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Top 10 Searches for 2008

Yahoo 2008 Search

Yahoo Buzz has came up with a nice report of the Top 10 Searches of this year – 2008.

Yahoo writes:

Olympian highs and politics as unusual, to celebrity hopefuls and market meltdowns: Through millions of searches and thousands of stories each day, people sought to make sense of the world around them. Take a look back at what captivated our imagination and fueled our passions in 2008, a very historic year indeed.

So here is the Top 10 Searches for 2008 in Yahoo:

  1. Britney Spears
  2. WWE
  3. Barack Obama
  4. Miley Cyrus
  5. RuneScape
  6. Jessica Alba
  7. Naruto
  8. Lindsay Lohan
  9. Angelina Jolie
  10. American Idol

To come up with the Yahoo! Year in Review, Yahoo editors analyze different search queries based upon many factors such absolute volume and growth versus previous periods, to figure out which themes and trends bubble to the surface. The Yahoo! Year in Review for top searches were based on absolute volume and growth versus previous periods on search queries.


Microsoft to Pay $20 Billion for Yahoo Search

Microsoft_yahoo_deal

After a lot of speculation earlier, The UK’s Times Online is reporting that Microsoft is in talks to acquire Yahoo’s online search business for $20 billion and install Jon Miller and Ross Levinsohn to run the company.

The whole thing may sound very reasonable to you, but the price sounds really ridiculous as Yahoo’s whole market cap right now is only about $15 billion.

Times Writes:

The proposal forms the centrepiece of a complex transaction that would see Microsoft support a new management team to take control of Yahoo. But there is no intention of Microsoft tabling another takeover bid for the web giant, after its aborted $47.5 billion offer this summer.
It is thought that Jonathan Miller, ex-chairman and chief executive of AOL, and Ross Levinsohn, a former president of Fox Interactive Media, have been lined up to lead the new management team. Senior directors at Microsoft and Yahoo are understood to have agreed the broad terms of a deal, but there is no guarantee that it will succeed.

Kara Swisher at AllThingsD reports:

A report in the Times of London in which Microsoft would buy Yahoo’s search business in a convoluted $20 billion deal that would include well-known Internet execs Jon Miller and Ross Levinsohn, is–in the words of one key player–”total fiction.”
Actually, that’s Levinsohn speaking, on the record. But that’s also the essential word from all key players regarding the Times’ report.
BoomTown has spoken to top sources at Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft (MSFT) too and all scoff at such a deal now taking place or that either side has been in any such discussions of late.

As you can see one of the key player of this mysterious rumor – Ross Levinsohn has called it – ”total fiction.” But how can this be another stupid rumor when Times is reporting the deal in such detail as below:

Under the terms of the proposed transaction, Microsoft would provide a $5 billion facility to the Miller and Levinsohn management team. The duo would raise an additional $5 billion from external investors.
This cash would be used to buy convertible preference shares and warrants which would give it a holding in excess of 30% of Yahoo.
The external investors would also have the right to appoint three of Yahoo’s 11 board directors. The talks with Yahoo involve Microsoft obtaining a 10-year operating agreement to manage the search business. It would also receive a two-year call option to buy the search business for $20 billion. That would leave Yahoo to run its own e-mail, messaging, and content services.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said repeatedly that they are not interested in buying Yahoo, although he has not completely ruled out a search deal of some sort.

But sources at Microsoft has said that they have been waiting for Yahoo to get another CEO in place, after Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang recently announced that he will be stepping down from his position for good.

But some folks at Yahoo has also said recently that it is not currently engaged in any kind of talks with Microsoft, even about a more likely search deal.

So Is this whole thing another rumor? Who Knows….Only time will tell! Share your views in comments!

Visit Techmeme to see all the discussion that are going around this deal.

Update

Michael Arrington of Techcrunch spoiled all the thrill by actually confirming the news with both Microsoft & Yahoo. And guess what…. both the parties completely denied all allegations!

