Daily SearchCast, August 15, 2006: AOL Sets Off Search Privacy Crisis; Google Webmaster Central Offers Cool Tools & Support; Yahoo Expands Site Explorer; 1,000 Pizzas For Google & More!

Today’s search podcast covers AOL’s release of search records and the ensuing
privacy crisis that followed; Google’s support for site owners enlarging into
Google Webmaster Central; Yahoo’s expanded Site Explorer tools; Google pushes
back against click fraud estimates from third parties; 1,000 pizzas descend on
Google and more!

Tune-in by listening to this
, listening via WebmasterRadio
at 11:30am Eastern and repeated at 2pm Eastern Tuesday through Friday, via our
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Below are links to items discussed:

  • Normality At SFO Despite Usual Conflicting Security Bull

  • Arriving At Heathrow Madness
  • AOL
    Releases Search Data & Raises Privacy Concerns

    Techmeme is reporting a huge amount of concern over AOL releasing, then pulling,
    search logs done by 500,000 users over three months. The purpose of the release
    was to help search researchers better understand user behavior in conjunction
    with an industry event for search researchers happening in Seattle, SIGIR. The
    data was posted on the AOL research site, but has since been pulled….
  • Search
    Privacy Concerns Humanized As The New York Times Tracks Down Anonymous AOL

    A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749 is an excellent read from the New
    York Times, where you can meet the person who is about to become the most famous
    searcher ever: Thelma Arnold, a 62-year-old from Georgia. Using the released AOL
    search records, the New York Times figured out who she was and interviewed her
    and her searching habits for the story. No more discussing whether anonymous
    search records might contain enough information to identify people. In some
    cases, they do (or at least enough to make an extremely good guess and get
    confirmation from the…
  • More On
    AOL’s Search Release & Ways To Search The Records

    I’ve got some follow-up items about yesterday’s story where AOL released user
    query records, including how anyone can now easily look at the data. First,
    after Barry did a recap of the news, I added a postscript to the story with more
    of my thoughts. In case you missed it, here are the key parts below:…
  • New Keyword
    Suggestion Tool Uses AOL Data

    SEO Scoop spotted a new keyword suggestion tool that estimates the volume of
    traffic you can expect for a given query based on the AOL data slip up.
    Basically, the tool has data from March to May of this year, it then takes the
    market share figures of Google, Yahoo and MSN and multiples that by the AOL
    search volumes for those queries. Of course, you have the issue of people
    searching differently at different engines. AOL users are typically less tech
    savvy, when compared to Google users. So I wonder how accurate the estimates
    are? The tool is at…
  • Another
    Tool Uses AOL Data For Search Term Research

    SEO Blackhat released a tool that uses AOL data, Hitwise figures and
    Overture’s suggestion tool to figure out the search volume and click-through
    rate you can expect from a search phrase at the various search engines. Last
    week we reported on a more basic tool that did something similar but this new
    tool gives you an "estimate with some certainty how many clicks to expect for
    ranking anywhere in any search engine for any term." Basically, you go to this
    tool and enter in the number of searches you expect to be performed for a
    keyword phrase. Then after you…

  • Targeting Ads Based On Search Behavior & Privacy Issues Post-AOL

    Back in 2005, I wrote about AlmondNet moving forward with showing ads to
    surfers across the web based on their search profiles at major search engines.
    The move raised big search privacy issues. Since then, AlmondNet’s kept going
    — along with others such as Yahoo, in mining search behavior to deliver ads
    beyond search results pages. Advertisers Trace Paths Users Leave on Internet
    from the New York Times today takes a look how Yahoo, MSN and AOL are all
    trying to push into the post-search ad delivery space….
  • EFF Asks
    FTC To Limit How Long AOL Can Store Search Records

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has asked the US Federal Trade Commission
    to investigate AOL’s release of search records last week and prevent the
    company from storing search data for longer than two weeks….
  • Daily
    SearchCast, August 9, 2006: Special Edition, A Conversation With Google CEO Eric

    Today’s search podcast covers Search Engine Watch editor-in-chief Danny Sullivan
    talking with Google CEO Eric Schmidt live before an audience at Search Engine
    Strategies San Jose 2006 on topics ranging from search privacy to Google’s
    expansion into all aspects of daily life. Tune-in by listening to this MP3 file,
    via our Odeo channel or through iTunes via this link (or use alternative iTunes
    instructions explained here) or though our Yahoo Podcasts channel….
  • Google
    Sitemaps Becomes Google Webmaster Central; Preferred Domain Tool Launched

    Google Sitemaps has gained a new name along with new features. Google Webmaster
    Central is the new name of the former Google Sitemaps service, which now has
    evolved into a central place for Google to provide help information, statistics,
    reports and tools to help webmasters….
  • Which
    Queries On Yahoo Search Get Redirected To Site Explorer?

