The Search Engine Update - Number 186 - December 1, 2004

In This Issue

+ Beta Test Search Topics Area!
+ SES Chicago Happens This Month
+ Search Engine Watch Articles
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ About The Newsletter

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Beta Test Search Topics Area!

A few newsletters ago, I'd mentioned one of the key benefits for starting the Search Engine Watch Blog was that it would make it much easier for me to categorize coverage for Search Engine Watch members. Now you can test out that categorization in our new Search Topics area.

Please be aware that this is definitely a work in progress!

Right now, Search Topics only covers material since Sept. 2004. For example, you can go to the Revenues category and find plenty of listings -- but still, these only stretch back to when the blog began in September.

Of course, I've been categorizing coverage of search engine revenues since 1996. All that prior coverage can be found on the existing Search Engine Revenues page.

Over the coming weeks, I'll be unifying the old static pages where content is categorized with this new system. To see an example of how this will work, you can check out the Search Topics page on AOL. At the top of that page is a cross link to the existing page within Search Engine Watch which explains how AOL operates and which lists past articles.

I wish I could have had the entire area complete before sending these newsletter out, but it's been a big project to get through. But I hope the start out there will be useful, and I'll be moving quickly to get the unification and general updating finished.

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SES Chicago Happens This Month

Our next Search Engine Strategies show comes to Chicago from December 13-16. The show features nearly 60 sessions focusing on all aspects of search engine marketing plus features an extensive expo hall.

Special panels in Chicago include new topics on the popular subject of running an SEM business, a new issues track that will tackle hot subjects such as "black hat/white hat" SEO and ads linked to trademarks, search ad pricing alternatives such as pay-per-call, unifying web standards and search engine optimization and even a Virtual SEM Matchmaking session where firms can pitch for help via an open mic format.

A full agenda and detailed information can be found at the conference web site. Dates for other events around the world next year have also been set for next year. Those dates and basic information can be found on the Search Engine Strategies site.

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Search Engine Watch Articles
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Here's a recap of major articles, important blog postings and some interesting forum discussions from Search Engine Watch since the last newsletter:

China Blocks Google News -- So Bring On The Disclosure
SEW Blog, Dec. 1, 2004

China's Google Block Sparks Media Group's Protest from InternetNews.com brings confirmation from Google that China is indeed blocking non-Chinese versions of its Google News service. This comes after Google omitted content from the Chinese language version of Google News saying it was in the best interest of Chinese users, since they wouldn't be able to reach some sources due to China's own blocking. Solution to criticism from groups like Reporters Without Borders? Stop the voluntary filtering and add some disclosure!

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Working With Google Scholar -- And More Approved Cloaking
SEW Blog, Dec. 1, 2004

Leigh Dodds provides a great rundown in his Google Scholar piece about one aggregator's experience in getting content prepared for entry into the new Google Scholar service. But the "sleight-of-hand" he discusses is cloaking -- good cloaking, with Google's approval -- but still against Google's published policies for webmasters. In this blog post, another plea for Google to stop delivering mixed messages on this issue.

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Shopping Search Update 2004, Part 2
SearchDay, December 1, 2004

Here's a look at new and interesting developments at the major shopping search and comparison sites during 2004. Today: NexTag, PriceGrabber, Shopping.com/Dealtime and Yahoo Shopping.

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Shopping Search Update 2004, Part 1
SearchDay, November 30, 2004

Here's a look at new and interesting developments at the major shopping search and comparison sites during 2004. Today: BizRate/Shopzilla, Froogle, and MSN Shopping.

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Microsoft Blogger Scoble Sticks With Google -- Though MSN Deserves A Break
SEW Blog, Nov. 30, 2004

He might work for Microsoft, but blogvangelist Robert Scoble says he's sticking with Google over his company's own search engine for now. Two reasons -- too many ads above the fold and disappointment with the results of a search on "microsoft blog." See his Just a little search comparison entry for more. But in this blog post, a closer look at why MSN Search deserves more credit on both fronts. I even break out a rule to measure the height of ad blocks.

