free html hit counter News Day... - John Battelle's Search Blog

News Day…

By - September 14, 2004

I’m trying very hard to write this f*ing book, my posts will remain light. However, there’s much news in search land lately.

First, Yahoo bought MusicMatch.

Second, Google rolled out improvements to its Local Search – the note I received from Google PR is in the extended entry. (This space will REALLY heat up in the next few quarters). Last week it also updated its Alerts service.

Third, AOL announced a shopping search.

Fourth, Danny Sullivan takes a bow over at Yahoo Search Blog. This has provoked some commentary on whether this is getting a tad too close. I think Danny’s the best, but I’d probably take a pass on this one (then again, they didn’t ask!).

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Today, Google launched a number of significant upgrades to Google Local, Google’s local search service. These enhancements and new features are a result of Google’s continuing effort to develop Google Local and make local information even more accessible and useful. The new improvements include:

*Enhanced user interface – a new, cleaner design that now includes maps on results pages displaying the location of businesses in the search results
*New mapping capabilities – users can now zoom and pan different directions on the maps without reloading the page
*Improved comprehensiveness – search results provide links to even more web pages like business homepages and related ratings and reviews
*More relevant results – improved relevance technology returns even more precise results

These features build upon the core technology of Google Local, which combines traditional business listings with relevant information from across the web. This innovative approach does not rely on pre-determined categories and enables Google Local to provide local information that exactly matches a user’s search. For example, a woman in Palo Alto, Calif. could be looking for a restaurant but is on a budget. She would have trouble finding listings that provide this information in the yellow pages or on other local information sites. However, by simply searching for [cheap restaurants] in [Palo Alto] on Google Local, she would find a number of nearby restaurants to fit the bill. Google Local achieves this level of relevance by searching restaurant reviews and other related web pages, in addition to business listings, to return results described as [cheap] on the web.

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6 thoughts on “News Day…

  1. Tony says: (and John! ) reports that Yahoo! has acquired Musicmatch for $160MM. Coupled with its Launch service, and recent renewed rebranding of consumer devices (broken by Engadget), it seems quite possible that Yahoo! is preparing to directly challenge Apple in the digital music arena.

  2. Mike OK says:

    I did not find in my testing that the map did not require reloads. Also, I am yet to see the Google service to correctly point me to specific websites for the businesses it is providing. IMHO, it still needs alot of work.

  3. Tony Gentile says:

    John, hope you won’t mind the link off… noticed an interesting conflict on Categories vs. Keywords in the ClickZ article on yesterday’s launch, and the Google Local Search upgrade launch today. Link to the blog article (pardon the template issues, fighting Blogger as always):

  4. Victor says:

    Looks like Gigablast is hiring, also. Who would have guessed that that search engine started by one man in his home could become a company? I mean, how many waves of garage search engines can there be?

  5. Hi John,

    I own Sweepstakes Today which is in many ways, I a search engine for high quality sweepstakes. Currently, I have over $65,000,000 million dollars in prizes offered.

    My site has been getting a lot of attention from major sponsors but its also strange in some ways. They love what I am doing but not sure how to define my site. Is it a search engine? A advertising website? or something else?

    I would welcome your thoughts, ideas and opinions. PS … I might be interested in advertising on your website with a banner.

    Mr. Sweepy!

  6. Freddy says:

    Just to let you know that I think the website is great and I wish you all of the best for the future.