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The Search Engine Report - Number 103

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In This Issue

+ SEW Forums Live Atlanta & SES San Jose
+ Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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SEW Forums Live Atlanta & SES San Jose

Our Search Engine Watch Forums is having its first official gathering, Search Engine Watch Forums Live. It's happening on June 28 at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta, from 8:00am - 1:00pm.

SEW Forums editor Elisabeth Osmeloski will be moderating the event, which kicks off with a panel on the latest trends, hot topics and issues in today's SEM marketplace.

After the panel, there will be organized roundtable topics with discussion leaders to get into specific tactics and SEM strategies. In "speed dating" style, attendees will have a chance to move onto another topic they've indicated interest in during the registration process.

For more information or to register, visit the Search Engine Watch Forums Live site.

Meanwhile, our Search Engine Strategies conference returns to the US in August. coming to San Jose from Aug. 8-11. Basic details are available here, and a full agenda will be posted later in June. The conference features speakers from major search engines, along with experts on search marketing.

After San Jose, SES comes to Stockholm in October, and the year's tour ends in Chicago in December. Links to sites about those shows can be found via our Search Engine Strategies site.

In the UK? SES London happens tomorrow, June 1 and continues through June 2. You can still register. More information can be found at the SES London 2005 web site.

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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.

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Yahoo Feed Search & Web Search Feeds Update
May. 31, 2005 - Last September, my "Yahoo, How About A Feed Search Tab?" article wished for Yahoo to make it easier for people to find its feed search service. Similarly, I recently wished that Yahoo's new web search feeds were easier to find. Any plans for these things to change? Nothing immediate, says Yahoo, unfortunately. More on how to find and use both things, in the meantime. See also Yahoo Gains RSS Feeds For Web Search & Discovering Auto-Discovery.

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SES Toronto Round-Up
May. 31, 2005 - Didn't make it to Search Engine Strategies Toronto? In this post, a round-up of news out of it.

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Navigating London
May 31, 2005 - London offers wonderful opportunities for rambling explorationbut it's also easy to lose your bearings if you're not careful. Fortunately, the web offers some terrific search tools and maps to help you find your way.

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Google Toolbar Currently Showing No PageRank Scores Across The Web
May. 30, 2005 - For two days, the Google Toolbar's PageRank meter wasn't showing ratings for sites all over the web. Despite a holiday weekend in the US and UK, site owners freaked out, a sad sign that obsession with PageRank remains. More in this post. See also Cache Server Down for 10 Minutes & Counting at our forums for another recent glitch in a popular Google feature and Google Says DNS Issues Caused Outage on how an internet glitch put Google offline in early May for a short period and spurred rumors and thoughts it had been hacked.

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Stanford Daily Removes Paid Links
May. 30, 2005 - In April, I wrote about how Stanford University's student newspaper and many other student papers were selling offtopic links to advertisers almost certainly trying to increase their search rankings. Blake Ross came across the situation this week and noted it on his blog. In a new twist, he seems to have also found WordPress-like doorway page spam, as well. The Stanford Daily and search spam from Silicon Beat has fresh comments from the Stanford Daily, with them saying they'd review the situation. That review seems to have happened, as Ross's blog notes the ads appear to have been removed. My previous summary of the situation is here: Stanford University's Student Paper & Selling Links. If you're a Search Engine Watch member, the longer version of that article goes into depth about the situation, with screenshots and a summary of what has been happening at other universities. Want to discuss? Visit our forum thread, Stanford Daily Selling Links

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Yahoo Mindset Demo Allows "Intent Driven" Search Refinement
May. 27, 2005 - The Yahoo Research Lab has quietly released a new demo called Mindset that allows users to dynamically rerank result pages using a "slider." Very cool and in my opinion an intuitive way for the searcher, who would never use any type of advanced search options, to quickly and easily focus their result sets. More in this post.

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GoLexa, Link Harvester & Recap Of Other New SEM Tools
May. 27, 2005 - The past few weeks have been pretty busy in terms of new search marketing tools appearing. I've now posted a recap of these for Search Engine Watch members, ranging from AdWords keyword generation tools to link analysis tools to Firefox add-ons for marketers. However, I especially wanted to mention two of them to everyone. GoLexa is a very cool tool for site owners. It brings back Google results and provides a ton of extra information about the pages listed. Yahoo Link Harvester uses the Yahoo API to let you find links pointing at a particular domain or individual page. You can get back up to 1,000 listings. You can then easily get WHOIS info, Alexa info, Google full cache or text-only cache copy of the domain that the link is hosted on. SEW members have access to the longer version of this article with more tools and info.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
May 27, 2005 - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Association of American University Presses' Position On Google - Is My Site Being Hijacked? - What Happened To Google Overnight!? - Measuring PPC Success - Directories: Are They Just for SEO?, and more.

