free html hit counter November 2005 | Page 8 of 8 | John Battelle's Search Blog

I'm Bored With Zeitgeist

By - November 02, 2005

Those of you who’ve read my book will recall that the whole story started when someone sent me a link to Google’s original Zeitgeist – the top gaining and declining queries for the year 2001. Since then, ol’ ZG has been hitting the lists every week, and I check it regularly. And I have to say, it’s beyond predictable – now it’s simply deadly dull. Here’s this week’s top five gainers:

1. rosa parks

2. halloween

3. daylight savings

4. jack-o-lantern

5. costume ideas

Come on Google, you know so much more in your own version of the Database of Intentions than you are letting on. Think what you might be able to surface with a bit of imagination? How about some of you Googlers start futzing around in that fabled 20% time, and come up with something interesting again?

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Do You Hard Code?

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Googler Matt Cutts, whose site I recommend if you want to stay current on that which Google allows him to talk about (usually Adwords) has an interesting post on the practice of hard coding a response for a particular query, in this case, “Google.”

Loren points out Yahoo has hard-coded some special behavior for the query [google]. Searching for [Google] at the Australia/NZ version of Yahoo returns “Try the new Yahoo! Search:” with a prominent search box right above the listing for Google. Interesting..

This reminds me of similar incidents from other search engines in the past. Remember when Inktomi hand-coded the result for [dumb motherfucker] so that the #1 result was a Google page about its executives? Boy, I do. That was motivating.


But let’s be honest here. Everyone does this. Google might do it through targeted AdWords, but it’s hard coding by another name…

Russell: MSFT = Monopoly 4.0

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Some choice words for Microsoft from Russell (who you may recall now works at Yahoo).

Though it doesn’t seem to make sense for Live to have the Windows or Office names right now – live.com is just another web dashboard at the moment – there are far more ambitious plans to come. The Windows and Office monikers are there because Microsoft will, of course, be up to it’s old tricks by heavily integrating Live services into the desktop sucking the air supply out of any online competitors. It doesn’t seem that they should be allowed to do this sort of thing, but the success of iTunes seems to have given them a new excuse to start tying products again. And hell, the DOJ agreement only lasts until 2007, no? ….Yep, for Microsoft, Live isn’t about Web 2.0 at all, it’s all about Monopoly 4.0.

Update: Om adds a graphic here.

Rumor O' The Day: Google DVR

By - November 01, 2005

Slashdot has the chew through, but I think this is utter speculation. Of course, I thought Gmail was a hoax. The original article which spawned this rumor is here, that piece*is* utter speculation.

It's On

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Windowslive

Gates is unveiling an online version of Office, and “Windows Live” – a MSFT answer to the rest of the web. More as it comes in.

Here’s more from MarketWatch. Nothing surprising … but it’s on.

And Cnet’s coverage:

Kicking off what he called the “live era” of software, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates on Tuesday said the company plans to launch new Internet-based complements to its core products.

Gates said Microsoft is working on two new products: “Windows Live” and “Office Live” that create new opportunities for the company to sell online subscriptions and advertising. Both are targeted at smaller businesses and consumers.

The new products won’t replace the company’s ubiquitous operating system or productivity suite. “They are not required to use Windows or Office,” Gates said.

Local Matters Grows

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I’ve always enjoyed talking with Perry Evans, CEO of Local Matters, and found that his company is a quiet but interesting contender in the local search space. Why is that? Well, the partnerships with Dex (a Yellow Pages company) among others. And the fact that Evans is the guy behind MapQuest, so he knows his way around this territory. Today Local Matters announced new funding and an acquisition, of AreaGuides.net.

Local coverage (Denver Post) here.

Release here.