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Google Labs has released the beta version of what might become the application that changes Google’s relationship with its users forever. My Search History (beta) is an opt-in program that records your Google search history and where the search results led you, making that history available for personal viewing on any computer. Users who sign up for the service will learn a lot about how they use Google. In turn, Google will learn a lot about every user as well. Read more…

Over the past week, SEOs and SEMs have noted some significant changes in the search engine results delivered by Google. Google appears to be actively cleaning its listings by targeting sites using suspicious link-building techniques. A couple of well-known search engine marketing sites have vanished from Google results under keyword phrases they dominated just last week. Read more…

What is happening behind the scenes at Google these days? Trying to figure out exactly what is happening behind the closed doors of the Googleplex is much like trying to get solid information on the Illuminati. One can find lots of rumour and conjecture but there are a very limited number of individuals willing or qualified to offer a credible quote. For obvious reasons, Google does not allow its employees to talk to the media without first obtaining several levels of permission. Read more…

SEOinc seems to have vanished from the Top30 search engine results at Google. Until earlier today, SEOinc had consistently ranked in second place under the keyword phrases, “search engine optimization“, “search engine placement“, and “search engine positioning“. Read more…

Thoughts on Google’s patent…
Information retrieval based on historical data

Google’s newest patent application is lengthy. It is interesting in some places and enigmatic in others. Less colourful than most end user license agreements, the patent covers an enormous range of ranking analysis techniques Google wants to ensure are kept under their control. Some of the ideas and concepts covered in the document are almost certainly worked into the current algorithm running Google. Some are being worked in as this article is being written. Some may never see the blue-light of electrons but are pretty good ideas so it might have been considered wise to patent them. Google’s not saying which is which. While not exactly War and Peace, it’s a pretty complex document that gives readers a glimpse inside the minds of Google engineers. Read more…

It was only a matter of time before someone took the problems associated with click-fraud to court. In February, a group of advertisers quietly filed a lawsuit against Google, Yahoo, Time Warner (AOL), Ask Jeeves, Disney, Lycos, LookSmart and FindWhat. Read more…

Google has incorporated satellite images into Google Maps. The new feature offers the ultimate in bird’s eye views for searchers using Google Maps by replacing the standard 2-dimentional maps with images taken by satellite. On the upper right hand side of the Google Maps page is a small text-link that toggles between standard map and satellite image. The satellite images are currently only available for North American addresses but will be introduced for other regions as the year progresses. Read more…

Google has purchased San Diego based web analytics firm Urchin for an undisclosed amount of cash and/or stock. Urchin is a web site analysis tool that allows users to study the habits of site visitors in order to get a better view of what they are doing when they visit a particular site. Understanding the experiences of site visitors allows webmasters to track the performance of their websites and better optimize content to meet the wants and needs of those visitors. Currently, Urchin tools are available as hosted services (run from Urchin.com), software packages (run from user’s computer), or as the default site-stat service offered by many larger ISPs. Read more…

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Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Controversy Dogs Google

The first three months of 2005 is turning out to be a cursed quarter for the PR department at the Googleplex. This week, the public spotlight focused on Google News for two less-than-honourable mentions. Read more…

Search Engine Watch receives regular statistics on search engine usage from Neilson Net Ratings. Neilson Net Ratings gathers data from over one million Internet users in the United States with Neilson software installed on their home and work computers that records every site visited. Measuring three unique metrics, these stats provide a present and historic view of search engine usage. Read more…