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Ask Jeeves Serves Up New Features
May 26, 2005 - Ask Jeeves is rolling out two new enhancements today that help searchers quickly focus queries and get direct answers to questions without using complex commands or advanced search tools.

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New Interface Available: Search Only Material in the Google Print Database
May. 26, 2005 - Google has just released a Google Print "only" interface, allowing you to easily search material print materials that have been digitized. More details on how it works, in this post. See also the follow-up post, SafeSearch Doesn't Work On Google Print & Can Full Book Preview Prevention Be Hacked?

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BitTorrent Search Opens; Ask Jeeves Ads There Actually From Google
May. 26, 2005 - A new BitTorrent search engine is now live, allowing people to easily search for movies, music, software and other files often illegally posted on the web. More details in this post, as well as how the service is carrying Google ads by way of Ask Jeeves. Also see BitTorrent Plans to Launch Search Engine & Carry Ask Jeeves Ads for further background.

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Google Regains Its Hijacked Listing; This Was A Big Deal, Folks!
May. 26, 2005 - Two days after it appeared, Google finally managed to get its hijacked listing restored for queries on "adsense" and "google adsense." Two days! And this to correct a problem it has been told about for over year, a problem it largely dismissed as not being a big issue? It looks bad, coming days after the recent song-and-dance at the Google Factory Tour about how much energy is supposedly expended on core search and ads. More in this article and further background in Google's Own Listing Gets Hijacked and Google Ranking Alternative Domain Tops For Searches On Google.

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Yahoo Launches Personalized Movie Recommendations
May 25, 2005 - Looking for a film recommendation based on your own personal tastes and interests? Check out Yahoo's new personalized movie recommendations, launched today.

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Diller: Ask Jeeves Might Get New Name
May. 25, 2005 - Barry Diller told attendees at the D3 -- All Things Digital conference that he is considering a name change. Of course, this also assumes that the IAC/Ask Jeeves merger goes through. It probably will be "Ask." More in this post.

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Forget Google Print Copyright Infringement; Search Engines Already Infringe
May. 25, 2005 - The Association of American University Presses has concerns that Google Print's digital library program may be equal to widescale copyright infringement. But that complaint, if ultimately upheld in a court case, would go far beyond print digitization. It might impact the fact that search engines already do widespread copying of content to provide the core search services we take for granted. More observations in this post.

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Introducing a New Web Search Contender
May 24, 2005 - These days, web search is dominated by giants, and it's rare to see the emergence of a new potentially world-class search engine. Meet Exalead, a powerful search tool with features not offered by the major search engines.

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Some Publishers Not Happy With Google's Library Digitization Program
May. 23, 2005 - The Association of University Publishers (about 125 scholarly publishers) have sent a letter to Google saying that the Google Library program, "appears to be built on a fundamental violation of the copyright act." More details and observations in this article.

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MSN Virtual Earth To Take On Google Earth
May. 23, 2005 - Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates has announced a MSN Virtual Earth service is to debut in the summer. The service is promised to provide satellite images with 45-degree-angle views of buildings and neighborhoods, images with street map overlays and the ability to add local data layers, such as showing local businesses or restaurants. Screenshots and more details in this post. Also see Microsoft's MSN Virtual Earth: The Map is the Search Platform for a great overview article that came out after the announcement.

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ODP Forum Closes Status Check Service; Time For The ODP To Close?
May. 23, 2005 - Been wondering what's going on with your Open Directory submission? A long-standing way to check on your status has now closed, due to time constraints. It makes you wonder if perhaps it's time for the ODP to close or radically change how it compiles listings. More in this post. See also the follow-up post, Corrupt Editors? PageRank-less Categories? And Other ODP Problems.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
May 23, 2005 - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Gets Personalized Home Page Feature - Proposed Search Engine Standard For Titles & Descriptions - Traditional Marketing As Part Of Your SEM Campaign - Steve Ballmer: 'One-hit wonder' Google could disappear in five years - Search Engine Optimization and Gresham's Law, and more.

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Google Launches My Google-Style Personalized Home Page
May 20, 2005 - Google has unveiled a new service that allows people to consolidate various Google features they use, ranging from web search to email, into a personalized home page. See also Reactions To My Google Personalized Home Page for a recap of stories across the web.

