March 30, 2005
So google was put up another doodle today in celebration of van Goh’s birthday.
But that’s not the interesting part…I clicked on the picture to do a search for vincent van gogh and ended up on a page that had this. Note that they have links to google news results, book results, and, at the top, right-hand side, a link entitled definition which goes to answers.com (I wonder what the nature of that relationship is).
Intersting…I’ve seen the news results but not the books and definition results (which I would have thought would go to to google’s definition lookup.
Anyway, interesting stuff. I wonder how far they are planning to go before all the matches at the top start pushing the actual search results below the fold (that’s when you have to scroll down to see that content).
UPDATE: Looks like I might not have been the only one that noticed the answers.com links. CBS Marketwatch’s Bambi Francisco saw Gurunet (which owns answers.com) stock surge (but didn’t seem to note why…of course they could have had the link up for a while and she could have been right about the surge across the net stocks. Anybody know how long these links have been up?
Been trying out the new Yahoo 360. It’s kind of like orkut, an invite-only social networking thing (orkut is “affiliated” with google).
It seems a bit better than others because it is a bit easier/quicker to set up since most everyone already has a yahoo login.
It is still extremely buggy…I’ve come across lots of bugs and I’m hoping they’ll fix them soon. One enhacement I can really use is incorporation of blogs through RSS/atomz feeds since I think few people would abandon their blogs for 360’s. It would be a smart move for Yahoo as it would allow them to redirect all the traffic some of these blogs get to their site (which they can later monetize and also keeps users eyeballs on their site.
March 28, 2005
People are coming across a lot of examples where MSN has incorporated their Encarta Online Encyclopedia (check out the beta, too) into their search results. Ask Jeeves has been doing this for quite some time and was using it as a differentiator. Here are some examples:
When was Ben Franklin born? MSN versus Jeeves
Who was the 27th president of the united states? MSN versus Jeeves
I still like the Jeeves versions better because of the visual aids (pictures) and links that appear to have been editorially picked. I also like the way Ask answers my question in natural language (the same way I queried it) within the top of the SmartSearch box (in red) instead of looking like an encyclopedia entry I need to decipher (not that it is difficult, but the Ask Jeeves version is better for a quick answer).
This also reminded me of gigablast and their gigabits feature which tries to decipher the proper response without an editorial staff or an online encyclopedia (seemingly trying to leverage automated methods). The results definitely aren’t as good as Ask and MSN but it is interesting nonetheless.
hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha
Don’t forget to fill in the “Was this information useful” questionaaire at the bottom!
Two sites trying to (or accidentally???) increase relevancy through SEO methods. SEO stands for search engine optimization and is what sites try to do to get more and higher ranking within search engines since this is what drives a large amount of traffic.
Feedster has recently required that you “claim your RSS feed” by linking to them. This increases the number of links into them and when you give any weight to the number of links to a site/page in order to determine relevance (as with google), their pages are being pushed higher because of it. Some see this as spamming as it artificially drives up feedster pages without the additional relevance and could hurt users’ experience on the search engines. Read on…
Netflix has decided to increase the number of pages indexed. They have exposed more pages and more content by revealing user pages and information. This is just bad and these users must have some sort of privacy issues, I’d imagine. To see what they’ve exposed and find out how you can look up yourself to see if you’re being exposed,
UPDATE to Netflix: This doesn’t seem to be quite so widespread (yet). There appears to be a short list of names in google’s cache (try removing the minus signs one at a time to view them). I did notice there seemed to be more names in Yahoo but with lots of overlap. As for yahoo, try going to their advanced search and deleting the exclusion words list, one at a time.
This has been showing up everywhere and has just been slashdotted:
How Yahoo Got Its Mojo Back
I’ve been thinking the same thing based on what I’ve been seeing. Yahoo has been very proactive, encouraging feedback (i.e. their 360 beta), developing new products, opening up access with their APIs and creating a blog for it (and incorporating user requests into the APIs), and even reaching out to others doing cool things (Jeremy Zawodny contacted Shak about Citysearch’s use of MySQL, for example). If you visit Google’s blog, however, it is usually used to promote their products rather than encourage feedback or collaboration. How do I post feedback and see others’ comments?
March 25, 2005
Anybody notice how Bloglines, originally purchased by search firm Ask Jeeves (later bought by IAC), now looks very search-oriented?
Some fo you may be familiar with the A9 search engine by Amazon. Some of you may also be familiar with the pictures (Block View) they took and added of the storefronts for their yellow pages. Here is info about Block View.
Check out the great pictures someone aggregated at flickr here that the Block View SUV took. Some of the interesting pictures include a composite picture showing 2 men walking in the opposite direction (all the frames are laid over each other so you can see them as they walk in opposite directions) located here, an analysis of the time the van drove by, a shot of the cameraman adjusting the lens, some guy having a bad day, and more!
Some of the comments below the pictures are interesting/funny so read them.
March 24, 2005
This link has been popping up all over the web lately. I don’t know the credibility of its author and, even if he were, I don’t know the credibility of the person from Yahoo (and how much they really knew).
However, if this were true, many mid-sized SEM companies could be in for real trouble soon. All the more reason I’d like to see MSN and other large portals develop their own PPC engine (risk distribution).
As for Yahoo, assuming that Yahoo was, in fact, doing what the article stated, that is a risk but hopefully a calculated one. I don’t know what percentage of the revenue these SEM firms represent for them but if Y! drops them *and* fails to get these offline merchants, that would definitely hurt them as well. Perhaps Y! views the increased competition with MSN and Google as a battle they either don’t want to wage or are incapable of waging (lost margins and marketshare in the longrun). Perhaps Yahoo views this a a differentiator that Google isn’t doing and MSN will not as well.
We’ll just have to wait and see…
UPDATE: see overture’s reply