Highlights from the SEW Blog: June 26, 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/.

From The SEW Blog…


  • Yahoo Says Searchers are Better Patients
    New research from Yahoo tells us that the majority of people who searched for health information subsequently visited their doctor (61%) and that 71% of these folks went equipped with pointed, action oriented questions. Searchers also use twice as many resources to learn about health issues than the average consumer. Other key findings include:…



  • ‘Social Directory,’ ‘Directed Blogging’?: Whatever You Call It Yelp Has Got It Down
    The odds were against Yelp when it entered the local search/directory market just under two years ago. (As an aside, I am using a the label “social directory” for sites like Yelp, InsiderPages and Judysbook because they layer community on top of a traditional directory advertising model.) Two years ago the market was already relatively mature with sites like the venerable Citysearch, the search engines and portals offering local search and/or online yellow pages. In addition, all the yellow pages publishers had sites themselves. Then there were online communities like Craigslist, not to mention newspaper sites with their local content….



  • Ask.com Too Strict With Child & Sex Keywords?
    The Hammer of Trust writes that Ask.com is way too strict for searches on keywords about sex and children. For example, a search on Ask.com on [laws against pedophilia” brings back a message that reads, “This query does not comply with Ask.com Terms of Service.” The “Go” button following the message links you to Ask.com Terms of Service. Other similar searches do the same thing, such as , talking to your children about sex, blocking porn from kids and warning your kids about sex offenders. I also tried searching on preventing child pornography and that also was blocked. It is…



  • Google Testing Ad Supported Premium Video
    Google is running a test offering about 2,000 premium videos available for free streaming viewing, inserting a persistent banner-type ad at the top of the screen and showing an additional post-roll video ad once the premium content has finished streaming. The test is expected to last about a week, according to Peter Chane, group business product manager, Google Video. , inserting a persistent banner-type ad at the top of the screen and showing an additional post-roll video ad once the premium content has finished streaming. The test is expected to last about a week, according to Peter Chane, group business…



  • Google, Kill The Web Search Counts!
    Number one on my 25 Things I Hate About Google list from March was “web search counts that make no sense.” This week’s fiasco with the “5 billion spam pages” in Google only underscores that those counts really are a big issue that can be noticed by more than a few tech heads. Fix them or get rid of them, I say….



  • Google Updates Toolbar Privacy Policy
    It appears to me that Google updated the Google Toolbar Privacy Policy yesterday. I know the dates do not reflect that on the page, but if you take a look at the current version and compare it to the cached version from Jun 16, 2006 you will notice a lot of changes. Below are some of the larger changes to the privacy policy….



  • Google Answers: Ask Whatever You Like, Except About Google
    We wrote earlier about Google pulling a question at Google Answers about Google. Philipp Lenssen at Google Blogoscoped followed-up further and found that Google officially disallows people to ask questions about the company because the researchers at Google Answers aren’t Google employees. Got that? Freelance researchers are apparently qualified to answer questions about any other company in the world, but when it comes to Google, special treatment is required. Incredible….





  • Wall Street Journal Piece On Tracking
    Mylene Mangalindan of the Wall Street Journal wrote a solid piece on Monday that was unfortunately buried at the end of the annual All Things Digital section. If you’re a multi-channel internet marketer, read her article, Ad Vantage (Paid reg. required). The piece looks at potential pitfalls of advertising online without proper analytics tracking and covers such topics as Garden Harwares difficulties tracking which search advertising or comparison shopping clicks actually convert (PriceGrabber and Shopping.com are singled out), eBays solution for search marketing (seems they developed a system in-house after leaving Efficient Frontier), Alibris’ problems with affiliate sales (not all…



  • Mid-June 2006 Search News Recap Posted
    If you’re a Search Engine Watch member (thanks for your support!), the latest edition of Search Engine Update newsletter has been posted. It recaps top stories in search from the first part of this month….



  • The Search & Branding Tug-Of-War, Again
    “Cannes Lions Diary: Search under scrutiny” from the Financial Times at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival covers what we’ve seen before, traditional ad buyers worried that search is going to rob their budgets while search engines planning to do that theft try to distract with a “search is a brand thing” message….