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Google News Study Finds Bias But Not Favoritism -- But Study Also Has Flaws
May. 20, 2005 - A study has found that Google News results are significantly more likely to have an ideological bias than Yahoo News, though the bias will be on both ends of the spectrum. However, the study seems flawed in not accounting for how Google "clusters" results. More observations, in this article.

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Google Factory Tour Recap
May. 20, 2005 - So Google's first "Google Factory Tour" has ended. Overall, I'd say it was a great success on the PR front -- at least if you weren't that familiar with Google. Most of what was said was old ground for many readers. But in this post, highlights of what seemed most interesting. There are also links to the webcast page and all the slides shown.

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Don't Disable Your Site for Handicapped Users
May 19, 2005 - Are you designing web sites that are accessible to disabled users? If not, you're overlooking a powerful market segment of millions of searchers and potential buyers.

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Proposed Search Engine Standard For Titles & Descriptions
May. 19, 2005 - It is becoming more noticeable that Google may substitute titles and descriptions from the Open Directory for its listings in place of using material from the page itself -- and that's not always to the searcher's benefit. Nor is Google alone in this type of substitution. I've posted a proposed standard that the search engines might follow. You can read more in this thread at our Search Engine Watch Forums, plus add your own comments, ideas or vote for options.

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Google My Search History Spam
May. 18, 2005 - Using the Google "My Search History" feature? Turns out, there's a new way to spam it into thinking you've done searches you haven't. More in this post, which will generate an example you can view, as well.

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Supercharging Firefox
May 18, 2005 - The Firefox browser comes pre-configured with lots of great search tools, but it's also highly customizable, allowing you to push your online experience to new and fun extremes.

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Blair "Liar" Linkbomb Highlights Country-Specific Skewing
May. 17, 2005 -

May 17, 2005 - A search putting the UK prime minister at the top of Google UK but not Google.com highlights how search engines more and more are skewing their results on country-specific editions. A summary look at the issue. For Search Engine Watch members, an extended version of this story looks at how and why these changes have happened, ranging from mirroring and censorship issues to specific ranking differences that are done in hopes of bettering the user experience.

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Search Engines and King Content
May 17, 2005 - Thousands of articles, books and forum entries detail how to make your site search engine friendly, but ultimately, one rule stands above the rest: Content is king.

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New Beta Release of A9 Now Available
May 17, 2005 - This afternoon Amazon's A9 went live with a new beta release of their search tool. You can find a complete list of what's new or changed here, plus a few highlights from us in this post.

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RustySearch Search Relevancy Challenge: Everyone's Pretty Average, So Far
May 17, 2005 - Barry Schwartz's Search Engine Relevancy Challenge is still going strong at RustySearch. He's had over 5,000 rated search so far and gives an update here: RustySearch Hits 5,000 Rated Searches. I like the cool little "search engine relevancy dials" he's added to show how each service is doing. Here's the non-cool bullet point rundown:

  • Yahoo, 3.4
  • Google, 3.4
  • Ask, 3.3
  • MSN, 3.1

What do those numbers mean? A score of 1 is poor, while a score of 5 is excellent. So overall, everyone's pretty much average. More details are in his post, and don't forget to participate by trying RustySearch.

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Google's AdSense For RSS Released in Public Beta
May 17, 2005 - Embedding contextually relevant ads into RSS (ATOM too!) feeds today took a big step forward today when Google announced that AdSense for Feeds (beta) is now publicly available. Google had been testing the program at a few sites. At the same time, Google released a list of best practices for publishers who want to use AdSense for feeds (beta). More details in this post.

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Google Launches Consumer Ad Campaign In Kansas City
May 17, 2005 - I asked Google last week for information about a new consumer marketing campaign I heard they were planning for Kansas City, to promote Google Local. Still waiting to hear back for the official line on this. In the meantime, the ads have been spotted by at least one good citizen of Kansas City. More details and a low-res look at the print ads, in this post. See also our related Korea: Students Hop Aboard the Google Bus post.

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New Estimate Puts Web Size At 11.5 Billion Pages & Compares Search Engine Coverage
May 17, 2005 - It has been ages since I've seen anyone try to estimate the size of the web. Now a new paper puts it at 11.5 billion pages or more. More details and a look at how figures compare to self-reported sizes at each major search engine, in this article.

