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The Search Engine Report - Number 109

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In This Issue
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+ SES Chicago Next Week!
+ Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ Daily SearchCast: Search News Via Podcast
+ Our Search Newsletters & Feeds
+ About The Newsletter

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SES Chicago Next Week!
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I'm off to Chicago tomorrow, and I look forward to seeing many of our readers who are also heading out for our Search Engine Strategies show out there running from Dec. 5 through 8.

Still thinking about going to the show? See my What's Going On At The Show? post on the Search Engine Watch Blog. The post covers all of our new sessions, plus special tracks for search marketing agencies, "in house" SEMers, retailers, link building and much much more.

The show also has two days of expo hall action, and our special "Birds Of A Feather" seating for lunch returns on the first three days of the show, allowing people to easily find and network with those having similar interests. A full agenda and details can be found here.

For the 2006 line-up, including our New York show from Feb. 27-March 2, see the Search Engine Strategies site. For news as each event approaches, check out the SES Blog. That's also the place to look for speaking opportunities for any of the shows.

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Top Stories
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Below is a recap of major articles from our daily SearchDay newsletter and important Search Engine Watch Blog postings since the last newsletter. Want to receive these stories daily or via RSS/feed? See the Search Engine Watch Newsletters & Web Feeds page for sign-up instructions.

=== Dec. 2, 2005 ===

Google Sandbox, Sandbox-Like Filters & Escaping With Trusted Links - For well over a year, there's been massive debate and speculation that Google puts all new sites into a "sandbox," preventing them from ranking well for anything until a set period of time has passed. Now we get more confirmation from Google that if there's not a sandbox, there's at least part of its algorithm that may make it seem that way for some sites -- plus thoughts on how trusted links may help sites escape those filters. This roundup for for Search Engine Watch members looks at some of the discussions and articles that have fueled this over the past few weeks.

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Search Engines Forum Spotlight -Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Just how Important is SEO in a Business Start Up - Dealing With Negative Listings About You - AdWords No Longer Human Reviewed? - SEO Myths - Niche Sites And AdSense Resources, and more.

=== Dec. 1, 2005 ===

New Players in Shopping and Comparison Search - Although established players continue to dominate the shopping and comparison search space, a number of new companies have launched promising alternatives that offer even more features for searchers and merchants.

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More On Microsoft Classifieds Service -- And Why Comparing To Google Base Doesn't Make Sense - More on the forthcoming Microsoft classified ads service is coming out, with some good remarks on why Microsoft's service may be more suited to classified searching than Google Base -- though as I'll explain, Google Base isn't what people should be using to measure Google's entry into the classified listings space. See also Microsoft's "Google Base" is Code Named Fremont & MS Receives Patent For Semi-Auto Annotation of Multimedia Objects.

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Humans Still Part Of Google Ad Review Process - Yesterday I posted about concerns over the relevancy of ads at Google and the question of whether human review was still being done. Yes, humans are still involved as part of the overall process, though it doesn't seem as if they review each and every ad. See also Irrelevant Google Ads, Due To Humans No Longer Checking For Relevancy?

=== Nov. 30, 2005 ===

What's New in Shopping Search 2005 - The second installment of Shopping Search Week 2005 features a rundown of key changes and new services offered by the major players in the comparison and shopping search arenas.

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Yahoo Mail Beta Gains RSS Reading Feature - The new Yahoo Mail that's in beta has gained a new way to add RSS feeds into your mail folder. For me, it's nothing shocking. I already pull RSS feeds into Outlook folders and read them in exactly this way. But it's nice for those who want this feature in a web-based email system.

=== Nov. 29, 2005 ===

Shopping Search Week 2005 - This week, SearchDay features our annual roundup of new developments in the shopping and comparison search arena. A special page for Search Engine Watch members provides detailed statistics of the shopping and comparison traffic search leaders in different markets around the world.

=== Nov. 28, 2005 ===

WebmasterWorld's Brett Tabke Speaks On Rogue Spidering Woes, Plus The Need For Expanded Feeds - Brett Tabke from WebmasterWorld dropped me a note about a new thread where he's answering many questions about WebmasterWorld banning all spiders, while Barry over at Search Engine Roundtable also has an interview with him. In both places, you'll learn of spiders being an increasing burden to the site, though I still am very, very wary that others should follow the route that Brett's taken. See also WebmasterWorld Out Of Google & MSN.

