In This Issue
+ Search Engine Watch News
+ SES Germany Agenda Available
+ Reader Q&A: September 2003
+ MarketingSherpa Working On New Edition Of SEM Buyers Guide
+ VeriSign Redirects Bad Domain Resolution
+ MSN Expands Overture Ads
+ Search Engine Resources
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles
+ About The Search Engine Update
Search Engine Watch News
I've been very busy doing site updates, and I'm hoping to do more if things stay relatively quiet over the next week or so. That's probably wishful thinking! Here's a rundown on what's new.
Within the main site, the News Search Engines page has been updated with new resources and a new section on RSS news feeds and blog search engines added.
The Shopping Search Engines page, Financial and Business Search Engines page, the Multimedia Search Engines page and the Other Specialty Search Engines page have also been updated with some new resources.
The Search Engine Index, a compilation of interesting search engine statistics over time, has been updated with some recent material. Links to all these pages can be found below:
What's New With Search Engine Watch's Departments
Within the Members Only Area:
The Crawler Submission Chart has been updated. It provides an at-a-glance guide to key submission details for the major crawler-based search engines, such as paid inclusion costs.
The How AllTheWeb (FAST) Works page has been updated. Mostly there were relatively minor updates, but the section on partnerships has been fully revised and a new section on AllTheWeb's future outlines how it will be merged will AltaVista and eventually Inktomi.
The How Inktomi Works page has had a light update, mainly to reflect the new ownership by Yahoo and references articles about the impact this may have on MSN Search.
What's New: Members-Only Area
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Then you probably speak it better than I do -- but fortunately, the session I'm conducting for Search Engine Strategies Munich will be in English. It will be one of the few English-language sessions, however. In a change from last year, the show is predominantly conducted in German. A full agenda for the event, to be held November 10-11, can be found below:
Search Engine Strategies Munich
As for the US, our next show comes to Chicago from December 9-11. An agenda for that should be ready by the end of the month. You can visit the site below to be notified when it's ready or to find the dates of other shows that have been scheduled for 2004:
Search Engine Strategies
Reader Q&A: September 2003
Readers have recently asked:
+ Every day I am bombarded with sites claiming to get "top ten listings" etc. Have you reviewed all these companies? How do I choose? Do they really work?
+ What are DC meta tags?
+ When someone types my name at Google, I want my site to come up. As of now, hundreds of references to my books come up but not my site. Is this possible?
+ I want to know which keywords are most popular each month or by search engine.
+ I was told search engine spiders do not handle templates used to display different items well. Is this true?
Answers to these questions can be found via the article below:
Reader Q&A: September 2003
The Search Engine Update, Sept 16, 2003
MarketingSherpa Working On New Edition Of SEM Buyers Guide
MarketingSherpa is preparing the latest edition of its pioneering and highly-recommended guide to search engine marketing firms. The deadline for firms to submit information is Friday, Sept. 19. More information on the guide and submission can be found in the article below:
MarketingSherpa Working On New Edition Of SEM Buyers Guide
The Search Engine Update, Sept 16, 2003
VeriSign Redirects Bad Domain Resolution
VeriSign is now resolving requests for non-existent .COM and .NET domains to a search engine that it operates, a move already raising controversy. Previously, such bad requests would have resulted in an error that in turn would be handled in different ways by various browsers. A look at the new system can be found in the article below. Note that the story is dated Sept. 17, but it should be posted and available for Search Engine Watch members to read later today on Sept. 16, once I get the newsletter out.
VeriSign Redirects Bad Domain Resolution
SearchDay, Sept. 17, 2003
MSN Expands Overture Ads
MSN Search has rolled out a new format for showing paid listings, a change it hopes will allow it to carry more sponsored results while still keeping its overall relevancy high. A look at the changes can be found in the article below. Note that the story is dated Sept. 18, but it will actually be posted and available for Search Engine Watch members to read by Sept. 17 or later today, once I get the newsletter out.
