Oodle Secures Deal with The Washington Post

UPDATE: Official launch has been pushed back to later this week.

Expect to see an announcement tomorrow from classified search engine Oodle. We have advance word they’re announcing a new venture with the free newspaper Express (which is owned by the Washington Post) to launch ReadExpress.com (not live yet).

The new site will include a classifieds marketplace which will be powered by Oodle’s technology.

“The Washington Post Company is an acknowledged innovator in the newspaper industry,� said Craig Donato, CEO of Oodle. “By integrating Oodle’s search experience into the new Express Web site, they are creating a unique service that meets the needs of their young and sophisticated audience as well as tapping into a rapidly evolving opportunity with online classifieds.�

Google Offers New Chinese Brand Name

The USA Today has details of Google’s launch of a Chinese-language brand name – “Gu Ge,” or “Valley Song,” – which is designed to give China’s users the warm and fuzzies.

CEO Eric Schmidt also answered critics who gave the company a hard time for agreeing to Chinese censorship laws.

“I think it’s arrogant for us to walk into a country where we are just beginning to operate and tell that country how to operate,” he said.

Asked whether Google might try to persuade Beijing to change its restrictions, Schmidt said he didn’t rule anything out, but said it hasn’t tried to change such limits elsewhere. He noted that Google’s site in Germany is barred from linking to Nazi-oriented material.

Thanks to Cindy!

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Yahoo Adds Satellite Images to Maps

Word from the official Yahoo Search Blog – they’ve now added satellite imagery to Yahoo Maps beta.

Google Will Save Us All

Wow, I just finished reading Gabriel Stricker’s love-fest Google article and couldn’t help think that maybe he and Google should “get a room”.

I mean, I love Google as much as the next guy, but Stricker’s article at Business Week is about as one-sided as articles come.

Anyway, if you’re interested in reading why he believes Google is set to dominate the world, you should take a look. If you’re a fan of Yahoo, Ask or MSN, you may not want to. ;-)

MSN adCenter Trying to Catch-up

Brent Franson received an email from MSN with details of “new features” for adCenter. Brent’s not too impressed

Although I was aware of the absence of these features I would not send out an email proclaiming their upcoming availability. I can’t believe you will be able to add multiple keywords, pure genius! Rather than using “New Features,� Microsoft might want to say, “We’re finally catching Up…sort of…Check it out.�

In order to update adCenter, MSN will be taking it down the afternoon of April 18th. For how long? Why pick an afternoon on a weekday?

Local Search Gains Traction

Business Week has an article that focuses on the growth of local paid search ads.

A couple of examples show how local ads are perfect for businesses targeting a geographic area. One such company is Absolute Adventues in San Francisco.

Absolute Adventure’s revenues doubled, to $400,000, in the 12 months ended in August, 2005. “Online advertising is the single most important contributing factor to our success,” says Zenorini. “We ask every client how they found us, and apart from repeat business, about 97% found us online.”

First Page of Google Any Search Engine is Still the Best Place

Now that I’m not working for an arch-rival, I feel more inclined to link to iProspect’s studies. It always amuses me when industry people see me and my pal Rob Murray hanging out at a conference – they act like they’ve just busted a secret affair. ;-)

New data from a joint study with Jupiter Research suggests…

…62% of search engine users click on a search result within the first page of results, and a full 90% of users click on a result within the first three pages of search results. These figures were just 48% and 81%, respectively, in 2002.

…36% of search engine users believe that the companies whose websites are returned at the top of the search results are the top brands in their field.