    The Yahoo Search Blog defines which queries will be redirected from Yahoo Search
    to Yahoo Site Explorer. Remember on July 11th when we reported that Yahoo Tests
    Redirecting Some Searches To Site Explorer? So which queries exactly do this?
    Queries in the format of site:ysearchblog.com or link:http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000341.html
    or linkdomain:ysearchblog.com but not ysearchblog.com or ysearchblog or
    site:ysearchblog.com webmasters (looking for ysearchblog posts mentioning
    webmasters) or link:http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000341.html Danny
    Sullivan (looking for links to the article mentioning Danny Sullivan) or or
    linkdomain:ysearchblog.com site:yahoo.com (looking for links to ysearchblog from
    within yahoo.com). More details at the Yahoo Search Blog….
  • The Bot
    Obedience Course – New Yahoo! Site Explorer Tool Announced
  • Google
    Fights Claims Of Some Third Party Click Fraud Studies

    The Google Blog just posted a report on how they feel some of the independent
    third party click fraud reports published are exaggerating the clickfraud
    numbers. Google says they have seen some reports that show "1.5 times the number
    of clicks in our logs," the reason? Well, Google summarized the "two main
    points" of the larger paper they published on the issue as being; (1)
    "mischaracterizing events," i.e. clicking the back button and it being
    characterized as a click and (2) "conflation across advertisers and ad
    networks," where cookie issues confuse Yahoo clicks with Google clicks. For the
    full, 17-page…
  • Yahoo &
    Google Commit To An Other Independent Click Fraud Audit At SES

    Donna Bogatin snagged both John Slade, Yahoo Search Marketing, and Shuman
    Ghosemajumder, Google Trust & Safety into agreeing to an other clickfraud audit.
    This commitment is for an IAB "independent auditing against the complete
    guidelines." Donna grilled Yahoo & Google during the Q&A session of the Auditing
    Paid Listings and Click Fraud Issues, which I hear was pretty heated….
  • Auditing Paid
    Listings and Click Fraud Issues
  • Google &
    MySpace In $900 Million Deal On Search & Contextual Ads

    Just in, an announcement that Google and MySpace have reached a deal for Google
    to provide search and contextual ads to MySpace, in return for giving MySpace
    (well, the entire Fox  Interactive Media network) $900 million in guaranteed
    payments through 2010. From the press release:…
  • Google &
    Viacom Partner In Video Ad Test

    Via the NY Times, Google and Viacom have partnered to place Viacom video clips
    (MTV and other clips) on web site owner pages. The video clips will contain ads
    from Viacom, which Google and site owns will share the revenues from. These
    tests are to begin towards the end of the month. This is the first step, I bet,
    to AdWords on TV. Last week we reported that Google Radio is coming to XM
    Satellite Radio, so TV isn’t so far fetched. FYI – sorry for short posts, SES
    San Jose is today and coverage will be slow. Towards the…
  • Google Jet
    Lawsuit Has Been Settled

    Google Founders Silence Designer Of ‘Party Plane’ fromthe New York Sun covers a
    dispute over the Google founders’ private jet being settled. Danny has been
    poking fun about this Oklahoma designer who spoke out about some of the requests
    made by Sergey Brin and Larry Page about the the interior design of the jet they
    bought. I mean, Google went far to try to silence this man from talking. But
    after enough persistence and encouragement, the designer, Leslie Jennings, has
    notified the NY Sun, "The case was settled to the satisfaction of both
  • Googlers
    Go For Pizza Stunt

    Via InsideGoogle, Feeding Google – Better than Pirates of the Caribbean is a
    video over at YouTube where start-up CambrianHouse decides to attract
    attention by delivering 1,000 pizzas to the Googleplex in Mountain View. Will
    the Googlers go for it? Yes, they do….

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