The Search Engine Report - Number 107

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In This Issue
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+ New Newsletter Format!
+ SES Heading To Stockholm, France, Chicago
+ SEW Forums Live Hits Disneyland!
+ Top Stories
+ More From The Search Engine Watch Blog
+ Daily SearchCast: Search News Via Podcast
+ Our Search Newsletters & Feeds
+ About The Newsletter

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New Newsletter Format!
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For nearly ten years, the Search Engine Report has been a text-only newsletter. That changes with this issue. As you can see, it's now in HTML format.

Why the change? Because text simply isn't working. The newsletter has always carried a lot of links, and now it carries even more. To transmit in text means each of those links has to be broken out, making a messy newsletter no matter what I try. There's only so much you can do with text.

These days, virtually everyone has the ability to read HTML email. That helped pushed me toward making the move. Moreover, as you can see, this is as true to the spirit of the text-only newsletter as I can make it.

There's a slight chance I might still do a text-only version of the Search Engine Report. If you'd prefer that -- if you absolutely, positively hate the way this newsletter you are receiving is now done, here's what to do:

  1. Scroll to the bottom of this email.
  2. Find the sentence that says "To manage your newsletter subscription preferences, visit this location"
  3. Click on the link shown. A new Newsletter Profile page will load.
  4. Find the section of the page that says "Search Engine Report." It should be highlighted in purple for you.
  5. Untick the box for Search Engine Report.
  6. Tick the box for the Search Engine Report Text list that's shown below the Search Engine Report list
  7. Go to the top of the page and save changes

Please note that both "Search Engine Report" and "Search Engine Report Text" will be shown as if they are text newsletters on that page. In reality, only Search Engine Report Text is text-only. "Search Engine Report" IS HTML now, even though it doesn't yet say that on that page.

That's it, sort of. If I have a significant number of people who sign-up for the text-only version, then I'll make the extra time investment to do two versions. But if the number is relatively small, then there won't be a text-only version. I'll let everyone on that list know, either way, next month

Remember, you only need to follow the above steps if you DO NOT want the HTML version. You are reading the HTML version now. IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU'RE READING, HOW IT'S LAID OUT, DO NOTHING! Then you'll get this same email in HTML format automatically, next month.

I honestly think the move to HTML email will benefit everyone, and I hope you like the change.

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SES Heading To Stockholm, France & Chicago
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What's next for Search Engine Strategies, our show focused on search marketing issues? Here's the rundown for the remainder of the year:

For the 2006 line-up, including our New York show from Feb. 27-March 2, see the Search Engine Strategies site. For news as each event approaches, check out the SES Blog.

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SEW Forums Live Hits Disneyland!
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It's time for our next Search Engine Watch Forums Live event, and where are we going? Disneyland! Well, the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California, to be precise. SEW Forums Live Anaheim 2005 happens on Thursday, October 27 from 2:30pm to 6:00pm.

For those not familiar, SEWF Live isn't a huge four day extravaganza like our SES shows. Instead, it's meant as an easy, low-coast informal networking event designed especially for those who can come by from the local area. I'm on vacation in the area at the time, so I'm heading over to take part.

A general session kicks off at 2:30pm where Search Engine Watch Forums editor Elisabeth Osmelowski will have a panel taking questions and offering advice and thoughts on anything. After a break, there will also be another short open panel session involving some of our SEWF moderators from the area -- we've got quite a contingent out there! -- and some from afar (Disneyland is tempting some to come on out). More networking runs from 5pm to 6pm. After that, Disneyland's just a monorail ride away.

More information on the event and to register is here.

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Top Stories
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Below is a recap of major articles from our daily SearchDay newsletter and important Search Engine Watch Blog postings since the last newsletter. Want to receive these stories daily or via RSS/feed? See the Search Engine Watch Newsletters & Web Feeds page for sign-up instructions.

=== Oct. 4, 2005 ===

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Google AdWords - Andrew Goodman is one of the foremost authorities on search advertising in the world, and his new book is a killer guide to succeeding with Google's sponsored links.

=== Oct. 3, 2005 ===

A New Digital Library Alliance Makes its Debut - Yahoo, The Internet Archive and several other organizations announced the formation of the Open Content Alliance to make thousands of books, multimedia files and other materials freely searchable and accessible online. See also:

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Robert Scoble Wants What We Had -- Better Query Refinement. So Do I! - Robert Scoble's just finished reading John Battelle's book The Search and ponders creating a new chapter to follow John's ending one on "The Perfect Search." In short, Robert wants better query refinement. Well, we've had in the past and maybe will get again in the future. Below, I'll walk you through how exactly what Robert wants came and, sadly, went away. Plus my own thoughts on The Perfect Search. See also the follow-up article, More On Query Refinement, The Human Scale Problem & Creating The Search Dialog.

=== Oct. 2, 2005 ===

Google Bidding To Provide Free Wi-Fi To San Francisco - Google has joined the competition along with 11 other companies including as Earthlink to provide San Francisco residents and visitors with free wi-fi. San Francisco expects to decide on a vendor within weeks. See also:

=== Sept. 20, 2005 ===

Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Drops The Home Page Count - 42% of users click the #1 result - MSN: A Great Tool For Google? - Selling Organic Positions - Click Fraud Software Suggestions? - Will Martha Stewart's Future Apprentice Be An SEO Consultant? and more.

=== Sept. 29, 2005 ===

Yahoo Site Explorer Live: New Way To See All Your Pages, Links - Promised over a month ago, Yahoo Site Explorer is now reality. Yahoo gives the heads-up to everyone here on its Yahoo Search Blog, and how it will show you all pages within a domain, within a particular directory of a domain, all inbound links to a domain and the ability to bulk submit. For Search Engine Watch members, I do a through exploration of Site Explorer in this article in the members area. Not a member? Help support the site becoming one.

