It was roughly three years ago that Ask Jeeves retired Jeeves, and became Ask.com. But, after a long hiatus, the mild mannered Jeeves has made his way back onto the search site… for those living in the UK.
Jeeves, getting the home-team advantage, has changed from a 2D character into a full 3D icon, and can be found, once again, on the search engine’s home page. He will reportedly offer additional search options, as well as interact with the searcher. And, in his own words, “I popped out three years ago to travel the world in a quest for knowledge and I've returned to Blighty armed with answers. During my sojourn research showed the public wanted me back, which I found jolly touching.”
Well Jeeves, welcome back to the land of Internet search engines. Who knows, maybe we’ll see you over here again someday!
News spreads like wildfire on the internet. However, print publications and news agencies, which spend their precious human and financial resources on accumulation of news stories, are forgotten in this rapidity. Though many major websites do compensate news agencies, a lot of the websites don’t even bother with properly crediting them. The Associated Press has now adopted a more stringent approach towards unauthorized reproduction of its content.
Dean Singleton, the man who heads the news cooperative, delivered a stern warning to websites that unlawfully reproduce content owned by it. Singleton threatened intransigent offenders with legal action at the cooperative’s annual meeting in San Diego. You will have to make the jump to read Google's riposte.
Another reason why Google has left its competitors way, way behind in the search engine race: Friday, a post on the (unofficial) Google Operating System blog noted that you can now restrict Google image searches by specifying one of twelve different colors:
Only images that contain the specified color will be listed in the search results. Officially, you must use a command-line search in your browser's address bar to use this new feature, using the following syntax:
How hard is it to take on Google in the search business? Just ask Cuil, the little search engine that couldn't, which was developed by a handful of ex-Google employees. Or chat it up with Microsoft, who tried like Hades to acquire Yahoo for its search business, with or without Yahoo's consent. But whatever you do, don't tell Stephen Wolfram that it can't be done.
Wofram, who received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Caltech in 1979 when he was only 20 years old, plans to unveil a project he calls Wolfram Alpha. Just as the name does not imply, Wolfram Alpha combines his work with Mathematica and NKS (A New Kind of Science) to the voodoo of online search.
"All one needs to be able to do is to take questions people ask in natural language, and represent them in a precise form that fits into the computations one can do," Wolfram said in a recent blog post. "I'm happy to say that with a mixture of many clever algorithms and heuristics, lots of linguistic discovery and linguistic curation, and what probably amount to some serious theoretical breakthroughs, we're actually managing to make it work."
At least one other person is convinced Wolfram Alpha has a bright future. Nova Spivack, CEO of Radar Networks, says it could be as important to the web as Google, albeit for a different purpose. Spivack viewed a demo of Wolfram Alpha in action and says that the search engine doesn't just parse natural language to retrieve documents, but "actually computes the answers to a wide range of questions."
Whether or not Wolfram Alpha can live up to its billing as a "computational knowledge engine" remains to be seen, and as of right now, we'll get to see in May when the project goes live.
When you consider the complexity of modern day web pages, it’s actually a bit of a miracle that search engines work as well as they do. Dealing with duplicate links, especially off pages such as Amazon that may promote an individual product a thousand times or more has always been a challenge. Finally, after years of debate, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are putting the past behind them to solve this age old issue. The solution is a simple tag that will be added to the standard link format called “canonical”.
The tag is designed to solve issues associated with multiple URL’s pointing to the same page, but may also be helpful when multiple versions of a page exist. Currently, the search engines employ a process that looks at the structure of URL’s to look for similarities. This generally works pretty well, but is far from perfect. It is considered to be somewhat rare for search engines to come together on any issue, but it isn’t unprecedented. In 2006 they joined forces to put unanimous support behind sitemaps.org, and in June of 2008 they jointly announced new standards for the robots.txt directive. Matt Cutts of Google and Nathan Buggia of Microsoft claim this new approach should help reduce the clutter on the web, and improve the accuracy of all search engines.