  • Nielsen//NetRatings Stats Keep Google On Top In May 2006
    Last month, Nielsen/NetRatings had Google hitting the 50 percent mark of percentage of searches handled in the United States (when rounded up from 49.8%). This month, Google slips back down very slightly to 49 percent. I’ve warned before that you should be wary of month-to-month changes. That said, here’s the rundown, which gives Yahoo a percentage gain to Google’s loss:…



  • Martin Taylor, VP Of Windows Live & MSN Marketing Leaves Microsoft
    ClickZ reports on a Bloomberg story about Martin Taylor, the vice president of Windows Live and MSN marketing group has left MSN. Reportedly, Taylor was good friends with CEO Steve Ballmer and was a possible candidate in the future for that position. The ClickZ article says, “The wording of the Microsoft statement seems to imply the company, and not Taylor, made “the difficult decision to part ways.”” But why then would Taylor just be appointed the VP position and credited with being the “a go-to guy for problem areas,” in late March? I dunno. Interesting and I wonder what type…



  • Chinese Authorities Temporarily Shut Down Two Large Chinese Portals
    PaidContent reports that two of the largest Chinese portals have been temporarily shut down by the Chinese authorities for not passing a “an on-the-spot censorship test.” The chief editors of Sina.com and Sohu.com “were summoned to the State Council Information Office,” that morning. While on the topic of Chinese censorship, take a look at the list Philipp compiled of Censored Domains in Google.cn….



  • Don’t Vote For Us As Best Search Marketing Blog At MarketingSherpa!
    That’s right. We don’t want your vote in the “Blogs On Search Marketing” or “Best Podcast” categories of MarketingSherpa’s awards, happening right now. We couldn’t take them if we wanted to, since we didn’t make the short list. Then again, neither did John Battelle’s blog, nor Threadwatch, nor Matt Cutts, nor many of the others we list in our blog roll. I guess either:…



  • Craigslist Adds Cities, Now 300 Strong
    According to an article in the Wall Street Journal (sub. req’d) over the weekend and a Monday posting on PaidContent, iconic local community and classifieds site Craigslist has added 72 new U.S. markets and more than 20 internationally. The site is now in 300 cities in the US and abroad and has 10 million uniques a month. Revenues for 2005 were estimated to be as high as $25 million. The Journal article is mystified as to why CL leaves “money on the table.” But that’s part of the homespun appeal of this now powerhouse local Internet brand. This ClickZ posting…



  • Microsoft, Google & Others Call For Unified Federal Privacy Protection
    Microsoft bravely took part in the search privacy panel we did at our SES New York show earlier this year (coverage here and here), saying it would welcome better US federal protections on privacy issues. Why? It would let Microsoft and the searchers it serves know exactly what data government agencies could and could not have. Now Microsoft, along with Google and other tech companies, are pushing to make this happen….



  • Google Sub Sub Domain Issues Clearly Visible
    Threadwatch reveals some more examples of issues Google is having. They note a search on queer forum returns CraigsList 97 times out of the top 100 results. That is not all, a search on wedding forum returns about 50 of 100 results from CraigsList’s site, just scroll down to number 50 and you will see. Is CraigsList spamming? No! Is Google suffering? 🙂 Google is clearly having issues with sub sub domains. Continued coverage of Google’s public index issues. Postscript From Danny: Comments at Threadwatch also note Yahoo has the same issue. MSN does not as badly (but that could…



  • New Search Patent Applications: June 19, 2006 – Autolinking, and Better Advertising through Deletion Predictions
    Four patent applications from Google describe fighting spam in emails, providing product review searches, moving large amounts of data, and autolinking. Yahoo matches, and raises with five patent filings. One on watching deletions to choose better ads, another on serving dynamic information through a additional browser interface, and three more on multimedia and RSS. Microsoft goes TV 2.0 with an electronic program guide, and describes a way of matching advertising content with certain search queries before those searches are made. IBM comes up with a unique way of presenting the results of a search from more than one search engine,…



  • Google’s Mobile Operations Expected To See Largest Growth
    The Times Online UK reports that Google’s mobile division, which is based in London, is expected to “become the biggest driver of new business” for Google. Search on mobile phones, wireless laptops and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are seen as a huge opportunity for many search companies. In Britain, there is a mobile phone for every person, but in some other areas, like Scandinavia, “mobile ownership is almost double that rate.”…



  • Google To “Internationalize” All Products
    InsideGoogle reports that Google has asked University of Limerick based in Ireland to help find an “experienced localization guru” to help localize and “internationalize” all of Google’s products. The PC World article goes into more details about the job, describing that job calls for an “executive with 10 or more years of product management experience to serve as group product director of internationalization.”

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