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The Search Engine Update, May 2, 2001, Number 100

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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

+ Site News
+ Conference News
+ AltaVista Europe Debuts Helpful Search Features
+ Avoiding The Search Gap
+ New Ad Options From Ask Jeeves
+ Google Improves Newsgroups, Makes Inroads To Japan
+ Excite Next To Go?
+ New Search Engine Resources
+ Interesting Search Engine Articles
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)

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Hello Everyone--

It's been a busy past week for me You can put the blame on babies.

The first baby is SearchDay, the new daily newsletter from Search Engine Watch. Written by new associate editor Chris Sherman, SearchDay will be bringing you original content about searching better. It will also provide search engines headlines from around the web, provided by Moreover.com.

I'd encourage you to take SearchDay, even though you already receive this newsletter. SearchDay will have entirely different content that I know you'll find informative. SearchDay launches next Monday and comes out each day during the work week. You can sign-up for it now, via the URL below.

SearchDay
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/

While SearchDay is close to my heart, the other baby is even closer -- my second son Rhys, who was born last Friday.

Finally, you might have noticed that this is issue 100 of the Search Engine Update. Reaching this milestone is made possible through the support of your membership, so I wanted to thank you all again for having become members.

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Conference News

The next two-day Search Engine Strategies conference comes to San Francisco on August 16th and 17th. It will again feature the first day focusing on search engines and promotion issues, with the second day featuring panels designed to help Internet searchers better understand how to use the search tools available to them. A preliminary agenda should go up within the next week or so. Those interested in sponsoring or exhibiting should contact Frank Fazio Jr, [email protected], for more information. Attendees can sign-up to be notified of when more session information is available via the URL below:

Search Engine Strategies: San Francisco 2001
http://searchenginestrategies.com/

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AltaVista Europe Debuts Helpful Search Features

Normally, US-based search engines tend to try out cool new features on their flagship sites before exporting them months later to their various international editions. AltaVista Europe has reversed this truism, rolling out a helpful search management feature and new thumbnail images that appear next to some search results.

"MySearch" is a search management tool that will automatically record your most recent 25 searches via its "Search Tracker," plus allow you to easily save them into a "My Favorite Searches" area, so that they can easily be rerun in the future.

This is ideal for anyone who runs the same searches on a regular basis -- by using the Favorites list, you can easily get back to a particular search query that you ran before. Of course, it's also helpful to remember that this functionality is built into any browser.

For example, after performing a search at AltaVista, simply bookmark or add the results page to your favorites list. Your search query will be stored in the bookmark link, so that when you next load it, the search will be rerun. You should find this technique works with most any major search engine.

What you can't do within your browser is store individual results easily into a custom list. That's another feature that MySearch offers through its "My Search Results" area, and it's proving to be the most popular option.

"Of the three [MySearch features”, that's the one that is getting the most usage," said Seth Socolow, AltaVista Europe's European marketing manager.

For example, let's say you do a search for "foot and mouth." You'll see below each listing a "Save to MySearch" link. Just click on that link to save the search result into the MySearch center.

By doing this, you can filter out all the likely pages of interest, to visit when you are ready. To access your saved results, you simply need to visit the MySearch center. A link to this appears near the search box at the top of the results page and also on the home page of the various AltaVista Europe web sites.

The MySearch center also allows you to email any search results that are stored, and this is also something you can do by using the "Email to a friend" link that appears below each listing on the regular results page.

The best thing about MySearch is that no software is required. Everything is stored with AltaVista, so you can be up and running right away. AltaVista uses a cookie to identify you when you revisit the site, in order to recover your information. However, this is fairly anonymous -- the service only knows that you are coming from a browser on a particular machine, not your name, email address, etc.

Because cookies are involved, you have to also be careful. If you clear your cookie, you'll lose your MySearch information. AltaVista says there's no way to retrieve it. This will also be the case if you use a different browser on the same machine or if you use a different computer. The cookie will be tied to one browser and only one browser.

MySearch is supposed to be available on all of AltaVista Europe sites, including AltaVista UK. It's also at AltaVista Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and India. In fact, the only place is doesn't appear is AltaVista's main US-based service, AltaVista.com.

