free html hit counter Melanie's Round Up | John Battelle's Search Blog

Melanie's Round Up

By - June 29, 2006

Picture 3-3Check this out

Google unveils its secure-cart Checkout program, integrated directly into search results. A little green shopping cart displays beside participating merchants; when selected, logged-in Google ID users will find the purchase process reduced to one page and returning users will find the data pre-populated (bells ring across the privacy vigilant web). Actually, in general it will be one page– a speedier checkout being Google’s major selling point–but it can be more.

AdWords advertisers will accumulate transaction fee discounts, even free usage, for increased sales. As an incentive to non-AdWords sellers, Google rates will be 2% + $.20 (in comparison to PayPal’s 1.9% + $.30) commission. Asked whether Google is considering including in search results direct-checkout options for other secure online transaction companies, representatives said only that the company would consider anything that would improve user experience.

“We can do that.”

Rupert Murdoch claims Google passed up the chance to buy MySpace at half the price he paid, just before it metastasised into 8% of Google’s search traffic. In the Verbatim of Wired’s July cover story, Murdoch summaries his impression of Google’s pass: “They thought, “It’s nothing special. We can do that.” Err… (via GigaOm)

Answering to Google

You can ask about Google, but in the end Google Answers answers to Google. In a string of playful submissions to Google Answers about the company itself, the tricksters are rooted out with a revealing final reply. Because Google Answers are written by non-employee researchers, the note says, they are not qualified to answer questions about the company. As SEW writes “Got that? Freelance researchers are apparently qualified to answer questions about any other company in the world, but when it comes to Google, special treatment is required. Incredible.

Google, v.

The Oxford English Dictionary–last bastion of standardized English–includes “Google” as verb in the latest draft for its next edition. The pending definition, noted by Resource Shelf:

intr. To use the Google search engine to find information on the Internet.

trans. To search for information about (a person or thing) using the Google search engine.

4 thoughts on “Melanie's Round Up

  1. harry says:

    re: Google Checkout:

    Unveils it? Where?

    If they announced it, ok. But you say “unveil” yet I don’t see it anywhere. Can you elaborate.

  2. Google has a page that outlines the stores that will honor Google Checkout (as of now), as well as stores that are enrolled in the program via AdWords (it seems) below that. There are also some interesting $10 off coupon codes of orders over $20 if you use Google Checkout contained on this page as well. Last but not least, there is a link in the upper right explaining more about the “unveiled” Google Checkout.

  3. DW says:

    What about yahoo or msn???

    So your saying google is now the only one.

  4. Google > yahoo+msn+others :)

  • Content Marquee

Melanie's Round Up

By - June 27, 2006

Picture%201-12-TmGoogle sells Baidu stock

Google disinvests from the Chinese search engine Baidu, of which it owned 2.6 percent stock (about $63m). Though Google bought the Baidu stock before it launched its own engine in China, according to Bloomberg, Baidu stock is still out-performing Google and the other dominant US engines in China. Baidu market share reached 27 percent this year. (Reuters piece)

GBuy expected tomorrow

GBuy–Google’s premiere online payment system — is expected for testing on June 28, or sometime this week. Searchblog’s earlier post on GBuy. WSJ article (sub needed) sums it up: “Consumers who search for items like “shoes” or “strollers” on Google’s search site will see text ads with a symbol or icon designating advertisers that accept GBuy payments. Shoppers normally would have clicked on an ad and been linked to that merchant’s Web site. Now, while they will still be linked to the merchant’s site, they will go through a different checkout process integrated with Google if they choose GBuy for their transaction. Details of the service could still change before Google’s official GBuy announcement.”

X1 desktop search now free

A pioneer desktop search, X1 Enterprise is now free to download, edging Google Desktop. X1 can index over 370 file formats. (X1 earlier on Searchblog, here.)

