The business of Search covers a wide area: web search, mobile search, video search etc - you'll find that and all the techniques, and intricacies associated with it here.

Jerry Yang's Keynote @ SES

Thread Title: Keynote with Jerry Yang Thread Url: Thread Description:

Barry Schwartz sums up Yahoo chief Jerry Yang's keynote at Search Engine Strategies - I had a brief chat with Tim Mayer this morning and he was pretty excited about it, and the 2 sessions he's speaking in today - sounds like great fun, wish i was there :)

Danny then brought up RSS and ways to monitor Web sites, what about the blog tools themselves? Jerry Yang answered that they are doing this big time in Asia. Yahoo! feels the more they can do to generate, nurture and expand the blog content, the better off the search community is. Following up their experience with Geocities, you can look to Yahoo! to be open in leveraging these tools towards blogging. Part of Yahoo!'s focus is about a community aspect and that is what blogs are about, how do they tie this into the Yahoo! package.

How do you see personalization changing for Yahoo!? Jerry Yang said that the relevance of search is the main component of any search. He said its not just about algorithms anymore, like PageRank or Link Data. Its more now about personalization and tying into that preference based searching. This adds a tremendous amount of value. My Yahoo! is a piece of this but you will be seeing it more.

If you saw the session, let us know what it was like eh?

Zniff - The Human Search Engine

Thread Title: Zniff - Library Stuff Thread Url: Thread Description:

Fresh into Beta comes Zniff - The human search engine.

By humans, for humans

What you see is the very first version of a new breed of search engines. A search engine that uses human information from normal internet users to find and rank web pages. The results you see here are from a collection of roughly 1.5 million bookmarks gathered by the users of the bookmarking service.

Library Stuff says:

Add the tags from delicious and Furl (just two among many) and an advanced search page with lots of boolean syntax and this may be a neat tool.

I think it looks quite promising, though it clearly deserves it's Beta label, lemme know what you think...

White Label Partners

So gents what do you look for in a white label partner. My list in no particular order is:

Full xml integration Partner takes all support issues and responds in our name Partner does not have a b2c division and don't envisage having one Full telephone orders/support in our name We legally own all the customer data and can use it how we wish Partner takes payment and hence takes on all legal contracts with the client They pay at the end of the month of order/booking made They reconcile returns etc after customer money has been returned We have access to their back end systems so to track everything We own the url's All documents come out in our name

Just for starters


Yahoo Search Developer Network

Thread Title: Announcing the Yahoo! Search Developer Network and Search Web Services Thread Url: Thread Description:

The Yahoo! team's Jeremy Zawodny announces the new Yahoo! Search Developer Network.

This has certainly been a long time coming and i know im just itching to find some time to play around with it. Google has long had an API, but it's very limited. The Yahoo! offering, whilst still limited (why?) looks to be a step forward...

The YSDN is a full fledged community including:

Documentation FAQ's Mailing Lists Wiki Blog SDK Application List 5000 Queries a Day!

This is great news for developers, the Google API only allows 1000 and as such is very limiting.

You can use your 5000 queries a day to interact with:

Web Search News Search Local Search Image Search Video Search

Of particular interest to me is the ability to query Yahoo News. This presumably means that adding current news items relating to a page should be very easy - very nice indeed!

EMC puts a super-Google in Centera boxes

Thread Title: EMC puts a super-Google in Centera boxes Thread Url: Thread Description:

EMC has created a new search engine for its Centera storage systems that could well serve as the basis for a host of applications that manipulate data on the boxes in different ways.

Based on Fast's Instream

"We've dropped in a search query engine that allows people to unlock the metadata (of files on Centera systems), Then we've written the first application - Chargeback Reporter - on top of that."

Great use for search technology, IMHO.

Yahoo introduces new directory structure - Bad for SEO's

Yahoo has changed how they present directory listings - their listings are now paginated accross multiple pages. Here is an example.

