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The Search Engine Report - Number 104

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In This Issue

+ SES San Jose Agenda Is Live!
+ Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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SES San Jose Agenda Is Live!

The agenda for the next Search Engine Strategies show in San Jose this August 8-11 is now live on the SES San Jose 2005 web site. There are a ton of new sessions, as well as returning favorites. The conference features speakers from major search engines, along with experts on search marketing.

For a full rundown, see the conference web site. You can also view the entire program at-a-glance or use the session planner to get itineraries designed for those new to search marketing, interested in ad issues, interested in organic/free listings or even what's new in the Been Before category.

We'll also have a blog going up just for the conference shortly -- watch either the Search Engine Strategies site or the San Jose show site for news on when that's live. I and others will be using that to keep everyone informed on the progress of the show.

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.

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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.

=== July 6, 2005 ===

The State of Search in Europe - What is the state of search in Europe and how do the major players see search developing over the coming years?

=== July 5, 2005 ===

Keeping an Eye on Google - A new report offers fascinating, in-depth insights on how users interact with Google search results, based on studies using eye-tracking technology.

=== July 1, 2005 ===

Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Sued For Click Fraud - SEW Live in Atlanta - New Yahoo MyWeb 2.0 & MyRank - Google Getting New Personalized Search - Does Advertising Make Sense If You Have Top Organic Listings? - Google launches Video Player, and more.

=== June 30, 2005 ===

News of a Google "Premium Content" Program Begins Surfacing - Word of a "deep web" initiative that will make some premium content accessible on Google is beginning to leak out. More details in this post and also see our forum thread Google's First Click Free, which has even more details that are emerging.

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AOL Begins Rolling Out New Video Search Engine - Today, AOL begins rolling out their new, improved, and free video search service and so far, pardon the pun, I like what I see. More in this post.

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The Birth of A9 Maps; Block View Imagery Added for More Cities - A9 merges its block view picture data of city streets with a new mapping service, creating an impressive product.

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What's Cooking in Search Engine Labs - Want a peek behind the scenes at the research and development efforts going on at the major search engines? Here's where to find the freshest info.

=== June 28, 2005 ===

Yahoo Integrates Personal & Social Search with My Web 2.0 - Now you can search both your own 'personal web' and pages saved by members of a trusted community of contacts with Yahoo's just-launched My Web 2.0. Also see these related articles

  • Yahoo My Web Tagging & Why (So Far) It Sucks - I find myself just as dubious as before about the promise of tagging to improve general web search results.
  • Yahoo My Web: An eBay For Knowledge - Whether tagging works is beside the main point. What deserves the most attention, the real key development, are the trust networks for knowledge Yahoo hopes to create -- and how trust networks are playing a role in changes at Google and MSN, as well.
  • A Search Marketer's Look At Yahoo My Web 2.0 - What does the new Yahoo Web 2.0 system mean for the search marketer who's always seeking for good visibility. There's a lot you can consider doing to improve how you may be showing up. This provides a summary of key issues covered in a major article provided to Search Engine Watch members.
  • Bucket o' Blog Buzz - From the new Yahoo My Web Blog, has a nice rundown on articles about the service from around the web

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Google Relaunches Personal Search - This Time, It Really Is Personal - Google has released a new version of Google Personalized Search, this time in a format intended to constantly monitor what people select from search results and shape future queries based on their choices. More on the service and how it puts spam facing a war on thousands of fronts.

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Findory and Filangy Also Offer Personalized Web Results - It's worth mentioning that Findory and Filangy both have been offering personalized web search results for some time. More in this post.

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Google Earth Flies Free - Google has released its long-anticipated geographic search tool, a new application that combines local search with satellite images and maps from around the globe. See also Downloads of Google Earth Temporarily Halted.

=== June 27, 2005 ===

Google Adds Playback to Video Search - Google Video Search now includes video content uploaded by users, and this content can be displayed directly in your browser window. See also these follow-up pieces:

=== June 24, 2005 ===

Congrats To SEW Forums Member Number 5,000 - Our SEW Forums just had their first birthday earlier this month, and now we've just passed the 5,000 mark in members signed-up. We didn't drop balloons and confetti on the head of our 5,000 member, but we did shower him with a free Search Engine Watch membership and a pass to one of our Search Engine Strategies conferences. Congrats to our lucky member, and thanks to all of our members and moderators for helping build the forums!

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: MSN Search Update & Neural Net Tech - Adwords Algorithmic Changes - Yahoo Launching New Search Index - Google Adwords vs. Yahoo Search - MSN Debuts Local Search, and more.