MSN Expands Overture Ads
SearchDay, Sept. 18, 2003
Search Engine Resources
Lycos Europe has relaunched the HotBot Europe sites that it owns. The link above gives you access to the various country-specific editions that exist. HotBot Europe sites follow a similar look and feel to the HotBot US site that was relaunched at the end of last year (see Changes Afoot at HotBot, http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/2241301). Unlike HotBot US, HotBot Europe only gives you access to "web results" from one search engine: Inktomi. Use the Advanced Search page if you want to boost results to favor listings from particular countries, such as the United Kingdom. HotBot Europe says link analysis is used to better understand what sites are regional in nature, when boosting is selected. "Sponsored Links" on HotBot UK come from Overture UK; other country-specific editions of HotBot should use sponsored listings from corresponding country-specific editions of Overture. Shopping search is also offered via a tab above the search box. Shopping results are powered by Pangora, an online shopping service owned by Lycos Europe. Finally, the Submit Site link ironically does not lead you to a way to get listed with HotBot in Europe, at least if you try to make use of the "Submit your site to the Lycos Web Index" option. That's because the Lycos Web Index -- AllTheWeb -- is not used by the HotBot sites owned by Lycos Europe. (permalink to this item)
Use Google often and want to track the same query over time? Google Alert is a free service that does this for you. It will run a query, then check each day to see if there are any changes. If so, you'll be informed of these via email. HTML and RSS feeds are also offered. The service is free but does require you to signup for an account.
New news search service that gathers headlines from 5,000 news, blog and information sites each hour. You can keyword search, though it's disappointing that the service doesn't show an item's source next to the results. You can also browse for what the site calls "newsletters." However, these aren't really newsletters, in the traditional sense. In other words, you won't find a list of all the email lists about gardening. Instead, you'll simply subscribe to a set of keywords that will generate news results that get emailed to you -- sort of a tracking service. The site is currently free, but you need to register to view headlines. In a month or two, a $10 per month fee will be charged. For free alternatives, see the list of News Search Engines that we maintain: http://searchenginewatch.com/links/article.php/2156261 (permalink to this item)
Demonstration site to show topic distillation and clustering technology. Search for something like "flowers" and see how results are then grouped into various categories along the left-hand side of the screen, such as Health and Science. Hover over Science, and you can further drill down into Institutions, which brings back a short list of botanical institutions. Use the "High Ranking Categories" option to see the clusters shown in order of popularity. Pretty much ignore the "regular" search results, which don't really seem to come up according to any type of useful particular ranking system. If you like what you see, be sure to try the much more mature technology offered at Vivisimo, http://vivisimo.com, or new Vivisimo-powered clustering at Dogpile, http://www.dogpile.com. (permalink to this item)
Google's Froogle shopping search engine gets some new features, including the ability to sort by price or see more results in "Grid View."
SiteAll.com: Froogle Information
Need help getting listed with Froogle? This site aims to be an informational hub about the service, though the information is mostly introductory. The site also sells the Froogle Feeder product, which is an inexpensive way to create your own Froogle feed. Of course, you can submit even more cheaply -- for free -- by doing things yourself with a spreadsheet. However, if you'd like some software assistance, this is probably worth a look. Also see the Getting Listed In Google's "Froogle" Shopping Search Engine article (http://searchenginewatch.com/_subscribers/articles/02/article.php/2152721), for further background on Froogle.
AllTheWeb Recent Queries
See the last 10 queries performed on AllTheWeb.
Top searches and other search behavior information from the Ask Jeeves web site, presented on a daily basis.
A directory of web sites and resources about Google. French-speakers will also find exploring the parent Indicateur site (http://www.indicateur.com/) interesting for coverage of all types of search engines and search resources.
Don't buy retail -- save and buy wholesale! And if you want to buy wholesale online, then this paid listings site aims to connect you to the right place.
Need help with Windows? Windows-guru Brian Livingston has a specialized search engine that brings back results from sites he considers to have high-quality Windows information.
Travel search engine that you use by installing a 180K applet into your browser. That's a pain, though the advantage is that you can then view SideStep's travel search results in a browser window "pane" and compare them to results from another travel search engine, such as Expedia.
Robots, spiders & Other User Agents
Database of search engine crawlers and other types of spiders that roam the web.
Meta search engine that uses Vivisimo's clustering technology plus provides a traditional list of consolidated web results from various search engines. Each listing clearly shows where it was found and how it ranked in the originating search engine. The cool Quick Peek feature lets you preview the page within your search results, to better decide if you want to visit it. A variety of specialized and country-specific searches are also offered.
Claims to be the largest directory of email addresses, compiled through crawling the web. I was impressed that it found mine as the first result returned for my name. On the other hand, I already knew what my address was. If you were trying to figure out which was mine among the 80 or so matches that came back, you might not have found it so useful. I also decided I wasn't so keen on having my address included in the directory. No problem -- by viewing my "Full Record" and then choosing the Update Listing option, I was able to get my address removed. As a safeguard, this is only possible because I could receive email sent to the listed address. The service is not designed for those who want to buy addresses to send out bulk email and employs systems to prevent addresses from being harvested (see http://email.addresses.com/about.php). Instead, if you can't locate an email for that long-lost friend, this might be a place to check out. (permalink to this item)
Like how Google's calculator lets you do sums by using units in plain language, such as speed of light * 2? Calchemy is a long-standing service that provides similar functionality. Unlike the Google calculator, it gives lots of documentation about the units it understands.