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MSN Toolbar with Desktop Search Officially Launches
May 16, 2005 - After five months in beta, Microsoft has released the final version of its desktop search application, incorporating many new features based on extensive user feedback.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
May 13, 2005 - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Buys Dodgeball - Yahoo-FindWhat Patent Lawsuit Ends In Mistrial - More AdSense Ad Units = Less Money? - #1 Ranking A Business Asset? How much is it worth? - and more.

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Report from Google's First Annual Shareholder Meeting
May 12, 2005 - After the year that Google has had with their IPO and the success of their stock, I would have thought that Google's first annual shareholder meeting would be one big one event that every shareholder would want to attend. Instead, it drew fewer than 200 people. More details in this post. See also these related and follow-up posts from us: Google Files Complete Quarterly Report With SEC, Slides, Transcript Of Google Investor Day & Google's 70 Percent Core Time and Time Warner Sells 5.1 Million Shares of Google Stock.

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Online Poker Searches Not Driving Wikipedia Popularity
May. 12, 2005 - Recent news from competitive intelligence and analytics firm Hitwise that the community-created Wikipedia encyclopedia saw a rise in popularity over the past month got me thinking. Did this have more to do with a link bombing campaign by some bloggers to push Wikipedia into the top results for "online poker" at Google? After some checking, Hitwise says that's not the case. A longer version of this story for Search Engine Watch members goes into depth about why bloggers want Wikipedia to do well for online poker and how stats show the campaign isn't behind Wikipedia's rise in general popularity. Plus, a look at who is doing tops for searches on online poker and the surprising top search term that's sending Wikipedia traffic.

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Dogpile Enhances Meta Search, Offers Comparison Tools
May 12, 2005 - Dogpile has redesigned its meta search site and introduced a nifty new utility that visually displays the overlap (or lack thereof) of results from the multiple search engines it queries.

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Mistrial In FindWhat-Yahoo Patent Lawsuit Over Paid Listings
May 12, 2005 - A patent dispute over paid listings between Yahoo and FindWhat has ended in a hung jury, with the judge declaring a mistrial. More details in this post, and also see the follow-up post, Yahoo On Patent Lawsuit: Jury Was With Us.

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If Search Engines Could Read Your Mind
May 11, 2005 - What if a search engine knew exactly what you were thinking, and unerringly provided perfect search results? The idea is not as farfetched as it sounds.

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New Google Toolbar 3 With AutoLink Leaves Beta
May 11, 2005 - Google has released an update of its Toolbar for Internet Explorer, addressing many, but not all, of the concerns with the controversial AutoLink feature that adds additional hyperlinks to web pages that contain package tracking, U.S. addresses, book or automobile information. The changes are both cosmetic and functional. More in this post.

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Search Ad Prices Up 11% In April 2005
May. 11, 2005 - The average price for search ads rose sharply for the second month in a row, according to the latest Keyword Price Index from Fathom Online. The average price paid in April rose to $1.95, up 11 percent from $1.75 in March. It's the only the second month-to-month double-digit rise since the index began in September. More details in this post. For Search Engine Watch members, the members' version of this story has a graphical look at prices over time.

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Google Makes An Acquisition: Dodgeball.com
May 11, 2005 - Reuters is reporting that Google has acquired dodgeball.com. Will Sergey, Larry, and Eric soon be out there promoting dodgeball games around the world? Nope, not even close. Google is now in the mobile social-software business. More in this post.

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A Legal Look at Click Fraud
May. 10, 2005 - Click fraud has been getting a lot of press lately, and while the problem clearly exists, nobody's really certain how serious it is. In today's SearchDay article, Click Fraud: A Legal Look, guest writer Grant Crowell reports on a recent Search Engine Strategies panel that featured insights and advice from both legal experts and search marketers who have direct experience with the problem. A longer version of this story for Search Engine Watch members describes the legal options available to advertisers who suspect that they've been the victim of click fraud, and the steps required to gather evidence and supporting information to take action against it.

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Converting Searchers to Buyers
May 9, 2005 - Attracting people to your Web site through optimized content or sponsored links is just the first step in an effective search marketing campaign.

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Flap Over Political Ads Underscores Problems With Google Delay In Reviewing Ads
May 9, 2005 - More calls that Google might be to slow in reviewing ads to ensure they meet its guidelines are covered in this Media Post story, Google Slow To Police AdWords. The article focuses on last week's removal of ads from both conservative organization RightMarch.org and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Highlights in this post, plus links related material.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight
May 6, 2005 - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: SES Toronto Live, Google Windows Web Accelerator, Where To Get Links?, AskJeeves Will Drop Ads by 31% - Yahoo To Test Banner Ads - SEO & The Zen Factor - and more.

