I ran out this morning, and bought a new computer. The old one died on me yesterday.
It’s a good thing for external hard drives. I would have been pretty upset if I had lost all of the data on the old computer.
I did have to do a lot of updating and installation of software, and it might have been time to get a new computer anyway. I might have to pay more attention to how Yahoo handles their computers.
(Will be back to semi-regular posting as soon as I do a little catching up.)
In the meantime, I had a few minutes to take a look at the US patent office tonight. Yahoo! was granted a patent today on a filing from 1999 on coordinating information between multple servers that share information, and also on servers that may cache some of that information.
Continue reading Yahoo patents load balancing, my computer breaks
In early April, Googleguy posted at the Search Engine Watch Forums, and his post was split off into a thread titled Google Confirms Mid-Page “See Results For” Section No Longer A Test; Suggest A Name!.
In his post, he tells us that:
In fact, this is no longer a test. We do this when we see a query (e.g. [katrina] or something similar) that we think might benefit from a refinement, (e.g. maybe you wanted to search for [hurricane katrina]).
If you haven’t seen the additional query results in question, they are links for some alternative suggested search terms, appearing in the middle of the top ten results that Google returns.
Those alternative suggestions had been referred to as user interface (UI) experiments, along with a number of other different ways of presenting Google results.
Continue reading A Look at Google Midpage Query Refinements
Google was granted a new patent involving pagerank last week, which appears to focus upon a paper from April of 2003, Adaptive Methods for the Computation of PageRank.
The paper does a nice job of describing what they were aiming at with this patent – a faster way of assigning query-independent rankings of value to pages on the web, based upon links to those pages. This work doesn’t aim at changing rankings, or determinations of relevance of web pages, but is instead aimed at making the computational elements of calculating rankings cheaper and faster.
While the methods and processes described in the patent aren’t really anything new, it’s interesting to see how the ideas in the paper can be implemented as part of a search engine. The patent provides a nice overview of how a search engine functions, covering topics such as crawling, filtering, indexing, index partitioning, caching, mapping links, and serving pages.
It then dives into the method they have devised to take advantage of the observation they made that some pages take less time, and less recalculations of pagerank to reach their final pagerank. As the authors note in the paper:
Continue reading Google’s adaptive pagerank patent
I was exploring the FirstGov web site from the US government, and their section on web content, and I wondered how much of our tax dollars are being spent on paid search. I remember seeing some paid ads by the DEA last summer, and the agency is still using Google Adwords.
On the webcontent.gov page about search engines, the webmasters provide information to help people working on US government sites add site searches, and they also give a window into future additions on the webcontent.gov site, including “Getting found on search engines (search engine optimization).”
I looked around to see if they had anything about paid advertising, and found some guidelines about advertising on government sites, but nothing about using paid search on search engines.
I’m tempted to volunteer some information and assistance on SEO, especially if it could help them to build a more balanced online advertising presence within Google and other search engines (and maybe reduce my tax bill).
Continue reading SEO, PPC, and the US government
(Added – June 20, 2008 – this post was orginally written on April 15, 2006, and describes the technical background of Dr. Lu as he became a Senior Vice President of Yahoo back then. Now, it might serve as an indication of some of the talent that Yahoo is losing after a number of executives, including Dr. Lu are leaving Yahoo )
A press release from Yahoo! earlier today noted that Dr. Qi Lu has been appointed as their new Senior Vice President of Engineering for Search and Search Marketing.
Dr. Lu has been active in a wide range of activities while at Yahoo!, including their search platform, and their social search activities. The press release notes that he has been involved in;
My Web 2.0 and Yahoo! Answers, as well as the acquisition and integration of Flickr and Del.icio.us. Additionally, he was instrumental in initiating the development of the new Yahoo! Maps and Yahoo! Local services.
Continue reading Dr. Qi Lu named Senior VP of Engineering for Search and Search Marketing for Yahoo!