Microsoft Releases “Renaissance” Version Of Live Search QnA

The Live Search QnA Blog announced a new release of Live Search QnA. Live Search QnA is Microsoft's question and answer engine, similar to Yahoo Answers. This new release was coined the "Renaissance release," and includes the following enhancements: Streamlined the sign up process by integrating a Windows Live ID one-page sign up page. They re-designed the QnA registration page. Microsoft is promoting Live Search QnA more. For example, it is now featured on the MSN Election channel and also on the bottom of many Live Search results web pages. A complete redesign with a new look & feel was [...]


Microsoft’s Prize: Big Yahoo CPMs, Largest Display Share

On Friday comScore put out ad publisher site rankings. Unsurprisingly, Yahoo ranked as the top site with just under 19 percent of US online display advertising. MediaPost took this data and further analyzed it, finding that Yahoo enjoys the industry's highest CPM rates at $12.65, more than $4 higher than the next highest site, MSNBC. Google, by contrast, enjoys just 1 percent of online display advertising, which Microsoft fears will change if/when the DoubleClick acquisition is approved by European regulators. Microsoft has a 6.7 percent share according to comScore. comScore display ad shar [...]


Professor Bans Google & Wikipedia In Class Room

Lecturer bans students from using Google and Wikipedia from The Argus reports that Professor Tara Brabazon from the University of Brighton has banned the use of Google and Wikipedia in her classroom. She said using Google and Wikipedia doesn't encourage students to use their "own brains" enough. She added: I want students to sit down and read. It's not the same when you read it online. I want them to experience the pages and the print as much as the digitisation and the pixels. Both are fine but I want them to have both, not one or the other, not a cheap solution. In fact, she is giving a [...]


Get A Free Link From Wired

Some SEOs were saddened when Wikipedia added nofollows to external links. Perhaps they'll perk up to discover that Wired's semi-Wikipedia challenger has no such blocking. NOTE FROM DANNY: We've talked with Wired about the situation, and they are putting a robots.txt block on links coming out of the wiki so that links won't pass credit. Also, our apologies to Wired in that we've ended up causing a run on the wiki with new pages being created. That was definitely not our intent -- the headline of getting a free link, and the article itself, was more tongue-in-cheek about how the system was and [...]


AOL Buys Q&A Provider Yedda

AOL announced that it has acquired Israeli Q&A provider Yedda for an undisclosed sum. Comparable in many respects to Yahoo Answers, Yedda bills itself as a next generation "semantic" Q&A service. AOL will more broadly integrate the functionality into a number of its sites and properties, as Yahoo has with Answers. The release also suggests that search and answers, via Yedda, will be integrated to some degree in the future. [...]


Answers.com Loses Significant Google Traffic Despite Google Definition Links

Pretty amazing -- Answers.com has issued a press release to warn that its search traffic is down 28 percent due to "a search engine algorithmic adjustment by Google." It raises lots of issues -- how dependent should you be on search traffic; how the "definitions" links that Answers.com has from Google don't seem to generate that much traffic and whether it is really Answers.com that's on the outs with Google, rather than a general change. Press releases or any type of official guidance from companies warning of search traffic losses are fairly rare. I just haven't seen much [...]


Answers.com To Buy Dictionary.com For $100 Million

Answers Corp has reached an agreement to buy Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com and Reference.com from Lexico Publishing Group, LLC for $100 million. These properties attracted 11.5 million unique monthly users in the U.S. during the month of June 2007 according to comScore. They generated revenues of $7 million, EBITDA of $2.9 million and net income of $2.8 million in 2006. For more information, see the press release. [...]


Search Spam Fight – Mahalo: 1; Squidoo: 0

Last week, Jason Calacanis of Mahalo renewed his campaign from earlier this year against Squidoo as a source of search spam. This time, he appears to have gotten a result. Despite Squidoo's belated plea that it would clean things up, Google seems to have penalized Squidoo. Below, a timeline for those keeping score along with snarky post-game analysis and an explanation of that weird cat photo above. February 2007: Calacanis does a post called "Is Squidoo becoming a massive, dirty SEO back alley?" Squidoo takes a PR hit, but no search impact on the site is reported.   May 20 [...]


Google Launches “Question and Answers” In Russia

Googling Google reports Google Russia has launched a Questions & Answers service in Russia. Although Google closed down Google Answers late last year, this launch of Questions & Answers is a new flavor of such an application. To me, it looks more like a Google Groups approach than anything else. Since everything is in Russian, it is hard to understand what exactly is going on. Google Blogoscoped tries to translate the features: - You can ask questions and get answers from other users. - You can earn points for answering questions and become an "expert" in subjects; better answers gain mo [...]


Mahalo Greenhouse: Get Paid For Writing Search Results

Jason Calacanis has announced Mahalo Greenhouse, a way for users to get paid for writing their own search results for the Mahalo people-powered search engine. The Greenhouse FAQ gives more details on the program, where if accepted, you can earn $10 to $15 per submission. Greenhouse kind of makes Mahalo a bit more like Squidoo. For more details on Mahalo, check out Danny's Mahalo Launches With Human-Crafted Search Results. Postscript From Danny: Jason comments below on key differences he sees between Greenhouse and Squidoo, which he recently described in an interview with John Battelle as " [...]


