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The Search Engine Update, Oct 14, 2002, Number 135

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About The Update

The Search Engine Update is a twice-monthly update of search engine news. It is available only to Search Engine Watch members. Please note that long URLs may break into two lines in some mail readers. Cut and paste, should this occur.

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In This Issue

+ SES Munich This Week!
+ Yahoo Renews With Google, Changes Results
+ The Great Google Algorithm Shift
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)

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Hello Everyone--

Let me start off with nothing to do with search engines. I'm originally from Orange County, California. I'm more than a little proud to say so, despite it being the place where sports teams never win. That hasn't been too bad for me, because I've never been a really big sports fan. When the Los Angeles Rams left Anaheim, my feeling was, good riddance. LA and OC are completely different places, and if the Rams couldn't take our name, then St. Louis could have them. The Mighty Ducks hockey team didn't exist when I grew up, so that just left the Angels, who never win at baseball. Or never win, until now it seems. What a surprise! The Angels are going to the World Series!

Moving more toward search, I wanted to thank those readers and others from Webmaster World that I met up with at the Pub Conference this past weekend in London. A good time and good conversation was had by all. It was announced that Webmaster World may be up for winning a Webby this year in the community category, and it would be a well-deserved recognition, if it happened. Posts from those who attended are below:

PubConference 2002 - The Outcome
http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum7/684.htm

OK, back to search news. My fingertips are aching from having completely updated the entire How Yahoo Works section within Search Engine Watch. I say section rather than page because what was previously covered in three different web pages has now expanded into nine separate parts. If you are trying to figure out what's going on with Yahoo, such as should you still do a submission to the directory given the new relationship with Google, the updated information will guide you to answers. Whether you are new or familiar with Yahoo, the section is probably worth a read.

A warning -- I haven't yet proofed the section. You'll find typos, and I apologize for that. I'll be going back and cleaning these up, but I wanted to pour the latest information out there as soon as possible. I've also posted a regular article about the Yahoo-Google deal that was renewed this month -- you'll find a link to it, below in the newsletter.

How Yahoo Works
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/yahoo.html

Finally, moving away from search again, this time with sadness. My sympathies and condolences to anyone who was affected by the terrible tragedy in Bali, especially to those readers in Australia, whose country was hit so hard.

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SES Munich This Week

Yes, there's still room to attend the Search Engine Strategies conference happening in Munich this week! The show runs Oct. 17 & 18 and offers a variety of sessions about improving editorial listings in search engines and how to advertise effectively on them. There will also be an emphasis on German search engine marketing. Both search engine marketing experts and representatives from major search engines themselves will be speaking, including Allesklar, AltaVista, AllTheWeb.com/FAST, Espotting, Google, Inktomi, Lycos Europe/Fireball, MSN Search, Overture & Yahoo A full agenda and registration information can be found below:

Search Engine Strategies Munich
http://www.intmediaevents.com/sew/munich02/

There's also a last chance to attend Search Engine Strategies in the United States this year, when it comes to Dallas on Dec. 11 & 12. You can sign-up via the URL below to be informed when the conference agenda is ready -- it should be any day now.

Search Engine Strategies Dallas
http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/fall02/

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Yahoo Renews With Google, Changes Results

After months of speculation, Yahoo announced last week that it has renewed its relationship to use Google's results as part of its search listings. In addition, Yahoo made a substantial change to end its historic barrier between human-powered and crawler-based search results. The article below provides full details about how Yahoo is now essentially powered by Google. However, not yet added is some additional information I've received from Google, so I'll give that to you now, in bullet points:

+ The Yahoo.com deal involves only Google's editorial listings

+ No news on whether AdWords will be picked up on any non-US Yahoo sites. "Nothing to announce at this time, but we'd like to provide search monetization services to all of our partners," said Google spokesperson David Krane.

+ Yahoo is paying Google on a per query basis. Yahoo also says that Google is guaranteed a certain level of search volume.

+ Yahoo did not increase its stake in Google as part of the deal.

+ Yahoo's directory will not be integrated into Google or replace Google's use of the Open Directory as part of the deal.

+ Google will not be working on the new Yahoo shopping search service that Yahoo has said will be coming.

