From My Inbox: Some Search Tools To Check Out

After Yahoo-Microsoft madness, there’s been a bit of a lull so I’m cleaning out my inbox and wanted to mention a few items that might be of interest. Below, a way to quickly search blogs & social media sites all at once, a new video search tool, a study into automatic search queries, an awesome Twitter search tool, a way to track search rankings over time, and a compilation of Google help info for site owners, from Google, in PDF form. Plus, a way to see headlines from blogs and news sites in a variety of subjects, including search marketing.


From Dave Pell of Rollyo, it lets you pull back matching results from news search, blog search, and social media sharing sites.

What’s going on with Myanmar and the cyclone recovery? A myanmar search lets you see top results from major news sites, Google Blog Search, Technorati, YouTube, Digg, Flickr, and more on a single page. Nice! Don’t want a particular source? Just click the X in its box to make it disappear.

The NewsFix area also lets you see sources selected for particular topics. Thought 2.0 is kind of fun — a variety of A-List blogs all on a single page, showing their headlines.


The pitch to me was, "a unique Video search engine that combines Speech Recognition and Textual search to provide the capability of search within the media soundtrack as well as on the textual file details – resulting in more results, with higher relevancy."


Blinkx has had a similar pitch for some time, nor is it the only one that has tried this. See my Video Search Challenge Isn’t Speech Recognition, It’s Content Owner Management if you want the hype dissection.

Sigh and hype-deflation all done, I guess it’s another video search site worth keeping an eye on. Right now, Snipp tells me they have about 10 content partners they work with, such as Reuters, CNET, and Fox News. Another 15 are supposed to come. The video index is updated daily.

A Large-Scale Study of Automated Web Search Traffic

Last week, I did a write-up about a huge number of search research papers (WWW2008: Search Research Paper Roundup). Gary Price over at ResourceShelf then pinged me about this one. From the abstract:

As web search providers seek to improve both relevance and response times, they are challenged by the ever-increasing tax of automated search query traffic. Third party systems interact with search engines for a variety of reasons, such as monitoring a website’s rank, augmenting online games, or possibly to maliciously alter click-through rates. In this paper, we investigate automated traffic in the query stream of a large search engine provider. We define automated traffic as any search query not generated by a human in real time. We first provide examples of different categories of query logs generated by bots. We then develop many different features that distinguish between queries generated by people searching for information, and those generated by automated processes. We categorize these features into two classes, either an interpretation of the physical model of human interactions, or as behavioral patterns of automated interactions. We believe these features formulate a basis for a production-level query stream classifier.

I got all excited hoping I’d find the paper fascinating. I’m clearly the wrong audience, but maybe someone else will. It primarily covers ways to help identify potential bot-generated queries.


I know, I know. Tools that let you check rankings seem a dime a dozen, and years ago I stopped caring about them when I — along with many others – started preaching that it’s more about watching your analytics and seeing what actually sends you traffic than guessing at terms that might send traffic and obsessing over monitoring them.

Still, for other reasons, it’s nice to know how results have changed over time. Search Rascal does this — tracks the top results in any query for Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Check out the results for cars. You can see if something is new from last week, if it has moved up, down, or so on. You can do daily and monthly comparisons, too. You can only go back in time if someone has previously established tracking on a particular query, though.


My favorite new Twitter search tool, since it always seems to be online and stable, unlike some other tools I’ve tried. What are people Twittering about Xena: Warrior Princess? A search for xena quickly brings back me and Oilman plotting a potential weekly viewing night. What are people twittering about Microsoft? Try a microsoft search. Want to monitor something? Just use the "Feed for this query" link at the top right of each results page to add it to your favorite feed reader.


If you’re not using the Groowe toolbar, go get it now. It’s one of those tools I tried and have stuck with for years. If gives you virtually all the features of the Google Toolbar, but with a click, you can tap into Yahoo, Microsoft, and more. It’s the first thing I install in a new browser. You can now customize it to add additional toolbars and features not part of the default installation. Say you want to use our Sphinn social media site. This plug-in lets you add a Sphinn feature to Groowe. Check out the full list here.

Google Publisher’s Guide

Want to understand how Google interacts with your web site but don’t want to read all the help pages one-by-one? Google’s got a PDF compilation you can grab at the URL above. You can also get publications on Google Book Search and Google News.

Postscript: Forgot one!


Want top headlines on SEO from search marketing blogs across the web? This new area of Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop service gives it to you. Alltop also has similar pages for a growing number of subjects. Of course, places like Original Signal have already been doing this, so check them out, too. For more SEO and SEM blog compilations, also see these custom pages we offer:

iGoogle Search News Tab
My Yahoo Search News Page
Windows Live Search News Page
Netvibes Search News Tab
Pageflakes Search News Page

Also look in our Search Engine Land blogroll, scroll to the blog compilations area, and you’ll find more all-in-one style headline pages. Ah, heck, I’ll just copy and paste ‘em!

Blog Compilations
SearchCap: Daily Search Recap
Alltop: SEO
Original Signal: SEO
SEOBlog dailyCrawl
Search Brains
This Week In SEO
Topix: Search Engines
TopRank Big List Of Search Marketing Blog

Related Topics: Channel: Video | Google: SEO | Google: Webmaster Central | Search Engines: Other Search Engines | Search Engines: Social Search Engines | Search Engines: Video Search Engines | Search Engines: Word Of Mouth & Buzz Search Engines | Search Resources | SEM Tools | Stats: Search Behavior


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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