=== June 23, 2005 ===

Visualizing Yahoo Search Results - Grokker, a visual search tool that clusters related search results together in conceptually related categories, is now available in an online version, free of charge.

=== June 22, 2005 ===

Danny & Tristan Talk About Link Counts, Site Counts & Index Auditing - I've been having a series of email conversations with Tristan Louis, who has been trying to understand how well "A-List Bloggers" do in the major search engine based on links. The problem, I've been explaining, is that links and various other counts don't paint the picture you might expect. In this post, our back-and-forth on the issues, which illustrates all the complexities involved and why it's difficult to draw any conclusions.

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MSN Search Gets Neural Net/RankNet Technology & (Potentially) Awesome New Search Commands - MSN Search is using a new relevancy ranking system based on "Neural Net" technology plus has new search commands -- such as anchor text searching -- now available. See also More On MSN's Neural Net Technology.

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Yahoo to the Max - Extreme searcher Ran Hock has published a new book, this time taking an in-depth look at the wide range of tools and services offered by Yahoo.

=== June 21, 2005 ===

Sex Is Still A Top Search Term - I had someone email me recently asking whether the "urban legend" of sex and porn being top search terms was still true. Hmm. Is it? I thought it would be fun to check back on the situation.

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FAST Web Search Is Back Via New Miva Editorial Results - Miva -- the newly rebranded company encompassing FindWhat and Espotting -- has launched its own editorial or "algorithmic" results to compliment the paid listings it offers, powered by an old-time search player, FAST.

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How Search Engines Index RSS & Why It Doesn't Necessarily Matter - Stephan Spencer spotted has a nice look at what happens with RSS feeds when major search engines encounter them -- or more correctly, what doesn't happen with them. File formats aren't recognized, text in the feed may not be indexed and other problems exist that make web search engines a bad place to go if you want to search just against feeds. So what? As I explore, indexing RSS files isn't as important as it may seem, not for the twin goals of feed discovery and blog-based news.

The Louvre's New Masterpiece - The Louvre's web site has long been a treasure trove for art lovers, but the site's recent relaunch has moved the museum's online presence into a class of its own.

=== June 20, 2005 ===

MSN Opens Local Search & Aerial Mapping - MSN Search has just released a local search tool for the U.S. MSN Local Search is accessible via a link on the MSN Search home page or via this direct link. Along with maps, aerial images are available for most locations.

=== June 17, 2005 ===

Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google, IP Diversity and eBay - Yahoo Subscription Search Service Opens - How Will Search Marketing Evolve? The Future Business Model of PPC - The Most Exciting Year for Search Engines? and more.

=== June 16, 2005 ===

Google Now Offering Index of Pages Optimized for the Mobile Web - Google Search For Tiny Screens from InternetNews.com report on Google releasing a new beta service for mobile web searchers that allows searching an index of pages that have been, "optimized by their publishers for the small screen." More in this post, and also see information in our forum thread, Google Mobile Web Search Launched

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Google Library Digitization Agreement With University Of Michigan Now Available - The agreement between Google and the University Of Michigan for the Google library digitization program has now been posted online. Until now, no details of agreements Google has between libraries have been published.

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Click Fraud Roundup - Time for another clickfraud round-up. For everyone, a one paragraph rundown on recent developments. For Search Engine Watch members, this version is a longer, annotated rundown on the articles mentioned.

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Yahoo Search Subscriptions Brings Premium Content Into Web Search - Yahoo has released a new Yahoo Search Subscriptions service that unites regular web search results found from crawling the open web with listings from free and fee-based database services and publishers such as Factiva, LexisNexis, and Consumer Reports.

=== June 15, 2005 ===

Report Suggests Paid Search Disclosure Could Be Better - Last week, I participated in a panel at the "Trust or Consequence: How Failure to Disclose Ad Relationships Threatens to Burst the Search Bubble" conference backed by Consumer Reports' WebWatch. Wait a minute? Aren't ad clearly disclosed these days? Depends on what you consider clear. A recap of issue and coverage out of the event.

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MSN Censorship & Revisiting The Need For Better Disclosure - The Associated Press reports on how those in China wishing to blog on MSN's new MSN Spaces service will find certain words such as "democracy," "freedom" and "human rights" are deemed taboo, with the cooperation of Microsoft. It raises anew the issue censorship by search and portal companies and that if they're forced to do it, couldn't they better disclose this?

