free html hit counter August 2004 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Tableau: Google for Structured Data?

By - August 31, 2004

Gary points me to this Stanford-originated startup, I’m ashamed to say this is the first I’ve heard of it: Tableau. The company was slashdotted about four hours ago and the site appears to be down. Ah, fame.

The Seattle PI has a write up here.

Started as a government research project on the Stanford campus seven years ago, the team behind Tableau worked down the hall from Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. In fact, the two companies share more than a common address, co-founder and CEO Christian Chabot said.

“We are like the sister company of Google in some sense, and I want to say that lightly so it is not misinterpreted,” Chabot said. “But Google was trying to make unstructured databases easy to use, and Tableau was founded to make structured databases easy to use.”

The difference is that Tableau’s software creates a graphical interface for “old-fashioned” databases such as Oracle, SQL Server and Excel while Google’s technology is built for unstructured data on the Internet, he said

Slashdot thread here.

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Thinking About Ads on Searchblog

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currency.jpgSo I have been noodling with the idea of putting ads on Searchblog. Why? Well, I spend a fair amount of time working on the site, and a little beer money would be not a bad thing. Also, it helps me understand a market in a much more personal way. And thirdly, I’m genuinely interested in how various ad systems work. I’ve taken a look at a lot of ad systems over the past few months, many of which I have also reviewed in my role as “band manager” for

I’ve looked at Henry’s BlogAds, but find them too narrow – there’s no real market of search related companies there, and I don’t want to be in the business of building it up. Of course there’s AdSense, but I prefer to not take checks from Google while I write about them. Then there’s Kanoodle, which is getting some buzz lately. And the stealth MarketBanker, which I’ve found less than ideal to communicate with (they are in something of a quiet phase – no they are not going public, just…reworking some stuff, from what I hear). There are others, and if you loyal readers care to suggest from among them, or to comment on the choices I outlined above, I’m all ears.

Then there’s the idea of simply selling sponsorships one by one, which is what Boing Boing decided to do, at least to start. But the problem with that is I don’t get to learn what it’s like to work with the ad networks. So this is my lazyweb request: What do you think I should do?

New Copernic Desktop Search

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logo-copernicFor all you Windows users out there, another search tool for your desktop. Sigh. When will the Mac crack 5% market share and merit a good desktop search tool?

Gary posts a review. Reuters runs a piece.

From his review:

I’ve been using a beta version of the product for the past few weeks and I’m very impressed with its ease of use and overall effectiveness finding material on my computer quickly and easily.

What To Do With All The Money, Part 2: Nothing

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fool. gifSo says The Motley Fool’s David Meier, roughly. Avoid the portal/diversification meme, he counsels.

I have to say, the more I stare at Google and the other players (and I’m doing a lot of staring lately), the more a strategy of differentiation-by-not-diversifying seems to make sense for Google. And in fact, Google’s halting on-the-one hand, on-the-other-hand approach to portal-like apps (mail, orkut, froogle, commercial search integration) belie a persistent case of Strategic Indecisivitis. The problem: it makes no sense for a public company to focus only on Search, as it hitches your revenue wagon to a one trick pony. No wonder the debate about going pubic was so contentious, and the ultimate framing around it so tortured.

(tip to Andy and IDentity and Greg Linden.)

Good Overview for the Non-SEM/SEO Person…

By - August 30, 2004

Ever wondered what is going on with the wild, messy, wonderful world of search-engine optimization/marketing? This piece, posted last week in Media Post, does a fine job of providing a concise first person overview.

Suddenly, venture capital firms are looking at search marketing technology with stars in their eyes. It’s beginning to seem that a few people are going to make a lot of money in this industry. And we’ve even got internal politics. All signs of an industry that’s finally ready for a run at the main stage. All of the signs became more apparent at the recent Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose this month.

Another Yahoo/Google Comparison Site, Jux2 Update

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jux2exReader Thomas Hawk points me to, which compares Yahoo and Google results side by side. Meanwhile, Aaref’s Jux2 has implemented my suggestions and will soon add a “what am I missing” button. From his email: Say you do a search on Google for “happy mutants”. If you then click our browser button, it would take you to a jux2 page showing you the unique results from Yahoo and Jeeves (ie, the non-Google results).

Interesting Data

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searchsharemajestic.jpgI’ve been reviewing a lot of data lately for a chapter in the book I’m calling “Who What Where Why When, How, and How Much.” (OK, it’s a working title.) And the folks at Majestic Research, who do investment-related analysis of the internet space based on data from Comscore and many other sources, have been particularly helpful. They’ve agreed to let me lay some of it on you, which is quite kind. Here’s some of their findings in the search space – it’s pretty interesting. The data is based on Comscore’s tracking methodology.

* More than 80 percent of all searches on the internet are based on 4 or less search terms. The average search term is three words.
* Total number of paid search clicks trended flat to marginally up in Q2.
* Average Price Per Click on Google and Yahoo has trended slightly down over the past two quarters.
* Across the Google Network in Q1 of this year, approximately 50% of results included a sponsored ad, and 53% of all searches resulted in a click of some kind. Of those, 13% were a sponsored click. For Overture, the numbers were 36%, 66%, and 14%. Net net, Overture had more sponsored clicks (about 160mm) compared to Google’s roughly 135mm.
* MSN was one of Overture’s highest performing network partners in Q1. One wonders how MSN’s recent moves to clean up its act will change this.
* For Q2, about 73% of bids on Overture were for less than 20 cents. Ag. PPC however is hovering at 41 cents.
*Worldwide, Google received 28 searches per searcher while Yahoo received 18.5 searches per searcher in June. Within the US, Google received 23.5 searches per searcher while Yahoo received 19.5.

Thanks, Seth and Gian…..