Read What Others Are Saying about This

Another Microsoft Yahoo Deal in the Works? – ReadWriteWeb

A new, elaborate $20 billion deal for Microsoft to buy Yahoo Search? – VentureBeat

Microsoft-Yahoo Deal Back On? – Shoemoney

Report: Microsoft In Talks with Yahoo Again – The Microsoft Blog

Update: Microsoft, Yahoo reportedly in talks – The Microsoft Blog

Reports Of New Microsoft-Yahoo Search Deal Hard To Believe – TechCrunch


Cuil Search Now Provides Maps & Local Results

Cuil Web Search

Cuil – the search engine which was supposed to be a “Google Killer” has almost died off after the first 1-2 months of initial buzz in the blogosphere. And now no one really seems to care about whats happening with Cuil.

According to Google Trends, there traffic has dramatically decreased by a huge margin and now even a mashup search engine like Dogpile has more users using their service.

Cuil in Google Trends

Whats New With Cuil – Maps & Local Search

According to the official Cuil Blog, it’s now offers maps & local listing within the search results. Searchers can now search for local businesses, restaurants and over 3.5 Million of other points of interest across the US.

Cuil has managed to partner with MapQuest which is a very old & renowned provider of local business listings, interactive maps etc. With the addition of this new feature, finding address, contact information or even driving direction would be relatively simpler.

Cuil Blog writes:

Searching for local results is easy. Just provide a search term and give a city, state or zipcode. You can search for a particular business name like Salt House CA, a category such as gas stations 94025 or even landmarks like AT&T Park San Francisco or Palo Alto Museums. If Cuil has found any local results for your search, they will appear in the middle column along with an interactive map, allowing you to get contact information or driving directions via MapQuest.

So I tried Searching for gas stations 94025 in both Cuil & Google and overall I think I’d still prefer Google’s results and the way the present it to their users. Screen Shot Below:

cuil-local-search

Google Local Search

So what do you think? Can Cuil buy their way up by providing more useful features for their users? Will you give Cuil a Try? Share in Comments!


PicClick – Visual Search Engine for Shopping

Its holiday season and you are searching online for the perfect gift for your loved ones – but sadly traditional search engines might not be your best option. Because they return so many results that its very tedious to open up each results and then compare the value, price etc. Moreover people likes to shop ‘visually’ rather than reading a bunch of text.

When you walk by a shop that has put up some of the latest items on their display, you often get attracted to them. The reason is plain simple, Display items has the two most important information that can trigger your buying behavior – The visual display of the product itself, and its price.

PicClick – A Visual Search Engine aimed for shoppers uses the same formula. You just type in what you want and the search engine pulls data from Amazon & Ebay and displays you all the items with each of their individual price at the bottom. You can also search within a certain price range (e.g. From $25-$100) and even localize your search by providing your zip code.

For instance, I performed a search for Clothing and Accessories and PicClick showed me the following:

PicClick Search - Visual Shopping

You can refine your search by further adding keywords or you can use the tab on the top to see results from only Ebay or Amazon.

So try it out today and share your views in comments!


7 Things All Bloggers Should be Thankful For

Yes, Its Thanksgiving! I thought it would be cool to list down few things that all bloggers should be thankful for! The list may not necessarily apply to only bloggers, as I’m sure many webmasters who have been in the web for a while has taken benefits of the services that I’m about to mention here. These are the top 7 things that have enabled the bloggers to be what they are:

1. WordPress – Blogging Platform

Wordpress Blogging Platform WordPress is the Open-Source blogging platform that is used to power thousands of blogs that are out on the web. Its a completely free but priceless at the same time. WordPress has enabled people with no-knowledge of any web technology or language such as – html, to put up their blog and make a history on the web. WordPress was developed in early 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and the name “WordPress” was suggested by Matt’s friend – Christine Selleck. WordPress is now a common platform for any blogs on the web, including the popular media blogs like – New York Times, CNN, ZDnet etc.

