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Well just like June, July has come and gone. I was away for a third of the month and for the first time in months purposely avoided the Internet for some downtime. So reviewing the news stories for the month of July seemed like quite a chore as there were some interesting stories and announcements that came out this month.
Here is a look at some of the top search stories that took place in July.
#7. Sphinn Celebrates First Birthday - for many people in the search industry, Sphinn is the place to go to find out the latest about search and search related issues. Sphinn has become a daily read for Webmaster, site owners and online marketers.
#6. Microsoft toys around with BrowseRank Idea - in a possible attempt to compete with Google's PageRank system, Microsoft has been experimenting with "BrowseRank", whereby they assign Web page priority based on how people actually use the site. According to Microsoft researchers,
The more visits of the page made by the users and the longer time periods spent by the users on the page, the more likely the page is important. We can leverage hundreds of millions of users' implicit voting on page importance...
#5. Yahoo Improves News Results in Web Search - in an effort to improve web search results through blended search, Yahoo announced that they have made some significant enhancements for queries related to breaking news. What this means is that based on the newsworthiness of each query, Yahoo is now displaying the News Direct Display (DD) in the most relevant position(s) on their SERP.
#4. Google performs a Toolbar PageRank Update - as expected every three to four months, Google performed a recent update to their toolbar PageRank. While not a big deal as it once was, you will want to check your web properties to see if your sites have been effected.
#3. Major Search Engines to Index Flash Content - in an announcement that originally started to surface in late June, both Google and Yahoo have been developing an algorithm that for indexing text found within Flash files. Google is taking the lead in this area, but expect Yahoo to begin indexing Flash in the upcoming weeks.
#2. Yahoo Launches BOSS - BOSS or Build Your Own Search Service) is something that we think has the potential to really take off. In early July, Yahoo announced the launch of BOSS, a web services platform that allows developers and companies to create and launch web-scale search products by utilizing the same infrastructure and technology that powers Yahoo! Search. The goal is to generate innovation in the search landscape. This is definitely a good start.
#1. "Cuil" New Search Engine Launched by ex-Googlers - looking to steal market share from Google, late July saw the launch of the new search engine Cuil (pronounced "cool"). Boasting the fact that their index consists of over 121 billion pages, according to Cuil,
Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency.
This is an interesting endeavor, but as Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land points out, others have tried and all have failed in terms of making a dent in Google's market share in the Search arena. I haven't experimented that much with Cuil as of yet, but expect to have a full report on the new engine within a couple of weeks. Oh and for the record Cuil is an Irish word meaning "knowledge". This just may be the one search engine to watch out for. It will be a tough battle, but at least there is some new competition on the field.
Definitely an interesting month of July in the world of search. Next month, we'll be reporting from SES San Jose.