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1 Million Digitized Images Now Available Online from The Library of Congress - Long before The Library of Congress (LC) made the announcement last week about planning a World Digital Library (WDL), they've been digitizing material of all types for many years along with cataloging books (as you might expect) and offering MANY other services.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Click-To-Call - Is Top 30 Good Enough? - Google Running Ads At Bottom Of Search Engine Results Pages - Anyone Use MSN Search As The First Choice? - How to Identify a Scraper Site, and more.

=== Nov. 23, 2005 ===

Understanding Search Engine Patents - Search related patents provide insight into what's going on in search engine algorithms, and search marketers who understand these 'rules of ranking' are better positioned to win top position in search results. A longer version of this story for Search Engine Watch members offers analysis of a number of other techniques disclosed in search engine patents, how various search engines may be applying them, and how search marketers can either take advantage of these techniques or safely ignore them.

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Google Begins Test of "Click-to-Call" Advertising Program - Google has started to test click-to-call functionality with its search ads. See also Google Thinking Flash Ads?

=== Nov. 22, 2005 ===

World Digital Library Project Announced, Backed By Library Of Congress & Google - The United States Library of Congress has announced the creation of the World Digital Library today, a project that's also just received its first $3 million in funding from Google. See also:

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Froogle Offers Local Shopping Feature - Google's Froogle shopping search engine added a new feature to let people find products and services for sale in bricks-and-mortar stores near locations they designate.

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Ask Jeeves Adds Multimedia Search - Ask Jeeves has announced a content licensing agreement with GoFish to provide multimedia content in search results. The first phase allows you to search for music, video, podcasts and other multimedia content. If found, multimedia results will be presented in "Smart Answers" at the top of search results, allowing you to view, listen to or purchase multimedia files. Try it with this query for afro celt sound system. Jeeves says that additional integration of GoFish content will be "ongoing."

=== Nov. 21, 2005 ===

Google Separates Bids For Search & Contextual Ads - Separate bidding on content network introduced by AdWords from Jen over at JenSense looks at how Google is now allowing advertisers to finally bid on contextual ads independently of their search campaigns. Long overdue, and it's sad that it took advertisers having to beg, plead and drag Google kicking into this. See also:

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Add To Google & Save To Yahoo My Web Buttons Out - There's a new Add To Google button for site owners, along with a new Save To My Web button that Yahoo kindly rolled out last month. Let's jump in on using them. See also Getting Add To & Subscribe Buttons For Feeds for Search Engine Watch members, a just posted article that takes you to the forms for popular services, so that you can merrily make your own badges.

=== Nov. 18, 2005 ===

Major Security Flaw With Google Sitemaps Stats - A pretty surprising security oversight with Google's new Sitemaps stats system allow anyone access to stats of other web sites, if those web sites didn't report 404/File Not Found errors correctly. Among the vulnerable were eBay and AOL and Google's own Orkut! See also

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Failure Most Popular Term Sending Traffic From Google To US White House Site - Turns out the Google Sitemaps stats security problem means anyone can access the top terms driving traffic to the US White House web site. The top term isn't going to make President George W. Bush very happy. That's because it's "failure."

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Andrei Broder Joins Yahoo - Andrei Broder, former vice president of research at AltaVista and until recently Distinguished Engineer & CTO, IBM Research, is joining Yahoo as research fellow and vice president of emerging search technology at Yahoo Research.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Is SEO Getting More Gray? - Google Sitemaps Updated - A Positive Step Forward In Link Strategies - Google Base Opens To Submissions, and more.

=== Nov. 17, 2005 ===

Search Engine Ad Reps: Friend or Foe? - Search engines employ advertising representatives to help search marketers, but sometimes relations between ad reps and search marketers can be difficult or even downright adversarial. A longer version of this story for Search Engine Watch members offers tips on working with search engine ad reps in ways that avoid potential conflict or competition for clients, as well as suggestions for communicating value propositions to clients to demonstrate why going direct with search engines isn't in their best interest.

