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Google Providing Custom Search Engine API

Google now has an API for its Custom Search Engines, which lets you create CSE’s based on XML files you create. Remember that “on-the-fly” CSE we talked about last month? Apparently, it’s a demonstration of what the API can do. Anything you have that can create a list of websites as an XML file can be used to feed a CSE, creating dynamic search engines based on practically anything.

For example, you could run a script that takes incoming referral data for your webpages or websites, creates an XML file based on those incoming URLs, and spits back out a search engine of people talking about your website. Or you could create different CSE’s for different criteria on your blog, creating different search engines based on different rules, with the rules changing for every single page, all generated on the fly, fed to Google as XML, and presented as a search engine.

The possibilities are endless. I’d like to see some WordPress plugins taking advantage of this.

Read Eric Enge’s blog for a more detailed explanation, via SELand.

July 10th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Search, General | no comments

Google Pushing New Open Wireless Spectrum

Google has been getting involved with the plans for the future of the 700 MHz wireless spectrum that will be vacated when standard definition TV signals are shut off. It’s looking like the FCC is planning to adopt a number of open-access rules set up by Google that will force those using the spectrum for open wireless devices, not proprietary network-locked ones, emulating an internet-style open marketplace.

Google’s guidelines ask for open applications (allowing anyone to utilize the spectrum for whatever applications and downloads, regardless of device maker and network), open devices (anyone can create a device that can work on any network), open services (allowing resellers to buy wireless service) and open networks (third parties should be able to connect on any licensee’s network). The FCC may not adopt all of it, but they are expected to adopt at least part of it, resulting in the most open broadcasting ecosystem in a very long time.

Read more at TechMeme.

July 10th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | no comments

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New Nielsen Metrics Put Google In Fifth Place

Nielsen announced today that it has changed the main way it measures the popularity of websites, measuring time spent on a website more than page views. The change in methodology puts Google in fifth place among time spent, even though it has the most unique visitors, while AOL is the top dog on the internet.

I’ve taken the chart and remixed it to show you how things are different between time spent and unique visitors:


If you combine YouTube and Google’s numbers and the Microsoft and MSN numbers, Google has a huge lead, and even with the combined numbers only gets fourth place. Microsoft’s combined numbers don’t move it up, but it does halve the distance between it and Yahoo.

Apparently, Google gets 67.15 minutes per user, while AOL gets an astounding 272.92 minutes per user. YouTube, despite having all those videos (which you’d think would keep people around), only gets 43.57 minutes per user.

July 10th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Services, YouTube, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, General | one comment

Google Loses Search Market Share


Holy, moley, I thought it’d never happen. Google actually had a bad month, at least according to Compete.

The latest search engine market share numbers for June have been released by Compete, and they show Google losing over four percentage points, almost entirely to Microsoft. Microsoft’s Windows Live Search is running a very successful Search Club promotion (more on that at InsideMicrosoft), and it’s costing Google and giving Microsoft a huge shot in the arm. According to Compete, Google dropped from 67% of the market to 62.7% from May to June, a drop larger than’s entire market share.

While Compete is gaining in reputation, I’d still wait to see the numbers from the big three established players of Hitwise, Nielsen and ComScore. If they all show a similar drop, then Google’s got a real problem on its hands. No one has been able to crack Google for years, and the first success could mean the beginning of a very bad trend.

Danny Sullivan has detailed analysis of the numbers and trends, and provided this chart:

July 10th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Microsoft, Search, General | 3 comments

Google Finance Gets Some Gadgets

The Google Finance team blog announced some new Google Gadgets for your iGoogle personalized homepage. The first, Google Finance Chart, lets you show the chart from Google Finance for your favorite stock (or a bunch of stocks, if you add multiple Gadgets), complete with all the dragging that comes with the regular Finance charts (even with some advanced features, like dividends, extended hours and splits).

The second, Sector Summary, shows you the performance of different sectors on the stock market, a popular Google Finance feature.