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Listings Hijacked At MSN, With A Little Help From Google - Google 302 and MSN from Dave Naylor is chock full of badness on the parts of both Google and MSN, showing how Google redirections are causing it to hijack listings in MSN's search results. Dave gives you the short rundown. Here's the spelled out version, and thanks for his help in assembling it. See also: Yahoo Paid Inclusion Redirection & Hijacking Confusion - Paid Inclusion Making Yahoo Results Seem Hijacked?

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Google Partners With NASA For Expansion Space, Space Data & Supercomputing Talent - Google's plans to expand onto NASA's Ames facility in Mountain View is not just getting more space. It's also about collaborating with NASA scientists and getting NASA data, as well. So literally, the sky's not the limit, for Google. See also: Tax Assessor Wants Google To Pay Property Taxes Even Though New Facility Will Be on Federal Land.

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Meet The B2B Search Engines - One of the top trends highlighted at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose was the growing importance of vertical search, and one of the key sessions in the vertical track was 'Meet The B2B Search Engines.'

=== Sept. 28, 2005 ===

Roll Your Own Search Engine With Rollyo (Beta) - For the past few weeks I've had the chance to test out and create several focused and targeted search engines (based on URLs I specified) with Rollyo, a new search tool released to the public today in an early beta by Dave Pell of Davenetics fame. I think it's an exciting idea and one that you'll want to check out for yourself.

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Google Changing Agency Commission Payments In Europe - Many search marketers in the US are unaware that in Europe, both Google and Yahoo offer agency commissions. Today, Google has announced plans to restructure that practice. For Search Engine Watch members, I do an extended review of the changes here.

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Yahoo Desktop Search Out Of Beta, Gets LiveWords Contextual Search - Desktop Search Goes Live! at the Yahoo Search Blog covers how a new LiveWords button has been added to Yahoo Desktop Search as part of that product coming out of beta. Select a chunk of text, and then LiveWords automatically tries to find matches related to the context of that search.

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How are Search Marketers Performing? - A new study sheds light on the performance of search marketing firms, concluding that many are missing opportunities and failing to provide important services for their clients.

=== Sept. 27, 2005 ===

End Of Size Wars? Google Says Most Comprehensive But Drops Home Page Count - Today, Google is dropping from its home page the famous count of pages in its index while simultaneously claiming it has the most comprehensive collection of web documents available to searchers. Yes, this is the long expected counterblow to Yahoo's claim last month to have outdistanced Google. However, dropping the home page count is a positive move that I think helps defuse the entire size wars situation. That's because it divorces the notion of page counting as a way to 'prove' comprehensiveness, a move long overdue for the industry to make. See also:

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Didn't Google Just Have A Birthday? - No, you aren't losing your minds. Just earlier this month, Search Engine Watch and a wave of other sites wished Google a happy 7th birthday on September 7. What's going on with Google having another 7th birthday today? See also:

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CNET Off Double Not-So-Secret Probation With Google - Google's talking with CNET again. Google stopped talking with the news organization in a dispute over whether CNET crossed a privacy bounds in reporting on privacy issues, when it used examples of information about Google CEO Eric Schmidt. More background on the dispute in our Google Not Happy With CNET post and our Google Blacklists News.com forum thread. Schmidt himself spoke with CNET's News.com for its article over today's size announcement. Glad to see that Google has changed its mind over what I and many others felt was a bad policy. You can see the positive reaction flowing in already elsewhere, such as from Dave Winer and Steve Gillmour.

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TrustWatch & MSN Offer Anti-Phishing Tools To Searchers & Surfers - TrustWatch is a new Ask Jeeves-powered search engine designed to give you a green, yellow or red light warning on whether to trust pages listed in its results. It follows on the release of an anti-phishing add-on for users of the MSN Search toolbar.

=== Sept. 26, 2005 ===

Vivisimo and MSN to Power FirstGov - Vivisimo has been awarded a federal government contract to provide search technology to the U.S. Government's FirstGov.gov portal, with MSN Search playing a key role in the new service.

=== Sept. 23, 2005 ===

Google Testing Remove Results Feature - Google's testing a new option letting a people remove results they don't like from their own personalized search results. This will only happen if you're logged in and using Google Personalized Search. In other words, see a page you don't like? You can block that page from coming back. It only will impact the personalized results you see -- not the personalized results of others or general results that anyone sees.

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Google Toolbar For Firefox Leaves Beta, Gains Google Suggest - Google reports on its blog that the Google Firefox Toolbar has gained Google Suggest query suggestions. Hey, if it's good enough for the toolbar, it's good enough for the main site. Bring it on! And the toolbar out of beta after only two months! Maybe there's hope Google News will graduate yet from beta. It's four years old this March.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Ask Jeeves to Rebrand - How To Know Whether A Site Is Accessible - Can We Agree Automated Comment & Link Posting Is A Bad Thing? - Could Google Bid for AOL? - XHTML and SEO, and more.

=== Sept. 22, 2005 ===

Microsoft Quashes Search Relevancy Report - New Search Engine From Microsoft Gets Cool Welcome from the Wall Street Journal (paid reg. required) delves into the rumors we heard in August and confirms them -- that the latest Keynote findings on search relevancy have been suppressed by Microsoft. The last we had were back in January. Why? Well, MSN Search is found to have slipped in those metrics. For its part, Microsoft says it asked for the study not to be released because it questions the methodology.

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Myriad Search: Meta Search Your Way - A new meta search engine allows you to compare results from the four top web search engines, and tweak their relative importance in the mix by adding to or subtracting from the relative importance of each.

=== Sept. 21, 2005 ===

A New Approach to Sharing Web Research - There are many approaches to sharing information you've found on the web, but a new free tool called eSnips is one of the most useful and intriguing yet seen

=== Sept. 20, 2005 ===

Google's Library Scanning Project Heads to Court - Many predicted that the copyright issues that surround Google's library book scanning project would end up in court. Today those predictions came true. See also:

=== Sept. 20, 2005 ===

An Experts' Guide to Keyword Research - How would you handle the unappetizing task of creating a search marketing campaign for vegetarian dog food? The creators of Wordtracker asked some of the most respected SEM experts in the world to tackle this challenge.