"We're really in the process of using Europe as a test market for things," said Socolow, explaining that AltaVista.com may get MySearch if the experience on its non-US editions proves successful.

AltaVista Europe has also begun including images as part of its regular search results. Known internally as Image Enhanced Results, or IER, this is where some listings in search results have images associated with them. Try a search for "london" at AltaVista UK or "eiffel tower" at AltaVista France to see examples of this.

The thought is that including images can help improve relevancy -- or at least the user's ability to judge results more relevant to their query than others.

"Now, the user has almost a human eye to actually determine if a result is relevant or not," said Karl Gregory, head of marketing for AltaVista UK.

In some cases, this works well. For instance, it's easy to spot that one of the results for "hadrian's wall" at AltaVista UK has nothing to do with the Roman fortification near the England-Scotland border, because unlike the other images showing the ancient wall, this one shows a logo for an indoor-climbing facility.

Unfortunately, the usefulness of the feature is reduced by the images sometimes being a bit too small to be clear, as well as the larger problem of them inconsistently appearing.

AltaVista is obviously keeping the images small in order to reduce download time. To further mitigate concerns about delays, the textual results are loaded first. There's also a "Hide images" option that appears just below the search box on the results page, which can be used to prevent images being loaded on future searches. AltaVista's Customize option also lets you disable images permanently.

As for the inconsistency, this comes from AltaVista automatically selecting images from the pages its lists. It essentially has to guess at which image that it thinks best describes the page, in relation to the search term, and it may not always get this right. Moreover, not every page may have a good image to display according to AltaVista's algorithms, which is why some pages have images, while others don't.

Specifically, here's what happens behind the scenes. AltaVista displays textual results, as usual. So, in a search for "buckingham palace," it will display pages it considers tops for those words, using all its usual criteria.

Next, AltaVista will see whether any of the top results have pictures that qualify as a match for the search terms. First of all, that means the page needs an image on it. No images, no chance of having an image displayed. Next, the image needs to be in .jpeg format. So, if your site only uses .gif images, you're out of luck.

Assuming you make it past those barriers, you then need an image on your page that's associated with the search terms. This could mean that the search terms are in the image's file name -- "buckingham-palace.jpg" would be an example of this. Next, it can also mean that the search terms appear in the HTML copy near the image. So, perhaps you have the words "buckingham palace" as part of a paragraph describing a picture on your page.

Finally, AltaVista says that images should be in full color and not too large in file size, though how large wasn't specified. I've seen images from 3K up to 40K, but staying near the lower end of that scale seems better.

Several months ago, AltaVista hinted strongly that there was another way images might be associated with listings -- through a paid participation program. This would allow webmasters to make their sites stand out more from others, in exchange for a fee. Such an option may still come to AltaVista Europe, the company says.

In the meantime, one new way to make a site stand above others at AltaVista Europe is through what are called "Intercepts." These are banner-like ads that appear just above the numbered search results. Try a search for "money" at AltaVista UK to see an example from Virgin Money. Unlike banners, these ads contain several HTML links are designed to increase clickthrough by being relevant to the search query. The ads are sold on a CPM basis through AltaVista Europe's ad department.

In other changes, those trying to reach AltaVista's US-based site from outside the United States may now find themselves redirected to a country-specific version. For instance, those in the United Kingdom are being automatically redirected to AltaVista UK, even if they specify AltaVista.com.

There are certainly advantages to using AltaVista's country-specific versions. However, there are also times when people may indeed want to visit the US-based site. To still get there, look for the "Go to US site" link at the top right-corner of the home page of the non-US AltaVista edition you are using. You can also use the "United States" link at the bottom of the home page. AltaVista says it may introduce a permanent URL that can also be used by those who specifically want to reach the US site without going through redirection.

AltaVista International
http://doc.altavista.com/international.shtml

Links to all AltaVista's various editions can be found here.

AltaVista UK Advertising Form
http://uk.altavista.com/s?spage=advertise/adpage8.htm

Use this page to follow up about Intercept ads.

