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.

Yahoo, Google, MSN Announce Joint Effort to Kill Comment Spam

Thread Title: A Defense Against Comment Spam Thread Url: Thread Description:

Jeremy Zawodny is (i think) the first to announce the unilateral Search Engine initiative to cull comment spam.

'm pleased to announce that Yahoo! Search is one of several organizations in support of a technique that should help combat weblog comment spam. Others involved are: Google/Blogger, MSN Search, Six Apart (TypePad, MovableType, LiveJournal), and WordPress.

By adding a rel="nofollow" attribute to hyperlinks, webmasters and weblog owners can tell search engines that the links are effectively untrusted.


We think this is a good first step toward significantly reducing the spam burden on bloggers and weblog hosting companies. It's great to see so many players on board. In the coming weeks you can expect to see the changes reflected in our web index.

Six Apart - Google and MSN Onboard

Jeremy points to this announcement at six apart, the company behind TypePad and MovableType and also these 2 posts from Google and MSN

Google's Announcement - as yet unpublished MSN's Announcement - as yet unpublished

Jeremey, are you being a bad boy and breaking the news before the agreed time? hehe...

Bloggers - A Growing Market for Search Optimization Firms

Over the past couple of months i've noticed a steadily increasing interest in Search amongst bloggers. This isn't so surprising when you think about as the recent Pew Study showed a 58% increase in blog readership in 2004 and that 7% of American adults that use the net had created a blog. This post looks at the growing blog scene and what potential avenues exist for SEO's within it. Follow the title link above for the full post.

It's official(ish) - Google to Attempt to cull Comment Spam

Thread Title: Google to stop following certain types of links.... Thread Url: Thread Description:

Danny Sullivan confirms what we all thought Google were to announce as their combat to spam.

DogPile add Yellow Pages Data

Thread Title: Dogpile Search Engine Builds On Its IntelliFind Technology With New Features Thread Url: Thread Description:

As the kind lady who IM'd me this report said "I'd forgotten Dogpile even existed!" heh...

Well, I cant say that im particularly inclined to report on what dogpile does but this is kinda interesting:

IntelliFind is a sophisticated query analysis system designed to improve the relevancy of Dogpile results by assessing the likely intent behind every query and searching only the content sources that are likely to return highly relevant results. IntelliFind launched in November 2004 and was the result of a year-long development effort.

With this launch, IntelliFind now supports the integration of yellow pages content on Web search results pages when relevant to a user's query. The feature is currently in beta. Whenever IntelliFind identifies that the likely intent behind a query is to find information on a local business, Dogpile now returns yellow pages listings in a box at the top of the results set. With this new functionality, Dogpile is able to better respond to the growing number of users who turn to search engines to find information on nearby businesses.

Another new feature, Web Site Match, helps users navigate the Web more efficiently by matching every query against a database of the most popular Web sites and suggesting exact matches at the top of the results set. The Web Site Match feature was developed in response to the growing number of navigational queries - queries entered at a search engine by a user intending to reach a specific Web site. To save users time and frustration, Web site Match employs a listing of common misspellings to guide users to their destination even if their query is misspelled.

Sounds cool huh? Anyone wanna take it for a spin and tell us what they think?

Unofficial SEO Gatherings - Good or Bad for the Industry?

DougS is bored:)

So gents we all know it is now happening, the large forums are growing to the point that people have stopped posting the secrets. The seo's who have been around for a while are now all mates, they get together in different places in the world, drink lots, go to seedy bars and bounce ideas of each other. Some people get invites to lots, some to a few, the mass get no invites. If you work for an se, a media company, or people even think you may talk to se's you don't get invited.

So are these people "terrorists" or freedom fighters?


Andew Goodman Disses Linking

Thread Title: Andew Goodman Dissing Linking Thread Url: Thread Description:

What do you guys think about link campaigns?

Andrew Goodman has this to say on his SEM2 Google Groups list

"Be it resolved that the SEO tactic of pursuing a linking 'campaign' ain't what it used to be. Be it further resolved that if I were asked to undertake such a campaign for a client, I'd opt for having Itchy lower me into a bath of acid, followed by playing 80's electropop on my prone skeleton like it were an electric xylophone, before I took on such work."