The Internet Archive is a wonderful project that lets you go back in time and see how web pages used to appear. Now a new add-on service called Recall lets you search against the text of the 11 billion pages that have been collected over the past seven years. That may be useful if you want to find past pages on particular topics but can't recall the exact address where those pages used to reside. The service will also plot how many pages were found for the terms you entered, over time. That's helpful to anyone interested in trends. For example, "push" technology was once considered hot. By entering "push," you'll see a red line in the right-hand chart that shows you how the use of the word peaked in 1999, then dropped off -- the rise and fall of push. You also get a left-hand chart that shows you the popularity of variations on your original word. (permalink to this item)
Here's a recap of recent articles from Search Engine Watch's daily SearchDay newsletter:
InfoSpace's New Mantra: Names, Numbers, Now
SearchDay, Sept. 16, 2003
InfoSpace has updated its website, offering a number of easy-to-use business and people lookup functions, with access to public records, email addresses and more.
LookSmart Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Proposed
SearchDay, Sept. 15, 2003
A proposed settlement to a 2002 class action lawsuit against LookSmart will compensate customers who were required to accept a new commercial listings agreement to maintain inclusion in LookSmart's directory.
Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Sept. 12, 2003
Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: 'Guaranteed' Top Ranking? - The Goal Is To Make Your Portal Profitable - Does Alt Tag Matter Any More? - Trickiest Scumware I've Ever Seen - Crude Reverse Engineering of Google Algorithm - What Would You Pay for a Link from a highly ranked Google page?
An Open Source Search Engine
SearchDay, Sept. 11, 2003
Nutch could rewrite the rules of search development -- especially with an impressive roster of Internet luminaries now lining up behind it.
Behind the Scenes at the Daypop Search Engine, Part Three
SearchDay, Sept. 10, 2003
This concludes a three part interview with Dan Chan, founder and sole proprietor of Daypop, a specialized search engine focusing on weblog and news content.
Search Engine Birthdays
SearchDay, Sept. 9, 2003
Google is only five, and even online veterans like Yahoo and AltaVista are comparative toddlers. In fact, it's only been a little more than ten years ago that the first web search engines were born.
Happy Birthday, Google!
SearchDay, Sept. 8, 2003
Five years ago, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated their fledgling startup. The reason? So they could cash a $100,000 personal check that had been sitting in Page's desk drawer for a couple of weeks.
Search Engine Forums Spotlight
SearchDay, Sept. 5, 2003
Links to this week's topics from search engine forums across the web: - Ecommerce Optimization - Do You Make Your Pages Accessible? - A Snapshot of the Open Directory's Unreviewed Queue - Which Bid Management Tools Do You Use? - How Should I Form URLs, Dynamic vs. Static? - Using Tools To Monitor Rankings, Can It Harm Your listings? - Will Looksmart Be Able to Survive Without MSN?
Search Engine Milestones for August 2003
SearchDay, Sept. 4, 2003
Notable news and announcements from the web search world during the past month.
Search Engine Size Wars & Google's Supplemental Results
SearchDay, Sept. 3, 2003
Who has the biggest index? The search engine size wars have erupted again to dispute this -- and the new Google supplemental index is complicating matters.
