Google Blogoscoped

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Google News Sitemaps
By Tony Ruscoe

Both Google Webmaster Central and the Official Google Blog are reporting that English-language publishers can now create XML sitemaps (or use existing feeds) to tell Google News exactly which pages to crawl. By using Google Webmaster Tools, publishers will also be able to view error reports and information detailing the types of queries visitors have searched for in order to find their news stories.

It’s worth noting that the news features are only enabled in Google Webmaster Tools for sites that are currently included in Google News. While you can request inclusion, Google have rules regarding which sites they include. Earlier this year, Google Blogoscoped was dropped from Google News without reason, even though it had been providing selected articles to Google News since January 2005.

You can add your comments in the forum.

[Thanks NateDawg!]

GOOG Shares Top $500

Google’s stock price hit $500 for the first time today. It even topped $505 one hour later. The $400 level was reached about one year ago.

Google Inc. is now valued at 153 billion dollars.

Google’s Cyber Monday Survey
By Tony Ruscoe

Google has announced how its Google Checkout service recently commissioned a survey into holiday shopping trends. Following Thanksgiving weekend in the United States, Cyber Monday is the day when many online shoppers are expected to start buying gifts from online retailers.

Google is encouraging these cyber-shoppers to visit a special Google holiday site to “help make holiday shopping even faster and easier this year”. From today’s announcement:

Shoppers will be able to find participating merchants and special promotions on a new Google Checkout holiday site ( that will be launching on Cyber Monday. The site will provide information on the promotion and offer gift ideas in the most sought-after categories this year – which, according to the survey, include clothing, gift certificates, toys, electronics, DVDs, and music.

The page is currently displaying a message telling visitors, “Come back on Cyber Monday (Nov 27) to start your holiday shopping with Google Checkout”.

Baidu Cleared of MP3 Copyright Infringement
By Tony Ruscoe

The BBC news website is reporting how a Beijing court has cleared the Chinese search engine Baidu of copyright infringement. was apparently facing legal action from several major music companies – including EMI, Sony BMG, Warner Music and Universal Music – because their SERPs link to sites hosting illegal copies of music files. From the BBC story (the emphasis is mine):

(T)he ruling said the service did not constitute an infringement as the music was downloaded from webservers of third parties, state press reported.


“If the music companies had won, the whole search engine sector would have ground to a halt,” Xinhua news agency quoted a Baidu spokesman as saying.

Absolutely. If Baidu was found guilty of copyright infringement, this would essentially mean that all search engines could be found liable for indexing any material that violated someone else’s copyright. And, as we all know, the Internet has plenty of that.

The music companies are expected to appeal against the ruling, of course.

[Via John Battelle’s Searchblog.]


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