Daily SearchCast, June 27, 2006: School Upset Over Student Data In Google; Is GBuy GooglePal?; Microsoft adCenter Gets Promoted; New Travel Search Engines; The Matt Cutts Doll & More!

Today’s search podcast covers a school district’s student social security
numbers getting into Google; Amazon.com going missing on Google; Google’s PayPal-like
system about to launch; Microsoft promotes adCenter with advertisements and lab
tools; new travel search engines to try; dress up Matt Cutts and more!

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Below are links to items discussed:

  • Google
    Blamed For Indexing Student Test Scores & Social Security Numbers

    Google "hacked our website" from The Inquirer points to Blame game from the
    Hickory Record, a story about how the Catawba County Schools in North Carolina
    has gained a temporary injunction for "Google to remove any information
    pertaining to Catawba County Schools Board of Education from its server and
    index and alleges conversion and trespass against the corporation." The school
    blames Google for some how getting into a password protected area and indexing
    the content. Let me make this clear, Google cannot submit forms or type in
    usernames and passwords. Someone at the school must of left an opening for…

  • Follow-Up: School Couldn’t Reach Google Until Injunction Filed

    Catawba County Schools in North Carolina obtained an injunction to remove
    private material from Google because it had no luck getting action from the
    search engine after trying other routes, the district tells me. The school
    district also stressed that it didn’t claim that Google had somehow hacked
    into its servers. Here’s what Catawba County School’s chief technology officer
    Judith Ray emailed me about the situation:…
  • Still No
    Results Found For A Google Search on Amazon.com

    John Battelle asked why Google was/is returning no results for a search on [amazon.com]
    at 9am (PST, I think) yesterday. At the time, I felt it wasn’t a huge deal,
    these things happen on occasion at Google, normally not for such a large
    brand, but it happens, nevertheless. What is a bit surprising is that Google
    is obviously aware of the issue, based on John telling us Google contacted him
    with a confirmation of the issue, but Google has yet to fix the issue, almost
    a day later. LeeAnn Prescott at the HitWise blog provides some value
    statistical insight into…
  • MSN
    Talks Spam Defenses; Takes Weekends Off From Indexing

    This morning I uncovered two threads at WebmasterWorld that provide
    information on MSN from spam defense to when search indexes get updated. The
    first is named MSN Asks Webmasters, What is Spam? where MSNdude provides some
    insights into how MSN determines what is spam, what are junk pages and
    determining the "hierarchy of spam." The second is named MSN Won’t Do a Search
    Index Update on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays where we see MSNdude posting
    that normally MSN will not conduct a search index update on Saturdays and
    Sundays, and also they are unlikely to conduct an update on Fridays,…
  • Google’s
    PayPal-Rival GBuy Looks Set To Launch This Week

    We’ve had rumors that Google would launch its own PayPal-like payment system
    this week. Widely reported as GBuy, the Wall Street Journal has a few further
    details of what looks to be coming any day now….

  • Microsoft Promotes adCenter In Full Page New York Times Ad

    ClickZ reports that Microsoft has a full-page color ad in this morning’s New
    York Times that promotes Microsoft adCenter, Microsoft’s PPC engine. The ad
    has a link to msftadcenter.com/nyt that notably prompts you with a few
    security warnings on the redirects to the final landing page. The ad headline
    reportedly reads "She found your furniture ad on Google." Then there is an
    "image is a little girl and her dollhouse." The ad continues by explaining the
    difference between a customer and a click. The ad also touts a "2006 study by
    WebSideStory shows that Microsoft adCenter converts customers at a…

  • Microsoft Re-Launches adCenter Labs Again

    Been hearing about the "new" Microsoft adCenter Labs tools this week? That’s
    because Microsoft has done another round of publicity on them after initially
    launching them earlier this month. Our past recap is here and here….

  • Cost-Per-Keyword Drops In Q1

    MediaPost reports that the cost-per-keyword has dropped from around $30 in the
    first quarter of 2006 to "the yearly high of $59 last December." The data
    comes from a DoubleClick study, which also shows that the "cost-per-keyword
    was nearly unchanged from the first three months of 2005 to this year’s first
    quarter." The number of clicks (up 24%) and number of keywords did rise from
    the year-over-year data….
  • Google
    Vs. France Trademark Appeal Ruling Expected Wednesday

    The International Herald Tribune reports that a Paris appeals court is
    expected to issue judgment on a trademark violation appeals case this
    Wednesday. Google is expected to lose this appeal once again, due to how
    France has treated Google in the past. Just look at these three selected
    stories we covered in the past on Jan 20, 2005, Feb 4, 2005, and Mar 16, 2005.
    If Louis Vuitton wins the case, they are expected to push to block the use of
    the Louis Vuitton trademarks at other Google local properties. But it is
    highly unlikely that they will have as…
  • Google
    To Also Lobby In Europe

    Pandia covers that Google is looking to hire a "senior European government
    affairs and public policy leader," to lobby in Europe. Google has hired a
    lobbying firm in the states a few months back. More details on the story at
  • France’s
    Géoportail Mapping Site: La Demande C’est Fantastique!

    The French answer to Google Earth, the indirectly government funded Geoportail,
    launched Friday and was immediately overwhelmed with visits from eager French
    citoyens (citizens) and other curious would-be users. After several visits to
    the site this weekend, I was still unable to get in to see anything. Each time
    I tried I encountered this message: "Vous êtes incroyablement nombreux à vous
    connecter au Géoportail, portail des territoires et des citoyens depuis sa
    mise en ligne." In my broken French it roughly translates: "An incredible
    number of you have connected to Geoportail, portal of the territories and the
    citizens, since the…
  • The SEO
    Event Google Calendar

    Aaron Wall posted a very useful SEO Event & Conference Calendar using the
    Google Calendar platform. The conferences on this calendar include Search
    Engine Strategies, WebmasterWorld’s PubCon, Ad Tech, Affiliate Summit,
    Gnomedex, Search Bash, SEO Roadshow, SXSW Interactive, Webmasters in the Sun
    and Web 2.0 Conference. I think I will create something similar at the Search
    Engine Roundtable to give people an idea how what conferences you can expect
    us to cover (I may update this post when my schedule is posted)….
  • New
    Players in Travel Search Threaten to Disrupt Status Quo

    Travel search has improved enormously over the past several years, but serious
    travellers still find themselves checking multiple web sites to make sure
    they’re getting the best deal. That may change with the launch of two new
    services that use historical and predictive data to not only find the best
    prices for specific flights, but also to suggest the best dates on which to
    purchase your tickets. Brian Smith has more about the new services in today’s
    SearchDay article, New Players in Travel Search….
  • Image
    Database To Fight Online Child Porn

    The AP reports that AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, EarthLink, NetZero and Juno are
    teaming up to fight child pornography. They are pooling together $1 million to
    build a database of pornographic images of children and software to match the
    image database with similar matches on their own networks. So Yahoo may scan
    email attachments, Yahoo Groups images and other places in the Yahoo network
    where images may be. If any of the images match an image in the database, it
    can be flagged and sent to the authorities. The exact details of the software
    and how it will be used have…
  • Build
    Your Own Matt Cutts

    I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable on a funny little web site that
    gives you a way to build your own Matt Cutts. To dress up Matt Cutts, go to
    the Matt Cutts Doll and drag and drop clothing on top of Matt’s body. Oh, if
    you ever wondered if Matt was a briefs or boxers guys, now you know. Too

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