Google Unveils 'Desktop Search' Feature

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Friday, August 26, 2005
Google Unveils 'Desktop Search' Feature

This past Monday, Google rolled out a new beta version of its widely acknowledge desktop search software, offering features such as integration with Outlook, a sidebar with nifty widgets to display photos, headlines and much more. After taking a few moments to actually sit and play around with the product, I would have to say that Google has definitely out-done its rival Microsoft in the desktop search battle.

The Google software contains three major components:

Outlook Toolbar

This is an embedded toolbar and allows users to search through their email without actually leaving Outlook.

Sidebar

This is a window page that is designed to automatically update itself based on users' interests, as expressed by the Web sites they visit, with little or no manual configuration. Among its many windows, Sidebar offers the scratch pad tool, weather data, news, RSS and Atom feeds from the Web, links to open browser windows and an e-mail preview.

Quick Find

A search feature which is designed to let users search the web, search and find files on their hard drives, and even launch applications.

One customizable option that I found most enjoyable is users can choose where to display their Deskbar. Users can either opt for a compact view, where the Deskbar sits in the Window's taskbar, or they can choose a "Floating Deskbar" option which will allow the tool to be dragged anywhere on the desktop. This is a feature that I believe all users can appreciate.

Overall, the Google Desktop Search feature is a new and easy way for users to find their desired information. I believe this product is an instant competitor with that of Microsoft's Desktop search tool, and allows Google to continue competing at the highest level.

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SES Conference Recap: San Jose, 2005

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Friday, August 19, 2005
SES Conference Recap: San Jose, 2005

I am happy to report that I was fortunate enough to attend the 4-day Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference this past week - a conference dedicated to the search marketing industry. The conference was held in San Jose, and I had an absolute blast taking in the sights, and catching up with a few of my colleagues. All in all, it was a great conference.

The conference featured new tracks (categories of discussion) and several new sessions to which I found to be refreshing. The new sessions ranged from analyzing search engine algorithms to discussions on helpful tools, and everywhere in between. Like most I'm sure, I hate attending conferences where the very same speakers give the very same presentations. It was nice to have some diversity.

Furthermore, I found the expo hall to be a real treat as well. It featured even more vendors then the previous Chicago conferences I've atteneded, and I was able to learn about some really great companies.

Other Highlights of my trip:

Yahoo!'s Search Night Off

Yahoo! declared that Monday night would be "Search Night Off". The company arranged for a fun-filled evening featuring food, drinks, and roller coasters. Yes, I said roller coasters. Yahoo! went that extra step and rented out Paramount's 6 flags Great America where they invited SES attendees to join in on the fun. As you can imagine, this event was amazing!

Google Dance 2005

On Tuesday night, Google was kind enough to invite everyone to their annual Google Dance event held at Google. This event also featured food and drinks. In addition, it also featured lots and lots of other things. Attendees could play games, dance, and interact with each other in about 100 different ways. This was the ultimate back-yard barbecue, to say the least!

Webmaster Radio's Search Bash

Webmaster Radio hosted a party at San Jose's :Studio 8." This was your basic "club" scene with flashy lights, loud techno-style music, and a full bar and dance floor. If you're ever looking for a good time... take a bunch of Search Engine Marketers, add in some alcohol, throw them into an environment with loud music, and stand back to watch. Very entertaining!

Yahoo! Store Developers Meeting

I, along with a few other designers from All Web Promotion, drove up to Sunnyvale and visited our friends at Yahoo!. We met with our Yahoo! Store developer team who ended up sharing a few of their upcoming projects with us. It was fun to see and comment on man of things they've been secretly working on. As always, our trip to Yahoo! was both fun and educational.

San Francisco

On Friday, I took the day off and took a train to San Francisco for the day. San Francisco was amazing! I visited many tourist locations including my favorites, SBC Field (home of the San Francisco Giants) and Fisherman's Wharf. I had an enjoyable day filled with shopping, sight seeing, and a boat ride in the bay.

If interested, I've published my 2005 SES San Jose Conference Photos on Flickr.

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Yahoo! Launches Contextual Ad Network

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Friday, August 05, 2005

Yahoo! Launches Contextual Ad NetworkYahoo! officially launched its long-awaited self-service contextual ad network. Much like Google's AdSense, this program will extend the reach of paid listings through small and mid-sized publishers as well as provide website publishers a fast and easy way to display relevant Yahoo! ads on their website's content pages. The network, which has been expected to launch for months now, will complement Yahoo!'s existing network of larger publishers.

Yahoo! Launches Contextual Ad Network

This past week, Yahoo! officially launched (BETA - US only) its long-awaited self-service contextual ad network. Much like Google's AdSense, this program will extend the reach of paid listings through small and mid-sized publishers as well as provide website publishers a fast and easy way to display relevant Yahoo! ads on their website's content pages... and earn money while doing so.

The network, which has been expected to launch for months now, will complement Yahoo!'s existing network of larger publishers, including CNN, ESPN, and NBC. Up to 2,000 publishers will be invited to join the beta test, with a full launch expected by the end of the year. This makes sense to me. By helping the broader publishing community maximize the value of their sites, Yahoo! is aiming to create an even more rewarding Internet experience for publishers, advertisers and users.

My Thoughts

It's fair to say that this is not just Yahoo! trying to cash in on another Google idea. This is not another Google Adsense. This is a Yahoo! venture that pays attention to quality of sites in the network, strives for openness in its policies, and offers advertisers more control... which are several of the issues marketers have raised about Google's network.

With the launch of Yahoo!'s new ad network, advertisers will no doubt benefit from increased competition in an area that has been ruled by Google, and publishers will have another revenue-generating option for their sites.

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