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Replacement For Jux2: DoubleTrust - We loved Jux2, the meta search engine that let you compare search results from major search engines. It sadly closed last month, as we reported earlier. However, DoubleTrust is a new service that offer similar features. More about how it works.

=== June 14, 2005 ===

Yahoo Acquires VoIP Net Phone Provider DialPad & Blo.gs Ping Service - Yahoo has acquired acquired VoIP internet telephone service provideer DialPad and the blo.gs ping and blog/feed tracking service. More in this post.

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Search Marketing Isn't Just Math & Machines - Search is all about math, right? Throw everything into a black box, let the ad management systems run, and you can forget about creativity. I don't buy into that at all. Yes, search -- especially paid search -- has a strong analytical side. But to think it's all about math and machines is dead wrong.

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Google Scholar Link Showing Up For University Users - Some going to Google from within university campuses are seeing a new Google Scholar link on the Google home page. More in this post, as well as how to customize some options at Yahoo and A9.

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Google Denies Pulling Anti-Clinton Ads - Running Anti-Clinton Banners from DMNews.com has Google saying no. Ads that were initially approved continue to run. However, Google admits that some ads were rejected as advocating against a person, as opposed to a political agenda. The author and publisher of a book about the Clintons claims that all ads were removed. More details in this post.

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MSN Shopping Partners With PriceGrabber - We wrote in March about MSN beta testing a new shopping search engine. That public beta has since closed. When the improved service relaunches later this year, it looks like it will be at least partially powered by shopping search engine PriceGrabber. MSN and PriceGrabber has just signed a deal to put PriceGrabber listings on MSN by the fourth quarter this year. More details from MediaPost in MSN Shopping To Add PriceGrabber Listings.

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Yahoo News Beats Google News In Jackson Verdict - The fact that Google News uses automation to decide what to feature on its home page versus Yahoo employing human editors is often raised as a issue when comparing the services. In the case of the Michael Jackson trial, it looks like the humans won out. More details in this post.

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Financial Times Carried Hidden Paid Links - The Financial Times has been spotted carrying hidden paid links on its pages, the latest in a string of high-profile sites involved with search spamming issues. More in this article.

=== June 10, 2005 ===

AOL Moves TV Spend To Search; Rodney Dangerfield Of Online Advertising No More! - AOL is ironically turning to search ads on rivals Google and Yahoo to attract people to its new public portal offering. Apparently, $50 million intended for television ads is instead going to search because AOL realized search was already the biggest driver of traffic to its free music site. It's enough to warm the hearts of search marketers over the years who've had to scrape, lobby, beg and plead for more spending on search. More in this article and the follow-up post, More On AOL's SEO/SEM Campaign.

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Google Funds Local Photo Mapping Project; 3D In The Works? - News emerges of how Google is funding a photo mapping project of city streets and may be doing a 3D modeling project, as well. Links and info in the post. Also see the follow-up post, Google Already Has 3D City Maps.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Sitemaps Now Accepting Web Page Feeds - SEO Easy To Sell, But Can You Deliver? - AdWords Untargeted Ads Disappearing? - Significant Changes In Google Results: May 2005 - How to Find Thousands of Quality Backlinks - Shopzilla is Sold for $525 Million, and more.

=== June 9, 2005 ===

A Search Tool for Your Online Passwords - Here's a interesting twist: A search toolbar that can be configured to use your favorite engine, and securely manages all of your online login details and passwords to boot.

=== June 8, 2005 ===

Search Marketing in a Box - Looking for a comprehensive guide to search marketing that's filled with tons of practical, no-nonsense tips and techniques? The Search Engine Marketing Kit may be just the ticket.

=== June 7, 2005 ===

Search Ad Prices Down 15% In May 2005 - The average price for search ads dropped sharply last month, according to the latest Keyword Price Index from Fathom Online. The average price paid in May dipped to $1.66, down 15 percent from $1.95 in April.

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Tracking Trends via the Blogosphere - Want the latest buzz about what's going on in politics, sports, entertainment or other current events? BlogPulse maps trends by mining the hot topics appearing in millions of blogs.

=== June 6, 2005 ===

More Questions On Adware & Search Ad Distribution - Last month, we wrote about allegations that Ask Jeeves was gaining distribution through misleading installations of software. A month later, and the allegations continue, plus the issue grows to involve the entire industry more generally. A recap of some recent stories, plus a closer look at how I come away mislead by one of Ask's bundling partners.

