free html hit counter June 2007 - Page 2 of 11 - John Battelle's Search Blog

The LarryCopter

By - June 25, 2007


Larry Page made a splash at Foo this past weekend by arriving in his personal helicopter. The folks at Make, via Laughing Squid, show the landing and then have some fun with it.

I was in a session at Foo inside the O’Reilly building when Larry landed not 100 yards away. The amazing thing was none of us heard anything. The copter must be super quiet. And fast, I bet.

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Patent and Local

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Interesting: Corporation (NASDAQ: LOCM), a leading local search engine, today announced that the company has been awarded patent number 7,231,405 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the process of indexing and retrieving web-related information by geographical location.

The patent covers local search technology related to identifying location information from web documents, indexing that information and making it searchable geographically. In’s commercial implementation of the technology, the search results are ranked by search term, LocalRank score, location prominence, among other factors. The system then extracts, matches and indexes web pages from the Internet and generates web references where applicable on more than 16 million local businesses listed nationwide on

Patents are a real hot button issue in our industry. What do you all make of this? I’ve sent emails for response from the majors…

Udpate: Donna has a conversation with craigslist CEO here

Time Inks With Quigo

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For competitive or perhaps even lizard-brain-driven reasons, I think traditional publishers continue to look for viable alternatives to giving their business to Google. Latest example is this deal between Time Inc. and Quigo. The angle here is this, from the Quigo blog:

Unlike the blind ad networks used previously on many of these sites, Time Inc will be able to sell directly to its advertisers text-based, pay-for-performance ads on an individual property, or across a collection of sites. Accordingly, marketers will finally be able to buy ads with full transparency and control on Time Inc properties. As a marketer, this gives you full confidence that you’re reaching the high-quality, highly-targeted audience of specific Time Inc properties, and are not wasting ad dollars on questionable sites that are a big part of a blind ad network

Well….AdSense is no longer a blind network, it has site specific ads, and advertisers can check the performance of their ads on a per site basis and optimize. I’m pretty sure Time Inc. could have cut a pretty sweet deal with Google had it wanted to. I sense more is going on here.

NYT on Secrecy, Privacy

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It took a long time, but the NYT has one heckuva editorial on the Bush Administration today. Very strongly worded, it’s clear to me that the papers are no longer concerned about playing nice with the White House.

President Bush has turned the executive branch into a two-way mirror. They get to see everything Americans do: our telephone calls, e-mail, and all manner of personal information. And we get to see nothing about what they do.

Everyone knows this administration has disdained openness and accountability since its first days. That is about the only thing it does not hide. But recent weeks have produced disturbing disclosures about just how far Mr. Bush’s team is willing to go to keep lawmakers and the public in the dark.

Yahoo ReOrgs Sales

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Wenda Harris Millard, former head of sales, is leaving for Martha Stewart, and Yahoo is unifying search and CPM sales under David Karnstedt. More from PC.


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At Foo this weekend and with folks I’ve been talking to over the past few weeks, FaceBook is often topic #1. The speed with which FaceBook became the presumptive Next Big Thing is awesome. Now, the questions begin. This piece, from Mark Evans, outlines Five Things That Could Kill Facebook.

Cutts on NYT Human Search Story

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Matt posts on the role of humans in Google search, prodded by a NYT story on the topic:

If you ask an average techie about Google, you’ll hear that we use lots of computers and algorithms. Indeed, the title of the New York Times article is “The Human Touch That May Loosen Google’s Grip.” But (in my opinion), it would be a mistake to think “Google is nothing but cold algorithms and computers; there’s no room for humans at all.” I’ll give you a few examples of the role of people over the years at Google:

– PageRank is fundamentally about the hyperlinks that people on the web create. All those people creating links help Google formulate an opinion of how important a page is.

– Google News looks at a wide variety of news sources; the decisions of human editors at thousands of news sites help Google estimate whether a particular story is significant.

– Google introduced voting buttons on the toolbar back in 2001. They look like happy/frowny faces and they let regular people send thumbs-up or thumbs-down votes to Google.

– Google has allowed users to remove results that they don’t like from Google.

– For more than five years, we’ve allowed users to report spam to Google. We’ve said for years that we reserve the right to take manual action on spam (e.g. if someone types in their name and gets off-topic porn as a result).

And of course, it’s not as if Google’s search engineers drive into the Googleplex in the morning and then spend the whole day sitting around doing nothing while the computers do all the work. 🙂 Instead, Google researchers and engineers spend our days looking for deeper insights that will let us create the next generation of search. I believe Google’s approach to search has always been pragmatic: if an approach will improve the quality of our search, we’re open to it.

He also refers to the interview we did together last year.

eBay Back to Using AdWords…But…

By - June 22, 2007

Just got this email from eBay communications, announcing that eBay is using AdWords again, but read on:

The test we began last week was successful. We found that we were not as dependent on Google AdWords as some may have thought. By re-allocating our marketing dollars to our other partners, such as Yahoo!, AOL and MSN, we were able to increase traffic and find efficiencies that will enable us to drive more value to our sellers and partners going forward. We are now slowly turning AdWords back on, in a much more limited way than before. We will continue to work with Google, Yahoo!, AOL, MSN and other partners to reach more potential buyers and accelerate business for our community of sellers.

Wow, that’s not exactly makeup sex, is it?!