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Avoiding The Search Gap

Are you a victim of the search gap? You could be, if you've focused all your efforts on getting people to your web site via search engines rather considering what happens after they arrive.

Study after study over the past years have consistently found that search engines are one of the most popular ways that people find web sites. Despite this, some new studies have also provided the apparently conflicting view that only a small percentage of a web site's traffic comes from search engines.

For example, a recently released study by Booz-Allen & Hamilton found that a healthy 33 percent of Internet user sessions involve searching at search engines and portals. Given this, one might assume that web sites on the receiving end of all this searching ought to get somewhere near 33 percent of their traffic from search engines. Instead, the study found that web sites get a scant 6 percent of their traffic from search engines and portals.

Similarly, a study released by StatMarket last December found that only about 7 percent of web sites get traffic from search engines. Many in the search engine optimization industry were dubious about this seemingly-low number, when it appeared. The people at StatMarket can now feel some vindication, given that the Booz-Allen study backs up their finding.

The high usage of search engines found by past surveys and the low traffic generated by search engines highlighted in the recent surveys are not in conflict. This "search gap," as I'm calling it, comes naturally out of the fact that once someone has found a web site that satisfies a particular desire, they will probably go directly to it in the future, rather than navigate to it via a search engine.

For example, let's say you want to buy a particular book. You do a search at your favorite search engine and find a page from Amazon about the book. You visit the Amazon site, like the price and information you are shown, so purchase the book from them. Thanks to search engines, Amazon has gained a customer.

A month later, you need another book. Remembering your positive experience at Amazon, you go directly to the web site rather than using a search engine to find it. Thus, your second visit isn't credited to search engines. However, it would have never occurred if you hadn't found Amazon via search engines the first time AND had a favorable impression of the site.

So, once people find trusted sites, they return to them directly for particular needs -- thus accounting for the relatively low traffic the StatMarket and Booz-Allen studies say is generated by search engines. However, because our needs are wide-ranging, we are constantly searching for new things -- which accounts for the overall high usage of search engines that other studies find.

It would be a mistake to interpret the search gap as meaning that search engines are not important. They remain a top way users will locate web sites initially and so cannot be ignored. Instead, the real lesson of the search gap is the age-old adage that first impressions count. Make a good impression when people first come to your site via search engines, and they may come back directly to you in the future.

What are ways of making a good impression? For one, the page people land upon from the search engine into your site ought to clearly guide them to particular goals or to more information available elsewhere within your web site.

Remember, every page in your web site is a possible entry point from crawler-based search engines. That means you need to consider design changes that make it easy for users to quickly reach your home page, a site map or to search your site, in case they don't immediately see what they want.

Also, take a close look at your home page, which often is one of the most popular entry points from human-powered search engines. Are you delivering a huge Flash file? The users may click away, return to the search engine and find some other sites they'll remember for the future.

Similarly, if someone lands on a home page that is poorly written, doesn't communicate what the site is about and seems to have no relationship to their needs, then they aren't likely to stick with you.

Another important thing to consider is branding. Does your site have a memorable name, so that users can locate it if they want to next time? Do you offer a bookmark feature. At the very least, offer an email newsletter so you can reach out to them, after they go.

The tips above may not sound like search engine marketing, but they are. Helping people find your web site from search engines is only half the challenge. Once they arrive, you want to ensure they also convert into customers and will revisit in the future. Otherwise, the search engine work you did initially has been wasted, and you may also be losing opportunities to convert visitors who find you via other means.

The Great Portal Payoff
Booz-Allen & Hamilton, July/August 2000
http://www.bah.com/welcome_pages/0201/portals_study.html

A copy of the Booz-Allen study can be found at their web site -- look at the article in the left-hand frame. The download link is at the bottom. The study was released in February and focuses on an analysis of how over 1,000 people accessed the web. The key finding was that portals remain valuable web real estate, being visited in 60 percent of all Internet sessions. The authors then offer suggestions on how portals might better monetize their services, especially by building content and attracting brand name sponsors. Some important notes: the study classified 225 sites as "portals," which goes well beyond the top 10 to 20 players most people consider portals, such as Yahoo and Lycos. Some of these other portal sites were smaller or niche sites that nonetheless offered content and services similar to the major portals, the authors say. In all, the study included over 50,000 sites.

