Peace Through Music

If you’re a musician, interested in helping musicians and artists across the globe, and collaborating with other musicians while doing so, you might find the Playing for Change (HTML version: Playing for Change) web site to be one that you may want to visit.

I was just blown away by the first of their videos:

The Playing for Change Foundation is working to fund music and art schools from around the world. You can participate even if you aren’t a musician. (Hat tip to idealist.org)

Google Gears Patent Application: Bringing Online Applications Offline

A patent application for Google Gears has recently been published at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Google released Google Gears in May of 2007, to enable offline use of online applications. Gears is a browser plugin aimed at enabling people to use web based applications even when they aren’t connected to the internet. Imagine being able to write or edit emails or review RSS feeds or use a word processing program that was written to be used on the Web and use those programs offline, when you can’t be connected to the internet.

The Google Gears plugin has been released as an open source project by Google, and can be used with Google applications such as Google Reader and with Google Docs. It can also be used with applications from non-Google sites, such as Zoho Writer and Remember the Milk. There is also a special version of Google Gears for Mobile Web use.

The Google Gears API pages provide details on how Google Gears can be used to by other applications to bring offline usage for online applications.

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Google Profile Information and Partner Content Providers: Should there be Disclosure?

Preferred Location Gathering

When you search for where a movie might be showing near you, or what the weather might be like in your neighborhood, or other kinds of information where it might be helpful if the search engine knew your location, or a location that you might prefer to see results from, a search engine like Google might try to identify a preferred location from your searches.

For example, if I search for a specific movie that is showing at movie theatres, Google might ask for my zip code to provide me with location information about where it is playing:

screenshot of movie text box where a zip code could be entered

The next time that I perform that search, I’m not shown a text box where I can enter my zip code.

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Winter by the Seaside

It’s chilly on the Atlantic seaboard, with the days getting shorter and nights getting colder. I love the change of seasons, but hate that it gets dark so early. I’m looking forward to December 22, when the days start getting longer again.

I have some news, and some links to things that I liked to share this morning.

First of all, I would like to thank the many people who visit SEO by the Sea, and take the time to leave their thoughtful comments and questions. It’s a real pleasure to hear from you all.

Please look out for the Winter 08/09 edition of Search Marketing Standard, where I had the honor of being interviewed about topics such as search patents, future features that might be released from the search engines, and new ranking signals that search engines may be using as uncovered from search engines. The online version of the interview isn’t available yet, but the print edition arrived at my mailbox last week.

SEObook just published The Non-profit’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization, and it’s filled with some great suggestions, and approaches that nonprofits can take to market their organization.

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Domain Collapsing, Indented Pages, and Search Results

Search engines have transformed the way that we locate information and learn about the world around us. When we type a term into a search box, we are presented with pages of search results that bring a wealth of information to our fingertips.

The results that we see often include more than just a list of web pages. A search for [baseball] at Google provides links to web pages, videos, news articles, book results, and related search queries.

The top result I received was a link to the Major League Baseball (MLB) site, with a list of sitelinks to eight additional pages related to that domain. Interestingly, four of those sitelinks are to different subdomains on the MLB site, to team pages for the Boston Red Sox, The New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Baltimore Orioles.

There may be many pages that show up in search results relevant to a query that we perform. In my search for [baseball], I was shown “Results 1 – 10 of about 197,000,000 for baseball.” I’m not going to look at all 197 million pages, and chances are that I might not make it past the first page of the search results.

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