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The Search Engine Update, May 18, 1998, Number 29

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Search Engine Watch

THE SEARCH ENGINE UPDATE
May 18, 1998 - Number 29

By Danny Sullivan
Editor, Search Engine Watch
http://searchenginewatch.com/

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About The Update
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The Search Engine Update is a twice-monthly update of search engine news. It is available only to those people who have subscribed to Search Engine Watch, http://searchenginewatch.com/.

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
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+ Deals And Developments
+ Search Engine Articles
+ Search Engine Notes

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Search Engine News
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Deals And Developments

Once again, there are a number of important changes that have occurred earlier this month that will be explored in more depth in the end of the month Search Engine Update. Meanwhile, here is a summary of the major news:

+ AltaVista announced a new partnership with Real Name, an alternative web site addressing system from Centraal Corporation. Links to Real Name web site addresses now appear at the top of AltaVista search results.

Real Name is a system that allows those with the right software to enter something like "McDonalds" into their browser's address box and then be taken to whatever site has registered that word. Another company that does something similar is called NetWord.

The idea is that words are supposed to be less confusing than domain names. The services from both companies have been nothing more than a sideshow until now. With the AltaVista partnership, the idea of registering a Real Name has become much more important, because many more people will actually use them.

The system offers some advantages to marketers, in particular ensuring they can make it to the top of the list in AltaVista for their trademarks. But there are also some problems with it. I'll be providing much more in-depth coverage in the next newsletter.

+ Excite and Netscape announced a $70 million deal on May 4 that has Excite powering Netscape's new branded search engine and programming the Netscape Netcenter web offerings. Other search services will continue to have placement on the Netscape Net Search page, however.

+ Inktomi will begin powering both Yahoo and Snap searches in the near future. Both directories have depended on a search engine partner to provide results when a search failed to hit a match within their own proprietary directories. Yahoo was partnered with AltaVista, but Inktomi will take over within 90 days. Snap was with Infoseek, but Inktomi is to take over in June.

+ AT&T has announced Internet access partnerships with Excite, Lycos and Infoseek. They will soon be offering branded Internet access services, such as Yahoo's Yahoo Online, offered with MCI. Meanwhile, AT&T also announced a new positioning partnership with Yahoo.

+ Yahoo unveiled the new look it was beta testing on May 9, which HotBot has just unveiled its new, compact home page.

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Search Engine Articles
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Search chiefs "converge"
Reuters, May 7, 1998
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,21893,00.html

Top executives from six search services come together on one panel. Word is that not much of interest was said, and this article certainly says nothing more than they all expect more mergers and acquisitions in the future.

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A Privacy Hole in My Excite
Wired News, May 11, 1998
http://wired.com/news/news/technology/story/12212.html

Discusses how, in some cases, a person's My Excite personal page address may be exposed via referrer data. Those visiting the page could then change preferences or discover items such as personal stock choices.

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Sites lack uniformity in measuring users
NY Times, May 10, 1998
http://www.sjmercury.com/breaking/docs/028245.htm

Documents a dispute between AltaVista and RelevantKnowledge. The search service says it has far more visitors than the ratings service credits it with.

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Racing to the start line
News.com, May 14, 1998
http://www.news.com/SpecialFeatures/0,5,22073,00.html

A series of articles examining how everyone from search services to Disney are trying to position themselves as a key "portal" to the Internet. The idea is that Internet users start browsing from these portals, and thus they can command high ad rates or partnership fees by funneling traffic.

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Lycos Eyes More Acquisitions
Inter@ctive Week, May 15, 1998
http://www4.zdnet.com/intweek/daily/980515d.html

Lycos has been a conservative spender, but its recent acquisition of WiseWire may be the first of several meant to keep it competitive or overtake players such as Yahoo and Excite.

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Search Engine Notes
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HotBot Adds Check URL Form

HotBot has opened a new form that makes it easier to check on pages listed within particular sections of a web site. It will be extremely helpful to those using free web space.

For example, imagine someone with a web site hosted by AOL. They might have an address such as:

http://members.aol.com/mysite/

HotBot always made it easy to find all the pages within the members.aol.com domain, but there was no easy way to list just pages within the /mysite/ area. The new form makes this possible.

To do so, using the above example, you would enter members.aol.com into the "Your domain" box. In the "Any subdirectory" box, enter just the name of the directory after the "+originurlpath:" text already in the box. When done, the text in the box will say:

+originurlpath:mysite

What if you wanted to check on a directory within a directory, such as pages within:

http://members.aol.com/mysite/mypets/mydog/

The best way I've found is to enter the last bit of text, in this case, "mydog." So the text in the "Any subdirectory" box would say:

+originurlpath:mydog

To check on all the pages indexed from a particular domain, enter the domain in the "Your domain" box and remove all text from the "Any subdirectory" box. Be sure that second box is blank, or you'll be told that no pages could be found.

Unfortunately, there still is no easy way to check for a specific web page, as can be done at AltaVista and Infoseek, and to a limited degree at Lycos and WebCrawler. More information on these techniques can be found at the Checking Your URL page, which will also be updated with the new HotBot information shortly.

HotBot Check URL Form
http://help.hotbot.com/checkurl.html

Checking Your URL
http://searchenginewatch.com/webmasters/checkurl.html

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End Notes
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