A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including DMOZ’s home page has gone missing from the Google search results, a new product called Fuser allows you to manage email and social networking accounts in one place, Google adds Video to the sources one can receive Google Alerts from, Microsoft rolls out a major update to their Live Search product, and finally Web security firm ScanSafe reports that one third of employers are blocking access to social network sites due to security and productivity issues.
- DMOZ’s Home Page Goes AWOL in Google SERPs – Barry Schwartz reports that the home page of The Open Directory (DMOZ) has gone missing from Google search results. Searches for ‘dmoz,’ ‘open directory,’ or ‘open directory project’ does not return the home page in the SERPs. Google still does have pages from dmoz.org in the index. A search for site:www.dmoz.org clearly returns results but does not appear to return the Open Directory’s home page in those results. Barry wonders if the Open Directory is somehow being included in an algorithm change that hit smaller directories recently. I don’t know but due to the fact that it is almost impossible to get new sites listed and reports that DMOZ is corrupt, I would hope that Google would be less likely to consider them an authoritive site as they were in the past.
- Fuser Provides One Place to Manages Email and Social Networking Messages - A new service called Fuser will organize all of the messages from your email and social networking accounts in one place so you don’t have to bounce back and forth between multiple interfaces to handle them. Mark Hendrickson from TechCrunch gave it a spin and while he ran into a few glitches, he thinks it certainly has promise. He reports that you can pull in accounts from any IMAP or POP email service as well as social networks MySpace and Facebook. Once you have loaded the accounts, messages from all of them appear in one collective inbox, allowing you to not only view messages, but reply to them as well. Fuser is currently free and supported by discreet AdSense advertisements.
- Google Now Includes Videos in Google Alerts - In case you did not know, a Google Alert is where you can have Google notify you by email when a new search result matches a specific keyword or phrase you set up. You can receive alerts from the Web search results, News, Blogs, Comprehensive (News, Web & Blogs combined), and Groups. Now Google has added Video to the mix. Barry Schwartz uses an example of a Matt Cutts junky who wants to be notified as soon as he posts a video, or as soon as someone else posts a video about him. All you need to do is search on Matt Cutts at Google Video, then scroll down to the alerts link and click it. After you click on the link, it will pre-fill the information into the Google Alerts form. Or you can simply go straight to the Google Alerts function itself. If you prefer RSS, you can receive these alerts as a feed as well.
- Microsoft Rolls Out Major Update For Live Search - Microsoft says this is their biggest update since their debut in January 2005. What has been added or improved? They have quadrupled the size of our index for starters. Improvements like enhanced ranking algorithms, auto-spell correction and better stop word handling help them return the best results. Pages also load much faster than before. They have improved the look and feel. For example, search results are now easier to read thanks to work on typography, contrast, colors and spacing. They have also added more Entertainment, Shopping, Health, Local and Video content. Full details are provided in their official press release.
- One Third of All Employers Are Blocking Access to Social Networks - WebProNews reports that one third of all employers are blocking access to social network sites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube to name a few. This according to a report from Web security firm ScanSafe. The reasoning behind this growing trend? Security and productivity. Eldar Tuvey, CEO of ScanSafe said, “Companies are increasingly concerned about keeping usage in check – not just for security reasons, but for productivity and bandwidth considerations as well. Where there are large numbers of users, there is sure to be malware and other risks, as popular sites attract not just legitimate users but attackers as well.” I know that I “waste” a fair amount of time on social networks, however in y case, it is marketing.