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.

Negotiating the Affiliate Deal

So you have prooved to your merchant or affiliate company that you can deliver the goods and sales, what do you do now:

Forget it and move onto the next project Give the affiliate manager grief and tell him if he doesn't pay you more then he get go and jump Plead for more money Ask the aff manager what he would be prepared to do if you could do more volume.

I knwo most affiliates just move on to the next project, but is that the right way?

DougS

Answers.com - the Answer to Search?

Jupiter big dog Alan Meckler says that Answers.com or something like it could be the next big innovation in search:

Quote: Just as Google came out of nowhere to trump Yahoo as the first place for search, I have to wonder if Answers.com or something like it is not about to become the next big thing. To quote Mossberg: "Answers.com is also a start toward a new search paradigm where the object is to provide real instant information , not just links to pages where the information may, or may not, be found. I urge you to try it."

I don't think it will trump anything, but i could see it, and would like to see it as a tab on Yahoo or Google - I've not used it before but tried a search on my favorite author and i love it!

Wouldn't that be cool as an add on to your favorite regular search engine?

The Google Survey - Thrown to the Wolves

Now, clearly the results of this survey are based on search geeks not joe regular - but TW member xcandyman has graciously allowed us to "throw it to the wolves" - the TW members can be rough critics on occasion so he's a brave chap :)

Lemme know what you think of the findings...

Amazon A9's Visual Yellow Pages

So, the big news overnight was Amazon's A9 launching their Optical Yellow Pages.

The idea is that on top of the fairly standard way that online yellow pages work users can view thumbnails of the actual storefront, like the one above - but there's more: You can take a trip down the street! "Walk" to the left or right of the shop and view other storefronts to get a feel for the neighborhood. At first it seems (at least to me) a bit gimmicky but then when I thought about a bit more, perhaps not. Seeing a tatty disreputable storefront would put me off going to buy something but seeing a nice street with other interesting stuff might well make me want to visit - not gimmicky, useful. Follow the title link for more.

The State of Local Search

Thread Title: Local Search Thread Url: http://www.searchlounge.org/index.php?p=34 Thread Description:

Chris Fillius has a nice review of the state of local search from a user perspecitve - taking into account that regular users could'nt care less where the data ultimately comes from. He takes a look at ASK, Google, Yahoo and MSN and, i think, provides a pretty neat overview of the current status of Local.

In his conclusion, which comes first rather than last he writes:

Google and Yahoo are my preferred choices, with Google being the slight winner because . Because I live in San Francisco and have so many other options for local information, MSN’s portal features, about which I will mention more later, are not particularly compelling. For other users, or for people from other cities, it very well may be different.

To provide more context, MSN is the only one of the four that is a full local portal. The other three are more search-based. So, depending on what you’re looking for you’ll want to use different ones (gee, what a surprise). I think Google offers the best search, but MSN’s browsing options could be useful. Yahoo stands out because they control their own data and in the long run that will set them apart. Ask didn’t really stand out to me in any significant way.

It’s interesting to think about the aforementioned strengths of each local engine because they accurately reflect each company as a whole. MSN is a destination company, Google is a search company, Yahoo is a destination/media company, and Ask is hanging with the others, but needs a little more oomph.

Now, i don't use any local search at all - but i would be interested in knowing what TW'ers currently think of it, opinions anyone?

Video Search on the Move....

Thread Title: Video Search Goes Mainstream Thread Url: http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000072.html Thread Description:

Yahoo! are adding a tab for video search to the main search interface shortly and Google have added http://video.google.com subdomain today - reported at numerous sources

I must admit to not even having played around with Yahoo's vid search but i hear Jenna Jameson is launching a new wireless ad campaign so i'll probably be doing a little research on that one...

Also, i keep meaning to investigate Blinkx.tv but it just looks so confusing and if i don't get how to work it within a few seconds i get all upset....

