Search Headlines & Links: June 7, 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…

  • May 2006
    Search News Recap Posted

    The latest edition of my monthly Search Engine Report newsletter is now
    online, recapping top stories in search from the past month. You can read it
    online or receive it via email for free by signing up here. If you’re a Search
    Engine Watch member, the latest edition of Search Engine Update newsletter has
    also been posted. That newsletter carries more items than the Search Engine
    Report newsletter and goes out twice per month….
  • Daily
    SearchCast, June 7, 2006: Google Rethinking Chinese Censorship? Rock, Paper,
    Scissors, US Senator, Google Guy; What People Search For At The CIA Web Site &
    More!

    Today’s search podcast covers Google reconsidering Chinese censorship; who’s
    more powerful, a US senator or a Google Guy?; making your site search more
    successful; search marketing budgets on the rise; what people search for on
    the CIA web site and more!

  • Presentations from the Future of Web Search, in Barcelona

    When it was announced earlier this year that Dr. Ricardo Baeza-Yates would be
    joining Yahoo, part of the agreement involved him continuing to work with the
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra. An event sponsored by Yahoo and the Web Research
    Group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, the Future of Web Search took place on
    May 19-20, 2006, and included a large cast of presenters on a wide variety of
    topics. ResourceShelf’s Gary Price noted yesterday that many of the slides
    from the workshop are now online. Here are a few of the presentations
    available:

  • Searching for a Place to Live

    Real estate search services are some of the hottest new properties on the web,
    and no wonder?the National Association of Realtors estimates that more than
    77% of home buyers used the internet in their search for housing. And just as
    different neighborhoods have a unique appeal, the current generation of real
    estate verticals take widely differing approaches to finding real estate
    information. SEW correspondent Greg Sterling has a great roundup of a number
    of the most popular new real estate search verticals in today’s SearchDay
    article, A Real Estate Vertical Search Roundup….
  • Top Four
    & Two Percent Are Key For On Site Search Keyword Optimization

    ClickZ has the details of a Patricia Seybold Group study which says that for
    e-commerce sites, the top two-percent of search queries conducted within the
    site are the most important. The top four-percent of search queries conducted
    on non-ecommerce sites are the most important. If you improve the searcher
    experience for those top 4 or 2 percent of your internal site searches, half
    of all searchers will be happier….
  • Avvo
    Ain’t About Guacamole: It’s New Legal Search In Development

    Avvo is a new legal, vertical search startup that promises to "better navigate
    the highly confusing legal industry." Started by former executives from IAC,
    Expedia and Microsoft, the company is based in Seattle and was formed earlier
    this year as "LegalRev" before changing its name. It just secured $3 million
    in funding from Benchmark Capital. If you visit the site you’ll just see a
    placeholder, so you can’t yet determine what they’re actually doing that is
    different or potentially better than competitive sites like FindLaw or
    Lawyers.com. But there is considerable room for improvement in terms of how
    consumers find…
  • Top 25
    Search Phrases Conducted At The CIA FOIA Collection Listed

    The CIA has a site that enables people to access and search CIA information
    such as previously released documents that were approved for release to the
    public. Gary Price discovers that the CIA has come up with a list of the top
    25 searches at the CIA’s FOIA Electronic Reading Room. Which phrases made the
    top 25, yea, UFO is one of them, what are the others?…
  • AdWords
    Editor Open For All To Download

    ThreadWatch noted the other day that the Google AdWords Editor is now open for
    everyone to use. Google started beta testing the desktop based AdWords
    management software in late January. You can download the AdWords Editor at
    services.google.com/adwordseditor….
  • comScore
    Research Tool To Track From Search To Sale (Even Offline Sales)

    ClickZ reports that comScore Networks will soon offer a new tool named qSearch
    Retail. qSearch Retail will track from the initial Web search to succeeding
    conversions, the conversions also include offline sales. comScore believes
    that 60-90 percent of all conversions happen offline. To obtain the offline
    sales data, comScore will use panel data and follow-up surveys to capture the
    offline sale….

  • Advertisers Increase Search Marketing Budgets

    Loren Baker reports on a JupiterResearch study that shows both revenues earned
    from search marketing campaigns and budgets allocated to those campaigns have
    increased. Search marketers with annual revenues of $15 million or more have
    increased the share of the ad budget from 25 percent in 2005 to 37 percent in
    2006. Plus 66 percent of marketers plan to increase search spend this year….
  • Brin
    Can’t Get Some Senate Meetings On Last-Minute DC Trip; Admits Needing Better
    Organization

    It wasn’t only China that Google cofounder Sergey Brin was talking about in
    Washington DC yesterday. The purpose of his trip primarily was to lobby for
    net neutrality, to prevent phone companies for charging web sites for better
    access to them by web surfers. However, Google Is A Tourist In D.C., Brin
    Finds from the Washington Post covers how being super-powerful in search
    doesn’t equal getting congressional members to drop everything for your
    visit….
  • Google
    To Offer Picasa Web Albums?

    Philipp Lenssen reports that he found signs of a "Picasa Web Albums" feature
    coming to Picasa. Picasa is Google’s desktop based photo management software,
    that they bought back in July 2004. Philipp has screen captures of a button
    that was visible on the Picasa homepage that read, "New! Picasa Web Albums."
    The button has now been removed but it did link to a dead page at
    picasaweb.google.com. Should we expect a Web based version of Picasa soon? I
    suspect so, especially with the release of all these other Web applications
    from Google….
  • Brin
    Suggests Google Might Reverse Chinese Censorship In The Short Term; Meanwhile,
    China Ramps Up Google.com Blocks

    "Brin says Google compromised principles" from the Associated Press covers
    Google cofounder Sergey Brin telling reporters yesterday that it’s possible
    Google might reverse its policy of censoring on behalf of the Chinese
    government. That’s the real news from his talk — a possible reversal, perhaps
    soon — not the admission of compromise which Google’s made before. The news
    comes on the heels of China apparently ramping up blocks on the uncensored
    Google.com site….
  • AdWords
    Advertiser Pays $2,000 After Misleading Searchers

    ComputerWorld reports that a man who was selling "ineffective antispyware"
    software through AdWords has paid $2,000 to settle the dispute out of court.
    Seth Traub, of New Hampshire, used Microsoft’s name in the ads, such as
    "Microsoft AntiSpyware" for keyword searches on "Microsoft spyware cleaner" or
    "Microsoft antispyware." The software Traub sold did not remove spyware, in
    fact, it reportedly made "users’ computers less secure." He settled out of
    court by paying off the legal costs and attorney’s fees….
  • Hitwise:
    Google Tops For UK Web Search But Weak With Other Offerings

    Figures recently released from web monitoring firm Hitwise provides mixed
    messages from the UK for Google and their major competitors. The bare bones of
    the statistics show that Google (combining the .com and .co.uk sites)
    continues to dominate the search market in the UK, executing more than three
    quarters of British searches. MSN Search and Yahoo! Search each powered just
    over 7% each. Ask.com brings up the rear with a 5% share. So 96% of searches
    run in the UK are run by four companies when combining the .com and UK
    properties. Good news for Google one might think, but…

  • Specialty Search Roundup #2

    Here’s another collection of new or "just discovered" specialty search tools,
    mobile tools, and more via Gary over at ResourceShelf. New: Amtrak Mobile Get
    real time train info on your SmartPhone or web accessible PDA New Beta: SEC
    Web Site Adds Beta: Full Text Search To Two Years of EDGAR Filings We also
    list a couple of other tools for full text EDGAR searching….

Other Things We Read, Didn’t Blog But You Might Want To Read…

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