Monday, December 20, 2004

Build Your Own Topic Specific Engine With Gigablast

Gigablast is offering something very cool search service for websites. It still retrieves algorithmic results but very targeted to the site audience. This validates the need for site search engines that only retrieves information from a vertical market.


I've wondered when web engines were going to begin offering the following type of service. Today is the day.

Something new and potentially very useful from Matt Wells and the Gigablast team:
Build Your Own Topic Search Engine.

Gigablast now allows you to create a search tool that searches only the sites you tell it to (using the Gigablast web index). You're able to select up to 200 urls (or subsites). In other words, you can easily create your own subset of the complete Gigablast index.

Simply copy and replace a few lines of code, list the urls of the sites you want your topic engine to search, paste the finished code into a web page, and you're done. You do not need to register and you can create as many topic engines as you like. Very cool!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Yahoo and Verity Announce Partnership


Some news that spans the enterprise and web search worlds. It's also another example of the increasing importance of federated search tools.

Yahoo! and Verity are partnering to create an application called Verity Enterprise Web Search.
...with a single query - simultaneously search the high-value information in internal repositories as well as all of the relevant Web content indexed by Yahoo! Search...Search results from internal content repositories and the Web are merged and ranked for relevance, eliminating the need to submit multiple queries to internal sources and public search engines, then manually assimilating results to put the information into perspective.

More in the news release.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Ask Jeeves Launches Desktop Search


Ask Jeeves has launched a beta desktop search application, capping off a very busy year in the desktop search space.

Ask Jeeves' interest in desktop search became apparent when the company purchased desktop search technology company Tukaroo in June.

Google Announces Plan to Digitize Millions of Books


Google is announcing a new program to digitize millions of library books (full text) from five large research libraries (Stanford, University of Michigan, Harvard, Oxford, New York Public Library) and make them accessible via their Google Print database. The project will take several years to complete. For more, read today's SearchDay article Google Partners with Oxford, Harvard & Others to Digitize Libraries.

MSN's Desktop Search is Here (finally)


The long anticipated MSN Desktop Search application finally made its debut today, joining the horse race that's shaping up between Google Desktop, the forthcoming desktop search applications from Ask Jeeves and Yahoo, and offerings from smaller companies such as Copernic, Blinkx, Autonomy and many others.

My initial impressions of the application are favorable. The program is fast, results are generally high quality, and the indexer is polite, playing nice (so far) with other desktop search applications. About the only downside is that MSN has embedded desktop search into its search toolbar, taking up yet more precious browser window space. But this is a minor quibble given the functionality built into both the toolbar and the desktop search app. For more, read on in today's SearchDay article MSN Joins the Desktop Search Fray.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Google Announces "Google Suggest"

From Google PR:

In our ongoing effort to create innovative technologies that enable users to search more of the world's information, Google today released an experimental search service on Google Labs called Google Suggest. This new web search service suggests queries as a user types what he or she is looking for into the search box. By offering more refined searches up front, Google Suggest can make searching more convenient and efficient, because it eliminates the need to type the entire text of a query. In addition, the service can connect users with new query suggestions that are useful, intriguing, and fun.

Google Suggest is similar to Google's "Did you mean?" feature, which offers users alternative spellings for a query. But, Google Suggest works as the user types in a query in real-time. For example, if a user types "bass," Google Suggest might offer a list of refinements that include "bass fishing" or "bass guitar." Similarly, if a user types in only part of a word such as "progr," Google Suggest will offer query refinements such as "programming," "programming", "languages,"progesterone," or "progressive."

Suggested queries are displayed in a drop-down menu below the search field and users can scroll through and select queries using their keyboard arrow keys. Google Suggest draws from a wide range of information, including the aggregate popularity of searches, to predict the queries and URLs users most likely want to see. An example of this popularity information can be found in the Google Zeitgeist. Google Suggest does not base its suggestions on the searches of an individual user or searches conducted from a particular computer or browser.

More on Friendster / Eurekster Deal

Here is another move by a search company to partner with an established site. The deal is estimated to be worth half a million per year for a community of 13M users.

From an article on Stuff, a New Zealand news site:

Eurekster president Grant Ryan says the contract will bring in "at least mid-six figure" revenues per year and is the biggest deal the company has secured so far.

Thanks to the deal, Mr Ryan expects Eurekster to be cash-flow positive in a few months.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Yahoo Details Desktop Search Plans; Ask Jeeves & MSN Launch This Month


Yahoo has announced that it will release a desktop search product after the New Year, putting the search engine firmly in the desktop search race that Google kicked off earlier this year and that other major search engines have already declared that they'd be entering as well.

Ask Jeeves, Microsoft's MSN and AOL have all confirmed to date that they will launch desktop search applications, leaving Yahoo as the only major service remaining only in "rumor" status. That's now ended.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Google's algorithm gamed again

From John Battelle:

From the WSJ's Online Journal:

Google News is a great site...(but) If you want to know what the top stories are, you're better off going to a news site that has an actual human editor (at this point we'd be remiss if we didn't plug The Wall Street Journal Online), but some of the stuff that makes its way through Google's algorithms can be a source of high hilarity.

Example: A left-wing site called Axis of Logic published a satirical (though unfunny) article yesterday titled "Canadians Authorities Arrest U.S. President Bush on War Charges," and it ended up as Google's top story. Seriously.
Link to the image.