=== Nov. 16, 2005 ===

Google Base Live, Accepting Content - Google Base, which some people got an early glimpse at last month, is now live for anyone to play with. A look at this new way for people to submit content to Google. See also:

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Matt Cutts Has a Cup of Coffee at PubCon Conference - Coffee Talk with Senior Google Engineer: Matt Cutts from Search Engine Roundtable offers a great Q&A style review of Google webmaster relations guru Matt Cutts answering questions at the recent PubCon in Las Vegas. See also:

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Google Sitemaps Expands To Give Query & Indexing Stats! - Google's just added some new and long desired tools as part of its Sitemaps system. You can now get query stats and see top keywords driving traffic to your web site and crawl stats. See also: Major Security Flaw With Google Sitemaps Stats.

=== Nov. 15, 2005 ===

Yahoo Personalizes Shopping, Adds Community Features - Continuing its efforts to tap into personal and collective knowledge in search, Yahoo has enhanced its shopping service with a number of useful features, debuting what it calls the 'shoposphere.'

=== Nov. 14, 2005 ===

HotNacho On The WordPress Spam Saga - "WordPress Spam Scam Explained" is an undated article giving the Hot Nacho side of the Wordpress spam saga from owner Chad Jones. It highlights how while WordPress was back in Google within a day, HotNacho and other sites owned by Jones remain banned.

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Google Renames Urchin Google Analytics, Makes It Free - Google has renamed its Urchin web analytics unit to be -- yep -- Google Analytics in a move that follows with similar rebranding such as Keyhole being renamed Google Earth. And just like with Keyhole and Google's Picasa photo software, Google is turning Google Analytics into a free product. See also

=== Nov. 11, 2005 ===

Moving To Trusted Links & The Link Election Model - Thank you, Aaron. That's for taking the research paper (PDF file) about detecting link spam that Gary wrote about earlier and breaking it down in non technical language (and Jim Boykin summarizes Aaron further here). Aaron finds things like the paper says having .edu and .gov links are a good thing, don't worry about having a few spammy links and the more trusted links you have, the better.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Realistic SEO Expectations - Yahoo Maps Beta, Ties In With Search More - Dashes In URLs - Soon To be Spam? - How To Cross Link Without Getting Penalized? - Gates Dismissive Of Google, and more.

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Google Publication Ads Site & More On Print Ads - I wrote earlier that Google was going to test putting print ads in Chicago newspapers. In case you missed it, I postscripted that with an official confirmation of the test from Google. Now there's an area on Google describing the ads in print program. See also Google: The Print Ad Company Ramps Up Hiring.

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Ask Jeeves To Rebrand Tech As ExpertRank Inside? - Gary Price -- awesome sleuth that is he -- was doing some searching of the US Patent Office & Trademark Office database yesterday and noticed that Ask Jeeves filed a service mark to be accurate for the term "ExpertRank" about a week ago. Perhaps the sign of a new branding campaign to come?

=== Nov. 10, 2005 ===

Matt Cutts Banned On Google? And Oct. 2005 Jagger Update Winds Down - The Oct. 2005 Google Jagger update saga that has sucked the life out of so many (but not all; some are blissfully unimpacted by it) seems to be ending. Indeed, so says Google's Matt Cutts in his "Jagger winding down" post. But Matt, if the update is over and bugs worked out, why's your blog banned on Google? A longer version of this article for Search Engine Watch members goes into more detail about the situation. See also Yahoo Nov. 2005 Update Part 2 Underway.

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Google Personalized Search Leaves Google Labs - Google's personalized search has graduated from Google Labs and is now available to users on 39 worldwide Google domains in addition to Google.com.

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A Bad Reciprocal Link -- And Reciprocal Link Request - We've been having quite a discussion about reciprocal links over at the Search Engine Watch Forums in our Reciprocal Linking Dead or Alive? thread. I chimed in to stress that whether a reciprocal link is bad or good can also depend on what exactly you mean by "reciprocal link." From one page to another and back? From one site to another but between different pages? And what about the underlying reason for the link? For search ranking purposes or for your visitors? Today, a gift (ahem) from the email deity arrived in my inbox. An example of a bad reciprocal link plus a bad link request. Yum, double badness to blog. Let's look. See also: Boser On Reciprocal Links & Whether Inbound Links Can Harm.

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Yahoo China Relaunched With Pure Search Focus & New Majority Owner - Yahoo China has been acquired by Alibaba.com and relaunched as a pure search service. Here's the rundown on the changes and some reasons behind the handout, which still leaves Yahoo itself earning off the site. See also Alibaba's Chief Vows to Beat Google in China.

