A Brief Interview With Udi Manber, Google, On Universal Search

If you've been reading a while, you've seen my coverage of Udi's career, from A9 to Google (and before, though I did not cover his work at Yahoo or prior to that…). I pinged him a while back and he got back to me after the universal search announcement…

Udi

If you’ve been reading a while, you’ve seen my coverage of Udi’s career, from A9 to Google (and before, though I did not cover his work at Yahoo or prior to that…).

I pinged him a while back and he got back to me after the universal search announcement had passed (he had a lot to do with it…).

Here’s our brief interview:

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A Brief Interview with Michael Wesch (The Creator of That Wonderful Video…)

Michael Wesch, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. If you've been reading Searchblog, then you know him as the guy behind this amazing video. After I saw the film, I had to talk to the man who made it. Michael is a very thoughtful…

Mike.Thumbnail

Michael Wesch, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. If you’ve been reading Searchblog, then you know him as the guy behind this amazing video.

After I saw the film, I had to talk to the man who made it. Michael is a very thoughtful fellow, as one might expect, but he comes to “Web 2.0” from an entirely different perspective than your typical Valley entrepreneur (yet he seems to know more than most of us!). For more, read on….and keep in mind the Michael has agreed to answer your questions in the comments field, should any come up!

You did your fieldwork in a Melanesia, and teach at Kansas State. How did you end up making such a compelling video, one that resonates so deeply with folks like, well, those who read Searchblog?

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A Few Questions For Joe Kraus

Joe Kraus, a co-founder of Excite (image credit), recently sold his latest company, JotSpot, to Google. I’ve known Joe for quite some time, and thought a quick email interview might be in order given his long history in search and Internet media. (Joe introduced JotSpot at the Web2.0 conference…

Joe K

Joe Kraus, a co-founder of Excite (image credit), recently sold his latest company, JotSpot, to Google. I’ve known Joe for quite some time, and thought a quick email interview might be in order given his long history in search and Internet media. (Joe introduced JotSpot at the Web2.0 conference two years ago.)

Did Google buy JotSpot, or your team? If the former, what is the plan for the company? If the latter, what’s the plan for the team?

Simply put, I think Google bought both the technology and the team. In *most* acquisitions, you are acquiring both and ascribing value to both.

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A Few Questions for Dave Morgan, Founder Tacoda

Dave founded Tacoda, a behavioral ad network, six years ago now, and recently inked a deal to add Comscore demographic information to Tacoda's network. Tacoda is an FM partner, so read with that caveat, but I found our email back and forth interesting, and hope you do too. Like…

Dave Morgan

Dave founded Tacoda, a behavioral ad network, six years ago now, and recently inked a deal to add Comscore demographic information to Tacoda’s network. Tacoda is an FM partner, so read with that caveat, but I found our email back and forth interesting, and hope you do too.

Like Tacoda recently did, Google incorporated Comscore some time ago. Why is yours better?



Because TACODA is capturing and can target ads against anonymous browsing behaviors from more than 15 Billion page views per day on 4500 of the top news, entertainment and information sites on the web, from NYTimes.com to MSNBC.com to Orbitz WSJ.com to FM Publishing. This gives TACODA the broadest, deepest and most diverse database of user content browsing anywhere – more than Google or Yahoo! – though they certainly have a lot more search data.

By matching this browsing data to anonymous ComScore data, we now know not only what content they surf, but marketer sites they are visiting online and what e-commerce categories they are buying online. Since we can associate this with time, we can see users much higher up the purchase funnel than search marketing. We can see the users when they are still in the brand consideration phase. By the time that users get to Google, like yellow pages offline, they generally already know what they are going to buy, it’s just a matter of price and vendor.

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Three Questions for Peter Horan: New Google Deal Next Year

As I posted yesterday, Peter Horan (image credit) is heading to IAC to run a suite of its media and advertising businesses, including Citysearch, Ask.com, and IAC's other media assets. I emailed him three questions, here are his answers. So, what drew you to this job? The door was…

PeterhAs I posted yesterday, Peter Horan (image credit) is heading to IAC to run a suite of its media and advertising businesses, including Citysearch, Ask.com, and IAC’s other media assets. I emailed him three questions, here are his answers.

So, what drew you to this job?



The door was opened by a personal relationship. Jason Rapp lead the team at The New York Times that acquired About.com in 2005. During that process and the integration, we came to know, like and respect each other. Jason joined IAC in the fall as SVP of M&A and suggested that I talk to them about this job.

As those conversations progressed, I was very impressed with IAC and realized that this job would let me focus on several things that I am passionate about: the evolving relationship between search and content; developing mobile solutions; and local web products that work. We have the resources, the team, and the brands to really advance the state of the art in all of these areas. There’s also a proven sales team to help with the monetization.

It’s a unique opportunity.

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Ask CEO on AskCity

OK, let's start from scratch. What is AskCity?
 OK. Here we go: AskCity is a new local search application from Ask.com. You can find it in one of two ways: through the AskCity link on our homepage, our automatically, at the top of our standard results page, in response…

Lanzone-Tm-1

OK, let’s start from scratch. What is AskCity?


OK. Here we go: AskCity is a new local search application from Ask.com. You can find it in one of two ways: through the AskCity link on our homepage, our automatically, at the top of our standard results page, in response to your local queries.

AskCity is the fifth major search vertical we’ve launched this year, following Image, Maps, Blog/Feed, and Mobile search, and we’re really proud of it. It stands out from the crowd because it seamlessly integrates four types of local search – business/service, events, movies, and maps – with the best local content on the Web, along with ergonomic design and features, to form an “all-in-one” resource. AskCity users won’t have to bounce around to multiple sites in order to find, and take action with local information. In short, we get you from Point A to Point B faster.