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What Clicks with Web Searchers
May 5, 2005 - How do searchers find what they want online? Not the way you might think, according to a number of new studies that examined searcher behavior in a variety of situations.

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New Content Added to Yahoo Video Database
May 5, 2005 - Yahoo has just added a bunch of new content to their video search database as Yahoo Video Search leaves beta and moves to version 1.0. Material comes from a variety of new content partners. More details in this post. See also these related posts, Singingfish Gains Reuters News Clips and Other Sources for Reuters Video and Local TV News Video Clips.

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Going Under Cover with Book Search Tools
May 4, 2005 - Google, Amazon and others offer really useful 'search inside the book' tools, but they're not always the easiest features to use. Here's a closer look at getting the most from online book search services.

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New Google Software Attempts to Speed Up Your Web Browsing Experience
May 4, 2005 - Google Labs has just released Google Web Accelerator software that's designed to speed up your online experience and make your surfing faster and more efficient. More details in this post. Also see our follow-up story, Google Web Accelerator Raises Worries. It covers concerns about data privacy and webmaster issues. Be aware that Google says the beta program has now reached its maximum capacity and isn't taking new people -- the first time Google's closed a public beta.

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Setting A Date For Search Marketing Day
May 4, 2005 - As usual, search continues to advance at a frantic pace. What we all need is a day off -- a truce, a period of no announcements, changes or major news. A holiday. Search Marketing Day, to be exact! More on the idea in this post, and you're invited to comment and vote on a date in our forum thread, Vote On Day For Search Marketing Day!

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Feeds: A New Channel for Search Marketing
May 3, 2005 - Savvy search marketers are taking advantage of an increasingly popular technology to attract traffic: RSS feeds that get picked up virtually instantaneously as they are published by specialized webfeed search engines.

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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.

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Have RSS Feeds Read to You
May. 31, 2005 - Don't feel like reading RSS feeds but would rather listen to them? A free service called Speakwire allows you to have selected RSS feeds read to you using synthesized speech technology. More details in this post.

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On the RSS Beat: Topix.net CEO Speaks; FeedMesh Oveview
May. 31, 2005 - EditorsWeblog.com reports on recent presentations at the 58th annual World Newspaper Conference and the 12th World Editors Forum from Topix.net CEO, Rich Skrenta. Also, the eWeek article RSS Updates Moving Beyond Pings takes a look at the FeedMesh weblog/RSS update service that several companies are working together to develop.

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New Technical Report from Stanford Discusses Link Spam
May. 31, 2005 - The Stanford InfoLab has just posted a new 22 page technical report titled, "Link Spam Alliances." The paper includes a focus on how, "link spammers manipulate PageRank scores." The full text >here in PDF format.

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Jux2 Goes Offline
May. 31, 2005 - Some sad news to report. Jux2, the winner of the Search Engine Watch 2004 best meta search engine award, is no longer available. Over the weekend, one of the developers of Jux2 told me that the service was originally designed to research search engine overlap (it sure was useful) and although they were thrilled and honored that many people also used it as a meta engine, the Jux2 team did not have the time, funding, and resources to keep the site running. Jux2 did have conversations with other meta engines to see if they would be interested in taking over the service but no one "stepped up." Here are two other tools you might want to check out that can help determine search engine overlap: Dogpile's "Missing Pieces" (More about this new search engine overlap tool in this SearchDay article) and Ranking.thumbshots.com (more about this in Exploring Search Engine Overlap.)

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Yahoo CEO: 2005 Is For Making More Search Revenue & Better Ad Targeting Through Personal Info
May. 31, 2005 - Yahoo CEO: Better Search Monetization Is Top Co Priority from Dow Jones has Yahoo's Terry Semel saying that increasing the revenue earned per search is the company's "largest and most important project" in the search space and that Yahoo is going to tap into the tons of data is has about users to better target ads. A few more observations, in this post.

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Microsoft Slams "Perfect" Google Again
May. 31, 2005 - Forget the previous Microsoft party line on Google, where Microsoft admitted to being "stupid" in falling behind in the search space. Now it seems to be one of snicker at Google's success. Spotted via Search Engine Lowdown, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates said during a conference last week in apparently sarcastic tones: "Google is still perfect; the bubble is floating, and they can do everything." This follows on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer suggesting indirectly earlier this month that Google was a "one-hit wonder" that "nobody thinks can do any wrong." Google, of course, does plenty of wrong. More on that and Ballmer's remarks in my past post, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: Google "One-Hit Wonder".