2. Firefox – Web Browser

Firefox Web Browser Firefox – a open source web browser by Mozilla Corporation is the preferred browser of many bloggers. Mainly because of its stability,speed & its open source support – blogging without Firefox is just unthinkable. There are hundreds of free Firefox Addons available for bloggers that makes blogging a lot easier. Firefox has gained massive popularity worldwide with a 19.97% of usage share as of October 2008, making it the second-most popular browser after Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The firefox community is so active that you just can’t get enough of this browser. After booting up the PC, all a user needs is a Firefox as a user can get everything inside – there is an addon for everything.

3. Google – Search Engine

google-search-engine Google – A search engine that was only supposed to be a Masters research project of two Stanford students turned out to be the most popular search engine with over 60% of the world’s search market share. Google produces the most fresh & relevant search results that a blogger finds useful while doing research. They also have some useful services like Google News, Google Blog Search & Google Alerts that enables bloggers to get all the latest buzz on their fingertips.

4. Google Adsense – Blog Monetization

google-adsense-logo Google Adsense is the most popular contextual-advertising platform made by Google that is now being used to monetize thousands of websites that are on the Internet. Google has made really easy for the bloggers to Signup for an Adsense account and Start earning money right away by displaying ‘content-related’ text/image advertisements that are comes from the advertiser inventory of Google Adwords Content Network. Because of it’s plain & simple installation (copying a piece of code) and hassle free use, bloggers are more motivated to blog as it has opened a new source of income for them. Bloggers don’t need to maintain their own advertisers inventory nor they need to go and look for advertisers who are interested to advertise on their blog. Google Adsense is the answer to all.

5. Social Media  – Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious & Twitter

Social Media The Social Sites like – Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious & Twitter has really helped the bloggers to get their content out there right in front of the community. Digg has been a Pioneer in Social News for years. Everyday over 800,000 people visits Digg to get the user voted fresh news on Technology, Politics, Lifestyle and more. StubmleUpon currently has over 6465000 active users who are constantly finding out new stuffs on the internet and helping others to find it. These two sites alone drives substantial amount of traffic for blogs to have a sustainable lifecycle and also helps to grow a quality reader base over time. Bloggers often need to bookmark a lot of pages that they come across and that makes an awesome bookmarking service like delicious.com a blogger’s perfect companion. Twitter, a macro blogging platform is very popular among bloggers as it has made it very easy to bring interactivity in a static blog by communicating with the blog readers & other bloggers on the network.

5. Flickr – Photo Sharing

Flickr Logo
Flickr.com – A premium photo sharing service by Yahoo! is a Photo Blogger’s best friend! Flickr makes it very easy to upload, Organize and Tag Photos. As of November 2008, Flickr currently hosts more than 3 billion images. Flickr provides many ready-made widgets for blogs, that bloggers can use to show off their photo albums or sets in their blog. The Free account at Flickr allows a user to upload upto 100 MB of photos each month, users with a lot of photos can opt in for a Pro account (US$24.95/year) which allows unlimited photo & video storage.

6. Youtube – Video Sharing

Youtube Youtube – A online video sharing website has totally started the trend of Vblogging. Millions of viewers come to Youtube everyday to watch user-generated videos along with videos made by the professional production house & media companies. Whenever any blogger has any video, screen cast to share – Youtube is often the best choice due to its ease of use & embedding capability and having a free & straight forward distribution among viewers.

7. Mint – Web Analytics

Mint Analytics It is essential for a blogger to keep track of his visitors, source of traffic and many other important statistical information that can help the blogger to understand the current ‘health’ of the blog. Mint is an excellent tool that basically works as a self-hosted web site analytics program. It can track Visits, referrers, popular pages, search keywords and many more that can really help a blogger to do some quantitative analysis.

