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Weekend SearchMob

By - September 24, 2006


Top stories:

Nokia Adds Microsoft Live Search

Search Engine Bias and the Demise of Search Engine Utopianism

BusinessWeek Cover Story and Investigation on Click Fraud

Over 30 Domain Names Transferred to Google Inc.

FORBES: 400 Richest American$ , Their Details

New AOL Search Beta Test Available

Save the Forbes story (what is it with lists of rich guys?), I’ve been really pleased with the quality of the stories sumitted to SearchMob. What I wish I had was more voting from readers – in general, the voting has been pretty anemic – 4-6 votes for top stories, usually. I’m not looking for Digg numbers (1000 diggs is not unusual), but my logs tell me there are thousands of readers each day at Searchblog. So…is SearchMob working, or not?

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Top Stories on SearchMob Right Now…

By - September 14, 2006



New Technology Allows Searchers to Scour Online Audio, Video to Target Advertising

Mobissimo First to Bring Comprehensive Travel Search to Netvibes’ Five Million Users – Social Networking for Sports Recruiting

TV Guide and Yahoo Announce Deal

Google Checkout Competing with Affiliates

I’m pretty pleased with the focus and quality of the stories that are being posted on the site, but I do have some issues with the whole thing. I have no idea if you, the readers, are checking it out, or find it very compelling. I’m adding a navigation link, so you can find it in the first place, which I guess would help (Ren: Iiiiiiiidiot). And I want a widget that pulls the top five stories and rotates them over on the right or the left. That would be really cool. Any ideas?

Re-Aggregating: What I Missed Last Week

By - July 26, 2006

You probably hate these posts? Why doesn’t Battelle just use Delicious, for goodness sakes? I dunno, call me old school, but here are stories I find noteworthy that happened while I was away last week on vacation:

Microsoft says folks can use Google in Vista.

Google moves the ball on “invalid click” tracking – a report out of the Lanes click fraud case says Google is taking reasonable steps to control it.

Google killed its earnings again, Yahoo had less than happy news (delays on YPN, for starters). MSN, meanwhile, reports revenues are down. But Google’s stock didn’t pop. Some folks say the reason is increasing costs. Fred says buy YHOO.

Hitwise breaks down Google properties.

YouTube hits 100mm a day (I hope to have a new post on YT soon, pending response from them about this post, which I can understand they didn’t take kindly to).

Melanie Rounds It Up

By - May 20, 2006

Microsoft Live (Search) Desktop

Microsoft announced its version of an integrated-search desktop that can scour the desktop, corporate network and internet. It’s now available to download. “Windows Live Search” is the tentative title, but the product is apparently separate from the other beta by the same name, which is internet-only search. As Geeking with Greg points out, it sounds very similar to Google’s Desktop Search, a imitation Googler VPs told the AP they long expected.

Google Notebook Live

Google Notebook went live in the labs earlier this week. Downloading the Notebook extension places a shortcut tool (displayed in the bottom right of the browser) with which to scrapbook pages, links, and notes. (One can also login and begin playing with the capture and note-taking tools without the extension, but it remains a bit awkward.)

A Faster, Even Viral Google Video

After an inauspicious start (trumped by YouTube), Google Video is changing gears. Users can now feed their videos directly online, eschewing the desktop upload program and editorial submission time-lag. That’s exactly why YouTube ran ahead, and that’s why Google is responding.

And amid the popularity of the promotional DaVinci Code game (but the movie is getting hammered), Google is trying a viral video marketing venture with the new movie The Break-up. In addition to offering previews, Google is hosting a page where users can share digital shorts of their own humorous trips to splitsville. (John here – does this feel…well…dumb to anyone else?)

Java-to-AJAX Toolkit (for Programmers, with Love from Google)

Google releases the Web Toolkit (Beta) free to the public. The toolkit aims to assist in coding dynamic web applications (like Gmail) by allowing programmers to develop AJAX tools in Java. Helping to navigate a myriad of browser eccentricities, the toolkit features include retaining full Java debugging support for ultimately AJAX apps.

