Final session of this PubCon 10, nicknamed the Search Engine Smack Down, modded up by Brett Tabke.
Rahul Lahiri, Vice President of Search Product Management AskJeeves. He explains a lot of things have not changes in his presentation. Your site should not have any content, just pictures and links are bad for you (kidding). He goes over the basics, I won't type them here. Don't get me wrong, I love Ask. I just have the coverage already here from New Orleans. If your site is banned, they don't revisit it unless you ask them - so if your banned, make sure to let them know you fixed the site.
Eytan Seidman, Program Manager, MSN Search Microsoft Corp. was next up. They made relevancy improvements, added new "answers", msn search api, virtual earth, msn adcenter, simple feed search (feed: and hasfeed:) and desktop search for enterprises. 301 redirects, they use destination url is the canonical url. 302 redirects, source url is the canonical url. Meta refreshes are the same as 302s. MSN Search API launched in September, they allow 10,000 queries per day and they give 50 results per query. Relevance: He brought up Google and MSN. He plugged in 5402 East Lincoln Drive was entered into both engines. Showed how Google had a PDF as the first result. Everyone laughs at this. Next epana particelli; and Google's results are supplemental. Then he taxi seattle; he compares the local results on both. Calories in vodka is the next search, and shows how MSN gives an answer. He makes fun of all the engines again. He mentions the Search Engine Relevancy Challenge I did, nice of him (even though MSN is in last place).
Tim Mayer, Director of Product Management Yahoo! Search. I hear he has some new slides, we will see. Find, USe, Share and Expand --- covered in last session, see above. They are also focused on site owners, not just search users. They added local info into the SERPs when applicable, and also have navigational links (quick links). He then shows site explorer, which many are disappointed in. He site explorer counts are much more accurate (the right count he said is at site explorer). They may redirect the site command at Yahoo! search to this site explorer tool, when it comes out of beta. He then shows My Web 2.0 beta. He shows flickr also, then Y!Q, then Mindset.
Matt Cutts, Software Engineer Google Inc. New today; Google Analytics, Google Sitemaps, better communication, update jagger, cracking down on spam, improved infrastructure, Google desktop search 2.0, maps api, local, remove result, blog search, reader, talk, and google base. He shows off Analytics. Then Google Sitemaps, blogged on it earlier. He talks about Jagger's time line and reaction a bit - nothing crazy. Stay clear of thousands of subdomains on your site he said (about.com?).
Battery almost dead, any interesting Q&A, I will post later.
I asked Matt about About.com and subdomains, he said as long as if that content is not dynamically generated by spam tools, then your ok. It has to be unique content, he said.