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Shopzilla Sold to E.W. Scripps for $525 Million - Shopzilla (they also operate BizRate) has by acquired by E. W. Scripps Company for $525 million in cash. Scripps owns numerous newspapers, TV stations and satellite TV networks (HGTV, Food Network, Fine Living, etc.). Want to discuss? Visit our forum thread, Shopzilla / Bizrate Acquired.

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FindWhat, Espotting Rebrand As Miva - FindWhat is undergoing a name change and taking Espotting along with it. Miva, formerly the name of the FindWhat-owned Miva Merchant ecommerce storefront tool, is now to serve as the new umbrella name for all of FindWhat's operations. What are those now and how will they be rebranded? A rundown, in this post.

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Contextual Search with Firefox - Found something on a web page you'd like more information about? A nifty plugin for Firefox lets you highlight text and search using any of Firefox's built-in search engines with a simple right click of your mouse.

=== June 4, 2005 ===

Now Available: New Version of Start.com, Microsoft's Customizable Home Page - Microsoft has released (IE only) a new version of their Start.com customizable home page. More details in this post.

=== June 3, 2005 ===

Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Secrets of eval.google.com Revealed? - Q&A Session With Jim Lanzone, VP of Ask Jeeves - What Should Google Do About PageRank In The Toolbar? - Jeeves Showing AdWords Ads on BitTorrent - Framesets: The Kiss of Death, and more.

=== June 2, 2005 ===

New "Google Sitemaps" Web Page Feed Program - Google has unveiled a new Google Sitemaps program allowing webmasters and site owners to feed it pages they'd like to have included in Google's web index. Participation is free. Inclusion isn't guaranteed, but Google's hoping the new system will help it better gather pages than traditional crawling alone allows. Feeds also let site owners indicate how often pages change or should be revisited. In this article, a Q&A on the new program with Shiva Shivakumar, engineering director and the technical lead for Google Sitemaps. Also see our forum thread Google Sitemaps Now Accepting Web Page Feeds for continuing discussion and answers. In addition, see also the follow-up posts Should Google Sitemaps Take Pings? How About More General Compatibility Generally? and especially Google Sitemaps Gains List Of Supporting Programs & Web Sites.

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Google Rater Hub - Details Of Human Review System Unveiled - Google Secret Lab, Prelude from Henk van Ess's new Search Bistro blog looks at how Google uses human reviewers to improve search quality. Ess has a screenshot and a Flash movie of how the system works, for Google's temporarily hired Q&A checkers. Very nice details so far that I've never seen posted anywhere before. However, this type of system isn't new. WebCrawler used to have a feedback system like this back in the late 90s, and other major search engines have had human reviewers, as well. Gather enough data of what's deemed good and bad, and the hope is that you can create a better search algorithm to improve relevancy. What almost certainly is not happening is that the human reviewers are actually moving sites up and down with their ratings. Want to discuss? Visit our forum thread, Secrets of http://eval.google.com revealed? See also Interested in Evaluating Search Quality and Advertising for Google?, which covers how Google is still hiring evaluators.

=== June 1, 2005 ===

Searching for Bloggers Near You - Want to meet local bloggers in your area? A new service from Blogdigger pinpoints bloggers by their physical location in the United States, with coverage soon to be extended to cities throughout the world.

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eBay Goes Shopping and Acquires Shopping.com - eBay has acquired comparative shopping search site, Shopping.com. According to the Wall Street Journal (sub. req) and TheStreet.com, eBay will pay about $620 million in cash or $21 per share for all of Shopping.com's outstanding shares. Shopping.com became a publicly traded company in October 2004. The news release announcing the acquisition is here.

=== May 31, 2005 ===

Shmoogle: Randomizing Google Results To Show Good Stuff Beyond Top 10 - Shmoogle is a new service takes Google results and shows them in a random order, to illustrate why good pages may still not be visible since they aren't ranked well. More in this post.

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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. Note that references to "I" may becoming from Danny Sullivan, Gary Price or Chris Sherman, all of whom post to the blog.

=== July 6, 2005 ===

Google Toolbar For Firefox Now Available With Send-To-Phone & Google Suggest - A new Google Toolbar for Firefox for users will be available for download tomorrow morning Pacific time from the Google Toolbar page. It will offer generally the same features as the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer, Google says. However, Google Labs will also be releasing tomorrow "send-to-phone" and Google Suggest extensions specifically for the toolbar. More in this post.

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I Was Unfairly Ousted From Yahoo Via DMCA! Plus, How To Oust When They Deserve It - A twofer here, the story of someone who found they got removed from Yahoo via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act but can't get a copy of the complaint, while how you might use the DMCA against those you feel deserve it.

