Daily SearchCast, July 25, 2006: Report Says Google’s Click Fraud Practices “Reasonable;” Few Opposed Proposed Google Click Fraud Settlement; Tracking Packages Via Search; Getting Real-Time Traffic Info & More!

Today’s search podcast covers an independent report finding Google’s click fraud practices to be “reasonable,” few object to Google’s proposed click fraud settlement; Google’s “wow” versus Yahoo’s “consistency” in terms of product development; tracking packages via search engines; getting live traffic reports via maps and more!

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Below are links to items discussed:

  • Judge Hears Objections To Google’s Click Fraud Settlement
    Associate Press reports that now that the independent report is out, a judge will consider the fifty-plus objections to the Lane’s Gifts v. Google settlement. The judge will hear out advertisers today and tomorrow before finalizing that settlement….
  • Independent Report: Google Click Fraud Detection Practices Are “Reasonable”
    The Google Blog just posted the independent study on their click fraud detection practices that shows Google makes reasonable efforts to detect click fraud. The report was part of an agreement of the Lane’s Gifts v. Google settlement and was performed by Dr. Alexander Tuzhilin, Professor of Information Systems at NYU. Obviously Google is pretty happy about this report and I didn’t have time to go through the full 47 page report, but if you have time, I bet you as Search Engine Marketer can learn a ton about the AdWords system. Possibly, Danny will dig into this deeper next…
  • The Abridged Version: Independent Report On Google’s Click Fraud Detection Practices
    Last Friday, an independent report on how Google deals with click fraud was published as part of the ongoing Lane’s Gifts v. Google class action lawsuit over click fraud. To my knowledge, it is the most comprehensive, detailed public look into how Google deals with click fraud that’s ever come out. It finds that Google’s efforts to combat the issue have been reasonable, though there are some eyebrow raising bits on how the author only finds the situation was in control by the end of 2005 and how it’s impossible to fully know whether some clicks are invalid — and…
  • GoDaddy Launches Private Label Domain Park Program
    GoDaddy has long placed ads on registered domains that customers have parked at GoDaddy. Now, GoDaddy is allowing webmasters to sign up for a paid monthly subscription to CashParking, that would see webmasters get a share of the profits made from all clicks on the parked domain….
  • Google Versus Yahoo: Consistency Or Wow In Product Development?
    An article over at the New York Times ‘In the race with Google, it’s consistency vs ‘wow” discusses the differing approaches of Google and Yahoo to the introduction of new technology and resources. The fact that Google hasn’t added some of the basics to its mapping service in comparison to the Yahoo and AOL offerings is the starting point for an indepth discussion on how both engines (MSN, AOL and Ask get very short shrift) are trying to increase their user base….
  • Yahoo Invests In Social Search Research
    Reuters reports Yahoo hired Dr. Raghu Ramakrishnan, as vice president and Yahoo research fellow. Dr. Ramakrishnan is a well-respect database expert who has joined Yahoo to study “links between computer and human-aided Web search.” Honestly, I am excited what this can potentially mean for social search. Yahoo has so many properties that can be tightly integrated with social search; Flickr, Del.io.us, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Video, web search, desktop search, Yahoo Groups and so on….
  • Yahoo & Symantec To Offer “New Security Offerings”
    News.com reports that Symantec and Yahoo will be announcing a “new security offering” sometime today. News.com says this partnership will “improve online security for consumers.” But honestly, I have no more details. Is it email focused? Web search focused? Is it desktop focused? We don’t know as of yet. So stay tuned….
  • Librarians And Google: Tips Of The Trade
    Google attended the ALA Conference in New Orleans and produced a video entitled Tips of the Trade together with some additional text only tips from librarians and other information professionals. It’s a shame that Google limited participation to American librarians, but it was explained to me that there would have been technical and legal problems with filming librarians from other countries (though that doesn’t explain why they couldn’t have added in anecdotes from them; a lovely opportunity to draw together and share global experiences). However this is perhaps carping; it’s good to see a search engine (other than Ask who…
  • SEOMoz Spills The Beans On Pricing An SEO Campaign
    Rand posted a blog entry named How to Price an SEO Campaign. He actually broke down his pricing methodology for everyone to see. I have personally never seen this done to this extent before in this industry. SEOs and SEMs can learn a lot about how to price their campaigns and proposals by Rand’s post. Rand breaks down a consulting contract versus an implementation contact. His post is very detailed and can give many SEMs an idea on how to improve their contracts. Check out Rand’s post here….
  • Google Test Expandable “More” Link
    Philipp Lenssen reports Google is testing an expandable box that opens with options, when you click on the “more” link from the Google.com home page. The more link currently takes people to the more google products page, but this link, is a little DHTML popup that has links to these products directly on the page. The pop up cannot possibly have all of the products listed, so they have a link to “even more” products that probably links to the page. A screen shot is at Philipp’s site….
  • Become.com Launches Search Zoom Filtering Feature
    No longer do you have to weed through hundreds or thousands of search results to find a discussion forum or product specs for Aston Martin’s Vanquish. With Become, you can search for ‘Aston Martin Vanquish’ or any other product and then filter by Product Reveiws, Buying Guides, Discussion Forums, and Product Details. As Jon Glick, Become’s Sr. Director of Product Search told me, “users can see what type of listing it is before going into it.” I think this is an extremely useful feature. My original search results for ‘Aston Martin Vanquish’ (yes, I’m obsessed) contained 171, 573 results vs….
  • Tracking Packages Via MSN Search
    The MSN Search weblog has now announced that it is possible to use the system for tracking packages, or more specifically, packages from FedEx, DHL, UPS and USPS. Searchers can simply enter a tracking ID and some other tracking keywords and the Package Tracking Instant Answer will correctly construct the link. An example given is ‘Where is UPS tracking number?’ Additionally you could use the RSS feed for the search to really keep up to date on where your package has gone. Google has had this feature for years now, although it doesn’t have an option for DHL. Postscript from…
  • Real-Time Traffic From Google Maps Mobile
    Google Maps has rolled out a new mobile version offering real-time traffic information in 30 US cities. The service also offers directions designed for those who are walking, in addition to driving….
  • Real-Time Traffic Via My MSN Direct Spot Watch

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