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The Search Engine Update, Aug. 5, 2002, Number 130

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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

+ Search Engine Strategies & Google Dance In San Jose Next Week!
+ Compare & Contrast: Ad Guidelines At Overture & Google
+ AOL Moves Fully To Google
+ Ask Jeeves To Carry Google's Ads
+ European Search Engine News
+ Google Adds More "Fresh" Pages, Changes Robots.txt & 403 Errors, Gains iWon
+ MSN Adds Preview Screenshots, Ability To Dig Deeper Into Results
+ Search Engine Resources
+ SearchDay Articles
+ Search Engine Articles Review
+ List Info (Subscribing/Unsubscribing)

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Hello Everyone--

You may recall that last month, I posted an extremely long article about the US Federal Trade Commission's recommendations about disclosure of paid content at search engines. I've been surveying search engines as I do my regular contacts with them, and I expect to post a follow-up story next month, when this is completed. However, changes have already begun. Google was already in compliance, and FAST now joins it by making disclosure of its paid inclusion. See the SearchDay section of the newsletter, where there's an article about FAST's changes. Ask Jeeves and AltaVista have also made some changes to better clarify their paid listings.

Within the web site, the Nielsen//NetRatings Ratings page has been updated with search-specific figures for June 2002. It shows that MSN Search, as based on audience reach in the United States, has now ousted Yahoo as the most popular search site for two months running. It also shows that in terms of "search hours," Google remains the most used search engine. Indeed, in June 2002, Google skyrocketed to over 20 million search hours of usage -- four times higher than second-place Yahoo. You can find the page below:

Nielsen//NetRatings Search Engine Ratings
http://searchenginewatch.com/reports/netratings.html

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Search Engine Strategies & Google Dance In San Jose Next Week!

The first three day Search Engine Strategies conference comes to San Jose, California next week, from Aug. 12-14. I've said before that this is our "big show" for the year, featuring a track on enterprise search as well as a number of new "clinics" designed to go beyond talking about search engine marketing issues and instead show changes by working with example web sites.

Now there's another new attraction I can announce: The Google Dance. At the end of the second day, Google is transporting attendees out to the Googleplex, where food, drinks and more will be provided -- such as lots of Googlers answering questions. When you register for Search Engine Strategies, you'll be sent information on how to preregister for the event.

Search Engine Strategies has a variety of session on how to improve editorial listings in search engines and how to advertise effectively on them. Come learn from search engine marketing experts, during forums from fellow attendees and directly from the search engines themselves. Confirmed speakers will be there from AltaVista, Ask Jeeves/Teoma, FAST/AllTheWeb.com, Google, Inktomi, LookSmart, Lycos, Overture and Yahoo. More information can be found below, as well as a full agenda.

Search Engine Strategies San Jose
http://www.intmediaevents.com/sew/summer02/

Two day shows follow for Germany in October and Texas in December. Information, dates and the ability to register for when agendas are ready for these events can be found via the URL below:

Search Engine Strategies
http://searchenginestrategies.com

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Compare & Contrast: Ad Guidelines At Overture & Google

Those new to paid placement listings might assume that it's anything goes. If you pay enough, you can come up tops for the terms you wish to target and with ads that say exactly what you want. The reality is that paid listings stricter guidelines than crawler-based results. Such standards for paid listings can be a shock to those used to dealing with regular search engine optimization for crawlers, where no one controls your title and description, much less imposes a keyword-by-keyword relevancy review of your content. In the article below, I look at the editorial guidelines at Overture and Google, to better explain why they exist and how advertisers can be successful within them.

Compare & Contrast: Ad Guidelines At Overture & Google
The Search Engine Update, Aug. 5, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/08-ads.html

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AOL Moves Fully To Google

AOL Search changed to being fully "Google-powered" last week, completing a transition that was announced in May. Now both paid listings and crawler-based editorial results come from Google. More details can be found in the article below.

