Google Base Now Asking Questions to Improve Product Searches

By Ryan Douglas

Recently I ran across a new feature called “Questions” within Google Base. It appears that Google Base is trying to actively learn about the products being submitted to Base with the help of its users. Our submitted data feed directed Google to ask me 30 questions about our products. The question displays a portion of highlighted text from a text string within the data feed and asks the merchant a question to help identify possible matches for filters like brand, color and material. Google notes that “a record of your answers will be retained by Google and used to improve the quality for your feed as well as our own products and services.”

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More Movers and Shakers

Yahoo! In a leaked internal memo to Yahoo! Sales staff, President Susan Decker outlines a management team shake-up “that creates a new division responsible for generating the bulk of the company’s revenue”. [NYTimes]

Here’s a rundown of the full memo issued following Decker’s consultations with Jerry Yang – CEO and Chief Honcho Yahoo!:

  • Greg Coleman, EVP of Global Sales, is out – and will pursue other opportunities by mutual agreement!
  • Hilary Schneider, EVP of Local Markets & Commerce Division (LMC), will head a new “umbrella” division called, Global Partner Solutions (GPS) – encompassing Global Sales, the Online Channel, the Yahoo! Publisher Network, Corporate Partnerships and Hot Jobs
  • Jeff Weiner, EVP Network Division, will take back Schneider’s LMC units having lost them in a previous reorg

YouTube Rival Finally Named: Hulu.com Almost in Beta

The NBC/News Corp online video project–designed to rival YouTube–has finally received a name. As Jordan spotted, Hulu.com is now accepting beta invite requests.

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Where in the world did they get the name “Hulu”? CEO Jason Kilar explains

Why Hulu? Objectively, Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself. Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we’re building. Our hope is that Hulu will embody our (admittedly ambitious) never-ending mission, which is to help you find and enjoy the world’s premier content when, where and how you want it.

While you can sign-up for the beta now, you won’t be able to get access until October.

Linky Goodness, August 29

I know you guys missed it, so linky goodness is back!

Google, Yahoo Make Deals

Google and Yahoo have each announced major deals today. Both deals are continuations of previous business relationships.

Google & CNN
As we mentioned yesterday, Google has long provided advertising on CNN’s website. Although financial details were not disclosed, CNN renewed its partnership with Google for contextual advertising from AdSense. The press release states, “Under the terms of the deal, Google will serve as the exclusive provider of auction-based text advertisements throughout CNN.com.”

The deal does not include site search. As Search Engine Land points out, U.S. searches on CNN.com are “powered by Google,” while the international site’s searches are “powered by Yahoo.”

It’s Time to Take Blogs Seriously

While blogs are becoming more and more popular, there’s still a lot to be desired, according to reports from MediaPost and eMarketer today. While many people have heard of and even read blogs, there’s still a lot of room to grow in the blog advertising and business blogging arenas.

“It’s getting to the point where everybody knows what a blog is,” begins an article in today’s MediaPost (registration required). In an online survey of 1000 U.S. adults by Synovate eNation, nearly 8 in 10 said they knew what a blog was, and half had visited the blogosphere. (The other half, I suppose, were lying when they said they knew what a blog was…)

MediaPost adds that blog familiarity was more prevalent in the under-65 set:

Net Evangelist Rejects Regulation

BBC Radio 4In a BBC Radio 4 interview [podcast], Vint Cerf – known as one of the founding fathers of the Internet – protested that the Internet is merely reflecting society not leading it…

[The net] should not be used as a scapegoat for society’s ills

Cerf, now Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, confirms the Search giant does not have nor wants the responsibility of censoring the Internet, but will respond appropriately to legal issues identified by relevant authorities – citing Google’s position in China as a prime example.

Anyone regulating beyond what was clearly illegal put themselves on a “slippery slope” that could limit freedom of expression.