Even though these tags won’t completely solve all the duplicate problems found on the web, it should significantly enhance the indexing performance of search engines, particularly on e-commerce sites. The new tags will be discussed in depth at this year’s Ask the Search Engines panel at SMX West.
The Chinese government lambasted 19 Internet companies for not doing enough to curb pornography on the internet. It published the names of 19 companies, including Google and premier Chinese search engine Baidu, in an online statement on Monday. The Chinese government says that it wants a cleaner internet that can facilitate the proper development of minors.
The Chinese government also explained as to why each of the 19 companies figured in the list. For instance, Google is on the list as it hasn’t placed any filters to prevent pornographic content from appearing on its image search website.
Although Google had said in its riposte on Tuesday that the search engine enjoys no control over “the billions of pages in our index,” China’s Xinhua News Agency is reporting that all websites that were rebuked by the Chinese government, including Google and Baidu, have submitted their apologies.
Someone cue up Taps for the little search engine that couldn't. No, Cuil hasn't gone anywhere, and that's exactly the problem. Managed and developed by former Google employees, the $33 million startup had high hopes of dethroning Google as the go-to search engine. Well guess what? Surfers are still going to Google, and it doesn't appear the same can be said for Cuil.
It remains to be seen if Google has simply grown too large for another search engine to challenge its dominance, but whether or not that's true, it's going to take a much better effort than what Cuil managed to muster, which seemed doomed from the start. Poor performance, indexing methods that slowed down websites, and quirky search results all led to heavy criticism following Cuil's debut. And that was before VP of products Louis Monier resigned from the team. Talk about confidence booster!
So where does that leave Cuil today? Not much of anywhere. After an initial flurry of activity following the search engine's hyped up debut, traffic has waned considerably .In the medical world, that kind of flatlining means its time to notify the next of kin. In this case, that would be Google, but something tells us they already know.
Thanks to a new online Q&A service, giving your two cents on the web might actually be worth two cents. Or a few bucks. The new service, called Mahalo Answers, allows its community members to ask and answer questions similar to what you'd find with Yahoo Answers. But unlike Yahoo, users who give well thought out answers have a chance to cash in on their expertise with Mahalo Answers.
Whenever someone submits a question, they can choose to offer a tip, which is essentially reward money for whoever best answers the query. Tips are initially paid to Mahalo through Paypal and converted into Mahalo dollars. Each Mahalo dollar is currently worth $0.75 when paid out via Paypal, and participants can cash out when they've accumulated 40 Mahalo dollars.
The concept is an interesting one and Mahalo has implemented some safeguards against abusing the system. If a question only manages to attract a handful of clowns with less than helpful answers, you can opt to have your tip refunded within 3 days. But to prevent users from taking advantage of asking questions and always applying for a refund, baiting and switching will count against their reputation. Make it a habit and members will simply stop answering your questions.
On the flip side, users who build a reputation for giving good answers can make money with Mahalo Direct Questions and answer questions in private for a set fee.
Check it out, then hit the jump and tell us what you think about this new service.
Adding fuel to the rumor we reported recently that Microsoft is ready to dump the name Live Search for its search engine and redub it "Kumo," ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley reports today that Microsoft has:
Redirected some search servers to the Kumo.com domain
Registered variations including Kumosearch.com, Kumopics.com, and others
As Foley also points out, the bad news for Live Search just keeps on coming, with the latest being a glitch that fouled up promised huge cashback savings on Black Friday. So, what do you think? Is it time for Microsoft to turn Live Search out to pasture - or is more than a name change in order? Join us after the jump with your prescription for what ails Microsoft's search strategy.
SearchWiki is intended to give you the ability to fine-tune your search results and eliminate irrelevant or obsolete results. However, some critics are worried about how SearchWiki works. To find out what they're concerned about, join us after the jump.