Enterprise SEO Interview With ABC’s John Shehata

I spoke recently with John Shehata, the director of search for ABC News. Since he owns the SEO responsibility for a number of large media properties, I leapt at the chance to explore some of the things he has learned along the way. We dug in and explored the challenges of educating a large media company, dealing with multiple content management systems, syndicating content and query deserves freshness, all viewed through the eyes of ABC! Interview Transcript Eric Enge: Can you provide a brief outline of your responsibilities at ABC News? John Shehata: I’m the Executive Director of Se [...]


Searching For TV News Online

Most news organizations provide video content on their sites, and aggregators like Google News also offer video clips for some stories. But there are also some excellent search tools that focus exclusively on broadcast television news, and they can often take you to "all the news that's fit to watch" more quickly and efficiently than browsing the Web. Today, a look at "TV News Search and Borrow" (TV News), one of the many services the Internet Archive makes available, such as the incredible Web history archive, The Wayback Machine. "TV News Search and Borrow" allows you to keyword [...]


Mobile Search After The Final Mayan B’ak’tun

nexus 4 mobile search [caption id="attachment_142761" align="alignright" width="209"] Google Nexus 4 / Mayan Calendar from Peta-de-aztlan, Creative Commons[/caption] If you are reading this Search Engine Land column, then you survived the "final day" of the Mayan Calendar as the 13th B'ak'tun resets to 0 like an odometer after 1,872,000 days, and with it, the start of the 5th world, according to Mayan culture. This 5th world is said to be one of enlightenment, higher consciousness, and great transformation, which in my view, could only mean a concerted focus on mobile...for those that remain. Perhaps th [...]


Trapit Aims To Be Your Search “Personal Assistant”

Somewhere between the "precision of search and the serendipity of social media" lies Trapit. Trapit is a "personal discovery engine" based on the same underlying technology that forms the core of Apple's Siri virtual assistant. From the outside, however, it looks something like a cross between StumbleUpon and Flipboard or Zite. Co-founders Gary Griffiths and Hank Nothhaft are quick to rebut each of those comparisons by pointing to Trapit's underlying technology as the differentiator. Users input keywords or entire URLs and create "traps," which are content modules drawing upon approxima [...]


Report: Tablets Replacing PC News Consumption For Many

A new report on tablet ownership and usage, from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, finds that 11 percent of US adults own tablets (mostly iPads) and 77 percent use them daily. Beyond this 53 percent of tablet owners consume news on these devices on a daily basis. The report focuses primarily on news consumption on tablets. However we know from numerous other studies that tablet owners are also highly engaged shoppers as well. Tablet owners are more educated, affluent and employed than the general US population. And they're using tablets to access news instea [...]


Former Search Tool Evri Joins Crowded iPad News Club

The recent trend for search technologies that aren't or weren't able to compete directly as search engines is to become newsreaders or content discovery vehicles. This is not meant to demean the technology or the companies involved but simply to acknowledge the difficulty of competing in the search market. This search-to-content discovery pivot has been made before by Worio, which became Zite, and Taptu, which also became went from being a mobile search provider to a personalized newsreader. Now comes Evri, which already was a "content discovery engine," with a bunch of mobile apps. But [...]


Former Mobile Search Engine Taptu Reinvents Itself As Tablet Platform Tool

The search technology behind failed social search engine Worio became the guts of the successful Zite app, which was recently acquired by CNN. Similarly Taptu, which began as a mobile search engine in the pre-iPhone era (2006), did almost the identical thing and is hoping to follow Zite's lead. Originally Taptu was a search engine for feature phones and low-end smartphones. It then morphed into a search engine for the "touch friendly" mobile web, indexing only sites that looked good touch-screen smartphones. But as smartphone apps proliferated and gained traction, and as Google came to domi [...]


Walmart Buys Former Search Engine Kosmix To Power Social And Mobile Shopping

walmart-kosmix-featured For those who follow search it was initially one of those "WTF moments": Walmart acquiring erstwhile Google challenger Kosmix. However AllThingsD reports that the price was $300 million-plus vs. $55 million raised. So the founders and investors get a seemingly nice exit. Kosmix will now become part of the newly established "@WalmartLabs." When it launched in 2006 Kosmix was building a better search engine that organized results by category and added numerous filters allowing users to drill down for more relevance and control. Below is an early Kosmix search results page (via DailyTech [...]


Kadafi, Gaddafi, Qaddafi: In The Age Of Search, News Publications Still Struggle With Libya Leader’s Name

qaddafi-featured A decades-old dispute involving Libya remains unresolved. How do news organizations spell the name of Libya's leader, Muammar Gaddafi? The exact spelling has a bigger impact these days, where people search for news. Use the wrong spelling, and your story might go missing. Can search tell us the "right" one? More below. Google News: A Copy Editor's Nightmare Consider this page from Google News, the "Muammar al-Gaddafi" page that pulls in headlines from all over the world about the leader: That page would give any newspaper copy editor fits, given that there are at least four different [...]


LinkedIn Lauches a Social News Site

If Digg and its myriad imitators were part of "social news 1.0" then a recent wave of personalized news sites, including Flipboard and Zite for the iPad, among others represent social news 2.0 (sorry). You can add LinkedIn today to that list. This is a breakout product for the company that could become highly successful and build much increased levels of engagement and potentially even revenue. Whereas many of the personalized or social news platforms have little or no brand recognition, LinkedIn's brand is much more visible and widely known. LinkedIn Today is entirely consistent with th [...]


