Daily SearchCast, June 7, 2006: Google Rethinking Chinese Censorship? Rock, Paper, Scissors, US Senator, Google Guy; What People Search For At The CIA Web Site & More!

Today's search podcast covers Google reconsidering Chinese censorship; who's more powerful, a US senator or a Google Guy?; making your site search more successful; search marketing budgets on the rise; what people search for on the CIA web site and more!

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Below are links to items discussed:

  • Brin Suggests Google Might Reverse Chinese Censorship In The Short Term; Meanwhile, China Ramps Up Google.com Blocks
    "Brin says Google compromised principles" from the Associated Press covers Google cofounder Sergey Brin telling reporters yesterday that it's possible Google might reverse its policy of censoring on behalf of the Chinese government. That's the real news from his talk -- a possible reversal, perhaps soon -- not the admission of compromise which Google's made before. The news comes on the heels of China apparently ramping up blocks on the uncensored Google.com site....
  • Brin Can't Get Some Senate Meetings On Last-Minute DC Trip; Admits Needing Better Organization
    It wasn't only China that Google cofounder Sergey Brin was talking about in Washington DC yesterday. The purpose of his trip primarily was to lobby for net neutrality, to prevent phone companies for charging web sites for better access to them by web surfers. However, Google Is A Tourist In D.C., Brin Finds from the Washington Post covers how being super-powerful in search doesn't equal getting congressional members to drop everything for your visit....
  • Top Four & Two Percent Are Key For On Site Search Keyword Optimization
    ClickZ has the details of a Patricia Seybold Group study which says that for e-commerce sites, the top two-percent of search queries conducted within the site are the most important. The top four-percent of search queries conducted on non-ecommerce sites are the most important. If you improve the searcher experience for those top 4 or 2 percent of your internal site searches, half of all searchers will be happier....
  • comScore Research Tool To Track From Search To Sale (Even Offline Sales)
    ClickZ reports that comScore Networks will soon offer a new tool named qSearch Retail. qSearch Retail will track from the initial Web search to succeeding conversions, the conversions also include offline sales. comScore believes that 60-90 percent of all conversions happen offline. To obtain the offline sales data, comScore will use panel data and follow-up surveys to capture the offline sale....
  • Advertisers Increase Search Marketing Budgets
    Loren Baker reports on a JupiterResearch study that shows both revenues earned from search marketing campaigns and budgets allocated to those campaigns have increased. Search marketers with annual revenues of $15 million or more have increased the share of the ad budget from 25 percent in 2005 to 37 percent in 2006. Plus 66 percent of marketers plan to increase search spend this year....
  • Specialty Search Roundup #2
    Here's another collection of new or "just discovered" specialty search tools, mobile tools, and more via Gary over at ResourceShelf. New: Amtrak Mobile Get real time train info on your SmartPhone or web accessible PDA New Beta: SEC Web Site Adds Beta: Full Text Search To Two Years of EDGAR Filings We also list a couple of other tools for full text EDGAR searching....
  • AdWords Editor Open For All To Download
    ThreadWatch noted the other day that the Google AdWords Editor is now open for everyone to use. Google started beta testing the desktop based AdWords management software in late January. You can download the AdWords Editor at services.google.com/adwordseditor....
  • AdWords Advertiser Pays $2,000 After Misleading Searchers
    ComputerWorld reports that a man who was selling "ineffective antispyware" software through AdWords has paid $2,000 to settle the dispute out of court. Seth Traub, of New Hampshire, used Microsoft's name in the ads, such as "Microsoft AntiSpyware" for keyword searches on "Microsoft spyware cleaner" or "Microsoft antispyware." The software Traub sold did not remove spyware, in fact, it reportedly made "users' computers less secure." He settled out of court by paying off the legal costs and attorney's fees....
  • Google To Offer Picasa Web Albums?
    Philipp Lenssen reports that he found signs of a "Picasa Web Albums" feature coming to Picasa. Picasa is Google's desktop based photo management software, that they bought back in July 2004. Philipp has screen captures of a button that was visible on the Picasa homepage that read, "New! Picasa Web Albums." The button has now been removed but it did link to a dead page at picasaweb.google.com. Should we expect a Web based version of Picasa soon? I suspect so, especially with the release of all these other Web applications from Google....
  • Google to add Albums to Picasa! And I Need to Vent
  • Yahoo! Shopping Launches Blog
    Chris Saito announced the launch of the Yahoo! Shopping Blog at Internet Retailer 2006 yesterday. While I wasn't at the conference, Chris filled me in, saying the blog is a great way to merchandise products, drive engagement (subscribe through RSS, build loyalty, etc.), and drive transactions. The blog will get more promotion on Yahoo! Shopping over time. There will be 4-5 people contributing (David Beach and Joe Lazarus have each contributed thus far)....
  • Top 25 Search Phrases Conducted At The CIA FOIA Collection Listed
    The CIA has a site that enables people to access and search CIA information such as previously released documents that were approved for release to the public. Gary Price discovers that the CIA has come up with a list of the top 25 searches at the CIA's FOIA Electronic Reading Room. Which phrases made the top 25, yea, UFO is one of them, what are the others?...