Google Ads Based upon Toolbar Collected User Behavior Data

Google’s Content Network provides a way for advertisers to present ads on content pages of sites whose owners have signed up for the service. Hundreds of thousands of site owners show ads on their sites from Google.

The advertisements displayed are based upon the content shown on the pages of the participating sites, using a method that attempts to understand the content upon those pages, and present ads relevant to that content.

But what ads might the search engine show when there is more than one topic on a content page?

How might Google decide to show certain ads based upon user information collected through a viewer’s Google Toolbar? (And what kinds of privacy implications might that have?)

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Same-Site Duplicate Pages at Different URLs

One of the technical issues that can cause problems with a search engine crawling a site to index its pages is when the content of pages on that site appears more than once on the site at different URLs (Unique resource locators, or web page addresses).

Unfortunately, this problem happens more frequently than it should.

A new patent application from Yahoo explores how they might handle dynamic URLs to avoid this problem. What is nice about the patent application is that it identifies a number of the problems that might arise because of duplicate content at different web addresses on the same site, and some approaches that they might use to solve the problem.

While search engines like Yahoo can resolve some of the issues around duplicate content, its often in the best interest of site owners to not rely upon search engines to fix this problem on their own.

Avoiding the Crawling of Duplicate Pages

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Associating Search Ads with Links Instead of Keywords

Imagine that someone types in a query at a search engine, and a page from your web site shows up in the results. In addition to a link to your page, there’s an animation in the sidebar that shows off the services that you offered.

Two puppies, a barrel, and a basket of food, Library of Congress LC-USZC4-3218

Under a new advertising program, you’ve subscribed to the links from your pages, and can show images, animation, audio, java applets, links to resources, reviews or ratings, and other advertisements when your pages appear in search results. If you include a link in your ad, you might also be charged for click-throughs in addition to the subscription fee.

Or, if you were the owner of a bed and breakfast, you could have your ads show up whenever the results of a search included both the web pages of the town where you are located and a specific travel site.

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Do Domain Ages Affect Search Rankings?

The order that pages appear in the results of a search at a search engine may be influenced by the number of pages that link to that page, and by rankings of the pages that link to that page.

When a site is linked to by a popular and trusted domain, that link might provide more value (and a higher ranking) than a link from a site that is less popular and trusted.

Ages of Linking Domains

A new patent application from Microsoft adds another twist, by also ranking domains based upon the ages of domains which link to those domains.


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Google on Guessing the Right Destinations

One of the features found at Google is the ability to receive driving, flight, or other transit information, to help you get from one location to another.

Driving directions from Google Maps is one example, and Google has been working on providing public transit information in selected areas.

You can also gain access to some transportation information directly from search results, by typing something like “New York to Tokyo” which will give you a form at the top of the search results where you can look for flight information.

Sometimes that doesn’t work so well, like when you search for “Newark to New York,” which gives you a form for flight information from Newark, New Jersey to New York City:

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Celebrating Earth Day 2008

What will America be like when the population doubles from about 280 million to over 520 million within the next 75 to 80 years or sooner? If we permit that to happen, it will have a dramatic and pervasive impact on almost all aspects of our living condition.

It will mean, for example, that we will have to double the total infrastructure of the United States within the next seven or eight decades that means we will be dealing with twice as many cars, traffic jams, parking lots, paved roads, planes and air fields, schools, colleges, prisons, apartment houses; a tremendous loss of agricultural land, open spaces, wildlife habitat, areas of scenic beauty; loss of all kinds of freedoms freedom to move about with ease, to find places free of noise, crowding and people pressure of all kinds.

The Environmental Future Gaylord Nelson, former senator from Wisconsin and the founder of Earth Day, September 20, 2001.

This week, I wanted to take a look at the origins of Earth Day, and see what kinds of events might be happening around me, and around the world. I’ve also linked to a number of green blog posts and resources that I found interesting over the past few days.

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Microsoft on Determining Search Engine Spam From Email Spam

Are there enough connections between email spam and search engine spam that exploring and understanding how they might be related may be helpful to search engines in fighting search engine spam?

A patent recently granted to Microsoft explores some ways that might help a search engine eliminate spam from the search results it shows by paying more attention to spam in emails that people receive.

It’s not unusual for an email spam to contain a web address where a recipient of that message can go to learn more about the product or service described in the email.

The patent goes into a lot of details involving how spam might be identified in both emails and on web pages, and is worth spending some time with if you are interested in learning more about search engine spam and email spam, and some ways that both might be identified.

The most interesting part of the patent is in using the relationship between email and search spam.

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Google Granted Patent Can Filter Distortion in Unused TV White Spaces

Google is aiming at providing wireless internet access in unused television channels in the white space between channels 2 and 51 on TV sets that aren’t hooked up to satellite or cable services.

While many stations broadcast between these ranges in the US, most areas have gaps where there aren’t broadcasts carried on those channels.

Google filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission on March 21 – Authorized Ex Parte Contact – Unlicensed Operation in the TV Broadcast Bands (pdf) – presenting plans to use those gaps for wireless broadcasts in those TV bands to unlicensed personal and portable devices.

The access could be used for mobile devices, such as those that could be built to use Google’s open source Android platform.

The letter provides some details on the type of measures and technology that might be needed to enable the use of these unused airwaves.

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