Natural Search Blog


Laser-Projected Graffiti Ads on Buildings

In yet another example of cyberpunk fiction turned to reality, the Graffiti Research Lab has assembled a mobile unit that can project messages (“graffiti”) onto the sides of any large structure using a computer, laser projector, and a bicycle-powered generator. They recently tooled around Barcelona doing this up until the police apparently ticketed them and confiscated the projection equipment. Looking past the mischievous fun of the idea, could this be a new trendy advertising medium, about to take Madison Avenue by storm? Guerilla marketing companies seem to think so – click through for more of my thoughts on the matter.

Batman Bat Signal, laser light graffiti, Barcelona
The Batsignal, by Graffiti Research Lab, Barcelona, 2007

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Yahoo’s Recent Spider Improvement Beats Google’s

Googlebot Spider

Yahoo!’s Search Blog announced yesterday that they were making some final changes to their spider, (named “Slurp”), standardizing their crawlers to provide a common DNS signature for identification/authorization purposes.

Previously, Slurp’s requests may have come from IP addresses associated with inktomisearch.com, and now they should all come from IPs associated with domains in this standard syntax:

[something].crawl.yahoo.net

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Factory Offers Up Rooftop Space for Ads

A company named Kumomo has issued a press release recently, announcing that it will sell rooftop ad space on one of Malaysia’s largest factories. Is this to be the first node in a network of roof billboard advertising space? The ads would be intended to be seen in Google Maps/Earth and via airplanes.

The rooftop ad would be installed by the California company, RoofAds, which specializes in painting logos and art onto the tops of buildings. Although Kumomo’s site and press release are vague about details on the roof in question, after considerable searching of satellite pics in Google Maps I was finally able to locate the location of the building where they’re intending to place the ad. Disconcertingly, the exact place is mostly obscured by clouds in the Google satellite pic, or perhaps it’s the factory’s own smoke:

Malaysian Factory Offering Roof Space for Ad
click to enlarge

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“Roofvertising” mentioned in the news

Greg Sterling and I were quoted in a news story in yesterday’s USAToday by Craig Wilson in an article titled “Shout a message from the rooftops to the world“, along with Google Earth’s Chikai Ohazama. The article is about how people are increasingly trying to use Google Maps and other online mapping systems to communicate messages or display ads through them. People place the messages on rooftops or other ground surfaces which may be seen via the satellite pix or aerial photos in those interfaces.

Rooftop Advertising
Rooftop Ads or “Roofvertising” is becoming more common

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Plea for a New Open Format: Open Local Profile Format

My most-recent Locals Only column just pubbed at SearchEngineLand.com, titled “A Call To Standardize Local Search Listings“.

The benefactor of Open Local Profile Format would be Main Street
Open Local Profile Format

In it, I’m calling for the companies operating in the local search space to come together and agree upon a common data format protocol that would allow businesses and organizations to more easily submit their directory profile information to the great plethora of local info sites where users go to get information. The local search engines, online yellow pages, and various vertical directories should come together to reduce costs/complexity for businesses, and to facilitate improved information for consumers, similar to how the major search engines last year came together to agree on one common submission protocol – Sitemaps – for submitting sites’ page links to them. Read on for more details.

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Google Map API to Now Include Ads

InfoWorld reports that at a conference yesterday, Google Maps engineer Andrew Eland announced that Google has integrated its AdSense program with Google Maps so that those using their Maps API and developer tools would be able to derive money off the clickthroughs to the map ads when displayed on their site pages.

Closeup - Ads in Google Maps
Detail – Google Map Ads

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