Daily SearchCast, September 26, 2006: AOL Hit With $658 Million+ Lawsuit Over Search Privacy; Certifying Search Marketers; Calling Google From Space & More!

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AOL is hit with a class action lawsuit over alleged search privacy violations, to the tune of $658 million or more; the DMA steps into the touchy subject of search marketing certification; yet another brand from Microsoft, this time for advertising; Google's long-distance call from the International Space Station and more!

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Stories Discussed In The Show

  • Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against AOL Over Search Data Release
    TechCrunch reports in Suit filed against AOL; seeks to block search history storage that a class action lawsuit has been filed against AOL seeking $1,000 in damages for each person whose search records were released last month. The release involved 658,000 individuals, so that's potentially a $658 million bill, if the case succeeds. It's even more if some of those people are California-based, since the case seeks $4,000 per California individual, according to TechCrunch....
  • Some Google Belgium Follow-Ups
    Just a quick note that Google's posted on its official blog about the Google Belgian news issue that I've been covering, while William Slawski has a nice translation in the works on the ruling itself....
  • First Non English University To Join Google Book Search Project
    Reuters reports that The Complutense University of Madrid, a Spanish university, is to join the Google Book Search scan project as the first library to join in a "non-English-speaking country." The Complutense University's library is the second largest in the country, with 3 million works....
  • Yahoo Fellowships For Repressed Journalists, While Chinese Journalist Might Sue Them
    Earlier this month, I dinged Google over hypocrisy for getting behind Banned Books Week given its support of censorship in China. Now, a similar ding for Yahoo. Yahoo funds $1M Stanford journalism fellowship from the San Jose Business Journal covers how Yahoo -- under fire for allegedly harming journalists in China -- is going to fund fellowships for journalists in countries with press restrictions....
  • DMA Offering Search Marketing Certification Program
    The Direct Marketing Association has announced a new certification program in search marketing, which is to launch at its annual conference next month. From the press release:...
  • Google's Index Bench: Build Your Own Google Search Engine?
    Gary Price reported that Google registered a few new interesting domain names including bench-index.com, benchindex.com, index-bench.com and indexbench.com. Since then Garett Rogers speculated that this may mean Google is building a product to allow users to build their own flavor of the Google search engine, much like how Rollyo does. Philipp Lenssen guesses that Google may be releasing some sort of Alexa engine. Some folks at Philipp's forum suggest that "IndexBench could be tools that measure the quality of an index." Loren Baker leans to siding with Garett Rogers's guess. Me? I have no better guess at this time....
  • Google Leads In Dead & Old Pages
    In Google Has the Largest Number of Dead and Old Pages, the Google Operating System Blog points to a video and some research from Google's Ziv Bar-Yossef that discusses how to grab a random sample of pages from major search engines and extrapolate from those pages information about the search engines. This can be used in a number of ways....
  • Google Displaying Really Long Site Descriptions?
    Philipp Lenssen spotted a screen capture of Google displaying a really long and extended description within the search results page for a search on [blogspot.com autoregistration]. I personally do not see the nine or so line description myself. Matt Cutts of Google commented saying he was also not able to "recreate those snippets," so maybe a temporary Google bug, spyware, or a fake?...
  • Organic & Paid Search Conversion Metrics Similar
    ClickZ reports on a WebSideStory study that shows that organic search traffic realized a conversion rate of 3.13 percent while paid search traffic realized a conversion rate of 3.4 percent. The study covered 57 million search engine visits from "20 business-to-consumer e-commerce sites during the first eight months of 2006." ClickZ notes that organic search traffic does tend to have a higher click rate (1.5 times higher than paid search volume)....
  • Exploiting the Differences in Search Ad Programs
    The major search engines pay-per-click programs all have similarities, but also have their own unique features and nuances. Crafting your campaigns to take maximum advantage of each program requires understanding the subtle differences in each program. At a recent SES conference, a panel explored the different programs and offered suggestions based on experience using them. Read on for more on these differences in today's SearchDay article, Compare & Contrast: Search Ad Program Strategies....
  • Microsoft Consolidates Platform, Portfolio In 'Digital Advertising Solutions'
    Microsoft announced the launch of "Digital Advertising Solutions" and a related media campaign to promote it. What is "Digital Advertising Solitions?" It's an effort to bring together, in one convenient buying environment, Microsoft's extensive portfolio of consumer properties in gaming, mobile and online. According to the press release, "Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions offers advertisers the ability to reach more than 465 million consumers each month across the MSN network and millions more through Windows Live, Xbox Live and Office Online. Microsoft’s advertising portfolio extends its reach across some of Microsoft’s latest releases such as Live Search and Live Local Search,...
  • Microsoft’s Spin-Off Launching Social Networking Site Wallop; Gets $10 Million Second Round, PaidContent.org
  • del.icio.us, now with six zeros, Yahoo Search Blog
  • Google Expands Google Transit With New Cities; If Your City or Metro Not Listed Lots of Other Tools, ResourceShelf
  • King County bus routes hitch ride on Google mapping site, Seattle Times
  • Google Aims To Make More Energy Efficient Computers
    A NY Times article shows how Google to Push for More Electrical Efficiency in PC. Why? (1) "It's like putting a 400-horsepower engine in every car, just because some cars have to tow large trailers every once in a while,” Mr. Calwell of Google said. (2) "By deploying the new power supplies in 100 million desktop PC’s running eight hours a day, it will be possible to save 40 billion kilowatt-hours over three years, or more than $5 billion at California’s energy rates." (3) Because Search Companies Energetically Seeking Electricity (4) Google's Costs To Increase With Data Center Needs Energy...
  • Real Estate Search Engine Trulia Adds New Depth, Features
    As the housing market cools, the real estate vertical is heating up. Today, real estate search engine Trulia launched several new features, a week after Zillow introduced new functionality and about three weeks after Yahoo! Real Estate announced a range of new tools and a site redesign....
  • Google Gets Long Distance Phone Call From Space
    The world's first private woman space tourist Anousheh Ansari made a long distance call to the Googlplex to talk with Google co-founder Larry Page. Ansari and Page both are trustees of the X Prize Foundation. Google has highlights of some of their call here; including space fun, space food, space broadband and more. Larry Page asks, when can he "come up to join" Ansari? Who knows, maybe Page will cash out on some Google stock and fly to the International Space Station....

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