Q&A With Jimmy Wales On Search Wikia

News came out earlier this week that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales had a new project in mind, to build a community-driven "Google-killer" search engine. I've just finished talking with Jimmy about his plans. Here's a rundown on his vision and what may come as his Search Wikia project grows over the course of the next year or two. Note that in the Q&A, I've had to recreate my questions as best I remember asking them. I was focused more on getting down Jimmy's responses. Q. Since the news emerged, there's been some confusion about Amazon and Wikipedia in relation to Search Wiki [...]


Fury Over Google’s Self Promotion & Wishing For Perspective

It feels like a bad week to be Google. Honestly, if there's a tipping point, the freak-out that they've become the evil company they said they didn't want to be seems to have arrived. Goodness knows there's plenty to be concerned about with Google, as with any large powerful company. The entire Google could become the next evil Microsoft? Yeah, been there, covered that 2002. Maybe the fears are coming true. But then again, you kind of feel sorry for Google in that so many of the accusations, as usual, become unbalanced. Today the entire Google promoting its own products is hittin [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, Dec. 29, 2006

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web: From Search Engine Land: Of Disappearing Sex Blogs & Google Updates Last week, Barry Schwartz reported there seemed to be a Google update going, based on forum activity he was seeing. Google's Matt Cutts quickly followed up with a short refresher on the difference between algorithm updates, data refreshes and index updates. The purpose was to explain that any changes some people were seeing were likely small and seemingly restricted to individual sites as new data flowed in, [...]


Of Disappearing Sex Blogs & Google Updates

Last week, Barry Schwartz reported there seemed to be a Google update going, based on forum activity he was seeing. Google's Matt Cutts quickly followed up with a short refresher on the difference between algorithm updates, data refreshes and index updates. The purpose was to explain that any changes some people were seeing were likely small and seemingly restricted to individual sites as new data flowed in, rather than a massive algorithm change similar to the great Florida update of November and December 2003. All fine and good and reassuring until the great sex blog disappearance happened [...]


Google Pushes Forward With Newspaper Ads

Google Set To Expand Newspaper Ad Program at the Washington Post reports that Google's newspaper tests were a success according to the company. They want to expand the tests in the coming months. The pilot results were triple in volume of ads sold, compared to what they expected. FYI, the first ad test was deemed unsuccessful. [...]


Google Jet Spotted At Christchurch Airport, New Zealand

Stuff.co.nz reports that the Google Jet was reportedly spotted at Christchurch airport in New Zealand yesterday afternoon, complete with a nice picture of the plane. They do not know who was on the plane owned by Google's founders. Reportedly, the plane's tail number was blocked out so that it cannot be tracked by the public via internet tracking sites. No official statement from Google has been made to confirm this news. [...]


Google Accidentally Deletes Email Of 60 Gmail Users

GigaOM and TechCrunch report that some Gmail users have noticed some or all of their mail has been deleted. Google has responded with an official statement, explaining there was a bug that affected about 60 Gmail users. Here's the statement via GigaOM: Regretfully, a small number of our users — around 60 — lost some or all of their email received prior to December 18th. Once we found out about this issue, we worked day and night to confirm that only a few accounts were affected and to do whatever we could to restore as much of the users’ accounts as we could. We’ve also reached out [...]


Yahoo Removes Message Boards: What Is To Come?

This morning, I was searching for a specific Yahoo message board and came up with nothing, so I assumed it was not there. Then I see that Slashdot reported the message boards have been removed. Yahoo informs us that they are "working on new ways for readers to comment on the news and participate in a discussion around it." Very weird that they would just pull it, as Slashdot logically says, "I can understand wanting to fix the boards so they're more useful but to take them down for months before a replacement is released?" But is this surprising? Yahoo has done the same thing by "tempo [...]


Defending SEO, Yet Again!

SEM and SEO, Rocket Science, or Just Plain Science? (Part 1) from Kevin Lee at ClickZ has Kevin jumping formally into the "SEO is easy versus SEO is rocket science debate" and digging a hole even deeper for himself, as far as I'm concerned. Sorry, Kevin. Kevin writes: To recap the roots of the controversy, my business partner of over 10 years, David Pasternack, touched a nerve recently when he wrote an article for his DMNews column, Troubled Times for SEO Firms, in which he stated, "SEO isn't rocket science." Apparently, a segment of the SEO blogosphere hope [...]


The People Behind Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, MapQuest & Other Mapping Software

Cartographers hit the road to bring updated online maps by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tells the story behind the individuals who draw the maps we use in our GPS devices or via our favorite online mapping software. NAVTEQ is the company that MapQuest, Google, Yahoo and others use for their mapping database. They travel the globe, document new roads, old roads, construction issues and more. One thing I found particularly interesting is what construction effort warrants a map change at MapQuest; MapQuest manager Christian Dwyer said his company typically adjusts its maps any time a construct [...]