IM search

Windows Live Messenger plans to add an IM search client. It sounds not unlike the the Korozu Byoms mentioned earlier on Searchblog. (via Resource Shelf)

Topics2-TmWeb Brain

WebBrain is a visual, interactive search engine containing the DMOZ directory. “WebBrain incorporates over 2.5 million URLs, which are organized into more than 353,000 categories by 35,000 volunteer editors of the Netscape Open Directory Project.” (via Infosthetics) (PC only)

Proctor & Gamble, leads in ads

According to the latest Leading National Advertiser Report, Proctor & Gamble became the largest advertiser in 2005, passing GM. Resource Shelf points out the full PDF shows company line-items for online ad spending.

Y! Groups search expands

Yahoo Groups added date/period, author, subject, and text advanced search options, says Resource Shelf.

Ingenio’s ‘pay-per-call’ service

A new service for experts (from financial advisers to professors) that essentially schedules phone consultations on private numbers with clients based on preliminary vetting for time and prices (based on the expert’s initial preferences). (CNet article)

One thought on “Melanie's Round Up

  1. Konin says:

    Google’s premiere online payment system – where ?

Melanie's Round Up

By - June 23, 2006

Stall on net neutrality vote

The Sentate delays its vote on the telecom bill affecting net neutrality, until at least Tuesday.

Tim “inventor of the internet” Berners-Lee posted a video on his blog saying, “When I invented the Web, I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission… Freedom of connection, with any application, to any party, is the fundamental social basis of the Internet, and, now, the society based on it.”

Yahoo Mobile

Yahoo launches mobile web access to mail, IM, and contacts.

GeoportailFrench satellite maps

The French government unveils, a site with detailed satellite imagery of the country that it says has better resolution than Google Maps. (via Reuters) Same as Resource Shelf’s complaint however, the page didn’t load on my try.

Internet Archive, Alexandria v.2

CNet takes a close-up look at Brewster Kahle and the ambitious work at the Internet Archive “to build, make freely accessible and preserve what he calls–in reference to the legendary lost library of the ancient world–the “Library of Alexandria, v.2.”

Resource Shelf expands on the article, noting the only thing missing is a mention of the Archive-It program, which allows institutions to create their own web archives.

A long talk with Snap

Search Engine Lowdown posts an in depth interview with Snap CEO, Tom McGovern and COO, Fre Walti.

11 thoughts on “Melanie's Round Up

  1. For about a year – the Archive had a beta project named * RECALL *

    One could get search engine like SERPs for any query during any archived time period

    It was fun and useful – then, suddenly, it disappeared????????

  2. Melanie,
    Thanks for doing such a terrific job on the round-ups — and for the link to Geoportail. I was looking forward to see how the French had beaten Google Earth at its own game, in anticipation of the French search engine that surely will fly as well as Airbus. Unfortunately, Geoportail is unavailable. Why? I’ll leave it to the Google translation of the site apology ( to explain:

    “You are incredibly numerous to connect you to Géoportail, gate of the territories and the citizens since his setting on line. We recorded several million connections in a few hours. Because of this multitude, the site is currently saturated. Our teams put all works about it to allow you to reach it again under satisfactory conditions of navigation and thank you for the interest which you carry to this innovative interdepartmental site.”

    Vive la France.

  3. Ellis says:

    Tim “inventor of the internet” Berners-Lee

    Freedom is never free, it seems blood must spill to maintain freedom.

    Also why does everything have to be taxed.

  4. Keith Cash says:

    I tried the french gov website. would not work for me eithers.

    Cheers to Ellis, I believe he is on the mark

  5. KK says:

    It seems odd that Google cannot find the web site when you type or in the google tool bar…. U think they are blocking amazon on purpose…

  6. SorenG says:

    Yeah, just tried it. Very odd. I got: “Sorry, no information is available for the URL”

    Can they do this?

  7. SorenG says:

    Also, try a search for They seem to get that just fine, with the only result: yeaap,

    Is there a search engine watch group that tracks and watches this?

