I’ve been spending part of today setting up a local blog, focusing upon the small college town I live within.
Many of the things I find myself wanting to post to a blog are about local events, local history, small town politics, and mundane happenings around where I live. Those just don’t seem to fit here, but I don’t see too many other folks covering those topics.
Living in Delaware, about an hour north of Baltimore, and an hour south of Philadelphia, the major news media really doesn’t have the State on their radar. There is one Philly channel that has a satellite office in Wilmington, but news reports about the area are meager at best, and more commonly nonexistent.
There is one state-wide newspaper, but it focuses more upon Wilmington and Dover than it does the little town between them. A weekly paper provides some interesting news, but often gets scooped by the paper written by University of Delaware students, published twice a week during the school year, and once a week during winter and summer sessions.
While the school newspaper can be fun, and informative, the editors and writers know their audience is the student body of the university, and they rarely write in detail about issues that don’t involve students.
My friend Debra Mastaler asked me if I would be interested in making a guest appearance at her blog on linking and marketing, The Link Spiel.
I jumped at the chance.
Mixed amongst Debra’s excellent advice on advice and techniques involving linking are many examples of her sharp wit and subtle sense of humor. Make sure that you check out her post on Nascar Links, and on Amazon + Reviewers + Links. You’ll want to set aside some time to read through her archives while you’re at it. There are lots of good ideas in there.
SEOmoz has an excellent interview with Ammon Johns (no longer available).
It’s been my pleasure to call Ammon a friend for a number of years, while sharing administrative duties with him at Cre8asite Forums. I’m not sure that I can even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned from his generous and eloquent posts on subjects of all types.
The interview was conducted by Rand Fishkin, and features long, thoughtful answers on SEO and marketing, search algorithms, tools for SEO, the perfect client, and much more.
Nice going, Ammon and Rand.
New patent applications and a financial statement from Google arrived this morning. They point at a Google that’s growing a little less dependent on cables and desktop computers.
Google filed their annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commision today, and there are some interesting statements within it.
One area mentioned, that has a lot of room for growth for the Mountain View search giant, is the mobile device market. In the section of the report on “How We Provide Value to Users, Advertisers, and Content Owners and Producers” Google tells us:
Multiple Access Platforms. Mobile phones are a fundamental development platform for us. Many people around the world have their first experience of the Internet—and Google—on their mobile phones. We have continued to invest in improving mobile search and recently introduced the beta of Google Local for Mobile—a downloadable application for mobile phones that combines maps, directions, and satellite imagery to let people find relevant information when and where they need it, even if they are not close to a computer.
Google doesn’t just have a search engine. It has multiple search engines. If you look at the tabs on top of the search box, you’ll see:
Each of those tabs generates a different type of search, with its own unique set of algorithms, and ways of presenting material. These are narrower searches, and are often referred to as “Vertical Searches.”
There are many examples of limited scope search engines like this on the web, for things like jobs, travel, hotels, shopping, and much more.
Google doesn’t limit itself to those vertical searches listed on the tabs above the search box, but has even more available. Here are some of the other areas covered. These can be found through the default web search box on the Google page.
Weather (type in – weather and a city name – weather Cincinnati)
When I wrote a post at the end of last year on Google’s acquisitions, I didn’t expect that I would have to update it as frequently as I have been recently. I added a new company this morning.
Google has purchased @Last Software, maker of a very nice looking 3D modeling software package named Sketchup. It appears that the companies had been working together on a plugin, to enable people to use the software with Google Earth. I’ve added a couple of details about the purchase in my Google acquisition post, including a rumor from last October, and a link to a patent owned by the acquired company.
It’s been interesting to speculate on how Google might spend some of the money that they gained through their IPO. This seems like some useful software. Jeff Martin, formerly of @Last Software, blogs about his new employer, and the change of ownership over at the Google Blog – A new home for @Last Software
What changes will this bring to Sketchup? There’s a very detailed Google Acquisition FAQ’s answering many questions on the deal.
I just came across a series from the folks at IBM on search engine optimization. So far, it’s a nice introduction to the topic, and worth looking at. The first two parts of the series have been published, and I’m guessing that part three will probably come out very soon.
The first part focuses upon what the author, L. Jennette Banks, calls “white hat SEO” and includes:
A short glossary,
The importance of SEO,
A brief overview of the practice,
Why it matters to users of search engines,
The relationship of SEO to search engines, with a primary focus on Google
A nice set of resources
Search engine optimization basics, Part 1: Improve your standing in search engines
I’ll disclose here that I was proud to see a link to Cre8asite Forums, where I’m an administrator, in the list of forums cited in the resource section.
An interesting patent granted last week on searching books. I would have thought to see something like this from Amazon, or maybe even Google. But it isn’t.
Method and system for full text search of purchasable books that make the full text inaccessible to users
The patent does refer to a New York Times article from July 23, 2003 about Amazon.com’s Look inside the Book process: Amazon Plan Would Allow Searching Texts of Many Books
Any implications for Google Book Search or Amazon’s Search Inside the Book? I’m not sure. I’m guessing not. But, keep your eyes open just in case.