Interview with the Black Knight

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.


Google without the desktop

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.

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Vertical creep into regular search results in Google

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)

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Another Google purchase, in 3D software

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.

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IBM series on search engine optimization

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.

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Patent on searching books online

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’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.


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 ( 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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Getting Information about Search and SEO Directly from the Search Engines