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.

Search Scientist Talks Sense on SEOs vs Engines

Thread Title: SEO's, spam and Information retrieval Thread Url: http://spaces.msn.com/members/search-science/Blog/cns!1pRwySEtDnGfJ2qQMroazHIg!169.entry Thread Description:

The more I read Xan Porter's blog, the more I like it.

He has commented today about how the search industry doesn't know what to do with SEOers.

Are we spammers (some undertake spam style techniques, for sure) Are we data miners? Do we increase quality? What are we?

Depending on where you are in the chain of search we will all have different viewpoints. But one thing that Xan says stands out for me.

If we could define a body similar to W3C for SEO activities, where IR professionals could also join in, perhaps the rift between the two disciplines could slowly fade away.

His blog is on my perm list of RSS feeds. I suggest you add it to yours too!

Search Addicts - New Intellectual Property Engine

Thread Title: www.birchbob.com Thread Url: http://www.birchbob.com/ Thread Description:

For those that either can't get enough of specialty engines, or those that have a need to search for technologies that can be licensensed, check out BirchBob.com - it claims to index over 16.000 technologies from 600 organizations so far.

via the inquirer

Searching the Future witn Salim Ismail of PubSub

Thread Title: Being able to search the future Thread Url: http://mediacenter.blogs.com/morph/2005/02/being_able_to_s.html Thread Description:

A short presentation by Salim Ismail, CEO and co-founder of PubSub on searching the future - or monitoring for mentions as it might be more easily described..

flash presentation here

Important bits from Googles Analysts Day

Thread Title: Google Discusses Strategy With Analysts Thread Url: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20050209/ap_on_hi_te/google_outlook Thread Description:

Well, if you weren't aware that Google held it's first 4hr long session for web analysts since the IPO yesterday then you are now - here's the important bits:

Schmidt says some Google services will require personal information from it's users 70% of Google time is spent on it's Search engine - you could have fooled me... BETA's could remain BETA's for up to 5yrs - Sheesh... Page avoided the questions when asked about VoIP, GBrowser and Google Registrar

There's interesting stuff to be read into all of that by my reckoning, particularly the "no comment" type answers given in the last point...

Semantics - A Larger Role in the new Google Algorithm

or is the latest update with Google proof of genetic relationships in full force?

I've been quite open in my thoughts about knoll peaks and how use of deoxyribonucleic acid is being used to identify web sites and relationships between them. I've also shown how that same thoughts process when used with social demographics and neck colour can be used to help tailor results for a search engine user. Follow the title link for more...

Paid Search to start the Real Browser Wars

Thread Title: MSN Search will bring in dollars even if it's not No. 1 Thread Url: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/210941_msftnotebook07.html Thread Description:

Seattlepi has a good piece on M$ ad revenue - worthy of a read. What got my attention just a little more tuned was Jupiters Joe Wilcox's comments on Microsoft Monitor however:

But I'll add something else. I see paid search as a potential catalyst to rekindling a real browser war. I don't see as coincidence the sudden interest on numerous fronts with bulking up Web browsers. Sure, people fume over so-called Internet Explorer security problems, and I'll stand first in line chiding Microsoft over taking so longer to make pop-up blocking a part of the the browser. But there's more going here than just people looking to chuck IE for some other browser, simply because of perceived security problems. Savvy browser vendors have got to recognize the huge revenue opportunity of paid search, from which the browser is one of the major launching pads.

I could see lots of revenue opportunities for Firefox or the new Netscape prototype around paid search. Netscape is more obvious because of AOL, but there's no reason third parties couldn't tap into the paid-search piggybank through Firefox add ons and affiliate relationships. The plethora of available already-available Firefox add ons gives some pretty good perspective.

Nice to link to MM, i've been reading for a little while now, it's a great site Joe...

Google Maps goes Live

Thread Title: Google Maps Goes Live Thread Url: http://maps.google.com/ Thread Description:

Google Maps is out in, yeah! you guesed it... BETA!

