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About Nathan Weinberg

Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

Visit the InsideGoogle blog.

AskCity – Embedded Maps, Re-Routing & Zip Code Search

Ask.com’s AskCity, their business search product, has added the ability to share maps by embedding them in a website, just like Google Maps did 20 days ago*.

Google Checkout Lost Tracking Data

Google has begun to notify merchants using Google Checkout that Google Checkout pixel tracking was temporarily disabled from July 10 to July 18 due to an issue associated with system maintenance earlier in the month. Pixel tracking allows internet retailers to send Google Checkout conversion data to third parties. While disabled, the feature was unable to report conversions. Many online merchants have worked hard to integrate Google Checkout data with comparison shopping engines, affiliate networks, analytics vendors, third party bid management firms and others.

Microsoft’s Hacker Blog

MSDN has a new blog: Hackers @ Microsoft. The new blog is written by and about the white hat hackers employed by Microsoft, who work on improving security in Microsoft’s products (as well as research, development, testing and even management). The first post explains the kind of hackers who work at Microsoft:

Google CFO George Reyes Announces Retirement
Video Uploading Feature of Blogger
Video uploads to Blogger have left Blogger In Draft and become a feature of the full-fledged Blogger, meaning users of Blogger can now upload video while writing a post.

Googlers Can’t Rely On Google Apps?

InfoWorld has an article about a study by a consulting firm that says Google Apps isn’t the right move for any sort of decent sized mature business, that it better fits smaller businesses with very limited needs. Bad enough to have in the press, no doubt, but then there’s this:

Google Allows Some Linking Schemes
Barry caught that Google amended its webmaster guidelines (the holy bible of not getting banned from the search engine), changing the wording on reciprocal linking schemes in a small but very significant way. Before, it said:

YouTube Ads (The Aftermath)
YouTube finally unveiled the first real version of its a platform last week, and we’re still processing the results. Some stories:

Google’s Click Fraud Bot Did Not Get The Email
At WebMasterWorld, yet another story of an AdSense publisher who was banned on suspicion of click fraud. This happens all the time (I get comments from banned publishers on random posts), but what makes this infuriating is that the publisher knew there might be a problem, emailed Google, got permission, and got screwed anyway.

Microsoft to Buy Facebook?

Rumor is that Microsoft is looking to close a deal to buy Facebook for the amazing sum of six billion dollars. Henry Blodget says that while he can’t confirm it, he has definitely heard that Steve Ballmer is desperately trying to make a big splash play to counter Google in the internet game.

Blogger Gets AJAX API/CSE Search Box
Blogger In Draft has a new page element feature, a search box that uses both the Google AJAX Search API and Google’s Custom Search Engine to deliver a great search experience for your blog.

Does Your Facebook Profile Show up on Google?
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I had no idea, but apparently Facebook’s walled garden has a public directory. I had just assumed that everything in Facebook was behind a login prompt, but I found out via a FaceReviews post that a large number of Facebook users, depending on their privacy settings, have public profile pages, and have had so for the last six months. Here’s what one looks like:

Facebook Has No Intention Of Selling
Yahoo has hoped for a while to buy popular social networking site Facebook, making several offers, but never offering enough as the price kept going up.

Will Googlers Cash Out and Get Out?
This August, it will be three years since Google’s initial public offering (and since I started this blog as a way to track the company). When that happens, according to NBC News, nearly 3 billion dollars in pre-IPO options will vest, with over 450 early Googlers earning an average of $6.5 million.

Wikipedia’s Google Penetration
Via ThreadWatch, this study of where Wikipedia pages appear in Google results for a search for that phrase, and found that in about 580 out of 600 randomly chosen Wikipedia pages, the Wikipedia page appeared in Google’s top 10. That’s just incredible, a number we can pretty much point to and show how much power Wikipedia has in Google, with 96.66% of those pages surveyed making it into the top 10. The only ones that didn’t make it:

Threadwatch Shuts Down
This Friday, after three years, SEO community site ThreadWatch is closing down. ThreadWatch’s owner and operator, Aaron Wall (of SEOBook) made the announcement, saying that the site just wasn’t working out for a variety of reasons, including a lack of respect and credibility, an increase in Digg-spam and other shady practices by members, and the decreasing need of the site due to better coverage by mainstream media, big blogs, and other community sites.

Google Spreadsheets Hooks Into Google Q&A
Google Q&A is a little-known feature in Google Search that determines data based on Google’s index of the web and returns answers straight up in your searches (like a famous person’s birthday).

Google Releases Safe Browsing API
Google has a new API, a Safe Browsing API, which uses all the data Google has gathered about dangerous webpages, like those with spyware, malware, and other general “badware”*.

Gmail Previews PowerPoint Files
Gmail added a new feature last week: a PowerPoint viewer. Now, if someone emails you a PowerPoint presentation (.PPT or .PPS file) as an email attachment, you can click a View As HTML or View As Slideshow link to view that file in your web browser.

Presumably, this takes advantage of features developed for Google Docs’ upcoming Google Presentations software, which is supposed to release sometime this summer, or even uses some of the tech acquired from Tonic Systems earlier this year.

Why Did Terry Semel Get $107.5 Million?
Douglas McIntyre reports that two consulting firms have analyzed Yahoo CEO Terry Semel’s compensation package and determined that Yahoo shareholders should consider revolting.

YouTube Undoes Part Of New Player
YouTube has undone one of the new features in its new embeddable player, getting rid of the thumbnail bar that would appear every time you ran your mouse over the video. The thumbnails now only appear after a clip has finished, or if you click the Menu button.

Map Instant Answers Added to Live Search

Windows Live Search added a new type of Instant Answer: Interactive maps at the top of search results. If you search for an address or a place, Live Search should detect that and put a map of that place right at the top. Search for “map” and it will try to figure out where you are (based on IP) and show you a map of your current location.

YouTube Adding H.264 Format
While the jury is still out on whether anyone actually needs an Apple TV, the iTunes streaming device is getting a new feature: YouTube. Sometime in the middle of this month, a software update to the device will add wireless YouTube streaming.

Yahoo Learning Email Innovation Lesson

Yahoo has learned a lesson Microsoft picked up during the Windows Live Mail/Hotmail beta, that the less experienced users who make up the brunt of their free email services are hard to innovate for. Yahoo announced late last week it was rolling into the new Yahoo Mail some features it had dropped from the old Mail. The most obvious one: the return of checkboxes.