Search Engine Forums Spotlight

Google Releases Orkut Social Networking Service

Google has quietly released a social networking service called orkut, named after Orkut Buyukkokten, a Google software engineer who developed the project during personal time allowed to him by Google.

All employees at Google are allowed to spend twenty percent of their time working on personal interests, a policy Google has to encourage creativity. Buyukkokten had an interest in social networking and so developed his service, Google says. Now the company has decided to open it to the public.

To continue reading the full story by Search Engine Watch editor Danny Sullivan, please click the link below:

Google Releases Orkut Social Networking Service
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3302741

Search Engine Forums Spotlight

Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web.

Google - AdSense In Your Inbox?
Cre8asite Forums

"As an advertiser I would be concerned as mass mailings could result in casual clicks with no conversions. ...If Google does go live with this, I hope there is an option to opt-out of contextual ads in emails."

Traffic from Google's DomainPark Program
Webmaster World

"The ads are content targeted, rather than via search. As with all ads, the intent is to provide relevant and useful information to users who are looking for it. Our data indicates that this will be worthwhile traffic, which converts in line with other Content Targeted partners. As always, actual results will vary from advertiser to advertiser, industry to industry, day to day, and so on."

Site Navigation, Organizing Categories Within Categories
High Rankings Forum

"My first problem is how to organize all my categories within categories. I don't know whether to use JavaScript or a text menu for navigational purposes. Any tips?"

Description Meta Tag
Best Practices Forums

"...even though some engines do not use or index the Meta Description tag, I always include a well written description, regardless of what one search engine does or does not do..."

Semantics
High Rankings Forum

"Does anyone have any links or articles about semantics and how Google and other search engines are measuring its importance?"

Can Link Development Be Fun?
Webmaster World

"I enjoy the process of finding links, even though it can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The reason is because I get to know my competitors and industry really, really well through the process. I also pick up some cool marketing ideas as I surf around and then incorporate them into my site."

Good Sites Gone Bad
Jim World

"There's a lot of catch twenty-two issues in trying to clean up the mess. I'm getting to the point where I'm tempted to not take on any more clients that have had previous SEO [search engine optimization” work done to their site unless they are willing to start fresh."

Overture or Google?
Best Practices Forums

"...which is a better value - Overture or Google? Does getting in the top 3 of Overture give you noticeably more traffic?"

Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead!
Jim World

"Just did a check of results on MSN and it seems that MSN is using their new results for all of my targeted key words. LookSmart got the boot a few days early..."

Cookies and JavaScript
High Rankings Forum

"Are crawlers basically disabling both JavaScript and Cookies? I am pretty sure that crawlers do not read JavaScript at all, but how about Cookies?"

Search Engine Forums Spotlight courtesy Search Engine Guide.

SearchDay Week in Review

Google Alert Automatically Tracks Your Favorite Topics
SearchDay, Jan. 22, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3301451

Google Alert lets you automate the process of running regular queries, sending you an email whenever any new content is added to the Google database.

Eurekster Launches Personalized Social Search
SearchDay, Jan. 21, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3301481

Personalized search has long been promised as an important next step for increasing relevancy. Now it comes not from Google or Yahoo but instead from tiny Eurekster, which opens to the general public today.

Today's Newspapers Around the World
SearchDay, Jan. 20, 2004
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3300851

Want to see what today's print version of your favorite newspaper looks like online? Two services offer reproductions of dozens of newspapers from around the world.

Search Headlines

Yahoo pulls out of Scandinavia, closes Nordic branch in Copenhagen...
AFP via Yahoo Jan 22 2004 5:54PM GMT
Search Engines: Gunning for Trouble?...
Business Week Jan 22 2004 5:28PM GMT
RIAA to target another 532 individuals...
Silicon.com Jan 22 2004 9:04AM GMT
Engineering Google Results to Make a Political Point...
New York Times Jan 22 2004 6:56AM GMT
LookSmart Loses CEO, Closes Australian Operations...
High Search Engine Ranking Jan 22 2004 1:41AM GMT
Search engine taps into social networks...
Boston Globe Jan 22 2004 0:39AM GMT
Ad agents wait to be digitally interactive...
news.com.au Jan 21 2004 2:17PM GMT
Yahoo lab to dissect search...
ZDNet Jan 21 2004 1:57PM GMT
Yahoo Teams Up With Rogers Cable...
AP via Newsday Jan 21 2004 1:55PM GMT
Yahoo bets on search...
Silicon.com Jan 21 2004 10:48AM GMT
Startup Melds Search With Social Networks...
dmnews.com Jan 21 2004 9:13AM GMT
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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was About.com's Web Search Guide.