More on Yahoo! & Google Video Search

Now i've managed to drag myself out of bed i find a whole bunch of posts on this stuff, unsurprising. On good topic to talk about is Google dont have actual videos, but Yahoo! do... This from Forresters Charlene Li

My hunch is that this is a way to demonstrate to reluctant studio producers that video search could help them monetize their video content if they make it easily discoverable. Imagine Google partnering with DVR services like TiVo to do one-click recording of future episodes. Yet another is to enable video-on-demand ordering with your local cable provider, where users would pay-per-view to see the episode that aired two weeks ago. Or movie studios could sample a segment from a movie and allow online streaming of just that one section for a fee through partners like CinemaNow or Movielink.

Peter Norvig on Semantic Web Ontologies & Search Spam

Thread Title: Semantic Web Ontologies: What Works and What Doesn't Thread Url: http://www.alwayson-network.com/comments.php?id=P7480_0_3_0_C Thread Description: "Humans are very good at detecting this kind of spam, and machines aren't necessarily that good."

Google's director of Search quality Peter Norvig talks about semantic web ontologies and the challenges faced when looking at them in terms of Search:

On the difficulties of using semantic ontologies with public systems:

Now imagine what it would be like if instead of using our algorithms we relied on the news suppliers to put in all the right metadata and label their stories the way they wanted to. "Is my story a story that's going to be buried on page 20, or is it a top story? I'll put my metadata in. Are the people I'm talking about terrorists or freedom fighters? What's the definition of patriot? What's the definition of marriage?"

Just defining these kinds of ontologies when you're talking about these kinds of political questions rather than about part numbers; this becomes a political statement. People get killed over less than this. These are places where ontologies are not going to work. There's going to be arguments over them. And you've got to fall back on some other kinds of approaches.

On Search Spam

The last issue is the spam issue. When you're in the lab and you're defining your ontology, everything looks nice and neat. But then you unleash it on the world, and you find out how devious some people are. This is an example; it looks like two pages here. This is actually one page. On the left is the page as Googlebot sees it, and on the right is a page as any other user agent sees it. This website—when it sees Googlebot.com, it serves up the page that it thinks will most convince us to match against it, and then when a regular user comes, it shows the page that it wants to show.

What this indicates is, one, we've got a lot of work to do to deal with this kind of thing, but also you can't trust the metadata. You can't trust what people are going to say. In general, search engines have turned away from metadata, and they try to hone in more on what's exactly perceivable to the user. For the most part we throw away the meta tags, unless there's a good reason to believe them, because they tend to be more deceptive than they are helpful. And the more there's a marketplace in which people can make money off of this deception, the more it's going to happen. Humans are very good at detecting this kind of spam, and machines aren't necessarily that good. So if more of the information flows between machines, this is something you're going to have to look out for more and more.

PR and Link Weight with a bit of Jaywalking to Confuse Things

Thread Title: Does PR "weight" the link text? Thread Url: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?t=3750&page=1&pp=20 Thread Description:

it's a really simple question

Assuming 10 IBLs from both, and similar link text.

Will the link text from a PR6 page link have the same value as that from a PR2 page link?

but the answer obviously isn't. I love these theoretical threads until they get bogged down by people demanding evidence. Evidence aside I would say Google could weight the links quite easily if they wanted to?

Pssst... Google Word Limit now @ 32

Thread Title: Google Raises Word Limit to 32 Thread Url: http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2005-01-22-n48.html Thread Description:

It may not seem much to some, but I've run more than a few queries where i've cursed at having a max limit set at 10...

Ask Jeeves to go Mobile in 2005

Thread Title: Ask Jeeves developing wireless search Thread Url: http://www.infoworld.com//article/05/01/21/HNaskjeeveswireless_1.html Thread Description:

Ask jeeves are to join Yahoo! and Google in providing a mobile search solution sometime in 2005 - Daniel Read, Ask's VP of prd mgmt said:

"In search today you have to offer several access points to provide a good search service for consumers, so we believe we have to be there in wireless search, and we'll be coming out with a mobile product this year,

and that he still believes mobile search to be in it's infancy and thus an open field:

"A lot of search players have put traditional Web search on to wireless devices, but most of the Web pages you want to go to aren't rendered properly on a wireless device screen. So we're looking at rolling out specific search services for the wireless device," he said. For example, likely information Ask Jeeves could make available from its search arsenal to wireless devices includes local business listings and maps

see the full article threadlinked above for a bit more...

What do you do and why?

Hugely competitive terms: Take your pick

OR

the 10000 other terms that are in this arena.