Certainly there are a lot more things a blogger should be thankful for and if we were to put them all in one place, its likely that the list will be endless! There are new tools & softwares developed everyday that is helping the bloggers in every step of the way.

So what are some of your favorite tools? What are you thankful for? Share in comments!


Alexa Web Search is Shutting Down

alexa-web-searchSo the day has finally come, Amazon has decided to shut down their Alexa Web Search Service.

Here is the copy of the email that Alexa sent out do the developers (Source: TechCrunch):

Dear Alexa Developer,
The Alexa Web Search service will no longer be available to new customers as of November 26, 2008. Use of the service is low, so we are shifting our priorities to other areas where we can provide better service to AWS customers.
The Alexa Web Search service will continue to be operational for 60 days until January 26, 2009. The ProgrammableWeb website offers a list of web services that provide web search.
We apologize for the inconvenience to you.
Thank you,
The Alexa Web Services Team

I tried visiting the official page of Alexa Web Service and I was welcomed with the following notice:

alexa-web-search

Well I guess it was for Good, who was using Alexa web search anyway? They had such strong competitors like Google, Yahoo & MSN so I guess they have made the right decision to close the service and focus on things that matters.


Toby Coppel Decides to Leave Yahoo

Toby Coppel Yahoo Executive Its looks like Yahoo is losing all their big guns – as today Kara Swisher of AllThingsD reports that Toby Coppel, Managing Directory of Yahoo Europe & Canada has decided to leave Yahoo. Kara writes that this departure is not related to recent Jerry Yang’s decision of stepping down from the CEO position of Yahoo.

Toby Coppel’s job covered the major Western European markets (including UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia), as well as Canada. His successor is going to be Rich Riley, who is currently SVP of Europe’s Advertiser & Publisher Group of Yahoo, Previously Riley was the head of Yahoo’s Small & Medium Business Group in the U.S.

Toby Coppel, who has joined Yahoo during the term of Yahoo’s CEO Terry Semel, has successfully managed European operations for Yahoo for well over 18 months. He has spent a lot of time restructuring and making massive cuts for Yahoo.

Coppel says:

“I have been transitioning our European business, restructuring it and making it stronger, as Yahoo is moving to product development on a global platform,” said Coppel. “While there is more work, there is now a strong team in place, focused on going forward and it needs to spread its wings.”

Looks like all the Top-level executives are leaving Yahoo for good, leaving the troubled search giant alone.

More discussion going at Techmeme.


Notify.me – News Alert Service

News Alert Service If you are a blogger, you have probably noticed that when a news breaks, the person who is the first one to write about it gets all the credit, regardless of what others have to say. Because if you are the first one to write about that particular thing, you will automatically get an advantage over the search engine & also the social media. A lot of people will link to you and vote your content up in the social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon& Reddit. If you are lucky you might even get picked up by media or popular news aggregator like Techmeme.

So how can you stay on top of all the news that’s going around the web? One of the easiest ways is to Sign up with Google Alerts – which is a wonderful free service provided by google that can notify you whenever a certain news story breaks on the web. Currently the notification is provided via Email & RSS. Its a very simple service, where you just need to specify the keywords that you would like to monitor. So whenever any news (that contains that keywords) hits the web, you get an instant email or maybe a daily/weekly digest – depending on the option you choose.

notifyme-google-talk-notificationTechcrunch recently featured another cool web service – Notify.me which is basically a News Alert service as well. But the only difference is, instead of specifying your keywords, you can directly specify which news site that you would like to monitor. So if you are a hardcore fan of Gadgets, you may want to monitor – Engadget & Gizmodo which basically features brand new gadgets everyday. So whenever either of the site updates their site with a new review or news, instantly Notify.me can give you a buzz in your IM or mobile device with the Title of the story & its URL.

I have personally found their service brilliant as I really need to monitor 20-30 websites constantly. The problem with RSS is that its not exactly ‘instant’ because I don’t keep my reader open at all time. Moreover I’m following over a thousand feeds in my RSS reader, so rss has just too much noise for me.