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Baidu Ordered To Stop Music Downloads - Baidu ordered to halt music downloading service from Reuters covers Chinese search engine Baidu being ordered by a Chinese court to stop providing music downloads. Baidu plans to appeal, saying it doesn't provide downloading services but rather search services. Music search is a chief driver of Baidu's popularity, as I've written recently. If it's not even allowed to offer music searching, that's likely to put a major crimp in its growth. Five Music Companies Sue Baidu covers other companies that have suits filed against Baidu.

=== Sept. 19, 2005 ===

Google's Philosophical Ten True Things Not So True Anymore? - Google's Our Philosophy page was apparently quietly changed recently to remove the "Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice or chat" line. Google, of course, now does chat via Google Talk. A look at how else that page probably needs to change, now that Google is growing up. See also Google's Philosophy: Then and Now.

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Can We Agree Automated Comment & Link Posting Is A Bad Thing? - This week, search engines and blog software vendors are meeting again for a second "summit" on fighting blog spam. That's tipped me over the edge for tossing out a related proposal to search marketers and marketers in general. In short, unlike some other debates over what's spam or what should be acceptable in search marketing, inserting content and links into other pages through automation just doesn't seem a defendable practice by anyone. Indeed, even "black hats" get annoyed by it. So as an industry, or a community, could search marketers unite to say "No!" on this practice? Lots more explanation and thoughts are covered, plus the ability to vote and chime in with opinions. Please stop by.

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Googlebombing Now A "Prank" And Not Web's Opinion, Says Google - What's old is new again -- and apparently controversial still. Specifically, the entire [miserable failure” search that brings up the official George W. Bush biography -- a story from late 2003 -- has been resurrected and escalated to warrant a comment on the official Google Blog itself. What caused this and how did we go from that Googlebomb being the "web's opinion" to a prank? Sit right back and you'll hear a tale! See also Looking At Google Bombs, But Not Very Well.

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Penalized in Google? Here's What to Do - If you've pushed the line with optimization techniques and have been dinged by Google, Google's Matt Cutts offers advice on how to get back into the search engine's good graces. Follow Matt's guidelines and with luck your site will be reinstated in Google search results in anywhere from 2-8 weeks. See also

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Google Zeitgeist 05: Featuring Press & Bloggers But No Blogging Or Coverage Allowed - "Zeitgeist '05: The Google Partner Forum" is happening on Oct. 25-27, the first "customer innovation conference" Google says it has ever held. Major speakers along with bloggers and the press are invited -- but despite this very large gathering, presentations aren't allowed to be covered. See also Emcee James Fallows Expects Blogorrhea Leaks Of Google Zeitgeist 05.

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Surfwax Offers Look-Ahead Technology for Web Sites - Today SurfWax is introducing a dynamic query suggestion tool that can be easily installed and customized on any web site.

=== Sept. 16, 2005 ===

Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: Google Offers Advice to Sites on Penalty - Yahoo Instant Search - Google Blog Search Launched - MSN AdCenter Review - New legal threat to Google over GMail, and more.

=== Sept. 15, 2005 ===

Search as the New Great Game - In years past, major powers struggled to win the hearts and minds of people by maneuvering in what Kipling called 'the great game.' The new great game is playing out not as geopolitical intrigue, but in a egalitarian dance that transcends borders and is reshaping social reality, says John Battelle in his new book The Search. See also Danny's Thoughts On "The Search" and Watch "The Google Boys" Video

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Updated List Of Answer Search Engines & Travel Search Engines - Our Answer Searching & Answer Search Engines page is now minty-fresh with resources that help you get answers, such as from reference works or fact databases. Going on a trip? Travel Search Engines is also now updated with all those new travel search engines that tap into more than just partner databases, along with some old favorites. More updates to come, as I can squeeze them in. See also More Travel Search Resources.

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MSN's Katrina Flyover Offers Many Before-And-After Views Of New Orleans - Katrina Flyover is a new MSN Virtual Earth-powered service that lets you click on camera icons scatted throughout New Orleans to get a birds-eye, before-and-after view of the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. See also:

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New Yahoo Instant Search Gives Answers Directly -- No Results Page Required - A weird one for you, but sounds pretty cool. Yahoo's given the heads-up that a new Instant Search feature is to be offered by the time this story goes live. Type in a word, and Instant Search will show you an answer for popular queries in a "speech bubble" directly below the search box.

=== Sept. 14, 2005 ===

Google Launches Industrial Strength Blog Search - Google has introduced its long awaited blog search service, becoming the first major search engine to offer full-blown blog and feed search capabilities. See also:

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Google Personalized Home Page Graduates To, Well, A Home Page Link - If you go to Google.com, you'll see a new "Personalized Home" link on the home page to encourage you to sign up. See also Google's Now Promoting Gmail on Google Home Page.

=== Sept. 13, 2005 ===

Google's Dr. Lee Can Recruit In China But Can't Work on Search or Speech Technologies - A ruling from a King County, Washington judge was handed down today that says Google employee (formerly of Microsoft) Dr. Kai-Fu Lee can immediately begin recruiting for Google's new research center in China but can not work on speech, search and other technologies. See also:

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New Memeorandum Great Blend Of Top Blog & News Material - New site Memeorandum provides a Google News-like clustering of news stories and blog commentary on various topics. So far, it looks pretty clean and nice to me, well worth anyone checking out. See also More On Memeorandum.

=== Sept. 12, 2005 ===

Ask Jeeves CEO: "We Are Focused on Core Search" - Now that Ask Jeeves is part of aggressive online powerhouse InterActive Corp., what's next for the search engine and its various services? Search Engine Watch editor Danny Sullivan probed for answers in a recent conversation with Ask Jeeves' CEO Steve Berkowitz.

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Search Engine Forums Spotlight - Links to the week's topics from search engine forums across the web: What's Your Favorite Search Engine Marketing Book? - Top 20 SEO Contradications - Microsoft's Ballmer Vowed To 'Kill Google' - AdSense Additions Create Opportunities - Do Redirected Links Count? - Keyword Density Suggestions? and more.

