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Highlights from the SEW Blog: May 30, 2006

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Featured posts from the Search Engine Watch blog, as well as our customary search headlines from around the web. If you're not familiar with our blog, click on any of the links below, or visit the blog's home page at http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/.

Ballmer On Google And Don't Be Evil: Laugh & No Comment

When I asked Barry Diller earlier this year if Ask needed some type of "Don't Be Evil" like Google, his answer got the audience roaring with laughter. "Be Evil," he said, then qualifying that businesses needed to be realistic. Now Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gets to swing at the same question in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. He basically dodges the question by saying Google doesn't seem to follow it.

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NetRatings Data: The Local Angle

Danny posted here about April Nielsen//NetRatings data reflecting that Google had crossed the 50% threshold in search market share. I want to point to another part of the release, which jumped out at me: the Internet driving people to local retailers ("big boxes" in this case).

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Google AdsBot Now Coming To Assess Your Landing Pages

Google's rolling out a new system where ad landing pages will be automatically spidered by a new AdsBot. The content of landing pages will help determine the quality of an ad campaign. That quality score, along with the amount you are willing to pay, is then used to determine an ad's AdRank, the position where an ad will appear in the results. A high quality score means you can rank higher even if you pay less than others. And not participating in the new spidering system can hurt your AdRank.

What's the deal? Didn't Google already spider landing pages as part of the announcement back in December that landing page content would be assessed? To my understanding from Google, only if the AdSense spider had seen the page for ad content placement purposes or if regular Googlebot had already indexed the page for inclusion in the web search index. If the page wasn't already visible to these or perhaps some other Google spiders, or had been specifically blocked from spidering, then AdWords couldn't assess it.

For Search Engine Watch members, the longer version of this article covers more on the change from my talk with Google during a visit there last week, such as how it is designed to improve relevancy and ease concerns that users (rather than advertisers) might be harmed by search arbitrage.

Want to comment or discuss? Visit our Search Engine Watch Forum thread, AdWords To Begin Crawling Landing Pages & Analyzing For AdRank.

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YouTube Dominant In Video Search, Now an Acquisition Target?

The short answer is "yes." The site -- shall we call it the "MySpace" of video :) -- is now the dominant destination for online video search, according to a press release out today from Hitwise. YouTube has an almost 50% market share.

Here's the traffic breakdown:

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MIVA Seeing PPCall Monetization Growth

One of the most interesting elements of the announced eBay-Yahoo "alliance" today is the potential for "click to call" and "pay per phone call" (PPCall). These are two distinct things: click to call is a VoIP-based calling infrastructure and PPCall is a billing or ad model. They're related but one doesnt always mean the other. However, in the case of portals and search engines "testing click to call" usually means "we'e thinking about PPCall."

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eBay & Yahoo Partner On Graphical Ads, Other Areas

Everyone is talking about the eBay & Yahoo partnership, where Yahoo will be eBay's exclusive provider of graphical ads and Yahoo will promote eBay's PayPal to its merchants and publishers. Reports via the Washington Post, The Street and BusinessWeek.com stress how this poses a threat to Google and Microsoft. It is important to note that this partnership is primarily to provide graphical ads and click-to-call ads and on a lesser standpoint to provide some search ads. The limited search ads are probably because eBay does not want to detract visitors from the eBay products and auctions, which is logical.

Hitwise has some stats on traffic that flows from eBay to other sources.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Brief: Google Releases Picasa Photo Organizer For Linux...
Information Week May 29 2006 3:59PM GMT
SEO & Search Engine SPAM Identifiers...
Search Engine Journal May 29 2006 11:11AM GMT
Google makes some missteps as it finds its way in corridors of power...
Seattle Times May 29 2006 10:06AM GMT
Why Google makes everyone else nervous...
Boston Globe reg May 29 2006 7:25AM GMT
Melding Search and Security...
Red Herring May 28 2006 2:34PM GMT
Welcome To The Search Marketing Sweat Shop...
Media Post May 26 2006 4:00PM GMT


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