Also, I've seen a number of articles and comments that Google is no longer credited on Yahoo's search results page. As a matter of fact, Google is now actually far more credited than ever before.

Now at the bottom of ALL web searches at Yahoo is the text "Search Technology provided by Google." Prior to the deal, Google was only mentioned on the pages it provided if Yahoo found no matches of its own -- what I'd estimate to be one-third of Yahoo's web search queries. Having said this, Google is clearly less visible in that it has no logo presence nor hyperlink leading to its site.

Yahoo Renews With Google, Changes Results
The Search Engine Update, Oct. 9, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/10-yahoo.html

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The Great Google Algorithm Shift

Google rolled out its latest index at the very end of last month, and changes to its search algorithm have caused a huge outcry on some of the search engine forums. Interestingly, however, is that during the same time this happened, I received only one complaint from a reader about the change, this being a web site owner concerned that the ranking swap had hurt him. No searchers wrote to complain that Google had suddenly become useless. A look at comments about the change.

The Great Google Algorithm Shift
The Search Engine Update, Oct. 9, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/10-google.html

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SearchDay Articles
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Here are some recent articles that may be of interest, from Search Engine Watch's daily SearchDay newsletter:

Big Sites + Big Brands = Big SEO Challenges
SearchDay, October 9, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1009-bigbrands.html

Big Web Sites and brands come with bigger challenges -- that was the main theme at the Big Sites and Big Brands Forum held at the recent Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose, CA.

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Search Engine Standards, Please!
SearchDay, October 8, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1008-standards.html

Search engines should set standards and adhere to them, say webmasters, advertisers and a senior attorney for the Federal Trade Commission. Uniform standards would serve both web site owners and searchers.

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NetCaptor: A Browser on Steroids
SearchDay, October 7, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1007-netcaptor.html

NetCaptor is a browser on steroids, powered with features that Microsoft should have, but didn't, put in Internet Explorer.

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The Truth About Big Brother Databases
SearchDay, October 3, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1003-big-brother.html

Worried that your personal details may be stored away in a database that anyone can search? Two public records search experts set the record straight on what exactly is -- and is not -- included in "big brother" databases.

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Google News Search Leaps Ahead
SearchDay, October 2, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1002-google-news.html

Google has dramatically enhanced its news search service, serving up a portal of real-time news drawn from more than 4,000 sources worldwide.

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Happy Birthday, Excite!
SearchDay, October 1, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd1001-excite.html

Excite, the first search engine to go beyond keywords and introduce concept based searching to the web, opened its virtual doors to the public seven years ago.

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On the archive page below, you'll find more articles like those above, plus have the ability to sign-up for the free newsletter.

SearchDay Archives
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/archives.html

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Search Engine Articles
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Information for Sale: My Experience With Google Answers
Searcher, October 2002
http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/oct02/west.htm

Very interesting behind-the-scenes account of being a researcher for the Google Answers program. A changed policy of not paying researchers if customers didn't like the answers they got caused this person to avoid difficult questions. The conclusion seems to be that Google Answers is evolving into a program that gets people answers they could find on Google themselves, if they had the time or skill, rather than being a research service that tries to verify facts and tackle difficult questions that cannot necessarily be answered easily through web searching.

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Don't get dropped from the search engines! ...You're responsible to do it right
Academy Of Web Specialists, October 2002
http://www.acws.com/newsletters/1002.html#plank

This is both an interesting and somewhat scary story about a site being banned by Google because of indirectly violating Google's terms of use. Two things gained Google's ire. The first was recommending a search engine promotion tool that Google feels violates its terms banning automated queries. The second was publishing an article about using Cascading Style Sheets to provide invisible content to crawlers as a workaround for those who have Flash-based web sites. That technique is apparently against Google's spam policies. Although the site itself didn't follow the practice, providing information about it drew the wrath of Google. The article also contains links to terms of service and spam guidelines for several major search engines.

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The Next Dot-Com Miracle?
The Motley Fool, Oct. 9, 2002
http://www.fool.com/news/foth/2002/foth021009.htm

Now that everyone on Wall Street seems to loves Overture, this author from the Motley Fool's web site is betting that challengers will hurt the company's prospects.