Portal Power
eMarketer, Feb. 27, 2001
http://www.emarketer.com/estatnews/estats/edemographics/20010227_portal_use.html

Provides some charts out of figures from the Booz-Allen study, including the fact that of the various features that portals offer, search is the most popular, used during 49 percent of visits. In contrast, the second most popular "Telecom/Internet Services" function (which almost certainly includes email) is used in 17 percent of visits.

Search Engine Index
http://searchenginewatch.com/reports/seindex.html

Links to other studies about search engines and how they are used, including the StatMarket study mentioned.

ClickZ
http://www.clickz.com/

How do you improve the first impression of your web site? ClickZ's columnists offer advice in usability, writing copy that sells, web page design and more. There's lots of valuable information worth reading.

Pump Up the Volume With Copy That Sells
ClickZ, April 30, 2001
http://clickz.com/article/cz.3819.html

Learn how to write copy that's compelling to your visitors.

Usability Makes a Comeback
ClickZ, April 16, 2001
http://clickz.com/article/cz.3758.html

Here's a checklist and good tips to discover whether your site has been optimized for usability, in addition to generating search engine traffic.

Nick Usbourne: ClickZ Columns
http://clickz.com/author/auth8.html

One of my favorite ClickZ columnists, you'll find plenty of sound advice about making your site more usable and marketable from Nick.

Usable Web
http://usableweb.com/

You'll find hundreds of resources here for making your site more usable.

Search Engine Software For Your Web Site
http://searchenginewatch.com/resources/software.html

If you don't have a site search engine, there are some easy to install "No Software Needed" options listed here. Also visit the SearchTools.com web site, listed in the Top Resources section.

Topica
http://www.topica.com/

Mailing lists can be a great way to get return visitors. Topica makes it easy to get started with mailing lists for free.

Yahoo Groups
http://groups.yahoo.com/

Just like Topica, Yahoo Groups makes starting a mailing list easy.

Bookmark Us! Script
http://javascript.internet.com/page-details/bookmark-us.html

Get your site bookmarked via this script, and then visitors will find it easier to return.

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New Ad Options From Ask Jeeves

Ask Jeeves has been busy developing new ways to monetize its two search services over the past few weeks, and here's a guide to some of the new ad offerings available.

"Branded Response" are image-oriented ads that appear within the main search results at the Ask.com site. To see an example, try a search for "new cars." You'll see an ad from Autoweb.com within the results. In the ad is a "helpful fact" about doing research about cars before buying, along with a link to information on doing this at the Autoweb.com site.

The ad also makes prominent use of the word "sponsored," so that, plus its distinct image, helps set it apart from the editorial content on the page. Being within the search results, it should also prove more effective to advertisers than ordinary banner ads.

In fact, I think one of the weaknesses with banner ads in general is someone reading an article or looking for information doesn't necessarily want to be distracted by what a banner offers. For example, if I'm reading a news story, seeing an ad about Cisco products is generally wasted on me (except for the important aspect of building Cisco's brand). However, anyone doing a search does want to depart somewhere. A targeted banner or image-style ad such as those Ask Jeeves is experimenting with might be a perfect vehicle to get my attention and capture it.

"Interstitials" are also available at Ask.com. These are ads that open in separate browser windows. I absolutely hate interstitials and find them intrusive. They also seem to make no sense from advertising perspective, at least when targeting searcher. Since they pop up before I've even conducted a search, there's no way they're going to be targeted toward my current interest.

To avoid problems, Ask Jeeves says that no users should see more than two interstitials per month, when visiting the Ask.com site. The ads also load behind your active browser window, rather than in front, to minimize intrusion. Interstitials are also sold on the Direct Hit Ad Network, described below. Those may appear more often than at Ask.com, since it's really up to the partner sites to set their own policies on them.