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Shopping Search Week 2004!
SearchDay, November 29, 2004

Shopping has emerged as one of the most important vertical categories in the specialized search arena, for searchers, advertisers and merchants alike. In this article, and overview of the space, ratings of leaders and other information.

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Shopping Search Services for Advertisers and Merchants
Search Engine Watch, November 25, 2004

Companion to our Shopping Search Week coverage, this story exclusively for Search Engine Watch members provides links and more information about various programs offered by shopping search engines that give you more control over what's indexed or better visibility in product listing pages. Learn more about becoming a member here.

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Rating Search Engine Disclosure Practices
SearchDay, November 24, 2004

Which search engines are adequately disclosing their paid placement and paid inclusion practices? Which ones are failing to do so? A new report offers some surprising insights.

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Search Engine Disclosure: Better, but Still Wanting
SearchDay, November 23, 2004

How forthcoming are search engines in disclosing their paid placement and paid inclusion policies? They're better than they were a couple of years ago, but there's still room for improvement, according to a prominent watchdog group.

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More On SEMPO Board Elections Process
SEW Blog, Nov. 23, 2004

SEMPO has opened nominations to elect a new board of directors. In this blog entry, some detailed information about the process.

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An Exceptionally "EEVL" Search Resource
SearchDay, November 22, 2004

One of the most respected engineering gateways on the web has just released four new databases providing free access to hundreds of online scientific and technical journals.

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More From The SEW Blog
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Google VP on the Mobile Phone Industry
By Gary Price, Dec. 1, 2004

Google's VP of Operations, Urs Hoelze, told Ireland's SiliconRepublic.com that the mobile phone industry is not "grasping the potential of the Internet" due to standards and conflicting platforms. But even with these issues, he's "bullish" on mobile.

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Eugene Garfield: The Father of Citation Analysis
By Gary Price, Dec. 1, 2004

With so much talk about PageRank, web link analysis, and citation linking these days, I think featuring a link to Jacso's interview with the father of citation analysis, Dr. Eugene Garfield, is very appropriate. The FUTURE of Citation Indexing: An Interview with Eugene Garfield was first published in the January 2004 issue of Online magazine. Many of the concepts at the core of citation analysis form the foundation of link analysis. A bit more about this and related material via the blog post.

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Google Scholar Documentation and Large PDF Files
By Gary Price, Dec. 1, 2004

Google would be doing themselves a favor in offering better documentation and disclosure about what Google Scholar does and doesn't offer. Yes, it's only a beta but this type of info should have been available from day one. More in this blog post about how deep (or not) Google Scholar indexes documents, the issue of what's scholarly material and a side-by-side comparision tool to pit Google Scholar against source databases.

Finally, other search engines may not index the full text of documents as well. Danny gives a recent rundown on that here.

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Overture Settles With Geico Over Trademark Case
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 1, 2004

While Geico and Google are still heading to court, as blogged yesterday, MediaPost reports that Geico and Overture have reached a settlement: Overture Settles Trademark Dispute With Geico. Big news! Settlement details are confidential, but the fact that Overture has decided to settle rather than battle for a legal victory might simply invite even more companies to go after it.

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Google Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit
By Gary Price, Dec. 1, 2004

We've learned that about two weeks ago, Google filed a patent infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court (San Francisco). The case pits the search leader against Skyline Software Systems Inc, a Massachusettes company that provides digital earth/3-D software that sounds very similar to what Google's latest acquisition, Keyhole, offers.

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Google Doesn't Seek Ad Agency
By Danny Sullivan, Dec. 1, 2004

Ad Age had reported recently in its print edition that Google was seeking an ad agency. John Battelle checked into the rumor and heard back from Google that no, the report is incorrect. No agency is apparently being sought. More here: Google Making Marketing Push? And more via this blog post on the ad spending Google DOES do to target advertisers.