Social Voting Sites Dying & Struggling

It's been a rough week for two of the bigger players in the social voting space. Propeller, an AOL-owned property that grew out of the old Netscape website, has announced on its home page that the site is shutting down on October 1st. The change was spotted by Search Engine Watch. Propeller was pitched as a challenger to Digg's throne. But that never materialized. Its home page is currently filled with submitted stories that only have one or two votes, many of which are spammy content about ATV rentals, plumbing, loans, and carpet services. Meanwhile, the king of social news/voting [...]


Google, Yahoo & Portals Are Top Online News Sources: Study

Major news portals -- like Yahoo News, Google News, AOL, and Topix -- are the most commonly used online news sources, beating out the web sites of major news outlets like CNN, CBS, and the New York Times. That's according to the the State of the Media report issued tonight by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. The study surveyed more than 2,200 online news consumers between December 28, 2009, and January 19, 2010, and found that more than half of online news readers use a major news portal on a typical day, and among younger news consumers (aged 18-29), more tha [...]


Live Blogging SXSW: RIP Jeff Goldblum, Truth Vs. Web BS

Mediagazer’s Megan McCarthy is presenting a short talk called RIP Jeff Goldblum: Truth vs. Web BS . With computer in hand, here's a live blogging of it, with some tips for those trying to ferret out truth from fiction. On June 25 last year, Farrah Fawcett died. Then stories on Twitter and elsewhere about Michael Jackson dying. Huge traffic to news sites before anything confirmed. Big change from in the past when you'd hear things from news sources only after confirmed. So to set the day off, two big celebrities dies. Huge interest. Many didn't believe Jackson had, then TMZ reported, [...]


Media News Junkies Meet Mediagazer

Techmeme is one of my favorite sites. It's my morning "newspaper" that covers technology headlines from across the web. And now it's joined by a new site just for media news, Mediagazer. I'm thrilled to see the new site arrive, even if it means more reading for me. Much of the "tech" news on Techmeme actually is media news. Consider any story about how Google is interacting with newspapers, or in the ad space or even the rivalry between Google and Bing. Those are media stories, not tech stories -- but tech has been forced to do double-duty. Mediagazer has a bit more information about its [...]


Pew: Portals Most Commonly Used News Sites

The Pew Internet project has just released a lengthy report on online news consumption entitled Understanding the Participatory News Consumer. There are no search-specific findings; however it appears from the survey data that "portal websites like Google News, AOL and Topix are the most commonly used online news sources, visited by over half of online news users on a typical day." Here are some of the high-level findings from the report: 92% get news from multiple platforms on a typical day, with half of those using four to six platforms daily. Fully 59% get news from a co [...]


Factery Labs’ New Fact Engine: Just What Real-Time Search Needs

Not a month goes by without someone launching a new real-time search engine; but after trying out most of them, there are few I use on a regular basis. Factery Labs is about to change that with today's launch of its real-time fact engine at 1:00 pm ET. Where other real-time search engines focus on hot tweets, popular links, and the like, Factery Labs skips all that and surfaces the facts behind the day's trending news. (image provided by Factery Labs) On the screenshot above (you can click for a larger version on Flickr), Factery Labs is showing hot topics like "california storms" an [...]


Yahoo Top News Site, Google Second; People Spending More Time With Fewer Sites

According to November comScore data (published by TechCrunch) Google News is the second largest online news property in the world in terms of traffic. Yahoo ranks as the top global news site. Here's the partial comScore list: Yahoo News Google News New York Times sites CNN China’s QQ.com BBC MSN In the US Yahoo still ranks as number one but Google News reportedly falls down the list below the traditional news domains, such as NY Times and CNN. However, over at Nielsen (via Editor & Publisher) the numbers appear to be quite different than the comScore data above -- espe [...]


How Boston.com Made Lemonade Out Of Local Search Lemons

I always thought that Boston.com's local search tool on the site was a model for other newspapers to replicate. However it appears that "local search" on Boston.com was something of a failure. According to a story on the Nieman Journalism Lab site it never really took off: The reality is that Boston.com’s local search never caught on. Traffic lifted a little after launch, but then it plateaued. "It’s been a flat line almost since we started in terms of use," said Bob Kempf, vice president of product and technology at Boston.com. "It hasn’t really grown." The apparent conclusion reached [...]


Yahoo News Was Top Destination For Michael Jackson News

Yahoo News was the web's number one choice last week for information about the death of entertainer Michael Jackson. In a post on the Hitwise blog, Heather Dougherty shows a chart detailing how the major online News & Media sites fared: Late last week I wrote about how each of the major search engines handled the extraordinary search activity that followed the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett on the same day. Yahoo is in a unique situation as an actual content provider with writers and editors, and some of those staffers were called in from home to help Yahoo cover the break [...]


Michael Jackson’s Death: An Inside Look At How Google, Yahoo, & Bing Handled An Extraordinary Day In Search

An extraordinary day of breaking news on Thursday led to record-breaking traffic spikes as people searched online for information about the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and, especially, Michael Jackson. And just like their counterparts in traditional media, the news divisions of Google, Yahoo, and Bing responded with sometimes extraordinary measures to ensure they were giving searchers the most accurate and current news available. Below, a look not only at the extreme traffic spikes that took place, but also an insider's look at what happened as each search engine -- and Wikipedia -- grappled w [...]


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