Perfect Search

(image from Scientfic American – thanks ID:entity) I am writing the final chapter of my book (no, not the last…just the last one, I'm writing them out of order, don't ask….) In any case, I got the utterly lazyweb idea of asking all the folks I've interviewed, in particular the…

sciamperfectsearch.jpg(image from Scientfic American – thanks ID:entity)

I am writing the final chapter of my book (no, not the last…just the last one, I’m writing them out of order, don’t ask….)

In any case, I got the utterly lazyweb idea of asking all the folks I’ve interviewed, in particular the professional thinkers and Big Idea folks, the relatively simple question of: What might the world look like if we had perfect search?

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Growing Pains in the SEM Industry

Andy points me to Danny's lengthy review of the trials and tribulations of SEMPO, an organization founded at Danny's August 2003 SEW conference to further the search marketing industry. I was at that event, and as they announced it, I wondered if they could ever agree on anything, from a…

sempoAndy points me to Danny’s lengthy review of the trials and tribulations of SEMPO, an organization founded at Danny’s August 2003 SEW conference to further the search marketing industry. I was at that event, and as they announced it, I wondered if they could ever agree on anything, from a code of ethics for SEM/SEO members, to how the board would work, to dues. Well, the truth is, no, they have had some trouble.

The organization is a reflection of the scattered and still immature state of the search marketing industry. When I was researching my “Search Economy” chapter I contacted the group and asked them why they did not have a standards or principles policy, something that all members would agree to. Given the sometimes shady practices in SEM/SEO (link farms, etc.) I figured this would have been a no brainer. (No one responded to me – though with authors this happens a lot, and I didn’t take it as a sign of anything at the time.) In his post, Danny brings this up, and notes SEMPO is reviewing the issue. I’d strongly urge them to act. They don’t have to police the world, that’s not the point. The point is, whoever joins SEMPO, agrees to act by some basic fair play rules. That’s not policing, that’s common sense. It’ll be good for the industry, good for SEMPO, and good for search.

Andrew Goodman also has some words on this here….

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AdSense Update

Well, so far, no response from Mike at Google, save what I updated in the previous post. I did just now get an answer to my tech question, in two days – not bad for a company with millions of such questions, I guess. Long and short: It sometimes takes…

Well, so far, no response from Mike at Google, save what I updated in the previous post. I did just now get an answer to my tech question, in two days – not bad for a company with millions of such questions, I guess. Long and short: It sometimes takes up to 48 hours for Google to index new posts.

In the meantime, readers have pointed me to many sites with non-compliant wording above their AdSense ads, including at least one that has “Paying the Bills” as its header, just as I did. I’m not going to name them, as that might get them busted too. I have also learned, through reputable sources, that Mike from Google is in fact a person, though clearly he’s employing cut and paste email forms.

Which makes me wonder about consistency with a service as vast as AdSense. The site with the same offending title as mine has clearly been around a long time, but I got dinged in the first 24 hours of life. Why? I doubt there’s any clear answer to that, and that, for a company which prides itself on algorithmic distance and evenhandedness, is an inconsistency that should be addressed.

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That Dang Macintosh

It's hard to know, as a Mac user, what to think about the software world these days. Many innovations are, understandably, only built for Windows. But wasn't the web supposed to change all that, make OSes secondary, less relevant? Problem is, if you have to download client software, folks don't…

XIt’s hard to know, as a Mac user, what to think about the software world these days. Many innovations are, understandably, only built for Windows. But wasn’t the web supposed to change all that, make OSes secondary, less relevant? Problem is, if you have to download client software, folks don’t like writing for the Mac’s tiny installed base. But the folks who do use the Mac have always been early adopters and influencers, at least, that what Nat Torkington points out. I noticed in his post that I was the only person among a very long list of very smart geeks (caveat: I consider myself unqualified for those modifying adjectives, as well as the noun) who he reads who blogged either FareChase or Picasa. Why? Because all the others use Mac OSX, and can’t use those services. Interesting point. I blog those services because I sense my readers might be interested in them. But alpha geeks only blog that which they can touch.