=== Sept. 8, 2005 ===

Chasing Search Engine Algorithms: Wisdom or Folly? - Properly optimized web sites can achieve top rankings in web search results. But when search engines change, should you follow suit? Even the experts disagree.

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Google & GEICO Settle Dispute - Google and Geico have settled their dispute over ads linked to terms that are also GEICO's trademarks. Unfortunately, no terms of the deal are noted. See also Geico To Competitors & Affiliates: Don't Buy Our Name!

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Google Hires Vint Cerf As Chief Internet Evangelist - Google has hired internet "founding father" and pioneer Vint Cerf to be the company's first "chief internet evangelist." See also Vint Cerf: Helping People Understand the Potential of Google and Mac Mozilla Chief Mike Pinkerton Joins Google Firefox Team.

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More From The SEW Blog
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Below are posts from the Search Engine Watch Blog since the last newsletter and not mentioned above. Want to keep up on daily news from the blog? Visit the home page or subscribe to the blog feed. Note that references to "I" may becoming from Danny Sullivan, Gary Price or Chris Sherman, all of whom post to the blog.

=== Oct. 4, 2005 ===

Apple Europe Crackdown On Google Ads? - Spotted via Steve Rubel, Apple Cracks Down on Google AdWords at TidBITS suggests that Apple may be pushing on Google to enforce rules preventing advertisers from having ads show up in response to its trademarks in Europe....[MORE”

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Google's Many Projects & Interests - With rumors that Google might be teaming with Sun to push OpenOffice, Google morphs into multifaceted juggernaut from the Associated Press is a nice overview of the many different moves Google has been making recently and speculation on where it may go.

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Taiwan Not Happy With Being A Chinese "Province" In Google Maps - Via SEO Book, Taiwan tells Google it is not a China province from Reuters has Taiwan asking Google to stop calling it "Taiwan, Province Of China" on Google Maps, as you can see here. Out of curiosity, I went looking at a few other hot spots to see how Google was handling them....[MORE”

=== Oct. 3, 2005 ===

Google Plans to Partner With Sun - Google and Sun Microsystems will announce a collaboration project during a press conference tomorrow morning at The Computer History Museum in San Jose. Some speculate Google and Sun will be doing something together with Sun's free, open source, OpenOffice software suite....[MORE”

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Time To Tweak Your AdWords Campaign? - Tune Your Google Ad Campaign from Kevin Lee at ClickZ provides a ton of tips on things to consider if you've been running AdWords but haven't tweaked your campaigns for awhile.

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Keeping Yourself Out of Web And Other Databases - Ann Harrison's, Wired News article: 'UnGoogleables' Hide From Search, offers a profile of Geri Agalia (not her real name), a person who values her privacy and is trying to keep info about herself out of the Google database. We've seen stories like this before....[MORE”

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Call Tracking Is For Everyone, Even If Pay Per Call Isn't - Honestly, all the hype over pay-per-call often makes me shake my head. Yes, it can be a simple way for people without web sites to get search-targeted traffic. But people who say they'd prefer a phone call rather than a web site visit because they can track and act on the call? Then just run an ad to a page with your phone number! That's cheaper than doing pay-per-call, and you can still get the call. Pay Per Call vs. Call Tracking: Walk Before You Run from Justin Sanger at ClickZ looks at this "walk before you run" approach in more depth. He rightly explains that pay per call is not the same as call tracking. Calls can be tracked without going into pay per call, and many would benefit by doing so.

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Blinkx.tv Will Now Host and Serve Your Video Content - Blinkx.tv is joining others, namely the Google Video Upload program, in allowing users to upload and any all video content for free. The service is called MyBlink.tv. In other words, Blinkx.tv will now host and serve your video content for free. Searchers/viewers will also be able to watch your online video for free but eventually give owners a chance to sell access to their content." We've also heard talk about Google possibly doing the same thing....[MORE”

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Being Indexed Versus Being Ranked - SEO Practices: Indexing and Ranking from Mike Grehan at ClickZ is a good reminder that being indexed by a search engine isn't the same as ranking well. It's only when a page ranks that you'll gain traffic, and getting the page to rank comes down to great content attracting good links, in his book.

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Search Engine Roundtable's Barry Schwartz Proposes Via Ask Jeeves Search Results - Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable is getting married. He proposed to his girlfriend by getting her to type her name into Ask Jeeves, where the Ask Jeeves team kindly helped long-time Ask Jeeves-watcher Barry by rigging up a custom answer....[MORE”

=== Oct. 1, 2005 ===

Ask Jeeves Smart Search Makes Basic TV Program Reference Info a Click Away - When Ask Jeeves (aka Ask.com) launched a slew of new Smart Search options in August I briefly mentioned that info about TV programs was now part of the Smart Search service. However, it was just in the last day or two that I realized the number of TV programs AJ offers Smart Answer boxes for....[MORE”

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How About Custom Search Tabs From Google & Yahoo - Google offers many other databases that can be discovered by clicking another link that's visible on the Google home page labeled "more." Perhaps Google should consider providing what Yahoo currently offers on their clutter-free search.yahoo.com page....[MORE”

=== Sept. 30, 2005 ===

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Trying to Find the Mobile Searcher - Ben Charny's eWeek article: Mobile Search Struggles to Find an Audience, reports on why some say that mobile search is having problems finding users....[MORE”

=== Sept. 29, 2005 ===

MSN Shopping Adds Search Refinements for Hundreds of Product Categories - Just up on the MSN Shopping Insider is a post about some new and useful features that have gone live at MSN Shopping. Now, it's possible to focus and refine a shopping search using attributes that are specific to the product category your searching in....[MORE”

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Search Pulling From Banner Ad Spend - An article in New Media Age UK titled: Long-time advertisers are abandoning banner ads in favour of search, includes comments about how firms that have been the "backbone" of Net advertising for years are moving into search marketing....[MORE”

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Preview New Saved Searches & Clip Feature At AOL Search - While I was looking at the AOL Search home page this afternoon, I noticed some text (near the bottom the page) that invited me "preview new features" as AOL continues to enhance its search site. So, what did I find?....[MORE”

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And Debunking Urban SEO Myths! - I just posted about a list of things that may (or may not) influence how a page will rank in search engines. But what convinces people of the truth behind a particular factor? Cause and Effect - Not Always Easy to Determine from Scottie Claiborne over at Search Engine Guide looks at how you can end up assuming something is working a certain way for all the wrong reasons, plus gives some basic tips on how to test correctly.

