. I wonder if one of Jen's responsibilities will be posting to the Plaxo blog? It hasn't been updated since December.

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Australia's Ansearch Will Use Overture Ads
By Gary Price, Mar. 7, 2005

Ansearch, the new Australia web engine that is set to formally launch on March 31 (we've been blogging about it since November) has signed a two-year deal with Overture (aka Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions) to provide pay-per-click ads. Additional info in the ZDNet Austalia article: Ansearch signs pay-per-click ad deal. The article also touches on a couple of "new" features that will be available when Ansearch launches. BTW, I've noticed that Ansearch is now providing some cached content, detailed info about pages, and a page with direct links (aka "site map") to various parts of a web site.

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A Busy Time for China's Web Search Companies
By Gary Price, Mar. 7, 2005

Several announcements from the major web search providers in China over the past couple of weeks. The Asia Pulse article: Search Engine Market To Consolidate In China, has an overview.

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Are VoIP Services on the Horizon for Search Providers?
By Gary Price, Mar. 7, 2005

In January, Danny blogged about speculation (at a fever pitch for a few days) about Google launching a VoIP telephone service. Today, Jim Hu at News.com calmly discusses what Google, Yahoo, and MSN are or are not up to in the article: Search giants hear voices. A bulletpoint rundown, in this post. See also Google window-shops for VoIP.

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Yahoo: Ten Years, 100 Moments, One Page
By Chris Sherman, Mar. 6, 2005

Yahoo has created Yahoo Netrospective: 10 years, 100 moments of the Web a seriously cool single page highlighting key events for the company and the web. Click on a thumbnail image or its description, and a pane opens up showing a larger picture describing the event. It's a fast, easy-to-use and fun way to quickly scan ten years of history. See also The Site that Inspired the Yahoo Netrospective.

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Listen to Jerry Yang Interviewed on Charlie Rose Show
By Gary Price, Mar. 6, 2005

The audio of the 23 minute interview between Chief Yahoo Jerry Yang and Charlie Rose sat is currently available for FREE via Audible.com (look for the Free Audio links near the top of the page or search for "Jerry Yang"). Some bulletpoints from it and a bit more, in this post.

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Blinkx Profiled in Technology Review
By Gary Price, Mar. 6, 2005

The Technology Review article: Search for Couch Potatoes, offers a brief look at contextual/desktop/video search tool, Blinkx. According to the article, Blinkx currently has over one million users.

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Google's New Weather Shortcut and Similar Services
By Gary Price, Mar. 5, 2005

A post on the Google Blog informs us that Google now has a shortcut that provides a four-day weather forecast in a OneBox at the top of web search results page. More on using this and similar features with other search engines, in this post.

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The NY Times Publishes Article About Clickfraud
By Gary Price, Mar. 4, 2005

Time for another clickfraud article coming from major mainstream press organizations. This time around it's The New York Times/IHT with the story: Fears of fraud grow on pay-per-click ads. The article includes a couple of comments from Patrick Giordani, the head of loss prevention at Yahoo Search Marketing Services (aka Overture) and Salar Kamangar, director for product management at Google. In the past couple of months we've read clickfraud stories in Newsweek and from the AP. Also, Stefanie Olsen from News.com reports from SES about how some companies are dealing with clickfraud.

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Google: The Business
By Gary Price, Mar. 4, 2005

Ben Elgin at Business Week asks if Google is a one-trick pony? "A handful of analysts increasingly are questioning whether Google's laser-like focus on search may be something of an Achilles' heel. Google remains almost entirely dependent for growth on search -- a business that's poised to slow. In the maturing U.S. market, Forrester Research Inc. predicts growth will drop from 45% to 30% this year."

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Google News China Blocked...Again
By Gary Price, Mar. 4, 2005

Interfax reports that Google News China was unavailable after trying to access from various locations throughout China. The article goes on to mention that one of Google's English language news sites was often inaccessible.

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Ask Jeeves Improves Relevancy With Image Search
By Gary Price, Mar. 4, 2005

Ask is now using their own relevancy algorithm on top of the image database that's provided by Picsearch. The Picsearch database and algorithm is also used with MSN's Image Search. The AJ blog post offers a couple of before and after examples.

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Reports from SES NYC: Day Four
By Gary Price, Mar. 3, 2005

Search Engine Strategies NYC 2005 is now history. I'm sure once Danny and Chris have time to recoup they'll have plenty to share. In the mean time, I would like to thank Barry Schwartz and Benjamin Pfeiffer for the excellent session summaries they've been posting in the SEW Forums. Here's their work for Day 4. What is Content?, Integrating Search into Other Marketing, Advanced Keyword Research Tools

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From Redmond to Mountain View: Top Windows Architect Joins Google
By Gary Price, Mar. 3, 2005

Microsoft Watch reports that Marc Lucovsky, a key Windows architect has left Microsoft after 16 years and is now a Googler. More in the article: Microsoft Loses Key Windows Architect to Google.

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Inside Google's Data Centers
By Gary Price, Mar. 3, 2005

Those of you with an interest about how Google's data centers operate will want to take a look at the News.com article: Google's secret of success? Dealing with failure. It offers highlights from a presentation by Urs Hoelzle, a vice president of engineering and of operation at Google. Hoelzle spoke at the EclipseCon on Wednesday. See also A Behind the Scenes Look at Google for more material like this.

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Reports from SES NYC: Day Three
By Gary Price, Mar. 2, 2005

Summaries from SES Day Three sessions are now available: Search Convergence; Local Search Marketing Tactics; Brand Summit: Life After Geico - Google; Measuring Offline Sales & Conversions

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Yahoo Now Recommends Movies
By Gary Price, Mar. 2, 2005

Greg Linden tells us about a new movie recommendation service from Yahoo Movies. Greg also points out that ChoiceSteam offers a television recommendation service called MyBestBets. Another web-based movie recommender system (this one utilizes collaborative filtering) is called MovieLens. It comes from the GroupLens Research Project at the University of Minnesota and has been online for several years.

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Keyword Search Prices Drop Two Percent
By Gary Price, Mar. 2, 2005

A new Fathom report was released today and shows that keyword prices dropped two percent last month. More numbers and a chart are available here.

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Ask Jeeves Now Powering Lycos Web Search
By Gary Price, Mar. 2, 2005

Score another deal for Mr. Jeeves. Word this morning that Ask Jeeves is now powering web search on the Lycos.com site. Details in this news release.

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Combating Web Spam with TrustRank
By Gary Price, Mar. 2, 2005

You know about PageRank and about two weeks ago I mentioned a new paper from Stanford's Database Group discussing PeopleRank. Today, another paper posted on the Stanford server. This one introduces TrustRank that has been developed to help fight web spam. Here's the abstract. Another version of the paper was published in Ma


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