Notebook Snooping

ZDnet goes snooping about the Google Notebook source code and finds some tantalizing bits, or rather hanging questions: Integration with Gmail? Third-party add-ons? Options like in Google Page Creator? (Via Lenssen who also points to a Achewood Cartoon on Google.)

StumbleUpon new sites

StumbleUpon, launched new features early last week, lets users wander through new websites recommended from like-minded users. Still in trial mode, Stumble just added photo, video and Wikipedia stumbling to its Firefox extension. Recently moved to San Francisco from Canada, the start-up just completed an angel round of funding with big tech names. Investor Mitch Kapor remarked in the press release, “Search when you know just what you’re looking for, stumble when you don’t.”

Job Trends at Yahoo, Google

Tracked by the Swiss research group UBS: Google job growth is still explosive–new positions composing 27% of its current headcount, compared with 23% last year–while Yahoo’s has flat-lined (from 12% to 8%). More at GigaOm.

A little innovation at the business school

On the online business journal Knowledge@Wharton, Wharton is internally converting search terms into article labels. Terms that result in an article selection automatically become tags in the related articles box and link to all similar articles. (tip from Kurt Oeler)

List of New Search Patents

…Including eight from Microsoft, two from Yahoo, and two from IBM. From Resource Shelf

Small Biz Bloggers Wanted

Jan Jantsesh is looking for bloggers to join the growing channel network at Duct Tape Marketing. See his post for details.

Yahoo Analyst Day Roundup

By - May 18, 2006

I’m interviewing Jeff Weiner, who runs Yahoo Search & Marketplace, tomorrow in Detroit. So Yahoo’s analyst day this week is of keen interest. Here are some thoughts from across the web:

Cnet: Focuses on the new ad system, covered here earlier. “Yahoo’s new ad system is designed to let marketers target prospective consumers not only by the search terms the people use, but also by their demographics, location and what they do on other areas of the Yahoo network, executives said.

The system, scheduled to launch in the U.S. in the third quarter, offers enhanced ease of use, advanced testing features, geo-targeting and automated analytics, Tim Cadogan, vice president of search, said during the company’s analyst day in San Francisco on Wednesday. ”

Paid Content:
A round up as well, starting with Llyod Braun’s pushing user generated content.

SEW rounded it all up, here’s their coverage of Jeff’s talk. Jeff’s all about social search, Answers, etc. Innaresting.

Melanie's RoundUp

By - May 15, 2006

AdWords on Google Base

The Google Base Blog announced that users can now use AdWords ads to drive traffic to their Base listings, automatically geo-targeted with the keywords targeting based on the ad copy (screenshots, via SEW).


SELowdown opines, “So let me get this straight: Give us content to index through Base. Pay us to advertise this Base content in Google searches. Well I guess that’s not THAT different from Google’s current model…”

Conversely happy with the new union, VoidStar recommends eBay join Words-Base to rectify its own keyword targeting. Coincidentally, Forbes today reports about Google “increasingly infringing on eBay’s territory and limiting the online auctioneer’s growth potential, at least in the near term, according to Cowen & Co. analyst Jim Friedland.”

The article continues:

While the new Google Base service, a free database of product listings, has not become a significant driver of sales for e-commerce companies as of yet, 50% of the conference attendees said they have started to list products on the database. Advertisers that use Google keywords benefit from a 70% click-through rate, versus Yahoo!’s 18% and Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT – news – people ) MSN’s 8%, according to Friedland…Friedland also found that more and more small- and medium-sized businesses’ market resources are being directed away from eBay to Google AdWords and Google Base.

Google, Nokia Team-up for Mobile Search

A formal announcement is expected Tuesday of Google search powering the new Nokia, reports the WSJ (via CIO Tech Informer). The forthcoming 770 Internet Tablet allows simultaneous voice or IM alongside web surfing. It will be Google’s first foray into mobile telephone deals, which Google has made clear is the new territory its staking out. Connecting through the interenet rather than cellular signals, the Tablet provides Google Talk wherever there is wifi–making service spottier but cheaper, SeattlePI notes.

The WSJ: Because it’s based on short-range Wi-Fi technology, the device is not a cell phone…It’s a bit larger than the average PDA, and it features a high-resolution screen designed specifically for browsing the Internet.