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Q&As, Q&As, Q&As On Search - It's Q&A madness out there. In this post, links to Q&As with a black hat on SEO, a recovering PRmeister on search and public relations, an information research professional on search marketing, Bloglines, PriceGrabber, Digital Point and MSN Search to come.

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Benefits Versus Reality Of Yahoo Paid Inclusion Pitch - The mixed messages of paid inclusion are still a hot point with me, even though I feel the issue has largely diminished for many others. So, it was nice to see Yahoo Paid Inclusion: Is this Story Authentic? from Andrew Goodman over at Traffick looking at the issue. He does a compare and contrast of "benefits" versus the "reality" for search marketers that don't leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. See also from me Yahoo Reawakens The Paid Inclusion Debate, The Paid Inclusion Dinosaur and Going Beyond FTC Paid Inclusion Disclosure Guidelines from last year and The Mixed Message Of Paid Inclusion from 2002.

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Reporting AdSense Spam Sites & Click Fraud - How Google has made it easier to report sites with AdSense ads for suspected spam or click fraud issues via a link directly within the ads.

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SEW Forums Live Atlanta Recap - We had our first SEW Forums Live event last week, a chance for people to network at a less formal and smaller event than our Search Engine Strategies shows, which typically have anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 people wandering around. About 100 people made it to SEW Forums Live in Atlanta, where it was held. SEW Live in Atlanta "a-la-rustybrick" in our forums covers what was presented on the panel discussion (The Top Ten leading Search Trends & SEO is getting harder and taking longer). "Future of Search" Roundtable at SEW Live Atlanta covers a roundtable that anyone could attend and participate in, which ran though a variety of issues.

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Hitwise Releases Keyword Intelligence Service - Hitwise, best known for tracking the online behavior of 25 million internet users every day, has introduced a new keyword research tool designed for small and medium sized businesses. The tool, which monitors usage at all of the major search engines, also provides guidance on "successful" search termsthose that actually resulted in a user visiting a web site. Like the popular Wordtracker keyword research tool, Hitwise Keyword Intelligence offers a number of tools that help search marketers with search term research and management. Keyword Intelligence offers a subset of data and search term analysis features that are available within the Hitwise Competitive Intelligence service. I'm planning an in-depth look at the service soon. Meanwhile, for more information see today's press release announcing the new service.

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Testing For Click Fraud Rates - Marketing Experiments decided to test how much click fraud Google might detect through an experiment (free registration required). Findings? An individual just clicking over and over on your ads in various ways (different computer, same IP; different IPs, other options) isn't likely to get you billed more than once. How about industrial-strength click fraud attempts. To determine that, Marketing Experiments reported on the findings of three different campaigns monitored by IncuBeta. A campaign involving bids of $1-$2 was found to have the highest rate of fraud, 30 percent, while two campaigns involving bids in the $0.20 to $0.30 and $0.05 to $0.15 ranges had fraud rates of 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

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White Hat - Gray Hat - Black Hat - White Hat Now In The Cesspool? over in our Search Engine Watch Forums has members debating whether staying within search engine guidelines can still be effective in gaining rankings. Meanwhile, Is Black Hat SEO A Form Of Hacking? also in our forums has members debating whether going outside those guidelines is the equivalent of hacking a search engine. Love these type of debates? Then see the rest of this post, for a list of further forum reading.

=== July 5, 2005 ===

A New Web Engine From France: Mozbot - We've learned that last week Mozbot, a new web engine from France, launched in beta. Mozbot has a partnership with Google to provide web results and offers a number of value-added features such as personal black lists and links to whois information. Look for versions of Mozbot aimed at users in US and UK to go live in September.

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Google & Other Search Engines: The WMDs Of Copyright Infringement - The world seems to be waking up to the fact that search engines are potentially widespread copyright infringers, though it's Google, as usual, that takes the brunt of concerns. But for good reason, Google more than the other search engines is generating worry in new areas. A rundown on some good, recent articles on the subject, including an open-to-anyone must read from the Wall Street Journal.

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Become.com Launches Product News Search - Become.com, the shopping vertical that offers a "focused" database containing product reviews and other buying information, (see SearchDay's positive review from April 2005) has launched a new service today that provides up-to-the minute news headlines about products and services found in the Become.com database. A bit more on this, in the post.

