October 25, 2006

Google Customized Search and Yahoo Bookmarks

Google has finally provided people with a Customized Search Engine.

  • Specify the sites you want to include in searches.
  • Place a search box and search results on your website.
  • Customize the look and feel to match your website.
  • Invite your community to contribute to the search engine.
  • Make money from relevant ads in your search results.

You can choose which sites to search through, add your own title, and do much more. This feature is sort of a cross between the customized search that others like MSN’s Macros and Google’s Free Search.

Yahoo has released Yahoo Bookmarks which marks the end of Yahoo’s MyWeb. It’s integration with the Yahoo Toolbar is reminiscent of Clipmarks, a product that sites in your toolbar and, when you find a page you like, you click the button, select only the relevant text, add tags and descriptions, then save it (and choose whether or not to share it) to your section.

So, what does Yahoo plan on doing with del.icio.us? Michael states that it too will run the same platform as a backend.

Rumor is that Digg is up for sale…for the right price. They are seeking $150 million. However, there have many discussions about how it can be misused. Users scrape the site, they pay others for diggs or trade diggs to help each other out (seen it happen on numerous forums), etc. That may be why they are having trouble. They claim large numbers of users and Alexa claims some pretty good traffic for them compared to slashdot. However, these same people trying to seek Diggs out using these methods are often site owners who use the Alexa Toolbar to gauge their (and others’) sites so the number might be artificially inflated (remember, Alexa gauges traffic based on tracking those who have their toolbar installed). Slashdot, on the other hand, seems to have a much larger geek following that don’t like or can’t install such software (I don’t know of a linux-based version of the Alexa Toolbar).

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October 3, 2006

Where Are All The Posts, Google’s Live Search, Local Search Goes Mainstream

Sorry it’s been so long since my last real post. I’ve been really busy working on a million different things. I’ve heard many people asking to hear more both directly from them and from third parties so I am promising to try to increase my posts again. As always, I read emails constantly in case you want to hear from me in the meantime.

So Search Engine Strategies (SES) had their first SES Local. An indication that mainstream webmasters and search engines are paying closer attention to local search (which had shed its “niche search” quite a long time ago)? I wasn’t able to attend but I’m interested in hearing from anyone who attended about what they thought…especially anybody who may have familiarity with other local search conferences (i.e. DDL.

Anyone see the Searchmash search engine by Google. It takes Google’s simplistic design and adds some nice do-hickeys such as an AJAX-based scrolling mechanism similar to Microsoft’s Live Image Search. Obviously, Google’s search will probably stay simplistic for a long time and they may be doing what Microsoft did with Start.com…a testing ground for various concepts.

Did you hear about A9 dropping many features which include not only personalization but also the blockview stuff they had? They were the first to add this but it is fairly expensive to keep up. They want to focus more on core features and capturing users, currently ranked as number 83 last week in the US. A9 has always been about building a UI on top of an existng search engine, originally using Google but now using MSN’s new search engine (they recently relaunched a new improved search engine). Now, with a stripped down interface, no ability to bookmark, add diary entries, view street-level pictures (etc), I don’t see how they expect to draw users in unless they are willing to concede the search engine wars and be satisfied with their position (for which they can expect a big drop).

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