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Not Just A Search Engine: 2005 Edition
May. 31, 2005 - This time last year, Yahoo talked of being "more than a search engine," sending me off on giant wobble. My Return To The Sad Days Of More Than A Search Engine? article asked if we'd come full circle, with search engines deciding it was cool to be portals again. If so, would search quality slip again as last time? Google's Mission in Context from MediaPost has Google's head of travel explaining recently "we're not just a search engine" to an audience, sending writer David Berkowitz on a similar wobble on whether search engines -- and Google in particular -- are forgetting their missions. Missions? You'll find a recap of Google's and Yahoo's here from me: Missions & Visions & Actions.

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Wall Street Journal On Search-Funded Spam
May. 31, 2005 - I've written before on the ironic situation of Google AdSense funding some of the spam Google has to eliminate from its indexed. Syndic8 Gets Outed for Spamming and WordPress Caught Spamming After Enlisting To Fight Spam are two close up examples, as well. Spotted via John Battelle, Web sites that exist only to sell advertising has Wall Street Journal writer Lee Gomes earlier this month feeling fed up with the situation as well. It's not an in-depth look but more a personal commentary -- and a sign that the issue is becoming more noticeable.

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AdWords: Limits On Number Of Terms, How Terms Get Disabled & Negative Site Feature Info
May. 31, 2005 - A three-fer here from the Search Engine Watch Forums, on how Google may limit new accounts to the number of terms they can bid on, how terms may get disabled and some examples on using the new site blocking feature for contextual campaigns. Links and info, in this post.

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More On Direct Links For Libraries In Google Scholar
May. 31, 2005 - Any library can now set up direct links to the full-text articles found in Google Scholar. In other words, say an article is kept behind password protection. If a library has a subscription, they can enable Google Scholar so that their patrons can automatically view the material. Spotted via On Google Scholar, Library Collections Linked on Google Scholar for Free is a recent article from Barbara Quint that looks at this and other library issues with Google Scholar, in more depth. See also Gary's post at ResourceShelf, Direct Links to Articles: Google Scholar is Now Open to All Libraries and information from Google here: Google Scholar: Support For Libraries.

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Voice-Activated Search Technology Being Developed In Israel
May. 30, 2005 - The Globes site from Israel has a brief article about Maestro, voice-activated search technology, being developed at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Google Voice Search from Google Labs (no longer available) provided voice-activated search via the telephone. Yahoo by Phone allows you to speak your commands into the telephone and receive email, news, weather and other info but does not allow you to search the web. The new version of Opera also offers some voice-activated options. Speegle, is not a voice-activated search engine but does read your Google results back to you using synthesized speech. We blogged about it late last year.

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Ask Jeeves Exec Jim Lanzone Answers Questions
May. 30, 2005 - 5 Questions with Jim Lanzone, Senior VP of Search Properties, Ask Jeeves from SearchViews has Jim Lanzone explaining why he likes the Bloglines service Ask bought, favorite blogs he reads, Ask eyeing plug-ins for Firefox, vertical versus general search and growing ad sales internally at Ask. Still have questions? Live Q&A Session with Jim Lanzone, VP of Ask Jeeves at the Cre8asite Forums is going on right now, letting you post things you'd like him to answer.

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Types Of Links To Lead Search Engines To Your Site
May. 27, 2005 - Threads of the Web - Linking for Success from Scottie Claiborne at Search Engine Guide is a nice overview to the types of links you might want to obtain to help search engines and human visitors down these "roads" to your site. She also offers some short tips about each type.

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Last Week, Google Had A Strategy. This Week, It Doesn't
May. 27, 2005 - Last week, Google was emphatic right on its own blog that they weren't "just a bunch of mad scientists running around doing whatever we want." This week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is quoted as saying they "delight" in having no strategy. More in this post. See also Information Week Publishes Interview With Eric Schmidt for a highlight of other interesting comments from Schmidt in a recent interview. And also see Engineers Running Rampant at Google, for more recent comments from Schmidt on the idea that Google engineers need space to be creative.

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Booting Copyright Infringers From Search Listings
May. 26, 2005 - Pursuing Copyright Infringers from Scottie Claiborne over at Search Engine Guide has a nice rundown on what to do if you find pages infringing your copyright in search results. Contacting the search engines along won't get the infringing material off the web, but it will at least starve it of its search engine traffic when listings are pulled. And did you get pulled? Via Search Engine Roundtable, this WebmasterWorld thread looks at what you might do to get reincluded, as least if pulled off of Google.

