Search Headlines & Links: July 20, 2006

Below, a recap of stories posted today to the Search Engine Watch Blog, along
with other items we’ve spotted but not blogged separately:

From The SEW Blog…

  • Windows
    Live Local Worth Another Look

    Windows Live Local debuted with a splash with most attention focused on its
    spectacular "birds eye" aerial imagery. Since then, Microsoft has worked to
    improve the service, improving the user interface and adding unique features
    not found in other local search services. SEW correspondent Greg Sterling puts
    Windows Live Local through its paces in today’s SearchDay article, A Closer
    Look at Windows Live Local….
  • Daily
    SearchCast, July 20, 2006: Amnesty International Raps Search Engines On
    Censorship; Currency Exchange Rates In Google AdWords Kept Secret; Microsoft
    To Allow More Search Default Choice & More!

    Today’s search podcast covers Amnesty International calling on searchers to
    lobby Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to stop censoring in China; Microsoft to
    allow manufacturers more choice in search defaults; why does Google consider
    exchange rates in AdWords a secret?; Google behind in indexing a changed site
    and more! Tune-in by listening to this MP3 file, listening via WebmasterRadio
    at 11:30am Eastern and repeated at 2pm Eastern Tuesday through Friday, via our
    Odeo channel or through iTunes via this link (or use alternative iTunes
    instructions explained here) or though our Yahoo Podcasts channel. Need more
    help tuning in live or finding…
  • Ask.com
    Adds RSS Smart Answers

    The Ask.com blog announced a new feature to its Smart Answers line up today.
    For example, if you do a search on se roundtable an abbreviation of my blogs
    name, you will get RSS feed results at the top from my blog. The Ask blog says
    that the initial list of sites included "was selected based on the most
    popular feeds chosen by our users in Bloglines."…
  • Google
    Labs Launches Accessible Web Search

    Google has launched Google Accessible Search, a stripped down version of the
    Google search results page. The design was created to make it easier and more
    effective for the blind and visually impaired. The results are a bit
    different, tailored to the visually impaired, to show more accessible pages in
    the results. Google told me how this actually works,…
  • Mid-July
    2006 Search News Recap Posted

    If you’re a Search Engine Watch member, the latest edition of Search Engine
    Update newsletter has been posted. It recaps top stories in search from the
    first part of this month….
  • Google
    Scholar Trademark Case Settled Out Of Court

    News.com reports that Google and American Chemical Society trademark case has
    been settled out of court. The case was brought up against Google for using
    the name "Scholar," when American Chemical Society has a similar product named
    "ACS?s SciFinder Scholar." The case was dropped and each side will pay their
    own legal fees. No other details were provided and both sides have
    confidentiality clauses….
  • Google
    Won’t Reveal Details Of AdWords Exchange Rates

    I spotted an interesting thread which I then followed up on today at the
    Search Engine Roundtable which shows that Google won’t reveal the source of
    the exchange rate they use. So if you are an international AdWords customer
    and you pay in your local currency, and you want to know why the exchange rate
    is so poor, you are out of luck. The AdWords representative states: "the
    product managers are not willing to discuss the former at this time as part of
    protecting the whole." And Threadwatch notes Google also claims it can’t give
    this information out for "competitive…
  • Amnesty
    International Asking Users To Pressure Google, Yahoo & Microsoft Over China
    Policies

    BBC News reports that Amnesty International is urging users of Google, Yahoo
    and MSN in the UK to email the search engines opposing the way each operates
    in China. Amnesty International says that the search engines are aiding the
    censorship. The search engines say that Chinese users are more well off then
    they were prior. More on the Amnesty campaign can be found here from the
    organization….

  • Microsoft Says Vista & Other Operating Systems Will Allow Search Engine Choice

    News from News.com and Reuters that Microsoft said, they will adopt a
    "voluntary principle" that will allow the manufacturers of the computers to
    decide which search engine the operating system should default to. News.com
    describes this as Microsoft wanting to "bolstering choice and competition" in
    the market place. Wise move by Microsoft? I think so. Take a look back at
    Google & Dell partnership, IE7 defaulting to MSN Search and read this. Too
    funny, but smart on Microsoft’s part, IMO….
  • Motorola
    To Add Yahoo Go for Mobile On Phones

    Reuters reports that Yahoo and Motorola have teamed up. The Yahoo Go for
    Mobile service will be added to many new Motorola phones. The multi-year deal
    sets Motorola to add this Yahoo service on new mid-priced and high-end
    Motorola phones. No specific models numbers were provided….
  • Google
    Behind Others, Again, Catching TagJag’s New Name

    SEOMoz reports that Google is once again behind the 8-ball when it comes to
    picking up a domain name switch. Chris Pirillo’s TagJag site was originally
    named Gada.be but was 301 redirected several weeks ago. Yahoo and MSN Search
    both display the site for a search on the name, TagJag.com, but Google shows
    nothing. Like we said before, Google had similar issues when Techmeme changed
    their name….
  • Lycos
    Powered By Windows Live & Retriever Directory

    It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at Lycos, given how far it has slipped
    in the search world. Someone asked me about it today, so I took a look — and
    what’s this at the bottom of the page? "Portions powered by Windows Live."…

  • ApartmentRatings.com: ‘What The Neighbors Pay’

    Apartment locator ApartmentRatings.com has introduced a new service it calls
    "What The Neighbors Pay." As co-founder and CEO Jeremy Bencken describes it,
    "It’s not quite ‘Zillow for renters.’" Regardless, it offers helpful pricing
    information, benchmarking individual apartment rates vs. averages in the
    area….
  • Can
    IAC’s Pronto Shopping Search Compete?

    IAC, parent of search engine Ask.com, has had a shopping search tool for some
    time, in the form of Pronto, a downloadable application. Recently, IAC created
    a web-based version of Pronto, which has some useful features?but it joins a
    crowded field with hundreds of other players. SEW correspondent Brian Smith
    takes a look at Pronto and muses about the challenges it faces in today’s
    SearchDay article, Up Close with IAC’s Pronto Shopping Search….

Headlines & News From Elsewhere