Google Unveils 'Movie Search' Feature

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Google Unveils 'Movie Search' FeatureThe search market is witnessing intense competition as of late, with leading players unveiling new, specialized search products in an effort to win the market share. This past week, Google announced the release of its newest searching component "Google Movie Search" which will allow users the opportunity to use local data to find show times within local theaters.

Google Unveils 'Movie Search' Feature

The search market is witnessing intense competition as of late, with leading players unveiling new, specialized search products in an effort to win the market share. This past week, Google announced the release of its newest searching component "Google Movie Search" which will allow users the opportunity to use local data, such as a zip code, city or state, to find show times within local theaters.

The new search function will also help users to find other film-related information, such as film titles, actors, directors, and reviews. So if you ever get stuck to the point where you can not remember the name of a film, let's say the one where Tom Hanks made friends with a volleyball, simply search Google for "movie: Tom Hanks talking to a volleyball" and Google will tell you that the movie your referring to is Cast Away.

Also, if you're looking for some rental recommendations try searching Google with the types of movies that interest you. For instance, try "movie: awesome car chase" or "movie: good chick flick" and Google will not only provide you options matching your query, but also rate them according to written reviews they've received.

Personally, I love this new feature. I find it to be a great resource for Google users and movie lovers alike. I will rate it 4 out of 5 stars and I am sure that Sisco and Ebert (or Roper if you will) would have given it 2 thumbs way up!

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Firefox & Internet Explorer Compete for Market Share

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Firefox & Internet Explorer Compete for Market ShareFirefox has just topped 25 million downloads since its release 100 days ago, indicating that the open-source browser continues to pursue a positive presence in a Microsoft dominated market. As Firefox's popularity and overall public usage continues to grow, designers and marketers will need to ensure that they remain in perspective with their audiences.

Firefox & Internet Explorer Compete for Market Share

Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation's new Internet browser, has just topped 25 million downloads since its release 100 days ago, indicating that the open-source browser continues to pursue a positive presence in a Microsoft dominated market.

My guess is that security concerns have been a major reason for why consumers are choosing to leave behind their easily accessible Internet Explorer browser to find alternative browsers, with Firefox benefiting the most. According to Jupiter Research, IE's market share had fallen to 92.7%, while Firefox's share had risen to 4.8% and other browsers, such as Netscape and Opera, accounted for the rest.

As Firefox's popularity and overall public usage continues to grow both website designers and search engine marketing specialists will need to ensure that they remain in perspective with the Internet audience, even if it means developing "search engine friendly" websites with the Firefox browser in mind.

I personally am 1 of the 25 million who downloaded Firefox and I find it to be a great alternative to Internet Explorer. A couple of my favorite features are the "Smarter Search" and the "Tabbed Browsing" tools, not to mention the extra pop-up blocking and security attributes, which IE currently lacks.

Smarter Search

The "Smarter Search" feature, much like a standard search engine toolbar, allows the user to search their favorite search engine without actually going to the search engine website. Currently I have Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask Jeeves, AltaVista, EBay, and Amazon installed in my search bar with plenty more options to choose from.

Tabbed Browsing

The "Tabbed Browsing" feature allows user to create a separate tab, much like a new window, for each additional website. Unlike IE, which creates another window, Firefox creates a stationary tab which resides at the top of the browser where the user can easily navigate through multiple websites at one time. If you are a Windows XP user, you will enjoy this feature very much, as you are able to view multiple websites without cluttering the bottom menu-bar.

I expect Firefox to be very successful this coming year which will hopefully help to dethrone Microsoft from its current position as the ruler of the "browser kingdom." If not, then maybe Firefox will pressure Microsoft just enough to where they quickly find the solutions needed to fix the many security problems that Internet Explorer has. Best of luck Firefox... your going to need it.

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Search Marketing Association - North America

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Friday, February 25, 2005
SMA-NA: Search Marketing Association - North America

In an attempt to create a better search engine marketing professional organization or SEMPO, Ian McAnerin and company have been hard at work these past few months in developing their version of a premier "member-focused" SEM organization. Last week their efforts paid off.

