Google’s Holy Grail of Shopping?

Sometimes patent filings from the search engines don’t describe some hidden algorithm or behind-the scenes-technology, but instead detail a whole new way of doing business. Here’s one such document published yesterday by Google that looks at shopping for products and services in a completely different manner.

Keep in mind that previously, Google’s product and shopping services have included Froogle, Google Catalogs, and Google Local. If something like what is described here is developed, it could change around the way many people shop.

This patent filing expands upon those offerings in a dramatic manner, from assistance inside of stores, restaurants, resorts, travel terminals and others, through driving and walking directions that tell you about sales and promotions at the end point of the trip, and along the way. It allows stores to dynamically offer promotions across a chain, or manually enter specials at specific locations.

Generating and/or serving dynamic promotional offers such as coupons and advertisements
Inventors: Ashutosh Garg and Allen Romero
US Patent Application 20060143080
Published June 29, 2006
Filed December 29, 2004

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New Blog On Information Retrieval

I’d like to welcome Dr. E. Garcia to the world of blogging.

I met Dr. E. Garcia at the New York Search Engine Strategies in March of 2005, and he spent a number of hours with me and Ian McAnerin one night explaining some of how Information Retrieval can be helpful to people who are involved with marketing on the web. I think that we stayed up until 2:00 or 3:00 am in the hotel lobby, surrounded by Venn Diagrams drawn out on bar napkins, showing how search engines treat different types of queries differently, and how similar queries can be compared to each other using information retrieved from the search engines.

Dr. Garcia sent me an email yesterday, telling me that he has just started a blog, IR Thoughts. He’s written a couple of posts in the first two days of the blog’s existence – an introduction, and a post on the vector space model. His site also has a number of very good tutorials on Information Retrieval, focusing on providing information for Information Retrieval Students and Search Engine Marketers.

I’d also recommend very highly Dr. Garcia’s article on keyword density, titled The Keyword Density of Non-Sense.

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How to Personalize Web Search

When you perform a search on one of the major search engines for a particular query, and when I perform the same search, chances are that we will see the same pages appearing on the search results pages. Then again, we may not. Chances are also good that in the future, the results that each of us sees will be different.

One of the areas that many in academia, and at commercial search engines are exploring is how to personalize web search.

We see that most visibly in the personalized search pages that the major search engines have released. They explain how to receive personalized searches on the following pages:

Google Help Center – Personalizing your search results

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Content Planning for Search Engine Optimization

Preparation is the Key to Successful Content Planning

This post doesn’t describe the actual creation of content for a site, from an SEO stance, but it does detail some of the content planning and steps that can be taken to help in the process.

It also doesn’t discuss some of the technical aspects of SEO that should be planned upon to make a site easier to be found by search engines. But it does provide a number of questions that may make it easier for someone who is considering optimizing their site for search engines when they engage in content planning for the pages of their site.

I think that part of content planning for a site also should include an awareness of search engines and a knowledge of some SEO goals because they will help your pages be found by searchers who are interested in what you create. Those goals aren’t too difficult to keep in mind when it comes to creating the words and images for a site, but are definitely worth considering:

Should Search Engines Help Searchers Avoid Malicious Sites?

How safe are search engines? Should they be warning about malicious sites? A recent answer might surprise you.

Back in May, Ben Edelman wrote about Search Engine Safety. In part, he was writing about how search engine paid advertising for some products, like screensavers, may lead to sites that would put spyware on the computers of visitors who download the screensavers. He wrote more on that practice in a January post titled Pushing Spyware through Search

He was also announcing a study that he had worked on with McAfee, about The Safety of Internet Search Engines. If you missed this report in May, it’s worth a visit. It discusses the safety of organic results through search engines, as well as paid results.

What’s a search engine to do?

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