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AOL Relaunches Singingfish Multimedia Search Engine
By Gary Price, Dec. 1, 2004

Over the weekend we blogged about a new beta interface from AOL's multimedia engine, Singingfish. It's no big surprise then that AOL is officially relaunching the Singingfish today as another one of its ad-supported standalone sites. The ClickZ article: Singingfish Relaunches Under New AOL Strategy, has more details.

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Get Ready Blogger (aka Google), Microsoft is Ready to Launch Blogging Service
By Gary Price, Dec. 1, 2004

Mary Joe Foley reports that Microsoft will launch its weblog publishing service, Microsoft Spaces sometime this week. The service has been available in Japan since August. It will compete with Google's Blogger and Blogspot services as well as other web-based blogging services like Typepad. Foley also reports that MS might allow users to post to their MS Spaces blogs via IM once a new version of MSN Messenger is released in early '05.

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Google Denied Summary Judgment In Trademark Case
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 30, 2004

John Battelle reports that Google tried to get a summary judgment in the case involving Geico and ads linked to words that are also Geico's trademarks: Google Motion of Summary Judgment Denied in Geico Case. Which means? The case is still going to trial.

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More Personalization Services at Findory
By Gary Price, Nov. 30, 2004

Greg Linden is one busy guy these days. It seems like every week or so Findory launches a new service. About two weeks ago we blogged about Findory offer personalized web results (using the Google database). Yesterday, Greg announced that Findory is now offering "personalized" search results for news and weblog content.

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Froogle Germany Launches
By Gary Price, Nov. 30, 2004

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, say hello to Froogle Gerrmany.

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Lycos Reselling SEO
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 30, 2004

There's discussion on our forums about Lycos reselling SEO services, causing some firms to wonder if more search engines will do the same and perhaps have an unfair advantage by clients who will assume they have some type of inside knowledge. Read more here in this forum thread, Lycos, ASK to resell SEO in the US. And Search Engine Lowdown has Ask downplaying the idea of it trying to do the same.

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Snap Stats: Seeing What's Up With Snap.com
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 30, 2004

SiliconBeat has a a nice nice write-up looking at the data Snap is freely providing about its operations, such as daily earnings, number of enrolled advertisers, ads generating clicks per day and other information. Any worries that too much information is being given out? Nope, said founder Bill Gross, in the story Snap: the future of transparency? You can see Snap's data directly via the its stats home page. Charts show number of advertisers, paid click, daily searches and more. I drill down a bit more in this blog post.

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Autonomy Enters Desktop Search War
By Gary Price, Nov. 29, 2004

Add another player in the desktop search war. Autonomy has jumped in with a new product aimed at the enterprise market. More in this ZDNet UK story. Autonomy's new product offers something called "Active Folders" and has a description that sounds VERY similar to the "Smart Folders" feature that Blinkx just unveiled in their 2.0 release. Surprised by the similar sounding technology? Not at all. It's known that Blinkx licenses some of Autonomy's technology for their "conceptual" and consumer focused search app. And from the San Jose Mercury News, "Blinkx co-founder, Suranga Chandratillak formerly worked for Autonomy, a San Francisco company that develops search technology for businesses to use in-house. Chandratillake realized that Autonomy's 'conceptual search' technology would be useful to consumers."

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Mentioning Google For Good PR
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 29, 2004

Gary blogged earlier about ridiculous press releases that make mention of being top ranked in Google or getting a Google PageRank increase as a way to attract press attention. The LA Times has a nice, short write-up consolidating both of those absurd incidents along with another: Google Ranks High in Press Release Mentions. In this blog post, I also deconstruct some of the claims made in one release about being a "select merchant" on Google.

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Video Search: Google, Yahoo, and MSN
By Gary Price, Nov. 29, 2004

Stefanie Olsen takes a look at rumored video search projects from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo in the article: Striking up digital video search. She goes into some depth on what Google might be up to: "Google has demonstrated new technology to a handful of major TV broadcasters in an attempt to forge alliances and develop business models for a TV-searchable database on the Web, those sources say." Via this blog post, some currently available products that offer video search on the web.

