Of Course Apple Is Going to Do Search.

…you just have to rethink what "search" really means. Last night Jobs said he had no interest in search. I am quite certain what he meant is he has no interest in HTML, "traditional" search. But think about what search really is, and I am certain, Apple will be in…

…you just have to rethink what “search” really means. Last night Jobs said he had no interest in search. I am quite certain what he meant is he has no interest in HTML, “traditional” search. But think about what search really is, and I am certain, Apple will be in the search business.

Why? Well, as I said in the last post on the iPad (and rather hurriedly, and entirely my fault, poorly communicated to many of those who left comments), it’s all about the link. Perhaps I should have said, it’s all about the signal.

Let’s think about the allegories between search and the web as we knew it, and apps and the app platform that Apple controls, as we know it. Last night Jobs said that we’ve never before seen such an explosion of apps as we’ve witnessed on the iPhone platform – 200,000 and counting, up to 20K new ones a week.

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Google Steps Gingerly Toward Search As Application

When Bing launched, I framed the new service from Microsoft as an important step in the evolution of search: I actually don't think Microsoft is trying to out-Google Google with Bing. I think it's trying to build a different kind of search application, one that sits on top of…

New Goog Interface.png

When Bing launched, I framed the new service from Microsoft as an important step in the evolution of search:

I actually don’t think Microsoft is trying to out-Google Google with Bing. I think it’s trying to build a different kind of search application, one that sits on top of commodity search and helps people make decisions in a new way. Done right, this totally breaks the AdWords model that has driven search so far. To me, that is a very big step in a new direction, and one that Google cannot afford to make.

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OneRiot Indexes Facebook Data

From the real time search service's blog post: Until today, we’ve been indexing the links shared on Twitter, MySpace, Digg, Delicious and by our own OneRiot panel to help determine our search results. Now, with the addition of Facebook data, OneRiot delivers search results that reflect the pulse of a…

oneriot.pngFrom the real time search service’s blog post:

Until today, we’ve been indexing the links shared on Twitter, MySpace, Digg, Delicious and by our own OneRiot panel to help determine our search results. Now, with the addition of Facebook data, OneRiot delivers search results that reflect the pulse of a much, much wider social web.

Also, the service seems a bit wary of what might come of all this:
Now, of course, we’re only showing (indeed, only have access to) data that has been shared publicly by Facebook users. A user can restrict the visibility of these Likes on their Facebook profile. However, we’d be sidestepping the issue if we didn’t recognize that some users might be concerned that stuff they have shared on Facebook can now pop up on services like ours. Given that, we are rolling out this feature as a very limited bucket test today to assess users’ reactions and gather feedback. We love the new feature. And if users do too then we’ll roll it out to everyone at an appropriate speed.

As well they should. The service can be found here.

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Apple Makes Its Move to Become the Google of App World

This is very interesting news, but not unexpected if you've been paying attention. Note in the past I've predicted that Apple will not do web search, but will do "app search," because app search is essentially broken, if you can even call it search to begin with. It's more like…

siri.jpgThis is very interesting news, but not unexpected if you’ve been paying attention. Note in the past I’ve predicted that Apple will not do web search, but will do “app search,” because app search is essentially broken, if you can even call it search to begin with. It’s more like directory navigation at this point.

Today Apple announced acquisition of Siri, a personal assistant app that includes voice recognition and search capabilities. As I wrote about Apple previously:

What Apple needs is a search engine that “crawls” apps, app content, and app usage data, then surfaces recommendations as well as content . To do this, mobile apps will need to make their content available for Apple to crawl. And why wouldn’t you if you’re Yelp, for example? Or Facebook, for that matter? An index of apps+social signal+app content would be quite compelling. What Apple will NOT do is crawl the entire web.

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Tynt Gets Funding, Searchblog Gets Tynt

TC broke the news today that Tynt, a search interception and user behavior data company, got a big round of funding from Panorama Capital, which is also an investor in FM. I've installed the Tynt service on Searchblog and I'd like to get your response. I think what the service…

TC broke the news today that Tynt, a search interception and user behavior data company, got a big round of funding from Panorama Capital, which is also an investor in FM. I’ve installed the Tynt service on Searchblog and I’d like to get your response. I think what the service does is quite clever and useful both to publishers and users. However, it does create new user experience for those of us who cut and paste on sites, and I’m interested if folks find the new approach worthy.