The list thread goes on to talk about how it is pointless and/or damaging because of "reciprocal link filters" in Google and how they fall into deminishing returns.

As far as I can see getting lots of great links are paramount? The only ranking I can manage with on page factors alone are ones where nobody else have links either, but even then I never launch a site without at least one link from one of my existing sites to get the bugger indexed. In a competitive market there can't be enough directories to submit to compete with sites that don't care where they get their links and I can't see him doing the blog comment thing .. so how does he rank?

How much weight do you give the alleged "recip link filter"? Outside of directories and wiki/blog comments, where do you get your links?

On a slightly related note, the only advice or recommendation I have been given regarding the "google sandbox" (or what WMW seem to call the "deep freeze" or "non-existant mythical filter" depending on who you read ) is to get a link from an authority. If your site is purely to sell a product, how can you do identify an authority and get a link off them without some sort of payment or reciprocal arrangement?

It seems to me reciprocal linking is what TBL had in mind for the web before Google was thought of, it would seem a shame to me if they penalised sites that do so :O(

Googles New TLD's

Thread Title: Domains of choice Thread Url: Thread Description:

Google have just added the following country specific domains:

Indonesia South Africa Tonga Bolivia Krgyszstan Jamaica Belize Seychelles Virgin Islands Cook Islands

Google's Adam Bosworth Talks to the Gilmor Gang

Thread Title: The Gillmor Gang with guest Adam Bosworth Thread Url: Thread Description:

Dust off your headphones and settle back for a pretty interesting listen from the Gilmor Gang with special Guest Adam Bosworth of recent open source scandal fame. See the threadlink above for the mp3 stream. He's an interestin fella...

Adam Bosworth, now Google's VP of Engineering, joins The Gang this week to discuss his vision for the future of search architecture. "How do you handle data that's much less known up front and where the query is by relevance?" Adam asks. Most of today's databases are built on the relational model, but most of today's queries are not. Instead they're looking for keyword precision, location and semantic context -- not a textual or numeric match. The relational model is designed for use when both the data and the queries can be anticipated, but in today's world, neither are typically known in advance.

Adam suggests that the same divide-and-conquer architectures used to make web servers more scalable could be used in search. He envisions data routers that will know which back-end servers have which knowledge and will query servers asynchronously according to the liklihood of getting the best results.

I started listening to this very late last night but missed who the Google guy was heh.. just saw Scoble post this though so thanks!

SEO Counter Offensives - Walmart on the Rampage

Thread Title: Wal-Mart Search Engine Optimization Counter Offensive - Information arms race Thread Url: Thread Description:

Threadwatch member stuntdubl has an interesting take on this clickz article about how Wal-Mart are going after their own bad publicity using Search to counter critics. From the clickz piece:

Wal-Mart is answering critics of its labor policies with an extensive print ad campaign that points people to newly launched Web site The effort is accompanied by a paid search campaign on Yahoo!'s Overture.

"For too long, others have had free rein to say things about our company that just aren't true," said Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott in a statement. "Our associates are tired of it and we've decided it's time to draw our own line in the sand."

Stuntdubl said:

It's kind of scary when the corporate folks get a hold of an internet marketing consultant and actually listen to them. Someone must have showed the CEO the horrible publicity that Wal-mart bashing websites are providing them with. So apparantely they are goin' after some of the negative serps with a search engine optimization counter offensive. This makes me want to coin a new phrase - Information arms race. Sounds cool, huh?

Well, yeah it is dude :)

We recently had that knob Ken Lay ex of Enron buying up adwords to whine his story to the world also.

Looks like Search, paid or not, is becoming a PR battleground...

MSN Running before it can Walk with a Feb 1st Launch?

Thread Title: MSN Search To Gain New Technology Feb. 1 Thread Url: Thread Description:

Well, i caught the rumour that MSN would be taking its beta search to the public side on Feb 1st at the SEW forums and now Danny Suillivan has added some substance to it by cobbling together a few of the clues in his blog post threadlinked above.

Running before they can Walk?

