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Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Yahoo Interface Indents

Is there a new interface in the works for Yahoo? Search Engine Roundtable reports August 19th on grouped or indented search results.

“In the past, Yahoo never ever indented search results. In fact, in the past I thought they did do indenting and then stopped, but Yahoo told me that they have never grouped results.

Many search results, including a search for search engine roundtable return grouped results now. Here is a picture:”

by Bill Stroll, Sales Manager, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating over 10 years of web marketing excellence.

Looking for free music online in China just got a lot easier – and its legal! Google recently launched Music Onebox over at Google.cn to try and grab a larger percentage of the search market over in China according to the LA Times. Currently Baidu is the Chinese leader in search – one of its strongest features is music, however, most if which is illegal.

By providing a legal alternative Google hopes to snag some additional market share. According to a Google spokesperson: “We are launching Music Onebox to give users an easy and legal way to find the music they’re looking for, and to give music labels and publishers a new channel to distribute, promote and make money off of their valuable music content.” Read more…

Today is the first day of the 2008 Olympics from Beijing China and Yahoo has made it incredibly easy for us to track the medal standings. Now, when you perform a search in Yahoo for “Olympic medals” at the top of the search result pages you’ll see the standings for the top 5 countries along with a “more” link to see the full results.

This year there will be no need to surf and hunt through various news and olympic sites as the medal standings have never been easier to find.

A picture of Dr Evil saying 1 Trillion Unique URLSThis morning the Google Blog announced a staggering milestone that even had Google engineers astounded; 1 Trillion unique URLs were found by Google on the web at once.

This statistic not only shows the amazing power of Google’s indexing engines but outlines just how massive the Internet has become… it is truly mind boggling.

The full blog posting is located here but the following are some interesting segments quoted from the blog posting.

  • How big is the Net if that is what Google manages to index? “Strictly speaking, the number of pages out there is infinite — for example, web calendars may have a “next day” link, and we could follow that link forever, each time finding a “new” page. We’re not doing that, obviously, since there would be little benefit to you.” Read more…

June 30th 2008 was a day that Flash developers had been waiting for a long time; Google and Adobe had finally announced that Flash .swf files could be crawled by Google! In fact, the extensive news release from the Adobe Developer Center also stated that Yahoo would be incorporating similar technology in short order. When I read this news and the consequential articles from the web marketing community it became very clear that this update was a great step but far from the fix that some Flash developers are likely to pitch to their clients. As a result, I wanted to add my voice to the buzz on this topic and share with you my thoughts on how to optimize a site using Flash while considering the current updates. Read more…

At the exact same time (both at 10:50 am PST) Google announced it’s spider (Googlebot) was now indexing a variety of forms Matt Cutts jumped in on his blog with his perspective where raised a great point that hadn’t occured to me. Essentially this new spider function will allow the indexing of form-based drop-down menus which previously were road blocks to search engine spiders. This form of navigation is unfortunately used quite often as primary navigation by web site owners so this recent addition to Googlebot’s super spider powers may mean huge rank increases for such websites.

That said, according to Google this doesn’t always mean this content will be indexed… which begs the question whether form navigation is still a good idea to rely on. At this point I hardly think it is now an acceptable navigational tactic. After all the other search engines first have to jump on board and implement a similar capability or else form navigation will alienate them entirely.

Thanks Matt for your ever wise post. Oh and did you all know that Matt Cutts and I are best friends forever? (BFF)

I am in disbelief. Less than 40 minutes ago the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog announced that Google can now fill out web forms and spider the resulting content. Previously this was not only not done by search engines but it was well known that such content would be useless since it wouldn’t ‘necessarily’ be formatted for the eyes of searchers. Apparently Google is now throwing this concept to the wind. Read more…

According to an interview Search Engine Watch’s Kevin Newcomb had with Ask spokesperson Nicholas Graham, the search engine is still committed to search and denies allegations that Ask is “dead”. In fact, apparently the search community overreacted.

Kevin has more of the interview feedback in his article but these quotes sum up Ask’s position nicely:

“The idea that we’re going to become a women’s site is just plain wrong. We know that a sizable group of our core user base is women, and we know they come to us for a certain kind of search: to get answers, often in areas of reference, health and entertainment,” Graham said.

“We want to address the answer-seekers, who put things in a search box in certain ways,” Graham said. “We think it’s smart to identify who our most active users are. It’s smart to identify the kind of searches they’re looking for, and focus on building that up. We want to be the first place our core customers come when they’re looking for answers.”

Read more…

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Thursday, December 13th, 2007

AskEraser Goes Live at Ask

The issues surrounding online privacy have been a hot topic on the web lately, and Ask.com has taken the concern a step further with the introduction of AskEraser.

Ask announced the launch on Tuesday in their official Blog. This new feature added to the Ask site provides control for the searcher over how their search activity data is handled. At any time users have the ability to turn on the service which will result in their search data being removed off the Ask servers within a number of hours. Information removed from their servers will include search terms, clicks, IP addresses, and any user or session IDs.

Using AskEraser could not be any simpler. When visiting Ask.com you will see an “AskEraser” link at the top right corner. Clicking this link will bring up a window explaining the service and provide you with a button to turn it on. Once on, the link at the top right will expand to offer you an on / off toggle.

AskEraser is all part of the move to expand the end user’s privacy. While it may be a smart move for Google to follow suit, I suspect this feature is one they may not move towards.

Last week I wrote how Google had removed literally thousands of malware sites from its search results. (see Google Results Malware Free?)

Shortly after that post, Google had put out a request to its users to help them fill in the gaps and completely rid the results of dangerous websites. Google posted the request last week in its Online Security Blog Read more…