free html hit counter February 2005 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Good Move, Yahoo: APIs for Search

By - February 28, 2005

Yahoo SearchYahoo tonight announced the Yahoo Search Developer’s Network (no link up yet). In short, this is a program to allow developers to build upon the Yahoo Search and Overture platforms (Overture will be rebranded Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions – I was wondering when the Overture name was going to be phased out). This is big Web 2.0/Web as Platform news, and I can’t wait to see what comes of it. From the release:

The Yahoo Search Developer Network features Yahoo! Search APIs which span Web search verticals, search engine marketing and direct advertising products including:

Web search – leveraging Yahoo! Search Technology

Image search – the largest image search index on the Web with more than 1.5 billion images

Video search – providing users with one-click access to any video

News search – with more than 7,000 news sources

Local search – the most popular destination online for local information

Spelling correction – advanced search query spelling correction technology

Related searches – advanced search query recommendation technology

Overture – access to its search engine marketing API program

Most APIs provide the developers with access to 5,000 queries per day per API, exceeding current competitive search API offerings.

That last part is a dig at Google, which limits its APIs to 1000 queries, hence there has been no real commercial development on top of the Google search platform. But will 5000 be enough? Not for really scaled innovations. Let’s hope they figure out the model to allow for more….full release in extended entry.

Cnet coverage.

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Bill Gross Pushes the Envelope Again

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SnapSnap has news today – it’s launching a Cost-Per-Action advertising platform. With Goto/Overture he launched CPC, now he is pushing cost per action – advertisers only pay when specific actions occur due to their advertising. Interesting!

Blinkx Cuts Deal with Movielink

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BlinkxtvYou know how I am always on about search and video – how I think search naturally will become the interface to buying content. Another paving stone has been laid in that road with the news that Blinkx and Movielink are hooking up. From the LA Times article (reg req’d):

The two companies plan to announce today that Movielink, a downloading service owned by five major studios, will make its pictures available through the Blinkx search engine.

No money is changing hands in the deal, executives with the companies said. Movielink will get additional exposure, and Blinkx will get access to movies that other search engines lack.

Blinkx uses speech-recognition and other technologies to make a searchable index of trailers for the movie service’s nearly 1,000 titles. The company hopes to expand the index to include dialogue from the movies themselves — so that, one day, users who type “I’ll be back” will find “The Terminator” and be able to download it for a $3.99 rental.

Blinkx release.

Safa: Search Valuation Concerns Overblown

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In his latest Silk Road (not online yet, I got it via email) Piper analyst Safa Rashtchy writes:

“Continued weakness in Internet stocks this year, which set up the perfect background for an exaggerated reaction last week on search pricing, reminds us of a similar pattern that developed in Q2 of 2004. Just like now, many funds were selling Internet stocks then, based on perceived weakness in search….We believe, just like then, that the current perceived concern on weakness in search pricing is entirely misguided.”

Weber's New West

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Nearly two years ago I traveled to Montana to see Jonathan Weber, a good friend and partner in the Industry Standard. Weber had set down roots in Missoula after teaching there one semester – he was planning to come back, but he met a girl, bought a house on a river, and by the time I saw him, he was settled in. Weber wanted my take on a new idea he was turning over in his mind – the creation of a regional magazine covering the Rocky Mountain area in which he now resided. I told him I was skeptical – regional print magazines are a tough road – but agreed that the basic premise of a new western ethos certainly seemed to be forming, driven by both local forces and the influx of educated outsiders drawn to the region’s beauty and promise – folks like Weber, in fact.

Well, I am tickled to see the fruit of Jonathan’s labor, just announced: New West. (Yes, Weber did call my teaching partner Clay Felker, who started another “New West” in California nearly 20 years ago, for his blessing). But this is not a print magazine- that is coming later. Instead Jonathan is building a full bore second generation blogging network covering the Rocky Mountains – Idaho, Montana, portions of Colorado, Utah and eastern Washington. As one might expect with Jonathan, the site is full of excellent reporting and strong voices. It includes elements of citizen journalism as well as strong long form. I think it’s really going places. Congratulations, Jonathan!

From the About page:

New West is a network of online communities devoted to the culture, economy, politics, environment and overall atmosphere of the Rocky Mountain West. In a time of dramatic change, New West aims to serve as a nexus of dialogue and a smart guide to the news and issues that are affecting one of the greatest places on Earth. We aim to foster a bond among communities that may be distant in geography or occupation, but share common interests and hopes for the region as it wrestles with growth and change. We stand for forward thinking about the big picture and believe that citizen engagement will be instrumental in the development of the region.

Full coverage at the Denver Post.

Deeply Dumb, MSN

By - February 27, 2005

MsnlameJoho and MSFT’s own Scoble rip MSN for a “viral” marketing campaign that includes phony blogs extolling MSN Search from deeply, deeply contrived “hip” characters. It’s lame corporate marketing at its worst. Dooohhh!

Update: Aaron Pressman makes a point: MSN’s big TV campaign may well help Google.

More on Google AutoLinks

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Cory posts a great riff as to why Google’s AutoLink is a good thing. Scoble counters that it is not.

I see both points of view here, but as I’ve said before, I fall more toward Cory’s line of thinking. Regardless, what I would love to to see is Google openly and transparently joining, listening, defending, and iterating based on this conversation. Be part of the dialog, Google! Why not?

Search Bees

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Tom Evslin suggests we start Search Bees (like Spelling Bees but for finding stuff). I can’t agree more. Great idea. I’m teaching search to my son’s third grade class this week. Cool!