Remember those $300 bucks you paid for a listing? Well, if your category has more than 40 sites in it -- the dinero you spent is now wasted.

Next up on the Search Auction Block: Crystal Semantics!

Thread Title: Crystal Semantics Granted Patent for World's First Sense Engine Thread Url: Thread Description:

Back at the beginning of December we reported on Crystal Semantics new "sense engine". A technology for deciphering the sense of a word. This from the press release:

The technology enables the correct senses of words to be determined -- for example, determining the sense of the word 'depression' in relation to economics as opposed to 'depression' in the context of mental health. The patent outlines a structure where a database containing a 'plurality of terms' is used to define the placements of information within logical categories. The 'plurality of terms' along with the taxonomy of all the associated words are used to define and uniquely classify the particular subject. In everyday language, the words and senses of a dictionary are being associated with the knowledge categories of an encyclopedia.

I'd say that with all the recent Search buys, and rumours of buys i'd not be too surprised to see them in one of the big boys shopping carts before long.

What a mad race Search has become eh? Makes you wonder where it will all end...

Search, Spelling and the Long Tail

Thread Title: Wasted time on research: Splleing ins’t imopratnt! Thread Url: Thread Description:

A post at passing notes, threadlinked above, brings up the somewhat famous, and apparently, quite mythical Cambridge University study that showed, that provided the first and last letters of a word were correct, people can read it just fine.

Try this:

“I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg! The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.”

This lead me to thinking about misspellings in general, how it affects Long Tail of Search marketing and where it might be best put to use.

I've seen all manner of techniques, none of which i've ever tried, to target misspellings by Search marketers over the last few years. They include:

Meta keywords with misspelled words in Titles and alt attributes on images Pages dedicated to "common misspellings" Hidden text on pages

There are probably a ton more, please point out any that i've missed.

User Generated Content

One of, if not the, best way to leverage the long tail of misspelled search terms is user generated content. Blogs and Forums all lend themselves nicely to this. The very nature of the fast paced mediums and their looser style provide ample opportunity for both the author (i speel things wrong all the time and am usually to rushed to correct anything not immediately obvious) and the reply posts to make all kinds of natural errors.

The Emerging Search Economy

Thread Title: The Emerging Search Economy Thread Url: Thread Description:

eContent magazine has an article aimed at content providers and has some strange information.

Insiders at Google tell me that they are seeing important shifts in user behavior; many users now put URLs into the Google toolbar search box in order to get to a target site, which suggests that surfers are starting to use search engines as reliable modes of navigation, not just as data harvesting tools.

I have seen this sort of stuff for years, but have definitely not seen an increase in it in the last year or two for sure.

The emerging world of search also introduces wrinkles into an already tricky process of getting your content picked up and noticed by the major engines. Many of these tools now let users tweak and twiddle with the very algorithms by which results are ranked.

Here they mention the Snap thing where you can order the results by most popular.

Anyhoo, the article is worth a read.

Everyone becomes a spammer

In 7 years in this industry I now am firmly of the conviction that everyone becomes a search engine spammer, if they stay in the industry.

I have seen so many people turn to the dark side in the years.

Almost everyone stumbled into this industry and started just making sites so the spiders could find them and adding a few directory links, and the sites ranked. Then they added some more directories and more....but slowly they started to loose their rankings as it became more competitive. They looked to the dark side to help....

Other made lots of cash from being white, but got bored. They looked to the dark side to help relieve the boredom...

Others got annoyed with search engines and decided it was a war and looked to the dark side.

So how to did you turn?