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MoreGoogle.com Loses Its Domain Name (and other domain name news)
By Gary Price, Nov. 29, 2004

MoreGoogle, the tool that "enhances" Google results (see SearchDay's: Visualizing Google Search Results), has lost its domain name after a dispute with Google. A bit more on this blog post -- plus news of Amazon.com buying AmazonGoogle.com and recent Yahoo complaints over domain names.

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An Interview with Chris Sherman
By Gary Price, Nov. 28, 2004

SearchDay's very own (and our friend), Chris Sherman, is interviewed in the Rocky Moutain News article: Ever-widening search. Chris offers up a few search tips, mentions why he's happy to see MSN Search, shares thoughts about local search, and of course talks Google. In fact, you'll read about his upcoming book, Google Power.

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Foot Measurements and a Keyword Lawsuit?
By Gary Price, Nov. 28, 2004

In Brannock files keyword lawsuit, you'll read about a keyword advertising lawsuit filed by Brannock Device Co (the device you use to measure your feet) against ABC Industries, a company that purchased ads on Google to show up for "Brannock Device."

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Snap.Com Profiled
By Gary Price, Nov. 28, 2004

The Pasadena Star-News offers has published a profile of Idealab's Snap.com. "[Snap.com” replaces the traditional 'pay-per- click' search model, in which an advertiser pays the search engine for every click delivered to its Web site, with a 'pay-per-conversion' model in which advertisers only pay Snap based on purchases made at the site. 'We think that it is an innovation that everyone will be doing in five years,' said Chief Executive Officer Tom McGovern."

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GoFish For Meta Music Searching
By Gary Price, Nov. 27, 2004

From the San Jose Mercury News, details about the new GoFish.com meta music site that that allows you to find material from, Napster, Buy.com, iTunes and a host of other online music merchants. GoFish will generate revenue by earning a 9 percent to 15 percent commission from merchants for every sale it sends to a merchant.

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New Web Search Engine From Australia Coming Next Week
By Gary Price, Nov. 26, 2004

ITWorld.com is reporting that Australia-based Ansearch will officially launch MySearch.com.au, next week. The article includes a bit of detail on MySearch.com.au plans in terms of ranking and crawl. Ansearch will generate revenue via paid listings and offering enterprise search services.

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On Web Directories
By Gary Price, Nov. 26, 2004

ResearchBuzz (aka Tara Calishain) writes about how Yahoo has downplayed their human built directory of web sites in the past few years. Tara is correct, they have. The good news is that several well organized (an understatement) and impeccably maintained, general web directories STILL exist. Quality and authority of the underlying is key. Take a look at the SearchDay article: The Value of Non-Commercial Web Directories, for a list of several of our favorites.

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Google Desktop Download Stats
By Gary Price, Nov. 26, 2004

Searchblog has some early Google Desktop download numbers via Majestic Research. "According to their research, about 1.3 million unique users visited Google's Desktop Search page in the first two weeks of its release, with nearly half (640,000) downloading the application."

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Mamma Has Plans to Acquire Copernic
By Gary Price, Nov. 25, 2004

Mamma.com, the Montreal-based metasearch engine has signed a letter-of-intent to acquire Copernic. Copernic, also a Canadian company, offers several desktop and enterprise search apps including Copernic Desktop Search. Here's our review. Other products Copernic offers include a metasearch client app (Copernic Agent), a free toolbar that allows you to add any search engine to it with a single click (Copernic Meta Toolbar), and summarization software. About a month ago Copernic created a separate company, Conveo Solutions, to market its enterprise search software. According to the announcement, the plan is to close this transaction in the first quarter of 2005.

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Jeeves Floats Over NYC
By Gary Price, Nov. 25, 2004

A "revamped" Ask Jeeves balloon (remember, he lost some weight and got a makeover earlier this year) floated over the streets of Manhattan today as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here's an image. A special holiday logo at Ask.com notes his participation. Mr. Jeeves returns to the parade this year after taking a required one year hiatus.

