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Friday, November 24, 2006

Weekend Viewing


- If food be food for thought then an office lunch like this would be the source of all happiness.

- India travel blog and Benaras photo gallery.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

GOOG Shares Fly Past US $500 Mark


GOOG goes beyond the US $500 barrier on NASDAQ.


GOOG crosses $500 on NASDAQ

Numbers on Internet Use in India


- India Internet Statistics

Did you know almost 4.5 lakh (0.45mn) people access the Internet from cybercafes/netcafes in Pune? Source: IAMAI.in - The Internet and Mobile Association of India.

Statistics of Internet use in Indian cities.

There are 0.9mn users in Pune. Fifty per cent of these users access the Internet from cybercafes. That's why speed matters in search and e-commerce, more so when targetting users from India.

- Marissa Mayer on the importance of speed for search engines.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Create a Custom Search Engine with Google Co-op


Create your own search engine with the sites that you want to search with Google Co-op.

- For example: Try these searches in the Gujarati Blog Search Engine search box on the right-hand sidebar of this Web page. Type your query in Gujarati or English in the search box shown below my profile on this Web page.

Try it. Let me know, if it works, and are the results good? I have added 91 Gujarati blogs in this Gujarati Blog Search engine. The search results appear on a new page.

ગુજરાત, ગુજરાતિ, અમદાવાદ, ગુજરાત સમાચાર, ગુજરાતિ કવિતા, gujarati poems, gujarati, gujarat, gujarati kavita, gujarati poetry, gujarati poems, gurjari, ગુજરાત પેપર, ગુજારાતિ news, amdavad news, gujarati ghazals, gujarati poem, gujarati food, gujarati blogs, gujarati blog, surat, સુરત, વડોદરા, vadodara, mumbai, મુંબઇ, મુંબઇ સમાચાર, પુના, ગુજ્રાતિ સમાજ, etc.

- Use Baraha IME (Input Method Editor) (file size: 1.2MB) to type in Gujarati with an English keyboard.

# For example: samay સમય, raam રામ, vaDodaraa વડોદરા

- You may use a virtual keyboard (choose Gujarati-Gujarati from the Select Search Item dropdown box to access keyboard) to frame search queries in Gujarati.

- Transliterate to Gujarati

- Syndicate Gujarati Blog Search Engine: Add Gujarati Blog Search Engine (on the right-hand sidebar of this Web page) to Google Reader by clicking on the 'Google Reader' button below.

Syndicate Gujarati Blog Search - Add to Google Reader


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thoughts on Why an India-specific Search Engine in English is a Misnomer


Why India-specific content in English is a Misnomer or why Search Engines that position themselves as India-specific should ideally Index the entire Web for English language content.

For regional languages positioning a search engine as India-specific is obvious and fine, but for English language search, any search engine that wants to provide good results needs to index the entire Web and not only India-specific content, because per se, India-specific content itself doesn't exist, because the Indian Internet user is looking for content that is global in nature.

What is India-specific content and how does one find out?

What if a collegian from a small town in India is searching for a University in the USA, and what if an Indian software professional from San Francisco is searching for devotional folk songs from India?

Now, a search engine that positions itself as India-specific needs to address both these audiences, and if India-specific content is collected only by IP filtering, domain filtering, and gathering content from DMOZ India and other directories, then the content that comes up say 150 million Web pages is not enough, because the Indian searcher is looking for global information, and a search engine that falls into the trap of 'India-specific' content tends to ignore indexing the entire English-language Web content, and misses on information that people from India are searching for.

Let's take an example: If I search for Cricket on Guruji.com I get the first result as cricket.deepthi.com which addresses the query but doesn't provide the most optimum result, because the best result, in my opinion is a more popular Web site like say Cricinfo or Cricinfo India in an Indian context; but because of domain filtering, IP filtering, and other filters that may have been set, Guruji's crawler GurujiBot would not have indexed those sites. This is where a search engine that positions itself as India-specific misses out.

For English language searches, an Indian search engine like Guruji.com would be competing with giants like Google, Yahoo!, and MSN (Live). Now Google.co.in provides results from all over the Web, so do Yahoo! and Live. If those major search engines provide results that are more relevant to search queries then people would use them, why would they use Guruji.com for English search, if it can't provide English-language search results at par with those of global search engines.

An example. Search for Angelina Jolie on Guruji. Now it isn't an India-specific keyword, but Indians are searching for Angelina Jolie and a search engine that fails to index Web sites related to Hollywood, because it isn't India-specific, fails to do so at its own peril.

- Ideally an Indian search engine should index the entire Web for English-language content. Filters may be set for not crawling International languages like German, French, Spanish, Italian etc. But even for India, the English language content should be that of the entire Web and not sorted by domain or IP filters.

- Indians are searching for news, travel, sports, celebrities, religion, education, entertainment, shopping, movies, music, social networking, matrimony sites, health, reference, jobs, adult content, and more. This is the trend almost globally as seen from Google Zeitgeist.

- What is the profile of an average Indian Internet user?
Given a choice between using English or typing in regional languages, most people that know both English and regional languages would still like to type, write, chat, surf, search, browse, shop online in English, because it is the preferred medium of communication for the average Indian Internet user.

- How many people have access to the Internet in India?
As per September 2006 numbers from The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) there are 37 million people that access the Internet in India, that is less than 3.5per cent of the population. Of these 39 per cent access the Internet from cyber cafes, 31 per cent from home, and 22 per cent at work. 32 per cent of these 37 million users from India use the Internet as the primary source for information and research.

