Google Site Search Now Includes Custom Indexing; Will it Improve Your Google Rankings?

It appears Google’s Custom Search Business Edition is undergoing a metamorphosis. Just announced, the hosted site search solution will be renamed Google Site Search.

In addition to the easier to remember name, Google’s also adding a bunch of new features and upgrades, including:

  • Enhanced index coverage: comprehensive search results on any website by crawling and indexing more content, even pages deep within a site;
  • Synonyms: queries expand to include commonly-searched terms (a search for [car] will now include [cars]), and website owners can add their own custom synonym dictionary (a search for [fd] would include [fixed deposits] in search results);
  • Date biasing: site owners can influence search results based on the age of documents (e.g., a recent product datasheet is weighted more heavily than older product documents);

The Planet is Burning

Data center and hosting provider The Planet is in the process of trying to recover from a fire which has crippled their H1 data center in Houston, TX.

According to an Intology article, nearly 9,000 servers at the facility are currently off line. The Planet engineers are working with the Houston fire department to get clearance to restore emergency backup power and get servers back online.

Since The Planet is a provider of a variety of shared hosting and dedicated server products, I can only imagine the number of websites that may be affected by this outage.

The Planet customers seeking information about this outage can read more at The Planet’s forums.

If you’re not a customer, count your blessings and back up your websites. Experiencing a major outage with your hosting provider is not a question of if, but when.

Linky Goodness, June 2

The first linky goodness of a new month. If that’s not enough to

Looking for more good reads? Don’t forget about the SEM Scholarship contest entries (of course, I’m sure you’ve already read them all, but why not review. If you’re not busy . . . working . . . or something)!

Facebook All Over: Monetization, Open Source & Metrics

Facebook is going to be offering numerous additions to its developer platform in the coming weeks. First there were the rumors, then the generic confirmation: Facebook’s developer platform will go (mostly) open source. CNET reports today on Facebook’s reasoning behind this decision:

The reason for going open-source, Facebook said, is that developers requested it. And it’s to Facebook’s advantage to listen, especially now that developers have an alternative to the Facebook Platform in the fully open-source OpenSocial.

“In helping developers better understand Facebook Platform, build tools, and share their findings, we strengthen the ecosystem as a whole and help developers build better applications,” the release read. “That translates into a richer experience for Facebook users.”

Now do you think there’s any connection between this and Facebook pulling out of Google Connect?

Social Media Monitoring Tools – Trackur Adds Trackur Trends

Trackur LogoReadWriteWeb was the first to blog our big Trackur announcement, but I’m excited to bring you news of Trackur Trends–a new way to measure social media conversation trends.

What is Trackur?

(I’ll assume there are few readers who’ve not yet seen me mention my new service, so here’s the 411)

Launched in February 2008, Trackur offers self-service social media monitoring tools. With a huge gap between Google Alerts (free) and high-end measurement services (costing thousands of $$ per month), Trackur offers an affordable, powerful option for those looking to monitor buzz about their company, executives, products, or even competitors. Trackur monitors virtually all social media, including blogs, news, videos, images, bookmarks, and even Twitter!

Tell me about Trackur Trends

Pilgrim’s Picks for June 2

There’s a good reason why you’re getting Pilgrim’s Picks early today. I have big Trackur news to announce later today, and I need to get cracking.

Microsoft Steals HP “Default Search Engine” Partnership from Yahoo

Less than two years ago, Yahoo was on a roll and had just signed a deal with computer manufacturer HP that would see its search engine as the default on all new HP computers.

Fast forward to 2008, and Yahoo’s on the ropes, with Microsoft providing the body blows. In particular, the news that Microsoft’s Live Search will now become the default search engine for HP computers and a Live Search enabled toolbar will come installed too.

Poor Yahoo.

From the press release:

“This agreement with HP is a strategic indicator of our increased focus on securing broad-scale distribution for Live Search,” said Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft. “This is the most significant distribution deal for Live Search that Microsoft has ever done, and we are very pleased to be partnering with HP to help bring Live Search to millions of consumers across North America.”