Ask Jeeves is also relaunching the paid placement program that is run through its Direct Hit site, targeting it toward large advertisers and abandoning the self-serve bidding model it initially debuted early last year, which was aimed at small and medium-sized advertisers.

Follow the bouncing ball with me, so you'll understand how the same advertising program has gone through three different names. The program started out at the beginning of 2000 as the Direct Hit Text Sponsorship Network, and it allowed users to purchase sponsored links that appeared alongside the regular search results at the Direct Hit site and on the results Direct Hit provided to partners such as MSN Search.

By the middle of the year, the program became the Ask Jeeves Text Sponsorship Network. This roughly coincided with the appearance of the text ads on the Ask.com site itself, in addition to being on the Direct Hit results.

By the end of the year, the program began experimenting with selling placements to major advertisers, which caused problems for smaller advertisers who suddenly found themselves priced out of the terms they specifically wanted. The "In Search Of Relevant Paid Links As Ask Jeeves" article below touches more on this.

Now the program is called DirectLinx. These ads may appear on the DirectHit.com site -- a decision on that is still being made. They will definitely appear on the Ask.com site and on Direct Hit results pages licensed to partners. However, instead of three ads being displayed, as in the past, now there are only two. In addition, the self-serve program is being phased out. If you want DirectLinx ads, you'll need to purchase them through the Ask Jeeves advertising department.

It makes sense for Ask Jeeves to kill off its self-serve paid links program, given its recent partnership with GoTo. Paid links from GoTo now appear at the top of Direct Hit results pages. They are also available to those who choose the GoTo option at the bottom of results at Ask.com. Given this, Ask Jeeves saw no reason to duplicate what's available from GoTo, especially when its program didn't seem to work as well for the self-serve audience.

"We just didn't think it was in anyone's best interest to have a second rate product to what GoTo is offering, so we figured, if we can't beat them, join them," said Josh Stylman, vice president of syndication and partnerships for Ask Jeeves.

If you still have an active self-serve account with Ask Jeeves, the company will be explaining what's happening to phase these out later this week, it says.

You may also have seen some headlines about a new "Direct Hit Ad Network." This is separate from the DirectLinx program. It's mainly a relaunch of the program of distributing Direct Hit's actual results themselves.

When Direct Hit launched in 1998, it quickly went into the market of either powering results for other people or offering its results as a supplement to a search service's regular listings. It remained in this business after Ask Jeeves acquired it in early 2000 but really didn't push to gather new partners to carry Direct Hit results.

The Direct Hit Ad Network is a return to trying to distribute Direct Hit listings, coupled with the incentive that sites that do so can earn money off ad revenues that Ask Jeeves sells on these pages. That's an important point. In the past, search deals like these have often been done on an ad revenue sharing deal -- but it was the host site that had to sell the ads. This change puts the onus on Ask Jeeves to do the selling, in the tightening ad market.

What ads appear on these pages? Regular banner ads, text ads sold through the DirectLinx network, links from GoTo and interstitials are all offered. And who carries Direct Hit results with these ads? Partners include places like MSN Search, Brittanica.com, Gay.com, Snowball.com and Salon.com.

To recap, the days of cheap self-serve style ads on Direct Hit and Ask.com pages are gone, at least through Ask Jeeves itself. Instead, you'll need to purchase ads via GoTo. However, advertisers who want to appear on Direct Hit pages and only Direct Hit pages at its various partners can purchase a range of advertising options on the network, including DirectLinx text ads.

Ask Jeeves
http://www.ask.com/

Direct Hit
http://www.directhit.com/

Ask Jeeves Advertising Information
http://www.ask.com/docs/advertise/Advertising.asp

More information about the various advertising options offered by Ask Jeeves can be found here.

Advertising: A Cry for Usability
ClickZ, April 23, 2001
http://clickz.com/article/cz.3792.html

Making ads more usable benefits advertisers, those with advertising inventory and consumers. A look at what doesn't work, such as interstitials, and what does work, such as sponsored search results.

