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Daily SearchCast, June 27, 2006: School Upset Over Student Data In Google; Is GBuy GooglePal?; Microsoft adCenter Gets Promoted; New Travel Search Engines; The Matt Cutts Doll & More!

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Today's search podcast covers a school district's student social security numbers getting into Google; Amazon.com going missing on Google; Google's PayPal-like system about to launch; Microsoft promotes adCenter with advertisements and lab tools; new travel search engines to try; dress up Matt Cutts 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 the chat room? See the Daily SearchCast FAQ.

Below are links to items discussed:

  • Google Blamed For Indexing Student Test Scores & Social Security Numbers
    Google "hacked our website" from The Inquirer points to Blame game from the Hickory Record, a story about how the Catawba County Schools in North Carolina has gained a temporary injunction for "Google to remove any information pertaining to Catawba County Schools Board of Education from its server and index and alleges conversion and trespass against the corporation." The school blames Google for some how getting into a password protected area and indexing the content. Let me make this clear, Google cannot submit forms or type in usernames and passwords. Someone at the school must of left an opening for...
  • Follow-Up: School Couldn't Reach Google Until Injunction Filed
    Catawba County Schools in North Carolina obtained an injunction to remove private material from Google because it had no luck getting action from the search engine after trying other routes, the district tells me. The school district also stressed that it didn't claim that Google had somehow hacked into its servers. Here's what Catawba County School's chief technology officer Judith Ray emailed me about the situation:...
  • Still No Results Found For A Google Search on Amazon.com
    John Battelle asked why Google was/is returning no results for a search on [amazon.com] at 9am (PST, I think) yesterday. At the time, I felt it wasn't a huge deal, these things happen on occasion at Google, normally not for such a large brand, but it happens, nevertheless. What is a bit surprising is that Google is obviously aware of the issue, based on John telling us Google contacted him with a confirmation of the issue, but Google has yet to fix the issue, almost a day later. LeeAnn Prescott at the HitWise blog provides some value statistical insight into...
  • MSN Talks Spam Defenses; Takes Weekends Off From Indexing
    This morning I uncovered two threads at WebmasterWorld that provide information on MSN from spam defense to when search indexes get updated. The first is named MSN Asks Webmasters, What is Spam? where MSNdude provides some insights into how MSN determines what is spam, what are junk pages and determining the "hierarchy of spam." The second is named MSN Won't Do a Search Index Update on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays where we see MSNdude posting that normally MSN will not conduct a search index update on Saturdays and Sundays, and also they are unlikely to conduct an update on Fridays,...
  • Google's PayPal-Rival GBuy Looks Set To Launch This Week
    We've had rumors that Google would launch its own PayPal-like payment system this week. Widely reported as GBuy, the Wall Street Journal has a few further details of what looks to be coming any day now....
  • Microsoft Promotes adCenter In Full Page New York Times Ad
    ClickZ reports that Microsoft has a full-page color ad in this morning's New York Times that promotes Microsoft adCenter, Microsoft's PPC engine. The ad has a link to msftadcenter.com/nyt that notably prompts you with a few security warnings on the redirects to the final landing page. The ad headline reportedly reads "She found your furniture ad on Google." Then there is an "image is a little girl and her dollhouse." The ad continues by explaining the difference between a customer and a click. The ad also touts a "2006 study by WebSideStory shows that Microsoft adCenter converts customers at a...
  • Microsoft Re-Launches adCenter Labs Again
    Been hearing about the "new" Microsoft adCenter Labs tools this week? That's because Microsoft has done another round of publicity on them after initially launching them earlier this month. Our past recap is here and here....
  • Cost-Per-Keyword Drops In Q1
    MediaPost reports that the cost-per-keyword has dropped from around $30 in the first quarter of 2006 to "the yearly high of $59 last December." The data comes from a DoubleClick study, which also shows that the "cost-per-keyword was nearly unchanged from the first three months of 2005 to this year's first quarter." The number of clicks (up 24%) and number of keywords did rise from the year-over-year data....
  • Google Vs. France Trademark Appeal Ruling Expected Wednesday
    The International Herald Tribune reports that a Paris appeals court is expected to issue judgment on a trademark violation appeals case this Wednesday. Google is expected to lose this appeal once again, due to how France has treated Google in the past. Just look at these three selected stories we covered in the past on Jan 20, 2005, Feb 4, 2005, and Mar 16, 2005. If Louis Vuitton wins the case, they are expected to push to block the use of the Louis Vuitton trademarks at other Google local properties. But it is highly unlikely that they will have as...
  • Google To Also Lobby In Europe
    Pandia covers that Google is looking to hire a "senior European government affairs and public policy leader," to lobby in Europe. Google has hired a lobbying firm in the states a few months back. More details on the story at Pandia....
  • France's Géoportail Mapping Site: La Demande C'est Fantastique!
    The French answer to Google Earth, the indirectly government funded Geoportail, launched Friday and was immediately overwhelmed with visits from eager French citoyens (citizens) and other curious would-be users. After several visits to the site this weekend, I was still unable to get in to see anything. Each time I tried I encountered this message: "Vous êtes incroyablement nombreux à vous connecter au Géoportail, portail des territoires et des citoyens depuis sa mise en ligne." In my broken French it roughly translates: "An incredible number of you have connected to Geoportail, portal of the territories and the citizens, since the...
  • The SEO Event Google Calendar
    Aaron Wall posted a very useful SEO Event & Conference Calendar using the Google Calendar platform. The conferences on this calendar include Search Engine Strategies, WebmasterWorld's PubCon, Ad Tech, Affiliate Summit, Gnomedex, Search Bash, SEO Roadshow, SXSW Interactive, Webmasters in the Sun and Web 2.0 Conference. I think I will create something similar at the Search Engine Roundtable to give people an idea how what conferences you can expect us to cover (I may update this post when my schedule is posted)....
  • New Players in Travel Search Threaten to Disrupt Status Quo
    Travel search has improved enormously over the past several years, but serious travellers still find themselves checking multiple web sites to make sure they're getting the best deal. That may change with the launch of two new services that use historical and predictive data to not only find the best prices for specific flights, but also to suggest the best dates on which to purchase your tickets. Brian Smith has more about the new services in today's SearchDay article, New Players in Travel Search....
  • Image Database To Fight Online Child Porn
    The AP reports that AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, EarthLink, NetZero and Juno are teaming up to fight child pornography. They are pooling together $1 million to build a database of pornographic images of children and software to match the image database with similar matches on their own networks. So Yahoo may scan email attachments, Yahoo Groups images and other places in the Yahoo network where images may be. If any of the images match an image in the database, it can be flagged and sent to the authorities. The exact details of the software and how it will be used have...
  • Build Your Own Matt Cutts
    I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable on a funny little web site that gives you a way to build your own Matt Cutts. To dress up Matt Cutts, go to the Matt Cutts Doll and drag and drop clothing on top of Matt's body. Oh, if you ever wondered if Matt was a briefs or boxers guys, now you know. Too funny....

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