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My First Day WIth AdSense: Battelle Gets Busted

Well, Day one with AdSense has been a learning experience, but that's why I decided to try it, right? Noontime brought this email into my box from Google: Subject: Google AdSense – Program Policies Hello John, It has recently come to our attention that you're encouraging your website users to…

prisonWell, Day one with AdSense has been a learning experience, but that’s why I decided to try it, right? Noontime brought this email into my box from Google:

Subject: Google AdSense – Program Policies

Hello John,

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IDG’s Blunt Instrument

Now granted, I might have my own rather biased reasons to beat a tired old horse, but really, Loosely Coupled nails it in this post about IDG's deep linking policies. They are blunt, dumb, and tone deaf. I understand that there may be cases where others are making hay off…

Rear_View_MirrorNow granted, I might have my own rather biased reasons to beat a tired old horse, but really, Loosely Coupled nails it in this post about IDG’s deep linking policies. They are blunt, dumb, and tone deaf. I understand that there may be cases where others are making hay off your content and you have to respond (I deal with this from time to time at Boing Boing), but this policy is not the answer.

In short, IDG’s policy states: You may not link to our site if you sell ads on your site or you charge a subscription fee to use or access your site. So I just broke the policy by linking to them, I guess, now that I take AdSense. Loosley Coupled notes they’ve broken the policy about 1,000 times. In this world of personal media, its nothing short of ridiculous to ask folks to NOT link to your content. It’s suicide.

(Thanks, Dan)

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Google Turns Six

Today Google is celebrating its sixth year with a modified logo. It's a milestone for any company, but a major one for an internet play. This year marks Yahoo's tenth birthday, and Ask's eighth, and AOL's…er…well AOL is like 20 something now. We're getting grayer…congrats Google….

6th_birthday_resultsToday Google is celebrating its sixth year with a modified logo. It’s a milestone for any company, but a major one for an internet play. This year marks Yahoo’s tenth birthday, and Ask’s eighth, and AOL’s…er…well AOL is like 20 something now. We’re getting grayer…congrats Google.

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Yahoo to Debut FareChase Implementation

Well that didn't take long! Not a month after I (sort of) broke the story that Yahoo bought travel search engine FareChase, its going live with a first iternation of yahoo.farechase.com/. Mind you, this will not be live until tonight, and is a "prototype," so Yahoo wants you all to…

farechaseWell that didn’t take long! Not a month after I (sort of) broke the story that Yahoo bought travel search engine FareChase, its going live with a first iternation of yahoo.farechase.com/.

Mind you, this will not be live until tonight, and is a “prototype,” so Yahoo wants you all to break it for them, then tell them what you broke, thank you very much.

From the note from Yahoo’s PR folk: “The prototype will enable Yahoo! to conduct research to determine the best way to deliver a more comprehensive and relevant online travel search user experience. During the test phase, users can provide the critical feedback necessary for developing an effective travel search engine.”

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Google Starts Pushing Picasa

Noticed that Google is pushing Picasa in advertisements at the bottom of all image searches. Seems like a rather tentative approach, IMHO. Clearly he who gets metadata attached to photos first, wins. Stewart, what do you think of all this?…

picasaadNoticed that Google is pushing Picasa in advertisements at the bottom of all image searches. Seems like a rather tentative approach, IMHO. Clearly he who gets metadata attached to photos first, wins. Stewart, what do you think of all this?

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Searchblog’s New Look, Ad Update

As you may have noticed by now (or sometime soon, as servers update), Searchblog has a new look. While I'd like to take all the credit for this (I will take all the blame), all due plaudits go to Scot Hacker, my webmaster, who rocks. (If any of you want…

currencyAs you may have noticed by now (or sometime soon, as servers update), Searchblog has a new look. While I’d like to take all the credit for this (I will take all the blame), all due plaudits go to Scot Hacker, my webmaster, who rocks. (If any of you want amazing hosting with truly personal service, you should check out birdhouse.org). In any case, Scot suggested my color scheme was getting a bit tired, so we spruced it up with the new greens. Also, we went to three columns, which I rather like.

Speaking of green, you will notice my great Searchblog Ad Experiment has begun. I am starting, after listening to a lot of your input, with the easiest and most ubiquitous solution of them all, AdSense. I expect to try this out for a while as a level set, then try others as we go along. AdSense does not allow you to place any other kinds of ads besides AdSense on the page (except for hand rolled sponsorships), but others will, so I’m starting with AdSense and moving to the others – I expect to try out MarketBanker, BlogAds, and Kanoodle, if they’ll have me.

Yes, I was worried about accepting checks from Google even while writing the book, but the fact is, I’m not really expecting to make a lot of money here, and the firsthand experience will allow me to write about this stuff in a more thoughtful manner. If the money comes in faster than my expenses running the site, I will be donating a significant portion of it to my favorite charity: My kids’ school, where I am a trustee.

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