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

=== Dec. 2, 2005 ===

Yahoo Impulse & Search Behavioral Ads - Yahoo executive vice president Greg Coleman talks about the "new, new thing" where Yahoo banner ads are targeted based on search behavior and other activities. I guess it depends on how you define new. As even Coleman says, Yahoo's had variations on this for some time, literally years. But the latest rev of Yahoo Impulse that he's talking about has been running since at least June of this year....[MORE”

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After Product Pitch, Google Won't Call Back But Still Tests The Product - Spotted via Threadwatch, search tech start-up Kozoru finds that after presenting to Google, they won't return emails or phone calls -- but will happily continue checking out the service through the private access they were given. From Kozoru founder John Flower's blog post....[MORE”

=== Dec. 1, 2005 ===

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Vivisimo CEO Doubts On Personal Search - Searchblog has some comments including a link to a new paper by Raul Valdes-Perez, CEO of Vivisimo, titled, Why Search Personalization is a Dead End (PDF)....[MORE”

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Danny's Personal Blog Is Live - A non-search item here, but some of you may be interested. I've finally gotten my personal blog going, Daggle. I've actually been posting to it since the beginning of the year. I've just lamely never gotten any of it live until now. Topics range from reading books to the kids to living in the UK as an US expat. Topics do NOT include search. That stays firmly over here! Now that it is finally live, I'll be posting to it on a more regular basis.

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Simultaneously Search and Browse All of Google's Many Blogs; RSS Feed Also Available - Philipp over at Google Blogoscoped is one of my favorite people in the blogosphere. I just mentioned yesterday what a great job he does. Today, Philipp created and Danny posted about what can be best be described as, "so many Google Blogs, so little time." Philipp's service creates a single feed for all of Google's many blogs. See also:

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Complaints Over Wikipedia Accountability With Bios - Daniel Brandt's been upset over the accuracy and presence of a page about him at Wikipedia, and now John Seigenthaler, the former assistant to US Attorney General Robert Kennedy, is upset as well over his Wikipedia biography, venting his frustration in a USA Today article....[MORE”

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AOL Mobile Search Exits Beta - Late word from AOL that after about a four month beta period, AOL Mobile Search (you can take a look with a regular web browser) is being officially released today. I've posted the complete news release here but from the way it reads and from what I can see on my mobile browser, things are pretty much (from the searcher perspective) the same as they were when AOL Mobile Search launched in beta mode in July....[MORE”

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"Hypermaps" of Boston From StrataVarious Using Google, MSN, and Yahoo Maps - The StrataVarious HyperMap Atlas comes from Boston based StrataVarious and are available in three mashup flavors: Google Maps, MSN Virtual Earth, and Yahoo Maps. Trust me folks, this is some cool stuff for both Boston residents and those who plan to visit the city. It's also a great way to look at the mapping services from all three companies....[MORE”

=== Nov. 30, 2005 ===

Mobissimo Launches One-Box Air Fare Search - Mobissimo, a travel meta search site that brings together results from many travel databases and sites (137 to be precise), has released a new feature that allows the searcher to enter a query in a natural language format in what Mobissimo calls a One-Box search....[MORE”

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Answers.com Now Embedded into Firefox 1.5 Search Toolbar - A quick note from Answers.com that a link to this ready-reference database is now embedded directly and automatically into the new Firefox 1.5 search toolbar....[MORE”

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Keyword Searching of Podcasts Using a Variety of Tools - Kim Zetter's Wired News article, Podcast Chaos Be Gone, takes a look at some of the search tools out there that allow you to keyword search the transcripts (creating using speech recognition technology) of podcasts and then allow to listen online. Several have been mentioned on the SEW Blog in the past....[MORE”

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Yahoo Now Default Search Engine on Asian Versions of Firefox 1.5 - Yesterday, Firefox launched version 1.5 of its browser and at the same time announced a "stratgic partnership" with Yahoo in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Previously, Google was the default engine for these versions of Firefox.