As zawodny points out this is probably the end of the road for MapQuest

Not being either a driver or an american, im gonna find it a bit tough comparing Google Maps to Yahoo Maps but the addition of live traffic reports to Yahoo's offering puts them a cut ahead i'd say.

Would anyone care to compare the two services?

There's no Escape - Google got Images in the SERPS

Thread Title: Google Pictures Better Search Results Thread Url: http://www.betanews.com/article/Google_Pictures_Better_Search_Results/1107821987 Thread Description:

Lots of blog posts around on this but i really can't be arsed to link to them all so we'll have the nice folks at BetaNews provide a snippet :)

Today, Google announced that its image search property's index has swelled to over 1.1 billion pictures from sources worldwide. Before long, the images themselves will be displayed against the traditional backdrop of aggregated search results contributing what Google refers to as "Image Results."

Once Images Results are integrated into Google's main Web search, queries such as "sun sets" will invoke thumbnail images that are linked directly to the image library. Thumbnails will be placed prominently on top of search results

Im not keen on this at all at first thought, but im willing to give it a little time before damning it to an ever growing list of things that annoy me... (top of that list right now is the fact that i cant find any queries that produce bloody images..)

SEO Sites Taking a Whack in the latest Google Update

I've been getting reports in about this all day today, im not going to name names as i really don't want to draw attention to the victim sites but at least 8 well known SEO sites have been hit hard by the latest Google update.

The key question is, is this part of the overall update and they just happen to be about SEO or is this because they are SEO sites?

The antagony between Google and Search Marketers is well known, so are they taking a direct hand in knobbling SEO sites?

What do you think and what are you seeing out there?

Kuro5hin Discover Google Hijacking - Bless 'em...

Thread Title: Google and the Mysterious Case of the 1969 Pagejackers Thread Url: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/2/5/183516/0997 Thread Description:

Kuro5hin discover the old 302 Hijack thing - if your not familiar, it's where one site can hijack anothers listing in Google by design, or more often than not, by accident. The Kur5 threads comments are worth their weight in gold, really, go check 'em out it's hillarious - bless 'em heh...

We've talked about it alot here at Threadwatch, though it was a little while back now, but, the problem still persists and Google either:

Do not think hijacking is a problem Do not think hijacking is a priority Couldn't care less about hijacking, buy Adwords!

and here's some previous discussions here at Threadwatch:

Google grants Amnesty for Spammers to Help Fix Glitch Hijacking A Google Listing - Testing Googles Secret Flaw Google & Hijacking - Fix it or have it Explode on the Forums

And in a recent case here in Denmark, Shell get screwed by Incompetent SEO - it wasn't a 302 hijack, but the results were the same - the Danish seo frim used META refresh to try and do a little mild blackhat naughtiness with Shell.dk and ended up shooting themselves and Shell in the feet.

DaveN has said before that if they don't fix this shit it might be worth ensuring that all the webmaster crowd know about it and force the issue that way - a lot of websites get hurt by Hijacking. - Dave, i think it may be time....

Google's Sandbox and Tinfoil Hat Theories

Thread Title: Compilation of Anti-Sandbox Tactics Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=3984 Thread Description:

We've not talked about Google's sandbox in a while - for the most part, there seems little point, but the threadlink above (at sew) does raise some stuff worth looking at.

It's astonishing just how many tinfoil hat theories there are out there on Google Sandbox effect on new sites and to be frank, most of the thread is full of pretty wild claims and guesses. No crime there, you cant do much else with Sandbox other than guess at it, for every claim of "this works!" there is a counter claim from another site owner who tried it.

Apart from a couple of little workarounds known to many seo's but kept pretty closely guarded the one thing that stands out for me as being solid advice is what I,Brian has to say on some of this stuff.

The most likely solution? From memory, Brians general points could be summed up as: Anchor text and links - get lots of widely varied anchor text and work on your on-page factors for actuall targeted keywords - and make sure those links are coming in from a very wide variety of IP ranges.