Google’s Not So Top Terms & Top US Gainers For 2006

Last week, I wrote The Lies Of Top Search Terms Of The Year covering how the top terms of 2006 from Google turned out not to be the top terms at all in raw popularity. I caught up with Google at the end of that week to talk about this more but didn't have a chance to post a follow-up before Christmas hit. Now Google's done a blog post -- How we came up with year-end Zeitgeist data -- explaining that the top searches list really should have been called the "top gaining searches" list. More on that below, plus some expanded comments from my talk with them last week and a top gainers l [...]


PhraseRank, Not PageRank, To Fight Search Spam

Can indexing phrases from pages be an effective approach in identifying and filtering keyword stuffed pages, and honeypot pages aimed at attracting visitors solely to have them click upon ads? A new patent application published yesterday and assigned to Google, Detecting spam documents in a phrase based information retrieval system, presents a reasonable argument in favor of the method. Ok, so "Phraserank" doesn't appear in the document. But it's a term that might be worth thinking about. It may do much more than just help fight spam. Danny noticed that I had a long writeup this morning [...]


SearchCap: The Day In Search, Dec. 28, 2006

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web: From Search Engine Land: Google Ranks Second In Merriam-Webster's Word Of 2006 List Gary Price reports Google, the verb, was the second most popular word in Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year survey that just came out. Merriam-Webster published the top ten words over here. The top word is "truthiness" by Stephen Colbert.... Google Blog Search Passes Technorati In Visits Hitwise reports that Google Blog Search has passed Technorati in visits this week. Hitwise explains [...]


YellowPages.com Adds ‘Send to Mobile’

Joining Yahoo Local, Windows Live Local, Google Maps, and IAC-owned Citysearch and AskCity, YellowPages.com announced a new "send to mobile" feature. The listing and contact details are sent via text to the user's mobile phone. Here's a result for the search "Plumbers, New York." (Send to mobile is on the upper right of each ad.) To my knowledge (based on a quick check) none of the other major traditional yellow pages sites offer this feature. Eventually it will be standard however. YellowPages.com also is announcing a newly redesigned WAP site. Recently YellowPages.com parent AT&T launche [...]


Google Ranks Second In Merriam-Webster’s Word Of 2006 List

Gary Price reports Google, the verb, was the second most popular word in Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year survey that just came out. Merriam-Webster published the top ten words over here. The top word is "truthiness" by Stephen Colbert. I wonder how Google is feeling about this given efforts this year to get people not to use Google as a word. Answer? They don't have a problem, since the definition is about doing a search on Google itself. From a recent blog post at Google: Usage: 'Google' as verb referring to searching for information on, um, Google. Example: "I googled him on the [...]


Google Blog Search Passes Technorati In Visits

Hitwise reports that Google Blog Search has passed Technorati in visits this week. Hitwise explains that when Google added a link from Google News to Google Blog Search in October, the traffic for Google Blog Search spiked by 168%. Hitwise reports that currently about 60% of Google Blog Search traffic comes from Google News referrals. [...]


Patent Filing for Google Mobile Search Provides Indexing Clues

Mobile search has its own rules, and if you want your pages indexed for people searching with handhelds, it may help to take a look at some of the patent applications that have come out lately from Microsoft and Google on the topic. Microsoft provided some details about what they are looking for in a patent filing from September, Mobile friendly internet searches. They note there that they will only index some pages for their mobile search. And Google... Google underscores that same point in a patent filing from this last week. I have more about the patent application and some of the de [...]


How Google Sitelinks May Work, From Patent Application

Back in September, Vanessa Fox at the Official Google Blog shared with us a little information about sitelinks, the groups of links to internal pages that sometimes appear under the top result on a search results page. She also pointed to a page on Google's Webmaster Help Center that provides some more details. A patent filing with a pretty generic name, Systems and methods for providing search results came out last week on these extra internal links. It held a couple of surprises... The first was how much Google relied upon log file analysis and measuring user behavior (including toolb [...]


Yahoo To Open New Research Center In Bangalore

The Business Standard reports that Yahoo is to open a new research center in Bangalore, India. The research center is to focus on hiring "mentors and partners" for the existing research and development center in Bangalore, that currently employees 700 individuals. The head of Yahoo Research, Prabhakar Raghavan, said; "We have initiated the process of setting up our lab in Bangalore and have started hiring scientists for this unit. There is no time-frame when this centre will start its operations as it depends on the caliber of people we hire and when the centre will be acquire a critical mas [...]


New Mobile Flight Status Tracker By FlightStats

Gary Price reports that FlightStats has added a mobile flight tracking site at http://mobile.flightstats.com/. So for all you holiday season travelers, bookmark this address on your mobile device (I did), to check flight status, departures and arrivals, flight arrivals, airline & airport information, security wait times and more. [...]


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