On the subject of the “sandbox”:
 Consider the example of a document with an inception date of yesterday that is referenced by 10 back links. This document may be scored higher by search engine 125 than a document with an inception date of 10 years ago that is referenced by 100 back links because the rate of link growth for the former is relatively higher than the latter. While a spiky rate of growth in the number of back links may be a factor used by search engine 125 to score documents, it may also signal an attempt to spam search engine 125. Accordingly, in this situation, search engine 125 may actually lower the score of a document(s) to reduce the effect of spamming.
Taken straight from google’s patent. (via SEW Thread)
The patent paper is a great read and covers everything from desktop search to sandbox theory.
Waxy has the story. Sad day for WordPress.
I can’t believe Matt would resort to some underhanded cloaking technique to earn adsense cash. No one would have said anything if he was more open about the whole deal.
Update: Tons of people are flaming WordPress and Matt over this. Lets all wait till he gets back from vacation and hear what he says. This is a big deal though. Imagine if he used WordPress.org to link to a link farm – all sites linking back to WordPress.org (a majority of the wordpress installs) could be banned in Google.
CGI Holding recently bought Smart Interactive, Mike Grehan’s search marketing firm. Danny Sulivan has a good rundown on CGI Holding’s recent activities.
CGI Holding is consolidating many of the big brands in SEM – definitely a company to keep your eye on.
I just got invited to Yahoo 360 (thanks Rusty).
I’ll review this over the next couple days and post a comprehensive review. If anyone wants an invite leave a comment for me here.
Yahoo 360 officially launched its invite-only beta phase yesterday.
Seems Yahoo hasn’t been handling the customer aspect too well.
But here I had a reason to return to Yahoo and what does Yahoo do? It tells me to buzz off. So buzz off, I do. What would it cost Yahoo to keep that account there? Nothing. What does Yahoo gain from killing the account? Nothing. What does Yahoo lose? Me.
Yahoo Local is now showing cross streets in their searches. (via 37 Signals)
A nice addition – but Google Maps is still ahead of any offering at the moment.
In other web analytics news – WebTrends has broken off from NetIQ.
Francisco Partners, one of the world’s largest technology-focused private equity funds, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the WebTrends business unit.
WebTrends Press Release.
Urchin, one of the bigger web analytic tools, has been bought by Google.
This acquisition allows for Google to better serve its webmaster community – better tracking for AdWords and AdSense.
With so many tools underneath its roof, Google is building quite a resource for the general webmaster. Publishing, Advertising, Tracking all from one source.
Danny Sulivan reports. Randfish blogs.
Barry has a good review of Urchin’s features.
Here’s the Press Release.
Wired has a great article about Amazon tracking its customers and how Amazon is using that data.
Amazon.com has one potentially big advantage over its rival online retailers: It knows things about you that you may not know yourself.
A9 and Amazon is catering to a different search niche – they are bringing the customer service aspect to search. With community building tools and personalized suggestions, the search experience is much more personal.
Andy Beal has the lowdown on Oodle.
Oodle – which is the coolest name with two “o”s to launch since the late nineties – enables consumers to easily see all of the classified listings available in a local area. The beta versions include most of the major sources for local listings: a region’s anchor newspaper, small suburban papers, Craigslist, eBay and national online sites like Monster.com and Cars.com. According to Donato, Oodle will “continue to role in more listings every day”.
Recurring trend here – define a niche, aggregate content, and then provide search. As content passes the information overload threshold, vertical searches will be essential for navigating the web.
Joe Beda highlights important aspects of Google’s model of development.
The intranet in Google is super transparent. Teams are actively encouraged to share the most intimate details of their projects with the rest of the company. This happens through tech talks, design docs, lunch table conversations, etc. When two teams are doing similar things, people start with the assumption that they must have their reasons and that the situation will be worked out in time. There isn’t a huge push to over optimize and have only one solution for each problem. This means that there isn’t an adversarial relationship between teams that can lead to long standing animosities and information hiding.
Charlene Li takes an initial look at Yahoo 360.
The ability to leverage your network to get something done is what gives Y! 360 the real potential to become something even bigger.
Yahoo is upping their mail service to 1 gig too.
Update: Danah Boyd has some reservations about the whole thing. She feels Yahoo should take the time to integrate flickr before launching the service.
Update #2: Jeremy Zawodny feels Flickr got a lot of this stuff right.
Interesting site – Trendmapper.
You can track the amount of searches for a particular keyword over time.
Randfish from SEOmoz has a nice excel spreadsheet up that demonstrates some of the things you should look for in a keyword analysis.
A great way to keep track of your keywords: Digitalpoint’s Keyword Tracker.
After a couple bad starts, a slashdotting, a server failure – Ourmedia is up and running. Ourmedia offers free lifetime hosting for all types of media.
We provide free storage and free bandwidth for your videos, audio files, photos, text or software. Forever. No catches.
One of the main partners of Ourmedia is Bryght, the biggest commercial Drupal endeavour – will be very interesting to see how citizen media develops in the near future.
Google just opened up a Froogle Merchants Group on Google Groups.
We invite you to join the new Froogle Merchants Group, now available on Google Groups 2. The Froogle Merchants group is an unmoderated forum for discussion about the Froogle product and the creation and uploading of Froogle data feeds. This group is currently available only through the Google Groups 2 Beta. Any individual with a question or comment about Froogle, or about creating and uploading data feeds to Froogle, may post to the group.
Occasionally, Google employees may post to the group. Any Google employee who participates in the group will always post with the name “Google Employee.” The Froogle Merchants group encourages free and open discussion on all aspects of Froogle and the creation and uploading of Froogle data feeds. To join the group, simply click on the link below. If you’ve already signed up with the Froogle Merchant Center, you won’t need to create a new account. Simply sign in using your Merchant Center username and password.
Google is contacting all the Google X mirrors about using the Google Brand. Looks like Google X is going to vanish. (via SE Round Table)
It has come to our attention that you use functionalities related to the Google brand (commercial logos, Web pages, screenshots or other Google functionalities) on your site without the preliminary authorization of Google.
If you continue to use these functionalities related to the Google brand on your site, a Google representative will contact you.
We thank you for your comprehension.
The Google Team
Robin Good has a great article on RSS and the urgency for SEOs to understand and adapt for a RSS centric online market.
So, it comes with the nature of things, that as soon as some of these new and emerging RSS search engines and directories have enough content, usability and exposure to become serious reference points, RSS SEO will become as important or more than SEO itself.
More consolidation on the Search Engine front. Can’t wait to see how Yahoo integrates flickr into Yahoo 360.
I hope InterActiveCorp can give Ask Jeeves the boost it needs to compete – the technology behind Teoma is amazing.
Yahoo buys Flickr.
InterActiveCorp buys Ask Jeeves.
MSN is experimenting with an RSS reader and a Bookmark list (both using AJAX) – very smooth and minimalistic. I like it.
We’re just seeing the start of some nice rich internet applications. The big three have been pumping out beta and incubator projects very regularly now and the trend is RIA.
There has been plently talk about Google creating a thin client OS, but who says Microsoft won’t beat them to the punch?
Microsoft has the financial resources and the OS experience – I would love to see Google and Microsoft go head to head and develop a true web platform.