  8. SorenG says:

    OK, just submitted it to Digg: Please digg it here:

  9. Melanie says:

    @ SorenG: saw your digg and tried it. seems likely it’s a server error, as the url for G’s other major competitors are searchable.

    And if you search for alone it does return results. strange but true.

  10. Lyononline says:


    I have just realized a bench concerning Google Earth and Geoportail. Some pictures will help you to see the new french service compare with Google Earth.

    Here is the link

    Have fun :-)
    PS: (if you want me to translate some sentences, don’t hesitate to ask. See ya

  11. Mansoor Basha says:

    Tried Snap and loved it. Interestingly, I preferred many of the components of Snap. So, guess what I did – I replaced the Google search bar on Firefox with Snap!!! yes I know.. can’t believe in 2 to 3 years of being a Googler, I showed my true colours, I have no affinity for search engines and I CRAWL search engines. Makes me one less GOOGLER!

Melanie's Round Up

By - June 22, 2006

Adobe Flash to include Google Search

Adobe enters a distribution deal to bundle Google Toolbar software with its downloads for several years, starting now with Shockwave. This is a shift to larger upfront marketing costs for Google, Reuters notes, in a race before the Vista release. (As a glimpse of market share, Shockwave currently runs on 55 percent of web connected desktops, according to Adobe.)

Real-time ad auctions

Right Media offers automated real-time online auctioning for ad spaces, bypassing traditional ad agencies and increasing market transparency. According to RM, its platform now includes 11,000 ad networks, advertisers and publishers, trading about two billion impressions daily. (CNet)

New Google ad system

Google announces Content Referral Network for select publishers–an ad system that aims to overcome the CPC fraud-vulnerability in AdSense. CRN will reward by completion of commercial actions (CPA), such as filling out a survey or making a purchase. (via Monetize)

Google as media Co. — Vint Cerf

A Searchblog reader in the Netherlands points out a Dutch documentary about Google, “in which Vint Cerf clearly does see Google as a media company, as he compares Google with a newspaper or television station” in an explanation about bias in the media. Viewable online here, this excerpt is in the frame beginning at 46:58/51:04. (Thanks Martijn.)

Brain powered search?

Scalability, submission quality, and natural language issues be damned, Jatalla defies trends in algorithmic-powered search engines and turns to human computing. Scheduled to launch in July, this index is fed by user-submitted “lexivotes”– three link recommendations per term. The engine returns results based only for exact-term matches, and users are limited to one lexivote per term.

3 thoughts on “Melanie's Round Up

  1. Keith Cash says:

    Google announces Content Referral Network for select publishers–an ad system that aims to overcome the CPC fraud-vulnerability in AdSense.

    This is good news. Glad someone is going to try to fix the problem

  2. John says:

    Where does it say that Adobe is bundling Toolbar with Flash? I think they’ve only announced Shockwave. Maybe in the future…?

  3. Jessica says:

    The brain powered search caught my eye, I think it is a great idea, I think google does some of this too, perhaps with a staff that influences some particluar categories? It may be intresting to see the difference between computer generated, human influenced results as compared to human generated, computer matches exact term results.

Melanie's Round Up

By - June 20, 2006

Google verticals languishing

Search dominates Google traffic by 79.98%, while its dedicated service sites combined gain paltry numbers. ZNet story here, considers the end game.


The Search quotes a Harris poll that says nearly 40 percent of internet users have performed the requisite vanity search.

“I’d be willing to wager that this number will head north of 90 percent in the coming years, as search becomes as individually definitional as finding oneself in the white pages was during the rise of the telephone. Besides ourselves, nearly 20 percent of us have looked for former flames and 36 percent for old friends, and 29 percent have researched a family member.”

Now Tom Drugan, co-founder Naymz, says his company has used the quote and poll as a successful springboard to launch their start up. Naymz is creating a searchable index of profile (vanity) pages, aimed at professionals who want to pull together an online portfolio of their citations for networking.

