History Of AOL Search

In preparation for those trying AOL tomorrow as part of our first Google-Free Friday, I thought it would be helpful to give some background on AOL in search. AOL has long offered search -- and even owned several web crawling technologies -- over the years. Don't forget to read AOL: Tomorrow's Google Free Friday Alternative for tips to what services to use from AOL in your searching! 1995-1999 June 1995: AOL buys WebCrawler, one of the major crawler-based search engines of its day. November 1996: AOL announces deal to sell WebCrawler to Excite (which itself later gets sold to Infospace [...]

Profile Of Susan Wojcicki: Mother Of AdSense

The house that helped build Google from the USA Today looks back at how Susan Wojcicki's decision to let Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, rent out space in her garage changed her life and ours. Wojcicki purchased her 4-bedroom home on 232 Santa Margarita Ave. for about $600,000 and rented out the garage to Page and Brin for $1,700 a month (Google later bought the house). That decision helped create the most popular search engine in the world and changes Wojcicki's future forever. Wojcicki became Google's 18th employee and is now the vice president of product management for Go [...]

Happy 10th Birthday, Search Engine Watch – A History Of The Site

Ten years ago today, I created Search Engine Watch. Now I'm here at Search Engine Land, but since I ran SEW for 95 percent of its existence, I thought it would be nice to look back and cover how it evolved and changed over the years. So here's a stroll down memory lane. Some of those who know my work might be thinking that this 10 years thing sounds familiar. That's because on April 17, 2006, I wrote My Decade Of Writing About Search Engines. It covered my personal 10 year anniversary, which started with the predecessor to Search Engine Watch, "A Webmaster's Guide To Search Engines." [...]

First Web Search Creator Works At Google, Puts Books On Earth Map

The Inside Google Book Search Blog has a post from Matthew Gray about how he designed a program to plot the world based on the "frequency of its locations mentioned in books." Google Operating System adds that Matthew Gray was the creator of the first ever web search engine, The World Wide Web Wanderer. Gray has gone full circle from starting a search engine, to starting a web analytics company, earning two degrees, joining a hardware startup, starting a wireless location company and now back to working in search. This time, Gray he is working for Google as a software engineer in their Bost [...]

Former Microsoft Search Chief Bill Bliss On Early Search Missteps

Yesterday I wrote a long piece looking at Microsoft's moves in search since 1997. Bill Bliss, who I described as overseeing Microsoft's "first era" of human-powered search, has added some great comments on missteps within the company ranging from not buying search technology earlier and ignoring the Google threat for so long in part because of MSN's constantly changing management. Bill's emailed me some of this material privately in the past, so I'm glad he had a chance to share his perspective publicly. You can read his full comments below or as part of the original story. Bill's bi [...]

Microsoft’s “Third Era” Of Search Begins With Departure Of Search Chief Christopher Payne

Microsoft's top search executive leaving company from the Seattle PI covers Microsoft's Christopher Payne reportedly leaving the company. The AP also reports similar news from its sources. Payne took over search efforts at Microsoft back in 2003. He oversaw what I'd call Microsoft's "second era" of search, that of developing a crawler-based search engine to take on Google. Below, some history on the second era, plus the company's "first era" of human-powered search and how a reorganization under the direction of Steve Berkowitz marks a new "third era" of battlin [...]

Happy Birthday, Flickr: Web 2.0 Pioneer Turns Three

On March 3rd, Flickr turns three. Flickr is in many ways the company that helped define "Web 2.0" and was its poster child for quite some time. And Yahoo's acquisition of Flickr, in March, 2005, after only a year in existence and, even then, a longish courtship was one of the best consumer moves Yahoo's made in the past couple years. Flickr and the community mindset it brought along, not to mention tagging, have been widely integrated across numerous Yahoo properties. Here's the Business 2.0 article, "The Flickrization of Yahoo" that appeared in late 2005. Indeed, Flickr has had a "cultura [...]

Wired Looks At Yahoo Failures Over The Years

How Yahoo Blew It by Wired, tells the story of Yahoo's failures over the past years. The article starts off explaining that Yahoo could of bought Google, but Google turned down the $3 billion offer made by Yahoo. The article then summarizes Google recent success after their IPO and says, "And what must infuriate Semel: This could have been Yahoo." Terry Semel, Yahoo's CEO, decided they would not pay more than $3 billion and decided to go at the search game on their own. You are taken through Yahoo's partnerships and acquisitions over the years, and you clearly see how Yahoo had to "put th [...]

Yahoo Answers Birthday: One Year Old

Yahoo Answers, arguably one of Yahoo's most successful products of the year, has turned one today. Yahoo has listed The Best of Answers 2006 showing off some of the best user generated questions and answers for the year. You can get a free gift from Yahoo for their birthday over here. They give you a different gift based on your "levels." Since I am a level one, I do not get a gift. Gifts Include: Level 2: Yahoo! Answers sticker Level 3: Yahoo! Answers car magnet Level 4: Yahoo! Answers water bottle Level 5: Yahoo! Answers hat Level 6: Yahoo! Answers mug Level 7: Yahoo! Answers fleece Post [...]

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