Yahoo Launches Updated Site Explorer

The Yahoo! Search Blog today announced the release of an update of Site Explorer, it’s service similar to Google’s and MSN/Live Search’s Webmaster Tools. The update brings a new interface to accommodate unspecified future feature roll outs. The number rules for Dynamic URL Rewriting was increased from 3 to 10 as part of the update. The new version can be reached at http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/new, and will be made the default version soon.

Google Adds New Features to Website Optimizer

Google has updated Website Optimizer, it’s content testing and optimization tool, with a few new features. The most significant change is the ability remove poorly performing combinations during the experiment. Offline validation of pages used in A/B tests and more intuitive reporting of how the various combinations are performing were also added.

Source: Inside AdWords Blog

July U.S. Search Share Results

Nielsen Online today released it rankings of U.S. search share for July. Overall search grew 3 percent year over year to 8 billion searches. Google had year over year growth of 16 percent and received 60.2 percent of searches. Yahoo! had a year over year decline of 11 percent and received 17.4 percent of searches. Microsoft had a year over year decline of 10 percent and received 11.9 percent of searches.

Google Publicly Launches of AdSense for Feeds

In a post on the Inside AdSense Blog, it was announced that AdSense for feeds was made publicly available today. According to CNET News, it was “soft-launched to a small group of AdSense users back in May.” AdSense for feeds integrates ads into RSS feeds through Google’s FeedBurner. According to Google, they will be selling cost-per-impression (CPM) ads directly to the largest advertisers and the rest of the ad inventory will be made up of contextually targeted cost-per-click (CPC) and CPM ads. FeedBurner’s former independent FeedBurner Ad Network closed several weeks ago.

Movable Type 4.2 Released

Yesterday, Movable Type announced the release of version 4.2 of Movable Type. The update adds threaded comments, built in support for TypePad AntiSpam, and redesigned template and widget management areas. The update adds the option to search assets, comments, TrackBacks, users, and custom data types or use another search backend. Like the most recent update of WordPress, templates can now be previewed live. The release also included general speed and security improvements.

AOL’s Platform-A Introduces Affiliate Marketing for Widgets

AOL’s Platform-A has linked up two of recent acquisition to introduce affiliate marketing into widget ads, which AOL claims is a “first-of-its-kind solution” according to their press release. The new service combines services of widget creation and analytics technology company Goowy and affiliate marketing network buy.at, both acquired by AOL in February. The service provides publishers with a gallery of advertiser-generated widgets to place on their site, which users can grab and distribute. The publisher earns revenue from the sales drive by the widget. The first announced advertiser is Ticketmaster.com; with a widget that can be tailored promote specific Ticketmaster events.

Yahoo Expands Users Ability to Turn Off Targeted Ads

Yahoo will allow users to turn off targeted ads on it site beginning at the end of August, according to a post on the New York Times Bits Blog. Yahoo already allows users to turn off targeting for ads it serves other company’s websites. So far the option appears to have not been widely used, with only 75,000 users having visited the opt-out page according to Yahoo. Yahoo said that it could not estimate how many of those users had opted-out.

Google Announces Sale of SEM Portion of Performics

The New York Times Bits Blog reports that Google has reached a deal with advertising company Publicis to sell the search engine marketing portion of Performics, which Google acquired as part of it’s purchase of DoubleClick. The business presented a clear conflict of interest as Performics attempts to increase client’s visibility in Google’s search engine. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Google Launches New Search Behavior Data Tool

Google today announced the launch of Google Insights for Search, a tool that breaks search behavior data down by time, region, and category. The tool builds on Google Trends, providing all the information provided by that tool except for data on language. The tool adds a visual display of regional data using a heat map. The tool allows searching within categories and subcategories. If you were looking for search behavior related to apples, you would select the Food & Drink category to exclude related to the computer company. The tool also provides data as to what are the top and rising search terms related to the term searched for. The different search options can be combined to provide specific data. For example data on searches for prius in 2008 in the US state of California, shows which cities have the most search but also what related terms people have also been searching on.

Categorization Technology Added to Yahoo’s Right Media Exchange

Yahoo has partnered with LucidMedia to add categorization technology to Yahoo’s Right Media Exchange according to an article by CNET News. Using LucidMedia’s Clicksense contextual advertising engine to categorize publisher’s advertising inventory into more than 60 vertical categories, such as automotive, finance, and sports. In as statement, Right Media’s general manager Bill Wise claimed that the “technology will significantly help increase the prospective yield of a publisher’s available inventory and improve an advertiser’s ability to contextually target ads to relevant content and categories through the Right Media Exchange.”