Yahoo! Maps has added a new feature. The latest drag and drop customizable routing is the most notable one among several other improvements made on the site. Yahoo!'s biggest competitor Google already has a similar feature.

Now Yahoo! Maps come with photos and reviews in Ajax pop-ups. To avail this facility, one needs to put the mouse over individual business pushpins on the map. It also has a new window in the lower right where one can compare two different routes by time and distance. This is really a cool feature.

Tafiti has been released as a Windows Live Quick Application via CodePlex. It was announced by the Windows Live Platform team. Tafiti, which means "do research" in Swahili, is a search visualization website by Microsoft which brings a new user experience to researching in the field of searching and storing results. It was originally developed to demonstrate Silverlight and the Windows Live Search APIs.

Linda Buquet, the president of 5 Star Affiliate Programs announces the launch of Microsoft's affiliate program. The official post says "5 Star is proud to introduce the Microsoft(R) adCenter Affiliate Program. Earn a cash bounty for each new advertiser you refer that opens an adCenter account.

The highlights of the program include:

$50 adCenter credit sign-up promotion helps you close sales

The Official Webmaster Blog explores the difficulty that webmasters face due to adulteration of the search results by RSS/Atom feeds that affect user experience by "crowding out their associated HTML pages in Google's search results."

The say that the feeds hamper user experience on two counts;

  • Feeds increase the likelihood that users see duplicate search results.

Google Launches Video Sitemap!

Dec 19, 2007 | 1,647 views | by Navneet Kaushal

On the Official Webmaster Blog Google informs about the launch of the "Video Sitemaps—an extension of the Sitemap Protocol." This new protocol would help the user to make their videos more searchable by the Google Video Search. It says "By submitting this video-specific Sitemap in addition to your standard Sitemap, you can specify all the video files on your site, along with relevant metadata."

Recently, Peter Norvig, the Director of Research at Google was asked. How does Google ensure that the quality of SERPs returned by it is good?

To which he replied "We test it in lots of ways." Firstly, "… we track what users are clicking on. If they click on the number-one result, and then they're done, that probably means they got what they wanted." But "If they're scrolling down, page after page, and reformulating the query, then we know the results aren't what they wanted."

Here's what you have: Zuula, a meta search engine which lets you run concurrent searches on eight different search engines.

zuulamain Zuula: Simultaneous Search On Several Search Engines

It has a tabbed format to allow the user to switch from search results from various search engines.

zuulaformat Zuula: Simultaneous Search On Several Search Engines

At present it allows simultaneous search on eight search engines.

zuulasearchengines Zuula: Simultaneous Search On Several Search Engines

The editor at the Search Engine Journal informs that "Search Engine Journal will be hosting and holding our annual Search Blogs Awards."

There are in total 24 different categories, some of them are: Best Search Agency Resource Blog, Best SEO Blog, Best Search Engine Research Blog, Best Social Media Marketing or Optimization Blog, Best Affiliate Marketing Blog, etc.

Matt Cutts on his blog, has posted a video "about how to use ALT attributes for images."

Pew Internet & American Life Project in a press release report that "47% of internet users have searched for their own name online, up from 22% five years ago." Though this figure pertains to those who've searched for themselves, but they also found that most don't regularly monitor their online presence.