AOL Moves Fully To Google
The Search Engine Update, Aug. 5, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/08-aol.html

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Ask Jeeves To Carry Google's Ads

There have been some strange partnerships in the world of search, but last month's deal between Ask Jeeves and Google was surely one of the most unexpected. From September, the three year deal will see Ask Jeeves carrying paid listings from Google on its search properties, including Ask Jeeves-owned Teoma.com, which the company has positioned as a Google killer. In the article below, the how and why from an interview with Steve Berkowitz, president of Ask Jeeves Web Properties.

Ask To Carry Google's Ads
The Search Engine Update, Aug. 5, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/08-ask.html

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European Search Engine News

Yahoo makes paid submission mandatory for businesses in the UK and a new option for those in Italy. LookSmart UK begins powering former rival UK Plus and has launched a paid placement service of its one -- and one that in the short term might save some Espotting customers currently listed at LookSmart UK and sites it powers. And Excite is back -- at least in some European countries, powered by FAST. Details can be found below.

European Search Engine News
The Search Engine Update, Aug. 5, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/subscribers/articles/02/08-europe.html

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Google Adds More "Fresh" Pages, Changes Robots.txt & 403 Errors, Gains iWon

Over the past month, Google has stepped up the number of pages that it is spidering on a daily basis in an effort to increase the freshness of its database. The search engine has also changed the way it reacts if given a 403 "forbidden" error message when asking for a robots.txt file and has picked up iWon as a new customer for its search results.

Google Adds More "Fresh" Pages, Changes Robots.txt & 403 Errors, Gains iWon
The Search Engine Report, Aug. 5, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/08-google.html

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MSN Adds Preview Screenshots, Ability To Dig Deeper Into Results

MSN Search is now showing "Search Preview" screenshots of web sites in results from within Internet Explorer while also offering the ability to go past the top 200 results. More information is in the article below:

MSN Adds Preview Screenshots, Ability To Dig Deeper Into Results
The Search Engine Report, Aug. 5, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/08-google.html

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Search Engine Resources
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WAIM 2002 Annual Meeting & Internet Marketing Conference
http://www.waim.org/conferences.html

The World Association of Internet Marketers is meeting Sept. 18-19, 2002, in Edinburgh, Scotland. The press release I received on the event says "the theme of this year's conference is to establish clear lines of communication and foster partnerships between those involved in internet marketing and the search engines." The conference agenda doesn't explicitly list anything about this, but it might be intermingled as part of overall sessions. Cost is #89.

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Robotcop
http://www.robotcop.org/

The motto for the Robotcop project is "robots.txt: it's the Law." The robots.txt file is the mechanism that web site owners can use to block spiders from crawling all or portions of their web sites. It's widely recognized and honored by the major crawlers, but it remains an unofficial law. Even worse, it's a law with no law enforcement agency. Enter Robotcop. This is an open source project designed to produce plug-in modules for popular web servers. Did a crawler just fly past your robots.txt file? Robotcop can spot this and give you a variety of options with real teeth to them, such as blocking or trapping the spiders. Currently available for Apache 1.3 as a beta, there are plans to support Apache 2.0 and ISAPI webservers such as Zeus and IIS, in the future.

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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:

Special Search Tools Issue, Part 2
SearchDay, August 1, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0801-stools2.html

Search tools maven Avi Rappoport covers new and updated web site search tools and search engines. Also links to Part 1.

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When Smaller is Better
SearchDay, July 30, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0730-1do3.html

When you're searching for help with everyday tasks, smaller, more focused directories are often more useful than search engines.

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New Research at DARPA
SearchDay, July 29, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0729-darpa.html

The primary instigator of the Internet, DARPA, is funding research into future technologies -- including many that have potential to dramatically improve search systems.

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What We Search For
SearchDay, July 25, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0725-pew.html

The Pew Internet Project has released a fascinating report detailing just how important search engines are to web users, with some interesting statistics about the most common kinds of information people search for.