The service works like this: when you copy a snippet of text from a site with Tynt, you’ll see that Tynt appends a unique URL into the pasted text (for example, see the graphic below where I’ve copied and pasted a snippet from a Searchblog post into an email).

Screen shot 2010-04-16 at 5.35.08 PM.png

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Funny: From Chirp, “I Don’t Get…”

Ev Williams, CEO of Twitter, from stage today, notes this funny Google search suggest image….Twitter clearly has work to do ……

Ev Williams, CEO of Twitter, from stage today, notes this funny Google search suggest image….Twitter clearly has work to do …

Screen shot 2010-04-14 at 9.58.36 AM.png

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Twitter To Roll Out “Promoted Tweets”: Initial Thoughts (Developing)

(image from Ad Age) The NYT has broken news of Twitter's initial version of its native ad platform, which it is calling "Promoted Tweets." I will acknowledge being briefed on this news prior to its breaking, and I did promise to withhold any comment until the news had been publicly…

starbucks-tweet-041210-1.jpg(image from Ad Age) The NYT has broken news of Twitter’s initial version of its native ad platform, which it is calling “Promoted Tweets.” I will acknowledge being briefed on this news prior to its breaking, and I did promise to withhold any comment until the news had been publicly broken.

Now that the Times has provided me with a reason to sound off, here are my initial thoughts on the program.

First the details. I’ll stick to what has been publicly reported, as that only seems fair. Obviously I’ve been thinking about this for some time, given I first theorized “TweetSense” back in 2008. But as to what the NYT has reported:

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Is TweetUp Bill Gross’ Second Overture?

It sure sounds that way, from this NYT story.: Bill Gross, the serial entrepreneur who pioneered search advertising, is unveiling a venture on Monday that aims to make money by allowing people using Twitter to bid on key words to give their posts top ranking. I'd say this was brilliant…

It sure sounds that way, from this NYT story.:

Bill Gross, the serial entrepreneur who pioneered search advertising, is unveiling a venture on Monday that aims to make money by allowing people using Twitter to bid on key words to give their posts top ranking.

I’d say this was brilliant if it weren’t for the fact (OK, not fact yet, but my strong sense) that Twitter is going to do something quite similar, soon. I’ve been calling this platform “TweetSense” for some time, but whatever its name, it’s certain Twitter will do something along these lines, and it has a distinct advantage because it sees all the data across the Twitter ecosystem.

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Apple Won’t Build a (Web) Search Engine

…but it will build the equivalent of an app search engine. It's crazy not to. In fact, it has to. It already has app discovery via the iTunes store, but it's terrible, with no signal that gives reliable results based on accrued intent. What Apple needs is a search engine…

…but it will build the equivalent of an app search engine. It’s crazy not to. In fact, it has to. It already has app discovery via the iTunes store, but it’s terrible, with no signal that gives reliable results based on accrued intent.

What Apple needs is a search engine that “crawls” apps, app content, and app usage data, then surfaces recommendations as well as content . To do this, mobile apps will need to make their content available for Apple to crawl. And why wouldn’t you if you’re Yelp, for example? Or Facebook, for that matter? An index of apps+social signal+app content would be quite compelling.

What Apple will NOT do is crawl the entire web, which is what’s implied by this headline. Apple has already shown a general disdain for the open Internet, anyway, and I don’t see the company spending hundreds of millions of dollars in capital expense to play a game it can’t win anyway.

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Google’s New “Search Funnels” Belies What Google Really Knows…

Google today introduced a "Search Funnels" feature for its AdWords clients, a feature that will help serious advertisers tune their AdWords campaigns for increased conversion and profitability. For a very good overview of the service, head to SEL. It's clear Google put a lot of thought into how this new…

Google today introduced a “Search Funnels” feature for its AdWords clients, a feature that will help serious advertisers tune their AdWords campaigns for increased conversion and profitability. For a very good overview of the service, head to SEL.

It’s clear Google put a lot of thought into how this new feature would be exposed, both in terms of a searcher’s privacy, and how an advertiser might use the new data. It’s clearly limited, and for good reasons.

But what Funnels belies is a more fundamental truth: Google itself has access to all the conversion patterns surfaced by this feature, and more. In the SEL article, Barry Schwartz notes:

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