Archive for November, 2008

Google uncovers scanned documents

Scanned documents such as academic papers, or government reports used to be off limits for the Googlebot. That’s because when scanned, the entire paper appeared as a giant image, instead of text.

using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Google is able to turn these documents into text and will begin including these files in its search results.

Previously, Google was only able to search the filename and limited meta data associated with these files in order to include them in search results. Google’s new technology now turns the scanned “images of text” into computer readable text itself.

As with traditional PDF files, when you encounter a scanned document, you’ll be able to view the original version, or the text only version Google has created. To see the technology in action, try the search repairing aluminum wiring (the first result should be a scanned document).

This type of technology has been around for a while now, but the scanning accuracy has always been a problem. Some words would get jumbled or miss spelt, so it’s impressive that Google has found a solution that’s accurate enough to be used for their search results.

This mean for SEO, if we have got any scanned documents on our site, for e.g press releases, newspaper articles or white papers, this now gives our business more chances to appear in Google’s search results.By giving more content for Google to index, you’ll improve your chances in coming up for queries related to these documents!

If you’re hiding any information on the web by keeping it as an image, you may want to consider removing those files now 🙂

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AOL Launches Local Events Search: When.com


AOL is unveiling When.com. It’s a local events site powered by Zvents. When.com deemphasizes the AOL brand but will become part of the “AOL Local Network,” that includes MapQuest, AOL Cityguide, AOL Travel, etc.

When.com uses IP targeting to determine default location, but offers personalization when users register.

Zvents content is also integrated into MSN Cityguides. Yahoo has Upcoming, its user-generated events site. Google Calendar allows publisher to add events and allows users to discover/search for them. Users, publishers and venues can also add listings to When.com.

What’s interesting about Zvents, among other things, is that the site is trying to define “events” broadly to include local retail sales and other non-traditional event occurrences.

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