But wait! Maybe it's over... erm... im also starting to see some very wild claims that sandbox is actually finshed - that's not what im getting from those in the know at all, so i wouldn't go jumping for joy just yet. My personal belief is that Google have a problem they cannot solve, at least yet. Every month this goes on though, and new sites are not being found in their results makes Google just that little more less relevant - which is not good for a search engine.

I haven't personally had to deal with Sandbox so i can only comment on what seems to make sense to me and from what i hear from those i trust to know their stuff. Having said that, it's an huge issue for many, so feel free to rip apart my assertion that Brian is on the money, or validate it.

Google under Fire for Orkut Hate Sites

Thread Title: Hate Messages on Google Site Draw Concern Thread Url: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/07/technology/07orkut.html?ex=1265518800&en=0a553b10ff5c8209&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland Thread Description:

Google have come under fire in the above threadlinked NYT article about a rash of "Hate Sites" on Orkut - the invite only social network community. What's more though is that these sites, that typically advocate hate and violence on the subjects of race, religion and sexuality specifically break the Orkut TOS.

The hatemongering is fast becoming an embarrassment for Google, the world's most popular search engine, particularly because the company has adopted "don't be evil" as its motto. The potential for tarnishing Google's gold-plated brand name also underscores the risks the company faces as it expands into new Internet businesses in which it has less experience.

and

Despite the company's stated policies, Orkut users - who are allowed to participate only if invited by a current member - can join the 2,300 people who already belong to an "I Hate Queens, Faggots and Gays" group, created in August by a Brazilian Orkut member. When setting up the community, the group's founder described it as a forum for Portuguese-speaking people to "show your indignation and make jokes" about a "type of person" who "is gaining in society." Because access to the Orkut site requires membership, general Internet users cannot stumble accidentally onto these groups.

I gave up with Orkut after only a few weeks on it, i guess im just not social enough for that kind of malarkey but man, if this stuff is going on to the degree that Gary Rivlin at NYT claims then surely it has to stop - and it' begs the question, why has it not stopped?

Bulk Checking Overture for Keyword Sets

Thread Title: Overture Keyword Selector Thread Url: http://www.combatstocks.com/overture-seo-tool/overture-keyword-submit.cfm Thread Description:

Danny points to a nice home built tool for checking sets of keywords in one go on Overture. I find it hard to believe that this has not been done before though? If you know of any others, put them in the comments...

As always, im a little wary of hosted tools of any sort - particularly SEO hosted tools - but it *is* nice...

What Linking is all About

Thread Title: What Links Are All About Thread Url: http://www.dgsdesk.com/index.php?p=26 Thread Description:

DG has some good comments on a post i made here - That was just a passing comment but what DG has to say is interesting stuff, which i fully agree with:

Search engines first reduced the dependency on links for web navigation, then in a cruel twist, made links little more than capital. Since then I’ve seen the value of links become inflated, and now I think we’re headed back to a web economy in which links are becoming worthless. At least the variety of links that are prevalent are nearly worthless. We don’t trust in the value of the currency any longer.

We’re inundated with links to sites about diet pills, calling cards and poker. Instead of banner blindness, we’re becoming link blind. The search engines don’t trust the links either, now that they’ve had a hand in inflating their importance they’re forced to come up with solutions to devalue the importance they’ve placed on them. So we end up with odd solutions to problems like comment spam.

So, linking for the user eh? That may be a novel concept for some heh... but IMO it's not bad advice at all.

Linking for Users - Really?

Sure, why not? Here's a few questions to get this wagon rollin' as it's an interesting subject near and dear to all of our hearts:

Should you link only for users? Have Search engines effectively ruined the internet with their reliance on links?

For me, as always, it's "horses for courses" - on a site like this then sure, link for users and link for users only - it's the only strategy that makes sense. On other types of sites though, im linking for SE's only, the users will be seemlessly passed on to wherever i need them to be...

