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There was lots of search engine news this week. There’s news about Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and much more.

Here are the WebProNews Editors’ choice for the Top Ten Search stories of the week:

  1. Amazon’s Plan To Add Pics To A9 Local Search
    Late Wednesday, the company unveiled the first phase of its service, called A9.com Yellow Pages, with 20 million images from 10 cities, including Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.
  2. Yahoo Leading Local Search?
    In the competitive field of search services, Yahoo is gaining ground on its top competitors, according to a survey by Market Researcher Keynote. While Google, Yahoo and MSN were the top choices of the 2,000 consumers surveyed, Yahoo maintained the highest user loyalty, primarily because of its localized search. All three companies are targeting local search moving into the future, but Google and Microsoft haven’t yet found their groove.
  3. Pew Internet Search Engine User Study Data
    Pew / Internet released a report January 23rd about internet search engine users. The title of the report is Internet Searchers Are Confident, satisfied and trusting – but they are also unaware and naive.
  4. A FireFOX In The Google Hen House
    Now that’s interesting. He will work for Google and also continue his work on Firefox. He will also sometimes stop in at his old office … which I presume they will keep intact. Why would Google let him do this? Could this be part of the legendary 10% of the time they allow employees to spend on seed projects? Or … Could this simply be a prelude to buying Mozilla? I think the answer to that question is yes.
  5. VoIP Service Coming From Google?
    Some say that Google is getting ready to launch a free internet telephone service in the UK. Times Online: “The company behind the US-based internet search engine looks set to launch a free telephone service that links users via a broadband internet connection using a headset and home computer.
  6. Google And Overture In Contextual Conundrum
    ming wary and not necessarily due to personal experience. The search engines will have to do more to dampen the fears of advertisers in the near future. This is a perception issue as much as it is a real issue and today’s perceptions have a weird way of driving future realities.
  7. Google Dramatically Increases Word Limit
    ResearchBuzz is reporting that Google has raised their previous 10 word search limit to 32. That’s quite a leap. From ResearchBuzz!: “”AH! I see. They have a new query limit. After putting in a goony large query, I got the following error message: “‘sixty’ (and any subsequent words) was ignored because we limit queries to 32 words.” There you have it. Google now has a 32-word limit. Of course they have this limit now, since Google Hacks 2E just came out… It looks like Google News may continue to have a limit. You can type in more than ten query words, and Google will not give you an error message, it just won’t count the extra words.”"
  8. Google Offers AdWords API
    So Google played dumb and we all went along with the official statement, that there would be “no comment” on rumors of a Google AdWords API (definition). It now appears, sometimes, you can believe the rumors. Google has just announced that they have indeed rolled out access to an AdWords API and as of this afternoon, you can request access. You can get the full details from Google, but here is a summary.
  9. Become Crawler Info For Webmasters
    Since they’ll be launching the engine with approximately 2.5 billion pages in their index, that should make it pretty easy to ensure your site is crawled by the BecomeBot. It’s also important to note that the mere fact the BecomeBot has spidered your site doesn’t mean you’ll be listed in their index. Once their crawler fetches your site the indexer determines whether or not your site is shopping related, if it’s not then it will not make it into the search results.
  10. Ask Jeeves Developing Wireless Search Service
    Catching-up on this story. Ask Jeeves talks about its plans to launch a wireless search service for cell phones. I spoke with Ask’s Snr VP, Jim Lanzone about this last February. He hinted then that cell phone’s would play an important role in search’s future. “Cell phones will probably adapt more to this device, ultimately, than the other way around, due to usability issues, and the user’s desire to carry only one device.
    Standing on a street corner and using this device, you will search for a local restaurant, or a cab company, through the Internet. Instead of going to the cab company’s website, you will click a link and initiate a phone call. The search engine will be compensated for the call (this is the traditional Yellow Pages model of “metered calling”) rather than the click.”

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