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Another Google UI Experiment, This Time With Google Images - Philipp over at Google Blogoscoped has the story about text snippets seen below each image found via a Google image search (as seen below image search thumbnail)....[MORE”

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Need Your Questions For Future Of SEM Panel - At Search Engine Strategies in Chicago next week, I've got a Future Of SEM panel happening where a diverse group of search marketers will discuss and offer opinions on where search marketing is heading. I'm looking for good questions to put to them. Got some you'd like to offer up? Please post over in the Need Your Questions For "Future Of SEM" Session thread at our Search Engine Watch Forums.

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On SEO Myths & Getting The Balance Right - There's been a variety of articles out recently that look at search engine optimization advice that people hear, believe and perhaps act on in the wrong ways. Below, a look at some of these resources covering myths, mistakes and getting things into perspective.

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MSN Looking For Search Champs - MSN has had prior rounds of Search Champs, where it has invited people in to give feedback and ideas for directions in search. Now it is stepping back from the invite-only nature of those past events and asking anyone to apply for the next round happening in late January....[MORE”

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Threadwatch Changes Ownership - Just over a year ago, Nick Wilson created Threadwatch, which grew into a great search blog. Today in Farewell Threadwatch, he moves on. Nick's been working on a new project, Performancing, a blog and advice site for bloggers. That's now growing so much that he had to choose, and he's going with the new site. Good luck, Nick! Threadwatchers needn't panic that the site is going away, however. Aaron Wall of SEO Book has taken it over -- and good luck with the new endeavor, Aaron!

=== Nov. 29, 2005 ===

New from The Internet Archive: Hurricane Katrina & Hurricane Rita Web Collection - Brewster and crew at The Internet Archive have just debuted a new specialty collection that contains more 25 million fully archived web pages that are also full text searchable that create, "an historical record of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the massive relief effort which followed"....[MORE”

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Is Everyone Afraid of Google? - The December issue of Wired, takes a look at Google's many ventures (these days it's a challenge to keep up but we try) and reports on just who might be "scared" of them in the article and chart titled: Who's Afraid of Google? Everyone. From SBC to eBay to Microsoft to Corel, they're all listed....[MORE”

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UK: 192.com Directory Adds Genealogy Services - Netimperative reports that popular UK-based suite of directory databases, 192.com has added a genealogy service to its list of online offerings that also include business lookup, a people finder databases with material from electoral rolls, and maps/directions.

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Film Industry Veteran Becomes Google's Newest Board Member - The latest addition to the board is Ann Mather who will also serve as Chairperson for Google's Audit Committee. Mather also served on the Shopping.com's board prior to the company being acquired by eBay. Perhaps most noteworthy is that Ms. Mather was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Pixar from 1999-2004....[MORE”

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MapQuest Versus The Mapping Upstarts - Competitors Nip at MapQuest's Biz from the Associated Press looks at how mapping leader MapQuest, owned by AOL, is being threatened by improved mapping services and mashup features offered by Google, Yahoo and MSN....[MORE”

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Google's Chef Charlie Gains Web Site - Google's legendary former chef Charlie Ayers has a new web site up. Chef Charlie Ayers offers his bio, photos and some recipes you might want to try.

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Blog On French Search Industry - Via Xooglers, former Googler Franck Poisson is running a French-language blog that covers the search industry, obviously of interest to anyone watching search and France. Long standing site French search site Abondance is well worth checking out, as well. The new Multilingual Search Blog is another resource French search watchers will also want to visit.

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Searching Via Your Camera Phone - Search technology comes to the camera phone from News.com looks at new developments in letting people take pictures with camera phones as a way to do visual searching. Take a picture of a billboard, and you'll get a film trailer sent back to you, for example....[MORE”

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Google Gets An Ant Named After It - An Ant named "Google" from News.com points out that a new species of ant has been named after Google, in thanks for support the Google Earth team gave an entomologist on an ant mapping project at AntWeb. The Google ant, a native of Madagascar, can be seen here.

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30 Days To Turn An Online Profit - Jennifer Laycock has been running a great series, "Zero Cash, A Little Talent & 30 Days" to see if she could set up a new business and turn a profit within a month. I've eagerly read each installment about her new business, The Lactivist Store, where she's selling a range of merchandise for those who want to help support breastfeeding. Jennifer's finally hit some new installments that are specifically of interest to search marketers....[MORE”

=== Nov. 28, 2005 ===

1 Million Digitized Images Now Available Online from The Library of Congress - Long before The Library of Congress (LC) made the announcement last week about planning a World Digital Library (WDL), they've been digitizing material of all types for many years along with cataloging books (as you might expect) and offering MANY other services.