Notify.me has made it really easy for me to constantly follow the sites that are important to me and my work. Whenever those sites are updated i get a instant message in my Google Talk and I can immediately check it out and take an action if I want to.

I’m yet to try their SMS notifications, But I can assume that it works fine. So if you are looking for a service that can help you monitor your favorite news sites – try notify.me today!


Google Analytics Help Forum – Get All The Help You Need

Google Analytics ForumGood news for all webmasters! The Official Google Analytics blog recently announced that they have opened up a dedicated Google Analytics forum within their exsiting Google Help which will basically allows webmasters like you, to ask questions about Google Analytics and have them answered by both Google employees and other expert Google Analytics users within the community. Its very easy to identify answers from Google Employees, top contributors, seasoned posters, or even new posters. The “Best Answers” are voted by the community and is given the maximum visibility. This helps the correct/best answers to stick on the front so that everyone can get and share the valuable information. When you search for a particular you, the forum also shows a list of “Related Questions” for your convenience.

The old Google Analytics Help Group will still be accessible for information searches, but is closed for new posts.

So what do you think of this new forum? I personally think that its a very good initiative by the Analytics Team. But I guess more participation from the users is necessary to make it a success. Currently its still very empty and as you can see in the screen shoot below a lot of questions are going unanswered without any replies.

google-analytics-forum


Microsoft Advertising Podcast – Matt Van Wagner on PPC Advertising

Microsoft Adcenter Community has just released their Thanksgiving edition of Microsoft Advertising Insights – the official podcast of Microsoft Advertising.

Microsoft Advertising Insights is basically a new show for Online advertisers (The first episode was released on 7th November), where the host Jason Yormark along with some other people from the Microsoft Advertising community team cover all things related to digital advertising, primarily focusing on search marketing. He talks about the current state of the industry, what’s happening behind the scenes with Microsoft Advertising (adCenter in particular), and delivers some useful information that can help you with your search campaigns.

In the latest Thanksgiving edition of Microsoft Advertising Insights, Jason got hold of Matt Van Wagner, President of Findmefaster.com at SMX East. Matt shares a very interesting story of a new advertiser in PPC and how that advertiser was able to grow her small business, discover a new market & ideas by simply being visible in the Search Engine.

Its just a 10 mins+ podcast but has some really useful information for the new advertisers who are thinking of trying out PPC in this holiday season.

In the podcast, Matt also shares some bonus tips for managing small PPC campaigns & also refers to a very interesting Keyword research tool called – Microsoft adCenter Add-in Beta for Excel 2007.

This tool has been there for quite a while and it is very easy to use and can really contribute to your keyword research effort. Its a 100% free tool from Microsoft Advertising and as long as you have Microsoft Excel present in your system, you should be able to run it without any problem.

So Listen to this week’s Microsoft Advertising Podcast, if you are interested to learn more about how following some simple steps has helped a small business to grow its customer base & also expand its target market.

Direct download: http://www.adcentercommunity.com/podcasts/11_25_08.mp3

Or Just head over to Microsoft Advertising: Insights for details.


How to Build Authority Links (including .edu .gov .mil)

How to Build Authority LinksAfter I wrote a comprehensive Link Building Tutorial, I got few emails from my readers and I noticed a common trend in their questions. Majority of them wanted to know How to Build authority Links without buying them?

So I thought rather than replying to each of them individually, I’d just put it up a short answer here in my blog so that everyone else gets value out of the information that I’m about to share.

If you have been in this industry for some time, some of these techniques may not be anything new for you but then again I welcome you to go along with me as I talk about Authoritative Link building.

What are Authority Links?