Full text in Yahoo trademark case

The dating site LoveCity filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Yahoo and three other companies for allegedly using ‘lovecity’ as a keyword in their AdWords campaigns. Resource Shelf has the full text of the court filing.

Netscape Digg clone?

Late last week AOL-Netscape launched a beta socially-ranked news site (sort of) that many loyal diggers jumped on as a Digg clone. In a response, Digg CEO Jay Adelson questioned the scalability and editorial control of the so-called “Digg Killer,” and welcomed the competition. But a CNet suggests that despite the beta’s voting capabilities, the Netscape site retains sufficient editorial control to mean the two are different beasts.

Recruit Job search

Freshly launched, Recruit says they offer the first trilingual, international job search engine—in Chinese, Japanese and English.

Snap Interview

Garrett French has a great interview with Snap’s Tad Benson over a SEL, also pointing out Snap’s great blog.

NewMedia launches

NameMedia, launching this week, is creating a series of vertical portal search platforms on topic-specific domains (with a technology they call SiteSense). The targeted domains serve users of ‘direct search’ (perhaps better known as ‘direct navigation’)–those bypassing search engines and instead directly typing a product name into the address bar as a url (for instance

One thought on “Melanie's Round Up

  1. Keith Cash says:

    So much info in one post. Will take a while to read it all.

Melanie's Round Up

By - June 15, 2006

Major imagery update on Google Earth

For its first birthday, Google Earth gets updates, most impresively “sub-meter high-resolution imagery available for more than one third of the world’s population. While initially available only in Google Earth, this database will also be accessible in Google Maps shortly.” And a peek at the future: Earth with interactive touch sensors and voice recognition.

Aiming for quantity and quality at Google Video

A zeitgeist-y ranking of Google videos rising in popularity is now available, organized per 40 countries. The algorithm ranks video popularity based on both the viewer reach and rate of views. Oh, BTW…Google wants to host all the world’s videos and currently places no file size restrictions on hosted videos, according to GV business manager Hunter Walk, talking in an interview with Beet.TV.

Mikons-2Mikons symbol tags

Mikons launches, bringing symbolism to social tagging and search networks. The Mikon Machine provides a free online vector editing graphic tool that allows users to design their own tradable symbols. The visual personal tags can be exported to other online social applications.

Support from a passive search community

Baynote features search backed by community confidence without requiring explicit tagging actions by users, instead tracking user interest by cues such as bookmarking, clipping, or printing.

Spreadsheets fall short

While some users have found Google Spreadsheets useful, most online reviews conclude the first free online spreadsheets aren’t quite ready for prime-time–with lingering concerns over privacy and limited capabilities (though the beta’s bare bones are expected to soon be fortified).

MySpace Launches Job Search

The newly unveiled MySpace Careers powers with Simply Hired.

Picasa Web Albums

Google’s Picasa introduces a test version of Web Albums, with 250 MB free storage space and photo sharing capabilities.

Brain Vid-1The big purple brain

A Yahoo promo perches 25 Answers experts in a “gigantic purple brain (complete with firing synapses),” responding to questions sent up from passersby on street-level for 72 straight hours.

Pax Google

Its search market share continues to grow. “Compared with March 2006, the May figures from Hitwise show Google gaining 1 percentage point of share, Yahoo staying almost flat and Microsoft losing 1 percentage point.” (IDG News Service). And, an update on progress in Google’s wifi aims and efforts in San Francisco and Mountain View.

GayprideGay pride portal launches at Yahoo

For Gay Pride Month Yahoo launched a gay pride portal, “powered by virtually Yahoo’s entire arsenal of social media tools” according to MicroPersuasion.

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3 thoughts on “Melanie's Round Up

  1. Bill Gates Resigning CEO Position to work for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – in a two year transition


  2. Craigslist has just updated with HUNDREDS more Cities

  3. Mark Smith says:

    John -

    Thanks for the mikons mention.

    It looks like you have made some mikons. I will send you stickers of them or others, just let me know.

    Kind Regards -