Forrester Stats, Search Defection & Vertical Search

Charlene Li shares some stats from internal Forrester research about search loyalty in The battle for search loyalty drives innovation.

I find her conclusion on vertical search very favorable for SB.

Another Yahoo Co-Branded Toolbar Announced

Yahoo is clearly putting some effort to expand its toolbar market through partnerships.


We mentioned a few weeks ago that the Yahoo Toolbar would be available with downloads of the Adobe Acrobat Reader. About three weeks ago, Yahoo announced a co-branded version of their toolbar with library database provider, OCLC.

Today, another co-branded toolbar is available from Yahoo and partner, InterContinental Hotels. Members of Intercontinental's Priority Club Rewards program can download and use the toolbar to not only access Yahoo services but also manage their PCR account.

AOL Ad Revenue and Search


Media Post has more details on Time Warner's CEO Richard Parsons commenting about AOL nearing the one billion dollar mark in ad revenue.

[Mike] Kelly [president of AOL Media Networks] says the AOL division's revenues are derived from a combination of cost-per-click (CPC), pay-for-performance, and brand advertising, as well as revenues from AOL Europe. One-third of AOL's advertising revenue comes from search revenue via the company's relationship with Google, and through direct search from AOL, according to Kelly. That percentage is expected to grow, although it was unclear by how much.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Eurekster Search Coming to Friendster


Eurekster's personalized search will soon be available on social networking service Friendster, according to this Reuters article.

The new search tool, due to be rolled out on Thursday, will use Eurekster's personalization technology to rank search results based on preferences of Friendster users. Friendster Search powered by Eurekster will use Yahoo results and contian Overture ads.

Convera Plans to Enter Web Search Marketplace


The Washington Post article: Agencies Find What They're Looking For, takes a look at Convera, a popular provider of search technology to many government agencies (CIA, FBI, etc.)

The article concludes with the news that Convera plans to enter the commercial web search marketplace next year.

"...Convera plans to make its Internet search engine available to regular computer users for free sometime next year. In that business segment, Convera would seek to profit through the sale of online advertising, which is growing. Convera's search results, based on proprietary technology, would be different from those provided by Google and Yahoo, [CEO Patrick] Condo said. 'We have applied technology we built for the intelligence community to an advanced development project to index the Web,' Condo said."

New Version of Copernic's Desktop Search App Released


Copernic has released a new version (v 1.2) of its impressive desktop search app.
According to this
announcement, the new version includes:+ Full support for Firefox (history and bookmarks indexing) + Support for the latest PDF file format (v1.5)+ A redesigned user interface for Web searching+ Improved handling of French, German, Spanish and Italian content.

You can read our positive review of Copernic Desktop Search in SearchDay article: A New Player in Desktop Search. recently announced plans to acquire Copernic.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Get Ready Blogger (aka Google), Microsoft is Ready to Launch Blogging Service


Mary Joe Foley reports that Microsoft will launch its weblog publishing service, Microsoft Spaces sometime this week. The service has been available in Japan since August. It will compete with Google's Blogger and Blogspot services as well as other web-based blogging services like Typepad.

MSN is expected to tout MSN Spaces as a direct competitor to blog-creation and hosting tools, such as Blogger, Blog*Spot, LiveJournal and TypePad. Microsoft also will position MSN Spaces as a way to allow users to more easily share photo albums and music lists, too, insiders said.

Foley also reports that MS might allow users to post to their MS Spaces blogs via IM once a new version of MSN Messenger is released in early '05.

Snap Stats: Seeing What's Up With


Via John Battelle, news of a nice nice write-up from SiliconBeat looking at the data Snap is freely providing about its operations, such as daily earnings, number of enrolled advertisers, ads generating clicks per day and other information.

Any worries that too much information is being given out? Nope, said founder Bill Gross, in the story Snap: the future of transparency?

You can see Snap's data directly via the its stats home page. Charts show number of advertisers, paid click, daily searches and more.

Drilling down via the financial stats page, I see that November has been the best month for the company, earning it $1,631.68. That's above the $1,176.40 in October, the only other month revenues have been earned.

Via the advertiser stats page, LookSmart is revealed to be the company's top advertiser in the last 30 days, spending $1,303 with Snap, dwarfing the next highest advertiser of at $90.

A traffic stats page shows that just edges out Google as the site's top referring source. Both generated on the order of 50,000 referrals over the last seven days.
And yes, there is a keywords stats page, with "location" as the odd top query for the last seven days, followed by "book summary."

Autonomy Enters Desktop Search War

Add another player in the desktop search war. Autonomy has jumped in with a new product aimed at the enterprise market. More in this ZDNet UK story. Autonomy's new product offers something called "Active Folders" and has a description that sounds VERY similar to the "Smart Folders" feature that Blinkx just unveiled in their 2.0 release.

Surprised by the similar sounding technology? Not at all. It's known that Blinkx licenses some of Autonomy's technology for their "conceptual" and consumer focused search app.

Also, "Blinkx co-founder, Suranga Chandratillak formerly worked for Autonomy, a San Francisco company that develops search technology for businesses to use in-house. Chandratillake realized that Autonomy's 'conceptual search' technology would be useful to consumers."