Ranking for viagra? forget it with my skills

Rank for 10000 crap terms count me in.

DougS

Yahoo Re-Releases the Yahoo! Ticker

Thread Title: http://ticker.yahoo.com Thread Url: http://ticker.yahoo.com Thread Description:

My.Yahoo! RSS feeds (including TW of course) - on the desktop

Shoving SEO into the Mktg Dept's Face

Thread Title: The 70/30 Rule of Search Thread Url: http://www.mediapost.com/dtls_dsp_SearchInsider.cfm?fnl=050120 Thread Description:

Gord Hotchkiss at MediaPost, threadlinked above has an interesting little article out. It's not interesting to SEO's with what it actually says, in fact, he's just pointing out the patently obvious - it's interesting nonetheless though...

Go read it, it's only a tiddler..

So what was the point of that?

So, if you read it you'll see that it's a well written bit of waffle for the media types that read mediapost. What interested me is that im starting to see more and more of this lately - the whole promotion of "organic" over paid...

Am i talking shite or is that as significant as i think..?

Automation Heaven - Button Pushers Wishlist

I've been reading about it in loads of places, thinking about it almost all the time and chatting on the phone till BT scare me with the phone call charges,about this type of thing for a while now, but a discussion that led to the phone with some colleagues made me think it is worthy of a post here.

What can be automated and what can't in SEO?

which leads onto

What would you like to see automated that you do manually at present?

In all honesty I prefer the idea of what can't be automated as it sets a challenge to be beaten and I LOVE challenges.

I'll try to kick the discussion off with what can be automated succesfully.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT saying I do these things manually, in an automated fashion or know of anyone that does or does not have the knowledge, skill or codebase to undertake these tasks. This is merely a discussion document, hypothesising about what MIGHT be possible. ;)

Blog finding tools - Automated Forum finding tools - Automated Blog content addition tools - Automated Forum content addition tools - Automated etc etc etc for other types of CMS Page theme analysis - Automated Proxy hunting - Automated Multiple proxy usage without code or network changes - Automated Search Engine Algorithm reversal - Automated (LMAO, do some of them need a tool?) Site Building tools - Automated Crap Content Building tools - Automated Good Content Building tools - Semi Automated Page Element extraction/analysis - Automated Auto correcting grammar checker - 99% Automated Crap Quality Link Building - Automated

NOT Automated - High Quality Link Building

That's a start from me, what do YOU think can be added to the list?

Can AOL become a Major Player in Search?

Thread Title: News: AOL Puts A Stake In The Ground Thread Url: http://battellemedia.com/archives/001199.php Thread Description:

Looks like AOL wanna play with the big boys, actually, looks like AOL want to copy Yahoo with a media model Search strategy. John Battelle has the full details in the threadlink above.

After dropping the walled garden model last autumn AOL have announced their intentions to enter the Search fray fully - they're now playing with the big dogs and by the look of things, present a serious threat to Yahoo's search model as well as to a lesser extent, Googles.

As one might expect, AOL has joined Yahoo in taking what might be called the "media model" of search. The media model takes a person's query and salts the results with all manners of human edited results - mostly from content the service owns, or content that the service access from partners, or content from the web that the service edits together to create what has been called "smart search", "search shortcuts," "programmatic search," and the like.

AOL is taking this to the extreme. It is, after all, a major division of a gigantic content player, and up until now, that content was locked away behind the failing access business model. No longer. AOL Search is taking the media model of search to the maximum - they have 60 full time employees creating edited "snapshots" which respond to what AOL Search chief Gerry Campbell says are 20% of all queries. That's 2.5 million snapshots preloaded, so when you type in a popular query, you get an "answer, not just a list of results." I imagine that number will only continue to grow. Yahoo circa 1995, anyone? This time, however, AOL only has to pre-load queries which prove out to be worth the time - the log files will tell them which ones. As will the economy. "We won't have a smart box for a query like 'birds of the Maldives'" Campbell told me. " But that's why we have Google."

Check out the New Search Interface

Forresters Charlene Li has this powerpoint before and after snapshot - why these muppets cant use a simple jpg is beyond me - but dont it look grand? Don't it look Yahoo!