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Debunking Urban Myths - Did you hear about the killer dolphins that got loose from a naval facility in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? Apparently, an urban myth. How do you track down if something's a myth or not? Shirl Kennedy over at Gary's other site, ResourceShelf, give you a fresh rundown on urban myth debunking tools here.

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Rundown On Search Ranking Factors - Search rankings aren't all about PageRank. Even Google will tell you they have many, many "signals" that are measured to rank a page. The same is true for other search engines -- and has been a fact of SEO life for years and years. But what are all these signals and factors? Some are known, some are speculated on, and some change all the time. Search Engine Ranking Factors now up from Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz is a diligent rundown on factors that could influence how well a page does....[MORE”

=== Sept. 28, 2005 ===

A Google Calendar and Some Domain Name Research - As someone who watches Google domain names closely, I learned about this post on the Google Addiction Blog that points out that GCalendar.com (an online Google calendar?) is a domain name that's currently registered to Data Docket, an Idaho company that often "holds" domains in their name....[MORE”

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Winners of Yahoo Video Search Yammys Revealed - May we have the envelope please! This afternoon winners of the Yahoo Yammys were announced. The winning video is titled "Twinkle Toes" and was directed by Marty Putz. It can be viewed online along with other audience favorites.

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Search Marketer A Candidate On The Apprentice - One of the contestants on the current series of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart hails from the world of SEO....[MORE”

=== Sept. 27, 2005 ===

Dynamically Search and Browse RSS News Headlines - Surfwax are offering a free RSS search tool that demonstrates the LookAhead technology that can potentially help the searcher focus a news or RSS search with very little effort before clicking the search button.

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What's An Ad Agency? What's A Search Agency? - Ad/Search Agency Convergence from Hollis Thomases at ClickZ looks at when an ad agency is NOT also and SEM firm or more to the point, how they can't be when paid search is making up so much of online ad spend....[MORE”

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Linking Neighborhoods, Illustrated - Threadwatch points over to the Picture of Link Neighborhoods post at Jim Boykin's new SEO blog, where he posts a nice illustration (PDF) of how search engines use links to determine what sites are important -- and not.

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Delete Those Emails With SEO Pitches! - Ineffective SEO E-Mail Campaigns at ClickZ from Shari Thurow is a nice, fresh reminder of all those pitches you get for SEO services via email that you can safely delete. No, you almost certainly don't need to worry that they are kindly informing you that you aren't ranking for a particular term!....[MORE”

=== Sept. 26, 2005 ===

For Many, It's All About the Very First Search Result - Jakob Nielsen's new Alertbox article: The Power of Defaults, does a great job of summarizing and commenting on new search engine research from Cornell University about why and where people click on a search results page....[MORE”

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Google Video Gets Flashy - You no longer need to download and use the Google Video Viewer to watch streaming content from the Google Video database. During the past few days, streaming video content from Google Video began being delivered via Adobe Flash....[MORE”. See also: Google's "Playable Video" Search Option Disappears and Google and UPN Announce Deal to Stream Video of Recently Aired TV Premiere.

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OneStat Puts Google On Top - OneStat has released its latest results of most popular search engines worldwide, putting Google first on average over the past two months....[MORE”

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Google's Marissa Mayer Profiled - John Battelle called Google's Marissa Mayer a "hummingbird" of a woman in his new book The Search, which is a great description for anyone who has ever met her. She's literally flying around constantly with excitement and activity about various products. Managing Google's Idea Factory is a new BusinessWeek profile on Marissa, the company's director of consumer web products, covering what her workday is like, her background and how she goes about managing so many of the things Google develops. See also Google's Mayer: Searcher Behavior & Google Factoids.

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More Transparency Needed On How AdWords Are Ranked? - Google Goes Las Vegas from Robert X. Cringely at PBS looks at the anecdote of someone who was paying $0.10 per ad to promote his site and then tried to test new ideas with a different site, coming away perplexed about why paying more for the second site generated LESS traffic. Are things rigged, Cringley asks? Nope, it turns out, but Google could make that clearer...[MORE”

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Microsoft Opens adCenter & MSN Keywords To Singapore & France - Microsoft has officially launched its adCenter system to sell paid search in France and Singapore. More details in this company press release. More info on the program in general here....[MORE”

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Google Targeting College Students With Newspaper Ads - I wrote earlier of Google targeting colleges with a special "College Life" page at Google. Now the other part of that story -- how university students are finding that page. That's through print ads in college newspapers....[MORE”

=== Sept. 25, 2005 ===

Avoiding Holiday SEM Blunders - The holiday season will soon be upon us, and it can be a fantastic time for search marketers, provided you make all of the right moves, says Kevin Lee. Kevin offers a checklist of these potential blunders along with "power tips" to turn each into a best practice for search marketing in his latest ClickZ column, Turn Holiday SEM Blunders Into Best Practices.

