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Search Headlines & Links: July 20, 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...

  • Windows Live Local Worth Another Look
    Windows Live Local debuted with a splash with most attention focused on its spectacular "birds eye" aerial imagery. Since then, Microsoft has worked to improve the service, improving the user interface and adding unique features not found in other local search services. SEW correspondent Greg Sterling puts Windows Live Local through its paces in today's SearchDay article, A Closer Look at Windows Live Local....
  • Daily SearchCast, July 20, 2006: Amnesty International Raps Search Engines On Censorship; Currency Exchange Rates In Google AdWords Kept Secret; Microsoft To Allow More Search Default Choice & More!
    Today's search podcast covers Amnesty International calling on searchers to lobby Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to stop censoring in China; Microsoft to allow manufacturers more choice in search defaults; why does Google consider exchange rates in AdWords a secret?; Google behind in indexing a changed site and more! Tune-in by listening to this MP3 file, listening via WebmasterRadio at 11:30am Eastern and repeated at 2pm Eastern Tuesday through Friday, via our Odeo channel or through iTunes via this link (or use alternative iTunes instructions explained here) or though our Yahoo Podcasts channel. Need more help tuning in live or finding...
  • Ask.com Adds RSS Smart Answers
    The Ask.com blog announced a new feature to its Smart Answers line up today. For example, if you do a search on se roundtable an abbreviation of my blogs name, you will get RSS feed results at the top from my blog. The Ask blog says that the initial list of sites included "was selected based on the most popular feeds chosen by our users in Bloglines."...
  • Google Labs Launches Accessible Web Search
    Google has launched Google Accessible Search, a stripped down version of the Google search results page. The design was created to make it easier and more effective for the blind and visually impaired. The results are a bit different, tailored to the visually impaired, to show more accessible pages in the results. Google told me how this actually works,...
  • Mid-July 2006 Search News Recap Posted
    If you're a Search Engine Watch member, the latest edition of Search Engine Update newsletter has been posted. It recaps top stories in search from the first part of this month....
  • Google Scholar Trademark Case Settled Out Of Court
    News.com reports that Google and American Chemical Society trademark case has been settled out of court. The case was brought up against Google for using the name "Scholar," when American Chemical Society has a similar product named "ACS?s SciFinder Scholar." The case was dropped and each side will pay their own legal fees. No other details were provided and both sides have confidentiality clauses....
  • Google Won't Reveal Details Of AdWords Exchange Rates
    I spotted an interesting thread which I then followed up on today at the Search Engine Roundtable which shows that Google won't reveal the source of the exchange rate they use. So if you are an international AdWords customer and you pay in your local currency, and you want to know why the exchange rate is so poor, you are out of luck. The AdWords representative states: "the product managers are not willing to discuss the former at this time as part of protecting the whole." And Threadwatch notes Google also claims it can't give this information out for "competitive...
  • Amnesty International Asking Users To Pressure Google, Yahoo & Microsoft Over China Policies
    BBC News reports that Amnesty International is urging users of Google, Yahoo and MSN in the UK to email the search engines opposing the way each operates in China. Amnesty International says that the search engines are aiding the censorship. The search engines say that Chinese users are more well off then they were prior. More on the Amnesty campaign can be found here from the organization....
  • Microsoft Says Vista & Other Operating Systems Will Allow Search Engine Choice
    News from News.com and Reuters that Microsoft said, they will adopt a "voluntary principle" that will allow the manufacturers of the computers to decide which search engine the operating system should default to. News.com describes this as Microsoft wanting to "bolstering choice and competition" in the market place. Wise move by Microsoft? I think so. Take a look back at Google & Dell partnership, IE7 defaulting to MSN Search and read this. Too funny, but smart on Microsoft's part, IMO....
  • Motorola To Add Yahoo Go for Mobile On Phones
    Reuters reports that Yahoo and Motorola have teamed up. The Yahoo Go for Mobile service will be added to many new Motorola phones. The multi-year deal sets Motorola to add this Yahoo service on new mid-priced and high-end Motorola phones. No specific models numbers were provided....
  • Google Behind Others, Again, Catching TagJag's New Name
    SEOMoz reports that Google is once again behind the 8-ball when it comes to picking up a domain name switch. Chris Pirillo's TagJag site was originally named Gada.be but was 301 redirected several weeks ago. Yahoo and MSN Search both display the site for a search on the name, TagJag.com, but Google shows nothing. Like we said before, Google had similar issues when Techmeme changed their name....
  • Lycos Powered By Windows Live & Retriever Directory
    It's been a long time since I've looked at Lycos, given how far it has slipped in the search world. Someone asked me about it today, so I took a look -- and what's this at the bottom of the page? "Portions powered by Windows Live."...
  • ApartmentRatings.com: 'What The Neighbors Pay'
    Apartment locator ApartmentRatings.com has introduced a new service it calls "What The Neighbors Pay." As co-founder and CEO Jeremy Bencken describes it, "It's not quite 'Zillow for renters.'" Regardless, it offers helpful pricing information, benchmarking individual apartment rates vs. averages in the area....
  • Can IAC's Pronto Shopping Search Compete?
    IAC, parent of search engine Ask.com, has had a shopping search tool for some time, in the form of Pronto, a downloadable application. Recently, IAC created a web-based version of Pronto, which has some useful features?but it joins a crowded field with hundreds of other players. SEW correspondent Brian Smith takes a look at Pronto and muses about the challenges it faces in today's SearchDay article, Up Close with IAC's Pronto Shopping Search....

Headlines & News From Elsewhere


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