SEMPO Announces New 2008 Board of Directors

SEMPO has announced the 2008 Board of Directors that will take office on March 12, 2008. The board of directors includes: Chris Boggs, SEO Manager, eMergent Marketing / Brulant, Inc.Jessica Bowman, In-House SEO ExpertMassimo Burgio, Global Search Expert, Global Search InteractiveBruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc. Dave Fall, VP Product Management - Search Technology, DoubleClick, Inc. Duane Forrester, Senior Program Manager, MicrosoftSara Holoubek, Free Agent ConsultantGord Hotchkiss, President, Enquiro Search Solutions, Inc. Bill Hunt, CEO, Global Strategies International Ron Jones, Pr [...] Adds More Sponsored Ads, Pushing Organic Results Below Fold

I was messing around with the interface on my Mac and decided to compare some results between my Mac browser and Internet Explorer for PC. I noticed that is now displaying five sponsored results for many keyword searches. The organic results are now below the fold, like they once were before dropping Jeeves. One of many searches where you can find five sponsored results at the top of the results is for mp3 players. Here is the result in IE for PCs: But when you search in Safari or Firefox, you only get three ads at the top: This is a huge shame. It was one o [...]

SEOs Want The NOINDEX Tag To Not Show A Page In The Index

Matt Cutts of Google posted a blog entry asking SEOs how they want Google to handle the NOINDEX meta tag. If you use the NOINDEX meta tag now, Google won't show the page in any way in the Google index -- not even a "link only" listing. Matt asks SEOs if this is what they want and the poll currently shows us that yes, SEOs want it this way. Here are the current results, but the results may change over the course of the week: How should Google treat the NOINDEX meta tag? 240 say "Don't show a page at all." 24 say "Find some middle ground." 23 say "Show a link to the page." Google Explains [...]

Yahoo, You’re Not Off The Hook Over The Chinese Dissidents Case Says New Lawsuit

Yahoo Sued Again for Assisting the Persecution of Chinese Dissidents from the Epoch Times reports Yahoo is being sued once again for allegedly leaking personal information and aiding the Chinese Communist Party in Internet censorship and the persecution of dissidents. The China Democratic Party, China Social Democratic Party and the New People's Party filed suit against Yahoo in San Francisco Federal Court a couple days ago. The suit named Wang Xiaoning and Guo Quan as being persecuted by the CCP because of Yahoo. Although Yahoo has settled with two Chinese dissidents, they are said not to [...]

Pakistan YouTube Ban Propagates Worldwide, Causing Major YouTube Outage

Yesterday, I kept noticing Twitters of YouTube problems. Soon after, the BBC reported YouTube outage blamed on Pakistan. It appears that the recent Pakistan ban of YouTube not only caused Pakistan ISPs to block YouTube, but also spread worldwide and stopped users from even the United States from accessing YouTube. How so? The two-hour YouTube "blackout" was reportedly initiated when Pakistan ordered ISPs to block the video-sharing website. One ISP supposedly pushed the request in a more global manner, which caused more ISPs to block YouTube. I personally don't understand how something li [...]

Survey Says: Google Top Brand In UK

Google takes UK's top brand spot from the BBC reports Google took the BBC's top spot in a Superbrands survey of the top brand in the UK. In fact, Google is the only company established after 1990 that is found within the top 50 brands in this survey. Microsoft secured the second position of this survey. Yahoo was found in position 102 and was found in position 379. You can see the full top 500 list as a PDF document over here. The top ten were: 1: Google 2: Microsoft 3: BP 4: BBC 5: GlaxoSmithKline 6: Rolls-Royce group 7: Financial Times 8: BA 9: Fedex Express 10: Hertz The sur [...]

Hackers Launch Goolag: A Google Vulnerability Scanner

Hackers turn Google into vulnerability scanner from Techworld reports a group of hackers named Cult of the Dead Cow (CDC) launched a search tool powered by Google to help see if your sites are vulnerable to a hacking attempt. The tool is named Goolag, and by typing in a domain name it may return site vulnerabilities. Techworld reports the tool makes "it easy for unskilled users to track down vulnerabilities and sensitive information on specific Web sites or broad Web domains." The tool uses the Google Custom Search engine and has a detailed specification on how it works. "It's no big sec [...]

The Secret Of Large Term Lists (It’s All In The Bidding)

height="100" hspace="5" vspace="3" width="100"> Last Monday, in a SEL post discussing the click quality by engine, I mentioned in passing an 89% drop-off between ‘phrases tested’ and ‘phrases actively generating good clicks’. Specifically, we posted 176,903 terms en route to discovering 20,152 active good terms for a client. Today I’ll revisit that drop-off and analyze similar data from two other retailers. I enjoyed the Q&A format with Danny last time, so I’ll do that again. I don’t expect any hardballs, as today I’m answering my own questions! Q: It seems li [...]

24 Meets SMX West: Mike McDonald’s Funny Trailer At WebProNews

In a few hours, I'm jumping on a plane and heading out to our SMX West search marketing conference, which hits Silicon Valley from Feb. 26-28. My journey will hopefully be much easier than Mike McDonald's. To kick off his WebProNews video coverage of the show, he's got a spoof of being kidnapped for answers. I kept waiting for him to whip out a Jack Bauer-like cell phone and save the day. I got a good chuckle out of it, as did several people talking about it on Sphinn. Check it out below or here. And from all of us at Search Engine Land, we look forward to seeing many of our readers at the [...]