=== Sept. 24, 2005 ===

Pay-per-Call: Hype vs. Reality - Pay-per-call advertising is being touted by many as the next big thing in search marketing. With eBay justifying its recent purchase of Skype by citing the potential of pay-per-call, and AOL, Microsoft and others jumping into the game, it's a hot topic. But is pay-per-call a viable option for search marketers today?....[MORE”

=== Sept. 23, 2005 ===

MSN Search Offers Free Full Text Access to Encarta Encyclopedia - Researchers might be interested to learn that MSN Search is offering a free access to the full text (not just blurbs) of Microsoft's Encarta encyclopedia. This page offers details about how to get a free pass. No, registration is required....[MORE”

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New Watson Sidebar for MSN Search - Watson, a "proactive" search utility that watches what you do and automatically provides related search results from the web, is now available as a plug-in for the MSN Desktop/Toolbar suite....[MORE”

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AOL.com Portal Leaves Beta - After a three month beta period, the AOL.com open web portal has been officially released....[MORE”

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Recapping Official Search Engine Blogs - Search Engine Blogs as Public Relations Tools from Loren Baker over at Search Engine Journal is a nice overview of how the various major search engines are turning more and more to blogs as a communication tool, with continuing unofficial help from employee blogs such as those from Yahoo's Jeremy Zawodny and Google's Matt Cutts (hey, Google, get his blog listed in your Blogs By Googlers section on the Google Blog already!).

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Silicon Valley Search SIG Has First Meeting, Talks Audio Search - I've been meaning to write about SDForum's Silicon Valley Search SIG since Robert Scoble mentioned it earlier this month. The new group just had its first meeting, Audio Search: Selling Picks & Shovels at the Podcast Gold Rush....[MORE”. See also Silicon Valley SIG To Meet Again On Mobile Search, Gains Blog.

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Begging For Free Links - When Money Can't Buy You Link Love from Rand over at SEOmoz is a nice rundown on ideas for gaining links when cold hard cash isn't an option. Write a letter, give a call, do a giveaway. Whatever you do, ask appropriately. Increase Your Link Request Conversion - Don't Do This! in our SEW Forums is a current discussion starting out with a list of great tips on what NOT to do from member Stuntdubl, Todd Malicoat. You can also see my Thanks For Your Horrible Link Request post from last year.

=== Sept. 22, 2005 ===

Sergey, Larry, Eric, David and Jerry - Forbes Says Rich! - The 2005 edition of the Forbes 400 list of the of the wealthiest Americans was published this afternoon and includes Brin, Page and Schmidt from Google as well as Filo and Yang from Yahoo. Of course, Gates and Ballmer from Microsoft are also on the list. Here's a quick look at how several people who have interests in the web search biz fared....[MORE”

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Findory Completes Release of Personalized RSS Reader - In August, Findory's Greg Linden blogged that an "early" version of Findory's personalized RSS reader was available. Yesterday, Greg said that the release is now complete. You can access the service here....[MORE”

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Loomia & podOmatic's AutoCatcher For Podcasts - Two for the podcasting crowd, a new podcast search engine called Loomia and the AutoCatcher service from podOmatic that keyword-scans for new podcasts each day that you might be interested in.

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Mossberg Says Yahoo Mail Superior to Gmail - Walt Mossberg's column today offers a review Gmail and the new Yahoo Mail. Which service gets the nod? Yahoo Mail....[MORE”

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Country-Specific Search Engines & Telephone Directories - Phil Bradley's updated his Country Based Search Engines page, so if you're looking for a search engine serving a particular country, it's a good resource to consult. Phil also turned me on to another good resource a few months ago, Infobel's guide to telephone directories around the world.

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Google TV Coming - Expect Both GiVo & TVSense - A job posting for a product manager for Google TV leads to news of what Google TV will be period! See also GoogleTV Job Posting is No Longer Online.

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WSJ Dissects Traffic Power Complaints & Search Engine Bans - Sites Get Dropped by Search Engines After Trying to 'Optimize' Rankings from the Wall Street Journal (paid sub. required) revisits the Traffic Power case against SEO Book's Aaron Wall -- though this time, diving into complaints about Traffic Power by customers saying they found themselves dropped after the company did SEO work for them....[MORE”. See also:

=== Sept. 21, 2005 ===

Diller Says Ask Jeeves Will Rebrand as Ask.com - The Street.com It reports on comments made today by IAC/InterActive CEO, Barry Diller about the future of one of his newest employees, Mr. Jeeves. According to Diller, Mr. Jeeves will be out of a job as the company mascot when Ask Jeeves rebrands itself as Ask.com....[MORE”

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Save the Time of the Searcher: Yahoo's New "Quick Links" - On Search Engine Roundtable, Barry blogs about Yahoo's new Quick Links feature that you'll now find included in some Yahoo web results summaries. Quick Links allow the searcher to save time and clicks (something we like) by integrating direct links to specific parts of web site....[MORE”

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10 Years of Popular Search Terms at Lycos - As Lycos celebrates its 10th birthday, The Lycos 50, their daily look at popular search terms, has published a new list that takes a look at the 50 most popular terms over the past decade. The Clickz article: Ten Years of Search Terms, offers a look at the complete list along with some analysis by Lycos 50 writer, Dean Tsouvalas....[MORE”

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Paid Links Shouldn't Count? What Exactly Is Paid? - We've had a debate on our SEW Forums recently (see Matt Cutts Comments On Reputable Sites & Link Selling) over whether publishers should tag paid links so search engines won't count them. Part of that covered the issue of links where payment isn't so readily visible. Help Us Build a Link Farm, Get an iPod Nano? from Traffick is a case in point. Want to win an iPod Nano from them? Just post some links to them. It's an example of how what may seem to be a clear-cut, black-and-white issue isn't. Those who forthrightly pay for links potentially might not get those links counted, but do a savvy rub-our-back giveaway and that might fly under the radar?

=== Sept. 20, 2005 ===

BusinessWeek Looks At Yahoo Trust Issues - For Yahoo, Mistrust Is Popping Up is a brand new article spotted via Slashdot from BusinessWeek covering recent hits Yahoo's taking on the installation issues front, the China censorship/privacy front and the spyware front. Yahoo says its reputation is safe. "Users can put their trust in us because that is what we're built on," Yahoo COO Daniel Rosensweig is quoted as saying. But the idea that Yahoo might perhaps pale "as rival Google Inc. holds itself up as a paragon of consumer friendliness." Many, many are no longer seeing Google as so friendly, either. See also Issues With Yahoo Messenger Installs.

