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Highlights from the SEW Blog: Oct. 5, 2006

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Featured posts from the Search Engine Watch blog, as well as our customary 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/.

From The SEW Blog...

  • September 2006 Search News Recap Posted
    The latest edition of my monthly Search Engine Report newsletter is now online, recapping top stories in search from the past month. You can read it online or receive it via email for free by signing up here. If you're a Search Engine Watch member, the latest edition of Search Engine Update newsletter has also been posted. That newsletter carries more items than the Search Engine Report newsletter and goes out twice per month....
  • Your Name Here On Google's Home Page
    Via the New York Times Pogue's Post, Custom Google is a way to get the Google home page showing whatever words you want in place of the Google logo -- but using the Google logo's style. You're supposed to be able to do the same for the Yahoo home page, that that simply takes me to a page of paid links. You aren't actually changing the Google home page, of course. Instead, you'll go to a customized version on a third party site, such as this example. But it can be a fun way to trick your friends into...
  • Yahoo Travel Upgrades Maps, Adds More Features
    Earlier this week Yahoo upgraded its Travel Guides with more dynamic mapping (including satellite and hybrid maps), more community features and the addition of a "My Travel Module," not unlike the recent introduction of "My Local" on Yahoo Local....
  • Clusty Labs & Clusty Cloud Creator
    Given that Clusty has just had a birthday they're celebrating by introducing the Clusty Labs. If you're familiar with Google Labs you'll know exactly where they're going with this. There's not a great deal there are the moment however; a one stop site about Benjamin Franklin (Clusty Ben) Shakespeare Searched and something new - the Clusty Cloud Creator (I wonder if they could have managed any more alliteration?) Clouds are of course nothing new, but what this offering allows users to do is to simply put in their own search term(s) and the CCC will produce a cloud on the...
  • The Google Literacy Project
    Reuters reports that Google, in conjunction with LitCam and UNESCO's Institute for Lifelong Learning, has formed The Literacy Project. The site, hosted at Google.com, brings together Google Book Search, Google Scholar, Google Video, Google Maps, Blogger, and Groups into one landing page. The site was launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair with hopes to combat global illiteracy. Nikesh Arora, vice president of Google's European operations said, "Google's business was born out of a desire to help people find information."...
  • Ask.com Sponsored Listings 2.0 Launched
    Ask.com launched a version 2.0 of their sponsored listings program yesterday. The new features include a daily budgeting solution, a variable refill account self-service feature, an hourly billable data report, bulk upload enhancements and dashboard reports. More details at the official press release and over at ClickZ....
  • A Look At Google's Copyright Battles
    News.com has another great article named Copyright tussles for Google. It reviews some of Google's copyright cases and how Google is trying hard to win some of those cases for their current and future projects. From the Google Cache, to Google Images, to web search, book search and other indexing projects - Google needs to keep redefining the law to continue to build out their search engine. But you have to agree with the highlighted quote, "One of the challenges is, 'This is Google. What would the world be without Google?' We don't want the world without Google. We want...
  • Mobile Phone Search: The Problem & Solutions
    An excellent News.com article highlights some of the major problems with mobile search and explores some of the solutions and opportunities available to vendors and users. The problem is that "only 18 percent of wireless users in the U.S. have even tried surfing mobile Internet," estimates by the Yankee Group. Google, Yahoo, InfoSpace, JumpTap and Medio see this as an opportunity and continue to develop tools and technologies to bring more of the mobile population onto the mobile web via mobile search....
  • Google's Matt Cutts Answers Questions On PageRank
    Ever since Google has become popular, SEOs and webmasters have been trying to uncover the hidden secrets of Google's PageRank. Last night, Matt Cutts of Google answered some questions in his more info on PageRank blog post. What should you take away from the questions and answers? Matt said, "you won’t see any search engine result page (SERP) changes as a result of this PageRank export." In short, Google takes their "internal PageRanks, put them on a 0-10 scale, and export them so that they’re visible to Google Toolbar users." By the time those numbers are pushed to the Google...
  • Google's New SearchMash Test Site
    Google's gained a new unbranded site called SearchMash where it plans to test user interface ideas without Google's brand somehow skewing the tests. Below, more about the site and comments from Google about it....
  • Why IAC's Pronto Will Succeed: Partnership With Ask
    There are many reasons to like Pronto among the many crawler based shopping search engines: - Comprehensiveness (read last week's press release) -Upcoming features that provide a better user experience - Monetization through an ad system not called Google AdSense - Not relying solely on the PPC engines for traffic - Online ad market is hot and will continue to grow - Ecommerce is hot and will continue to grow While these things are the building blocks of a great new shopping service, they aren't the be all, end all. Other companies can and will develop powerful crawling technology...
  • The Accent Is On Search
    An interesting article in Pandia about an overlooked area of search -Searching Google for words with accents. The bottom line is that it's difficult and fiddly to do it, and it depends on a number of different factors that the searcher cannot control. Let's take the example (as given) by Pandia for Mexico and México. A search will probably return sites that contain either word, but to force the engine to return hits with the accented version a search for +México will pretty much work (though there may be a few oddities caused by inbound links. However, results will...
  • Google Buys Birthplace Garage
    Google has purchased the garage where the company developed after its initial birth at Stanford University. Actually, they've purchased the home of Google vice president of product management Susan Wojcicki. Before she became a Google VP, Wojcicki rented the garage attached to her home to Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google buys garage that launched Internet's top search engine from the Associated Press has details about the sale, which was probably in the $1.2 million range. As of yet, Google doesn't know what exactly it may do with the home the article reports. It's already a tourist attraction...

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