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April 2007 Archives

April 1, 2007

Jim Lanzone Video Announcement

Sorry for the Sunday posting, folks, but we wanted to announce before the press
got wind of it.

We’ve had a company-changing development happen over the last few days, and
we’re finally at a point where we can tell you about it. For the details, check
out this video
from Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone.

–The Ask.com Team

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April 2, 2007

Topix focuses on local news search

The news aggregator and news search service Topix.com, previously known as Topix.net, has changed into a Web 2.0 local news site.

Topix added forums to the site in December 2005. According to Topix, more than 1 million people posted 5.5 million comments, adding more than 30,000 comments a day. And many of the most passionate discussions were happening at the local level.

Topix says: “But even with 50,000 news sources, there just wasn’t enough local news – and what news there was, couldn’t be tuned finely enough with algorithms alone. So, in April 2007, we decided to open up our site, and give anyone the power to discuss, edit and share the news that matters to them.”

Topix now asks readers to become Topix editors for their own city or community. Editors are responsible for deciding which submitted photos and articles are to be included. They can even write their own articles.

For places without a local editor, Topix lets its automatic Roboblogger do the editing.

The new Topix is the idea of Rich Skrenta and Chris Tolles, the people behind the Open Directory — a volunteer based Web directory and one of the very first “social sites” one the Web.

Based on their experience they have probably decided that it is possible to trust volunteers to do some sensible editing. We’ll see how they cope with the spam.

So what about the old Topix services? Can you use Topix to follow news on a particular topic or area on a national or world level?

Yes, you can. There is, or instance, still a Top Stories page, and the Search Engine News page and RSS feed is still available — although it is not that easy to find. Here is a tip, use the Site Map to find your favorite topic.

See also Search Engine Land: Topix Transforms Into Community Generated Local News Site

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Local Search: More Is Not Always Better

Locals Only - A Column From Search Engine Land Recently, we’ve seen a deluge of forecasts about massive financial opportunities associated with the growth of local search and local advertising. Whether you’re a company in the Internet search space, a yellow-pages directory, or a niche player, it is indeed tempting to get overly focused on how to earn your piece of the local search pie.

None of the forecasts mean anything, though if we as an industry don’t first take care of the local consumer. As basic as it may sound, the caveat that you cannot serve advertisers well without first serving your consumers holds especially true in local search.

Providing useful, current, relevant and well-organized content and data is not a luxury, but a necessity. Both consumers and advertisers will always value these traits when considering local online destinations.

In the coming weeks, some colleagues and I will be writing about what we believe are the important issues in local search, covering matters that impact consumers and, ultimately, advertisers.

For starters, let’s look at the notion that “more is better,” especially when it comes to sheer volume of local content.

Click to continue reading…

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ZoomInfo Relaunched : Semantic Business Information Search Engine

Claiming to have created the first market-ready semantic search engine, ZoomInfo has announced a new version of ZoomInfo.com, a search engine that’s designed for business users who need access to information on companies, people and jobs. Integrating the comprehensive job search function of Indeed.com, ZoomInfo will allow job seekers to search for companies across a wide range of factors such as location, size and industry.

ZoomInfo.com will also provide a list of relevant companies which offer products and services similar to each user’s search query. Sales and marketing professionals can also use ZoomInfo.com to identify business opportunities, while recruiters can effectively target and find talents for their businesses.


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Live Search Maps Update – 3D maps for Firefox, RSS collections, reviews and more!

Hi all,


This is no April Fool’s joke 😉  ;  the Live Search team has just released a dozen new enhancements for its Live Search Maps service available at maps.live.com!


Firefox users now have their own plug-in to use 3-D! Customers complained; we listened. Zooming around the virtual landscape is not just for Internet Explorer Users any more; users of Firefox 1.5 or later can click on the 3D button at http://maps.live.com/ and will be prompted to download and install the plug-in.


Get updates to your favorite collections via RSS! Say you’ve got one friend who is the designated “foodie” of your gang, who keeps you up to date on the latest places to eat around the city.  Before, you had to go to back the specific link that friend sent you, to get information about their updates. Now you can just subscribe via RSS and be notified on your desktop of the latest places to chow. And with new cities being added to the Live Maps site, you have even more locations to choose from!


See new ratings and reviews for businesses!  On detail pages for each business, you can now browse or input your own ratings and reviews for that business. Some businesses may have additional reviews from Judysbook.com and citysearch.com. Sign in to your Windows Live ID and contribute your own review of any business by clicking the ‘Write Review’ button.



Find out more on the Live Search Maps team blog post! 


Betsy Aoki, Live Search


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April 3, 2007

The Impending Social Search Inflection Point

Online consumer information retrieval has reached another inflection point: A shift from pure algorithmic search to social search. Searchers have become increasingly sophisticated, and basic algorithmic Web results are getting diluted out of most mainstream search experiences such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL Search and Ask.com.

First, there was basic algorithmic search (AltaVista, Google, et al). Then, predictable paid search business models fueled search technology innovations. The industry is now maneuvering through its third era, social search. Humans are still better at some things than computers.

Throughout the past decade, the most critical success factors for search engines have remained pretty stable: relevance, comprehensiveness, performance, freshness and ease of use. More than ever, relevance is a subjective measure of perception, and relevance really has to do with the holistic search experience of one user at a time. And inferring user intent from the “average” 2.1 search terms per query remains at the core of the relevance challenge.

Click to continue reading…

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The Four Returns Of Social Media Marketing

are essentially four different types of return that you can expect from a

social media marketing
campaign: links, mindshare/branding, sales and
consumer interaction.

Below, a look at each type of return and how you can tap
into it, depending on your goals.

Click to continue reading…

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