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Ask Jeeves UK Offers New Features
By Gary Price, Nov. 25, 2004

According to Revolution magazine, Jeeves UK is now offering four search features/tools that, until today, were only available on the U.S. site.

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Updated Version of Creative Commons Search Engine Now Available
By Gary Price, Nov. 23, 2004

A news release on the Creative Commons site lets us know that an "updated version of their Nutch-based search tool is now online. CC Search was "soft launched" in September. Creative Commons also announced that their database is now included in the toolbar that ships with Firefox. The CC Search index now includes about 1 million pages but will soon be increased to all 5 million pages that offer a Creative Commons license. More about Creative Commons Search here. Direct to the search interface here.

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Local Search and Yellow Pages
By Gary Price, Nov. 23, 2004

Kevin Ryan's: Last Local Search Hang-ups, offers an interesting discussion about the this booming part of the search business. "Last in the category of holding back the phone books from becoming really effective doorstops are the problems that innovation simply cant solve. For one, there is still an awareness problem with local: Many users simply have yet to learn or become familiar with local search capabilities."

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Short Review Of Shopping Search Engines
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 23, 2004

From the San Jose Mercury News, Sites tell where to shop on the Web is a nice, short review of shopping search engines you might try for the holiday season.

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New Google Local Sites
By Gary Price, Nov. 23, 2004

Several sites are reporting that Google Local is now online for several European countries. A list of those new local editions via this blog entry.

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Desktop Search: Google vs. Copernic
By Gary Price, Nov. 23, 2004

Dan Verton offers a review of Google Desktop Search (GDS) and Copernic Desktop Search (CDS) in the article: Are desktop search programs ready for prime time? Verton likes both apps but prefers Copernic's product.

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Site Building Blocks For SEO Success
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 23, 2004

Shari Thurow takes a look a key site architecture issues to consider if you're looking for better performance with search engines. From ClickZ: SEO and Successful Site Architecture.

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Extend Google Desktop With gdSuite
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 23, 2004

Want to limit your Google Desktop searches in various ways, such as by date or within certain folders? gdSuite is a new donationware extension that lets you do this. It's definitely slower that just hitting Google Desktop -- but I'm glad to have the additional options for those times when Google Desktop doesn't find exactly what I needed quickly. That's been pretty rare, but it does happen.

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More On Google Sues AdSense Affiliate For Clickfraud
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 23, 2004

Stephanie Olsen has a nice News.com story out about Google taking on one of its own AdSense affiliates in a lawsuit over clickfraud that we posted about yesterday. Google gets gruff over click fraud has ample quotes from Google confirming the case and cites out of the court filing. For more background on clickfraud and tips to avoid it, see my past post, Clickfraud: Whose Problem, FTC, Search Engines Or Advertisers?

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A Positive Look at the Butler
By Gary Price, Nov. 23, 2004

The USA Today's Jefferson Graham with a positive look at Ask Jeeves in the article: In search, the butler did it.

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Off To New York To See Yahoo Shopping's Giant Snow Globe
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 23, 2004

It's too late to see Yahoo Shopping Giant Snow Globe discussed in this post, but you can still take part in the Yahoo Shopping Wish and Win Sweepstakes running now through Christmas Eve. You can win a wish list of prizes just by playing with the Yahoo Shopping service.

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A Conversation with Google's Georges Harik
By Gary Price, Nov. 22, 2004

Georges Harik, Director of Googlettes (new products) at Google, chats with the Web Talk Radio Guys about Gmail. You can read an edited transcript online or listen to the complete interview with Microsoft Media Player. You can also download and listen the program as an MP3 file.

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My Yahoo Upgrade Leaves Beta
By Gary Price, Nov. 22, 2004

Matt Hicks at eWeek reports that the My Yahoo beta that's been around for about two months has gone live.

