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Search Headlines & Links: October 4, 2006

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Below, a recap of stories posted today to the Search Engine Watch Blog, along with other items we've spotted but not blogged separately:

From The SEW Blog...

  • September 2006 Search News Recap Posted
    The latest edition of my monthly Search Engine Report newsletter is now online, recapping top stories in search from the past month. You can read it online or receive it via email for free by signing up here. If you're a Search Engine Watch member, the latest edition of Search Engine Update newsletter has also been posted. That newsletter carries more items than the Search Engine Report newsletter and goes out twice per month....
  • Your Name Here On Google's Home Page
    Via the New York Times Pogue's Post, Custom Google is a way to get the Google home page showing whatever words you want in place of the Google logo -- but using the Google logo's style. You're supposed to be able to do the same for the Yahoo home page, that that simply takes me to a page of paid links. You aren't actually changing the Google home page, of course. Instead, you'll go to a customized version on a third party site, such as this example. But it can be a fun way to trick your friends into...
  • Yahoo Travel Upgrades Maps, Adds More Features
    Earlier this week Yahoo upgraded its Travel Guides with more dynamic mapping (including satellite and hybrid maps), more community features and the addition of a "My Travel Module," not unlike the recent introduction of "My Local" on Yahoo Local....
  • Clusty Labs & Clusty Cloud Creator
    Given that Clusty has just had a birthday they're celebrating by introducing the Clusty Labs. If you're familiar with Google Labs you'll know exactly where they're going with this. There's not a great deal there are the moment however; a one stop site about Benjamin Franklin (Clusty Ben) Shakespeare Searched and something new - the Clusty Cloud Creator (I wonder if they could have managed any more alliteration?) Clouds are of course nothing new, but what this offering allows users to do is to simply put in their own search term(s) and the CCC will produce a cloud on the...
  • Washington Post On Google's I'm Feeling Lucky Button
    The Washington Post has a nice article on Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. Even though fewer than one percent of Google searchers use the button, Google refuses to remove it. Marissa Mayer, vice president for search products and user experience, said "If we took it away, there would be mass protests worldwide." I believe it, I really do. The article says that "Google loyalists" get the impression from the button a "touch of whimsy and reassurance that the company doesn't take itself too seriously." This may explain why Google has on many of their contextual ads, the line, "Ads by...
  • Eric Schmidt Warns Politicians That Elections Will Forever Change
    The Financial Times reports that Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, warned politicians at a Tory party conference in Bournemouth that the outcome of general elections will be changed "within five years" by what Eric Schmidt calls "truth predictor" software....
  • Yahoo Rolls Out PPC Ads In Mobile Search Results
    Yahoo is launching (in beta) paid-search ads in mobile in the U.S. and expanding its test program in the U.K. Only a "select group of advertisers" are initially included (it's not clear what the criteria are). But the number of advertisers will expand over time as the program rolls out. According to the press release, "consumers will be able to click on the sponsored search results to go to the advertisers' mobile web site or a landing page to get more information about the advertisers' offerings, including the ability to call the advertiser."...
  • How Google's Q&A One Box Results Work
    The Google Operating Systems blog has slides from Peter Norvig's presentation at UC Berkeley on how the Google One Box Q&A results work. He says that "Google doesn't use predefined patterns, they find the patterns from examples, as this approach is more scalable." The slides show the algorithms that detect these patterns from examples. Is it perfect? No. Ben at the Search Engine Roundtable discovered Google OneBox Q&A Adult Spam last month, in which Matt Cutts confirmed to be an issue with the OneBox extractor code....
  • Put Google Gadgets & No Clickthrough Needed Google Search On Your Site
    Niall Kennedy has a good summary of Google's Universal Gadgets that can now be put on the Google Personalized Homepage, Google Desktop, Google Pages or your own web site using the Google Gadgets For Your Webpage collection of applets. The Google announcement on this is here and tells you how you can even have your own pony. Google also announced the release of Google AJAX Search API that enables you to place a Google search box on your site. Google's allowed this for ages, but with AJAX, people can search without having to leave your web site....
  • The Google Literacy Project
    Reuters reports that Google, in conjunction with LitCam and UNESCO's Institute for Lifelong Learning, has formed The Literacy Project. The site, hosted at Google.com, brings together Google Book Search, Google Scholar, Google Video, Google Maps, Blogger, and Groups into one landing page. The site was launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair with hopes to combat global illiteracy. Nikesh Arora, vice president of Google's European operations said, "Google's business was born out of a desire to help people find information."...
  • More on Ask.com's Rebranding Effort
    Today's SearchDay article, Rebranding Ask.com, Part Two, continues guest writer Rae Hoffman's interview with Ask.com's Senior User Experience Analyst Michael Ferguson on how the company successfully re-engineered its flagship web site....

Headlines & News From Elsewhere


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