Study: Web ads build brand and drive sales
Media Life Magazine, March 26, 2001
http://www.medialifemagazine.com/news2001/mar01/mar26/3_wed/news1wednesday.html

Online ads needn't be all about clickthrough. They can be used to build brand-awareness. That's something Ask Jeeves hopes to sell

In Search Of Relevant Paid Links As Ask Jeeves
The Search Engine Update, December 4, 2000
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/0012-askjeeves.html

Describes earlier problems some advertisers were having with the Ask Jeeves paid links program.

Password Finder
http://searchenginewatch.com/about/finder.html

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Google Improves Newsgroups, Makes Inroads To Japan

As promised, Google has now made the full archives of newsgroup postings it acquired from Deja available via its Google Groups service. The archived messages, more than 650 million in all, date back to March 29, 1995.

The company has also added new advanced features allowing searches to be limited by date, language, message ID, author, subject or newsgroup. The company also expects to open a web-based newsgroup posting feature later this month.

Google has also launched a new Google Japan site, as well as having entered a partnership to provide some results to both Yahoo Japan and @nifty, said to be Japan's largest ISP. Google also has an earlier partnership with NEC's biglobe.com. Google says that these deals now have it powering the top three Japanese portals.

Google Groups
http://groups.google.com

Google Groups Advanced Search
http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search

Narrow your newsgroup searches with the new advanced options on this page.

SearchDay
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/

Chris Sherman will be taking a closer look at the improved Google Groups service in the near future for the SearchDay newsletter. Sign-up now, in order to receive his review.

Google Restores Deja View
Wired, April 27, 2001
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,43392,00.html

After the grief Google endured when originally acquiring the Deja archives, this reaction piece documents the positive response to the latest improvements from Google.

Google Acquires Deja Newsgroup Service
SearchEngineWatch.com, March 6, 2001
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/sereport/01/03-google.html

Past article about Google's acquisition of the Deja archives.

Google Japan
http://www.google.co.jp

The latest of Google's country-specific versions was launched in late April to serve Japan.

Yahoo Japan
http://www.yahoo.co.jp/

@search
http://www.nifty.com/search

Search service aimed at @nifty users. @nifty is said to be Japan's largest ISP.

BIGLOBE
http://www.biglobe.com

NEC-backed Japanese portal, with search powered by Google.

Dropped by goo, Yahoo links with Google
Daily Yomiuri, April 17, 2001
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20010417wo14.htm

NTT-X's Goo is apparently Japan's leading crawler-based search engine, and it has provided secondary results to Yahoo Japan, in the past. That relationship has ended, with Google being picked up as Yahoo Japan's new partner.

SearchDesk.com
http://www.searchdesk.com/

Want to know more about Japanese search engines. If you read Japanese, SearchDesk is supposed to be the site on the subject.

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Excite Next To Go?

With the Go and NBCi portals having been essentially shuttered, many wonder who will be next to jump out of the portal game. Perhaps it may be Excite@Home, given the signals it has been sending out recently.

Excite@Home has both a broadband Internet access business and runs web properties, such as Excite.com and Blue Mountain Arts. Given the company's cash crunch, something has to give -- and outgoing chair and CEO George Bell suggested last month that it would be the web properties. His new replacement, Patti Hart, also suggested the same thing, after being named to the post last month.

Action followed these words -- on Monday, another round of layoffs saw 13 percent of Excite@Home's staff cut, with the web properties such as Excite.com bearing the brunt.

So what's going to happen? Will Excite.com be closed or sold? It remains to be seen, but Excite@Home clearly intends to continue focusing on broadband, the company says.

"We are considering the sale of certain narrowband media assets. Which assets and when and if they will be sold has not yet been determined. We will make an announcement when there is more to report here. The company is continuing to refine its focus on the broadband opportunity and will consider ways to focus our media efforts on broadband," said Alison Bowman, Excite@Home's director of communications.

In other Excite news, paid links from FindWhat are now appearing at Excite. You'll find the top three listings from FindWhat displayed at the bottom of the Excite results page, under the heading, "Sponsored Links Provided by FindWhat.com."

In addition to the FindWhat links, Excite also now has its own sponsored links program. This places one link at the top of the page, with the label "Sponsored Link" to the right of the listing (try a search for "windows" to see an example). I'm expecting to get more details on these shortly. In the meantime, if you are interested, contact Excite's advertising department.