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Google Names Head of European Operations
By Gary Price, Nov. 22, 2004

The Industry Standard reports that Nikesh Arora, former chief marketing officer and member of the management board at T-Mobile, has been named the head of Google's European operations. Arora will work from Google's office in London. He's the first vice president outside of the United States.

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Google Deskbar API Now Available
By Gary Price, Nov. 22, 2004

If you have some coding skills (C# or Visual Basic.NET for example), Google has released the Google Deskbar API. Google Blogoscope mentions a few of the things could do with it. Remember, the Google Deskbar and Google Desktop Search are two different applications.

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No Thanks Google, Hello Yahoo, Says Consultant
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 22, 2004

Earlier this month, Russell Beattie sent a public no thank you note to Google over a job interview. Now he's signing on as a consultant for mobile technology at Yahoo: Starting on Monday I'm Working at Yahoo

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Vivisimo On Personalization
By Gary Price, Nov. 22, 2004

Raul Valdes-Perez, the CEO of Vivisimo (the company that brings us Clusty) has written a column for News.com about how the "best" search personalization is done by the individual. Here's our introduction to Clusty. I've also found that dynamic clustering can be a useful knowledge discovery tool often finding themes, concepts, etc. that would be difficult to see without the clustering. The also discusses some clustering/interface research being done at the University of Maryland.

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Tips On Getting Back Into Google
By Danny Sullivan, Nov. 22, 2004

Pandia has a nice three part article on getting back into Google's good graces, if you've run into trouble: Help, my site has been banned by Google!

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Sergey, Larry, and Eric Announce Plans to Sell Some Stock
By Gary Price, Nov. 20, 2004

Michael Liedtke at the AP reports that Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt plan to sell some shares of GOOG. Based on Friday's closing price, "Mr. Page and Mr. Brin would each pocket $1.2 billion from the sales while Mr. Schmidt would collect $373 million." If/when the sales are completed, Brin and Page will still own about 31 million shares each. Eric Schmidt will still own about 12.2 million shares. In this post, links to SEC filings, along with details of other Google insiders selling. See also these follow up posts: More Insider Sales at Google; And More Insider Sales at Google

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Adult Magazine and Web Site Files Law Suit Against Google
By Gary Price, Nov. 20, 2004

Red Herring reports that Perfect 10, an adult magazine and web site has filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles Court against Google. The suit alleges that Google "provided Internet users with at least 800,000 unauthorized links to images of Perfect 10s nude models, stealing membership fees and advertising revenue from the Los Angeles publisher." John Palfrey from the Berkman Center at Harvard Law offers an anlaysis. He has also made available a redacted version of the complaint (removing some "graphic" images). MediaPost also provides more coverage: Adult Publisher Sues Google For Copyright Infringement

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Findory Begins Personalizing Web Search Results
By Gary Price, Nov. 19, 2004

Since launching in early 2004, Findory has focused on "personalizing" news and blog content. However, as of this week, Findory is beginning to "personalize" web search results. More details on this from the blog of Greg Linden, the Founder/CEO at Findory.

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PremierGuide Profile
By Gary Price, Nov. 19, 2004

The Silicon Valley Business Journal offers a profile of local search player PremierGuide in the article: Alchemy: Local ads good as gold.

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Welcome to the Babelplex
By Gary Price, Nov. 19, 2004

Here's a new tool called Babelplex that leverages the mechanical translation technology from Yahoo (Babelfish) and Google. Babelplex allows the searcher to build a query in one language and then have their search terms translated and executed in the "other" language with just one click. Interesting. Links at the bottom of results pages allow you to view results using either Babelfish or Google translation software. Of course, cavert emptor the max with mechanical translation.

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SBC Will Offer Access to Some Yahoo Services via Television
By Gary Price, Nov. 18, 2004

Jeffry Bartash reports in the article SBC and Yahoo team up in TV, wireless that the companies have announced a deal where customers can access some Yahoo services via their TV set and wireless devices. Look for it to begin sometime in 2005. A bit more info and related material via this blog entry.

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About The Search Engine Update
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