As the name implies it basically refers to links that have high authority. Some time back a link coming from a High Page Rank site was considered Authoritative. Now that is still not 100% discounted as PageRank still is a good indication of how search engines like Google look and value a website. But obviously when I’m saying PageRank I’m not saying the small green bar that you see in your Google Toolbar. Toolbar PR is very different than what your actual PR is. Toolbar PR is just a small representation of your actual PageRank value.

Years passed and search became more complex. The demands of the users increased substantially and so did the spamming in the search results. So Google came up with another ranking system called TrustRank (Actually the research paper was released by Yahoo first I’m not sure how Google got hold of the patent). Anyway so TrustRank is basically built upon the concept of PageRank but it takes the concept further by taking a set of Absolute Quality Sites and then following their link patterns to find out other quality sites. [Read the Initial Research Paper (PDF) of TrustRank].

So basically educational institution & universities, government sites, military websites, News sites are of high authority. So if Google looks at their Outbound links then they are likely to find another set of quality websites and then can go another step down and look at the outbound links of the second set of quality sites and that will reveal a 3rd set of quality sites and this will continue on until the search engine dies. So the assumption with this concept is – Good sites will always link to good sites. And when there is an exception and a Manual reviewer at Google finds out – they penalizes that “Good site”.

Anyway back to the original topic, Authority Links are those links that helped create the 2nd, 3rd level of quality sites. So if you can get such links, your website will supposedly be treated well by the engines (Its like the President telling his Chief of Staff to give you a Job).

How Do I Find Authority Links?

Ok for those who just jumped to this section without reading the first section – I totally understand. You want to jump right to the nuggets without grasping anything unnecessary. Well I’ll just go right to the point –

  • Spy On your Competitors: Yes, that obvious! If your competitor is doing really good in the search engine, its possible that he has a powerful link profile. So you can easily spy on him by diving into his incoming links and as you do so, give particular attention to the links that you think are authoritative. Tools that I recommend you to use – Yahoo Site Explorer, BackLinkWatch.Once you find some quality sites that are linking to them, go to those respective pages and try to figure out why they are linking to them. If that seems like a natural link you might imitate the strategy that your competitor used to get the link. In most of the times quality sites links to other sites just as a citation or as “related resources”. So if you have any resource that you think can fit that article/research well, you can send an email and ask the webmaster to consider adding your resource in the list. If your resource is top notch its very likely that they will add it to make their resource page more rich.
  • Find out which .edu/.gov/.mil are linking to your competitor: I am often surprised to see how many people doesn’t know about this simple Yahoo Site Search command –

    linkdomain:www.google.com site:edu

    If you go to Yahoo Search and type the following, you will get all the EDU sites that are linking to google.com. So simply put your competitors URL in place of Google and you can change edu to gov, mil and other extensions that you like. Example: See how many EDU backlinks twitter has.

    Find out why those sites are linking to your competitor and then you will automatically know how to get links from them. E.g. Imagine that a university professor is doing research about semantic web and he referenced my blog post where I wrote about some advanced semantic web algorithm. Now if you are my competitor you can probably try to produce a 3 times better piece on semantic web and pitch that processor to include your work in his article. In many cases he will, if your writing is good and relevant to his area of research.

  • Get Links from .Edu/.Gov/.Mil blogs on your Niche: There is another simple search command in Google, that can help you to find .edu, .gov, .mil blogs on your niche. Go to google and type the following:

    Keyword+inurl:blog site:.edu

    Just replace “keyword” with your own keyword. So for example If I’m looking for edu blogs that talk about SEO, i can search for SEO+inurl:blog site:.edu. And it gives me a nice list of blogs that has talked about SEO and has linked to many SEO resources. So If I have something that is absolute quality, I may be able to pitch the author of the blogs to link to my resources as they are relevant to what they are writing about. But you need to be creative with the “keyword” when using that query in Google, because sometimes it may return irrelevant junk results.

Obviously there are plenty of other ways to find authoritative sites, but I guess the ones i mentioned here are probably the most easiest ways.