Blinkx And ChaCha Strike Video Search Deal

ChaCha, which combines traditional algorithmic search with human-assisted search, has announced a video distribution deal with Blinkx. ChaCha's new video search will be entirely powered by Blinkx and potentially incorporated into ChaCha's live search sessions. ChaCha uses chat functionality to enable a staff of paid, expert guides to interact with searchers in real time. This is a big differentiator potentially but the site has struggled in the past to deliver on the promise of assisted search. I've periodically used the site and the guide interaction has improved considerably from launch las [...]


QueryCAT – Search FAQs

QueryCat is a search engine that is designed to search frequently asked questions, and they claim to have the largest database of these, by using the Alexa web crawler. They have apparently indexed over 2 million questions and answers (though this information isn't on the website) which is a fair number. I tried lots of questions with the service and had very mixed results. 'What does RSS mean?' came back with a good response, but 'How tall is Nelson's column' or 'How many died in the American Civil War?' worked rather less well, and I got much better results by repeating those questions on G [...]


Google’s Orkut Gets Polls; Answers Next?

The wisdom of orkut from the Official Google Blog covers how Google's social networking site Orkut now allows people to post polls. No big deal? Perhaps not. But it also makes me wonder if it's a first step toward trying to give Orkut an answer search roll for Google. Yahoo Answers -- where a community provides answers to each other -- continues to gain steam. Yahoo recently added social networking features to Yahoo Answers, and LinkedIn added LinkedIn Answers to its own social networking service back in January. Google had its own Google Answers service, of course. That was a fee-based [...]


Yahoo Adds Networking Features To Answers

Yahoo has added a social networking feature to its Answers service, allowing you to add Yahoo Answers users to your own personal collection of contacts, providing direct access to the questions they ask, answer, and star on Answers. "This allows you to identify individuals on Answers whose knowledge you value and make them part of your friend list," said Tomi Poutanen, Yahoo's director of product management for social search. Answers Network is similar to other social networking services offered by Yahoo, including Flickr contacts, the Del.icio.us network and MyBlogLogs contact lists. Adding [...]


Wikipedia Enters Top Ten Most Visited Sites

Impressive. Scanning the latest top web sites rankings from comScore for January 2007 , Wikipedia sites are highlighted for just entering the top ten most visited. OK, technically -- they're in the top ten for having the most unique visitors. In December 2006, Wikipedia sites were ranked 13th of all US web properties, with 39 million unique visitors. In January, comScore says Wikipedia rose to ninth ranked, with 43 million visitors. The top ten, to provide perspective, rounded to the nearest million: Yahoo Sites, 129 million Time Warner Network, 117 million Microsoft Sites, 115 million Goo [...]


Yahoo Launches Suggestion Boards – Digg Community Upset

Yesterday Yahoo announced the launch of their new "suggestion boards." Yahoo says that these new boards enable "you can browse suggestions from other site visitors or post your own. Digg-style voting means we can quickly discover what’s most important to users." In fact, these have been live for a while, I specifically noticed the SiteExplorer Board at least a few months ago. Techcrunch reports that many from the Digg community are upset with Yahoo over this announcement. The top level Digg message said that Yahoo "ripped off the Digg interface." To be fair, Yahoo did give credit to Dig [...]


Google, YouTube, & Wikipedia All On Top 2006 Brand List

YouTube and Wikipedia storm to top brand ranking by Reuters reports that Google has secures the top spot in the online branding magazine brandchannel.com survey that asks, "Which brand had the most impact on our lives in 2006?". Followed by Google, Apple is second on the brand list. The surprise is that Google's YouTube is ranked number three and number four is the "free encyclopedia," Wikipedia. The survey polled 3,625 branding professionals and students. Postscript: The full list has been published by brandchannel.com. Thanks Gary for letting me know. [...]


Wikipedia Nofollows Links Again – Due To SEOs Abusing Wikipedia

Carsten at Search Engine Journal reports that the English Wikipedia has decided to add the nofollow attribute back to the English Wikipedia space. The decision came from the founder, Jimbo Wales, partially, if not completely, based on a discussion of a new SEO contest, where editors are warned of an onslaught spam, from SEOs and this contest. Joost also gets credit for spotting the news early, also explaining that SEOs are the cause for this. Editor, A. B., sums up the reason SEOs are targeting the Wikipedia is "In a nutshell, the goal is to "optimize" (i.e., spam) enough links around the [...]


Vizu Seeking To ‘Democratize’ Market Research

The Internet is awash in data, so much data in fact that one can find numbers on just about any subject. Yet primary research can be very expensive and cumbersome. There are inexpensive polling tools such as Zoomerang or Survey Monkey, which offer a cost-effective way to survey users. But the methodology doesn't produce statistically significant results. Then there are a range of firms that will do online surveys/focus groups. Those can yield results with more statistical "integrity," but they cost more too. Now comes an interesting twist on the "Answers" social media phenomenon: Vizu, a San [...]


Open Letter To Wikipedia Editors: Yes, Matt Cutts Is Notable

Dear Wikipedia Editors: I came back from vacation today to discover that in (some of) your infinite crowd wisdom, apparently the page at Wikipedia about Google's Matt Cutts might get deleted. Wow. It's inept things like this that can instantly reduce any respect I have for Wikipedia that builds up over time. Editors, let me tell you a little story, since I've got you here. You know how I tell if I want to trust a travel book about some place, say a Lonely Planet or a Let's Go? I find the edition about a place I know. I'll look up what they're saying about Newport Beach, California, my hom [...]


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