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Matt Cutts Pokes At SEO Software - Google's Matt Cutts, clearly irritated at the many worthless SEO software pitches he sees (and many of these are worthless), does some deconstructing....[MORE”

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Lycos Europe Ordered By Dutch Court To Reveal Member's Identity - Dutch Court Orders Lycos To Reveal Client's Identity from Dow Jones has the supreme court in The Netherlands ordering Lycos Europe to reveal the identity of a Lycos user who is said to have posted slanderous allegations against an internet stamp dealer, apparently on pages that Lycos Europe provides to its members....[MORE”

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Kazaa Ordered By Australian Court To Block Searches - Via Russell Beattie, Search terms on Kazaa to be blocked from ZDNet Australia has the rather disturbing order of an Australian court telling Kazaa that it must not allow searches on certain terms, such as artist names....[MORE”

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TiVo To Offer TV Ad Search - TiVo Users Soon Can Search for Ads from the Wall Street Journal covers a new "feature" from TiVo planned for next spring to let people search for ads of interest to them. So say you're interested in BMW ads. You could search for that, then watch 30 second spots. Oh, and advertisers might get to bid to make their ads come up tops. OK, we'll see how great this might turn out to be....[MORE”

=== Nov. 27, 2005 ===

Mashup Lover and Google's Chief Evangelist, Vint Cerf, Interviewed - Perhaps Google's most famous new hire, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Vint Cerf, has sat down with Juan Carlos Perez of the IDG News Service for a brief Q&A interview that's posted here. Here are a few selected passages from the interview....[MORE”

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New Search Shortcuts from Yahoo - The Yahoo Search Blog points out that they've added a couple of new search shortcuts for movie trailers, showtimes and maps....[MORE”

=== Nov. 25, 2005 ===

Indeed.com Releases Canadian Job Search Database - Job metasearch vertical, Indeed.com, has just launched a new Canadian version (English speaking Canada that is) of their database at Canada.indeed.com....[MORE”

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4info.net Enhances Content and Adds More Info - A quick note to point out that 4info.net, the mobile (text messaging, mobile and non-mobile web search) and email search tool has enhanced some of their impressive services and added some new content. Via the 4info blog we learn that they've upgraded their movie listings, weather info and basketball player stats....[MORE”

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Bill Gates: MSN Search Will Soon "More than Match" Google in Terms of Relevance - In an interview with Information Week, Bill Gates talks about Microsoft Research and speaks briefly about search and of course mentions a competitor that begins with the letter "G". Gates says that coming soon MSN will have "more than matched" Google in terms relevance.

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Former Google Brand Manager Blogging Days At Google - Spotted via Google Weblog (unofficial), Xooglers is a new blog run by Google's former director of consumer marketing and brand management, Doug Edwards. It promises to be "a gathering spot for ex-Googlers to reminisce and comment on the latest developments in search"....[MORE”

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Google Spaces Internet Cafe At London Heathrow & Google Featured In UK TV Ads - Via Google Blogoscoped, Google turns Heathrow into testing lab from ZDNet covers Google opening a "Google Space" internet cafe at London's Heathrow airport, plus Google's been showing up in UK TV ads in conjunction with T-Mobile....[MORE”

=== Nov. 23, 2005 ===

Getting Search Engine Love From Affiliate Links - SEO Friendly Affiliate Systems from Greg Boser is a great tutorial on how affiliate links work in various flavors and how to get the ones that will help you with search engines (short answer, use 301 redirection)....[MORE”

=== Nov. 22, 2005 ===

Search Marketing Working for Comparison Shopping Sites - The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and aggressive search marketing on the part of comparison shopping sites is paying off. Google and Yahoo Search sent 25 percent more visits to the ten leading shopping comparison sites versus last year (week ending November 19, 2005 versus the week ending November 20, 2004), according to Hitwise....[MORE”

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Google Testing Collapsible OneBox Display - Google Expand/ Collapse News Result at Google Blogoscoped has screenshots of a new Memeorandum-like ability to expand news results that show up in a OneBox display on Google web search. An experiment in progress, it seems, because I can't reproduce the same....[MORE”

=== Nov. 21, 2005 ===

Updates and Improvements Made to U.S. Government's Science.gov Search Site; IRS Web Site Redesigns for Better Site Search - Government Computing News has two stories today about two U.S. Governmet organizations making improvements to their search offerings....[MORE”. See also U.S. Congress Info Site and Search Tool "THOMAS" Receives Upgrade.