Google's Statements on Toolbar Autolink

Thread Title: Google Toolbar's AutoLink & The Need For Opt-Out Thread Url: Thread Description:

Danny Sullivan rounds up the issues raised over the last week on the Google Autolink functionality in the new Toolbar. It seems he got a little private press release from Google's Marissa Mayer also, i think you'll find them interesting:

"With AutoLink versus Smart Tags, the toolbar is different is that its only installed by users [as opposed to automatically being part of the browser] and is by no means a majority,"

"Are we really taking traffic away from them? Think about what they've [users] have done. They've been looking at the page. They've decided there's a piece of information on the page. They had to get the idea that they wanted to get more information some way. They clicked a toolbar button, and then they clicked a link. That's a pretty determined series of user actions. It seems to me that that user is going elsewhere anyway,"

"Obviously Amazon is a partner of ours, but there was no monetary exchanges as part of this development. We picked out what we thought was the best user experience for things we linked to

on turning other words into links...

"That goes a little too far. We aren't interested in turning an entire page into hyperlinks. That's not particularly helpful to the user,"

On providing an opt-in or opt-out...

"If you had opt-in or opt-out, that's overall a lot less useful," Mayer said. "If the links sometimes won't show because there's a publisher opting-out, that's bad for the user experience."

"It's an interesting balance to strike, but we're going to weigh more heavily on the user side," Mayer said. "We think we struck the initial balance in a reasonable way. The publisher's page is seen as intended in the browser. It's a user-elected action that changes things. Beyond that, we aren't driving all traffic to Google."

On having the tables turned, like a tool that messed with Googles pages "in the interests of the user"

The SEO Game is Getting Harder

Thread Title: Doing SEO in a Vacuum Thread Url: Thread Description:

Aaron Wall has an interesting article out detailing how his SEOBook and SEOGuy have been dumped in the recent Google update:

A couple of the sites that were hit in the Google update were ranking well in most major search engines for the term "SEO."

Recently SEO Guy ranked #1 in Google. My SEO Book blog also ranked in the top 10 - 20 sites since June of last year.

I just checked Yahoo! and MSN and SEO Guy was #1 for "SEO" on both sites. My site was #4 and #6. Teoma is a topical clustering based search engine and even their algorithm still ranks my site at #11.

After the recent Google update both SEO Guy and SEO Book no longer rank in Google for their official site names.

Many theories and surmizes follow, but they boil down to this: Over optimized sites have been hit again...

This also ties in nicely with a thread i read a bit of over at WMW recently: The Best SEO Tactic is to do Nothing at all? where member Tomthumb2000 says...

I've been reading masses of opinions over the past few weeks and it strikes me that with so many conflicting opinions and contracditory evidence, what conclusions can the average webmaster draw? It seems to me that the best tactic may be to just develop a site with plenty of good content, relevant titles, get the odp and yahoo listing and leave it at that. I've seen plenty of sites developed in notepad reach the top of their SERPS without ever requesting a link or giving more than a relevant handful out. I can accept that there exist webmasters and companies with genius techies and a hard-wroking team of web promoters who can get results. But for the average webmaster is his time not best spent in developing a good site? Especially when no one can agree on what works anyway? Maybe I'm just naive...

Jupiters Vertical Search Prediction Flawed says Evslin

Thread Title: There Won’t be Vertical Search Engines! Thread Url: Thread Description:

Tom Evslin says that Jupiters prediction that Search will go the same way as TV did (from several major channels to 100's of specialized ones) and go Vertical is flawed. More to the point, it won't happen.

Wrong! The analogy is broken:

Each TV channel can only offer 24 hours of content per day. Obviously, more content requires more channels. The power of today’s search engine is that they offer the whole web and their reach grows as the web grows. We don’t need more search engines to cover more content the way we needed more channels.

Because they can only broadcast one show at a time, “mainstream” channels avoid exotica. The web doesn’t suffer from bandwidth limitation. Exotica, minutia, trivia, and fascinating detail unheard of on any TV channel are as available as “mainstream” information through any search engine searching the whole web.

There is much more on this on Tom's post, so do check it out. I think you'll find it a hard argument to refute...

Related: Search business mirroring TV industry?

Search Engines Create Self Regulating Body

Thread Title: Voluntary Self-Control for Multimedia Service Providers Thread Url: Thread Description:

German search engines band together to protect the German young!