Vista Cleared by DOJ

Despite Google’s accusation that Visa’s default to MSN Search (in absense of pre-set preferences) is unfair, the DOJ determined Friday MS has done no harm. CNet: As part of its status report on Microsoft’s antitrust compliance, the Justice Department said that it had reviewed the search box and concluded that Microsoft’s implementation “respects users’ and (computer makers’) default choices and is easily changed.”

Web 2.0 Commencement

Tim O’Reilly, giving the commencement speech for the UC Berkeley School of Information this past Saturday (John gave it last year), talked about defining Web 2.0 The full transcript is on O’Reilly’s site, Geeking with Greg excerpts:

The internet as platform. What does that mean? …It’s as simple as this: the secret of success in the networked era is to create or leverage network effects… When we first began thinking about Web 2.0, we asked ourselves what distinguished the companies that survived the dotcom bust from those that failed. And we came up with the surprising observation that in one way or another, each of them was good at harnessing user contributions, applying some of the same insights to consumer applications that leading edge software developers have applied to open source software projects like Linux.

A true Web 2.0 application is one that gets better the more people use it. Google gets smarter every time someone makes a link on the web. Google gets smarter every time someone makes a search. It gets smarter every time someone clicks on an ad. And it immediately acts on that information to improve the experience for everyone else.

It’s for this reason that I argue that the real heart of Web 2.0 is harnessing collective intelligence. …The world of Web 2.0 *can* be one in which we share our knowledge and insights, filter the news for each other, find out obscure facts, and make each other smarter and more responsive. We can instrument the world so it becomes somethng like a giant, responsive organism.

GigaOm also recently posted some new thoughts on Web 2.0 as meme, mainstream misunderstanding, and an enterprise.

Does Google Desktop “improve search”?

Jeremy Zawodny doesn’t buy the message from Marrissa:

We’re told that Google Desktop 4 improves search, but that’s not backed up by any evidence at all. Instead, we’re presented with a non-sequitur about gadgets you can use to increase your day to day information overload.

A Googley Economist Article

The running gag in a new Economist article was whether Google has become the new Microsoft. Though an excellent article, most of it overviews Google’s growth and culture with which Seachblog readers are already familiar, so just a few the highlights here. Google recently sent its first lobbyists to Washington, DC. Its decision to build an “evil scale” to help it devise its China strategy was more unusual, but its hiring of Al Gore, a former American vice-president, to aid the process, was just the kind of thing that old-fashioned empire-building firms do all the time.

The closing graph:

Google thus finds itself at a defining moment. There are plenty of people within the company who want it to play the power game. “The folks who are closest to Larry and Sergey are very, very worried about Microsoft, as well they should be,” says John Battelle, the author of a blog and a book on Google. Yet the company’s founders themselves may not be prepared to drop their idealism and their faith in their own mathematical genius.

Quote of the article: “Google seems to use betas as dogs sprinkle trees—so that rivals know where it is.”

DOJ Moves to Close EFF Complaint

EFF writes: Early Saturday morning, in the darkest hours of the night, the Department of Justice made good its threat to file a motion to dismiss our class-action lawsuit against AT&T, contending that AT&T’s collaboration with the NSA’s massive and illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications (which violates the law and the privacy of its customers)–despite being front page news throughout the United States and the subject of government press conferences and Congressional hearings–is a state secret. The motion was accompanied by declarations by Lieutenant General Keith B. Alexander, Director, National Security Agency and John D. Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence. We will vigorously oppose this motion. Donate to EFF and help stop the illegal spying!

The Melanie Round Up

By - April 25, 2006

Melanie has been hard at work poring through feeds, looking for items of interest. She’s already got a bunch of great stuff, and as I’ve been behind, here are some highlights of stories from the past two days:

Adsense is allowing text links for referrals. And Matt is coy about using Toolbar data for search relevance. As I wrote in the book, I think clickstreams could be the next step in relevance.

A major new grassroots net neutrality campaign. Om says it’s missing some angles.

How much do you Google? This is getting a lot of attention.

Yahoo is catching up in clickthroughs

Sphere is launching. I can’t wait to use it. But the site is not open…yet…

Yahoo makes Meedio free. Talk about a TV mashup….

More to come….