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Take The SEO Quiz
May. 25, 2005 - Rand Fiskin has created the SEO Quiz. It's fun -- give it a whirl. Then check out whether you're at the top of the leaderboard. I'm hoping Rand will make it into a monthly or weekly quiz on news. And Barry notes it's already had some spam. Want to comment on how the quiz might change? Visit our forum thread, The SEO Quiz From SEOmoz.

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Research Workshop On Sponsored Search
May. 25, 2005 - Workshop on Sponsored Search Auctions is a workshop covering research about paid listings and sponsored search, being held as part of the ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce in Vancouver. It happens on June 5.

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Digimarc Desktop Image Search Beta Opens
May. 25, 2005 - Not happy with the image search capabilities of your existing desktop search application? A new free beta of Digimarc Image Search software might help. It's billed as working with existing services such as Google's, Yahoo's and MSN's.

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Could a New Algorithm Increase Profits for Search Ad Providers?
May. 23, 2005 - Phys.org has posted a news release from Georgia Tech University in Atlanta about a new computer algorithm, "that could further increase profits for search engine advertising." The research itself was motivated by a question asked of one of the researchers by Google's former Director of Research, Monika Henzinger, while he was interviewing for a job at the Googleplex last year. More details and text of the paper in this post.

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Yahoo Announces a Challenge for Webmasters, Bloggers, and Web Developers
May. 23, 2005 - Yahoo has launched the YQ Challenge to find the "most innovative" implementations of their YQ contextual search platform. Yahoo launched YQ in beta earlier this year. The winner of the YQ Challenge receives $5,000. Second place receives $2,500. $1,000 for third. This FAQ has more info. The deadline for submitting entries is June 19th.

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Personalization for the Mobile Web Searcher
May. 23, 2005 - TheFeature's Peggy Ann Salz conducts an interview with search engine personalization expert Barry Smyth about using personalization to improve the online experience of the mobile searcher by using informal communities. A few more details and links, in this post.

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New South African Web Engine Now Online
May. 22, 2005 - If you track regional search engines you might be interested in a new service that searches only pages from the South Africa named Funnel. The Mail and Guardian article, New SA search engine promises relevant results, provided a brief introduction. A few more details, in this post.

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New From Yahoo: Guide to RSS for Publishers
May. 20, 2005 - The new Yahoo Publisher's Guide to RSS will be especially useful as a one-stop shop for those just getting started with the format but can also serve as a worthwhile reference for experienced RSS types. The site includes an intro to RSS, how to create feeds with several services (not just Yahoo 360), info about submitting and promoting your feed, a link to sign-up for alerts about new services from Yahoo (RSS advertising), and more.

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Customize Landing Pages For Paid Search
May. 20, 2005 - Create New Pages for PPC Search Landing Pages from Kevin Lee at ClickZ reminds that with paid search campaigns, you can change your landing pages without worry that your rankings might drop. He provides some tips and idea on getting more out of your tweaks.

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Three Attorneys Launch a Click Fraud Clearinghouse
May. 20, 2005 - Three of the attorneys involved in the click fraud class action lawsuit mentioned last month have started a web-based clearinghouse that will contain information about the case and links to articles about click fraud. The site is called LostClicks.com. Presently, it's rather light on content but will hopefully contain more info as the case moves forward. Right now you'll find a list of recent click fraud articles and a brief backgrounder about why the case was filed.

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Ask Buys Excite Europe; To Share Excite.com With Infospace
May. 20, 2005 - A Reuters article about 10 days ago mentioned that Ask Jeeves was planning on offering new services throughout Western Europe. These plans were made a bit clearer today when Ask Jeeves announced that they have acquired Excite Europe from Tiscali for an undisclosed sum of money. Want to discuss the acquisition? Check out this SEW Forums thread. In other Ask Jeeves news, the company has agreed in a "comprehensive settlement of litigation" with InfoSpace to share marketing costs and revenue from the Excite.com Web search function.

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Tweak Google Desktop Search
May. 19, 2005 - I just came across a new app (freeware) from Nathan Evans that allows you to make several changes to Google Desktop Search without having to go in and edit the registry. You can move your GDS index; change the drives that GDS indexes, including mapped network drives and attached (USB/Firewire) drives - even your iPod! You can also force a manual re-indexing of your drives at any time

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Accoona Now Offering Some D&B Data
May. 19, 2005 - The China Daily reports that web engine Accoona is now offering a small amount of company info from the Dun & Bradstreet database. A few more details, in this post.