Of these 12 million (~32 per cent of 37 million) people how many of them would be using a regional language as their primary medium of accessing the Internet? Maybe 0.1 per cent or even less. So the potential of regional language search engines as a revenue generating medium arises when say 10 per cent of India's population (~ 120 million) has access to the Internet, which on an optimistic note should happen in the next five years, although there aren't any numbers for sure to say it would take five years or ten or more for Indian regional search to be a viable stand-alone revenue-generating model for search engines operating in India.

- So for an Indian search engine to survive in the short run, it needs to deliver English search results that are as good as those provided by Google, Yahoo!, Live, and Ask.

All Indian regional languages content combined would make for less than 10 per cent of English language content taken only from Indian (*.in/*.co.in/*.gov.in/*.ac.in/*.nic.in/*.com by IP filtering) Web sites, leave aside global English content.

- There may be infrastructure, hardware, Internet connectivity, programming resources, and monetary limitations for crawling the entire Web; but not crawling the Web because there's a limitation to include only India-specific content in the index would be a fallacy, because Indian content is not only related to India or Indian Web sites or sites with the domain as India; it is global in nature.

- That means even a search engine that positions itself as an Indian search engine should have global content for its English language. At least 10 billion Web pages in its English language index. This approximate number is found by finding the number of results for a common English word like say and, or, the, for, but etc., that is likely to be found on any English-language Web page.

- On a regional scale, if an Indian search engine finds more content than say only the Unicode (UTF-8) pages indexed by Google, it has a chance of upstaging the giant. But that's only for local languages where the PPC advertising market is not as attractive as in English.

- For a search in English, if a user searches on Guruji and doesn't get the result, the difference between that user going to the home page of Google or Yahoo is only an Alt+F4.


Comparing Search Results for Popular Queries


Comparison of search results across different search engines for popular search queries, as observed on Google Zeitgeist for India, for the months Jun-Sep 2006. Source of search queries: Google Zeitgeist International.

September 2006:

# sania mirza on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# cricket on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# wikipedia on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# aishwarya rai on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# maria sharapova on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# ignou on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# katrina kaif on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# WWE on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# salman khan on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# ndtv on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# bollywood on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# priyanka chopra Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# angelina jolie on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# kareena kapoor on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# cricinfo on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

August 2006:

# english german dictionary on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# legal dictionary on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# air deccan on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# indian airlines on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# nokia on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# airtel on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# ganesh festival on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# indian flag on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

July 2006:

# world cup 2006 on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# phentermine on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# krrish on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# times of india on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# icici on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# zidane on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# harry potter on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# fifa on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

June 2006:

# indian railways on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# air deccan on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# jet airways on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

# mumbai university on Google, Yahoo!, Guruji, Live, and Ask

Find more search trends on Google Zeitgeist Archive 2006.


Weekend Fun


What message does good ol' Charlie Brown have for us? See the Charlie Brown says generator. More such links on the Generator Blog. More generator fun on RedKid.

Charlie Brown gives good advice


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Local Search


- Guruji partners with Infomedia India for local search listings.

- HotFrog, a part of Infomedia India, is a free business directory listing site for small and medium businesses from India.

- JustDial positions itself as a telephonic search engine. Call 2222 2222 for information about Pune. Check its movie listing page.


New Travel Search Site for India


A new travel Web site for India—Bangalore-based FlightRaja. They also provide airline ticket booking through mobile phones for Hutch subscribers.

Information from ContentSutra—always an informative read. To make it a part of my daily reads.

An interesting read on the size of India's online travel market. With so many players, is there room for all in the short run? Although the article doesn't mention the source of numbers, or it may be a guesstimate.


Nice Wallpaper Site


Beautiful wallpapers with quotable quotes on Words4Ever.com.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Google India Zeitgeist for September 2006


Tennis and bollywood celebrities, cricket, wikipedia, distance education (ignou), wwe, and news channel ndtv were popular search queries in September 2006 on Google India. Airfares and airline Web sites were missing from the list of popular search queries in September.

Related Links:
- Google Zeitgeist around the world
- Google Zeitgeist U.S.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Reading


To make EyeForTravel a part of my daily reads.

To check Desiya travel search for India.

ClearTrip targets 400K transactions in the first 12 months of its operations in India; marks US $6.6 million for advertising.

A new travel search engine, Kinkaa, in English and German.

To read - Search marketing articles.


Write in Regional Languages on WordPress Blogs

Blog in your regional language on WordPress blogging platform by using Monusoft's WordPress plugin for Indian languages.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Fun Quiz


- What's your power colour? Take this fun quiz to know about it.

- Live local search goes 3D.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Thoughts


I believe in these quotes.

- Beauty is only skin deep.

- If you don't ask, the answer is always No.

- There's never a wrong time to do the right thing in life.

Current Music: ये जो देस है तेरा, स्वदेस है तेरा, तुझे है पुकारा


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Autonomy looks for Video Search Partners in India


This may be an opportunity for regional search players in India.

British search engine company Autonomy jointly owns Chinese video search service OpenV.tv and it plans to launch a video search engine for India. Autonomy is looking for partners in India to power its video search.


Customised Google-style Logo


Create a customised Google-style logo from Goglogo.com