(via Blogoscoped)

July 10th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Finance, iGoogle, Products, Search, General | one comment

Google 411 Competitors Hold All The Patents

Google’s free 411 service, 800-GOOG-411, is going to face a lot of problems in the future, as rival free 411 services have been granted patents on techniques endemic to the industry Google is trying to get in on. Search Engine Journal reported that received last week a patent on a method of responding to directory assistance queries, including the referral-based business model. Meanwhile, TechCrunch reported that Jingle Network received a patent for playing a recorded advertisement based on a directory service query.

Besides the fact that the two patents may contradict each other, and should never have been granted due to them being a combination of existing technology (voice recognition) with a popular business model (referral/targeted advertising) on a known service (directory assistance), Google still has a lot to deal with. If the patents hold, Google will have to pay significant licensing fees to one or both companies, or face costly litigation to challenge the patents.

Google obviously wants GOOG-411 to succeed, but if the price is too high, they might be better off staying out of this one. stock is up 146% over the last two weeks, but has been tapering off as excitement over the patent dies down. Google could probably initiate a hostile takeover of the company for $100 million or less right now, solving this before it becomes a big mess.

Previous article on GOOG-411:
Google Launches Free 800-Number Local Search - April 11
Google 411 Shaking Up 411 Industry - April 13
Google 411 Draws You A Picture - July 3

July 10th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Google Local, Search, Advertising, General | one comment

Pedophile Murderer Using YouTube To Exculpate Himself

Joseph Druce, killer of pedophile priest John Geoghan, is apparently using YouTube to try to blame his actions on the prison guards who tried to stop him. Druce, or someone claiming to be him, posted a ten-minute video of security camera footage from Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center showing the guards fighting their way past a cell door he had wedged shut, trying to stop him from killing the priest.

Druce was not a good man looking to extinguish the life of a pedophile. He was already serving a life sentence for killing a man who supposedly made a pass at him, has been said to be a neo-Nazi, and got publicity for sending fake anthrax letters to lawyers with Jewish names. He’s a perfect arguement for bringing back the death penalty in Massachusetts.

Still, this man killed the pedophile, claimed he was told to do so by god, and unsuccessfully pled insanity to the murder (even though it may not have affected his already life sentence). And yet, he has the audacity to somehow blame the prison guards for his murder. Luckily for us, he posted this video on the internet, and it doesn’t show neglect leading to the death of Goeghan, just a bunch of guards trying to get their way at a murderous neo-Nazi and stop him from striking again.

Anyway, the video is posted above. Give me your impression of it in the comments below.

July 10th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | YouTube, Services, General | 2 comments

Valleywag Triple Play

Three items of interest from Valleywag this morning:

Jason Calacanis doesn’t understand that you can’t include extraneous text with your Google ads, especially if it seems like you are encouraging users to click the ads. His Mahalo wiki search engine has “[keyword] Ads by Our Friends at Google” above the AdSense ads, which definitely breaks more than one part of the AdSense Terms of Service. You’d think that with all of his experience optimizing ads for Weblogs Inc, one of AdSense’s big success stories, he’d know better.

photo by Coneee under CC

Somebody stole the Google logo off the side of the building housing Google’s Santa Monica office. Literally, just ripped the thing out of the marble, leaving nothing but holes in the building in the shape of the missing logo. I’d love it for a wall decoration, if anybody wants to send it. :-) But seriously, don’t be surprised to find it on eBay or something.

And finally, you have to read this story about what happened at Dennis Crowley’s new startup. Area/Code, the company Crowley started after leaving Google (pissed off at its handling of his previous startup, Dodgeball), suffered a robbery, probably by an overnight worker, who took two laptops, a flat screen, and a digital camera. The truly sick twist? The criminal spent the night having drunken sex with a hooker. A transvestite hooker. Who he left, hung over, passed out and surrounded by sex paraphanelia on the company couch.

Oh, and the couch is stained, and I won’t say by what.

If you see a listing for a black leather couch on Craigslist, don’t take it!

July 10th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Culture, AdSense, Humor, Advertising, General | one comment

links for 2007-07-10

July 10th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Bookmarks | no comments