Ask.com Announces R&D Center in Germany

Ask.com is expanding it’s European footprint with news that they creating a research and development center in Hamburg, Germany.

“The expansion of our European research and development team will allow Ask.com to continue to develop and scale our world-class search,” said Apostolos Gerasoulis, executive vice president of search technology at Ask.com.

The company also announced the appointment of Eric Heymann as director of global content acquisition for Ask.com and head of the Hamburg team.

A Search Engine For Tracking Federal Spending

AP is reporting growing support for the creation of a Google-like search engine for tracking federal goverment spending.

A far-flung coalition of groups across the political spectrum supports the idea and their efforts were rewarded Thursday as the Senate passed a bill to build a Google-like search engine to allow people to track online approximately $1 trillion in federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans.

Why not just ask Google to do it for them? It’s not like we need to worry about privacy issues, Google already knows more than the government anyway! ;-)

SEOMoz Generates More Traffic Than Search Engine Watch?

There’s an interesting referral battle going on in MarketingPilgrim.com’s analytics. Both Rand and Barry linked to my Top 10 Business Mistakes Search Marketing Firms Make article. So far, SEOMoz.org has referred more visitors than SearchEngineWatch.com. ;-)

For the week:

SEOMoz.org = 316 referrals
blog.searchenginewatch.com = 308 referrals

I obviously don’t believe Rand has more traffic than SEW, but it does suggest that his readers are more engaged than those that visit SEW.

I’ll let you know if SEW pulls ahead of SEOMoz. ;-)

Digging Into Diggs Algorithm for Stories

Jason Dowdell sat down with Kevin Rose (President)and Jay Adelson (CEO) of Digg.com and asked them about the algorithm used to score stories posted.

Jason’s posted a recap of the scoring elements Digg uses.

Google SitesLinks, the New Name for Those Puzzling Links

In case you’ve been dying to know why you’re seeing some #1 listings on Google show additional links, your misery is about to end my friend.

Yes, the big news of the day is that Google has officilly named these little links. It obviously took them months of research and debate to decide on the new name, but I think they got it right…”SiteLinks”.

Cue two Irish guys holding pints of Guinness…

Ford Motor Buys Ads on 400 Blogs

More good news for those of you (us) looking to cover our latte addiction by selling a few ads on our blogs. Jalopnik reports the automaker purchased the ads via the BlogAds network.

To the right is an example of an ad running on Gothamist.

Reading the Jalopnik post, it looks as if a debate is waging as to whether this represents a “Cluetrain” moment for Ford. Blogads’ Henry Copeland certainly seems to think so, but I tend to agree with Jalopnik that they are not. There needs to be a two-way conversation, and the ads are clearly one-way. Still, it’s a step in the right direction for Ford, who at least realizes the value of the blogosphere.

Hat-tip to Bill Ives, who offers his own thoughts.

Waggener Edstrom Offers Online Monitoring

Waggener Edstrom Worldwide is going to start helping clients monitor what is being said about them online. According to Enid Burns, their new Narrative Network tool will help companies measure effectiveness of online and offline branding campaigns.

The Narrative Network is software that generates visual maps of reportage and chatter taking place on the Web and in offline media. “The maps give clients a clear and holistic view of their corporate image and how successful their marketing communications efforts have been to date,” said Daniel Gallagher, VP of research at Waggener Edstrom.

The tool will track web sites, blogs and social media sites and uses a text mining and mapping software to sort relevant data to render a map.