This seems way to early to me. I haven't played around with it much personally but i hear an awful lot that suggests it's nowhere near ready for public consumption. Still, this would fit with the way M$ release their software right? Knock it out early, patch it when the complaints start to come in...

What do you think?

Should Search Engines return to Hand Checking Results?

SE's have to Return to Directories and Hand Checking

So it is now obvious everyone will soon be autogenerating content and auto link building. What do the search engines do to keep their indexs clean and with good quality? Hand checking!

If I go to google and search on "viagra" let us be honest what I should be seeing are:

the manufacturer the largest sellers (not affiliates) some quality research papers from established sources How do google make this happen? Hand checks.

I propose that soon, if it is not already been done, the se's will have teams of people who's jobs it is is to investigate an industry and make sure that the major players all show up for the main searches in an arena. For 5 term searches let the rest fight it out.


Brown Trousers Time for Small SEM's

Thread Title: WPP eyes world domination with search marketing arm Thread Url: Thread Description: “In recent months there has been a definite consolidation and globalisation of the market, and mSearch is ideally placed to take the leadership”

We've talked about agencies and search marketing consolidation quite a bit here at Threadwatch - and I've been fortelling the death of the small seo for some time (yeah yeah, i know there will always be room for sharp players...) - Now, we see Danny Sullivan point to the Revolution story threadlinked above that talks about WPP entering the search fray with 47 planned offices around the world centering on search marketing domination:

The agency is to be known as mSearch and already counts companies such as IBM, Ford and Sony as clients. It has been formed by rebranding, which was founded in 1998 and acquired by WPP in 2000 to form part of OgilvyOne. MSearch will fall into the mOne division, which was formed by the merger of the interactive divisions of MindShare and OgilvyOne in July 2003. Richard Collins, former CEO of mOne, takes the role of worldwide CEO of mSearch, and Mike Chowney, who was managing director of, has been named head of international at mSearch.

This is only the tip of the iceberg IMO and despite the stagnation of the search sparkle as told by Threadwatch members, Search is still big business and will clearly remain so for some time to come.

The big boys are moving in, who get's to move out?

Hyperlinking the World - Cameraphone meets Google...

Thread Title: Hyperlinking the World Thread Url: Thread Description:

There's a facinating interview with Hartmut Neven, the head of the Laboratory for Human-Machine Interfaces at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute who is working on a system involving bringing biometrics to the mobile landscape and hyperlinking the world. The interview, threadlinked above is a killer friday (er.. my wife tells me it's only thursday!) read, here's a few snippets:

On explaining "visual Google":

You take a picture of something, send it to our servers, and we either provide you with more information or link you to the place that will. Let's say you're standing in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. You take a snapshot with your cameraphone and instantly receive an audio-visual narrative about the painting. Then you step out of the Louvre and see a cafe. Should you go in? Take a shot from the other side of the street and a restaurant guide will appear on your phone. You sit down inside, but perhaps your French is a little rusty. You take a picture of the menu and a dictionary comes up to translate. There is a huge variety of people in these kinds of situations, from stamp collectors, to people who want to check their skin melanoma, to police officers who need to identify the person in front of them.

and on seeding such a database project:

The key is to start with well-defined segments where the cost and effort of building the database is not that large. A nice rollout example would be a movie guide. If you see a billboard of a movie on a bus, you take a shot of it and then are routed to a relevant site where you can download a trailer or get show times. All we would need are images of a couple hundred billboards. The same is true with the Louvre example, where a collection of images already exists. With our technology, it doesn't take an expert to train the system to recognize an object.

Search Engine Strategies returns to New York

Thread Title: Search Engine Strategies NYC - February 28-March 3, 2005 Thread Url: Thread Description:

The SES NY schedule has been posted at the threadlink above, thanks to Joseph for the heads up.

You can get an overview of the sessions here and plan your sessions here.

So, who's going, and what are your expectations for the NYC SES conferance?