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Feedster CTO Comments on Splogs (Spam Blogs) - Scott Johnson, CTO at Feedster, has written a commentary for Media Post about splogs (spam blogs) and what the industry must do to combat them. The commentary is titled, The Newest Front in the Online Wars: Splogs.

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CPA, Cost-Per-Action, As Click Fraud Solution? - Last month, Putting an End to Click Fraud at iMedia Connection had Ron Belanger pushing the idea that CPA -- cost per action -- pricing for ads might help solve click fraud issues. Why? You'd only pay for traffic that converts. This month, Why CPA is Not a Cure for Click Fraud has Isaac Scarborough at iMedia delivering the counterpoint. Actually, he sees a lot of positives but not a complete end to click fraud, plus difficulties in moving people used to CPC to CPA.

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Former Google Chef Charlie Ayers Starting His Own Restaurant - While Google is still seeking a replacement for its former celebrity chef, Charlie Ayers, Charlie's plans post-Grateful Dead, post-Google are now public. "From Google to Noodles: A Chef Strikes Out on His Own" from the New York Times covers how he's going to open his own restaurant in Silicon Valley. Aside from investing some of his own money, former Googlers and private groups are backing him. Name of the restaurant? Calafia!....[MORE”

=== Sept. 19, 2005 ===

Can't Beat The Local Search Aggregators? Join 'Em! - "Join the Local Search Authorities" from Justin Sanger at ClickZ looks at something familiar to many who do local searches at major search engines -- how results from other local search engines like SuperPages, Citysearch and Switchboard always seem to be popping up....[MORE”

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Google Earth Gains National Geographic Content Links - Running the Google Earth software? The Google Blog notes that there are new "National Geographic" layers you can enable. Switch these on, and if you see the National Geographic logo, you can zoom in to get more information from the magazine including high-resolution "Megaflyover" images. Meanwhile, the Jensense blog notes with amusement that while National Geographic may be providing the content, the ads on the National Geographic pages shown in Google Earth continue to carry ads from Yahoo.

=== Sept. 18, 2005 ===

Yahoo Cache Now Offers Direct Links to Wayback Machine - It appears that Yahoo has joined Gigablast and Clusty and is now providing direct links to "archived" versions of pages via The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine....[MORE”

=== Sept. 17, 2005 ===

Results from Google Groups Now Appearing at the Bottom of Google Web Results Pages - Results from Google Groups are now visible (query dependent, of course) in a OneBox on Google web results pages....[MORE”

=== Sept. 15, 2005 ===

A Terrorism Research Database - Shirl Kennedy, wrote an thorough overview of the Terrorism Knowledge Base from the the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. This resource contains info about terrorist groups, incidents, leaders, image archive and much more. Resources can be browsed or searched via a simple search box or this powerful advanced search interface.

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Ask Jeeves Unveils Gift Finder - The Ask Jeeves Blog has news about AJ's new gift finder. It's powered by another IAC/InterActive property, Gifts.com....[MORE”

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SMA-NA To Hold Elections - Todd at Stuntdubl notes that the Search Marketing Association of North America -- SMA-NA -- may soon have elections. Chief organizer Ian McAnerin says over here on the High Rankings Forums that only one more member is needed to call a quorum and lists potential offices. Then on the SMA-NA forum, he says the quorum has been met. So election information should be going out to members soon.

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Getting Ready For The Holidays - Search & the Holiday Season from Kevin Ryan at iMedia Connection has him looking at tips to help you get ready for the holiday shopping period, in terms of a paid search campaign. As for SEO/free search, start gearing up now!

=== Sept. 14, 2005 ===

Convera's Web Index Expands - Convera, a well-known name in enterprise search technology, posted a bit of news today that their web index continues to grow. So? It's been reported that Convera will enter the public web search space with a release of a web search tool by the end of this year. The company also announced that they've added 100 million images to their web index. Convera recently announced that they've just licensed use of their web database by an undisclosed U.S. Government organization.

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Codase For Seeking Open Source Code - Codase is a new search engine designed to let you seek open source code. It apparently understand code as code, rather than text. If you deal with code, that probably sounds great to you. Check it out, and a few more details below from what they sent...[MORE”

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Snap.com Offers Shopping Search Powered by Smarter.com - Word in this news release that Idealab's Snap.com has launched a shopping search engine that's powered with results from Smarter.com, an engine that I've mentioned several times on the blog. Smarter.com is led by by former Overture employees Talmadge O'Neill and Harry Tsao while GoTo.com/Overture founder, Bill Gross, is at the Snap.com helm.

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The Search Stock Index - What's the Search Stock Index? Actually, Nacho Hernandez one of our SEW Forums moderators calls it the SEM 50 Stock Index. It's his brainchild to come up with 50 search firms that are publicly listed that can be tracked. The list is up to 28 so far, as you'll find here. Think there should be others? Come contribute to the list! And why to do I say "Search Stock Index?" Because not all of these firms are involved with search engine marketing. Search Stock Index is more broad. If not SSI Top 50, then maybe the Search Top 50.

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Awesome UC Berkeley Class On Search & Webcasts Available - Marti Hearst, a professor over at UC Berkeley, has put together an fantastic line-up of speakers for her Search Engines: Technology, Society, and Business class...and is webcasting!....[MORE”

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Truveo: A New Video Search Tool - According to News.com, a new video search engine, Truveo, is launching today....[MORE”

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AOL Adding Podcast Search Tools - AOL is adding new features to help those seeking podcasts....[MORE”

=== Sept. 13, 2005 ===

Gates Talks Google - Bill Gates sat down with CNET for an interview today about a variety of topics including web search and Google....[MORE”. See also Maybe MSN's API Isn't "Way Better".

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Yahoo Shopping Goes Mobile - Yahoo has just released a mobile version of Yahoo Shopping....[MORE”

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MSN's Developer Center is Now Live - The web developer community will be interested to learn that the MSN Developer Center (Danny provided an overview of last week), is now live. The center contains information, developer toolkits, and links to forums for the MSN services such MSN Search and MSN Virtual Earth. See also More on Microsoft's "Gadgets".