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Google AdWords & Other Feeds Offered
May. 19, 2005 - Spotted via Jensense, there's a new Inside AdWords blog from Google. And from Dirson, an entire list of current Google feeds, such as from Blogger and Picasa. Not listed are the Google News feeds I wrote about earlier -- but you can currently only get them within Gmail. Google Orkut Media also offers feeds.

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Blogdigger Goes Local
May. 19, 2005 - Blogdigger, a blog search engine being developed by Greg Gershman, has launched a new service called Blogdigger Local that allows you to search for blog posts by geographic location. More in this post.

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Demo Some Content Based Image Retrieval Software
May. 18, 2005 - A few weeks ago I blogged about content based image retrieval and listed a bunch of resources to learn more including several items from a company called LTU Technologies. At that time a content based image retrieval demo using LTU Technologies was unavailable. Good news, it's back online. More details in this post.

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SortPrice Gets Drag-And-Drop Shopping Feature
May. 18, 2005 - The SortPrice shopping search engine has added a neat drag-and-drop shopping feature to its service. Do a search, then you can drag images of products you are interested in and drop them into the left-hand side of your screen, to build up an interest list. Sadly, it only seems to work in Internet Explorer.

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Yahoo Declares Media RSS 1.0 Official
May 18, 2005 - Yahoo says that the Media RSS 1.0 specification that it launched in December is now officially released. The spec is here.

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Bloglines Adds Weather Forecasts
May 18, 2005 - I just came across a new feature from Bloglines the delivers local weather forecasts and info. I then noticed that both the Bloglines Blog and the Ask Jeeves Blog have details. More on using it in this post.

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GoFish Releases myGoFish Music Playlist Sharing Feature
May 18, 2005 - GoFish has launched a myGoFish service allowing people to upload digital music playlists and share them with others, as well as publish to their blogs. Playlists automatically have album art, sample clips and meta data assigned to them. More details on how it works in this post.

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Allcheckin Travel Search Engine Launched
May 18, 2005 - A new travel search engine especially aimed at the UK market has been launched. Allcheckin is backed by former executives from BT Looksmart and ebookers. I took a quick look, and a wide range of airlines are represented, as well as consolidators such as Opodo and ebookers. I especially liked the little sliders in the Refine Your Search box on the left-hand side of the page, after doing a search. It makes it easy to slide up or down the price you want to pay, as well as departure and arrival times. Hotel and car searching is also offered. Sponsored listings on the site come via Yahoo.

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ClickTracks Launches Discounted Agency Plan
May 18, 2005 - The ClickTracks web analytics service has opened a new ClickTracks Agency Program, providing a discount for agencies seeking to do web analytics for their clients.

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Google's Chef Decides to Say Goodbye
May 17, 2005 - In late December, I blogged that Google was searching for a Lead Chef. I was a bit surprised to see this. What about Charlie, Google's star chef? Today, it appears that we now know why Google was looking to fill this position. Charlie Ayers, Google's famous chef, has decided to leave the company according to this story from the San Jose Mercury News. And some additional comments, in this post.

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Clusty Now Offering Links to Cached Copies of Pages
May 17, 2005 - I just noticed that Clusty, the meta search engine that provides dynamic clustering of results, is now offering cached copies of every url found when using the Clusty Web+ database. You'll find the link to access a cached copy of a page directly next to the url in the search result snippet. Cached pages come from either MSN Search, Gigablast, or The Wayback Machine. More about Clusty in this SearchDay article.

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Plug-Ins For Flash, RealMedia Indexing Via Google Desktop Search
May 17, 2005 - IndexSWF Plug-in is 1MB shareware file that indexes and makes Flash files searchable via Google Desktop Search. If available, extracts text and creates thumbnails for flash movies. A free trial is available. GDS Real Media Indexer is a 152k freeware file that indexes metadata of Real media video and audio files.

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New FyberSearch Tool Helps Find Tutorials on the Web
May 17, 2005 - Nathan Enns, the developer and proprietor of FyberSearch has released a new interface that allows the searcher to quickly find tutorials on the open web. More details in this post.

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Discussions On Travel Search
May 17, 2005 - Have Search, Will Travel from MediaPost has David Berkowitz looking at travel search, the topic of three separate panels at the recent TravelCom conference. Some nice Yahoo stats on 76 percent of travel purchases being preceded by search -- and it taking six searches before a purchase is made. Some debate among a panel of newer travel search engines on how much information is too much. And a hushed room as an Avis rep downplays the need for meta travel search much less the internet: "The brand would be better off if the Intenet didn't exist." But it does, of


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