Local has been around for ages. Why now?

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A Brief Interview with Google’s Matt Cutts

Matt is the man who the SEO/SEM world looks to for answers around most things Google related. Over the past month Melanie and I have been having a wide-ranging email exchange with him on spam, the role of humans at Google, and other things. Here's the result: Let's say…

Matt-Cutts-Logo

Matt is the man who the SEO/SEM world looks to for answers around most things Google related. Over the past month Melanie and I have been having a wide-ranging email exchange with him on spam, the role of humans at Google, and other things. Here’s the result:

Let’s say you decide to leave Google and are asked to write an exact job description for a replacement to do exactly what you do now. What does it say? (We told Matt to be honest, or his options will not vest!)

My official job is to direct the webspam team at Google. Webspam is essentially when someone tries to trick a search engine into ranking higher than they should. A few people will try almost anything, up to and including the mythical GooglePray meta tag, to rank higher. Our team attempts to help high-quality sites while preventing deceptive techniques from working.

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Interview: BIll Gross

A while back I posted a note asking you all who you'd like to see interviewed here on Searchblog. The top vote getter was Bill Gross, of Goto/Overture, Picasa, Knowledge Adventure, and Snap fame. (He also starred in Chapter 5 of my book). Bill was gracious enough to agree…

B GrossA while back I posted a note asking you all who you’d like to see interviewed here on Searchblog. The top vote getter was Bill Gross, of Goto/Overture, Picasa, Knowledge Adventure, and Snap fame. (He also starred in Chapter 5 of my book). Bill was gracious enough to agree to an email interview, and even more gracious to agree to answer some of your questions in the comments section, when time permits.

As those of who who’ve read The Search know, I’m a fan of Bill and his work. From Chapter 5:

By his own account, Gross has been starting companies since he was

thirteen. His problem was never ideas. No, he, in fact, has way too

many of those. His problem was scale—how could he possibly start

companies as quickly as he could dream them up?

Gross started in a linear fashion, building companies one at a

time. He’d grow them till he got bored or distracted (or both); then

he’d sell them. He funded his first year of college by selling solar en-

ergy conversion kits through ads in the back of Popular Mechanics.

While still an undergraduate (at the California Institute of Technol-

ogy in Pasadena), Gross hacked up a new high-fidelity speaker de-

sign and launched GNP, Inc., to sell his creations (GNP stood for

Gross National Products—an indication of Gross’s sense of humor

as well as an underdeveloped sense of modesty).

But Gross had reason to boast: GNP, Inc., grew to claim number

seventy-five on Inc. magazine’s 1985 list of the 500 Fastest-Growing

Companies. When he graduated, he sold the speaker business to his

college partners and started a software company that presaged much

of the rest of his life’s work. The company, GNP Development, al-

lowed computer users to type natural language commands that the

computer would translate into the arcane code needed to execute spe-

cific tasks. In other words, Gross’s company created a program that

in essence let you “talk” to the computer in plain English, as opposed

to computer code. Gross’s program was a small step toward Silver-

stein’s Star Trekinterface (as discussed in Chapter 1)—the holy grail

of nearly everyone in search today.



Searchblog: You’ve had tremendous success over your career, and in particular with search (Magellan, Goto/Overture, Picasa, etc.). But the world has woken up to search – and Google seems to gain market share monthly. Yet you are trying to once again take on the world with Snap. What makes you feel like there’s still an opportunity there?



Grosss: I’ve always thought that search is extremely important, but my interest in it has always been very personal in that I’ve always been trying to make things that “I” would really want. With Magellan, I wanted to be able to view my files faster than DOS allowed back then. With Goto, I wanted a way to remove the spam at that time from the Top 10 listings at the search results I was seeing. The pay model seemed like the best way to do it, and although ridiculed at first, really took off. And then again with Picasa, we really wanted a way to browse and organize our photos better than the PC-based tools allowed at that time.

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Cerf, Part 1: Excuse me, but we don’t get a free ride at all

Fortune recently ran an interview with Google's Vint Cerf (I think it's in the current issue, it's not up on the site yet). That was unfortunate for Business 2.0, the magazine where I do interviews, because I had recently completed an interview with him as well. Given that B2…

Vint Cerf Lg-1

Fortune recently ran an interview with Google’s Vint Cerf (I think it’s in the current issue, it’s not up on the site yet). That was unfortunate for Business 2.0, the magazine where I do interviews, because I had recently completed an interview with him as well. Given that B2 is monthly and Fortune comes out every two weeks, Fortune scooped B2, and now the magazine doesn’t want to run my interview.

Well, that’s great for us. Because B2 said I can run it here, a full month ahead of when it would get through B2’s production process, and at greater length.

Vint, who is Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and is widely regarded as one of the fathers of the Internet, does not mince words in this interview. He’s clearly got a point of view, and he is not afraid to explain it. Of note – Cerf understands the Bellhead point of view personally, he spent a fair amount of time at MCI before joining Google….

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Interview: Jonathan Miller, AOL

My interview with AOL's Jonathan Miller is up now on CNN/B2.0. Excerpts: ..it's true that too much of our innovation was locked behind the subscriber wall. It was less than a year ago that AOL moved out onto the Web, launching AOL.com, which is such a good broadband portal…

Millerb2

My interview with AOL’s Jonathan Miller is up now on CNN/B2.0.

Excerpts:

..it’s true that too much of our innovation was locked behind the subscriber wall. It was less than a year ago that AOL moved out onto the Web, launching AOL.com, which is such a good broadband portal that our friends at Yahoo (Charts) have redesigned their homepage to look a whole lot like it.

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