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Google/Riya Acquisition Update - On Thursday, we posted about a rumor that Riya, an image search company that utilizes face/image recognition technology was about to be acquired by Google. Well, it's Monday afternoon and still no official word either way. However, more third-parties are saying it will happen...[MORE”. See also The Google-Riya Rumor and Image/Face Recognition Searching.

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Google's Portable Data Centers & Alternative Internet Speculation - Google-Mart from PBS's Robert X. Cringely covers Google apparently having developed incredibly compact data centers that can fit into a shipping container, suitable for perhaps dropping at internet nexus points. Purpose? Cringely speculates that high speed data centers plus its own bandwidth means Google will effectively have its own internet, giving it a competitive advantage that others can't meet.

=== Nov. 20, 2005 ===

Search Overtaking Email as Most Popular Online Activity - New research from Pew Internet & American Life tracking surveys and consumer behavior trends from the comScore Media Metrix consumer panel show that about 60 million American adults are using search engines on a typical day. This is a big jump from last year....[MORE”

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Feedster Beta Tests "FeedRank" Sort and WordPress Only Search - I noticed a change on one of Feedster's UIs today (the one at FeedSter.net to be specific) that allows a searcher to choose to see their results sorted by "FeedRank" in addition to being to date or relevance sorts....[MORE”

=== Nov. 18, 2005 ===

New MSN Search "Fast Answer" Offers Results from MSN Shopping on Web Results Pages - MSN Search has added a new "fast answer" feature that provides results direct from MSN Shopping at the top of web search results pages....[MORE”

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Coverage of of CNET Japan Search Conference - The CNET Japan Fall Innovation Conference is currently underway and Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal is doing his very best to offer coverage of many search-related sessions....[MORE”

=== Nov. 17, 2005 ===

Google's Offer to Provide Free WiFi in Mountain View is a Go - This story from the San Jose Mercury News report that Google's offer free WiFi throughout their hometown of Mountain View, California, is a go....[MORE”

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Yahoo and MSN: New Patent Apps Published - Patent applications from Yahoo and MSN dealing with user annotations, trust networks, and domain specific database creation and searching were published today by the USPTO. Two of Yahoo's applications fit very nicely with their FUSE (Find, Use, Share, Expand) and MyWeb visions....[MORE”

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UK: Send Maps to Mobile Phones With Multimap and Other Send to Phone Tools - Netimperative reports that online mapping service Multimap has added a "map to mobile" feature that allows the searcher to send the url of a map to their mobile phone/device via SMS (text messaging) and then click to view the map on their mobile phone/device....[MORE”

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Tasty: Searching for Recipes Increases - The Media Daily News Brief: Hitwise: Recipe Searches Surge, discusses some new numbers that show people are looking for recipes on the web as Thanksgiving Day approaches here in the US....[MORE”

=== Nov. 16, 2005 ===

Access Local Gas Prices via SMS with Synfonic - Synfonic now provides local gas price comparison info for the U.S. I haven't seen this info available via any other SMS service....[MORE”

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Eurekster Launches Community-Powered Search "Swickis" - Eurekster, known for its personalized social search efforts, has introduced a new service aimed at personal and small business web site owners that allows them to create a customized site search tailored to the content of the site. Creating a "swicki" for your site is both easy and free....[MORE”

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Another Google UI Test? AdWords Appearing at the Bottom of Search Results - Mr. Seo Book (aka Aaron Wall) reports on another possible Google UI test. This one involves Google showing AdWords results at at the top, on the right, and at the bottom of the page. Aaron wasn't able to grab a screen cap and I can't see it when I run Aaron's test search. Nevertheless, be on the lookout for AdWords appearing at the bottom of web search results.

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Vertical Search for B2B - VerticalSearch.com has launched as a business-to-business search service covering health, transportation, agriculture, construction, telecommunications and other industries, drawing results from from over one hundred B2B verticals. The site is in beta, and offers only a basic search with no refinement or advanced search tools, so results vary widely in quality depending on what you're looking for. But probably a site worth keeping an eye on if you do a lot of B2B type searching.