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Search Retailers Versus Search Marketers - Are you all about getting sales from search engines? If so, Kevin Lee in Search Engine Sales vs. Search Engine Marketing at ClickZ wonders if you really are a search marketer rather than engaging in what he calls "search engine sales." A better analogy is probably this. You run a store, and you're all about getting sales through the store. Everything you do revolves around whether you see an immediate impact on sales. In short, you're a savvy retailer. But are you a savvy marketer, pondering how over the long-term, you might build up your brand or visibility to bring in sales in a more strategic way? "Search retailers" generating traffic might find some bids and tactics that others are doing seem crazy. But if those people are long term "search marketers," they may have a plan that fits in with the costs being incurred.

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Google Wins Click Fraud Case Against Auctions Expert - Last year, news came out that Google was suing one of its own AdSense affiliates alleging click fraud. Google Wins $75,000 In Click Fraud Case from MediaPost covers how Google has won its case against Auctions Expert. The award happened in May but only seems to be coming to light now. Background on the case from when it broke via XBiz and Google gets gruff over click fraud from News.com.

=== July 1, 2005 ===

Good News -- Ian Turner Found! - Search marketer Ian Turner, missing since last Sunday, has been found. Word spread like wildfire through the search community, with even the official blogs at Yahoo, Google and MSN asking readers to keep an eye out.

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Amazon Sued Over Copyright Infringment In Google-Powered A9 Image Search - Amazon Sued for Copyright Infringement from the Associated Press covers how Amazon is being sued by Perfect 10, an adult magazine and web site, over Perfect 10 images apparently appearing in Amazon-owned A9 image search results. Those results are powered by Google, which we've previously blogged about being sued by Perfect 10 back in November.

=== June 30, 2005 ===

News of a Google "Premium Content" Program Begins Surfacing - Word of a "deep web" initiative that will make some premium content accessible on Google is beginning to leak out. More details in this post and also see our forum thread Google's First Click Free, which has even more details that are emerging.

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Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask Jeeves, AOL, A9 Agree To Release Everything At Once - Worried that one of their competitors might release something that hasn't yet been released this week, major players have agreed in principle to unveil all products currently in development as of 6pm Pacific Time tonight. I know, it's not April Fool's. But I thought we could use a little break, and I've always wanted to write about the giant Google gumball machine of product launches.

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The Illustrated Google Master Plan - I've had a laugh when I've seen the marker board "master plan" in one of the lobbies at Google with its copious notes of "do not erase." It covers everything from creating a super portal to low flying aircraft spying on the world. If I remember right, way at the end not shown are some bits about spam detection. I think mind control is on there, also! Andy blogs that a photo of it is now online, so have a look. There is, of course, a real plan as we blogged here. And the next week, there wasn't.

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Google Targeted With Second Class Action Suit On Click Fraud - Google sued over "click fraud" in Web ads from Reuters brings news that Click Defense has filed a lawsuit against Google involving click fraud a few days ago and seek to have it made into a class action. The click fraud detection company says it has found rates of fraud reach as high as 38 percent. Yahoo is not named in this suit. Click Fraud Suit Names Google, Yahoo & Other Search Companies covers the first widely known suit of this type which involves companies beyond Google. Thanks to SEW Forums moderator Nacho who spotted the story -- he's also already got a thread up for people who wish to comment or discuss: Google Sued In Second Click Fraud Lawsuit. If you're interested in reading the complaint that Click Defense filed with the U.S. District Court, we've tracked down a copy. It's available >here (PDF; 18 pages).

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Yahoo Maps API Released - Yahoo has released an API for Yahoo Maps. According to the news release the Yahoo Maps API is free, backwards compatible, and builds on the GEORSS standard.

=== June 29, 2005 ===

Google Maps API Now Available - Google has just announced that they've released an API for web developers who want to create applications with Google Maps. I'm sure this will spawn even more resources like ChicagoCrime.org and Housingmaps.com. A paragraph from Google's announcement also notes that Google is considering (no surprise) placing advertising onto Google Maps in the future. Full Text of Google Maps API announcement.

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Google and T-Mobile Announce Partnership - A Reuters story reports that Google and T-Mobile are announcing a partnership that will make Google the preset homepage when a T-Mobile customer opens their mobile web browser. The news release also mentions that Google and T-Mobile will work together to market mobile access to the Internet.

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Topix.net Expands to Canada - Topix.net has expanded their service to Canada. Beginning today, Topix now offers a news page for Canada as well as local "news channels" (pages continuosly updated with local news and info) for over 4,200 Canadian cities and towns. More details in this post.

