Google Releases 'Flight Search' Feature

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Friday, October 28, 2005
Google Releases 'Flight Search' Feature

Google released yet another search feature to their very popular and beloved search engine and this time it's geared towards airline travelers. That's right, airline travelers. Google's flight search feature will allow its users to quickly access airline flight information when they type in two different cities or airport codes into the Google search box. Doing so will bring up two additional boxes for entering departing and returning flight dates.

In addition, Google has also integrated links to popular travel websites, such as Expedia, Hotwire, and Orbitz. Users who click on these links will be directed to flight options for their selected itineraries on that site.

My Thoughts

I spent some time this morning testing this new feature and found it to be very user-friendly and easily accessible. I simply typed "Chicago to New York City" into the Google Search box and the new flight option came up, in addition to other search listings. Personally, I find it some what funny that this Google release comes 1 day after Yahoo! debuted its new Trip Planner (currently in BETA) - a service that allows users to create, share and print personalized trip itineraries. It's almost as if Google wasn't going decided they didn't want to be "trumped" in their efforts to provide the ultimate search experience.

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Yahoo! Enters Bidding War For AOL

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Yahoo! Enters Bidding War For AOLYahoo! is currently in talks with AOL and is looking to attain AOL's millions of search and portal users, not to mention the near $400 million in ad revenue that currently goes Google's way. Time Warner has yet to comment on its offers from Google, MSN, and now Yahoo, but it a bid for AOL is merely a defensive move against the others.

Yahoo! Enters Bidding War For AOL

A month ago, September 23rd to be exact, I wrote an entry regarding AOL and how Microsoft and Google were competing (most likely bidding) against one another in their attempts to partner-up with the popular web portal. Now, this week, Yahoo! has reportedly left the sidelines and entered itself in this ongoing struggle for a piece of American Online.

Yahoo! is currently in talks with AOL, a unit of Time Warner, and is looking to attain AOL's millions of search and portal users, not to mention the near $400 million in ad revenue that currently goes Google's way. Time Warner has yet to comment on whether or not they have received offers from Internet search giants Google, MSN, or Yahoo! or if they are even interesting in partnering up or potentially selling AOL. It seems for Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft, a bid for AOL is merely a defensive move against the others.

My Thoughts

Even if Time Warner hadn't planned on selling AOL prior to receiving their first offer, I'd bet that they are at least considering it now. We all know that Microsoft's pockets run deep, and that Google's pockets aren't small either. Now that Yahoo! has officially entered the bidding war, I'd imagine that having the biggest 3 internet companies throwing figures your way is going to be hard to resist. I guess only time will tell.

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Yahoo! Launches 'Blog Search' Feature

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Yahoo! Launches 'Blog Search' FeatureYahoo! has made the next stride in the blog search market by revamping its basic news search tool to grab material from the millions of blogs out there, in addition to just the regular headlines from 6,500 newspapers and magazines. On Monday, the search giant launched a test version of the new tool saying that it aims to give consumers a more complete view of the news.

Yahoo! Launches 'Blog Search' Feature

Yahoo!, one of Google's primary competitors, has made the next stride in the blog search market by revamping its basic news search tool to grab material from the millions of blogs out there, in addition to just the regular headlines from 6,500 newspapers and magazines. On Monday, the search giant launched a test version of the new tool saying that it aims to give consumers a more complete view of the news.

Yahoo!'s blog search feature will will increase the consumer's ability to find events that matter to them, from major news stories, citizen reporting, commentary and pictures that might not be covered by the mainstream media. In addition, this update separates blog headlines from other headlines, displaying them in different columns. By clicking on "all blog results," users can find photos related to their search from Flickr, Yahoo!'s photo sharing service. Users may also find relevant material from websites they've marked as favorites via user-generated tagging.

It's obvious that Yahoo!'s blog search update is in direct response to Google's, made just under a month ago. Personally, I find such competition to be a great thing. Not only does competition drive companies to improve their current products and features, it also helps to breed the development of new ones. Great job Yahoo!. I can't wait to see what you do next.

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Yahoo! Acquires Upcoming.org

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Yahoo! Acquires Upcoming.orgYahoo! has acquired Upcoming.org in an effort to expand on its local-content offerings. Upcoming.org is a free website that lets people manage their social calendars and share information about upcoming events like local concerts and festivals. Upcoming.org users are able to include a continuously updated listing of events on their own websites.

Yahoo! Acquires Upcoming.org

Yahoo! has publicly acknowledged that they have acquired Upcoming.org, a social events calendar website, in an effort to expand on its local-content offerings. Upcoming.org is a free website that lets people manage their social calendars and share information about upcoming events like local concerts and festivals. Users can also comment on events others have attended and can include a continuously updated listing of Upcoming.org events on their own websites.

Yahoo! recently revised its local search program back in August, adding such features as user-reviews and interactive maps. Now, with this acquisition, the company will have access to tons of local content and will no doubt use it to enhance their search capabilities and features even further.

Local search is now being thought of as a very profitable growth area for advertising. More and more people are referring to their home computers and mobile phones to find local services or to book local events. Because of this, search providers such as Yahoo!, Google, and American Online (AOL), are now banking on the draw for small and medium-size businesses to advertise when people are most interested. These search engines have been doing their best to stay on top of the local search industry by finding different ways to locate and provide local search content, services, and tools. And why shouldn't they? The local search market is expected to attract somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 Billion in revenue within the next five years.

Furthermore, I strongly suggest that search marketing professionals and small business owners begin taking advantage of all the newly available local-advertising outlets that search engines have made available. It's clear that local is the place to be.

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