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France Majority Party Campaigns with AdWords - Over the weekend, running a search on Google France for the words "violence," "riots," "suburbs," "burned cars" or even "scum" pulled up Sponsored Links to France's majority party official UMP ("Union for a Popular Movement") web site....[MORE”

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Speeches, Lectures, and More Added to BlinkxTV Database - As of today Blinkx is making hundreds of hours of material keyword searchable from Harvard, Princeton and Cambridge, UC Berkeley, Middlebury College, Columbia University, Washington State University to name just a few of the institutions. This Netimperative story has more info and some examples of the content you'll find....[MORE”

=== Nov. 15, 2005 ===

Google Adds Two New Features to SMS (Text Messaging) Service - Google has added translation and currency conversion to their SMS (text messaging) service....[MORE”

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Search AOL Shopping Using AOL Instant Messenger - You can now search AOL Shopping via AOL Instant Messenger using a the AOL Shopping Buddy robot....[MORE”

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Google Tweaks Robots.txt File - For those of you who track such things, Google made a tweak to its Robots.txt file in the past day or so. They are now disallowing the indexing of the /chart directory. As noted on this blog, it likely has something to do with the release of Google Analytics. Then again? We will be watching.

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Yahoo's "Community" of User Tools and Services - With today's SearchDay article about the new "community-oriented" Yahoo Shopping feature, "Shoposphere," Searchblog points to an interesting five page read from Business 2.0 titled, The Flickrization of Yahoo....[MORE”

=== Nov. 14, 2005 ===

New: Searchable Database of Published Opinions by Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Samuel Alito - With the hearings for Supreme Court nominee, Judge Samuel Alito, coming in January, askSam has put together a searchable and/or browseable database (available online or offline via a download) with more than 350 of Judge Alito's published opinions and decisions....[MORE”

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Yahoo Culture: Sunnyvale & Santa Monica - In Chris Gaither's LA Times (free, reg. required) article, Can Yahoo Sign On to Hollywood?, you'll read about the very different cultures at Yahoo's office in Santa Monica (aka Hollywood) versus their Yahoo HQ in Sunnyvale (aka Silicon Valley)....[MORE”

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More on the End of Yahoo/AOL Talks - We blogged late last week that Yahoo had dropped out of the running for a piece of AOL. More details about what caused the discussions to end this WSJ article (sub required)....[MORE”

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An Excerpt from The Google Story - It's time for another book about search, Google to be specific. While John Battelle's excellent book The Search is about the search biz and technology as a whole (yes, with plenty about Google), the new book (due out tomorrow in the U.S.) by David Vise from the Washington Post and Mark Malseed focuses squarely on Google (Vise calls it a biography) and is titled, The Google Story. Today, The Post published an excerpt from the book....[MORE”

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Shopzilla Comes to the UK - Netimperative reports that Shopzilla has just expanded into the UK. The company also offers shopping databases in France and Germany....[MORE”. See also Shopping Engine Smarter.com Launches in China and Japan.

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Yahoo To Have Podcast Creation & Hosting Service - Via Scripting News, Podcasts Help Drive Demand for High-Volume Hosting has Yahoo saying it wants to go beyond podcast search with a service to allow people to create and host podcasts at Yahoo. Google is rumored to have a similar plan in the works. Goodness knows it's overdue to have anything on the podcast front.

=== Nov. 13, 2005 ===

Google Registers A Few New Domain Names - The folks in Mountain View have registered a few new domains in the past couple of days, such as GoogleMagazines.com, GooglePapers.org, GoogleMicrofilm.com and GoogleLibrary.org....[MORE”

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MSN 's Live.com and Start.com Offer "Feed" Only Search Tab - It looks like MSN continues to slowly release its feed search tool. Via either the new Live.com or the Start.com sites you'll find a tab that allows you to see only material coming from feeds....[MORE”

=== Nov. 12, 2005 ===

Bloglines Expands "Universal Inbox" Initiative with Job Listings - Bloglines is allowing their users to create new job alerts from both databases as part of their growing "universal inbox" intiative....[MORE”

=== Nov. 11, 2005 ===

Learning About and Understanding Web Spam - Here's some great reading, viewing and material for your reference shelf. With w


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