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The 10 Google Headlines You Don't Want to Read - Google Blogoscoped has posted a spoof of Google's "Press Center" page containing the "10 Google Headlines You Don't Want to Read." My favorite, "Google Announces Motto Change; Now "Only evil when necessary."

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Blinkx Now Offering Podcast Search - BlinkxTV, the rapdily expanding database of multimedia content, has just added more material to their service. Beginning today, you can keyword search podcasts and video blogs and then listen or view the content online. In other words, every word spoken in a podcast or on a video blog is now searchable. More details in this post.

=== June 28, 2005 ===

Government Report Says MSN Search Adult Filter Most Effective - A new report from the Government Accountability Office says that the adult filter at MSN Search is more effective at blocking adult content than similar filters at Google and Yahoo.

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WebSideStory: Google Continues Its Popularity Rise - New stats released today from WebSideStory show Google has continued to gain in popularity every year since 2001, while Yahoo is shown to have a continual decline. MSN has had declines for the past two years.

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Hitwise: Google Tops In May - New stats now posted from Hitwise show Google has the highest share of visits by US web surfers of all search and directory sites that Hitwise tracked in May 2005.

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NetRatings: Google Most Popular In May, But Trend Is No Real Trends So Far - New stats from Nielsen//NetRatings show that ... wait for it ... Google was the most popular search engine last month, based on the percentages of searches performed there by those within the US.

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Google Web Results, Advertising Begin Appearing on Univision Site - A reported deal in the works between Google and Spanish language broadcaster Univision appears to have already begun. If you run a web search from the Univision site, you'll now find web results "optimizado por Google." Results pages also contain sponsored links from Google. It's also possible to search English language material from the interface. You'll even find lists of popular Spanish language queries.

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Reinclusion Tips If Banned From Google Or Yahoo - Tips on getting back in good graces with Yahoo and Google from recent threads in our forums.

=== June 27, 2005 ===

Ask Jeeves Names Online Compliance Officer - Today, Ask Jeeves appointed Steven Pickering to the newly created position of Online Compliance Officer. He is to oversee issues on how Ask Jeeves toolbars and software deal with online privacy, disclosure, and downloadable software practices.

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Ballmer: We'll Catch Google In Relevancy In 6 Months - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says "in the next six months, we'll catch Google in terms of relevancy." But how will that be measured and proven? Some of those issues, in this post.

=== June 24, 2005 ===

A9 Makes Changes to Interface, Adds Features - Amazon.com's A9 has made a bunch of changes to their interface along with adding a few new features. More in this post.

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WebmasterWorld Search & Marketing Conference Recap: Day 3 - The third and last day of the WebmasterWorld Search & Marketing Conference 2005 in New Orleans happened yesterday. See this posts for a recap of live coverage of sessions and also see Recap: Day 2 and Recap: Day 1.

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Rating Search Engines By Playing Trivial Pursuit - We've written many times about how search engines are moving to presenting direct answers in response to some questions. Trivia Stump Smart Search Engines from the Associated Press has writer Michael Liedtke deciding to test how well these direct answers seem to work by involving the search engines in a game of Trivial Pursuit. A summary, in this post.

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Guaranteed Clicks For Local Search Ads Doesn't Mean High Visibility - Local search ad programs offering click guarantees may sound great to some merchants, but at some point, they want to see their ads -- and they may not be appearing where they expect. More in this post.

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ET Don't Go Home, Go To A Targeted Landing Page! - The Simple Pay Per Click Change That Could Earn You More from Jennifer Laycock is a plea to marketers that if you buy a paid listing, send people to the very best page in your site that has information about what you're selling, not your home page. IE, selling red shoes? Send them to a landing page that shoes all your red shoes, not your home page that lists shoes among all the other types of clothing.

=== June 23, 2005 ===

Official: Monier Is Going To Google - It's official! The rumblings about search legend Louis Monier taking a job with Google are true. Searchblog has just posted an interview with the new Google employee.

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GooglePorn.com - A porn blog wants Google to embrace the porn industry with a payment system, raising the bigger issue of how much into porn Google might want to be involved. One thing's for certain. They already own the right domain. More in this post.

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Mamma.com Launches Health Information Vertical - Metasearch company Mamma.com has introduced Health Search, offering real-time search of some of the most authoritative sources of health information on the web. More in this post.

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Time's Top 50 Sites & Search In Class Of Its Own - Time magazine is out with their annual list of the 50 "Coolest" web sites. Instead of including resources and tools from the major search players in the Top 50, they created a "bonus section" titled, "In A Class By Themselves." A summary, in this post.

