free html hit counter July 2005 - Page 5 of 7 - John Battelle's Search Blog

How We Search

By - July 12, 2005

SEW has a good summary of how Americans search, from a Harris Interactive study.

What are people searching for? Most people (88%)said they were researching specific topics—specifically, information about hobbies. And women (61%) were more likely to search for health and medical information than men (35%). Surprisingly few people researching specific topics are looking for job or career information (28%).

Other common things people use search for include:

* Getting directions/maps – 75%

* Looking for news – 64%

* Shopping – 51%

* Looking for entertainment web sites – 47%

  • Content Marquee

Buy Yer Way In

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Mediapost notes that M&A is up in the interactive media space….

According to a Jordan, Edmiston tracking study of 11 media and information sectors, during the first half of 2005, 266 M&A transactions were completed. That represents a 15.2 percent jump from the same time period in 2004, totaling nearly $27 billion in value.

Travelin'

By - July 11, 2005

Posting will be light today, heading NY way….

Google Geeks Out With Currency

By - July 08, 2005

It’s Friday, so I can tell you this random search story. In the post below about Paul, I made an offhand remark about social networks being useful for one thing, getting laid. I then noticed that Paul was, in fact, wearing a lei in his Yahoo 360 picture. I decided to note the joke in an updated post. But I was not sure how to spell “lei” and furthermore, how to turn it into a verb (I settled on “lei’d”). In any case, to check the spelling of “lei” I plugged it into my Firefox Google toolbar. It confirmed the spelling, but also did a currency conversion for me, which is a new feature at Google. Turns out, the lei is unit of Romanian currency (though yahoo says it’s a “leu”).

But only Google would do a conversion that looks like this:

One Lei

Happy Friday.

Can't Find It On Google

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Now you can add your gripe. (Thanks, Andre)

From the site:

Most of the time, you punch what you want to know into Google, and you instantly get what you’re looking for. But have you ever had that experience, where you try query after query and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t find what you’re looking for? That’s what this site is for — because the things Google can’t find is more interesting than the stuff Google can find. Click New Entry to add your own entry to our collection of Can’t Find On Google.

SGCowen on Keywords, Ad Market

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CowennumbersThis came in my mail and I thought I’d share it with you, as there’s a lot of data in here, and I’d not seen anything from SGCowen – an investment bank – before. You can download it here. Shows increase month to month in keyword prices, and projects that paid search will be half of all online ads by 2009, among many other things.

On Local, Social, and Competitive Content

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Paull-1Paul Levine, who runs Yahoo Local, made the trek up to Marin earlier this week and we had a chance to chat about any number of things. I’ve been a fan of Yahoo Local for some time, it was the first from the big three, and remains the best, as far as I can tell. Google is on it, of course, and has very cool features, but with 360 and MyWeb, Yahoo has social network integration, and I think this is an important distinction. After talking to Paul for a while, I became convinced that A/Google may well dust off Orkut and actually make it useful for search, B/Google may finally figure out why it bought Blogger, and C/Yahoo can succeed if it really does open up its 360 platform to accept data from all comers. In fact, if 360 has hooks that let developers feed data in, and pull data out, it may well become the first social networking platform with a killer app beyond getting laid (I see Paul, above, did get lei’d…) – and that app will be search.

As I’ve said before, I have no interest in building yet another social network. However, if doing so will offer me a significant benefit – like really personalized search, and/or search based on my friends preferences, posts, and input – well, maybe I’d be motivated. I still don’t want to invite them all in, though, and go through that whole Orkut baseball trading card craze. So if someone hacks up a neat integration tool for Linked In, Apple’s address book, AIM, etc., why, I’d be in for it. And if Yahoo opens up 360 APIs to allow that, why, I imagine someone will do just that.

Secondly, I found myself becoming curious about the odd competitive issues surrounding all this social network and local data that is accumulating around Yahoo Local and 360. Clearly it’s to Yahoo’s benefit to rank well in Google for all that content. Paul showed me a review he did of a Valley auto dealership called Boardwalk Auto Center (hey Paul, is your review linkable? It should be! All I could find to link to was the dealership page on Yahoo Local, where your review is included). Anyway, as I looked at his review, I thought to myself: “Huh. I wonder if that review will be spidered by Google, and come up in Google’s index as relevant content when someone does a Google Local search for, say, “Boardwalk Auto Center” or “Nissan dealer Redwood City“. Seems to me if Google was truly trying to find the best local content, Paul’s review on Yahoo Local would be very pertinent.

What you do find, after a couple of clicks, is some CitySearch reviews. Huh.

Levine told me that in fact, a lot of Yahoo Local content has matriculated into the Google index, and that he’s sure that will continue. Search, especially Google search, is a critical distribution channel for his products. As Google, MSN, and Yahoo fire up their competitive engines, I wonder how long each will be willing to spider the others proprietary content. Worth keeping an eye on.

Tag Spam

By - July 07, 2005

We knew it was going to happen. Steve points it out here.

A Bit Out There? Google's Right There

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CurrentOne of the things I like about Google is its penchant for stuff that’s, well, a bit out there. Like IP over power lines. It actually works, though. And it’s a bit more realistic than, say, carbon nanotubes to the moon.

From an Reuters report:

Google Inc. (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) , Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Hearst Corp. are investing about $100 million in Current Communications Group, a start-up that offers high-speed Internet connections over electricity lines, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Current Communications, of Germantown, Maryland, uses a technology that sends Internet signals over regular power lines, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the situation.

Current’s site is here.