The Google Mini - $5K Google in a Box

Thread Title: Google unveils search product for small businesses Thread Url: Thread Description:

Google have unveiled the Google Mini, a $5000 Google in a box solution for small/med companies that comprises of a hardware and software bundle for searching corporate intranets. It also has some enhanced features to limit access and montitor usage - not much is available on this yet so drop any links in the comments when and if you find them :)

late on Wednesday unveiled the "Mini," a new hardware product aimed at helping small businesses add search to their public Web sites and giving employees more tools to find information quickly on internal networks.

Google gets a small percentage of its revenue from its Google Search Appliance, which is priced from $32,000 to more than $500,000 and is sold mainly to big companies looking to search company Web sites and intranets.

The Web search leader aims to extend its reach with the Mini, which has fewer bells and whistles and sells for just under $5,000. For example, it can search 50,000 documents compared with the 15 million that can be handled by Google's top-end Search Appliance.


From this L A Times story

Google may have more to worry about. Peter Sealey, co- director of UC Berkeley's Center for Marketing & Technology, said small-business owners might not appreciate the diminutive name when they ponder making a $5,000 purchase.

"I'd much rather give it a little more dignity," he said. "The only worse name would have been Google Lite."

Here's how Microsoft can Beat Google

How does MS leapfrog Google and dominate search and Phase 2?

Bill Gates had the vision to see every PC would need an operating system and elected to get a piece of every pc sold w/ DOS/windows. Let the Hardware guys decide what else to put on the pc and how to market it. Find out how Microsoft could beat Google by following the title link for the full post.

Google Filtering Sub Domains - Spammy Categories Take Major Hit

News comes in via threadwatch member ThomasB that Google may be filtering out subdomains - like

Go ahead and check, we dont need to do the specifics, you all know which SERPS we're talking about here - in the US results but NOT the .de results, the subdomains that have been dominating those serps have gone - finsihed.

So handjob (heh..) or filter?


YDS - Yahoo! Desktop Search out now in BETA

Thread Title: Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta Thread Url: Thread Description:

Y! finally weighs in with it's long awaited desktop search product. You can download the beta here. From the Yahoo! blog post threadlinked above:


Speed. YDS is really fast. Instant Feedback. YDS provides incremental search, much like you find in Firefox. As you type each character of your search, the results are updated instantly. Not only does this mean less typing, but you'll catch spelling mistakes a lot faster too. Comprehensiveness. YDS indexes a lot of file types. Over 200. Built in Preview: YDS renders a preview view for most of the 200+ file types and enables you to page through the preview, so you don't need to launch the full-blown application just to see if you've found the right document. You can page through a PowerPoint, Word or PDF doc, examine individual cells in Excel, or even play an mp3 file--right there in YDS. Actions. If you right click on a result, YDS provides a context-specific menu that allows you to do things with the email or document: reply, forward, print, open, etc. Cost. YDS is free.

and a note on future direction:

We don't think you should have to think about where your stuff is stored in order to find it. That's where this is all headed. And as YDS evolves, you'll see that becoming more and more clear.

So, has anyone tried it yet? If so, what do you think?

MSN Search Results as RSS - Where's Google?

Thread Title: New Links on MSN Search Beta Results Pages Thread Url: Thread Description:

Gary Price points out in the threadlink above that you can now get MSN Beta Search results as RSS - Gary, you need better titles mate :) I missed this one first time around, thanks Greg for making me take a 2nd look heh..

So, we have MSN providing RSS on their Beta search, Yahoo! News in RSS, CNN in RSS and a zillion other major sites includig and the BBC of course but....

Where are Google's RSS Feeds?

Come on Google, i dont beleive for a moment that you're missing the importance of this feature (necessity..) but how bloody long does it take...?

Banned Sites at Yahoo Apparently Coming Back

Thread Title: Banned Yahoo! Sites Now Reappearing Thread Url: Thread Description:

Barry "i only link for users" Schwartz (hehe...) is reporting on a webmasterworld thread that says that sites previously banned from the index are starting to reappear.

He also says that there is some activity in new pages being indexed so you have to wonder whether this is not just a normal rejigging of the index - who knows...

I'd link to the wmw thread but as Brett has me IP banned (in his infinate wisdom) i really cant be arsed to - check out Barry's post if you really care that much :)