On Friday the Search Marketing Association - North America, better known as SMA-NA, had officially launched its new website and forum and had opened its doors to the SEM community. With its counterparts SMA-UK (United Kingdom) and SMA-EU (Europe) already in motion and showing a bit of success, SMA-NA shows great promise. Its ideals and its goal of providing a more member-focused organization is exactly what the SEM community needs after SEMPO failed to do so.

It's still a bit early to tell exactly what kind of impact the SMA-NA will have on the search engine marketing industry, but its official launch couldn't have come at a better time. With the very popular Search Engine Strategies conferences being held next week in New York City, SMA-NA will no doubt be the topic of discussion amongst the attendees.

The organization is expected to have their first "official" meeting, or group discussion, at some point during the conference. I was told that the organization would use that time to properly address such topics as their foreseen role in the SEM industry, the benefits of joining and becoming a productive member in SMA-NA, and to outline the future goals and plans that the organization has in place. Of course this meeting will no doubt help to gather up a few new members and maybe even potentially steal a few from SEMPO, as I hear that a few have already jumped ship.

As it stands now, SMA-NA and SEMPO should have no problem co-existing and being productive in their efforts to educate the world on search marketing. In fact, the search marketing industry is quite large and continues to grow rapidly. In other words, there should be enough to go around.

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Google Updates Search Toolbar

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Friday, February 18, 2005
Google Updates Search Toolbar

This past Wednesday, Google announced and released its newest version of the Google Toolbar, a web-searching toolbar with a trio of new utilities. Earlier versions of the toolbar allowed Internet users to search the Web from a static box on their Web browser and helped to block annoying pop-up ads.

This new version includes features that will allow users to automatically check their spelling in Web forms, translate words from English into several languages, and add Web links to certain plain text. For example, an address could be enhanced with a hypertext link to its location on a map, with the click of a button on the toolbar.

I haven't had too much time to play around with these new features, but I did find the look and feel to be much like the older versions. My guess is, if you liked the previous versions of the Google toolbar, you'll enjoy this option-enhanced version as well.

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Ask Jeeves Buys Bloglines

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Friday, February 18, 2005

Ask Jeeves Buys BloglinesAsk Jeeves reported on Tuesday of last week that they have bought the privately held and popular Bloglines, a site developed for searching millions of personal web pages and aggregating news headlines. In an effort to keep pace with its rivals Google, Yahoo!, and MSN, Ask Jeeves plans to build a specialized blog search engine and fold the service into its various properties.

Ask Jeeves Buys Bloglines

Ask Jeeves reported on Tuesday of last week that they have bought the privately held and popular Bloglines, a site developed for searching millions of personal web pages and aggregating news headlines. In an effort to keep pace with its rivals Google, Yahoo!, and MSN, Ask Jeeves plans to build a specialized blog search engine and fold the service into its various properties, including personalization product MyJeeves and the portal Excite.com.

As we all know weblogs (blogs) can be used in a number of ways, but ultimately they are used by those Internet users who feel the need to express themselves and share with the world their thoughts and opinions on the many subjects that make up their everyday lives. I for one enjoy reading the publishings of many other "bloggers" who share my interests and I applaud Mr. Jeeves for jumping on the "blog band-wagon" and getting a piece of the action.

Just this past week, I caught an Ask Jeeves commercial featuring the very funny American Idol reject William Hung, you know... "she bangs, she bangs", which I found to be pretty hilarious. Apparently this is one of several TV advertisements to be released in the near future where each ad will feature a regular person seeking everyday information from an expert or icon of some kind. Of course, they don't get the answer they need because they should've gone to the icon with world-class search technology: Jeeves.

It's not too often that you will see the funny, lighter-side of many corporations and a television plug like the one I saw is a great way to say "you have questions, Jeeves has answers."

All in all, I believe good ol' Jeeves is truly shaping himself into a powerful search engine, a great resource for its users, and a true contender in the search engine wars.

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