Google has debuted a new self-serve paid links program, while also adding more language search support and a feature that allows you to locate stock quotes.
Called AdWords, the Google paid links program has been running for about two weeks and has purposely been not heavily promoted so that Google could slowly beta test the system. Ads appear to the right of the main search results, not in place of them. They are clearly labeled under a "Sponsored Links" heading and visually distinct from Google's editorial results. As with the Ask Jeeves paid links program, it's a nice blend of allowing advertisers to be present without detracting from the non-paid results.
Google is now also making stock and mutual fund information easier to find as part of regular searching. If you enter a company stock or mutual fund symbol into the search box, a link to a stock quote will appear at the top of the search results page. For example, enter "INTU," and you'll see a link next to a chart symbol that says "Show stock quotes for INTU (Intuit Inc.)" at the top of the results.
Also, if you search for publicly traded company by name, a quote for that company now appears next to Google's listing for that company. For example, search for "Intuit," and you'll see a "Stock quotes: INTU" link appear below the site description.
When you click on a quote link, Google will automatically select a stock page from one of several providers and show it in a frame. However, you can choose the one you prefer by selecting from tab options that will appear above the frame.
New search by language options have also been announced by Google. These include the ability to limit searches to Czech, Estonian, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Romanian. In all, Google supports 25 languages.
Here are a few other things Google-wise especially of interest to site owners:
Google doesn't use meta tags for its descriptions, nor does it take the first 200 characters of text that it finds, like some other search engines. So where do the descriptions, or "snippets" as Google calls them, come from? Google looks for the first instance of the search term on the page, then includes the words around that term. So, try making a short sentence containing your main search term for the page that appears as the first HTML text on your page. That might help you ensure your pages are well described.
Also, some questions have come in about why Google-powered results in Yahoo's "web pages" section were recently so different from Google's own results. Google says that when it does major updates to its index each month, various partners such as Yahoo may lag a bit behind in tapping into the newer information. Additionally, it's always the case that Google's partners themselves can exert some control over the ranking system, as is true of other search engines like Inktomi and FAST that power multiple web sites.
Finally, if you recently saw a plunge in your Google rankings, it could also be due to Google's index refresh. Google president Sergey Brin said that if Google had problems accessing your site for some reason, then your "page rank" measure of how popular your page is would drop. However, this should correct itself when Google does its subsequent monthly update toward the end of this month. Also, some updating is constantly occurring, so you might find the situation fixes itself faster, assuming the problem was indeed due to Google being unable to reach your site.
Google Language, Display, & Filtering Options
A full list of language options at Google can be found here.
Netscape Renews Search Deal With Google
InternetNews.com, Oct. 4, 2000
Netscape has renewed its deal to have Google provide the results when there are no matches from its Open Directory-powered listings.