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Inktomi cuts 20 percent of work force
News.com, Oct. 8, 2002
http://news.com.com/2100-1033-961303.html

Inktomi tightens its belt again by laying off more workers, apparently from the enterprise search side of the business. The company remains with 300 employees.

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Brands Suffer From Search Dysfunctions
ClickZ, Oct. 8, 2002
http://www.clickz.com/brand/brand_mkt/article.php/1477641

Improve your own internal search or risk having frustrated customers.

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Meet basics 'or search engines won't come knocking'
Next, Oct. 8, 2002
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/10/05/1033538810351.html

Think about how you link to your own pages and how you construct URL names are two important tips out of this article on ranking better with crawlers.

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Merrill Lynch Faces Suit From LookSmart Holders
Dow Jones, Oct. 8, 2002
http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/021008/1317000653_1.html

LookSmart investors unhappy with the company's performance are targeting Merrill Lynch in a class action lawsuit, saying the firm failed to disclose a conflict of interest when issuing "buy" recommendations.

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Google may charge for internet search
Daily Telegraph, October 4, 2002
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2002/10/04/ecngoog.xml

Once again it slips out that Google might consider charging for search, this time to perhaps to provide a custom enterprise news search option. Google proactively tells me there's no particular push in this direction, and that the idea is being played up in this story far more than they are thinking about it. That wouldn't be surprising. I believe it was last year that a similar "Google to charge for search" story showed up via News.com, and plans have yet to materialize. Don't discount the notion, of course. Google absolutely is thinking about such ideas -- but Google is thinking of many other ways to earn money, as well.

Meanwhile, my favorite part of this article is the analyst who declares that Google needs to do paid search because "the internet advertising model has been shown not to work." Hmm -- apparently paid listings don't fit into his idea of what the internet advertising model encompasses. That's too bad, because paid listings are not only working but they are bringing in plenty of money for Google and Overture.

Another unnamed analyst promises a "shake out" in search with only Google and Overture remaining standing. Gee -- assuming we buy into this, I can see Google standing -- but Overture? Overture gets about 95 percent of its traffic from partner search sites, not its own. Other search sites have to exist for Overture to survive, so perhaps that shake out will be a little less dramatic than this analyst is predicting. Crack reporting from my daily newspaper -- maybe I'll have to start taking The Times.

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Media Buyer's Guide to Search Advertising
ClickZ, Oct. 2, 2002
http://www.clickz.com/search/opt/article.php/1473721

Come from a traditional media buying background and trying to figure out the nuances of search engine advertising? Kevin Lee compares and contrasts with what you are used to.

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Is Lycos InSite Pro Paid Inclusion Worth It?
PromotionData.com, Oct. 2, 2002
http://www.promotiondata.com/article.php?sid=158

Lycos paid inclusion didn't seem much of a value, to this person, with 500 pages of included content generating only 41 visitors in two weeks. Also touches on tips for the "Lycos spider," as sent back by Lycos. My main worry here is that Lycos doesn't run its own spider -- it uses results from FAST. OK, maybe it's a branding thing -- but this particular advice actually sounds exactly like that which was offered back when Lycos did run its own spider in 1999. Somehow, I suspect some very old information is being sent out by Lycos support people.

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Search firm caves in to privacy pressure
News.com, Oct. 2, 2002
http://news.com.com/2100-1023-960509.html

After concerns were raised about web bugs at AllTheWeb.com, owner FAST posts a privacy policy.

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Click Fraud - Is It Happening to You?
Submit Express Newsletter, Oct. 1, 2002
http://www.submitexpress.com/newsletters/oct_1_02.html#3

A look both at what paid listing services to do protect advertisers from click fraud and what advertisers themselves should do to look out for their own interests.

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What it Means To Be a Search Engine Marketing Professional
High Ranking Advisor, Sept. 26, 2002
http://www.highrankings.com/professional.htm

What makes a real professional in the SEO world is being someone who puts the client's needs above their own, says Jill Whalen. And those looking to become an SEO make also want to check out Jill's new 1/2 day workshop to be held next month, which is also listed in this article.

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