Want to receive SearchDay? Sign-up for the free daily newsletter from Search Engine Watch via the link below:
Search Engine Articles
Natural Search: The Overlooked Strategy
ClickZ, Sept. 15, 2003
Natural or organic search can produce lots of traffic, so it shouldn't be ignored. Instead, it should be part of a balanced campaign that includes both organic and paid search results, offering you the best of both worlds. To be fair, "organic" search shouldn't be considered unpaid. There are plenty of people paying to be in organic results. Paid inclusion is much more common, and money is also often spent with third-party search engine marketing firms to improve the performance of organic listings. For those who "do it in house," while they may not have an ad budget, plenty of time (which is a form of money) is sometimes spent on natural search. None of this takes away from that fact that everyone should consider doing a few, simple things that are not time-intensive but which can improve you natural listings. People who begin using descriptive page titles, for example, still tell me with amazement how just making that change help improve their listings with search engines. (permalink to this item)
Andrew Goodman makes a strong point in the first part of his column that everyone should take to heart. When any particular SEM strategy is pushed, you have to consider the source that's pushing it. All too often I hear from companies that are told by a particular SEM firm that they should pursue certain specific tactics to increase their traffic. It's common that these tactics just so happen to meet the firm's particular SEM business model, be it optimization of pages hosted by the client, trusted feed submission, pursuit of paid listings and so on. It's not that following any particular strategy is wrong, but you certainly want to expose yourself to the many options out there and go after what makes the most sense for your company. This is also why the search engines themselves won't eliminate SEM firms. I've had some people suggest that eventually, companies will simply buy everything from Google or everything from Overture. No way. Google's AdWords people have no incentive to sell you listings on Overture, even if they would be in your best interest. They certainly aren't going to suggest making improvements to your site that might generate some non-PPC organic traffic from Google, either. The same is true of Overture, LookSmart or anyone else with a particular product to push. (permalink to this item)
Major Marketers Find Ads On Site That Pitches Porn
Wall St. Journal, Sept. 15, 2003
Yes, Ask Jeeves carries ads from Google -- but it also sells its own ad products, as well. In addition, Ask Jeeves also apparently sells ads for some other sites. And through Ask Jeeves, companies like AOL Time Warner and Dell found themselves on a porn search engine. Ask Jeeves says the companies should have been aware they'd be placed on this site, as it was outlined in contract material. However, this particular site is now off the Ask Jeeves list. Link above only works for those with paid WSJ subscriptions.
Making Sense of AdSense... Et Al.
ClickZ, Sept. 12, 2003
Are you a publisher wondering how the move of search advertising dollars into contextual ads may help you? Here are some tips primarily focused around the Google AdSense program.
Overture continues push into Europe
InfoWorld, Sept. 10, 2003
Overture opens in the Netherlands, following on its expansion into Italy earlier this year. Spain, Switzerland, Austria and Scandinavia are due by the end of the year, then Belgium and Ireland next year.
Homestore taps Overture for ads
CBS MarketWatch, Sept. 10, 2003
Homestore will use Overture's paid listings and contextual ads across its network of web sites, which includes Realtor.com.
Anacubis Unveils Blended Google, Amazon Search
ResearchBuzz, Sept. 10, 2003
Review of upgraded tool that shows both Amazon and Google results in a visual manner.
Blogger has come in two flavors, the free basic service and Blogger Pro, which at $35 per year, offered additional features. Now Blogger Pro has been eliminated. Blogger will be purely a free service offering all the features that Blogger Pro used to charge for. In a side note, when Google took over Blogger, it eventually introduced its AdSense ads on the pages of those with free accounts. So what happens to those with formerly paid accounts who may have gone that route because they didn't want to have ads? If they are hosted by BlogSpot, the Google blog hosting service, then Google tells me they will have ads as well. Those using Blogger but hosting elsewhere should remain ad-free. Google also tells me they are working on releasing a new ads free BlogSpot service, but no timing or further details are yet available (though, oddly, the BlogSpot site seems to already offer this). By the way, those who paid for accounts aren't being shortchanged. They can get a cash refund or a Blogger sweatshirt. (permalink to this item)
Why Didn't You Buy? Survey Helps Search Marketing Clicks, Trials & Conversions Soar
MarketingSherpa.com, Sept. 9, 2003
Search engine prospects are different from ordinary prospects in that they want to know if a product fulfils an exact need, not get a pitch of general things it can do. Understanding this concept helped presentation technology company Impact Engine create custom search ad campaigns and targeted landing pages that raised clickrates up to 25 percent and landing page conversions to 15 percent.
When Google rolled out related searches functionality for its AdSense program, I asked if we'd see this perhaps appear within ordinary search results. I was told that anything was possible. Well, Google's definitely testing related searches now. This thread explains how they were originally assumed by someone to be added by scumware. Instead, GoogleGuy (who is indeed a Google employee) confirms that it's a test that Google is trying. And about time -- every other search engine offers some type of query refinement tool. Google is long, long overdue to do the same. Thread has a URL leading to a screenshot. (permalink to this item)
Judge Rules in Favor of Pop-Ups
Reuters, Sept. 8, 2003
Pop-up ads from WhenU don't violate copyright or trademark laws, a US District Court judge rules.
Competition fierce for search engines that get to specifics
Boston Globe, Sept. 8, 2003
A look at various enterprise or specialty search products that aim to be the best in their niches.
An open letter to Vanessa Lintner of SeekerCenter.net
chrisSEO, Sept. 8, 2003
Like everyone else, I got those emails telling me that my site isn't listed in search engines. Like Chris Ridings, my reaction to these is the same. Thanks, but no thanks, I don't need your submit to a million search engines service. A satirical look at an offer received.