Read Some Other Resources Related to Authoritative Link building

The 4 Different Types of Authority Links – Wiep.net

The Wisdom & Folly of Directory Link Building – SEOmoz.org

TrustRank Algorithm – SEObook.com

Getting Links From Known, Quality Linkers – Search Engine Land

The Quest for Authority Links – Search Engine Guide

Beyond Link Building Tools – Search Engine Land

How to Get Links – Wikipedia – David Naylor

Some Link Spying Tools You May Like

Hub Finder: Simply Enter Two domains and you will find out which website (hub) Is linking to both of them.

SEOBook Link Tools – a variety of different types of Link tools

SEOMoz LinkScape – Gets you access to link information on more than 30+ billion web pages across 200+ million domains. [Its not Free]


Microsoft Wants to Rebrand Live Search

Microsoft Planning to Rebrand Live Search to Kumo?This came to me as a shock, as I hear some rumors on the blogosphere that Microsoft is planning to re-brand their search engine to Kumo.

The first thing I asked myself – What does Kumo mean? After a bit of searching I found that Kumo means either “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese. Seems like ZDnet did a pool in early august asking their readers how Microsoft can re-brand their Live Search? And in the polling option the author of the article added “Kumo” as an option and thats how this word came into the picture. Lets see how the pool results were:

OK it looks like 48% of the voters said that they should leave the name Live Search as is. But that didn’t stop Microsoft from acquiring the domain name Kumo.com. (Check out the Domain Whois Information of Kumo.com) –

LiveSide.com has stated that there are some evidence that strongly indicates that the new search brand for Microsoft Live Search will be Kumo.

Can Changing 4 Letters SAVE Microsoft?

I’m not an expert in branding so obviously I can’t make any ‘expert’ comment on whether KUMO is better than Live. But personally I’d say that its a horrible name if they go forward with it. Andy Beal points out that, Kumo has too many different spelling errors just waiting to happen– koomo, cumo, Komo etc.

Moreover why would they want to adapt a Japanese name where their biggest target market should be USA & Europe? If they want to make a specialized search engine to compete with the Japanese ones, then I guess its acceptable to have a localized name for the engine. So for instance typing in Kumo.com can simply bring the visitors to Live Search Japan.

I think the question is whether ‘re-branding’ Live is just enough for Microsoft? Because I certainly don’t think so. If Google changes its name to “CrazyFrog” I’d still go there because I find their search engine useful for my work and research.

Barry pointed out in Search Engine Roundtable that Microsoft can’t even index a site properly. And Its actually true! If you take 5 minutes of your time and actually compare the result of Live.com & Google.com it will be absolutely clear to you that Live is still not ready to rock the search industry. They are just far away from anything but useful. So re-branding the search engine can’t save them or make them popular over night.

After the news got out, Josh Garner made a funny comment in Marketing Pilgrim blog and It really made me laugh. So I’d like to share it with all of you.

He Writes:

I can see the board room conversation:

Exec 1:”OK guys, we need to do something to gain ad traction.”
Exce 2:”The guys in R&D have some great ideas on modifying our search technology, or perhaps some ways to really connect with people. You know, to rid ourselves of that perception that we are just a bunch of suites looking to make money.”

Exec 1:”Hmm…that sounds expensive. Anyone else?”
Exce 3:”We could change our name to something cool or hip.”

Exec 1:”What do you got?”
Exce 3:”How about Kumo?”

Exec 1: “I like it. Move forward.”

Exec 2: “Sigh…”


Google SearchWiki with Sound Effects

My recent article about how to remove SearchWiki has created some Buzz, so much buzz that it went to the front page of digg. But there were mixed feelings – as many readers commented in the digg article and also in my blog that they “like SearchWiki”. Well I can’t blame them.

To some people SearchWiki seems like a wonderful service (everyone likes the idea that they can play around with the result page…), but there are many (including me) who still feels that SearchWiki is something that should be optional!