Google - You utter Fools

I wont bore everyone to tears by putting this on the RSS for now but sheeesh! One last little rant before I pop off to bed :)

WikiPedia - NoFollow on ALL outbound Links Really google, this is the stupidest thing ive ever seen in my life - you monkeys.

Google Admitting Defeat over War with Spammers?

Thread Title: nofollow, no love: Google admits they are losing to spammers Thread Url: http://www.baus.net/nofollownolove Thread Description:

Christopher Baus raises an interesting question in the threadlink above when he predicts that within one year Google will be ignoring the nofollow attribute - and i agree.

I boldly predict that in one year Google will give up and ignore "nofollow" meta-data.

Here's why:

This will be used for reasons other than to eliminate comment spam as Scoble noted. Search engines can't determine the difference between comments and links from a blog entry. Search engine results will become worse, and not better as a result of the prejudices of linkers. Spammers want positioning and visibility and not just page rank, and will continue to spam anyway.

Google won because they were able to harvest the rich data available in the link networks. Link data is Google's number one asset. Today they just admitted that asset isn't as valuable as it used to be. I hope all you Forrester researchers heard that. Plus the value in links isn't just in the page rank. Its in the clicking. Don't want people to visit a site, don't link it. Simple. If Scoble links something it is my experience that it WILL generate traffic regardless of the page rank. This is just admitting that the spammers are winning.

We've been talking about this alot at Threadwatch and the majority of users (the ones involved in the threads at least) seem to share the view that the nofollow will not do a damn thing, and may even be damaging to the web.

NoFollow - A Non-Solution to Comment Spam How to Abuse the NoFollow Attribute Yahoo, Google, MSN Announce Joint Effort to Kill Comment Spam It's official(ish) - Google to Attempt to cull Comment Spam

So, is the new nofollow a sign of defeat? Is it a stop-gap measure untill something more effective can be put in place or just a knee-jerk reaction to appease bloggers?

Google vs MSN - My view

Both the Google and Msn engines have their good and bad points, but the major plus for Google is that they already have a huge userbase searching regulary on their engine and the majority of those searchers are happy with the results. To best compare the two engines and their current state of play I've split each of them into positives / negatives. Follow the title link above for the full post

NoFollow - A Non-Solution to Comment Spam

Thread Title: Preventing comment spam Thread Url: http://www.google.com/googleblog/2005/01/preventing-comment-spam.html Thread Description:

Late last night bloggers all over the world started what im sure will be a very short-lived networked jump for joy as Google, MSN, Yahoo and Six Apart announced a joint effort to cull comment spam. This post looks at why this initiative will fail. Follow the title link above for more.

As GoogleGuy pointed out on an earlier Threadwatch post many other blog vendors and hosts are taking up the new nofollow attribute which is designed with the purpose of denying PageRank and link benefits to spammers:

Steve Jenson - Blogger Matt Mullenweg - WordPress Stewart Butterfield - Flickr Anthony Batt - Buzznet David Czarnecki - blojsom Rael Dornfest - Blosxom

sounds like MSN Spaces is signing on too.

Self Congratulation and Back Slapping wont Stop Comment Spam

The collective jump for joy i mentioned above was taken up by many bloggers who, through no fault of their own, clearly do not have a complete grasp on the situation and what it involves - or the economics of blog spamming.

Among the more notable entries were the following:

Jay Allen - MT Blacklist - Cavalier Attitude

like the posters at Webmasterworld and Nick W from Threadwatch.org who seems to be posting negatively everywhere I've looked and even has a thread on a way to abuse the nofollow link type for those who lie awake at night sweating about PageRank. What-evah.

How to Abuse the NoFollow Attribute

So, rcjordan posted one of the obvious ways in which the new nofollow implementation could be abused by webmasters: To cheat reciprocol partners out of PR.

What other mess might this almost certainly ineffectual effort to cull comment spam be open to? Here are some thoughts off the top of my head:

Cheating recips out of PR - rcjordan Cheating directory submissions PR funneling - this could be used to really skew websites as webmasters try to funel PR to certain pages an deny outgoing links PR - in fact, it could skew the web as it stands according to google if it got out of hand...

Anyone care to add some more or comment on the above?