Microsoft’s Johnson: “Once Yahoo And Microsoft Agree On A Transaction”

This afternoon, Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft Platforms & Services Division, issued an email to Microsoft employees (that was released via its PR firm). The letter has a tone of confidence that assumes a deal with Yahoo will ultimately take place. It reiterates what Microsoft believes to be the benefits of that deal and looks beyond regulatory approval to integration issues. It downplays Yahoo resistance, potential culture conflicts between the companies, and potential layoffs, and focuses on an upbeat message about the future. Below is the full text of the email: I want to provide [...]

Is The Time Ripe For Search Marketing Standards?

Over the past ten to twelve years, various SEM practitioners have brought up the need for industry standards. I started asking the question in 1998, and others have brought it up since, but the industry seems to have a laissez faire attitude. Albeit, we've seen some standardization steps taken by the search engines themselves. Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft got together on the Sitemaps protocol, and Google,, and Microsoft are now anonymizing log file data. Subsequently, Google called for international privacy standards. The November 2007 FTC public forum on behavioral advertising also [...]

SearchCap: The Day In Search, February 22, 2008

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-Funded Lunar X Prize Aims To Put Private Rover On MoonThe latest X Prize is the Google-funded Lunar X Prize, which was announced in September, 2007. It seeks to award $20 million to the first scientific team that can land a privately funded robot on the moon and meet a number of other criteria (explore terrain and relay results back... Search In Pictures: Tennis at Google, The Mars Volta at Yahoo & Schwag In this week's Search In Pictures, here [...]

Google-Funded Lunar X Prize Aims To Put Private Rover On Moon

The latest X Prize is the Google-funded Lunar X Prize, which was announced in September, 2007. It seeks to award $20 million to the first scientific team that can land a privately funded robot on the moon and meet a number of other criteria (explore terrain and relay results back to Earth). The runner up gets $5 million and there are additional millions as part of the prize money. Yesterday, the X Prize Foundation announced the 10 teams that had entered. Here's more from the NY Times, CNET , and the SF Chronicle. [...]

Search In Pictures: Tennis at Google, The Mars Volta at Yahoo, & Schwag

In this week's Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. James Blake, a tennis player, paid a visit to Google. The Mars Volta band said hello, Gothic-style, at Yahoo: Not sure what is going on in Yahoo Bangalore: Here is some neat schwag from the search companies: [...]

Brin “Unnerved,” Yang “Girds,” And Microsoft Shops For A New Yahoo Board

Previewing the teams involved in the Google-sponsored Lunar X prize, Google co-founder Sergey Brin told the Associated Press following the event that he found the prospect of Microsoft owning Yahoo "unnerving." Meanwhile, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, according to Charles Cooper at CNET, is "girding for the certainty of a coming proxy war with Microsoft." Microsoft is reportedly shopping around for an alternative slate of Yahoo board candidates for that very proxy war. Key to a hostile takeover is Microsoft installing a sympathetic board that will accept its offer for the company. Kara Swisher at A [...]

Six Minutes With Former Ask CEO Jim Lanzone

AllThingD's Kara Swisher does a wide ranging video interview with former Ask CEO Jim Lanzone. Among other things, Swisher and Lanzone discuss "the future of search" (at only the very highest level, however). Lanzone discusses Ask3D and the general trend toward introducing more structured and multimedia content into search results, and the movement away from the proverbial "10 blue links." Regarding the Microsoft-Yahoo merger, Lanzone says it will benefit smaller search players in the market. He asserts that Microsoft's cash might be able to fund greater innovation at Yahoo rather than shut [...]

Microsoft Launches Search Prizes With Virgin In UK: Big Snap Search

Microsoft runs prize campaign for Live Search users from NewMediaAge reports that Microsoft is running another search and win promotion. This time the contest is based in the UK, in partnership with Virgin. It is named the Big Snap Search. Users can go to and search. At the top of the search results page, two cards will flip over. If those cards match, the user wins. What do you win? According to the terms and conditions: 23 Virgin Experience Days vouchers worth different amounts A pair of tickets to Necker Island 7 nights accommodation for 2 adults sharing a room in [...]

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, & Other Search Engines Must Comply With EU Privacy Rules

EU: Search Engines Under EU Rules from the Associated Press reports that European data privacy regulators said search engines outside the EU have to comply with the EU's privacy regulations. EU rules require that users give consent before personal information is collected and that they have the right to object to collection or can verify their information. The group of regulators, known as the Article 29 Working Party, said that collecting IP addresses or search history is gathering personal information. How exactly search engines will be required to comply with getting consent remains to b [...]

Google Maps Categories: Will The Pain End Soon?

Over the past several weeks I have explored some of the issues involved with categorization of businesses in Google Maps on my blog, Understanding Google Maps. In Part 1, I detailed the more than year-long history of small business frustration. In Part 2, I provided some background on the early research and the difficulty with categorization. In Part 3, I developed a possible model for how Google categorizes information and a work-around for frustrated business owners so that they could get categorized correctly. Hopefully soon, the need for these sorts of work-arounds will disappear. Recentl [...]

Two Approaches To Determining Intent: The Wisdom Of Crowds And Personal Values – VortexDNA

As I said in my last column, disambiguating intent is the holy grail of search. John Battelle called search the "database of intentions." While technically correct, right now those intentions are only vaguely understood. The breadth and complexity of a concept is squeezed into the restrictive container of a keyword query, so the quest for search is to gain another dimension of understanding beyond the query. Last week, we talked to Mike Savtek about Baynote’s approach, looking at the traffic patterns on sites and comparing it with your own to power a recommendation engine similar to Amazo [...]

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