Google Indexing Private Data

By now you should know that, anything you post online, to the public, is fair-game for Google’s crawler. But a recent incident involving the indexing of social security numbers and test scores for 619 students at public schools in Catawba County, N.C., shows there is still a grey area when it comes to password protected info.

While Google eventually took down the information – and claims it can’t crawl secure data – it once again raises the issue of where the burden should lie.

Should a webmaster be held responsible for knowing all of the procedures necessary to prevent Google from spidering, or should the burden be on Google.

Optimizing Your Web Site? Don’t Forget Internal Site Search

Avinash doesn’t post to his blog every day, but when he does post, he usually has something interesting to say. In his latest post, he reminds web site marketers to not neglect their internal site search.

Keywords that bring visitors to your web site, are not always the same words they use to navigate, once they’re there.

“The key insight is that most searchers are looking for generic things (think for example “category termsâ€?) in google or yahoo or msn to locate a relevant site. But once they are on the website they are looking for something specific.”

The importance of good site structure and analyzing the intent of your visitors are also covered.

Channel Sponsors Becomes TagJag

Chris Pirillo’s tag search engine,, is changing its name to and getting a redesign as well, according to Arrington.

The new site will go live next week. More screenshots at TechCrunch.

Did eBay Miss the Yahoo Boat?

Full-time friend, part-time competitor, Scot Wingo, knows eBay better than most, and, having been acquired at one time by Overture/Yahoo, knows the search engine space too.

He combines his experience and comes up with an interesting theory that eBay is about to repeat the bad mistake made by Overture some years ago when negotiating with Yahoo.

Y! basically said – we’re interested, but you need us more than we need you and we’re not paying a premium. We’ll buy you for more in the mid $20′s (1.2b) as thats what makes sense to us. If you’re not interested, let’s keep/sweeten our commercial deal. Behind the scenes, i’m sure the Y! guys realized that OVER really didn’t have any options and Google was going to pound the heck out of them.

Banner Ads Still Ignored By Most Web Users

ClickZ looks at a new study from the Nielsen/Norman Group which finds internet users still suffer from “banner blindness”; the condition that rich media advertisers find most annoying.

“People are not looking at the typical blinding, graphical ads,” said Nielsen Norman Group Director of Research Kara Pernice Coyne. “They are not [looking] enough time to absorb a complex ad or branding message.”

The study doesn’t really reveal anything new. Marketers have seen the decline of banner-ad click-thrus for years, and we all know that it takes a particularly eye-catching banner ad to see any success these days.

Ironically, the study reveals that banners that look more like simple text, end-up doing well.

Google CPA Concerns Small B2B Advertisers

Over at B2Blog, Dave J has concerns about Google’s trial of a cost-per-action model for AdSense.

The obvious technicality is that for a lot of smaller & B2B businesses, the most common ‘action’ coming from their website is a phone call. And these are the people who also are paying much more per-click in their current PPC campaigns. Which means they have a lot more at risk for click-fraud yet cannot rely on CPA to help due to the untraceable phone call.

He also doubts whether AdSense CPA will be able to get enough volume in order to spread its reach to small B2B firms.

Microsoft’s New AdLabs May Blow Your Socks Off!

Going over the AdLab’s site and viewing the demo’s is a must.

What can AdLab’s do for you? According to Microsoft:

  • Search Funnels: Customers tend to search by entering related keywords in certain sequences. You can use the adCenter Search Funnels tool to help you visualize and analyze these search behaviors through incoming and outgoing queries.
  • Search Clustering: Microsoft adCenter’s Search Result Clustering (SRC) technology can cluster search results into semantically related groups in real time and then help your customers browse through the long list of search results. SRC can:
  1. Disambiguate queries that may produce contradictory results
  2. Display subtopics for search queries
  3. Display facts about people
  4. Show relationships among people
  5. Return answers when the query is a question