Tim Yang’s Weblog


Google user research by industry

Filed under: Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 12:54 pm

In order to help advertisers make up their mind about using Adwords to promote their products, Google has provided some very useful consumer data for the usage of search engines according to industry. I was particularly interested in the search engine usage for travellers because I have a mate who is setting up a travel portal and I’ve been advising her to use Google Adwords to get to the top SERP.

Google Advertising


Google blog search

Filed under: Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 4:17 pm

Hot news this week: Google has launched a blog search tool. I think we were always expecting a blog: operator for the regular Google search site, which I think I would have liked better. But Google decided to come up with a separate engine. If they had decided on a new operator, then (given Google.com’s ubiquity) Technorati.com would have had something to worry about. So far all the other contenders like IceRocket.com and Blogpulse.com have nothing on Technorati because of either a lack of results, lateness or too many duplicates. For Google, it appears that their problem is too much spam and not quite as many results as Technorati. And one strange thing I noted was that Google blog search is getting a lot of results from RSS feeds. This means that if you are publishing only a partial content feed instead of a full content feed, you won’t be getting as many references as you should.

Google Blog search looks like a decent companion (I’m subscribing to both Technorati and Google RSS feeds of myself), but I wouldn’t be declaring the death of Technorati yet. What we need right now is a Google and Technorati side-by-side blog search comparison tool ala Yagoohoogle.


Yahoo domains now for $1.99

Filed under: Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 1:58 pm

They dropped it to $4.95 a couple months back before it returned to $9.95. Don’t wait for this $1.99 offer to expire. It’s good.

The most frustrating job at Google

Filed under: Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 12:43 pm

After I posted about Philipp Lenssen’s poll of Blogspot blog’s, I thought: the guy who has to come up with a new “Blogs of Note” for Blogger’s dashboard every day must have the most frustrating job in the whole of Google. Half of the blogs he has to survey (and I reckon he must go through hundreds each day) is spam. Poor bastard.


Yahoo sitemaps is out

Filed under: Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 5:58 pm

Yahoo Sitemaps is out. You can point Yahoo to a text file (no XML support yet) containing a list of your site’s urls. You can’t upload the file to them. Yahoo was playing around with this a few months ago, but now it’s public. [via SeoWeblog]


Yahoo launching an ISP service

Filed under: Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 1:19 pm

In the mad dash for GIM, one story got overlooked on Tuesday. Yahoo is launching a DSL cable service. And apparently it was an accidental leak. I got it from an AP story posted to Yahoo News.

For $14.95, subscribers will be able to download Web pages via a digital subscriber line at speeds of up to 768 kilobits and upload data at 128 kilobits. The cheaper service, which requires a one-year contract, offers Yahoo premium services, such as antivirus protection, on-demand music videos and unlimited photo storage, according to an advertisement on Yahoo’s site.

Sunnyvale-based Yahoo was expected to announce formally the Verizon launch Tuesday, but an advertisement found on the company’s Web site Monday night detailed the DSL offering. John Reseburg, a Yahoo representative, confirmed the accuracy of the ad.

I can’t find the ad that the article was talking about and I can’t find the link to the registration page. Has anyone else seen it?


TalkDigger.com: Compares the number of inbound links to your site from nine search engines

Filed under: Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 11:24 pm

Coming right on the back of Mary Hodder’s blog search comparison table is Talkdigger.com which is easier way for you to make comparisons between the results of nine search engines (both conventional and blog search engines are included). But you have to type very specific urls. The results from your url with “www.” and without “www.” will be very different.

Talk Digger: Check who is linking to you

UPDATE: There is now also Uptimebot.com which does the same thing. But they have a better explanation of the results and they include Alexa.com in the search too.


A Comparison of How Some Blog Aggregation and RSS Search Tools Work

Filed under: Blogging, RSS, Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 2:32 am

Mary Hodder of Napsterization.org has produced an analysis of five popular blog content search services (Bloglines, Feedster, Technorati, Blogpulse, Pubsub). She examines what each of them searches, how they search, what sort of links they count and how long they keep those links counted. It gives us some idea of why the results from each of the search engines differs so greatly from the others. For example, Bloglines keeps all data on inbound links from Day One whereas Technorati keeps link data as long as it is on the front page of a blog, so their link count is much lower but much fresher.

Hodder has put her research into a table on a PDF file for easy reference. I’m sure many people will be using her table to produce more insights into the way each of these search engines work. I hope she’ll include Icerocket.com in that table when it becomes more popular.


Howto: Fake a Google Page Rank 10

Filed under: Howto, Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 9:54 am

SEO Black Hat has an interesting article on
how to give any website an outward appearance of PR 10. It does work (SEO Black Hat points out a PR10 demo site), but it’s a superficial PR10 that only website visitors are able to see.

  1. Add a permanent (301) redirect with htaccess or some other means on your website to a PR10 site (eg Google.com).
  2. Wait for a Google update to happen. After that, when your website visitors check the PR of your URL, they will see your website now “has” PR 10.
  3. When you have your “new PR”, add a condition to your permanent redirect that says only Googlebots get redirected while allowing your website visitors into your site. Voila! People can now visit your new PR10 website while Googlebots are still sent away.

As the author of SEO Black Hat also says, Google will not index your site while you are permanently redirecting. So as far as Google is concerned, your PR is the same as before the redirect (and it will probably be lower after the update because it can’t index any of the content on your site). You cannot pass on your “new PR” with outbound links. But your site visitors will get fooled and they won’t know any better (unless they try to Google your site).

Note: This works for Google. But it might also work for Yahoo search and other search engines like AskJeeves too. I’m just not sure if it does, but theoretically it ought to.


Gelf Magazine report on Google News’ selection of sources

Filed under: Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 11:43 am

David Goldenberg of Gelf Magazine has an interesting report about how Google News chooses sources to get its news from. Satire sites like Axis of Logic and Unconfirmed Sources are finding their way into Google News. Problems of misinterpretation obviously arise when they’re presented by Google in the same manner as straight news. Even when Google News applies the satire tag to the news sources, it isn’t always accurate — Goldenberg cites the case of Wonkette which is labelled as satire, yet a similar site like Gawker doesn’t carry such a label.

Some of the reasons why Google News excludes some sites are obvious (foul language, extremist political views), but the criteria for site selection is obfuscated. However, it is clear that reader input into Google News has something to do with it. Goldenberg cites a few cases where Google News has listed or de-listed sites because of emails from readers. So that may be why satire sites and fake-news sites are included at all — because people like them. While Google News arranges their scraped content by algorithm, inclusion is still a popularity contest.

Does Google News Have a Sense of Humor?

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