Good stuff from Dean and nice to get a chance to introduce his new blog :-)

The TrustRank Algorithm - Sounds like PageRank with Knobs on

Thread Title: TrustRank Algorithm Thread Url: http://www.seobook.com/archives/000661.shtml Thread Description:

There's a new white paper out that outlines the TrustRank [pdf] algorithm that some of you will find interesting no doubt.

It's written by Zoltan Gyongyi, Hector Garcia-Molina, and Jan Pederson

Here's a quote:

Human editors help search engines combat search engine spam, but reviewing all content is impractical. TrustRank places a core vote of trust on a seed set of reviewed sites to help search engines identify pages that would be considered useful from pages that would be considered spam. This trust is attenuated to other sites through links from the seed sites.

To me, that sounds like pagerank with knobs on, and just as simple to game - but then im not a harvard doc right? heh..

If the technically inclined would care to give their opinions on the paper it would be cool...

MSN sponsors The Register

The Register, the definitive news breaking, tongue in cheek, IT website is being sponsored by MSN search.

The Register used to have a humourous tariff structure for bribes. (Hey, journos can be bought too!) I wonder how much it cost for the total rebranding El Reg has undergone?

Ask Jeeves buys Bloglines [update]

Thread Title: Ask Jeeves Buys Bloglines Thread Url: http://napsterization.org/stories/archives/000397.html Thread Description:

UPDATE: Jeeves have now officially announced the aquisition of bloglines. see the end of this post for the details

No, im not kidding - Ask Have just bought the number one RSS aggregator Bloglines and will be integrating it into the system next week.

Previously there had been talk from CEO Mark Fletcher about the forthcoming manifestation of a business model for Bloglines in the form of contextual ads this summer but now he becomes Ask's newest employee, starting Monday.

This is a very, very smart buy by Jeeves i think, bloglines domination of the RSS aggregator market was reported at 32% by Feedster only last month and is nearly double that of it's nearest competitor. Rafat at pc however says that Bloglines blew it with Google and Yahoo when they myopically named the service - and that this is a desperate attempt from the Butler to not be an "also ran" - this sounds more than reasonable, but it's a good move nonetheless i think...

Good stuff Jeeves, and Mark!

UPDATE: A couple of quotes from the Jeeves blog

So, what are our plans for Bloglines?

First and most importantly, our primary focus will be on building the Bloglines service to fulfill his vision for it, adding resources to their toolbox to get there faster and better.

There will be no short-term changes to Bloglines that weren't already on their roadmap. Over the long-term, Mark will now, as general manager of Bloglines for AJ, Inc., be responsible for that roadmap in the future.

Is Google Responsible for Ruining the Internet?

I was just sitting here drinking my coffee and I had a thought. Far from making sense of the web as they purport to do, Google is single handedly turning it into a bloated disaster zone.

First they spouted the content mantra. Webmasters diligenlty pumed out millions of pages to satisfy the hungry cralwers.

Then they started the anchor text numbers game. People then went out and built millions of sites especially to promote their other pages.

Now we have adsense. Pages are now being made from crap especially to make as many adsense impressions as possible.

Add to that buying pagerank, blog and guestbook spamming (all due to Google's algorythms) and the rest and I wonder if it's a master plan to take down the net :)

Rackspace bans Yahoo!

Thread Title: Rackspace hates Yahoo? Or Vice Versa? Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=4030 Thread Description:

How funny is THAT? - Well, not very funny at all for anyone hosted on Rackspace i guess..

Yahoo's Tim Mayer said:

A customer of a hosting company like rackspace may have a customer that is being hit by our crawler and not realize who it is so they report the IP to rackspace or another provider and they block the IP at the router level. This would cause other SE to have access and for us not to have access.

Muppets...

via barry

January Search Patents for Google Yahoo M$ and More

This months most interesting Search related patents compiled by JasonD for Threadwatch - Google, Yahoo, MSN, IBM and Apple all make an appearance and it makes for interesting reading for sure - Thanks Jason... Follow the title link for the full post.