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FAST Complies with FTC Search Engine Advisory
SearchDay, July 24, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0724-fast-ftc.html

Responding to recent FTC recommendations, FAST has added additional information about how it crawls web pages and displays search results, including information about paid placement and paid inclusion content.

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Buying vs. Leasing Search Engine Traffic
SearchDay, July 23, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0723-seo.html

When considering search engine marketing strategies, it's important to consider both short term and long term approaches, or 'buying' vs. 'leasing' web site traffic.

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Banish Your Unbidden Spyware
SearchDay, July 22, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0722-spyware.html

Some web sites and many seemingly innocent shareware programs install spyware on your computer, silently tracking your online movements. Here's how to find and eradicate these pernicious e-snoops.

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New Search Engine Marketing Buyer's Guide
SearchDay #313, July 17, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0717-semlist.html

SEMList.com is a new directory that can help web site owners find experienced professionals to help with all aspects of the increasingly important process of search engine marketing.

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Linker vs. Lawyer: The Deep Link Controversy Continues
SearchDay #312, July 16, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0716-linkcon.html

Paul Alan Levy, an attorney for the Public Citizen Litigation Group, squares off with Eric Ward, one of the web's most respected authorities on the current legal controversy over links and linking.

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Beyond the Google Toolbar
SearchDay #311, July 15, 2002
http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/02/sd0715-ultrabar.html

UltraBar emulates the most powerful features of the Google toolbar and makes them available using virtually any search engine on the web -- and it's free.

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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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In Truth, Verity "Is Looking Strong"
BusinessWeek, Aug. 5, 2002
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/02_31/b3794141.htm

Short summary of how enterprise search software company Verity is doing well.

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Net Users Try to Elude the Google Grasp
New York Times, July 25, 2002
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/25/technology/circuits/25GOOG.html

Search engines have been making it possible to find personal information on the web for years, so the privacy problems described here aren't new. What is different is that even more people have access to the web and much more information has now been indexed.

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Do You Need a Search Toolbar?
SearchEngineGuide.com, July 24, 2002
http://www.searchengineguide.com/wi/2002/0724_wi1.html

Can't keep track of all the various search engine toolbars out there. Here's a guide to some of the more notable ones.

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Put down that knife
Red Herring, July 22, 2002
http://redherring.com/insider/2002/0722/dremedia072202.html

Dremedia aims to make searching audio and digital archives easier. Long article about the UK company started by two ex-BBC employees and the need for a good multimedia search engine. However, Dremedia will face competition from long-standing enterprise multimedia search players Convera.com and Virage.com. Convera is not mentioned in the article and Virage is barely touched on. Dremedia has financial and software backing from another UK-based search firm, Autonomy.

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Paying for answers online
The Christian Science Monitor, July 22, 2002
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0722/p14s01-wmcn.html

Review of answer search services, in particular, Google Answers, where you pay to have someone do research for you.

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Dinner with the mind behind the mind of God
Red Herring, July 16, 2002
http://redherring.com/insider/2002/0716/bait071602.html

Red Herring takes Google cofounder Sergey Brin to dinner, tries to get him drunk and spill secrets. No dice, but he does answer what the perfect search engine would look like. "It would be the mind of God," Brin said.

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The New Edition of WebPosition Gold is Finally Here
SearchEngineGuide.com, July 16, 2002
http://www.searchengineguide.com/aws/2002/0716_aws1.html

Review of latest features in this Swiss-Army Knife software for search engine optimization, which offers rank checking, page optimization, search term performance tracking and more.

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iPhrase steps out with new search software
InfoWorld, July 15, 2002
http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/02/07/15/020715hniphrase.xml

Enterprise and site search company iPhrase releases a new version of its technology.

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Yahoo pulls plug on online casino ads
Online Casino News, July 2002
http://www.onlinecasinonews.com/ocn/article/article.asp?id=1704

Yahoo will no longer take ads from online casinos -- at least graphical ads. Paid listings are still allowed, and Overture reports some casino marketers will pay up to US $20 per click, well in excess of the average 24 cents spent by Overture advertisers.

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