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Yahoo Think Big Contest Winner Announced - StairCycle has won the Yahoo "Think Big" contest, coming in first among over 80,000 entries. More details from this Yahoo press release and more about the contest in this past post: Yahoo "Think Big" Contest Giving Away 10 Million Ads.

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Offline Marketing Generates Search: Were You Prepared? - No Search Is an Island is the first installment of iProspect founder Fredrick Marckini's new monthly column for CMO Magazine. In it, he covers why offline marketing activities create searches and how savvy marketers understand this and are prepared to best tap into that traffic. If you're doing offline marketing, be sure you're keeping your search marketing people in the loop, as he suggests.

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Tips On Finding New Sites - Out of site, out of mind from the Guardian made me smile when it mentioned some of the ways Jack Schofield used to keep up with new web sites, reminding me of sources I used to depend on like Net Happenings. Then I smiled again when we got the nod along with other resources to consider if you want to keep up on search happenings. If we're not enough, check out some of the sites listed on the blog roll on our home page. Still not enough? See our Giant Lists Of Search Blogs post.

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A Searchable Database of Leisure and Business Events Around the World - It's vertical search time! On ResourceShelf, we've posted on overview about WhatsonWhen.com, a well organized searchable database that's been online for many years of leisure and business events around the globe. It's both useful and fun. You'll also find a selected list of other "event" databases.

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Improving Image Search With User Rankings - Thomas Hawk argues that image search would be improved through tagging but more important, through user ratings of pictures. Sure. That's an extension of the idea that any type of search results could be improved through making use of personalization user data. But the key is trusting those doing the ranking. More in this post.

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Song About Google - Half of me hates mentioning the Google Song for fear it will just add to their supernatural myth. But it is funny. In Flash and MP3, sung to the tune of My Girl, the song (technically titled just "Google") covers various things you can do with Google in a funny fashion. Lyrics are listed below the page.

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Shopzilla Opens zLabs Tech Preview Site & Debuts Robozilla Shopping Service - Shopzilla zLabs is a new technological showcase area opened by shopping search engine Shopzilla. Now featured is Robozilla, a shopping search engine using the Shopzilla database but where results are said to be organized and clustered in a completely automated way. More in this post.

=== June 22, 2005 ===

MSN Adds Direct Answers With Sports Info - MSN Search is now providing "direct answers" at the top of web results pages with scores, brief bios, stats for baseball and basketball teams and players. More details in this post.

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GoFish Adds Song Lyrics Search Option - Multimedia engine GoFish has just launched a new advanced search feature that allows the searcher to search by song lyrics. More in this post.

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Don't Come To Court If You Haven't Searched Properly! - Even the courts know the Internet is the first place to turn for information from InternetCases.com, spotted via InsideGoogle, has an interesting tidbit where a court chastised a plaintiff in a case for not trying to locate a missing defendant by searching for them on Google. The court found some leads when it tried searching.

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Watching Google Get Blocked In China - Chinese Blogger Slams Microsoft from Wired revisits the controversy over Microsoft filtering what can be posted on its blog service in China. I found the end part most interesting, where the reporter sees what it's like to try some searches from within China. Google could be reached, but cached pages were blocked, as was Google News (I'm assuming the non-Chinese version of Google News). Nine of the top ten results on Google were blocked on searches for "china" and "human rights." And after the human rights search, he couldn't get to Google for 10 minutes. None of this, by the way, is Google's doing. It's blocking done by the Chinese government itself. See also As China Censors the Internet, Money Talks from the LA Times which looks at the issue with comments from Microsoft and Yahoo.

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Google Does Plan Payment System, But Not PayPal-Like One - Google CEO Eric Schmidt has confirmed that Google is working on an online payment system but cross-his-heart swears it won't be one that competes with eBay, he tells the Associated Press. More in this story.

=== June 21, 2005 ===

Publishers Group Asks Google To Halt Scanning For 6 Months - The Association of American Publishers has sent a letter to Google requesting at least a six month moratorium on scanning copyrighted library materials for the Google Library project which is a part of Google Print. More in this post. See also More On Publisher Concerns On Google Library Project.

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Google Maps Now Offering Satellite Imagery In Lots Of Places - Satellite images in Google Maps come to many places outside the US. Examples and more, in this post.

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Tips On Capturing The Search Tail Via Paid Listings - I wrote about the long search tail o


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