Each month, I compile Search Month— a recap of all the stories that have happened relating to search, categorizedby topic. I thought it would be fun to take all the Search Months over the pastyear and produce this edition of Search Year 2007. It was far more work than Iimagined, but I hope you’ll find this at-a-glance guide to what happened insearch during 2007 to be helpful. At-a-glance might be a stretch. This is a massive post, and I’m sure somepeople might feel a bit of overload. So, here’s some guidance as to how thingsare organized. In many categories, I tried to pick the biggest news story for that topic.This isn’t always the case. With some categories such as SEO, there where manygood, compelling stories. In some of those cases, I went with a catchy headlineor a recent, broadly applicable article. I wish I’d had the time to more closelygo through and pick out the very best in each section, but it was too mucheffort. Below each main story are … [Read more...] about Search Year 2007: Search News, In Review
Questions asked in telephonic interview
You know what you’re doing, right? We are all rational beings. We are all blessed with huge neocortexes and use them on a regular basis. This is especially so when we do something as thoughtful as use a search engine. Our rational loop is kicked into high gear. Right? Well, I hate to break it to you, but you’re not as rational as you think you are. Even the emotionally sparse act of using a search engine is driven largely by subconscious behavior. We are a bundle of pre-written scripts, which play out with little interference from our conscious minds. So, for this entry in the Human Hardware series, I want to spend some time exploring the theory of the illusion of conscious will, to borrow the name of a book by Daniel Wegner, the same person who advanced the theory of transactive memory. Unfortunately for Descartes, it’s not so much a case of “I think, therefore I am” as much as it is “I do, therefore I am.” But how can this be? We know when we … [Read more...] about The Illusion Of Conscious Searching
I was reviewing print yellow pages book usage statistics this week, in preparation for the SMX Local & Mobile conference, and I was struck once again by the large numbers that the Yellow Pages Association (YPA) touts in their press releases and research papers. I’ve had some individuals at conferences dismiss the idea that print usage could be dropping much, based on these YPA’s figures, and it’s made me wonder if there could be some degree of error involved in the data sampling methods used by the research companies behind the reports. With very little checking, I found my suspicion has basis: some of the widely-cited yellow pages industry research is missing critical information, according to the data collection methods published. Print usage remains stable?For instance, the YPA’s spring announcement of last year’s yellow pages usage figures state that “…print usage remained stable with 13.4 billion print Yellow Pages references, … [Read more...] about Yellow Pages Usage Stats Are Likely Wrong
How did we go from the New York Times seeming to single out visitors from Google with a “5 free visit per day” policy to supposedly all search engines being limited in such a way? And what’s up with there being no limit for visitors coming from anything that’s not a search engine, including Twitter and Facebook? Sit back, and I’ll tell the tale. New York Times Paywall, Mark I First, some history. The first New York Times paywall, TimesSelect, launched on September 19, 2005 and cost $49.99 per year (if you didn’t already have home delivery). It gave you access to New York Times columnists, archived articles and some premium content. TimesSelect lasted exactly two years, closing on September 19, 2007. Among the issues, as I recall them, was that by cutting off its content, the NYT also cut itself off from advertising pageviews. People couldn’t find stories through search; they couldn’t share them, either.Officially, the NYT wrote that user … [Read more...] about The Leaky New York Times Paywall & How “Google Limits” Led To “Search Engine Limits”
The Wall Street Journal is out with a story saying that Google is about to make one of the biggest changes in its history of offering web search, providing more direct answers and gaining “semantic” smarts to understand more about what words mean. I’m scratching my head, since Google already does this. Methinks Google’s PR has exploded in ways it didn’t expect. Beyond Blue Links! From the story, we learn things such as: Over the next few months, Google’s search engine will begin spitting out more than a list of blue Web links. It will also present more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page. and: The company is aiming to provide more relevant results by incorporating technology called “semantic search,” which refers to the process of understanding the actual meaning of words. and: Amit Singhal, a top Google search executive, said in a recent interview that the search engine will better match search … [Read more...] about WSJ Says Big Google Search Changes Coming? Reality Check Time!