Finally, many have asked about the disappearance of Excite's Add URL page that allows submitting directly to its crawler. The page was never removed -- but the public link to it was taken down, as part of an experiment to see if this would boost submission to the LookSmart, which is promoted at Excite. The link is back up, now.

"The test we conducted did not lead to an increase in [LookSmart” Express submits so we have re-instituted the link to the free option," said Lynne Mariani Pogue, Excite's director of product management, search and directory.

Excite
http://www.excite.com/

Excite@Home lays off 13 percent of staff
News.com, April 30, 2001
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1004-200-5771685.html

Details on the latest cuts. Excite@Home remains with about 2,500 employees.

Excite@Home Names Hart Chairman, CEO
InternetNews.com, April 23, 2001
http://www.internetnews.com/isp-news/article/0,,8_750341,00.html

Details on the departure of Excite@Home's former CEO and the naming of its new one.

Excite@Home Wants Out of Media Business
InternetNews.com, April 17, 2001
http://www.internetnews.com/isp-news/article/0,,8_744781,00.html

Excite@Home says it plans to concentrate on its broadband business, suggesting that its commitment to maintaining the Excite web site may be waning.

FindWhat
http://www.findwhat.com/

Excite Advertising Information
http://www.excite.com/info/advertising/

Use this page to reach the Excite ad department.

Excite Add URL page
http://www.excite.com/info/add_url_form/

Use the form on this page to submit to the Excite crawler.

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Search Engine Resources
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Researchville
http://www.researchville.com

I haven't had a chance to explore this site yet, but it sounds like one well-worth a visit -- if only to access the free online archives of over 500 US daily newspapers that have just been made available. The site also provides access to hundreds of specialty or "invisible web" resources.

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Search Engine Articles
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Ogle Not Google's Top Scientist
Wired, April 27, 2001
http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,43236,00.html

I've often wanted to do a piece about women in search. It's one industry where you'll find women in many top positions. Case in point: Monika Henzinger, Google's director of research, who was just named one of the top 25 "Women on the Web." Other women of note in search? Arguably the most powerful, given Yahoo's continued dominance as a search resource, is Srinija Srinivasan, vice president and editor in chief of Yahoo. LookSmart's editor in chief is also a woman, Kate Wingerson -- as is the service's cofounder and president, Tracey Ellery. At Excite, Lynne Mariani Pogue heads up search there, and she was preceded by Kris Carpenter.

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Keen wins patent for phone-advice system
News.com, April 25, 2001
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-5729404.html

Keen is a search engine with a twist -- you search to find human beings who will provide a custom answer, typically by phone. Now the company has obtained a patent on its system. Don't look for it to be filing lawsuits, however. The company says it got the patent to protect itself against others.

=========================

How to Sabotage Your SEO Campaign
ClickZ, April 25, 2001
http://clickz.com/article/cz.3795.html

What NOT to do in order to gain better rankings on search engines.

=========================

Specialized Providers Zero In On Multimedia Content
Interactive Week, April 24, 2001
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2711515,00.html

Profile primarily of streaming media search provider Singingfish.

=========================

Terra Lycos to launch mobile search
News.com, April 23, 2001
http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-5697471.html

Lycos is teaming up with another company to offer live answers for a fee via telephone.

=========================

Designing for Search Engines and Stars
Digital Web Magazine, April 19, 2001
http://www.digital-web.com/tutorials/tutorial_2001-4.shtml

A nice summary of good design tips that can also improve search engine friendliness, with linked examples

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Seeding the Engines: Part 2
ClickZ, April 18, 2001
http://clickz.com/article/cz.3742.html

Tips on the process of submitting to search engines.

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My Reading List
=========================

Thanks this month to items spotted in....

Netsurfer Digest
http://www.netsurf.com/nsd/

PersonalReader.com
http://www.personalreader.com/

ResearchBuzz
http://www.researchbuzz.com/

Search Engine Guide Newsletter
http://www.searchengineguide.com/

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