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Sun Research Developing Audio Search Tools - Several months ago I blogged about an audio search research project at Sun Labs called, Search Inside the Music. Recently, Search Firms: "Google, Yahoo ... And Sun?" from Investors Business Daily offers a bit more info....[MORE”

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Ask Wants Anti-Spyware Companies To Lift Warnings - Spotted via Threadwatch, Ask Jeeves Disputes Anti-Spyware Flaggings from eWeek looks at Ask Jeeves asking at least two anti-spyware companies to stop flagging Ask's software with warnings. The companies have apparently refused to do so. Once calls Ask products "potentially unwanted" rather than flagging them as "spyware" or "adware." Bundling issues were raised as a main concern for pushback by the companies. IE, the software itself may be fine, but the companies see problems with how it gets out to users. The story notes that other spyware detection tools such as those from Microsoft and Lavasoft don't flag Ask's products.

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Community-Built Wikipedia's Strengths & Weaknesses - Everybody helps write Wikipedia from the Richmond Times Dispatch is a nice overview on how Wikipedia is assembled by a community, a strength in that good information can get out quickly but a weakness in that allowing anyone to change it leads to accuracy and legitimacy issues. I was just over there today

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Challenges Microsoft Faces - "Microsoft's Midlife Crisis" from Forbes looks at challenges ahead for Microsoft as sales for the first time show less than double-digit growth and threats in the search arena from Google and Yahoo grow....[MORE”

=== Sept. 12, 2005 ===

Let's Talk Froogle: Q&A With Marketing Manager - Brian Smith, editor of ComparisonEngines.com, has just posted a brief Q&A interview with Debbie Jaffe, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Google, about Froogle. You'll learn about the history of the service, what Jaffee believes are the services strengths, and the user experience. Jaffe also tells Brian that Google hires, "hire athletes, not shortstops."

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Try WSFinder To Find Web Services & APIs - Trying to track down which company is offering an API these days? The new WSFinder service is a search service / wiki that allows this. One of the founders Chris Law tells me they've got about 90 APIs and web services that developers can find and tap into....[MORE”

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Tara Gives Thumbs Up To Yahoo Images; Yotophoto For Copyright Free Images - Contemplating Yahoo Images and Google Images is a short item from Tara over at ResearchBuzz finding that in a search for [rss buttons”, less is more. Yahoo had fewer results than Google but was more on target with what she wanted. Meanwhile, her Search Engine of Free, GNU FDL, Creative Commons Images looks at the new Yotophoto image search engine designed to give you images you can use without copyright worries.

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Google Force One For The Google Guys? - We've known from earlier reports that Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have thought owning a corporate jet would be pretty cool. Now SiliconBeat reports that the duo have settled on a Boeing 767, with interior work being finished off in Dallas. Will it sport the Google logo? Will it be called Google Force One? Enquiring minds want to know. Want to discuss, comment or suggest a name for the plane? Visit our forum thread, Name The Google Jet.

=== Sept. 9, 2005 ===

Yahoo Says It Must Follow Chinese Laws On Giving Info - Yahoo explains it had to comply with Chinese laws in the case of handing over information that helped convict a Chinese journalist.

=== Sept. 8, 2005 ===

Squeezing The Search Engine Loaf For Freshness - Phil Bradley points to this research paper, The Freshness Of Web Search Engines' Databases (PDF), out of Heinrich-Heine-University in Dusseldorf that analyzed the freshness of Google, Yahoo and MSN over six weeks in February and March 2005. Google came out best with the most pages updated almost daily, but MSN had the best "worst case" scenario with no page more than 20 days old. Yahoo was said to be "chaotic." There's much much more in the paper which, sadly and ironically, is already out of date in terms of knowing what's happening right now. But having benchmark for various points in time is great.

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Need A Laugh? Try This Search News "Quiz" - I wrote earlier of a new SEO quiz, but the over 40 questions are too much work for you, try The Gray Hat News Quiz. It's not so much a quiz by a satirical look at some recent search news stories, sure to give many of you a chuckle. Larry and Sergey arm wrestling to see who really is most powerful!

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Dig A Hole Through Earth Via Google Maps - Awesome! The next time one of my kids asks what would happen if they dug down through the earth -- at least where would they come up at -- I've got the answer. Spotted via Google Blogoscoped, If I dig a very deep hole, where I go to stop? lets you click anywhere on a world map via Google. A little note will pop-up saying "Dig Here." Click on the link, and you'll see where you come up.

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Daily SearchCast: Search News Via Podcast
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Want to keep up with the latest in search news while you're on the go? Try our podcast, The Daily SearchCast. It's a 10-15 minute recap of the previous day's news. How to tune-in?

  • Subscribe to our main SEW Blog feed, and you'll receive the podcasts automatically when we alert readers to them each day.
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  • Tune into WebmasterRadio.FM, where we go out live at 11:30am Eastern and then repeat at 2pm Eastern. The show archive at WebmasterRadio is here.
  • Listen via our Odeo channel, where it's easy to see our past shows and hear them buy using little play buttons right within your browser.
  • Listen via iTunes 4.9 or higher. Click here and you should find the show will load automatically in iTunes, if you have it installed. If not, then see further instructions here.

Here are the last three days' worth of shows:

You can find all shows from previous days listed on the Daily Searchcast home page. Just select any file to download it and listed on your computer or digital audio device.

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Our Search Newsletters & Feeds
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News each day, throughout the day, alerts of new discussion threads from our Search Engine Watch Forums and more -- we have a newsletter or feed that covers all of these. See our Search Engine Newsletters & Web Feeds for a full rundown on everything we offer, as well as special buttons to let you subscribe via news readers such as Rojo, My MSN, Bloglines, Feedster, Newsgator, Pluck and My Yahoo. Thanks to FeedBurner for providing our feed tracking and management services!

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About The Search Engine Report
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