But what the heck, if you like SearchWiki I have something cool for you — Google SearchWiki with Sound Effects!

Google SearchWiki with Sound Effects

Google just added a new opt-in experiment for search results: SearchWiki with sound. By now I am sure you already know that you can click the “x” next to a specific result (to delete it), resulting in an animation of an explosion as part of the current SearchWiki feature.

But if you join the experiment of SearchWiki with Sound Effects, you’ll additionally hear a sound during that explosion (recorded by Google co-founder “Sergey Brin himself”, as Google says). Screen shot provided below:

search-wiki-sound-effects


Let Me Google That For You

There is a cool service called LetMeGoogleThatForYou.com that lets you enter any search query and the system automatically creates sort of a interactive screencast of how to perform that search in Google and also redirects the page to the result page of Google.T

Once the screen cast is made (takes only few seconds), It will give you a link that you can grab share with others.

So next time someone asks a really dumb question, instead of saying “google it” you can perhaps act cool and demonstrate the google search for that particular query as well!

So for example, lets say someone is looking for Barack Obama’s Twitter account. You can just give him the following link: http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=Barack+Obama+Twitter


How To Turn off Google SearchWiki

Google SearchWiki is new feature built inside Google’s Search that lets you customize the search results by moving a site up or down or even adding new pages etc. This feature has created a lot of buzz on the internet as many people has expressed their dissatisfaction for making this feature a default inside Google’s Search. There are many other on-going discussion in twitter about #SearchWiki.

Google doesn’t offer anyway to turn off SearchWiki. So if you are logged in to your Google Account, SearchWiki will be enabled for you by default. Of course you can turn off SearchWiki by logging out from your account, but thats very inconvenient, right? So the biggest concern regarding SearchWiki is, How the heck do I turn this damn thing off? Google Operating System has came to the rescue with a solution to this problem.

How to Turn Off Google SearchWiki

To prevent Google SearchWiki from showing up when you use Google, you can use a Firefox Plugin called Greasemonkey. After you install the extension, Restart your Firefox and then add the No SearchWiki script. This will stop SearchWiki from showing up even while you are logged in and Google’s search results will look clean again!

Disable-searchwiki

Google Operating System blog confirmed that this script also works in Opera, which has built-in support for userscripts. In Opera: Just go to Tools>Preferences>Advanced>Content>JavaScript Options, choose a folder in the “User JavaScript files” box and then save the script in that folder.

Update 1: A user in comment have me a heads up about another possible way of turning off Google SearchWiki. The method is pretty simple – If you are currently using iGoogle (The Google’s Start Page), your URL will be something like this – http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en so if you add a small parameter in the end and make it http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en&hl=all it kind of removes SearchWiki from all subsequent searches.

Update 2: Franz Enzenhofer of facesaerch.com has created another cool script that runs on Greasemonkey that basically gives you an option to turn on/off Google SearchWiki. Screen shoots provided below (via facesaerch blog):

Disable SearchWiki Alternate Way

After looking at the screen shots, I personally find this option better as it will allow me to Turn it On/Off rather than turning it off completely. For Detailed Instructions of installation, Head over to this page – http://www.facesaerch.com/blog/disable-google-search-wiki/

Danny Sullivan has came up with a wonderful Illustrated guide for SearchWiki, so if you are interested to know how it works and how it can benefit you, check out his SearchWiki Guide.

Update 3: Ok I figured that many of you like SearchWiki and find it a useful service and I respect your personal choice & opinion. If you find the service useful, by all means you should use it :) But some people have found it annoying as it tends to clutter up the results page which is why a “how-to” has been made for its removal. But anyway for those who loves SearchWiki, here is something cool for you:

SearchWiki With Sound Effects

Do you know that you can have Sound effects for every action you perform in SearchWiki? The sound is recorded by the Google co-founder Sergey Brin himself, this sound effect is sure to please!

Learn How to Enable SearchWiki Sound Effects