free html hit counter February 2007 - Page 6 of 8 - John Battelle's Search Blog


By - February 08, 2007


I like search hacks by grad students. Like SearchBots, for example. is an experimental search engine that investigates the use of mythology, personification and game theory as motivational strategies in creating a sustainable search community. Searchbots has a rich history and is unique in that it allows you to search using more “human” and entertaining types of information like colour and mood. If you picked the colour red you might get a website about tomatoes, communism or angry people.

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Powersets – Breaking News

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From Matt at Venturebeat. More when I can grok…

Powerset, a San Francisco search engine company, will announce Friday it has won exclusive rights to significant search engine technology it says may help propel it past Google.

The technology, developed at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in Silicon Valley, seeks to understand the meanings between words, akin to the way humans understand language — and is thus called “natural language.” It has been thirty years in the works.

The deal is significant because practical use of linguistic technology has eluded Google. The giant search engine has said it wants to implement language-understanding technology one day. However, tests of linguistic approaches haven’t made any difference in Google’s results so far, it says (see VentureBeat’s Thursday Q&A with Google’s director of research Peter Norvig below; also see his speech last year about this at Berkeley). Google has shunned reliance on word meanings, instead focusing on finding the most popular pages that contain the keywords. As for relationships between words, Google relies on statistical relationships, such as frequency they appear together, but not on linguistic relationships.

The deal with PARC, which is owned by Xerox, is an answer to Powerset critics, such as search expert Danny Sullivan, who all but heaped scorn on Powerset’s ambitions when we first wrote about them. At the time, Sullivan didn’t know the degree to which Powerset has focused on this.

Yahoo Pipes

By - February 07, 2007


I got an early peek at this months ago and I loved the concept. Anil has a write up here. From it:

Yahoo’s launched an interesting and innovative new service, Pipes, which lets users with a relatively low degree of technological expertise combine structured sources of web data such as feeds. In this way, it’s possible for non-experts to create new web services for their own use or for public consumption. Pipes combines a remarkably sophisticated development environment with some core social features such as the ability to clone or share the web services you produce. The service is fairly approachable, but somewhat complex once you get just under the surface, and should be moderately successful while radically raising the bar for other tools in its category.

Oh, and Tim’s stoked too.

Is this … Googley?

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Googlers pride themselves on being Googley. Remember the first line of the IPO filing (“Google is not a conventional company…we do not intend to become one…”)? But I got this press release today, and man, it sounds, well, just like any other lame press release from any other company trying to spin itself into some sales. Conventional.

Google Checkout Makes It Easy to Shop for Your Sweetheart (or Sweethearts) This Valentine’s Day

Finding the perfect Valentines Day gift for your sweetheart is hard enough, but what about looking for two? According to a recent survey commissioned by Google Checkout(TM) and conducted by Harris Interactive, 1 out of every 2 (52%) U.S. adult Valentine’s Day shoppers* will be buying gifts for more than one Valentine this year – for their spouses, for their parents and other family members, for their pets, and maybe even for multiple sweethearts.

What’s more, 43% of U.S. adults who plan to buy a gift for their significant other reported that they plan to buy him or her more than one, while 41% of U.S. online adults who typically buy at least one gift plan to visit more than one website in search of those gifts. With all these sweethearts to shop for, gifts to buy, and stores to visit, Google Checkout is making the process faster and easier.

Google actually commissioned this research survey, then used it to promote Checkout. Huh.

EBay, Google, and the MySpace Dilemma

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And we thought it was just about search, right? As TechDirt and others (free link from the WSJ) report, finalization of MySpace’s $900mm deal with Google is hitting a snag due to MySpace’s desire to work with EBay on commerce stuff.

Now, back when Google was just a search company that syndicated ads, this would not have been a problem. But we all know that AdSense is one half step removed from the classifieds/commerce business. And with Google’s recent push into PayPal’s domain with Checkout, I can only imagine that EBay views Google as a major threat. Sure, EBay buys more ads from Google than nearly anyone else, but now that Google is directly challenging EBay’s core business, things have changed.

One to watch.

Help Jupiter Understand SEM

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Kevin Heisler, the new SEM analyst at Jupiter, asks for your help in preparing an industry report on the SEM marketplace. You can take his survey here.

Kevin notes to me:

This is my first report for Jupiter since I was hired as an analyst to build out the Search Marketing practice. It’s the foundation for vision and concept reports I’ll be writing this year, as well as our next Search Engine Marketing Constellation of SEM agencies, services and technologies.

The questions for U.S. and European marketers and agencies (25) focus on the goals, challenges and strategies for managing paid search and search engine optimization. For the first time, we’ll be delving into conversational or performance media and the ways companies are leveraging it to build brands, acquire customers and generate leads.


By - February 06, 2007

I love that this was done by a professor of anthropology.

Yet More Database O (Bad) Intentions Implications

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Innaresting. From Threadwatch:

According to a Pandia article, Google is building a very large “rat trap” and using historical data to identify search engine spammers. So, if you were a spammer in the past or ever tried any so-called “black hat techniques” to manipulate a website’s search engine rankings, it might come back to haunt you.

In fact, the Pandia article says Google “may” be doing this. Caveat reader….