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Top 7 Search Stories of January 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
After a brief hiatus from delivering our top 7 search stories of the month, we are pleased to launch our first top 7 search list of 2009. To qualify for this list, the story must have occurred during the month and be related to or have a direct impact on the Search industry. In addition, we try to incorporate items from each of the major search engines where possible. With that here is a look at our top 7 search stories of the month.

#7. Live Search Mobile Update for Windows Mobile - Live Search added some features that makes it easier to find local businesses and to get maps and directions on your mobile. phone

#6. Google Creates New Sitemap Generator Tool - only this would be big news to us Search geeks. Creating XML sitemaps to assist the search engines in the crawling of your site is a great way to get your site indexed in Google and the other Search Engines. Why is this big news? Well we've tried a number of sitemap generator tools and have yet to find one that we really like when attempting to generate sitemaps for larger sites. According to Google:
our new open-source Google Sitemap
Generator
finds new and modified URLs based on your webserver's traffic, its
log files, or the files found on the server. By combining these methods, Google
Sitemap Generator can be very fast in finding these URLs and calculating
relevant metadata, thereby making your Sitemap files as effective as
possible.

#5. ASK continues to expand their Semantic Search Capabilities - based on three of their technologies, Direct Answers from Databases, Direct Answers from Search and AnswerFarm, ASK continues to push the envelope with Semantic Search. According to ASK,
With DADS, we no longer rely on text-matching simple keywords, but rather we
parse users’ queries and then we form database queries which return answers from
the structured data in real time. Front and center. Our aspiration is to
instantly deliver the correct answer no matter how you phrased your query.

Hmm, what's next the resurrection of Jeeves?

#4. Microsoft Announced Q2 Results... and Layoffs - Microsoft experienced a 2% increase in revenue when compared to the same period last year however net income experienced an 11% drop when compared to Microsoft's second quarter of last year. Microsoft also announced that the company will see upwards of 5,000 layoffs in 2009.

#3. Google Shuts Down a Variety of Services - Google annonced that they were stopping a number of services including Google Catalog Search, Notbook, Jaiku and the Google Mashup Editor. Google also shutdown video uploads on Google Video. Search Engine Land had some great coverage on the announcement that can be found here.

#2. Yahoo Announce New CEO; Sue Decker is Out - well Yahoo finally selected their new CEO to replace Jerry Yang an its Carol Bartz former Executive Chairman of Autodesk and not Sue Decker as many had been predicting. Regardless, Yahoo is in for some difficult times as they continue to regroup after a shaky 2008. More about Yahoo's new CEO can be found at: http://ycorpblog.com/2009/01/13/our-new-ceo//

#1. Google Continues to Shine/Announces 4th Quarter Results - Google reported revenues of $5.70 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2008, an increase of 18% compared to the fourth quarter of 2007 and an increase of 3% compared to the third quarter of 2008. Although rumors suggest that yes even the mighty Google will be subject to layoffs in 2009, Q4 results looked pretty decent.

Great month in the world of Search to begin 2009.

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