Visual mobile search from nThrum

I’m intrigued by the topic of mobile search enough to add a new category to this blog on the topic.

One of the interesting mobile search sites I’ve seen lately is Goobile, and I enjoyed an interview they held with Kumar Gopalakrishnan last November.

He was named as an inventor on a patent application published this last week on a type of mobile search that looks at things like text on objects to perform searches:
Method and system for providing information services relevant to visual imagery

The invention described sounds similar to the nThrum service mentioned in the interview, which is available for free download as a beta, by invitation.

A person would take a picture of text that appears on an object with their phone, and then have the application return information to them about that text. Sounds better than barcodes

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Microsoft launches new search, buys Onfolio

Microsoft officially launches Windows Live Search (now Bing), later today.

Of course, the site at the URL (live.com) where it will be located has been available in beta for a while, but the Seattle Post Intelligencer mentions some new features and a new design in Microsoft to release overhauled Internet search engine I guess we’ll have to wait to see exactly what comes with this “launch.”

Microsoft has purchased web application maker Onfolio, Inc., and will be bringing Onfolio founder JJ Allaire aboard. Parts of Onfolio’s web tool are being incorporated into Microsoft’s toolbar.

Allaire is also the creator of Cold Fusion. His joining Microsoft is interesting in light of his past experiences, and his knowledge of this type of search engine helper software (a term to describe tools like Onfolio, which appears to have been coined in an Always On article published a week after the launch of Onfolio almost two years ago).

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Patent Application for Google Web Accelerator?

A new patent application from Google looks at prefetching and preloading pages into a browser based upon mouse movements, as well as a client-based cache file, and a server based cache.

Accelerating user interfaces by predicting user actions

The inventors listed in the application (US Patent document number 20060047804) are Eric Russell Fredricksen, Paul Buchheit, and Jeffrey Glen Rennie. It was filed on June 30, 2004, assigned to Google on October 10, 2004, and published on March 2, 2006 .

Abstract:

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Catching up with my RSS

It’s been tough keeping up with Bloglines this last week. Here are some of the posts that caught my eye while trying to catch up:

Greg Linden, at Geeking with Greg took a careful look at some of the links posted in the second ever post at the Google Research Blog, and come up with some interesting observations involving “how to parallelize a hierarchical Bayesian network across a cluster of computers.” If your “inner geek” gets excited over such things, it might be worth checking out.

Sabrina Pacifici blogs about some of the States that allow access to social security numbers during Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) searches. With recent discussions about the Federal Government asking for information from search engines that may include some personally identifiable information, it bears paying attention to how state governments treat privacy issues.

Mike Grehan writes about some of his experiences at the New York SES, including the first time I’ve seen a search marketer threatened with a banana. Mike is one of the most generous folks in the industry, and I’d like to thank him for helping make the SES in New York (this year, and last year) the great experience it was. Thank you, Mike.

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Correcting Chinese Characters in Search Queries

I had a chance to spend a little time with Ian McAnerin at the New York SES before his near brush with a Fiery Explosion!, and he briefly mentioned some of the challenges facing search engines in China, including the use of simplified Chinese characters.

Ian is one of the speakers who will appear at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in China later this month. I don’t know if it will come up at the sessions there, but those simplified Chinese characters pose some interesting challenges to the search engines. I posted about a couple of patent applications from Google on Chinese characters last December.

Google has released another patent application involving Chinese characters in search queries: Fault-tolerant romanized input method for non-roman characters

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A whole lot of wikipedia

One of the many excellent presentations that I was able to attend this week was the one on SEM Via Communities, Wikipedia & Tagging. The first speaker, Jeff Watts, talked about the risks and benefits of creating a new entry about your company, and leaving it to the community to create content about the company.

It’s a brave step, and there are companies that probably wouldn’t take it. Jeff mentioned that his company was convinced that the wikipedia community would probably write the article at some point with or without his involvement, and that it was much better to be involved in the conversation than not.

It was also a pleasure to meet Nick Wilson and Andy Hagans, who also gave insightful presentations on tagging.

I wanted to make sure though, that I mentioned the Wikipedia. Earlier today, they published their millionth article. Congratulations wikipedia community.

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Patents and patent application and the New York SES

Been having a great time at the New York SES the last couple of days, with a chance to hang our with some friends I met at last year’s Search Engine Strategies, and an opportunity to meet some new people.

I’ll probably write more about the conference in a few days. I’m in need of some sleep after the past few days of catching up and staying out a little late. I crashed early tonight, only to be awoken by the sound of a fire alarm. A voice over a loudspeaker came on a few minutes later, and informed us all that it was a false alarm.

Since I’m awake, and it may take a few minutes for the adrenalin rush to subside, I decided to post links to a couple of patents that were granted to Yahoo! yesterday, and a patent application from a couple of weeks ago with the name Apostolos Gerasoulis, of Ask (it’s hard to not write “Jeeves”), listed amongst its inventors.

Just a link to the documents and copies of the abstract tonight.

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SEO and Defining Site Objectives

I like digging into some of the patents and papers that come from search engines and academics who study how search works.

But something else I find fascinating is how marketing fits into Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and how important it is to know about both to be successful in getting traffic to a site. Or should I say the right traffic – visits from the people who will find the pages of a web site interesting and engaging to them.

A lot of that crossover is getting an insight into the words that people will both use to find a site, and expect to see upon its pages. That doesn’t come out of doing some research on wordtracker or nichebot or the Overture keyword selection tool (no longer available).

Those can be nice tools to use, but some of the most important steps in finding meaningful words that people will search for come earlier, before you should even be looking at those sites.

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Getting Information about Search and SEO Directly from the Search Engines