Highlights from the SEW Blog: May 22, 2006

Featured posts from the Search Engine Watch blog, as well as our customary search headlines from around the web. If you’re not familiar with our blog, click on any of the links below, or visit the blog’s home page at http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/.

Guide To Microsoft’s Many Shopping Search Sites

This is a long overdue post to clear up confusion around Microsoft’s multiple shopping sites which include MSN Shopping, Windows Live Shopping Beta, and Windows Live Product Search Beta. The Marketplaces & Shopping team at Microsoft also runs Windows Marketplace and Windows Live Expo but in this post, I’m just covering the general ecommerce initiatives.

MSN Shopping = Microsoft’s core shopping comparison engine. MSN Shopping covers over 7,000 merchants and 33 million products. The beauty of a shopping comparison engine like MSN Shopping is in its ability to normalize product pages – put simply, item clustering (I’m borrowing that term from Imran Aziz, Lead Program Manager Windows Live Product Search Beta), the ability to put all merchant offers for a particular product on a single page. MSN Shopping works off of very structured product data provided by Shopping.com and PriceGrabber.

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Google Maps Australia and New Zealand

Finally, Australia gets mapped by Google Maps. Not only did Australia get street level views, so did New Zealand. So if you are ever in Sydney, you should be able to find your way to Canterbury, New Zealand. Spotted via Philipp Lenssen, who also noted this past April that Google mapped in detail Europe.

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New Search Patents: Yahoo’s Active Abstracts

Some new patents and patent applications from the last week cover a wide range of search related topics. On Tuesday, I wrote about some possible enhancements to Ask’s Binoculars. Yahoo seems to be looking at providing more information on search results pages with smarter snippets, or what they call “active abstracts” that can lead to such things as refined queries or maps or can even allow you to place a phone call. Microsoft comes up with an intermediary query interface which could be used with more than one search engine. IBM and Hitachi both present different ways of looking at clustered results after a search. The dominant Korean search engine describes methods for selling keyword-based advertising. S.L.I. Systems presents a human powered search, which uses community to tell it when to update pages, and which keywords to associate with those pages.

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Specialty Search Roundup

Even though Gary Price left SEW Blog a few months ago and is now working at Ask.com, ResourceShelf, the site he compiles and edits with a team of librarians is going strong as an independent resource.

As I’m sure you remember, Gary has a strong interest in specialty search tools. One thing (there are many others) that stood out, since Gary’s departure, was that we were missing coverage of some specialty search topics. So, here’s a quick rundown of some of the databases he’s posted about recently on ResourceShelf.

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Tim Cadogan Talking At Yahoo Analyst Day

Tim Cadogan, vice president of search, up now at Yahoo Analyst Day, talking about search monetization. He starts by saying the consumer is always first in consideration, then explains the search food chain/cycle, how questions can be answered by advertisers. Think there are billions of offers that can be delivered with more relevancy to make both sides, advertisers and searchers, happy.

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Jeff Weiner Talking At Yahoo Analyst Day

I’m at Yahoo’s Analyst Day today, and I thought I’d give a shot at live blogging a session or two. We’ll see how it goes, starting with Jeff Weiner, senior vice president, search and marketplace, at Yahoo. He’s doing the first session focused exclusively on search, though Lloyd Braun, speaking now, has touched on a few things — including the new Yahoo Finance charts to come, which look to bring Yahoo up to what Google rolled out with Google Finance.

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Jim Lanzone, CEO Ask.com, Interviewed By CNBC

Jim Lanzone, the new CEO of Ask.com, was recently interviewed on CNBC. You can watch the video interview by clicking here. Jim talks about Ask.com search market share, the recent TV commercials and why Ask.com will continue to grow market share.

Microsoft MapCruncher Lets You Mashup Data & Maps

Want to mashup maps and data? Microsoft’s just launched its own way to do this with MapCruncher. The site’s not responding right now when I check, probably because of demand. From the note Microsoft sent us, it’s supposedly something anyone can do:

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Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication’s search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Europe is failing to exploit internet, says Google chief
Telegraph May 20 2006 11:44PM GMT
Google Base no category killer
ZDNet May 20 2006 6:08PM GMT
Google? Er, is that in Wales?
The Times May 20 2006 4:50AM GMT
Commercializing The World Google, Style
Internet News May 19 2006 10:04PM GMT
Microsoft Bolsters Perks, Pay Plan to Avert an Employee Exodus to Google
Bloomberg May 19 2006 6:44PM GMT
Case Study: Going Up Against Google
inc.com May 19 2006 6:28PM GMT
Google Exposes Youth to Adult-Only Sites
Korea Times May 19 2006 2:34PM GMT
Google accused of exposing Korean kids to porn
vnunet.com May 19 2006 12:59PM GMT
Google searching for users’ trust
InfoWorld May 19 2006 12:07PM GMT
A Bigdaddy Timeline, Courtesy of Google’s Matt Cutts
ISEDB May 19 2006 10:28AM GMT
Quest for a Euro-Google
BBC May 19 2006 7:55AM GMT
Think Organic, Act Paid
ClickZ Today May 19 2006 4:08AM GMT
The End of Page Views and Impressions?
ClickZ Today May 19 2006 4:07AM GMT
Google finally puts Australia on the map
Sydney Morning Herald reg May 19 2006 1:18AM GMT

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