At the Future Of Search Engine Marketing session held at our Boston Search Engine Strategies conference earlier this year, I recall one particular question about how existing marketers can expect to survive the continued changes in the industry. My response was that good search engine marketers have key skills that will help them overcome any of the changes. Foremost is understanding how people search. A good search engine marketer understands how to target the most appropriate venues.
Google is important to you, because a lot of people search there. That's obvious for many people. But an good search engine marketer will also understand that DealTime is a popular shopping search engine, so if they have an ecommerce client, making use of DealTime might make sense. Similarly, if you handle local clients, you'll look at the ways people seek local information, such as through online yellow pages.
Understanding where the search happens is key. Mark the right targets, then you follow to the second key component, understanding the ways to appear there. While some like to consider SEM to be black magic, it's often not a case of knowing some secret optimization component to doing well. Often, just getting included in the right places will bring back natural results. If not, then knowing about the advertising options provides a solid fallback position.
In essence, search engine marketing is about knowing how to reach people seeking information. General purpose search engines have been an easy, effective way to do this, since they are as I've spoken about before "reverse broadcast systems," where consumers broadcast their desires, a flipflop on regular advertising, where merchants broadcast messages to try and create desire.
Fredrick Marckini, in this column, asks whether search engine marketing is even the right word for the type of marketing that search engine marketers do. That phrase defines the activity by the venue, search engines, rather than the behavior -- consumer inquiries. Hence he proposes "inquiry marketing" as a better term to encompass future growth.
In large part, I agree. I've thought for several months that "search marketing" might be a better term than "search engine marketing" because, as with Fredrick's term, it puts the emphasis on the activity -- searching. I mainly hesitate to do so because it's only been about two years since I backed "search engine marketing" as a replacement for "search engine optimization," that some felt too limiting (See Search Engine Marketing: You Like It, You Really Like It, http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/article.php/2164421).
Instead, I figure we'll see a gradual collapse of the phrase "search engine marketing" into "search marketing." But who knows -- perhaps "inquiry marketing" will take off. (permalink to this item)
InfoSpace.com Re-Launches as Directory Site
InternetNews.com, Sept. 8, 2003
InfoSpace.com has been redesigned and repositioned as a site for those seeking local information through yellow and white pages listings.
Kelkoo revenue surges on Euro user growth
netimperative, Sept. 8, 2003
European shopping search engine Kelkoo is finding revenues and its audience up.
Search Marketing Organizations: A Road Map
ClickZ, Sept. 5, 2003
Good review of three organizations involved with search engine marketing: the new SEMPO, the IAB search committee and AIM, a division of the Direct Marketing Association.
Interview with Wordtracker Founder Andy Mindel
Search Engine Guide, Sept. 4, 2003
Lots of search engine marketers depend on WordTracker for search term research. The product is apparently to be updated, through this interview sheds no light on what's to come. Details are really about the existing product.
A Selection of Recent Search Engine Related Patents from the USPTO
ResourceShelf, Sept. 3, 2003
Gary Price's latest recap of search related patents that were recently issued.
FindWhat.com Gets E-Commerce Tools
InternetNews.com, Sept. 3, 2003
FindWhat plans to acquire online storefront maker Miva.
Yahoo-Overture Deal Wins Anti-Trust Approval
Reuters, Sept. 3, 2003
The US Department of Justice says it sees no reason why Yahoo and Overture cannot marry. Now Overture's parents -- in the form of its shareholders -- will have their say on October 7.
Online Advertisers Say "Good Riddance" to August from Hell
Traffick, Sept. 2, 2003
Did you find your paid listing traffic up but conversions down in August? You might not be the only one. Hold the course, advises Andrew Goodman. With all the changes happening in the industry right now, it's difficult to know what exactly might be to blame.
How To Write Little Tiny AdWords Ads That Bring Giant-Sized Profits
Search Engine Guide, Sept. 2, 3003
The headline sounds like the opening to an infomercial, but this article is actually about writing good copy for your paid listings with Google.
Google pulls links to Kazaa imitator
News.com, Sept. 2, 2003
Ah, the irony. Last month, eBay -- which bids on plenty of terms that are also trademarks of others -- pressures Google into preventing advertisers from bidding on phrases that contain its name. Now MP3 search service Kazaa, often accused of helping music piracy, employs the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to get Google to remove links to sites that distribute a version of Kazaa that it claims violates its copyright.
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Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!