In Berlin today the search engine providers Google, Lycos Europe, MSN Deutschland, AOL Deutschland, Yahoo, T-Online and t-info announced the creation of a self-regulatory organization under the umbrella of the "Voluntary Self-Control for Multimedia Service Providers" (FSM). According to Thomas Dominikowski of Lycos the first major common project would aim at automating the filtering out of URLs on the index of Germany's Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPJM). The URLs on the index will be placed on a server, which will allow the search engines to access them in a software-protected fashion for the sake comparing the entries on the index with the items on their lists. In accordance with the codex signed by the search engine providers this process must guarantee that links cannot be publish or disseminated in any other way, the FSM´s managing director, Ms. Sabine Frank, explains

Google and Threadwatch

Thread Title: Hmmm ... Threadwatch and Google Thread Url: Thread Description:

Ok what's going on, When i do a I get no Titles or Snippets...

but if I do a and keyword search I get Titles and Snippets


I have drank to much in the pub at lunchtime ...


Google AutoLink: Server and Client Side Solutions

Thread Title: Code for Killing Google AutoLink Thread Url: Thread Description:

We've updated the Autolink killer page to include some very good client side and server side solutions. Please use that thread to comment, or add your fix to the Autolink problem...

Clustering with Clusty - Interview with Saman Haqqi

Thread Title: Clusty -A Brief Interview About Clustering Thread Url: Thread Description:

There's a brief interview with Saman Haqqi, Vivissimo's director of marketing about search clustering technology and the unfortunately named Clusty engine.

At Vivisimo we believe that Web searching needs to evolve beyond ‘ranking engines’ that simply list undifferentiated page results ranked by popularity, freshness and links - criteria that don’t do enough to make search results useful to searchers. Clustering lets users view results organized into categories like books organized neatly in bookshelves instead of being randomly piled on the floor. It allows users to quickly overview at least ten times as many results as they would with ranking engines where users rarely go beyond the first page. - Spam Proof?

Thread Title: beta launched Thread Url: Thread Description: think they've created a spam proof ranking system - Could it just be marketing spin to get us all talking about this Shopping engine again, after they pretty much used up all their credits a few days ago?

He has lead the development of a way of creating a page rank that says is spam proof—it is impervious to all attempts at search engine optimization

Is it possible to create such a beast - surely laying down a challenge lots of SEOs could not resist? :O)

Top para added by Nick

Mike Grehan interviews Ask

Thread Title: Mike Grehan interviews Jim Lanzone & Apostolos Gerasoulis of Ask Jeeves Thread Url: Thread Description:

I picked this up via Barry's post at SEW

I've read it once and need to read it at least twice again (as well as go over the attachments etc.) but it is an excellent read.

Some points immediately come up as interesting, especially from a personal level as I agree entirely with them and have said as much (at least in private) for quite some time.

Does Google use PageRank? No says Apostolos. Have they created some kind of local implementation based on anchor text? Yes says Apostolos.

going on in more detail

But, it's 2005 now, so things have changed. And I wanted to ask you about how important you think PageRank is in the work that goes on over at Google?


The importance has diminished because PageRank is just one piece of the ranking algorithm over there. The ranking algorithm is so much more complex now. And PageRank is just used when they want to break ties.

I'm sure that they've not implemented Kleinberg's algorithm. But I'm also sure that they have created some kind of local implementation based on anchor text.

I believe this to be an extended Hilltop

Mike: Are you crawling Flash yet?

Apostolos: Yes

More to come as I read and reread the article.

Great work Mike, thanks!

Everybody's Local, even AOL

Thread Title: AOL Unveils New Local Search Service Thread Url: Thread Description:

Gary has the details on

t the moment, listings and data for more than 13,000 million businesses, theaters, and other local establishment come from a variety of sources including powered AOL Yellow Pages, Moviefone, and AOL CityGuides for more than 300 U.S. cities. AOL plans to add more sources and type of info in the near future.

I hear that TrueLocal should be hitting the news soon also...